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Upper Canada Land Books, February 1787 – February 1841

About the Records

Library and Archives Canada holds the records of the Upper Canada Land Books (RG 1 L1, MIKAN 205068). These books contain the deliberations, decisions and recommendations of the Land Committee of the Executive Council of Upper Canada. Early settlers in Upper Canada, now known as Ontario, could apply for ownership of Crown Lands by first submitting a written petition, according to the regulations in force at that date. In order to find a specific reference for a petition, you should first consult the Upper Canada Land Petitions database that provides more than 82,000 references to names of petitioners. If you find a reference of interest to you, note the microfilm, volume, and bundle and petition numbers in order to easily find the digitized images of this land petition.

The Executive Council of Upper Canada considered these petitions and made a decision of granting or not a Crown land; the record of those decisions are in the minutes, commonly known as the Upper Canada Land Books. Over 82,000 petitioners, early settlers, soldiers, civilians and loyalists, went before the Executive Council of the Land Board of Upper Canada during this period to submit a request for Crown Land.

For more information, consult Library and Archives Canada’s description of the records.

How the Records Are Arranged on the Microfilm Reels

The microfilm reels have been digitized and the images appear in the same order as on the microfilm reels. You can browse through the images as you would through a microfilm reel. You can move through the images one by one, or skip ahead by entering a new page number in the page navigation box. The records are not searchable by name.

Decisions from the years 1787-1791 were copied from the Quebec Land Books and incorporated into the Upper Canada Land Books series as Volume 18 (corresponding to microfilm reel C-100). From 1792 to 1796, land and state minutes of the Executive Council were entered into a single minute book and are part of Volume 19 of the series (corresponding to microfilm reels C-100 and C-101). Thereafter, separate agenda and minute books were maintained to distinguish between state and land matters, and land petitions were generally covered in the Upper Canada Land Books.

List of Content of Microfilms

Microfilm Volume Province Land & State Book Date
C-100 18 Quebec A and B 1787-1791
C-100 19, pp. 1- 232 Upper Canada A 8 July 1792 - 27 June 1796
C-101 19, pp. 233 - end Upper Canada A 8 July 1792 - 27 June 1796
C-101 20 Upper Canada B 1 Oct. 1796 - 7 Apr. 1797
C-101 21 Upper Canada C 11 Apr. 1797 - 19 Jan. 1802
C-101 22 Upper Canada D 23 May 1797 - 22 June 1802
C-101 23, pp. 1 - 111 Upper Canada E 23 June 1802 - 28 March 1804
C-102 23, pp. 112 - end Upper Canada E 23 June 1802 - 28 March 1804
C-102 24 Upper Canada F 2 Apr. 1804 - 27 Feb. 1806
C-102 25 Upper Canada G 28 Feb. 1806 - 29 March 1808
C-102 26 Upper Canada H 9 Apr. 1808 - 23 Jan. 1811
C-102 27, pp. 1 - 137 Upper Canada I 12 Feb. 1811 - 10 Aug. 1816
C-103 27, pp. 138 - end Upper Canada I 12 Feb. 1811 - 10 Aug. 1816
C-103 28 Upper Canada J 13 Aug. 1816 - 10 Feb. 1819
C-103 29 Upper Canada K 25 Feb. 1819 - 27 Dec. 1820
C-103 30, pp.1-484 Upper Canada L 16 Jan. 1821 - 4 Feb. 1824
C-104 30, pp.485-end Upper Canada L 16 Jan. 1821 - 4 Feb. 1824
C-104 31 Upper Canada M 9 Feb. 1824 - 13 Dec. 1826
C-104 32 Upper Canada N 3 Jan. 1827 - 20 May 1829
C-104 33, pp. 1 - 361 Upper Canada O 2 June 1829 - 23 Aug. 1831
C-105 33, pp. 362 - end Upper Canada O 2 June 1829 - 23 Aug. 1831
C-105 34 Upper Canada P 1 Sept. 1831 - 12 March 1833
C-105 35 Upper Canada Q 21 March 1833 - 28 March 1835
C-105 36, pp. 1 - 428 Upper Canada R 2 Apr. 1835 - 16 June 1836
C-106 36, pp. 429 - end Upper Canada R 2 Apr. 1835 - 16 June 1836
C-106 37 Upper Canada S 20 June 1836 - 27 July 1837
C-106 38 Upper Canada T 10 Aug. 1837 - 27 June 1839
C-106 39, pp. 1 - 388 Upper Canada U 4 July 1839 - 6 Feb. 1841
C-107 39, pp. 389 - end Upper Canada U 4 July 1839 - 6 Feb. 1841
C-107 40 Canada A 15 March 1841 - 22 Dec. 1842
C-107 41 Canada B 10 Jan. 1843 - 27 Sept. 1844
C-107 42, pp. 1 - 350 Canada C 4 Nov. 1844 - 28 Dec. 1846
C-108 42, pp. 351 - end Canada C 4 Nov. 1844 - 28 Dec. 1846
C-108 43 Canada D 8 Jan. 1847 - 19 Aug. 1848
C-108 44 Canada E 23 Aug. 1848 - 8 Oct. 1850
C-108 45, pp. 1 - 197 Canada F 11 Oct. 1850 - 30 Dec. 1852
C-109 45, pp. 198 - end Canada F 11 Oct. 1850 - 30 Dec. 1852
C-109 46 Canada G 19 Jan. 1853 - 27 March 1855
C-109 47. pp. 1 - 651 Canada H 4 Apr. 1855 - 10 July 1858
C-110 47, pp. 652 - end Canada H 4 Apr. 1855 - 10 July 1858
C-110 48 Canada I 18 Aug. 1858 - 31 May 1867

Step 1:

Although each individual minute book includes a table of contents and a nominal index of petitioners, the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) has published the Index to the Upper Canada Land Books, which contains a nominal index, personal information such as occupation, residence, location of the land grant, date of presentation, the corresponding Book letter and page where the decision can be found, and the petition number. It is available in printed and CD-ROM format in many library locations across the country.

Step 2:

Consult the list above to find the relevant microfilm.

Step 3:

Consult the digitized images. The Upper Canada Land books are organized by date of presentation and the page number.

Example: Hannah Grant, of the township of Pittsburgh in the Midland district, daughter of John Grant, petitioned for a land, petition number G137. It was approved and the record can be found in Book M, page 704.

Upper Canada Land Books example

Search tip:

Occasionally, a reference to a land petition may not be available in the Upper Canada Land Petitions database. The information in the Upper Canada Land Book can be used to find the reference to the petition. The left-hand margin of the Land Book may contain a cross reference to the petition, albeit a partial reference. The following conversion table matching the Land Book to a petition bundle number may be helpful in locating the relevant citation.

Bundle nos. Petitions read in Council on Land Book nos.
1 July 8 1792 – November 24 1796 A and B
2 August 19 1796 – April 7 1797 A and B
3 April 11 1797 – December 20 1797 C and D
4 December 22 1797 – August 16 1799 C and D
5 August 17 1799 – June 22 1802 C and D
6 June 23 1802 – March 28 1804 E
7 April 2 1804 – Feb 27 1806 F
8 February 28 1806 – March 29 1808 G
9 April 9 1808 – January 23 1811 H
10 Feb 12 1811 – August 10 1816 I
11 August 13 1816 – Feb 19 1819 J
12 Feb 25 1819 – Dec 27 1820 K
13 January 10 1821 – February 4 1824 L
14 Feb 9 1824 – December 21 1826 M
15 January 3 1827 – May 26 1829 N
16 June 2 1829 – August 23 1831 O
17 September 1 1831 – March 12 1833 P
18 March 21 1833 – March 28 1835 Q
19 April 2 1835 – June 16 1836 R
20 June 20 1836 – July 27 1837 S
21 August 10 1837 – June 27 1839 T
22 July 4 1839 – February 6 1841 U

Other Resources

Archives of Ontario. From Grant to Patent: A guide to Early Land Settlement Records, ca. 1790 to ca. 1850. Research Guide 125. Most recent update: February 2013. URL: http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/access/documents/research_guide_215_grant_to_patent.pdf

Kennedy, Patricia. “Deciphering the Upper Canada Land Books and Land Petitions.” iReadings in Ontario Genealogical Sources. Oakville, Ont.: Conference on Ontario Genealogical Sources, 1979: 41-64.

Kennedy, Patricia. “Introduction to the Land books and Records of the Land-Granting Process in Upper Canada” In Index to Upper Canada Land Books. Toronto: Ontario Genealogical Society, 2005.

Merriman, Brenda Dougall. Genealogy in Ontario: Searching the records, 4th ed. Toronto: Ontario Genealogical Society, 2008.

Moorman, David. The first business of government: the land granting administration of Upper Canada [PDF 19,827 KB].

Murphy, Sharon L. Researching Canadian Land Records, Heritage Book Series: Book HC22. Toronto: Heritage Productions, 2001.