Series GR-3139 - Crown land grants

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Crown land grants

General material designation

  • textual record

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code


Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1851-1878 (Creation)
    British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works

Physical description area

Physical description

Originals, 2.46 m. (7 boxes), microfilm (neg.), 1851-1917, 16 mm (2 reels) [B14435-B14436] and 35 mm (1 reel) [B14437], Microfilmed by Genealogical Society of Utah in 2000 and the BC Archives in 2004

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


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).

Custodial history

Scope and content

The Crown land grants in this series have been recorded in registers covering particular districts or towns. Those registered after 1869 overlap with a centrally registered series of Crown land grants (GR-3097,1869-1930). Included in this series is an indexed volume of Hudson's Bay Company deeds to lands on southern Vancouver Island granted between 1851 and 1858.

Records from 1860-1878 have been indexed in the Historic Crown Grants database ( Unlike the records in GR-3097, no volume or grant number is provided, only a reel number.

Crown land grants in this series are documented with a land grant registration form and, in many cases, related records. Most of the forms originally consisted of "a" and "b" parts; the latter was given to the grantee, and the former (a long, narrow "counterfoil" ) was kept by the government. These counterfoil records describe the sale or transfer of specific parcels of Crown land; some also describe the terms and conditions governing these transactions. Some counterfoils contain very little information. Registration forms generally document the following: registration number; grantee name; location, acreage, and lot number of the land; and the amount paid. Registration dates are in most cases distinguished on the forms from the dates land was initially acquired; this reflects the fact that purchase of land may not have been finalized until months or years afterwards, when all required improvements had been made. In rare cases, no registration or acquisition date is recorded. Attachments (usually glued to the relevant counterfoil) include sketches of land, applications for Crown grants, receipts, certificates of purchase and title, conveyances recording sale of granted land to other persons, state of title forms, court documents, and related correspondence and other documentation.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


The records are arranged in seven sub-series. Unless otherwise noted, within each sub-series the grants are arranged first by district or town, and then by registration number and date. See each sub-series description or finding aid for more information.

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions.
Conservation restriction: researchers must use microfilm copies unless archivist approves access to originals.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Associated materials

Successor and related series include: GR-3097 Crown land grants (1869-1930) GR-3096 Crown land grant indexes (1869-1930) GR-3140 Crown land auctioneers' agreements (1899-1914) GR-1069, Herald Street Collection, miscellaneous crown land grants records (ca. 1858-1910).

Related materials


General note

Accession number(s): 93-7195; 93-8158

General note

Sub-series 4 (the Hudson's Bay Company deeds) was filmed on 35 mm film due to its large size, and the portions of sub-series 2 and 3 filmed in 2004 were added to that reel. All other documents were filmed in sequence on 16 mm film. (The items microfilmed in 2004 are identified as B14437(2), B14437(3), and B14437(4), and as original volumes 20, 21, and 22.) Some of the loose duplicate deeds were added to Sub-series 4 later and were not filmed. Records were removed from bound volumes when microfilmed, except records in Sub-series 4, which remain in their original bound volume. Some of the volumes were original to the records, while other records in varying formats had been bound together at some point after they were created. In many cases, the bound volumes contained numerous blank forms.

For the original bound arrangement of the records, see the finding aid. Some of the microfilmed attachments (mainly receipts) have some wording obscured due to the fact they could not safely be separated from the counterfoils they are glued to. However, most of the information in this wording is also provided on the counterfoil, and if necessary original documents may be referred to for obscured information.

General note

The series is covered by the BC Lands ORCS (schedule 101687) under classification 10240-20 "Crown grant registers". All extant records in the series previously held by Crown Land Registry Services have been transferred to the BC Archives. Series title has been taken from the records classification system.


Use microfilm copy unless it is necessary to see coloured sketch tracings or obscured information on originals.

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Accession area