March 14, 2007

Land Records in Ontario - Using the CLRI

Copyright © by Lorine of Olive Tree Genealogy

Land records are very useful. Originally all land in Ontario belonged to the Crown. Although there were small areas of settlement in 1763 after the British took over, major settlement of Upper Canada began in 1783 and utilized Crown Grants. See Ontario Land Records for more help

The CLRI (aka Ontario Land Record Index) is an index which summarizes land grants from sales of of Crown Land in Ontario, from Canada Company sales and leases, and from Peter Robinson settlers' grants. It provides invaluable clues for further research!

The CLRI only shows the first time owner of Crown Land so if your ancestor purchased land from someone else his/her name will not show on this index but it is still a very useful tool. Not only does it provide you with exact location (township, lot #, conc. #) it provides you with a date of transaction, whether or not there were special circumstances surrounding the transaction (a free grant, a hardship grant, a military grant, etc), and it provides you with an Archival Reference number. This AR number can provide more detail; often it does not but it is still a stone that should be turned.

With a date of transaction you have narrowed the field for immigration.

Beyond that the value of the CLRI is in the interpretation of the one line index entry -- which can lead you to other avenues of research.

Find out how to obtain the CLRI and how to interpret your findings at Olive Tree Genealogy CLRI Section

I will discuss Township Papers, Upper Canada Land Petitions and Land Books over the next few days so stay tuned

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