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Land Records and Maps prior to 1900

Plan of Government Farm and City Park, 1873 (Map 0,595)
Plan of Government Farm and City Park, 1873 (Map 0,595)
Land records can establish that your ancestors were on Prince Edward Island in a given year. They can pinpoint a locality so that other records arranged by lot can be more easily used and they allow you to trace the movements of your family. Land records may include the purchaser's place of origin, occupation, or spouse's name. Researchers should note that until October 1939, land could be transferred by will alone without registration of the transaction. In addition to land records, maps can be particularly useful in tracing who was on a specific piece of property at a given time.

The bulk of PARO's land-related documents date from before 1900. Post-1900 records are housed at the Land Registry Office in the Jones Building, 11 Kent Street, Charlottetown (902-368-4591).

 

Conveyances: The first series of land conveyances covers all of Prince Edward Island from 1769 - 1873. It is indexed alphabetically and contains, as well as conveyances, some leases, mortgages, court judgments, and powers of attorney. After 1873 the records are arranged by county.

Leases: Though an index exists, leases were not transcribed into registry books as were conveyances. The original lease and its counterpart were kept by the parties to the rental agreement. PARO's collection of leases is made up of documents turned in to the government in exchange for crown deeds. The names recorded on these documents when a lease was transferred can be a valuable source of genealogical information.

Crown Deeds and Township Ledgers: Following the first Land Purchase Act of 1853, tenants were allowed to purchase their land from the government who had purchased it from the proprietors. After a series of payments recorded in township ledgers set up for this purpose, a deed was issued. These deeds may contain information about previous transactions and may record the number of the original lease.

Maps and Plans: In addition to the 1863 Lake Map, the 1880 Meacham's Atlas, and the 1927 Cummins Atlas which contain maps bearing residents' names for all lots, PARO has a large collection of manuscript maps of the Island and individual lots. Many show property boundaries, and though the quantity and quality of maps for the various lots is uneven, they may be useful in establishing a family's location at a particular time. Maps may also contain land record reference numbers enabling you to locate a deed, lease or township ledger entry.

Rent Books: Recording payment of rents by tenants, rent books kept by proprietors or their agents may be the only source establishing your ancestors' place of residence. Rent books have not survived for all lots and time periods.

Petitions: Petitions made to Executive Council (1780 - 1837) contain some requests for land. These have been indexed in the Master Name Index.  These records can also be searched online through the PEI Petition Index.

Warrants of Survey: Issued by the Crown, these land survey orders exist for some Loyalist allotments in about 20 lots. They cover the years 1784-1803.

 

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