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Archival description
Only top-level descriptions Crown lands--British Columbia
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Certificates of purchase

  • GR-1521
  • Series
  • 1859-1944

This series contains acknowledgements of moneys received by the Lands Department pursuant to the pre-emption or sale of crown land. These certificates of purchase include district, legal description of land, acreage, date and terms of payment, name of payer, pre-emption record number, certificate of improvement number, crown grant number and departmental file numbers. The certificates are divided into four series.

SERIES 1. CERTIFICATES OF PURCHASE BY LAND DISTRICT, 1859-1913. Volumes have alphabetical indexes.
SERIES 2. CERTIFICATES OF PURCHASE, 1874-1890. TOWN LOTS AND MISCELLANEOUS DISTRICT CERTIFICATES. Volumes have alphabetical indexes.
SERIES 3. CERTIFICATES OF PURCHASE, SERIES 4. CERTIFICATES OF PURCHASE, 1907-1944. Vancouver Island certificate books.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Cariboo assessment rolls

  • GR-2599
  • Series
  • 1918-1948

This series consists of Cariboo Land District assessment rolls of reverted lands for lots 1-10025, plus Quesnelle Forks and Barkerville Townships. The records date 1918-1948. The lots are listed numerically, and record tax sales and reverted lands. Information includes the name of the assessed owner at the date of forfeiture, legal description of the property, acreage, land district, assessment district, date of tax sale, date of forfeiture, assessed value at date of forfeiture, classification at date of forfeiture, taxes due at date of tax sale, annual taxes, upset price, and reserves. No name index is available.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Certificates of title of country lands

  • GR-1398
  • Series
  • 1860-1861

This series contains certificates of title of country lands in B.C. (2 vols.) Volume 1 contains nos. 1-35 (1860-1861). Volume 2 contains nos. 36-39 (1861). The records are counterfoil books containing name of purchaser, acreage and description of lands.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works

Property appraisal reports

  • GR-1680
  • Series
  • 1973-1984

The series consists of appraisals, in the form of individual reports, which establish the value of parcels of real property in British Columbia.

In this time period the function of appraisal fell under the Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing, and was carried out by different offices over time, including “Land Assembly,” “Acquisition and Development,” “Appraisal and Acquisition,” and "Acquisition and Project Services." The Ministry acted to determine the value of parcels of land that the government intended to sell, acquire, assemble, exchange or transfer from one ministry to another. The government’s goals also included promoting the building of new housing in the province.

The real estate appraisals were usually carried out by independent real estate appraisers; occasionally the appraisal was done “in-house.” Typically the appraisal includes: a description of the property; a description of the community and region where the subject property was located; a declaration of the highest and best use of the land; an estimate dollar value at a specific date; and, a statement of the methodology used to estimate the value. Each appraisal report typically includes photographs (black and white and colour) and cartographic materials. The latter are local subdivision maps, village plans, sketches, diagrams and drawings. The front matter in the report typically includes correspondence indicating acceptance or rejection of the appraisal, and the discussion of other issues surrounding the parcel.
Property appraisal reports frequently contain considerable background and historical information about the property and the surrounding region where it is located.

Typically the appraisal reports have a cover letter from a local contracted appraiser, addressed to the local office of the ministry (for example, to the “Ministry of Lands, Parks & Housing, Lands and Housing Regional Operations Division, Housing & Development, Cranbrook BC”). The report was then forwarded to the manager in Victoria in charge of “Appraisal and Acquisition” or “Land Assembly.”

Examples of Crown properties being appraised are: vacant lots, surplus highways properties, unused government-owned sites and buildings used by such entities as the BC Forest Service facilities, ICBC or the Liquor Distribution Branch. Other Crown land parcels were at the time of appraisal leased to an adjacent land owner, and the government was entertaining an application by the adjacent land owner to purchase the subject parcel.

The 1976-1977 annual report of the Department of Housing stated the function of its Technical Services Branch as follows: "This branch is involved in the acquisition, planning, servicing, designing, and development of land."

The Acquisition and Development Branch, within the Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing "provides professional and technical services to promote development and marketing of Crown land including appraising, engineering, planning, architecture, marketing and conveyancing of land." (Source: Organization of the BC Public Service 1977/78, p. 204).

The 1979-1980 annual report of the Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing stated, regarding its Lands and Housing Regional Operations Division, that the purposes of that branch included "acquiring private land and developing and marketing Crown land for residential, recreational, agricultural and commercial uses ..."

The 1985-1986 annual report of the Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing, p. 25, states: “Acquisition and Project Services Branch acquires and exchanges land for public purposes, develops and administers land appraisal and marketing policy and maintains an inventory system for marketing Crown land parcels.”

Long term archival value is relatively high since the records are evidence of land use in the province, a representation of property values of the time, and showing the methods of assessment and land appraisal used at the time.

The series consists of the following sub-series:
Sub-series 1, Property appraisal reports 1973-1977, in containers 914292-0001 - 914292-0010
Sub-series 2, Property appraisal reports 1976-1980, in containers 914292-0011 - 914292-0024
Sub-series 3, Property appraisal reports 1979-1982, in containers 914292-0025 - 914292-0040
Sub-series 4, Property appraisal reports 1978-1984, in containers 880583-0001 - 880583-0014

British Columbia. Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing

Surveyor General correspondence outward

  • GR-1812
  • Series
  • 1911-1918

Letterpress copies of correspondence outward from the Surveyor-General. Many of the volumes contain nominal indexes of correspondents. Volumes 26 - 31 have been water damaged and are partly illegible.

British Columbia. Surveys Branch

Commission on the Sale by Public Auction, 1909, of Suburban Lands in the New Westminster Land District (1916)

  • GR-0808
  • Series
  • 1916

This series consists of the records of the Commission on the Sale by Public Auction, 1909, of Suburban Lands in the New Westminster Land District, 1916. The commissioner, Vancouver lawyer Robert Wilson Harris, was appointed 28 April 1916 to investigate the sale and all dealings, transfers, payments, etc. of certain suburban lands in Point Grey in district lots 139, 140, 176, 538, 540, 206, 217 and 2027 in the New Westminster land district. Commission records consist of Provincial Secretary's correspondence file, evidence presented at the hearings (reproduced as an appendix to the report) and a signed copy of the commissioner's report.

British Columbia. Commission on the Sale by Public Auction, 1909, of Suburban Lands in the New Westminster Land District (1916)

Registers relating to Crown Grants

  • GR-1129
  • Series
  • 1900-1924

This series includes registers relating to Crown Grants, Similkameen Division and Osoyoos Division, Yale District (2 vols.) Volume 1 is a register of Crown Grant applications forwarded to Victoria and includes date and disposition of application, name and address of applicant, legal description of land, Crown Grant number. Volume 2 is a register of Crown Grants and includes date of notice, number of grant, legal description of land, payment schedule, disposition and Grown Grant number. The registers are arranged chronologically.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Appraisal reports of reverted government lands, Lillooet Land District

  • GR-2613
  • Series
  • 1932

This series consists of Appraisal Reports of reverted government lands for the Lillooet Land District, 1932. The reports are arranged numerically by report number. Information may include assessment district registry office, legal description, land plan number, acreage, date of forfeiture, soil, water suitability, improvements, accessibility, supply, irrigation or dyking, nearest settlement or Post Office, nearest school, topography, and assessed and appraised value. The report usually contains a sketch map of the property, and this volume contains a sketch map of Lillooet townsite plus the lots across the Fraser River. The volume is indexed by report numbers to the legal land description.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Records relating to auction sales of Prince Rupert land

  • GR-1407
  • Series
  • 1909-1912

This series contains records relating to auction sales of Prince Rupert lands in 8 volumes. The records consist of a register of auction sale of Prince Rupert lots sold on May 25, 1909 and the following days at Vancouver and Victoria, as well as a register of auction sale of Prince Rupert lots sold on August 28 and 29, 1912 held at Vancouver. The records include receipt certificates for the May 25, 1909 sale (6 volumes). Volume 1 and Volume 8 are oversize.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

File check list of Lands correspondence

  • GR-0991
  • Series
  • 1981

The series consists of a copy of a 1981 file check list to Lands correspondence "O" files (or O series) 1918 to 1970, created by the Surveys and Land Records Branch.

The checklist lists O file numbers 1 to 40,000, arranged numerically. Inactive files, which were transferred to the BC Archives in 1980 and 1981 and returned to Crown Land Registry in 1997, have been annotated in the list with an original box number.

Use this list to determine whether a Lands "O" file is in the custody of the Crown Land Registry by finding the file number in the list and checking to see if there is an annotation next to it. If there is, contact Crown Land Registry for access.
If no annotation appears, check the file disposition list (GR-1225) for further information about other possible locations of files. Files may have been microfilmed, been transferred to another ministry or may have remained active with Crown Land Registry all along.

British Columbia. Surveys and Land Records Branch

Commission on Land Registration (1912)

  • GR-0792
  • Series
  • 1912

This series consists of original typewritten transcripts of the proceedings of the Commission on Land Registration, 1912.

British Columbia. Commission on Land Registration (1912)

Crown land records

  • GR-1408
  • Series
  • 1901-1952

This series contains certificates granted with the object of facilitating registration of title to a portion of Crown lands granted to the Nelson and Fort Sheppard Railway Company and the Kaslo and Slocan Railway Company (2 vols.), 1901-1904. It includes notices from the Deputy Minister of Lands certifying grants, 1920, 1937, 1941, and 1952.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Crown land grants

  • GR-3139
  • Series
  • 1851-1878

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 (http://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/gator/crowngrantsearchrequest.do). 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.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works

Crown land auctioneers agreements

  • GR-3140
  • Series
  • 1899-1914

Auctioneer agreements with private persons concerning the purchase of Crown lands at Atlin, Hastings, Hedley, Kootenay Valley, Lockhart Beach, McBride, New Westminster District, Point Grey, Quesnel and Tulameen. Each agreement is recorded on a form with location, date, purchaser, price, etc. Many agreements have various attachments such as receipts and correspondence. Microfilm (neg.) 1899-1914 16 mm (1 reel) [B14434] The series consists of auctioneers' agreements with private persons concerning the purchase at auction of Crown lands at town sites in Atlin, Hastings, Hedley, Kootenay Valley, Lockhart Beach, McBride, New Westminster District (lot 2027), Point Grey, Quesnel, and Tulameen. The records are arranged according to auction site and date, and then by registration number. Registrations of the land sale transactions usually occurred on the auction date or in the subsequent few days, but some were recorded up to four years afterwards. All extant records in the series previously held by Crown Land Registry Services have been transferred to the Archives. Series title based on contents of series. Also known as auctioneers' agreements. Microfilmed in 2000 by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Records were removed from bound volumes when microfilmed. For the original bound arrangement of the records, see Original Bound Volumes List below.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Register of reverted lands

  • GR-1163
  • Series
  • 1927-1928

The series is a register created by the Water Rights Branch from 1927 to 1928. It documents reverted lands in various irrigation districts and drainage areas in the Okanagan valley, including the Vernon, Kelowna, Westbank, Peachland and Grand Forks areas. Lists lands reverted to the Crown for non-payment of taxes and includes legal descriptions, name of last owner, acreage, amount irrigable, assessed values, etc.

British Columbia. Water Rights Branch

Records relating to the South African War Land Grant Act, 1901 and subsequent amendments

  • GR-1396
  • Series
  • 1901-1907

This series contains records relating to the South African War Land Grant Act, 1901 and subsequent amendments. It includes a register of applications (1 volume, oversize) which includes the name of applicant, location of land, and legal description, and Crown Grant number. The series also include 4 volumes of record books of land scrip issued between 1903-1905. The series also contains a descriptive entry written in 1931 by the Dept. of Lands.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works

Lands "O" series correspondence files

  • GR-1147
  • Series
  • 1968-1978

The "O" series correspondence files contain general inquiries about surveys, leases, and other matters pertaining to lands. Files 0220, 0468 - 0474, 0868 - 0878

British Columbia. Land Management Branch

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

Land and Water British Columbia Inc. correspondence

  • GR-3821
  • Series
  • 2003-2005

The series contains the executive correspondence, including briefing notes, of Land and Water British Columbia Inc. (LWBC). LWBC was a Crown Corporation reporting to the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management starting in 2002 when the previous British Columbia Assets and Land Corporation was renamed. In 2005, the functions and responsibilities of Land and Water British Columbia Inc. were transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands. As per the records in this series, the new Ministry continued to refer to the office responsible as LWBC during and for a time after the transition process.
Land and Water British Columbia were responsible for managing Crown land leases, tenure applications, grants and sales related to land owned by the Provincial Government. They also managed water resources, including water licenses and allocations. As such, the records in this series mainly deal with questions from developers, local governments, etc. regarding the process of their applications, the possibility to buy leased land, proposals for development, meeting requests or other related issues. There are also briefing notes and correspondence between the Corporation/BC Government and First Nations groups regarding the consultation process in relation to their land title rights.

British Columbia. Ministry of Agriculture and Lands

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: http://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/gator/crowngrantsearchrequest.do.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works

Report

  • GR-2574
  • Series
  • 1912

Report of W.A. Macdonald, K.C., Commissioner. The Commissioner was appointed "to ascertain to what extent registration has been effected of subdivision of lands granted by the Crown since the passage of the Land Act Amendment Act, 1896, and what lots and blocks of land comprised in such subdivisions have been reconveyed to the Crown in accordance with the requirements of the said Act, and an Act to amend and consolidate the laws affecting Crown Lands.". For Proceedings see GR-0792. (Marjorie C. Holmes, Royal Commissions an Commissions of Inquiry, 1872-1942, stated that the Report had not been found.

British Columbia. Commission on Land Registration (1912)

Appraisal reports of reverted government lands

  • GR-2610
  • Series
  • 1930

The series consists of records created by the Department of Lands in 1930. It contains a volume of Coast Land Districts, Range 4 and Range 5 appraisal reports of reverted government lands within Tps. 2-4, Range 4 and Tps. 10-13, 19,20, Range 5. The reports are arranged numerically within each land district. Information may include assessment district, land registry office, legal description, date of forfeiture, plan number, acreage, suitability, improvements, soil, water supply, irrigation or dyking, accessibility, nearest settlement or Post Office, nearest school, topography, and assessed and appraised value. The report usually includes a coloured sketch map of the property. The two sections are indexed by report numbers to the legal land description.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

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 http://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/gator/crowngrantsearchrequest.do. Note that the online index is incomplete.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works

Department of Lands correspondence outward

  • GR-1811
  • Series
  • 1908-1910

Letterpress copies of "semi-official" correspondence outward from the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works, and, after the Dept. of Lands and Works was split in 1908, the Chief Commissioner of Lands. vols. 6-10. There may be volumes missing in this unit. The volumes contain nominal indexes of correspondents.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Records of crown grant applications

  • GR-1405
  • Series
  • ca. 1904-1928

This series contains lists of Vancouver Island settlers who made Crown grant applications under provisions of the Vancouver Island Settlers' Rights Act, 1904, and subsequent amendments. Information includes name, acreage, and legal description of lands.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands