Fonds RG 20 Series C - Nova Scotia Commissioner of Crown Lands

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Nova Scotia Commissioner of Crown Lands

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    RG 20 Series C

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    • 1750-1905 (Creation)
      Nova Scotia. Commissioner of Crown Lands

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    Physical description

    • 40 meters of textual records
    • 69 microfilm reels
    • 191 maps

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    Administrative history

    In order to promote settlement in Nova Scotia, Governor Edward Cornwallis was directed in 1749 to make fee simple or absolute possession of land grants tax free for the first three years; thereafter an annual rent was to be paid. Later laws changed the regulations relating to the size of grants, quit rents, and taxation, and, at times, the sale of land took the place of free grants. In 1749 Charles Morris was appointed the first Surveyor General to administer the granting of land. The Surveyor General was responsible for surveying of the boundary lines of land grants, roads, and other lands and the preparation of maps and plans. Deputy surveyors were appointed for each district or county. In 1827 a Commissioner of Crown Lands was appointed to oversee the sale of crown land and in 1851 the commissioner absorbed the position of Surveyor General. A separate Commissioner of Crown Lands for Cape Breton existed until 1847, reporting directly to the Provincial Secretary. In 1877 the Attorney General became ex officio Commissioner of Crown Lands. In 1926 the Department of Lands and Forests was created, and the functions of the commissioner were transferred to the new department.

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    Scope and content

    Consists of eleven series: Crown Land grants plans, surveys and other records, 1753-1864, predominant 1784-1830, Indexes to grant books and other material, [ca. 1750]-[ca. 1880], Land grant maps, Land petitions and other material, 1765-1914, Applications for Purchase and Ungranted Petitions, 1781-1910, Cape Breton land petitions and other material, 1787-1864, predominant 1787-1843, Commissioners' correspondence and other material, 1765-1905, Commissioners' letterbooks, Financial records, 1791-1925, Township records, 1759-[ca. 1847], and Journal of Titus Smith, 1801-1833.

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    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    Original records were transferred from the Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forests.


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        Location of originals

        Originals of many of the records are held by the Crown Land Records Centre, Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources.

        Availability of other formats

        Nova Scotia Land Papers 1765-1800 The earliest portion of the available documentation, namely Volumes 1-25, the surviving records from 1765 to 1800.

        The searchable index contains 11,464 names of people who received land in the province during that time period. Each name is linked electronically to the surviving document file for the corresponding grant; the contents of the document file have been digitized and are viewable here in their entirety — 9259 image scans.

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        General note

        Image: Coppy [sic] of the Plan of Land Survey to Sundry Person on Esteheated [Escheated] Land Late Hales Grant Department of Lands and Forests Nova Scotia Archives RG 20 Series C volume 88 number 180

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