Thursday, 8 May 2014

Location, location, location

Land records are another way to add dimension to your ancestors. Not everyone owned land, but if they did there may still be a record of it somewhere.  There are some indexes online, and you may be able to use that information to get more complete records from the state or province.  Estates were traditionally given as spoils of war to soldiers for their loyalty in battle. At the birth of Canada land grants were given to help populate the land.  Then, to boost the population even more, a 100 acre lot of land was given to couples that had 12 living legitimate children.

A Cadastre survey of land could include details of ownership, what the land is used for, and boundaries and dimensions of the land, used for tax purposes and in land disputes. When you buy a house in a development you get a cadaster with your paperwork, showing where your lot is, with the dimensions and boundaries.  Some of the earlier cadastres have the owner’s names written on them.  Cadastres have been used as early as 77 CE and a lot of countries use them.  There are quite a few of these cadastres online, and I will link to some of them below.

The largest that I found was the Canadian County Atlas Digital Project done by McGill University. It is a cadaster of Ontario, with names and acreage of each lot. Search under People for the land grant information, then get the map showing the location.
In US search Internet Archive using keywords : plat book.

Relevant Links:

Land Records

Free grants of land to parents with 12 kids

QuebecLand Register (follow links)

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) – Land Records

Letters Patent containing grants of land (mentioned in Report
 By Québec (Québec). Secretary's Office 1891

Index to Alberta Homestead Records up to 1930

Index to Alberta Homestead Records After 1930

CPR to settlers in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta from 1881 to 1927

Nova Scotia Land petitions

New Brunswick Land Grants

New Zealand: Copies of papers and despatches relative to New Zealand; Return showing .. land in the colony of New Zealand, sold by the government - 1845


Land map of Quebec and Ile d'Orleans

StJean - Ile d'Orleans

StLaurent - Ile d'Orleans

Beaconsfield Settlement, Andover Parish, N.B

Nova Scotia : click on a square and zoom in

Rainy River, Minnesota

(Lauzon, Sorel, Sillery, etc)

The San Francisco block book; comprising Park Lane Tract, Market Street Homestead Ass'n., Stanford Heights, Sunnyside, City Land Ass'n., Lakeview, West End Homestead, University Mound Homestead Ass'n., Excelsior Homestead, Reis Tract, South San Francisco Homestead and Railroad Ass'n., Tide Lands, etc. : showing size of lots and blocks and names of owners, compiled from latest official records

Georgia USA: The Cherokee land lottery, containing a numerical list of the names of the fortunate drawers in said lottery, with an engraved map of each district - 1838

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