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March 27, 2012

The Overlooked Abstract Indexes to Deeds - a Useful Genealogy Research Tool

Please note that the following article was written by me (Lorine McGinnis Schulze) and published on my Olive Tree Genealogy website several years ago

Land records are very useful. Originally all land in Ontario belonged to the Crown. Although there were small areas of settlement in 1763 after the British took over, major settlement of Upper Canada began in 1783 and utilized Crown Grants. Many early settlers, both military and civilian, submitted land petitions to the Governor in order to obtain Crown land.
Abstract Indexes to Deeds
The Abstract Indexes to Deeds are the indexed record of every transaction on a plot of land from Crown ownership to the present day. Abstract Indexes were created 1865-1866 according to new legislation and were retroactive to the patent on a property, meaning they went back to when the land was first owned by the Crown before it was sold or granted to individuals.

Using the Abstract Indexes to Deeds you can check for every instance of your name of interest on that parcel of land. By referring to the date and Instrument Number found with each transaction, you can look up the complete record. You may find a will (Many wills are filed in the Land Records Offices) or other important genealogical information or document.

See the example and explanation of the Abstract Indexes to Deeds for Concession 4, Lot 12, Puslinch Township, Wellington County Ontario. You may click on image for a larger graphic.

Abstract Indexes to Deeds for Concession 4, Lot 12, Puslinch Township, Wellington County OntarioLooking at the second from the bottom entry dated 1904 you can see a list of the children of Frederick Broeckel and a notation that he is deceased. If you did not know when Frederick Broeckel died, or the names of his children, this would be a very nice genealogy find. 

After you have found that enty in the Abstract Index to Deeds, you can order the full record to see what other genealogy details might be found. Simply refer to the Book Number, Instrument Number and date to order the full record.

 In this case it is Book I16, Instrument #8243, 1 May 1904. Notice that there is an earlier entry dated 13 Jan. 1903 for Frederick Broeckel and it is called Probate to Will. Sending for the full record would no doubt include Frederick's will.

Where to Find Abstract Indexes to Deeds

Please refer to for a complete list of where you can obtain these Abstract Indexes to Deeds


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