- Land Records
- Prior to 1795, no system existed for issuing patent deeds to settlers who had received land grants in Upper Canada.
- In 1797, the Heir and Devisee Commission was formed to clarify the titles to those properties.
- The Heir and Devisee records include a wide variety of documents, such as affidavits, bonds, location certificates, powers of attorney, orders-in-council, copies of wills, mortgages, deeds of sale, testimonial letters.
- The First Heir and Devisee Commission lasted until 1805.
- In 1805, the nature of the commission changed significantly.
- From 1805 until 1896 approx. it was called the Second Heir and Devisee Commission.
1797 - 1805 First Heir and Devisee Commission
- Most of the records from the First Heir and Devisee Commission are held by Library and Archives Canada.
- Their record group number is RG 1 L5.
- These records can be browsed on the Heritage-Canadiana website.
- However, they are not indexed; it is not possible to search by surname online.
- For Kingston-Frontenac ancestors, you can search by surname in the book From Settler to Land Owner: The First Heir & Devisee Commission for the Midland District, 1797-1803, by Linda and Gary Corupe.
- For ancestors in other parts of Ontario, the same authors have also published From Settler to Land Owner: The First Heir & Devisee Commission for the London District, 1802-1803, and Western District, 1798-1803, and From Settler to Land Owner: The First Heir & Devisee Commission for the Johnstown District, 1800-1803.
1805 - c1896 Second Heir and Devisee Commission Case Files
- The Second Heir and Devisee Commission dealt only with land claims made by heirs, devisees or assignees; not by the original nominees themselves.
- Most of its work was completed by 1896; it was finally abolished in 1911.
- Most of the records are at the Archives of Ontario.
- Read the "how to" information about these records on the Archives of Ontario website.
- Then search the database on the Archives of Ontario website.
- Library and Archives Canada also holds a small number of records from the Second Heir and Devisee Commission.
- They are in record group RG 1 L5.
- They can be browsed on the Heritage-Canadiana website.
- However, they are not yet indexed; it is not possible to search by surname.