AfriGeneas Canada Research Forum
OGS Land Books Project
Between the years of 1787 and 1841 what would later be known as the "Ontario Executive Council" handled land claims for United Empire Loyalists (those who served in the Revolutionary War on behalf of Great Britain), their children, settlers and others who petitioned the Council for grants or sales of Crown lands. The Council's minutes record the consideration of these petitions and the Council's recommendations. Some of the entries in the Land Books simply note the name of the petitioner and the basis of the claim, but others include detailed information about the petitioner such as race, when he/she came to Canada, age, occupation, military rank or regiment, place of residence, etc.
The Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) has compiled an index of these Land Books by date and by petitioner name, and each volume is available for sale from the OGS ($38 each, Canadian funds) or can be viewed at many local libraries in Canada (and possibly the Family History Library in Salt Lake City).
If your ancestor served in the Revolutionary War or War of 1812 in Canada, it's likely that he petitioned for land. In the case of my family, I was able to find land records for both my gggggf William Lee and his Son, Peter Lee, and Peter's widow. These records told me when William first came into Canada, from where, the size of his family, his approximate age, and other genealogical information I'd been searching for.
I have purchased Volumes 1, 2, and 3 and will be happy to do lookups. Once you've found your ancestor in the Index, you'll need to order the microfilm reel with the actual petition record from your local Family History Center.
Good luck in your research.
- Lisa B. Lee