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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 2010-05 > 1275155526

Subject: Re: [S-I] Owning Land
Date: Sat, 29 May 2010 17:52:06 +0000 (UTC)
In-Reply-To: <>

Hi Judy, who did they buy the land from and where was it precisely? That'll tell you a lot.

Sometimes it can be complicated searching for land purchases -- ie if it was purchased from the government the purchase may have been recorded in a different set of records than if it was a private purchase. Usually we think to check the deed index -- which usually only records private purchases.

If it was a public purchase of land made available by law the 'grant' may not even record the purchase price because everyone would have known the rate set by the government. This has led some to mistake these 'grants' as a free gift for some service, such a military service. However the word 'grant' had a different meaning than we construe. In some cases one of the conditions was you had to settle the land and farm it. Having done that for a set time you either were given it or could purchase it at a reduced rate. I'm thinking of a Kentucky situation that turned land over to very early settlers (to avoid another Revolution <grin>!!).

Sometimes the history of the township or county will also clue you in. If it was military land, for example, one received a warrant for service. You could sell the warrant, in which case, no, you didn't settle the land. The warrant was conveyed to someone else who then staked a claim and eventually got the patent for the land (unless he sold it with the warrant and someone else patented it). These military warrants and grants were in different indexes -- military indexes. The final result might be recorded in the county land records.

So if you are looking at a military warrant, no, that might not have been settled. Check patents. You might need to study the law to find out where it was legal to claim that warrant.

All this is very generic. So which area do you mean: Ontario, Nova Scotia???? The county and township might help too. Ie if the area was a military reserve and if they were there, then you can look for military records. Of course you could stake a claim and sell it to anyone and not really settle it. Or when you got there another family was residing on it, having not filed paperwork. They offered to buy you out and you took it.

Land speculation was big in the New World -- and often people think land purchase means settlement, but it ain't necessarily so. Sometimes tax records can help -- ie they might indicate the tax is the responsibility of someone 'of' another place. Or check the deed or deeds -- they may give the residence. This can be very helpful for determining prior residence. Im thinking of a recent case of a Thomas Johnston. The earliest deed said he was a merchant in Baltimore. The US 1830 census appears to have him living in the residence of his son. Or perhaps the son was subletting to Santa Claus, on vacation from the Pole at the time of the census, and the elderly man isn't Thomas at all.....

I had the same question about a William McCamish who bought land in 1751 in the far west of Cumberland County, the future Franklin. Was he the guy living in Philladelphia with the same name? There didn't seem to be any indication in any of the deeds that he didn't live there, and he did a fair amount of buying and selling with adjacent neighbors, so I think he was there for real.

Your question is like the same one asked for the United States in such place existed then and the parts were under different jurisdictions. It could be that some legislature opened public land for settlement stipulating that the people who purchased must settle. To get to that law, though, we'd need to know which province and ideally what county and township. (This is asking a lot: some of those Canuky townships changed more often than the US ones). The location may tell you it's a militiary reserve which might explain what leads you to ansk the question.

The purpose of legislature requiring settlement would be to stop land speculators from gulping it all up like they so frequently did south of the Canadian border, or if done by a private proprietor, to get the dang place settled with peasant families who would pay a fee each year to the land own -- ie -- a steady income. They absorbed a lot of arrows, south of the border at least. Hundreds of acres owned by one landgrabber could harbor large villages of Indians, but even a light sprinkling of settler families drove off the game and with it went the Indians.

You had hoped for an easy answer.....

Linda Merle

----- Original Message -----
From: "Judy Anderson" <>
Sent: Saturday, May 29, 2010 1:21:40 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: [S-I] Owning Land


I would like to know if anyone might know if you could live in Ireland and buy land in Canada in the about 1839-1840?

Thank You


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