Nova Scotia Archives

Cape Breton Island Petitions 1787-1843

This is a searchable database for early petitions (often called 'Memorials') made to government by individuals or groups of people seeking grants of Crown Land for settlement purposes in Cape Breton Island, 1787-1843.

Cape Breton Island was a separate colony from 1784 to 1820, and then was joined again to Nova Scotia for administrative purposes. Consequently, managing its early records was sometimes a challenge for the governments of the time.

This database is an index only, drawn from the contents of Cape Breton land petitions and other material, 17871-1843, a series within the Nova Scotia Commissioner of Crown Lands records. The database lists 3,340 petitions, many with multiple applicants. The records themselves (petitions, some surveyor's reports, plans, etc.) are available at the Nova Scotia Archives.

The overlapping Nova Scotia Land Papers 1765 to 1800 database availalbe on this website also contains some Cape Breton content, 1787-1800; this database features fully digitized document files for each petition.