Nova Scotia Archives

Cape Breton Island Petitions 1787-1843

Using this Resource

The database is searchable by surname. The information returned from each search includes the names of everyone listed in the petition (frequently several people came together to submit jointly), plus the location and size of the requested land. Family details, immigration history and goals for lot improvement, if mentioned, have also been captured in the database.

Notations regarding the government approval process are also included, as well as references to the existence of related documents in the original file – surveyors' reports, plot plans, official correspondence, etc. But remember! – the database DOES NOT include any information contained in these related documents.


Some Things to Remember

The information in this database has been carefully transcribed from index cards prepared many years ago to summarize the contents of individual petitions. All basic information (names, biographical details, immigration history, etc.) contained in the originals has been thoroughly and accurately transcribed. We certainly encourage you to visit Nova Scotia Archives in person to look at the original documents – but it's VERY unlikely that you'll find any further biographical details in the originals, beyond what's already been captured on the index cards and is now available here in the database.

For Cape Breton Island, county divisions weren't introduced until the 1830s or later – so we've made the Cape Breton petitions searchable simply under 'Cape Breton'. Many of the actual locations are obscure – like us, you'll need a good map to figure out where they are! Click here for a map and more information regarding Nova Scotia's modern county divisions.

Finally, just because the person you're looking for isn't named in this database doesn't mean that he/she didn't receive land from the government. Their names may instead appear in the other related documents referred to above – documents which have not been included in this database.