British Columbia, Dominion Land Branch Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

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British Columbia, Dominion Land Branch Records, 1885-1949
CID2060124
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
British Columbia, Canada
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Location of British Columbia, Canada
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Record Description
Record Type Land Records
Collection years 1885-1949
Languages English
Title in the Language
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Lands Branch, Crown Land Registry Service, Lands and Parks, Victoria


What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

The Land Files contain applications for homestead entry, applications for patents, and correspondence and registers relating to land settlement in the Railway Belt and the Peace River Block. Several indexes are included. The indexes included in this collection are:

  • Land Files (1885-1949)
  • Index Maps (1910-1927)
  • Township General Registers (1885-1930)
  • Homestead Grant Registers (1886-1930).

The two blocks of land where homesteading occurred in British Columbia between 1884 and 1930 are called the Railway Belt and the Dominion Peace River Block. The British Columbia Archives also holds partial land settlement records for the Railway Belt and Dominion Peace River Block.

The first federal government survey to determine the boundaries of its British Columbia Peace River land was undertaken in 1905 and 1906 by J.A. Macdonell. Macdonell's instructions were to select and locate the three and one half million acres "in one rectangular block", and to report on topographic features, climate, soil, timber, minerals, and other resources, after determining the suitability of the area for settlement.

In return for the support given by the Canadian government towards the construction of the Canadian Peace River block into British Columbia, as one of the conditions of union between Canada and the colony of British Columbia, the Dominion government had been granted a belt of land 20 miles wide on each side of the line. In all, a belt 40 miles wide along the entire line running through British Columbia was to be set aside -- the so-called "Railway Belt". As compensation for lands lying within the belt that were useless for agriculture or already separated prior to the transfer, the Dominion government was to be allowed to select three and one half million acres of arable land in the Peace River District of British Columbia. To learn more about land records in Canada, go to Canada Land and Property Records.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images.

For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for British Columbia, Dominion Land Branch Records, 1885-1949.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:

Land

  • Age
  • Marital status and number of children
  • Length of time in the province
  • Former residence

Township General Registers

  • Name of registrant
  • Nature of grant
  • Date of patent

Homestead Grant Registers

  • Date of application
  • Date of first occupancy
  • Date of grant
  • Name of grantee
  • Section number
  • Part of section number
  • Township number
  • Range

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The name of a relative or date of the event

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

This collection does not have a searchable index. Only images are available. See View the Images to access them.

View the Images[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page

  1. Select Record Type
  2. Select File or Volume Numbers to view the images

Important: Petitions usually have indexes or are filed alphabetically. Other land records for eastern Canada are often not indexed by surname but are arranged by land parcels within townships. You may have to trace a piece of property through time in order to use those land records, rather than try to trace the family name through indexes. There are indexes available in this collection of images. The indexes are in individual folders. Find your ancestor's name and look for the page, entry, certificate number or book number next to their name. This will help you find the record you are looking for in the collection.

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Use the information to find other records such as birth, christening, census, marriage and death records
  • Use the information to find additional family members
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Consult the British Columbia Record Finder to find other records
  • Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations that can be verified by records
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name, especially French versions
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names
  • Search the indexes and records of British Columbia, Canada Genealogy
  • Search in the British Columbia Archives and Libraries
  • Search in the FamilySearch Catalog

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in British Columbia.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.