The Township Papers

Of Lincoln and Welland Counties

Circa 1783 to the 1870’s


For a summary of a settler’s listing in the Township Papers click on a link to the right. To date the documents in Humberstone Township Bertie Township, Crowland Township, Thorold Township, Stamford Township, Willoughby Township, Grantham Township, Niagara Township and Niagara Town have been summarized. 

The Surveyor General’s Office was the hub of all land grants in Upper Canada. Once an applicant had an Order-in-Council from the Executive Council of Upper Canada (Ontario), they set out to determine where they wished to be located. Having then identified a vacant lot, they made their request to the Surveyor General. Others, who were simply seeking to locate extra grants, left the assignment up to the officials.

The Surveyor General prepared a description of the lot to be granted specifying its boundaries and other survey details. This was used to prepare the deed, which the applicant would then take to his local Registry Office to be recorded.

The Township Papers are a miscellaneous "grab bag" of these surveyor’s descriptions, as well as other official documents that could not be categorized in other archival record collections. As such, viewing of other record groups is also needed. "The Township Papers" were kept by the Surveyor General’s Office, categorized by lot and concession, along with letters of inquiry. The records designated “The Township Papers,” document both grants as well as leases of the Crown and Clergy Reserves set aside by the Government of Upper Canada.

The Township Papers are located in the Executive Council Office Record Group (RG1) at the Archives of Ontario, and organized by the township, the concession and then the lot. They have been filmed by the Archives for public viewing.