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March 22, 2014

Finding Aid for Heir & Devisee Commission Online Films

From H 1144 V58
Burford Christian BRADT
Canadiana.Org has digitized 21 films of the Heir & Devisee Commission Papers (Heir & Devisee Commission papers 1797-1854, found in their Heritage Collection), and that's a good thing for genealogists. But as mentioned in a previous blog post I wrote called Heir & Devisee Commission 1797-1854 on - Listing Errors and a Workaround, their index and description of what is in each film is incorrect.

After realizing their description didn't match what was in the film I was viewing, I spent several weeks going through each online film and noting what volumes and dates each contained. In September 2013 wrote to through their website and to their Twitter account to provide them with the corrections but had no response. That's right - no response to my offer to provide them with a detailed and correct description of the contents of each film. I call that a huge fail! 

What is the Heir & Devisee Commission?

"This microfilm consists of records documenting the review and determination of claims for land brought forward by the heirs, devisees, and assignees of individuals originally located by the Crown on land, in cases where no letters patent had been issued. The First Heir and Devisee Commission was in existence between 1797 and 1805." [Source: Ontario Archives] 
10 of 21 Films Are Wrong on

H 1133 and H 1134  are correctly identified and described on so let's move on to the incorrectly described films. 10 of the online 21 films are incorrect.  H 1135, H 1136, H 1137, H 1138, H 1139, H 1140, H 1141, H 1142, H 1150 and H 1151 are all incorrectly described and the wrong contents listed on the website. 

Finding Aid for H 1135

Example of an index found in Heir & Devisee Commission Reels
H 1135 (Volumes16-20 Johnston District Location Certificates) does not contain what has listed. H 1135 is described on as containing Volumes 9-15. In reality this digitized film contains volumes 16-20. Here is Olive Tree Genealogy's list of contents which I obtained by viewing the entire film online. 

I have added image numbers to help genealogists find the start of each section. This will work as a Finding Aid for genealogists.

  • Image 14  V16 Johnston District  
  • Image 148 V 17 Johnston District Location Certificates, alphabetical  A-B
  • Image 149 “A” names Land Certificates
  • Image 186 “B” names Land Certificates
  • Image 319 V 18  Location Certificates C-F
  • Image 319 “C” names Land Certificates
  • Image 402 “D” names Land Certificates
  • Image 434 “E” names Land Certificates 1787-1795
  • Image 448 “F” names Land Certificates 1784-1803
  • Image 485 V 19 Location Certificates G & H
  • Image 486 “G” names Land Certificates 1785-1806
  • Image 547 “H” names Land Certificates 1784-1803
  • Image 619 “J” names Land Certificates 1784-1802
  • Image 665 V 20 Location Certificates K-M
  • Image  666 “K” names Land Certificates 1784-1810
  • Image  701 “L” names Land Certificates 1784-1801
  • Image 757 “M” names Land Certificates  1783-1803
My first set of detailed listings of the contents of film H1133 can be viewed at No Response from so here are the Heir & Devisee Commission Film Details 

I have published the full set of corrections for the digitize records on Olive Tree Genealogy website at Heir & Devisee Commission This is a work in progress.


PalmsRV said...

Thank you for all of your diligent work, Lorine.

Unknown said...

Thank you for doing this. It is a lot of work. Too bad Canadiana.Org is not paying attention. What a disservice to their users.