The Archives of Ontario recently announced it has started digitizing patent plans that will allow genealogists to trace their ancestors’ Crown land records. Here is their announcement:
“Good news for genealogists! You can now access over 3,100 digitized patent plans on the Archives of Ontario’s Visual Database.
“Use this great new online resource to trace your ancestors’ Crown land records. The images are fully accessible and in high-resolution in a zoomable format that allows you to view fine details.
“This is the RG 1-100 patent plan series, showing the status of Crown lands, whether patented, leased, or under a license of occupation. Several patent plans may exist for an Ontario township or town. Until the late 1970s, the Ministry of Natural Resources used patent plans as a tool to show the alienation of Crown land. When the information was computerized and the plans became redundant, they were transferred to the Archives.
“The images were chosen as key candidates for digitization, since they’re some of our most heavily used records and are very fragile.”
Read the Advanced search instructions before entering any keywords, or you will have far too many results or none. The instructions are straight forward and you will quickly discover if a record with your ancestor’s name appears on a patent plan. Remember to enter the reference code, RG 1-100, to restrict your searches to the patent plans series. Also take note of the instruction at the bottom about finding out if the Archives owns the original plan. “Not all the patent plans have been digitized yet. You can check if we have an original plan using our Archives Descriptive Database; enter the name of the township or town in the keyword(s) field, and RG 1-100 in the Archival Reference Code field.”
If you are unsure about the name of the township, look at the list of townships in Ontario.
Kudos to the Archives of Ontario for digitizing this collection and not waiting until the project was complete before posting online.