Crown Land maps

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Crown Land maps

General material designation

  • Cartographic material

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of series.

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Series

Reference code

Accession number: 2003.026

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Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

1"=1/2 mile

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • [ca.1759]-1950 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

8 maps

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Archival description area

Custodial history

Scope and content

Series forms part of the map collection and consists of maps detailing the boundaries of lands granted and crown lands in the province. As land is reverted back to the Crown, the maps are updated. This is demonstrated as a line pattern or cross-hatching on the maps. Series includes six maps, which are part of a province wide division of the province into a grid, with each section being assigned a reference number.

In 1926 the Commissioner of Crown Lands and the Commissioner of Forests and Game were combined in the new Department of Lands and Forests, of which the Attorney General became minister. The department was responsible for managing, leasing, selling or otherwise disposing of crown lands; conserving and protecting all forests and timberlands, whether publicly or privately owned; and protecting, preserving and encouraging the natural increase of game and fish. The Attorney General remained minister of lands and forests until 1947, when the department received its own minister. In 1987 a new Crown Lands Act was passed and the Lands and Forests Act repealed. In 1991 the Department of Lands and Forests was merged with Mines and Energy to form the new Department of Natural Resources.

In order to promote settlement in Nova Scotia, Governor Edward Cornwallis was directed in 1749 to make fee simple or absolute possession of land grants tax free for the first three years; thereafter an annual rent was to be paid. Later laws changed the regulations relating to the size of grants, quit rents, and taxation, and, at times, the sale of land took the place of free grants. In 1749 Charles Morris was appointed the first Surveyor General to administer the granting of land. The Surveyor General was responsible for surveying of the boundary lines of land grants, roads, and other lands and the preparation of maps and plans. Deputy surveyors were appointed for each district or county. In 1827 a Commissioner of Crown Lands was appointed to oversee the sale of crown land and in 1851 the commissioner absorbed the position of Surveyor General. A separate Commissioner of Crown Lands for Cape Breton existed until 1847, reporting directly to the Provincial Secretary. In 1877 the Attorney General became ex officio Commissioner of Crown Lands. In 1926 the Department of Lands and Forests was created, and the functions of the commissioner were transferred to the new department. [Description supplied by Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management]

Crown land grant maps such as these were manually produced by the Department of Lands and Forests from 1945 into the 1950s. Their purpose was to map original land grants and to show land transactions that were made by the Crown. The original maps were used up until 2009 when the Crown Land Information Management Centre switched to a geospatial information management system and had all of the original maps scanned. The maps are still used on a daily basis by researchers for various purposes and are also used by the Department of Natural Resources, together with the new GIS resources, to determine whether land still belong to the Crown or has been issued to someone else. The maps feature a variety of numbers and symbols including file numbers added by drafting technicians, letters like LOA which indicates letters of permission and P- _____ which refers to a survey plan, and other markings indicating leases, licenses, etc. In addition, cross hatching indicates land that was sold back to the Crown.

Notes area

Physical condition

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Maps are arranged in numerical order.

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General note

Originals of these maps are housed at the Crown Land Information Management Centre, Department of Natural Resources. These maps are updated on a regular basis as land is reverted back to the crown. Photocopies made of latest versions at NSDNR library in June, 2003. Scanned copies are available online through the Crown Lands Information Management Centre at http://www.gov.ns.ca/natr/land/indexmaps/075.pdf

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