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Archival description
British Columbia. Lands Branch
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File disposition list

  • GR-1225
  • Series
  • 1982

The series consists of a photocopied file list of "O" series (O files) correspondence files, showing disposition of files. It was created by the Surveys and Land Records Branch in 1982 from a computer print-out.

It includes references indicating the following:(1) files still active with the Survey and Land Records Branch (2) files microfilmed (3) files in the Provincial Archives (4) files sent to a Regional Office of the Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing (5) Ministry of Forests files, partially renumbered to Forests filing system (6) Water Management Branch administration files and water rights applications (7) Parks Branch files renumbered to Parks Branch filing system (8) old Coal and Natural Gas files.

British Columbia. Surveys and Land Records Branch

New Westminster township register

  • GR-1699
  • Series
  • [ca. 1873]-1908

This series contains a township register of New Westminster district. The register is arranged by section number and township. It shows the date of registration, name of landholder, acreage, crown grant number, date of crown grant, and status with regard to royalty.

British Columbia. Lands Branch

Correspondence relating to petroleum leases

  • GR-1325
  • Series
  • 1929-1962

This series contains correspondence relating to petroleum leases. The records consists of enquiries relating to oil lands in British Columbia (1940-1943), a general file on oil lands (1940-1956), and correspondence files on petroleum leases in Block 4593, Kootenay District, held by Borden Oil Company.

British Columbia. Petroleum Resources Division

Disposal of Crown Lands to Sons of Freedom

  • GR-0073
  • Series
  • 1959-1975

The series consists of files created by Judge William Evans dealing with disposal of crown lands to members of the Sons of Freedom sect of Doukhobors. The records cover the period 1959 to 1975 and contain correspondence, maps, registers, and accounting material. The maps were transferred to the Archives Map Division (see photocopy of map accession slips attached to print finding aid).

British Columbia. Lands Branch

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

Sumas land application declarations

  • GR-0312
  • Series
  • 1887-1888

This series consists of declarations in support of applications for land formerly within the limits reserved for purposes of the "Sumas Dyking Act, 1878", for the years 1887-1888. Each declaration is related to one individual. Declarations would have been submitted as part of the process of applying to pre-empt land in the Sumas area.

British Columbia. Lands Branch

Certificates of Improvement

  • GR-0211
  • Series
  • 1869-1932

The series consists of certificates of improvement [13 vols.] for diverse land recording districts created by the Lands Branch between 1869 and 1932. They generally include declarations by pre-emptors concerning the nature and valuation of improvements. Volume 14 contains unused, tripartite certificate of improvement forms.

Volumes 1-3 and 6-13 contain an index to names. Volume 4 is missing.

British Columbia. Lands Branch

Applications for coal and petroleum prospecting licenses

  • GR-0212
  • Series
  • 1891-1934

The series consists of 13 volumes created by the Lands Branch between 1891 and 1934. The volumes contain notices from the British Columbia Gazette of applications for coal and petroleum prospecting licenses. Each volume includes its own index to names of applicants.

British Columbia. Lands Branch

Pre-emption applications

  • GR-0214
  • Series
  • 1900-1916

The series consists of 12 volumes created by the Lands Branch, of pre-emption applications for the Osoyoos, Similkameen, and Yale land districts from 1900 to 1916. The records are arranged numerically by application number. Volumes 6, 7, 8 and 9 include an index to names.

Records usually include a sketch map of the pre-emption applied for and declarations as required by the Land Act.

British Columbia. Lands Branch

Records of the Government office in Fairview, B.C.

  • GR-1674
  • Series
  • 1905-1914

This series contains applications to purchase crown land in the Similkameen district, 3 vols. Records of the Government office in Fairview, B.C. Related to GR-0214 and GR-1675.

British Columbia. Lands Branch

Records relating to appraisals of Doukhobor lands

  • GR-0769
  • Series
  • 1952-1962

Records relating to appraisals of Doukhobor lands. Records include: "Doukhobor Lands, a report on a study of the condition and value of the Doukhobor Lauds", by N.T. Drewry, with accompanying atlas of soil and land classification maps and land use mosaics, and working files; "Doukhobor lands: a report on a valuation of the Doukhobor lands for the Land Settlement Board", by Neil T. Drewry, 1957; appraisal of 1962 subdivisions of former Doukhobor lands at Ootischenia and Pass Creek, Kootenay District, by N.T. Drewry, H.W.R. Ramsden and J.S.D. Smith.

British Columbia. Lands 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

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 "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

Applications to purchase Crown Lands

  • GR-0084
  • Series
  • 1905-1970

The series consists of 25 volumes of applications to purchase crown land created by the Lands Dept. between 1905 and 1970. The applications are arranged chronologically from application number 1681 to 46249 and include notices from the British Columbia Gazette, number of letter inward, application number, location and result. Each volumes contains a nominal index. Volumes 1 and 2 are missing.

British Columbia. Lands Service

Pre-emption Inspector's notebooks

  • GR-0717
  • Series
  • 1928-1949

This series consists of pre-emption Inspector's notebooks. Vol. 1, Southbank, Pre-emption Field Book, Sec. 16, No. 1 (1944-1949); Vol. 2, Southbank, Pre-emption Field Book, Sec. 28, 29, No. 2 (1936-1947); Vol. 3, Burns Lake, No. 1 (1928-1931).

British Columbia. Lands Branch

Pre-emption certificates and other material

  • GR-0718
  • Series
  • 1913-1947

This series consists of pre-emption records, including, Fernie district: certificates of purchase, nos. 1-307, 1913-1944 (4 v.); certificates of improvement, nos. 1-7, 1936-1947 and nos. 1-99, 1913-1927; and certificates of pre-emption nos. 1-99, 1914-1942.

British Columbia. Lands Branch

Indexes of gazette notices of intention to lease Crown Lands

  • GR-1167
  • Series
  • 1961-1968

This series contains Indexes of gazette notices of intention or application to lease Crown Lands created from 1961-1965 and 1967-1968. The series consists of three volumes. Each volume includes an alphabetical index and Gazette notices, which are arranged chronologically and pasted onto pages alongside remarks, a lease index number and 0 series file number. The Gazette notices provide a description of the land being leased, how the land will be used, and the name of the lessee.

British Columbia. Lands Branch

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

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 at 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