Land Records

by Rick Doucette

NB GenLinks... your access to all New Brunswick records online!
Online Land Grants
Search the PANB/UNB Cadastral Database for information on original land grants in New Brunswick. "This database consists of records of land settlement in New Brunswick in the period 1765-1800. County or place of settlement can be searched, as can be primary grant holder names. For further information on early New Brunswick land grants, a description of the land grant database is provided."  Please note that Sunbury County is often identified as the county in your search results. This may be misleading: prior to 1784, most of what is now New Brunswick was known as Sunbury County, Nova Scotia, also a small section around the area of Fredericton was known as Sunbury.
Grants
The land grant books are the official land records of the Government of New Brunswick. PANB holds records for 1784 to 1986. The grantee's name (and no other biographical information) is listed in the grant. Holders of land grants given by the Nova Scotia government between 1765 and 1784 were required to re-register their grants in the new province of New Brunswick beginning in 1784. An index to these land grants is available on microfiche for interlibrary loan. Copies of the published index may be purchased from CANB Publications, c/o Provincial Archives.
Petitions
Written petitions were submitted to the Government of New Brunswick by settlers seeking land grants. The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick (PANB) maintains a collection of land petitions for the years 1783 to 1918. Please note that not every person who petitioned for land received a land grant. However, these records are valuable as they provide the name, age, origin, marital status, number of children, and location and amount of land requested by the petitioner. Biographical information is provided in some cases. Also, it is important to note that settlers often petitioned the government for land as a group.  An index to these records can be found on PANB microfilm F13763 (available via inter-library loan). It provides an index of 67,000 names (including county, date, and microfilm number of the actual petition for inter-library loan).
Petitions: Current Series
These are land petitions received between 1832 and 1966. The series is "Current" in that the Department of Natural Resources and Energy continues to add to it. The documents contain very little biographical data. A card index for the years 1832 to 1867 is available at PANB. An index for the years 1868-1966 can be found on microfilm number F12524 (available on interlibrary loan). Both series should be checked; there may be more than one petition from an individual.

Updated:Sunday, 01-Dec-2002 16:30:46 MST