Lands Granted by the Crown

Huntingdon County and the Seigniories of Chateauguay and Beauharnois


On the reverse-to-title-page side reads:

To an order of the House dated on the 29th December 1890, for an alphabetical Index of lands granted fron 1763 to 31st December 1890, county by county and township by township.”



In order that this list may be easily understood, it is advisable to explain summarily the different systems of granting public lands followed in this Province since the country was ceded to England.

Instructions of 1768.

In taking possession of Canada, the Imperial Government took steps to avoid the inconveniences caused by large concessions of land, which the gave rise to much trouble in the other British colonies in North America. For that purpose, the Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantations in 1763 sent instructions to the Canadian Government, limiting grants of public land to 100 acres for every head of a family and 50 acres for every other person, white or colored, composing the family, the power to extend the total area to 1000 acres in exceptional cases. The object of this liberality was to induce English settlers from adjacent provinces to settle in Canada. According to these instructions, all Crown lands were to be granted in free tenure and without any other condition than the reservation of the right of the Crown to resume possession of the whole or part of the land granted in the event of its being required for military purposes. These grants were made by means of location tickets or occupation permits.

There is, in the archives of the Registrar’s Department, no trace or rather no registration of the grants which may have been made under these instructions. The first registered concession bears the date of 1788. Bouchette, in his Topographical description of Lower Canada, says that the seigniories of Malbaie and Mount Murray were granted on the 27th April 1762 to John Naird and Malcolm Fraser, two officers of the 78th Regiment of foot; but there is not the slightest trace of these conditions in the archives of this Department.

Instruction of 1775.

The object of the act of 1774, the first regular constitution of Canada, was to re-establish in the country all French laws affecting the tenure of real estate. Consequently, the Imperial Government, in 1775, sent new instructions to the Governor of the Colony ordering that, in the future, the public lands were to be granted according to the French system, that is in fiefs and seigniories, the same as under the French rule, with the exception of the justices seignioriales. In 1786, the Colonial Department sent special instructions to Lord Dorchester, the Governor of the Province, ordering him to give grants of land of a specific extent to the refugee loyalists from the United States and to the officers and men of the 84th regiment, a colonial corps organized during the revolutionary war. These instructions, however, stated, in formal terms, that the concessions so made would depend from the Crown as seignior and be subject to all the other conditions of seigniorial tenure.

They also limited the extent of these concessions as follows:

To staff officers............................5000 acres

To captains..................................3000 acres

To subalterns................................2000 acres

To non-commissioned officers..................200 acres

To privates....................................50 acres

As the officers and soldiers declined to accept these favors because the objected to the feudal tenure, the Government returned to the system of grants by location tickets established by the instructions of 1763 and abolished by those of 1775.

It was under this system of location tickets and of the instructions of 1786 that the lands were granted to the soldiers and American loyalists who afterwards settled in Gaspe.

The following is one of theses location tickets:

PROVINCE OF QUEBEC Dated the twenty-first day of May, Anno Domini

Quebec 1787.

The bearer hereof, Charles Dugas, being entitled to ......... acres of Land by His Majesty’s Instructions to the Governor of this Province has drawn Lot (No 43) consisting of one hundred acres, three acres in front by thirty-three acres and one third in depth, in part of the said proportion in the Seigniory of Carleton and having taken the Oaths, and made and signed the Declaration required by the Instructions, he is hereby authorized to settle and improve the said Lot, without delay; and being settled thereon, he shall receive a patent, grant or deed of concession, at the expiration of twelve months from the date hereof, to enable him to hold an inheritable or assignable estate in the said lot.

(Signed) John Collins.

D. S. G.

(Dictionary look-up: Socage = soccage: The tenure of land by certain determinate services other than knight-service.) Not one of these grants or location tickets in the district of Gaspe appears in the books of the Registrar’s Department, which books were only commenced in 1788 by the registration of grants to John Shoolbred, merchant, of London, of the posts of Bonaventure and Perce, with stone house and stores and of the seigniory of Shoolbred at the mouth of the river Nouvelle.


The act of 1791, which divided Canada into two provinces and introduced the representative system into the country, contains the following provision with reference to public lands.

“XLIII. All lands which shall be hereafter granted within the said Province of Upper Canada, shall be granted in free and common soccage, in like manner as lands are now holden in free and common soccage, in that part of Great Britain called England; and in every case where lands shall be hereafter granted within the said Province of Lower Canada, and where the grantee thereof shall desire the same to be granted in free and common soccage, the same shall be so granted; but subject, nevertheless, to such alterations with respect to the nature and consequences of such tenure of free and common soccage, as may be established by any law or laws which may be made by His Majesty, His Heirs or Successors, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Council and Assembly of the Province.”

After passing this Act, the Minister for the Colonies sent new instructions to the Governor containing the same provisions as those of 1763 as to the quantity of land to be granted and also certain conditions of settlement which are embodied as follows in the letters patent issued under such instructions:

“And provided always and these Our Present Letters are upon this express condition that if the said Grantees, their Heirs and assigns or some or one of them shall not within one year next after the date of theses Our Present Letters settle on the premises hereby to them granted so many families as shall amount to one family for every twelve hundred acres thereof or if they, the said grantees, their heirs or assigns or some or one of them shall not within three years to be computed as aforesaid, plant and effectually cultivate at least two acres for every hundred acres of such of the hereby granted premises as are capable of cultivation and shall not also within seven years to be computed as aforesaid, plant and effectually cultivate at least seven acres for every hundred acres of such of the hereby granted premises as are capable of cultivation, that then and in any of these cases this Our Present Grant and every thing therein contained shall cease and be absolutely void, and the lands and premises hereby granted shall revert and escheat to Us, Our Heirs and Successors and shall thereupon become the absolute and entire property of Us or them, in the same manner as if this Our Present Grant had never been made, any thing therein contained to the contrary in any way notwithstanding.”

These conditions were embodied in all the letters patent between 1791 and 1806, but they remained a dead letter and were barely observed in a few exceptional cases. Article 59 of the Royal Instructions of 1763 ordered the Surveyor General or any other person appointed by the Governor to make, once a year or oftener if required, an inspection of the lands granted by the Governor and to make a written report of such inspection to the Governor, specifying whether the conditions contained in the letters patent had or had not been fulfilled and what progress had been made in the accomplishment of such conditions. But these instructions were never followed, except under the administration of Lord Dalhousie, who ordered Surveyor-General Bouchette to make such inspection. Mr. Bouchette published the information collected in the course of his inspection in his works, especially in the Topographical Description of Lower Canada.

In practically abolishing the system of land grants, according to the seigniorial method, the act of 1791 introduced into the country all the evils and troubles which the British Government sought to avoid by the instructions of 1668 and give rise to the plague of large land-holders which had so greatly hindered the settlement and material advancement of the Province. Under the seigniorial regime an individual might, without any trouble, obtain large grants of land inasmuch as he was obliged to concede to any bona fide settler who applied for it. But under the system of free grants and free tenure, as established by the act and instructions of 1791, owing to the neglect or connivance of the provincial authorities, a single individual could obtain a whole township and close it to settlers; this unfortunately happened in a considerable portion of the Eastern Townships. It was under this regime that the system of township leaders and associates originated, which, in less than 15 years, from 1796 to 1809, gave 1,457,209 acres of the best Crown Lands into the possession of about seventy persons, one of whom, Nicholas Austin, obtained in 1797 a quantity of 62,621 acres of land in the township of Bolten.

The system was carried on as follows: A person wishing to thus take possession of a portion of the public domain, first came to an understanding with the members of the Executive Council and the officers occupying the highest positions, to secure their concurrence and that of the Governor. He afterwards came to an understanding with a certain number of individuals, picked up at hap-hazard, to get them to sign a petition to the Governor, praying for the granting of the land he desired. To compensate them for this accommodating act on their part, he paid his associates a nominal sum, generally a guinea, in consideration of which they at once retransfered their shares to him as soon as the letters patent were issued. Sometimes one or two of the associates kept a lot of 100 or 200 acres on a grant covering several thousand acres, but this was the exception, not the general rule. For that purpose stationers sold blanks of such re-transfers, the form of which, as shown in 1821 before a committee of the Legislative Assembly, had been prepared and drafted by the Attorney-General.

These frauds were committed with the knowledge of the Executive Council, several of whose members even used this means to obtain large grants of public lands. Prescott. one of the Governors of the time, wished to stop this waste of the public domain, but he brought down upon himself the hatred of the Executive Councillors who, headed by Judge Osgood, managed to obtain his recall. Sir Robert Shore Milne, Prescott’s successor, showed himself better disposed towards the spoilers of the Crown domain and gave them a tangible proof of his good intentions, he had a grant given to him of 48,061 acres in the townships of Compton, Stanstead and Barnston.

Every pretext was made use of to despoil the public domain in favor of the friends of the administration. Thus, to reward John Black, a shipbuilder, for having betrayed the American McLean in order to hand him over to justice and have him executed, on the pretext that he was fomenting rebellion, the Government gave him a free grant on the 30th December, 1799 of the greater portion of the township of Dorset or an area of 53,000 acres. The following list shows the extent of the principal grants of the public lands so made from 1796 to 1809.

TownshipsGrantees Date of Grant Extent of Grant

------- ------------------------------ -------------- ----------

Dunham Thomas Dunn 02 February 1796 40,825

Brome Asa Porter 18 August 1797 41,758

Bolten Nicholas Austin 08 August 1797 62,621

Potton Laughlan McLean 31 October 1797 6,000

Farnham Samuel Gale 22 October 1798 23,000

Dorset John Black 30 December 1799 53,000

Stoneham Kenelm Chandler 14 May 1800 23,800

Tewkesbury Denis Letourneau 14 May 1800 24,000

Broughton Henry Juncken and W. Hall8 October 1800 23,100

Stanstead Isaac Ogden 27 September 1800 27,720

Upton D. A. Grant 21 May 1800 25,200

Grantham W. Grant 14 May 1800 27,000

Hunterstown John Jones 29 August 1800 24,620

Stukeley Samuel Willard 03 November 1800 23,625

Eaton Josiah Sawyer 04 December 1801 25,620

Barnston Robert Lester 11 April 1801 23,100

Shefford John Savage 10 February 1801 35,490

Orford Luke Knowlton 05 May 1801 13,600

Newport Edmond Heard 04 July 1801 12,200

Stanbridge John Catling 1 September 1801 38,600

Brompton William Barnard 27 November 1801 40,200

Shipton Elmer Cushing 04 December 1801 58,692

Stoke James Cowan 13 February 1802 48,620

Barford I. W. Clarke 15 April 1802 27,720

Chester Simon McTavish 17 July 1802 11,550

Sutton P. Conroy and Herman Best31 August 1802 39,900

Halifax Benjamin Jobert 07 August 1802 11,550

Inverness William McGillivary 09 August 1802 11,550

Wolfestown Nicolas Mantour 14 August 1802 11,550

Leeds Isaac Todd 14 August 1802 11,760

Ireland Joseph Frobisher 20 August 1802 11,550

Durham Thomas Scott 30 August 1802 21,991

Compton Jesse Pennoyer 31 August 1802 26,460

Wickham William Lindsay 31 August 1802 23,753

Arthabaska John Gregory 30 September 1802 11,550

Thetford John Mervin Nooth 10 November 1802 23,100

Ely Amos Lay, junior 13 November 1802 11,550

Roxton E. Ruiter 08 January 1803 16,400

Granby Thomas Ainsley 08 January 1803 4,600

Buckingham David Beach 26 January 1802 13,000

Clifton Charles Blake 05 March 1803 22,000

Ascott Gilbert Hyatt 05 March 1803 21,188

Burry Calvin May 15 March 1803 11,550

Hatley Henry Cull 25 March 1803 23,493

Ditton Minard H. Yeomans 13 May 1803 11,550

Clinton J. F. Holland 24 May 1803 12,400

Bulstrode Patrick Langan 27 May 1803 24,463

Kingsley George Longmore 07 June 1803 11,478

Kildare P. P. de la Valtrie 24 June 1803 11,486

Clifton Daniel Cameron 23 July 1803 5,800

Potton Henry Ruiter 27 July 1803 27,680

Newport Nathaniel Taylor 04 August 1803 12,000

Tingwick S. E. Fernuson 23 January 1804 23,730

Warwick Abraham Steel 23 January 1804 23,940

Westbury Henry Caldwell 13 March 1804 12,262

Eaton Isaac Ogden 14 March 1804 6,000

Somerset C. de Lanandiere 21 April 1804 8,300

Tring Hugh McKay 20 July 1804 7,600

Kingsley Major Holland’s family 14 January 1805 1,400

Newton J. E. Lemoine de Longueuil06 March 1805 12,961

Melbourne Henry Caldwell 03 April 1805 26,153

Chester Samuel Philipps 11 April 1805 6,200

Dudswell John Bishop 30 May 1805 11,632

Wendover Thomas Cook 24 June 1805 3,400

Halifax W. F. Scott 25 June 1805 11,700

Farnham Jane Cuyler 09 September 1805 4,800

Hull Philemon Wright 03 January 1806 13,701

Acton James Caldwell 17 February 1806 17,500

Auckland Elizabeth Gould 03 April 1806 23,100

Frampton P. E. Desbarats 10 July 1806 11,569

Acton Geo. W. Allsopp 22 July 1806 24,004

Eardley E. Sanford 22 August 1806 5,000

Chatham D. Robertson 31 December 1806 5,000

Lingwick W. Vondenvelden 07 March 1807 13,650

Lochaber A. McMillan 26 March 1807 13,161

Templeton A. McMillan 26 March 1807 8,949

Stanfold Jenkin Williams 08 July 1807 26,810

Ham Nancy Allen 29 July 1807 9,200

Frampton R. A. de Boucherville 09 September 1808 4,100

Onslow Henry Walcot 12 November 1808 10,950

Maddington G. W. Allsopp 01 December 1808 10,400

Farnham John Allsopp 11 February 1809 9,800

Sherrington F. Baby and Bishop Mountain29 May 1809 19,100

Wentworth Jane de Montmolin 03 June 1809 11,880

Sherrington Suzan and Margaret Findlay29 May 1809 8,300

Stanstead Sir R. S. Milnes 02 March 1810 21,406

Barnston Sir R. S. Milnes 02 March 1810 13,546

Compton Sir R. S. Milnes 02 March 1810 13,110

These figures show how the public domain was disposed of at that time. These extravagant, not to say scandalous, concessions, continued for a long time without the grantees taking the slightest trouble to fulfill the conditions of the settlement which were nevertheless in force.

These excessive grants virtually closed the public domain to colonization. As the large proprietors did not even wish to open roads through their properties, it was impossible to pass through them to take up lands situated in rear, and bona fide settlers were unable to obtain land without passing through the Candine Forks of the large proprietors. The Legislative Assembly took up the matter and upon its representations, the Imperial Parliament, in 1825, passed the act 6, Geo. II, chap. 59 ss. 10 and 11, establishing a court to ascertain whether the conditions of settlement attached to each grant had been fulfilled and if they had not been to declare the grant forfeited in favor of the Crown. As the majority of those who were likely to be dealt with by this court were the most influential in the Province, they found means to nullify this measure of reform; two or three cases submitted to this court of escheats at Sherbrooke were dismissed for informalities in the proceedings and every thing remained in statu quo. We may add that the statute establishing this court has never been repealed and is still in force in the Province. The system of township leaders and associates commenced to fall into desuetude about 1806 and, from that date, almost all large grants were made in each case in the name of one individual or of a single family. Thus, in 1810, the Ellice family obtained a grant of 25,592 acres in Godmanchester and another of 3,819 in Hinchinbrooke. In 1815, the Governor, Lord Drummond, granted to Hon. John Richardson 29,800 acres in Grantham and 11, 050 acres to Hon. Thos. Dunn, in Stukeley.

These violations of the instructions of the Imperial Government which sequestrated the best part of the public domain in favour of a few speculators, were encouraged by the Imperial Government itself. Thus, of his own accord the Duke of Portland gave 48,062 acres to the Governor Sir Robert Shore Milnes and 12,000 acres to each of the members of the Executive council constituting the Land Commission which had give all the extravagant and scandalous concessions up to that date.


This system was introduced in 1818 to counteract a little the abuses in the alienation of the public domain. From that date, grants were made by means of location tickets, permitting the grantee to occupy the land applied for by him and containing certain conditions of settlement which had to be fulfilled before the letters patent could be issued. At the outset these conditions required, in addition to the building of a house, the clearing and cultivation of four acres per lot, as well as well as permanent residence for three years on the land so cleared. But this condition was soon abandoned and all that was required of the grantee to obtain his letters patent was to build a hut and cut down four acres of forest.


Up to 1826, all the public lands had been granted free of charge. That year the Treasury Board with the object of increasing the provincial revenue, ordered that, in future, public land should be sold by auction and be payable in four installments without interest. In virtue of these inspections the only lands to be offered to purchasers were those selected for the purpose by the Governor on the recommendation of the Commissioner of Crown Lands, an office instituted that very year.. Those instructions also allowed small lots of land to be sold to bona fide settlers for what was called a constituted rent and which was in reality only interest at 5 per cent of the estimated value of the land.


In 1831, Lord Goderich sent new instructions to the Governor, ordering that, in future, the price of lands was to be paid by half-yearly instalments with interest. But these instructions were not followed. On the recommendation of the Commissioner of Crown Lands, the Governor gave orders that the old system be followed and the price of Crown Lands be received by annual instalments without interest.

In 1837, Lord Glenelg ordered the Provincial Government to receive the full amount of the price of the land at the time of sale. These instructions remained in force until 1840 but the troubles which arose in the country paralysed all business and no new sales were made during the three years.


We have already seen that, in obedience to the orders of the Imperial Government, free grants were give to militiamen who had served in the war of 1775 when the Province was invaded by the Americans. 232,281 acres were so granted to militiamen. Those who served in the war of 1812 were also rewarded in the same manner and received 217,840 acres for their services.

All these grants were subject to the ordinary conditions of settlement and to the stipulation that the lands granted would revert to the Crown if the conditions were not fulfilled. But the colonial administration took no trouble to have these conditions observed and to cancel the grants nearly all of which passed into the hands of influential speculators. As soon as the militiamen received their letters patent they sold their lands for a trifle, in many instances for a bottle of rum.


We have already seen that shortly after the American revolution, the Government sent into the Gaspe district a certain number of loyalists to whom it gave lands, without, at the same time, giving them regular title deeds. It was the same with the Acadians who had no other title than tradition to the lands they occupied. When the population began to increase a little, land became comparatively scarcer and difficulties arose nearly everywhere in connection with real estate, difficulties which were all the harder to settle that there were no title deeds of the grants to establish the pretentions of the various claimants. In order to put an end to the troubles, the Legislature, in 1819, passed the act 59 Geo. III, chap. 3, authorizing the Government to appoint commissioners to make inquiries on the spot and to decide ownership of the properties in dispute. Section 9 of the said act enacts as follows:

“The said Commissioners shall, from time to time, transmit to the Clerk of the Executive Council of the Province a report of all such claims as they shall have examined and decided and the person or persons in whose favour they shall have reported shall be considered as entitled to have a grant or grants under the Great Seal of the Province of the lands in respect of which such report shall be made.”

The commissioners, Messrs. J. T. Taschereau and L. Juchereau Duchesnay made a report (Appendix E of Journals of the Legislative Assembly for 1821-22) which contains the enumeration of the lots adjudicated upon. As may be easily seen by the text of the statute, these adjudications do not constitute regular titles and are only location tickets which were to be completed by letters patent under the Great Seal of the Province. Nevertheless, the parties have never, except in very rare cases, take the trouble to obtain letters patent and have really no regular titles to their properties. In fact, in the counties of Gaspe and Bonaventure, especially along the Baie des Chaleurs, more than half the people have no title, not even a location ticket for the property that they occupy, which makes it very expensive to have searches made in the registry offices.


All the abovementioned extravagant grants were made by the colonial administration, but the Imperial Government displayed the same prodigality whenever opportunity offered. Thus the Duke of Portland, undoubtedly as a reward for their profusion, gave a quarter of a township, about 12,000 acres, to each member of the Executive Council constituting the Land Board which had granted the excessive concessions to township leaders from 1796 to 1806. He also0 made a present of 48,062 acres to the Governor, Sir Robert Shore Milnes, who, like his predecessors, had abused his position to enrich a handful of favorites to the detriment of the public. Mr. Felton, an emigrant, who was afterwards Commissioner of Crown Lands, brought with him a formal grant of 5,00 acres another conditional grant of 5,000 acres, and others for those who accompanied him.

In accordance with instructions from the English minister, The Duke of Richmond gave free grant to officers and soldiers of the regular army, and in 1832, Lord Goderich gave some to pensioners in commutation of their pensions. Finally it was from the Imperial Government that the British American Land Company obtained the lands it owns in the Eastern Townships: the grant in its favour covered an extent of 800,000 acres.


All this prodigality on the part of the Imperial and Provincial Governments had the effect of concentration the possession of the public domain in the hands of a few individuals and to give rise to the great evil of landlordism and absenteeism which have so greatly hampered the spread of colonization. This evil was still further increased by sales at, low figures, by means of which some speculatiors obtained possession of another portion of the public lands. During the investigation by Commissioner Buller in 1838 under instructions from Lord Durham, it was ascertained that 105 individuals or families owned at that time 1,404,500 acres outside of the seigniories, or an average of 13,376 acres per individual or family. The following is the list produced by John Hastings Kerr, one of the witnesses examined:

1 Thomas Dunn Estate about 52,000 acres

2 Frobisher Estate 57,000 acres

3 Heirs J. @Wurtell purch. 49,000 acres

4 Colonel Penderleath 42,000 acres

5 McGill Estate 38.000 acres

6 Estate Richardson purch. 37,000 acres

7 Hon. M. Bell purch. 30,000 acres

8 Philemon Wright 35,000 acres

9 Estate of Judge Ogden 30,000 acres

10 Sir John Caldwell about 35,000 acres

11 Charles Ogden purch. 25,000 acres

12 Louis Massue purch. 40,000 acres

13 Hart families purch. 40,000 acres

14 Forsyth & Hyatt purch. 40,000 acres

15 William Vondenvelden purch. 25,000 acres

16 Estate of G. Glumeg 10,000 acres

17 Webb and others purch. 28,000 acres

18 F. and M. Defoy 14,000 acres

19 Bagnes Estate 2,000 acres

20 Estate William Holmes purch. 14,000 acres

21 Baby family . 10,000 acres

22 Lindsay family 10,000 acres

23 Colonel Heriot 12,000 acres

24 D. R. Stewart purch. 14,000 acres

25 R. Taylor purch. 17,000 acres

26 Estate Clarke 12,000 acres

27 Scott family 11,000 acres

28 P. Paterson purch. 22,000 acres

29 J. H. Kerr purch. 21,000 acres

30 T. A. Stayner purch. 24,000 acres

31 Estate Blanchet purch. 15,000 acres

32 J. B. Forsyth purch. 10,000 acres

33 D. Burnet 10,000 acres

34 Taylor Estate purch. 21,000 acres

35 Felton family 12,000 acres

36 W. Gregory 11,000 acres

37 Montizambert family 10,000 acres

38 Wilson Estate 13,000 acres

39 Judge Gale 10,000 acres

40 Judge Bowen purch. 10,000 acres

41 George B. Rodington purch. 3,000 acres

42 William Henderson purch. 22,000 acres

43 Commissary General purch. 10,000 acres

44 Gray, Estate 6,000 acres

45 Stewart family 6,000 acres

46 Chief Justice Sewell purch. 6,500 acres

47 Allsopp family 16,000 acres

48 Cuyler, Estate 6,000 acres

49 William Somerville purch. 3,500 acres

50 James Stewart purch. 8,000 acres

51 Lester and Morrogh, Estates 4,500 acres

52 Quebec Bank purch. 14,900 acres

53 William Philips purch. 50,000 acres

54 Mountain family 3,000 acres

55 Estate of General McLean 6,000 acres

56 Estate of Col. Robertson 12,000 acres

57 Mr. De St-Ours 3,000 acres

58 Dunford Estate 5,200 acres

59 Blackwood Estate 4,000 acres

60 William Hall 14,000 acres

61 Sutherland Estate 12,000 acres

62 L. Knowlton purch. 20,000 acres

63 Stanley Bagg purch. 4,000 acres

64 Benjamin Tremain purch. 8,000 acres

65 Honorable J. Stewart 2,000 acres

66 Walker family 2,000 acres

67 Madam Quiche purch. 7,200 acres

68 Green family 6,000 acres

69 Staunton family 8,200 acres

70 Pozer family purch. 20,000 acres

71 Robinson purch. 4,000 acres

72 N. Coffin 2,000 acres

73 Begelon 10,000 acres

74 Henry Hale purch. 4,000 acres

75 Gilpin Gorst purch. 5,000 acres

76 Cull Estate 3,000 acres

77 Longman family 11,000 acres

78 Honorable E. Ellice 30,000 acres

79 Whyte family purch. 6,000 acres

80 Reverend Mr. Sewell purch. 3,000 acres

81 Fraser Estate 6,000 acres

82 Mrs. Scott 2,400 acres

83 Holland Estate 4,000 acres

84 Miss Findlay 5,000 acres

85 Mrs. Elliot part purch. 3,000 acres

86 James Caldwell Estate 2.000 acres

87 J. McLeod purch. 2,000 acres

88 H. Gowan purch. 5,000 acres

89 Dr. Skey purch. 2,500 acres

90 B. Bowman purch. 4,000 acres

91 William Torrance purch. 6,000 acres

92 Horatio Patton purch. 2,000 acres

93 William Patton purch. 3,000 acres

94 William Price 4,500 acres

95 Henry Lemesurier purch. 10,000 acres

96 Jacques Voyer 2,000 acres

97 J. McLean 3,000 acres

98 George Hamilton purch. 3,500 acres

99 Pastonon family 3,000 acres

100 Mallust Estate 3,000 acres

101 Judge Pyke and Desbarats 24,000 acres

102 Chime family 2,000 acres

103 Armstrong family 3,000 acres

104 Trueman Kemton purch. 16,000 acres

105 J. W. Wainwright purch. 3,600 acres


Total 1,404,500 acres

or an average of 13.376.19 acres per owner.


The surveys were not managed better than the other branches of the Crown Lands service. The Surveyor-General, who had excusive control of this branch, generally did not occupy himself nearly so much in controlling the surveys as in the selection of the best lands which he pointed out to the favorites of the administration. That is what Lord Durham says in his famous report on the affairs of British North America:

“I have already pointed out the importance of accurate surveys of the public lands. Without these there can be no security of property in land, no certainty even as to the position or boundaries of estates marked out in maps or named in title deeds.

“The consequences of this have been confusion and uncertainty in the possessions of almost every man, and no small amount of litigation. As to Lower Canada, the evidence is still more complete and unsatisfactory. The Commissioner of Crown Lands says, in answer to question: I can instance two townships, Shefford and Orford (and how many more may prove inaccurate as question of boundary arise, it is impossible to say,) which are very inaccurate in their subdivision. On actual recent survey it was found that no one lot agrees with the diagram on record. The lines dividing the lots, instead of running perpendicularly according to the diagram, actually run diagonally, the effect of which is necessarily to displace the whole of the lots, upwards of 300 in number, from their true position. The lines dividing the ranges are so irregular as to give some lots two and a half times the extent of others, though they are all laid down in diagram as of equal extent; there are lakes also which occupy nearly the whole of some lots that are entirely omitted; I have heard complaints of a similar nature respecting the township of Grenville. I have no reason for believing that the surveys of other townships are more accurate than those of Shefford and Orford, other than that in some parts of the country the same causes of error may not have existed.”

Mr. Kerr says:--“It is generally understood the surveys in many of the various townships are very inaccurate; and many of the surveys have been found to be so. I had in my hands the other day a patent for four lots in the township of Inverness, three of which did not exist, granted to a Captain Skinner. Three of the lots were decided not to be in existence, and I received compensation for them in another township. A great error was discovered in the original survey of the township of Leeds. The inaccuracy of the surveys is quite a matter of certainty. I would cite a number of townships, Milton, Upton, Orford, Shefford, &c., where the inaccuracy has been ascertained.”

Commissioner Buller said very the same in his report: “The surveys of the township lands also were so imperfect and erroneous as to add very considerably to the difficulties in the way of settlement. Instances have occurred in which the lots professed to be granted had no existence except on the diagram in the Surveyor-General’s office, yet more numerous were the cases in which a person receiving a grant of 200 acres, found that the lot assigned to him contained from 40 to 90 more acres or less than its assumed dimension. In many instances the grommet was without a boundary, or its figure and boundaries were totally different from those which, by reference to the map, would be found to have been assigned to it.

“From the system pursued originally, the greater part of the surveys were made by persons who were only nominally under the control of his department. The surveyor employed for the purpose was paid by the person to whom the land, when surveyed, was to be granted, and those surveyors were employed who would contract for the performance of the survey upon the cheapest terms. Many professed surveys, therefore, were made by persons who had never been on the ground. The outlines of the township were run; but the interior plan was filled up entirely, either according to the fancy of the surveyor or from the reports of the Indians or hunters who were acquainted with the general character of the land included within the limits of the township.”

It is not surprising after this that there should still be considerable confusion and uncertainty as to the original title deeds under which real estate is held in many parts of the townships conceded from 1796 to 1840.

Since the latter date, public lands have always been conceded under the system now in force, titles are much more regular and searches for the original titles are easily made.


There is no need to dwell upon the importance and usefulness of this list which will enable everyone to obtain the information he requires.

In many parts of townships not yet erected into municipalities, there are lands whose owners are difficult to find without applying to the Registrar’s Office to find out whether the patent has been issued; this will be avoided by means of this present list and all that will have to be done will be to apply to the registrar of each county for the name of the actual owner, when there have been changes in the ownership since the date of the original grant. Finally, the information given in this list will greatly facilitate searches in the registry offices and consequently diminish their cost. This is one of the chief reasons for the present publication.




county by county and township by township, of lands granted by the Crown in the Province of Quebec, from 1763 to 31st December 1890.


Town ship of Arundel – erected the 8th of July 1857,

Reg. M., Special Grants, folio 73. [alphabetic]

[The following is a list of the titles of the seven columns.]

Names of grantees

Numbers of the lots granted



Date of letters-patent

Book [most likely refers to the township registrar’s registration books]

Page [in registration books]

[There follow 1101 pages of entries in Vol. I and Vol. II, and an alphabetic index of 805 pages of names of grantees].

[Footnote to the above submittal to the List: Quebec-Canada. Please note that the names contained in the two Volumes discussed above cover only those parts of the Province covered by so-called English law and does not, at all, deal with the Seigniories, parishes or other parts of the Province that continued to follow the older “Napoleonic Code” from days of French rule.