This database contains an alphabetized index of people who received a Land Grant from the Crown between 1763 and 1890. After the Treaty of Paris in 1763, the Imperial Government issued instructions for the grant of lands. The head of a family could receive 100 acres and other members could receive 50 acres, this land could increase to 1,000 acres total in exceptional cases. The only condition was that the Crown could take back the land if it was needed for a military purpose. The earliest recorded entries in this index started in 1788.
In 1791, the legislature ordered this collection to be printed and added a few stipulations to the land grant. Settlers were required to build a home and clear a certain amount of land for cultivation depending on lot size, but the rules weren’t strictly enforced. By 1826, land grants were only given out at auction. The lands to be auctioned were determined by the yearly-appointed Commissioner of Crown Lands.
With the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1763, Great Britain took control of Quebec, but allowed the use of French civil law to continue. Seigneurial tenure was the French way of distributing land, primarily along the St. Lawrence River. Under British rule, seigneurial lands continued to be run the same as under French rule, but land was distributed through the land grant. This database solely has the land grants given out by the Crown, not the seigneurial lands that were being operated until seigneurial tenure was abolished in 1854. This index also includes only the initial land grant, not successive divisions or purchases of the same land.
This index is important because it places a family in an area and points to the Land Grant Letter of Patent that can contain more genealogical detail. Each record contains:
- Name of grantee
- Acres granted
- Letters patent date
Where to go from here:
The original records and microfilm copies are available at the Bibliothèque et Archives nationalies du Québec. Requests for microfilm copies should include the full reference to the book and page (found in the source citation for the record). Requests should be addressed to: Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, 1012, avenue du Séminaire, CP 10450, Sainte-Foy, QC, G1V 4N1.