Clergy Reserves and Crown Reserves
also early agreements to acquire land from the First Nations Peoples
Survey of Townships and 200 Acre Lots
in the Wilderness of Ontario (Upper Canada) and Quebec (Lower Canada)

(1700's and 1800's)


January 7, 2013:

The Crawford Purchase and the Rideau Purchase The first land-grabs from the Indigenous Peoples in the Ottawa area The Crawford Purchase and the Rideau Purchase in Upper Canada Source for above text: Treaty No. 9, Making the Agreement to Share the Land in Far Northern Ontario in 1905, by John S. Long, McGill-Queens University Press, ISBN 978-0-7735-3761-3
The Missisauga Indians did not have authority to cede this land to the British Government. Their homelands were in the Toronto area (Missisauga). The northern Rideau River and the Ottawa River Watersheds were Algonquin territory. The area from Oka (Kanesatake) to Cornwall (Akwesasne / St. Regis) to Belleville (Tyendinaga) was used by the Mohawk people. There are many issues with the early Treaty process. Who could speak for the first nations people? How much did the Algonquins and Mohawks understand about the far-reaching concessions they were making to the French (before 1763) or the English (after 1763). The Royal Proclamation of 1763 is a crucial document in our history for the Aboriginal peoples. The map below showing U.C. (Upper Canada), south of Ottawa, represents the Crawford Purchase and the Rideau Purchase. I'll try and explore this in the next few months. ... Al In 1850, the British Government negotiated with the Objibway and Cree peoples for land along the north shore of Lake Superior and Lake Huron - see shaded area on the map below. These two areas are known as "Robinson Superior" and "Robinson Huron". In 1905, Treaty Number 9 was completed (see map). The village of Attawaspiskat is located on the western shore of James Bay. Chief Theresa Spence is in Ottawa and she will meet with Prime Minister Harper and representatives of the Native peoples of Canada on January 11, 2013. The Idle No More movement is a hot topic among the Algonquins and Mohawks in the Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec area. The book Treaty No. 9, Making the Agreement to Share the Land in Far Northern Ontario in 1905, by John S. Long, McGill-Queens University Press, ISBN 978-0-7735-3761-3 has a tremendous amount of information regarding the treaty and the process by which it came about. The map below is extracted from Mr. Long's book, page 26.
Map showing Robinson Superior and Robinson Huron treaties in 1850

September 4 2008: In the 1700's and 1800's, present day Ontario was surveyed into townships and 200 acre farms to accept new settlers. Almost thirty per cent of the land was reserved for support of a Protestant (Anglican / Episcopal) Clergy and reserves for the crown -- commonly called crown land. The illustration below shows a sample survey done for a new township. This one starts at the waterfront and is 9 miles by 16 miles. The division into Crown and Clergy Reserves and two hundred acre farm parcels is also shown.
Source: Source: Upper Canada, the Formative Years 1784-1841 by Gerald M. Craig, page 27 Township Survey into 200 acre lots Source (Below): Source: Upper Canada, the Formative Years 1784-1841 by Gerald M. Craig, page 24 Description of Township Survey into 200 acre lots
Individual township maps for the year 1880 are available from the McGill University Digital County Atlas Project. These maps show the locations and names of owners of all of the farm properties in Ontario. See also Gaelynn Wall's page for examples of how to locate your ancestor's original land grant in Upper Canada. ... Al
September 9, 2008: Thanks to John for the following information: The process in the Outouais Region of Quebec / Lower Canada: Source: The Aylmer Road: An Illustrated History Author: Diane Aldred Quebec / Lower Canada -- Surveying of Cantons
October 19, 2009: Hi Al: I've transcribed the 1847 Diary of Hugh Falls, a Provincial Land Surveyor with his survey of Bennett's & Bissett's creeks in Renfrew County. He refers to a few men he hired as well as a few he encountered during the survey. I thought these names might be of interest to anyone researching these families. Feel free to post any of the diary that might be of interest. I'm not certain that I've transcribed all of the place names correctly as I'm not too familiar with the geography of the area. Perhaps you can correct any mistakes I've made if you notice any. I was surprised that it only took Hugh Falls one day to travel from Bytown to Montreal-thought it would take longer than that. I think he was paid 114 pounds for this survey. Linda Falls ________________________________ Michael McDermott was also a land surveyor in the Bytown area between 1842 and 1849. You can see his story at his web page. ... Al

Dear Al, On July 20, 2005, I wrote you requesting information on Michael McDermott, a Provincial Land Surveyor who lived in Bytown in 1845. I later received useful information on him from Francis McDermott. I am now pleased to tell you that the results of my research have recently been published by the Canadian Museum of Civilization. The title of the publication is "William E. Logan's 1845 Survey of the Upper Ottawa Valley, Edited and Introduced by Charles H. Smith and Ian Dyck". Copies of the publication can be ordered from the CMC. The publication is based on Logan's 1845 journal, written on a geological expedition up the Ottawa River from Lachine to Lake Timiskaming, and is sprinkled with stories of daily life and the people he met along the way. Thanks to "Bytown or Bust" for the assistance! Charles Smith ________________________ Note: Google "Canadian Museum of Civilization", click on "Boutique", then click on "Publications" to find this book. ... Al
November 8, 2009:
The Eastern, Johnstown and Midland Districts, c. 1800 Map Source: Upper Canada: The Formative Years, 1784-1841, by Gerald M. Craig McClelland and Stewart, ISBN 0-7710-2311-1, page 45. Johnstown District Map, Upper Canada, c. 1800

November 16, 2009:
The Development Continues Here is an article from the Ottawa Citizen, dated November 16, 2009, page C3. This shows some work soon to be done in the Jockvale area of Barrhaven. The project is named after some well-known pioneer families, Foster, Kennedy and Burnett. Barrhaven - Jockvale Storm Water Project

December 30, 2009: Hi Al: In trying to find more information about Hugh Falls I discovered that Upper Canada repealed the Quebec law governing land surveyors in 1818 and initiated their own process of determining qualified land surveyors. Individuals had to apply to the Surveyor General for a licence, post a 500 pound bond (& how many of them could post such a huge sum at that period of time?) They usually had to ‘apprentice' with a licensed surveyor for an extended period of time before they were granted their licence. Hugh Falls received his licence in 1841. Since he arrived in 1818 in the Richmond settlement I don't know if it took him till 1841 to come up with the 500 pounds or how long he had to serve with a qualified surveyor. I will attach the statute of the province governing land surveyors (below) as well as Hugh's license. I don't know if this is of interest to your readers. I don't recognize any of the other surveyor's names & Hugh Falls is the only individual attributed specifically to Huntley township. Other names are: Onesephorus Bartley Francis Jones Thos Cottrine Keefer Humphrey Young Matthew Kyle Robert Walsh Gore of Toronto John Knatchbull Roche Kingston ... Linda Falls
The Statues of the province of Upper Canada (1792-1831)
Chapter XIV An act to repeal an ordinance of the province of Quebec, passed in the twenty-fifth year of his Majesty's reign, entitled, "An ordinance concerning land surveyors, and the admeasurement of lands," and also to extend the provisions of an act passed in the thirty-eight year of his Majesty's reign, entitled, "An act to ascertain and establish on a permanent footing the boundary lines of the different townships in this province," and further to regulate the manner in which lands are hereafter to be surveyed (passed November 27, 1818) Whereas an ordinance of the province of Quebec, passed in the twenty-fifth year of his Majesty's reign, entitled, "An ordinance concerning land surveyors, and the admeasurement of land" is in many instances, as far as the same relates to this province, found to be inapplicable; be it enacted by the King's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the legislative council and assembly of the province of Upper Canada, constituted and assembled by virtue of and under the authority of an act passed in the parliament of Great Britain, entitled, "An act to repeal certain parts of an act passed in the fourteenth year of his Majesty's reign, entitled, "An act for making more effectual provision for the government of the province of Quebec, in North America, and to make further provision for the government of the said province,'" and by the authority of the same, That the said ordinance, so far as it relates to or affects this province, be, and the same is hereby repealed. Qualifications of surveyors V. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That from and after the passing of this act, no person shall act as a surveyor of lands in this province, until he shall have been duly examined by the surveyor general or deputy surveyor general thereof, as to his fitness and capacity, and shall have obtained a license from, and be appointed to act as such by, the governor, lieutenant Governor, or person administering the government of this province, for the time being, and shall have entered into a bond, with two sufficient sureties, in the sum of five hundred pounds, to his Majesty, his heirs and successors, for the due performance of his office, and shall have taken and subscribed the oath of allegiance, and the following oath, before the surveyor general or deputy surveyor general of this province: "I, A.B., do solemnly swear that I will well and truly discharge the duty of a surveyor of lands, agreeably to] the law, without favor, affection, or partiality, when and as often as I may be required thereto by any person or persons, or by the rule or order of any court of justice, and which I will faithfully, and without unnecessary delay, submit to the party requiring the same, or the court directing my duty; also a plan of survey, if required. So Help me God" Provided always, That this act shall not extend, or be construed to extend, to prevent any person or persons from acting as a surveyor of lands in this province, who is now authorized to act as such by virtue of a license from the governor, lieutenant governor, or person administering the government of this province. VI. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that it shall and may be lawful for the surveyor general or deputy surveyor general of this province, to examine applicants to survey, and if found competent, to grant certificates to that effect, and to administer the foregoing oaths, which oaths shall be deposited in the surveyor general's office. VII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful for the governor, lieutenant governor, or person administering the government of this province, to grant licenses to such persons as are well recommended, on their producing satisfactory certificates from the surveyor general or deputy surveyor general of this province, of their competent knowledge of the theory and practice of surveying in all its branches, to survey in this province during their good behavior.
Land Surveyors, Upper Canada (Ontario), 1841


June 27, 2010:
The following map was produced by Joseph Bouchette, Surveyor General of Canada: Map Source: The Lochaber Emigrants to Glengarry, 1802, page 58 Survey of Western Quebec, Canada Townships

November 29, 2010:
Searching Land Titles in Ottawa
If you wish to search old land records and assessment rolls in Ottawa, here is the procedure: (Sent in by a researcher for the John Good family ... Thanks, Al) The Registry Office is in the Court House at Elgin and Laurier Streets. It is open to the public, but searchers for real estate lawyers are busy there most of the day. Copies are expensive. Some of the early documents are missing, but 99% (or so) of the abstracts are there. I just walk in, install myself at a film reader, find my 'cartridge', and copy what I want manually. It is possible to print from the film, and I have done it. It is a bit of a hassle, but useful by times. The Assessment Rolls are perhaps even more useful than land records for some purposes. They are available for the Johnstown District and North Gower Township by interlibrary loan from Ontario Archives. Kindest regards . . .
February 21, 2011: We have a new book in the Bytown or Bust Library: The Clergy Reserves of Upper Canada: A Canadian Mortmain, by Alan Wilson. This book contains all we need to know about the Clergy Reserves in Upper Canada beginning with the Constitutional Act of 1791. An in-depth exploration of the clergy reserve system and the interconnections with efforts at making the Anglican Church in Canada the Established Church. A real good book! ... Al
February 24, 2012:
Map scanned from the Economic Atlas of Ontario / Atlas Économique de l'Ontario W. G. Dean, Editor / Directeur; G. J. Mathews, Cartographer/ Cartographe Printed 1969 by University of Toronto Press for the Government of Ontario On the Internet at http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/english/on-line-exhibits/maps/textdocs/ontario-districts-1838.aspx Map of Upper Canada in 1838

September 3, 2012:
Source:Leeds and Grenville Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, News and Views, May/June, 2006 Page 06-65 Changing County Boundaries in Upper Canada / Ontario from 1788

April 14, 2013: The book Lunenburgh or the Old Eastern District, by J.F. Pringle, originally published in Cornwall, Ontario in 1890, was reprinted by Mika Press, Belleville, Ontario in 1972. It contains very good history of the United Empire Loyalist families (UEL) who settled along the St. Lawrence River after the American War of Independence and a lot of material about the (now) City of Cornwall. This book is on the shelves at the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society Library. Search their catalogue. ... Al
March 14, 2014: Book: Surveyors of Canada, 1867-1967, by Courtney C. J. Bond, D.L.S., 1966, The Canadian Institute of Surveying.
January 9, 2015: Here is a goldmine of early Land Petitions in Upper Canada. Thanks to Mary Quinn for sending this along! The following are digital versions of the Land Records in Upper Canada from 1763-1865. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/microform-digitization/006003-130-0011-e.html?PHPSESSID=mvv1b82r31k25je7aptrkdsbr0

E-mail John, Linda Falls, Charles Smith and Al Lewis

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