Nova Scotia Archives

Nova Scotia Land Papers 1765-1800

Using this Resource

The searchable database includes 11,464 personal names. You can search by name of individual, name of community, or by date. The search box includes a drop-down menu which also enables searching all records, or those within a particular county in Nova Scotia, those within New Brunswick (125 entries), or "Other" (168 entries in which locations have not been identified).

A total of 1890 document files survive for the years 1765 to 1800; these have been digitized in their entirety. Many files contain multiple documents, and many individual documents include two or more pages. Each file may include up to six types of documents:

  • Memorial (Petition)
  • Warrant to Survey
  • Surveyor's Report
  • Survey Certificate
  • Map
  • Draft Grant

See Thomas Adams and others, 1784, for good examples of these documents.

Some things to remember:

  • in the 1760s, Nova Scotia included mainland Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Island, Prince Edward Island, and what is now New Brunswick.

  • in 1769 the Island of St. John (Prince Edward Island) became a separate colony.

  • in 1784, New Brunswick became a separate colony; there are 125 records for New Brunswick included in this resource, all dating from before October 1784. Subsequent land grants for New Brunswick are held by the Provincial Archives in Fredericton, NB.

  • in 1784, Cape Breton Island became a separate colony; there are scattered Cape Breton records in this resource, but most Cape Breton Island petitions are indexed in our separate Cape Breton Land Petitions database; the petitions have not been digitized for online viewing, but are available on microfilm at the Nova Scotia Archives

  • Nova Scotia has 18 counties, created between 1759 and 1851; use our County Map of Nova Scotia with its explanations, to understand these divisions and how they may impact on your research.