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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Question About the Upper Canada Land Petitions

Jill left a new comment on my blog post *NEW* Upper Canada Land Petitions Index available online and it contains a very good question so I"m going to answer it here

This is very exciting. I've had a look through the index and cannot find my ancestor who received land by Crown Patent in 1792 (I have a copy of the patent; there's not a lot of information there).
I might not understand the process, but I thought there had to be a petition before a patent was granted. Is that not correct? Any suggestions why a patent exists but a petition doesn't?
ASK OLIVE TREE RESPONSE: Jill, great question. It can be rather confusing as one would think that a petition *had* to be submitted before a patent was granted. But that was not always the case. Your ancestor might not have submitted a petition OR he might have submitted one but it has not survived.

Procedures for granting Crown Land changed constantly but could involve:

* The settler's initial Petition to the Crown for land

* An Order-in-Council from a federal Land Board granting their request

* A Warrant from Ontario's Attorney General ordering the surveying of a lot

* The Fiat from Ontario Surveyor General authorizing a grant of the surveyed lot

* A Location Ticket permitting the settler to reside on the lot

* The Patent transferring ownership of the lot from the Crown to the settler.
If you cannot find your ancestor in the Land Petitions, you may find his or her name in the Land Books. Upper Canada Land Books do not usually contain much more information than the names of petioners for land but at the least you will know if a petition existed at one time. Sometimes you will be lucky and find more detail in the comments section of the Land Book reference, but not often.

Be careful to check variant spellings in the Index to Upper Canada Land Petitions. Now that the index is online, you can use wildcards to be sure you're getting all variations.

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