Series GR-3096 - Crown land grant indexes

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Crown land grant indexes

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  • textual record
  • microform

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  • 1869-1930 (Creation)
    British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works

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Microfilm (neg.), 35 mm (6 reels) [B14428-B14433]

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Biographical history

The Dept. of Lands and Works was established in 1871 under the Constitution Act (SBC 1871, c. 147). Prior to that, the origins of the department were in the offices of the Surveyor General for the Colony of Vancouver Island (1859-1866) and the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works and Surveyor General for the Colony of British Columbia (1859-1871).

The mandate of the department was to grant permission for the pre-emption of unoccupied, unsurveyed, and unreserved Crown lands, issue Crown grants and grant leases of Crown lands, oversee all survey and map functions, and construct and repair roads, bridges and buildings for public services. It was also responsible for promoting immigration. The Dept. of Lands and Works was headed by the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works and Surveyor General.

By 1899, the department was organized into two branches: Lands Branch and Works Branch. In 1908 the Dept. of Lands and Works was disestablished with an amendment to the Constitution Act (SBC 1908, c. 12). Its functions were assigned to two new departments: the Dept. of Lands (SBC 1908, c. 31) and the Dept. of Public Works (SBC 1908, c. 41).

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Indexes to and registers of colonial and provincial crown land grants. Excludes crown land grants (letters patent) issued by the federal government for the Railway Belt and Peace River Block lands, 1885-1930. See GR-0436 for more information about Dominion land grants.

While crown land grants were issued from 1857 on, no comprehensive indexes were compiled before 1869. Copies of the crown grants and related documents can be found in GR-3097 and GR-3139. The indexes are recorded in bound volumes, each containing an alphabetical index to one or more annual volumes of crown land grant registers. The arrangement and content of the indexes has evolved over time.

From 1869 until 1912, each index volume consists of two sections. The first section is an alphabetical listing of surnames of grantees and of lots (in cases where a lot was given a name, for example "Copper King" ), with corresponding lot registration numbers. The second section, arranged by registration number, records additional information used for tracking the crown grant registration process. From 1869 until 1901, each index volume spans two or more years of grants. From 1902 onward, each index volume corresponds to one calendar year of registrations. Starting in 1908 (overlapping with the earlier indexing system for five years), a new indexing system was implemented and at first entitled "General Index to Crown Grants." These indexes consist of only one section, organized alphabetically by the first letter of the grantee's surname. Within each letter section, grants are recorded in order by date of registration. The first volume of the General Index includes grantees from 1908 to 1911; the second volume covers 1912. From 1913 on, when the first indexing system was discontinued, each index volume corresponds to a calendar year of registrations.

The following information is recorded in the indexes: district name, grant number and name, grantee name, amount charged for the grant, date of the grant, surveyed designation, acreage, how the land was acquired (including the method of purchase, such as at auction or by pre-emption, or the type of grant, such as mineral claim or returning soldier homestead) assessment district, surveyed designation, and location. An online index to crown grants issued between 1860 and 1930 is available at Note that the online index is incomplete.

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Originals and microfilm masters in custody of Surveyor General.

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There are no access restrictions.

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Associated materials

Related series include: GR-3097 Crown land grants (1869-1930); GR-3139 Crown land grants (1851-1874); GR-3140 Crown land auctioneers' agreements (1899-1914); GR-1069 "Herald Street collection" (especially for pre-1869 indexes)

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General note

Microfilmed by Genealogical Society of Utah, 1999-2000, from originals held by Lands Branch. Records were removed from bound volumes when microfilmed.

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Accession number(s): 93-5521; 93-8160

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