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Newfoundland and Labrador Land and Property Records

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Newfoundland & Labrador Research Topics
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Beginning Research
Record Types
Newfoundland & Labrador Background
Local Research Resources

What’s Available on the Internet[edit | edit source]

Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Environment and Conservation - Land Registries

This site contains detailed description of what is held at the Crown Land Administration office and at the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador. Documents date back to the 1830s although there are gaps as twenty volumes were lost in the fire of 1892. At the time of publication there were no searchable databases online.

Websites of Interest[edit | edit source]

Newfoundland’s Grand Banks

The Rooms Provincial Archives [Newfoundland and Labrador]

Family History Society Family History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador

Map of Newfoundland and Labrador[edit | edit source]

Newfoundland and Labrador Map.jpg

History[edit | edit source]

Newfoundland was discovered by John Cabot in 1497 and claimed for England at that time. Fishermen from almost every European country came to the Grand Banks waters for their renowned wealth of fish. The first English settlement was in St. John’s and in 1662 the first French colony was established in Placentia Bay. In 1692 the French captured and burned St. John’s. By 1713 the Treaty of Utrecht had France giving Newfoundland to Britain. These treaties recognized British sovereignty but the French fisherman were granted the right to land along parts of the northern and western coasts for drying their fish.

In 1832 the first election was held for the local House of Assembly. In 1855 Newfoundland became a self-governing colony. By 1898 a railroad had been completed across the island. 1927 brought the coastal region of Labrador to Newfoundland. In March 1949 the Province of Newfoundland was formed and joined the Dominion of Canada.

Most records for Newfoundland are found in the provincial capital of St. John’s. The system of record keeping was not the same as the other provinces as Newfoundland was late joining the union and so their records were not under the federal government jurisdiction prior to 1949.

Original crown grants and leases are deposited with Crown Lands Administration. They do allow some research on premises but will not do it for you. They suggest you hire a researcher from the list provided by Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Newfoundland and Labrador - Crown Lands Administration
Division Department of Environment and Conservation
P.O. Box 8700
Higgins Line, Howley Building
St. John’s, Newfoundland A1B 4J6
Telephone: 709-729-3085

The Rooms Provincial Archives [Newfoundland and Labrador]
9 Bonaventure Avenue
P.O. Box 1800, Station C
St. John’s, Newfoundland A1C 5P9
Telephone: 709-757-8030

A register of crown grants after 1831 to 1931 is at The Rooms Provincial Archives. The entries for 1831 to 1880 have been indexed. They do not have copies of the grant themselves. They also have a Register of Deeds for 1845 to 1872, although there are many gaps in the coverage. Other land records include a record book of Crown rents from 1821 to 1864 and various Plantation Papers from 1809 to 1854.

Registry of Deeds[edit | edit source]

The land deeds are filed annually and date from 1825. There is an alphabetical index for each year of both the purchaser and purchase’s surnames. There is also a miscellaneous collections of Wills from 1774. You may visit this facility to research but they will not do it for you. They will provide a list of researchers for hire on request.

Registrar of Deeds
Service NL
Commercial Registrations Division
P.O. Box 8700
St. John’s, Newfoundland A1B 4J6
Telephone: 709-729-3302

Newfoundland’s Grand Banks[edit | edit source]

The society maintains a message board and several searchable databases on its website. There is no postal or location information given although they can be contacted with requests by email.

Newfoundland’s Grand Banks For email contact information see the webpage.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Murphy, Sharon L., Brenda Dougall Merriman, and Frances Coe. "Newfoundland and Labrador Land Records (National Institute)," National Institute for Genealogical Studies (2012),