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Only top-level descriptions British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works Land settlement--British Columbia
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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

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 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

Records relating to the South African War Land Grant Act

  • GR-1173
  • Series
  • 1901-1903

This series contains papers relating to the South African War Land Grant Act. It includes statutes with notations, published nominal rolls of Canadian contingents for special service in the field in South Africa, and lists of applicants for land pursuant to the Act.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works

Lands correspondence

  • GR-0360
  • Series
  • 1896-1936

This series consists of selected correspondence files from the several branches of the Department of Lands and works, and its successor the Department of Lands: Lands, Surveys, Water Rights, and Forests. Records include requests for information concerning the availability of land in British Columbia, Water Rights Branch correspondence concerning various power projects and irrigation, forest fire reports, and files on Forest Branch launches. Note: "WRB" refers to Water Rights Branch.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works

Pre-emption records

  • GR-0766
  • Series
  • 1861-1886

This series consists of pre-emption records for west coast land relating largely to Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. The records consist of pre-emption registrations, certificates of pre-emption, pre-emption sketches, certificates that certain lands are unoccupied and open for settlement, some certificates of improvement, and correspondence. Includes pre-emption records for Cassiar, Stikine, and Queen Charlotte Islands, 1873-1874, arranged numerically. Contains one pre-emption from Osoyoos District, 1884.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works

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

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

Letterbook

  • GR-0763
  • Series
  • 1872

This series consists of a letterbook from the Department of Lands and Works. The book includes copies of letters signed by the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works and the Surveyor General, January 5 - August 1, 1872.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works

Records of the Assistant Commissioner of Lands and Works, Cariboo District

  • GR-0824
  • Series
  • 1863-1893

This series consists of 11 volumes of records of the Assistant Commissioner of Lands and Works, Cariboo District, 1863-1893. Records include certificates of pre-emption, certificates of improvement, lot register of Group 1, Cariboo District, sale of town lots of Richfield, Barkerville, Cameronton, and Quesnellemouth, and certificates of purchase. Also contains water rights recorded for irrigation purposes and an accounts book.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Works