Crown Lands Under the British Authorities in Lower Canada and Québec



Rénald Lessard

Archivist at the Archives nationales du Québec in Sainte Foy (Québec)


 Workshop held on March 6th 2010 at the Archives nationales du Québec on Viger avenue in Montréal.


The following is simply a short recap of the presentation made by Monsieur Rénald Lessard:


In 1841, the government created registration offices, which today are referred to as:

Bureau de la publicité des droits

Records of Land Transactions subsequent to the original grant or purchase are in the custody of the

Bureau de la publicité des droits

for each county, district, township.


> Répertoire des cantons et seigneuries - Townships and Seigniories

A township of the period measured 10 miles by 10 miles, divided in ranges and lots - see Le Répertoire des Cantons du Québec at:


> Implantation des cantons - Establishment of Townships

On December 7th 1763, Governor James Murray was advised by the British Government to institute the allocation of Townships, but only at the end of the 18th century were these directives implemented (about 200 such townships at the time)

> 1,500 cantons au Québec - 1,500 Townships in today's Québec - see cantons.pdf

> Terriers - Land rolls

From 1850, land grants of public lands was instituted and two distinct branches were organized: "Branche est" (Eastern Sector) and "Branche ouest" (Western Sector) - The registers can be found at the Archives nationales du Québec in Québec (city) referred to as Centre d'archives de Québec (CAQ) within the fonds of the: Ministère de l'Agriculture (Ministry of Agriculture) (E9) and of the: Ministère des Terres et Forêts (Ministry of Lands and Forests) (E21)

> Terriers - Land Rolls

< Land rolls (terriers) are organized by township (canton), by range (rang) and by lot (lot) (E21,S64,SS7 & 8). The latter also include: Special land rolls (Terriers spéciaux) for First Nations (Autochtones) (Réserves des Sauvages), islands, villages, resorts(îles, villages et villégiatures)

< Dossiers des Agents - Agents' Land Reports  - Detailed reports issued by various Land Grant Agents to the central government (E9, S101, SS5)

< Registres comptables - Index of remittance books

Registers associated with the collection of dues (droits) involved with the allocation of lands (E9, S101, SS10)

< Registres et dossiers liés aux transports de titres - Records of land transactions subsequent to the original grant or purchase (E21, S64, SS10, SSS6 registers) & (E9, S101, SS8 documents)

< Registres et des dossiers d'adjudication (annulation de concessions, reprises de lots puis nouvelle concession) - Records of of adjudication (cancellation of concessions, recovery of lots plus the re-allocation of said concessions) - (E21, S64, SS8, SSS3 registers) & (E9, S101, SS3 docuents)

< Registres sur les réserves du clergé et de la Couronne - Records of lands allocated to Churches and the Crown - (E21, S64, SS10, SSS7, & E9, S101, SS10) - Also available at Archives Canada, at least a portion of said collection.

< Registres d'arrêtés en conseil (Ordres en conseil) - Orders-in-Council - (E9, S101, SS6)

< Dossiers intitulés Scrap (certains documents financiers - bordereaux de paiements) - Scrap documents, as described within (financial documents of transactions, invoices and payments) - (E9, S101, SS20, SSS4)

< Registres et des dossiers de correspondance reçues (vieux dossiers) - Registers and dossiers dealing with correspondence received (old dossiers) - (E9, S101, SS2, SSS1 & E9, S101, SS2, SSS2) - Demandes de terre, correspondance. Ensemble connu sous le nom de Vieux dossiers (E9, S101, SS2) - Requests for lands, correspondence. A regrouping referred to as Vieux dossiers (Old dossiers). A substantial collection, especially between the years of 1826 and 1852 dealing with gold mining, land requests, logging licences, rural roads

< Transactions foncières - Real Estate Proceedings - (E21, S64, SS15) - Land exchanges, concessions, disposal of lands, illegal occupations of lands, leases, rights of passage, routes, hydro transmission lines, railroads, access gates, resorts, hunting and fishing camps. - Dossiers described in PISTARD

< Registres de Gaspé - Gaspé Land Claims (Adjudications de la Gaspésie) in addition to dossiers associated with the Gaspé Peninsula - (E9, S101, SS2, SSS1 - 1984-11-011/216 ; E21, S64, SS10, SSS5; ZC2, S3, SS2)

< Registres des concessions gratuites - Free Grants by Grantees - Soldiers, families of 12 children and more, Free Land Grants along remote rural roads such as Kennebec, Taché, and others (E9, S101, SS4, & E21, S64, SS10, , SSS3)

< Registres de billets de concession à partir de 1937 Concession Certificates from 1937 (location certificates) (E9, S101, SS7

< Registres de référence menant à l'émission des lettres patentes -

Copies of the patents for grants issued by the Lands Patent - (E21, S64, SS7)

< Dossiers organisés par lots, à partir de 1917 - Dossiers catalogued by lots from 1917 onwards - Documents kept at the MAPAQ (Ministère de l'Agriculture)

< BGD (Bureau de gestion documentaire) - This refers to documents kept at MAPAQ (Ministère de l'Agriculture) (Ministry of Agriculture)

< MAPAQ - The Ministry of Agriculture can be reached at 200 chemin Sainte Foy, 1er étage, Québec QC G1R 4X6 418-380-2113 #3296 - [email protected] -  person of contact:

Julie Roy