Land Petitions, Survey Plans, Land Grants
Prior to 1784 New Brunswick was Sunbury County of Nova Scotia. That year the Province of New Brunswick was created from Nova Scotia.
The original eight New Brunswick Counties were: York, Sunbury, Queens, Kings, Saint John, Charlotte, Westmorland and Northumberland. Each County had a County Office or Seat. That office administered County affairs, the Law Courts and County Registry. County Registry Office Book and Page entries used grantor and grantee name columns to register private sell and buy land transactions, also mortgages and wills.
Neighbors helping to build a log cabin
The Crown Lands Office in Fredericton was responsible for processing land petitions, for survey orders and for granting land sections. Land petitions were the written application for the land grant. Petition documents often reveal family origins, ages, sibling names, arrival dates, married or single, numbers of children. The land grant document names the grantee and describes the metes and bounds of the property.
The land and cabin are now home
Some land grants include a survey plan of the property and adjacent land sections. Land grants were awarded on condition of improvements to the property ie, land clearing, housing, livestock and field crop cultivation. A neglected or abandoned land grant was escheated or returned to the Crown (the Province) to be granted to another.
New Brunswick County Map
Seven other New Brunswick Counties were set aside from the original eight. From York County, Carleton was created in 1831, Victoria from Carleton in1844 and Madawaska from Victoria in1873. From Westmorland County, Albert in 1845. From Northumberland County, Kent and Gloucester in 1826. Restigouche County from Gloucester in 1837. Each County created civil Parishes ie, smaller geographic areas within each County.
Knowing New Brunswick history, dates, time periods plus County and Parish boundaries is crucial to a productive search. One has to know which record groups to search where and at what times. Some records at the Provincial Archives are grouped by County and Parish. County Council, Registry Office and Probate Court Files are County records. County Registry and Probate records are indexed by the name of the County resident. Land Petition, Land Grant and Survey Plans are Provincial records name indexed for all of New Brunswick. The Federal Census records use Parish, Sub-District and City Ward categories for grouping the County enumerations.
For more information about New Brunswick records see the website links at this page...
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