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British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works. Chief Commissioner Land settlement--British Columbia
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Crown land grants

  • GR-3097
  • Series
  • 1869-1930

This series consists of crown land grant files for BC crown land grants issued from December 1869 - when all such grants have been centrally registered, regardless of location or type - to 1930. They are arranged by volume and registration number. Earlier registrations, organized by district or town and not centrally indexed, are found in GR-3139.

Crown land grants are issued when land owned by the government is conveyed to private persons and organizations under the authority of the senior official responsible for Crown lands.

Several different types of grants are inter-filed in the Crown land grant series. Under a process known as "pre-emption" (which continued until 1970) individuals could purchase land which had not been fully surveyed. However, grants to these lands were not issued until the applicant had made specified improvements, satisfied residency requirements, and had the lands fully surveyed. Other types of grants have included those for the purposes of mineral claims, town lots, mill sites, schools, returning soldiers' homesteads, and railway rights-of-way.

Each Crown land grant is documented in this series with a land grant registration form and related records. These records describe the sale or transfer of specific parcels of Crown land and the terms and conditions governing these transactions. During the period covered by these records, each registration form documents the following: registration number; grantee name; location, acreage, and lot number of the land; and the amount paid. Attachments include sketches of land lots, applications for Crown grants, receipts for land and fees, certificates of purchase, and related documentation.

Alphabetical indexes for these files are found in GR-3096. An online index, albeit incomplete, is available at:

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works

Crown land grant indexes

  • GR-3096
  • Series
  • 1869-1930

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.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works

Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works correspondence inward

  • GR-0868
  • Series
  • 1871-1883

This series consists of letters inward to the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, 1871-1883. Letters are arranged by file number. These letters were selected for transfer to the archives in 1937 and therefore do not appear on the microfilms of Lands letters inward that were made later.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works