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Archival description
Only top-level descriptions Land settlement--British Columbia
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Correspondence index to lands files

  • GR-0993
  • Series
  • 1980

The series consists of indexes to correspondence files relating to the administration of Crown lands and natural resources. The records were created in 1980 from a computer print-out of various departmental indexes and includes references to files created by various branches of the Dept. of Lands and Works (1872-1908), the Dept. of Lands (1908-1945), the Dept. of Lands and Forests (1945-1962), the Dept. of Lands, Forest and Water Resources (1962-1975) and the Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing. It provides access to active, microfilmed and obsolete O series files and pre-1918 files.

The records consist of one subject index and two lists which can be used to identify and locate Lands Correspondence files. They are not comprehensive, as they do not cover all the correspondence files created between 1871 and 1986.

The index and lists may be used to locate a file number for a subject area of interest, or to determine the subject of a file when only the number of the file is known.

Note that a listing in these documents does not necessarily mean that the file is held at the BC Archives. Many active files remain with the Crown Land Registry.

British Columbia. Surveys and Land Records Branch

Correspondence files ("O" series) with regard to Crown lands

  • GR-1441
  • Series
  • 1918-1985

This series contains microfilmed copies of O series correspondence files relating to the administration, management, conservation and development of Crown Lands and natural resources.

These correspondence files were microfilmed by the Lands Branch in 3 stages between 1955-1958, 1970-1975
and 1982-1986 resulting in 9 sets, or runs, of files. Many files are missing and researchers should go directly to the Ministry for access to the originals when they are looking for specific complex issue files or those that may not have been microfilmed.

Many of the microfilm reels contain amendments or updates to previously filmed correspondence files. These amendments are usually found at the beginning of the reel and, except for the last three files on reel B10989, are not noted on the file list.

Summarized within the finding aid are the three microfilming projects. For reels between B10918 and B10989 that were microfilmed in 1986, the lowest file number beginning a sequence may represent the start of a new range of file numbers, an amendment or update, or a file filmed out of numeric order. Check these last 72 reels carefully because many files were filmed out of numeric order.

British Columbia. Lands Branch

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

Financial returns and accounts

  • GR-0982
  • Series
  • 1861-1868

This series consists of Department of Lands financial returns and accounts. Includes financial register of land transactions and land fees, values of property registered and office and miscellaneous expenditures.

British Columbia (Colony). Lands and Works Dept.

Correspondence, memoranda and reports of the Chairman

  • GR-0900
  • Series
  • 1942-1943

This series consists of the records of the Inter-Departmental Advisory Committee on Agriculture Land Settlement, 1942-1943. Records include correspondence, memoranda and reports of the Chairman of the Land Settlement Board, William Turnbull, relating to his activities as chairman of the Interdepartmental Advisory Committee on Agriculture and Land Settlement established by the Post-War Rehabilitation Council. The Council had the task of planning civil employment and vocational training of veterans of World War II.

British Columbia. Inter-Departmental Advisory Committee on Agriculture Land Settlement

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

Land surveys relating to the Railway Belt and Peace River Block

  • GR-0437
  • Series
  • 1885-1930

This series consists of correspondence files relating to surveys in British Columbia (68 boxes); files relating to surveys of quarter sections in the Railway Belt and the Peace River Block (27 boxes); and Dominion Land Surveyors' diaries (146 volumes).

Canada. Department of the Interior

Records relating to New Westminster lands and works

  • GR-1174
  • Series
  • 1861-1868

This series contains miscellaneous memoranda from the Chief Commissioner of Lands and Works relating to New Westminster streets and bridges, lands pre-empted, sold and leased, bills for drafting supplies, lists of tools at Douglas, B.C., and list of books ordered by the Chief Commissioner.

British Columbia. Colonial Secretary

Correspondence files with regard to Crown lands

  • GR-1440
  • Series
  • 1872-1918

This series contains correspondence files relating to the administration, management, conservation, and development of Crown Lands and natural resources.

British Columbia. Lands Branch

Crown Lands records

  • GR-1088
  • Series
  • 1877-1980

This series includes correspondence files relating to the administration, management, conservation and development of Crown lands and natural resources. Series 1: early chronological series (files created, 1877-1911). Series 2: 1912 series (files created, 1912-1917). Includes correspondence, memoranda, reports, plans, 1877-1980.

British Columbia. Surveys and Land Records Branch

Crown land pre-emption records

  • GR-0112
  • Series
  • 1859-1971

The series consists of pre-emption records created by the Lands Branch and its predecessor bodies between 1859 and 1971. The Chief Commissioner of Lands was responsible for the administration of Crown lands under successive governments (Colony of Vancouver Island, Colony of British Columbia, Province of British Columbia) until 1911. In 1929 the Minister delegated authority for Crown lands to the Lands Branch, headed by the Superintendent of Lands.

The series includes 216 volumes of certificates of pre-emption and 33 volumes of pre-emption registers. Some volumes contain certificates of Improvement and certificates of purchase.

Most of the volumes of certificates are arranged by district and then numerically by pre-emption number although there are many cases where individual documents from files are spread out throughout an entire volume. There are also some pre-emption numbers that are missing from volumes. One or more volumes cover the pre-emption registrations for each land district, and volumes 86-90 and 246-248 relate to railway lands on Vancouver Island, particularly in Cowichan and Nanaimo Districts (1884-1887). Pre-emptions were generally numbered sequentially based on the Land Act enforced at the time. Sequences can be found in the collection based on the Land Acts of 1860, 1870, 1874, 1875 and 1884. The New Westminster land district also includes a sequence based on rural or country land pre-emptions. Some land districts maintained the same numbering sequence throughout the entire time period. If no date is mentioned in the description, the sequence is based on the 1884 Act.

The pre-emption registers (volumes 213-245; microfilm reels B13858-B13860) summarize the information from the certificates. Each volume covers the pre-emption registrations for a district. The pre-emption registers are arranged in Lands Branch volume number order, volumes 1-27 (including three a volumes where two volumes are required for a district), followed by three unnumbered volumes that cover Fort St. John and Victoria. Each register lists pre-emptions in registration number order, with an alphabetical index of pre-emptors' names at the back. The following information is recorded: registration number, date of registration, pre-emptors name, lot number (not always recorded), acreage (for ca. 1915 on), certificate of improvement number (if issued), file number (sometimes), and remarks (either a code number, possibly accompanied by a date, or a phrase: cancelled, abandoned, or no application or declaration received). This information is hand-written in columns with printed headings.

British Columbia. Lands Branch

Lands Department executive records

  • GR-0440
  • Series
  • 1872-1918

This series consists of letterpress copies of letters outward from the Deputy Minister of Lands, Deputy Commissioner of Lands, Surveyor-General, Deputy Commissioner of Lands and Water, and Chief Commissioner of Lands & Works, and associated registers. Volumes 1-241 are accessed through separate registers (series II, vols. 1-22); volumes 242-314 contain their own registers.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands. Deputy Minister

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

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

Lands records

  • GR-0767
  • Series
  • 1858-1863

This series consists of land records from the Colony of British Columbia Lands and Works Department, 1858-1863. Most records are related to the sale of town lots at Langley, 1858-1859, and New Westminster, 1860-1862, including records of exchanges of lots at Langley for lots at New Westminster. The series also include various other land records related to New Westminster, Douglas, Hope, Yale, Lytton and Lillooet, including pre-emptions, lot registers, accounts for sales of town and suburban lots, and lists of deeds issued.

British Columbia (Colony). Lands and Works Dept.

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

Record book of resumed lands under the Soldiers' Homestead Act, 1916

  • GR-1399
  • Series
  • 1916-1921

This series contains a record book of resumed lands under the Soldiers' Homestead Act, 1916. The information is arranged by Land District. The records list pre-emptions and land purchase applications canceled or resumed by the Crown during the Great War (1914-1918). The reverted lands were to be used for returned soldiers' homesteads.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Land records related to leases

  • GR-0385
  • Series
  • 1865-1955

This series consists of records of the Department of Lands and Forests, Lands Service, primarily relating to leases of Crown land for various purposes. Records include cancelled or expired leases for oyster beds (including leases by the Government of Canada), hay meadow, summer resort, stone quarry, mill, coal mining, grazing, agriculture, cattle ranching, and pastoral purposes. This series also includes final agreements for sale and purchase under Soldier's Better Housing Scheme for City of Victoria lots (includes rebate applications and discharge certificates) and licences of occupation.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands and Forests. Lands Service

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

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

Record of pre-emption records cancelled in Barkerville Assessment District

  • GR-1142
  • Series
  • 1911-1923

This series include a summary of pre-emption records cancelled in the Barkerville Assessment District. The series contains one volume of a register that contains the name and number of the pre-emption record, the lot number and acreage, and the date and cause of cancellation.

British Columbia. Government Agent (Barkerville)

List of lands resumed by the Crown under B.C. Soldiers' Homestead Act, 1916

  • GR-1133
  • Series
  • 1916-1919

This series contains a list of lands resumed by the Crown under B.C. Soldiers' Homestead Act, 1916. Includes legal description and file references. Also contains an undated letter of John William McIntosh, Member of the Legislative Assembly, to the Deputy Minister of Lands regarding moneys owed on land by a wounded veteran.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Mining Records Register Book

  • GR-1121
  • Series
  • 1864-1911

This series contains a Mining Records Register Book. This volume is a register of various land grants, mineral claims, mining records, and water rights. Included are a record book of all claims and water privileges recorded in the Leech and Sooke River districts commenced December 1864 (1864-1878), and a register of all mining records and mineral claims recorded at Victoria, B.C., by the Chief Gold Commissioner, 1873-1911. Areas covered include the Queen Charlotte Islands, Cassiar district, and portions of Vancouver Island and the adjacent coast of British Columbia. Also included in this volume are the following items relating to the Royal Engineers in British Columbia: (1) List of men of Royal Engineers who purchased their discharge in British Columbia or Vancouver Island on the return of the North American Boundary Commission to England, 26 Sept. 1863. (2) Schedule of Crown Grants issued to Royal Engineers who served in the Colony of British Columbia under Colonel Moody.

British Columbia. Gold Commissioner

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

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

New Westminster District appraisals of reverted land

  • GR-2619
  • Series
  • 1931-1932

The series consists of appraisal reports of reverted lands from the New Westminster land district, 1931 to 1932. These reports are in two volumes and are divided into arbitrary land areas labeled "F", "E", "G", and "H". Reports are arranged numerically by report number. Information may include assessment district, land registry office, legal description, date of forfeiture, plan number, acreage, suitability, improvements, soil, water supply, irrigation or diking, 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 information is indexed by District Lot number to report number.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Lot registers

  • GR-2592
  • Series
  • 1890-1951

Cariboo Land District, lot registers, lots 1-11700, superceded, 1951 (i.e. no further entries were made after 1951). This series was the one that superceded the volumes found in GR-2591. The registers list lots in numerical order and record the alienation of land from the Crown (by purchase, pre-emption, lease, etc.): information may include the name of the purchaser, dates and numbers of certificates issued (including Crown Grants), dates and amounts of payments, and reference numbers to correspondence files and field books. There is an alphabetical index of names in each volume.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Coast Land District, Range 5 township register

  • GR-2607
  • Series
  • 1894-1947

The series consists of records created by the Department of Lands between 1894 and 1947. It contains a Coast Land District, Range 5, township register, covering Tp. 7-12. The land is listed numerically by sections within Townships, and records the alienation of land from the Crown (by purchase, pre-emption, lease, etc.). Information may include the name of the purchaser, dates and numbers of certificates issued (including Crown Grants), dates and amounts of payments, and reference numbers to correspondence files and field books. Also included is the Vanderhoof townsite. The volume contains an alphabetical name index.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

Coast Land District, Range 5 lot registers

  • GR-2609
  • Series
  • 1919-1923

The series consists of records created by the Department of Lands between 1919 and 1923. It contains two volumes of Coast Land District, Range 5, subdivision lot registers for Smithers. The records are arranged numerically by lots within blocks, and record the alienation of land from the Crown. Information may include the name of purchaser, dates and numbers of certificates issued (including Crown Grants), dates and amounts of payments, and reference numbers to correspondence files and field books. There is an alphabetical index of names in volume 1.

British Columbia. Dept. of Lands

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