Documents & Records
Land records are a very useful resource for genealogists. In addition to documenting ownership, land records may provide information that offers personal details and insights into the lives of the individuals owning and selling the land.
Land records are very complex. There may be many transactions and documents relating to one parcel of land. Procedures and requirements for acquiring and transferring land -- and for the required record-keeping -- may have changed over time.
A useful distinction to keep in mind when researching land records is the difference between Crown grants and private land transactions. All land originally belongs to the Crown -- that is, to the government. Crown land may be owned by the provincial or the federal government which may grant it to individuals or corporations through means such as purchase, pre-emption, or auction. Once land has been alienated from the Crown and is privately owned, it can be transferred to others through private transaction.