Digital Searching of the Upper Canada Land Records
at the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealocical Society
and Library and Archives Canada

New January 12, 2015:

Thanks to Mary Quinn and to Michael Daley for all their input into the material which appears on this web site.
Michael has published a lot of material regarding the pioneer families of Gloucester Township and Osgoode Township.

Mary has recently opened a fascinating area of research to me. She is a strong researcher of one of the more difficult 
areas of research -- the Upper Canada Land Petitions which are available at Library and Archives Canada. She has pointed out,
below, how to search these records digitally, without having to go through the painful steps of looking through the 
microfilm records at LAC.

Below is an extremely useful resource for researching your ancestors in Upper Canada. This CD is published by the Ontario 
Genealogical Society and is available for use on your laptop or on the public computer installed in the Library of the Ottawa Branch of the 
Ontario Genealogical Society. The OGS Library is in partnership with the City of Ottawa Archives and is located at 
the Archives at 100 Tallwood Drive in Ottawa Canada (near Woodroffe Avenue, across from Meadowlands Drive). If you will be 
using the public computer, bring a portable thumb disk to store your research finds.

Index to the Upper Canada Landbooks, CD Cover for CD created by the Ontario Genealogical Society
The above CD is also available in print format, although the CD is much quicker and is very powerful to search. The CD is available for purchase from the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, It is called Index to the Upper Canada Land Books, February 1787 to February 1841 and is edited by Susan Smart. The ISBN is 978-0-7779-2154-8. It contains 87,795 names and the call number at the OBOGS Library is 971.3 UCLB v9.
Here are the results for several John Cunninghams from the OBOGS CD. The one in which we are interested is the man who settled in Gloucester Township. This example shows us what sort of information is available on the OBOGS CD Index. Note that from this table, circled in red , is one item of importance: The Land Petition number. The petition number for John Cunningham in Gloucester Township is 73. Index to the Upper Canada Landbooks, John Cunningham in Gloucester Township
Now that we have the land petition number, we need to find the digitized version of the Microfilm reel which contains this petition. After searching the index on the OBOGS CD, you can then go to the Library and Archives web page at These records cover a longer time period than the OGS index (1763-1865) and are also searchable, but not in as friendly a fashion as the OBOGS CD. The attached two records show the LAC search results for John Cunningham who was involved in land transactions in Gloucester Township during the 1830's. This land became valuable when John Cunningham built an inn to serve travellers on the Bytown and Prescott Railway in the early 1850's.
To find the actual LAC Microfilm number which contains the petition (original document), note from the table below that this microfilm reel is number C-1730.
Click on C-1730 in the table below:
MicrofilmSearchResultsatLibrary and Archives Canada
This will bring you to the searching of the actual microfilm number C-1730. Note that according to the next table that there are 1257 pages of land petitions stored on this digitized microfilm.
MicrofilmSearchResultsatLibrary and Archives Canada
The next step is to find Land Petition number 73, (John Cunningham). This process involves a search through the 1257 pages of the digitized reel. The land petitions are individually numbered, by hand, on the microfilm reel. After a bit of grasping through the reel, the John Cunningham petition was found by Mary Quinn at the following URL: Go to Page 1203 as shown below.
Go to page 1203 on microfilm reel C-1730, Library and Archives Canada
and here is the first page of the John Cunningham land petition:
Actual, original copy of the Land Petition of John Cunningham, Ottawa
N.B. There is more than the one page shown above and the entire document gives extremely detailed information on early land and settlement processes and early pioneers in the Bytown area. For example, the original plot of land was owned by a Simon Fraser who was a United Empire Loyalist. In 1830 this parcel of land was sold for non-payment of taxes. Some of those involved in this property were Daniel O'Connor, a lawyer and mayor of Bytown, his son Richard O'Connor and John Foran who was one of the first settlers, after the Loyalists, in Gloucester Township. By the way, Mary Quinn has sent along some transcripts of old letters exchanged by the Foran and Quinn families. John Foran was one of her ancestors who was in Bytown by 1829. He came from County Waterford, Ireland.

E-mail Michael Daley, Mary Quinn and Allan Lewis

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