Ontario Government Record Series RG 40-5

Second Heir and Devisee Commission case files

About these records

Second Heir and Devisee Commission case files
Dates of Creation
Dates of Accumulation


Physical Description

11.1 metres of textual records

Scope and Content

Series consists of case files documenting claims for land made to the Second Heir and Devisee Commission.

Files include all or some of the following documentation:

Copies of searches conducted by the Surveyor General's and, later, the Crown Lands Department, and sent to the Commission recording: whether a location had been made for the land in question and, if so, the name of the individual to whom the land was located and when the location was made; the justification for the location (e.g., an order-in-council); background information relating to the location; whether the land had been described for a patent; whether settlement requirements had been met. Files also may include copies of location tickets;

Notices signifying the intent of claimants to pursue a claim before the Commission, as well as affidavits from the local Clerk of the Peace attesting that the notice had been publicly read and proclaimed in the Court of General Quarter Sessions and had been displayed in the office of the clerk;

Lists of documents compiled and submitted relating to the claim, as well as affidavits submitted by claimants and supporting affidavits from witnesses;

Copies of relevant indentures assigning interest in the land in question, as well as original wills and copies of wills assigning interest in land to heirs;

Affidavits from Land Registrars attesting to the fact that the indentures, memorials and wills in question had been registered, as well as incoming correspondence received by the Commission from claimants, trustees, solicitors, and other interested parties;

Copies of receipts issued by the Crown Lands Department documenting the payment of instalments on sales as well as reports from land agents relating to the claim in question, and maps showing the land claimed.

Some files include family trees. Documents within the files can contain genealogical information concerning the background of both the original locatee and of the claimant, their occupation, and family connections.

The case files do not contain information outlining the decision of the Commission regarding the application.

Included is one case file relating to an application submitted to the First Heir and Devisee Commission in 1804, but which was heard by the second Commission.

Administrative History or Biographical Sketch

Click on the link(s) below for more information.

Upper Canada. Heir and Devisee Commission (1805-1911)
Restrictions on Access
Original records are closed for conservation reasons.
Terms For Use and Reproduction
Crown copyright. No restrictions on reproduction or publication. Permission of the Archives of Ontario is required for publication; submit a Request for Permission to Publish, Exhibit or Broadcast Form.
Custodial History

Records were transferred to the Archives of Ontario with the permission of the Attorney General's Department, ca. 1953. Prior to their transfer, the records were stored at Osgoode Hall, where the Second Heir and Devisee Commission held many of its meetings. At the time of their transfer to the Archives, the records were in the custody of the Office of the Official Guardian, Department of the Attorney General, and were stored in a vault in the Judges' Chambers at Osgoode Hall.

Associated Material

Some records of the Second Heir and Devisee Commission are held by Library and Archives Canada, and have been described as RG 1, L5. These records also are available on microfilm for consultation in the Main Reading Room of the Archives of Ontario.

Related Material

The case files comprising this series contain applications and supporting documention relating to claims made to the Second Heir and Devisee Commission. In order to determine the decision made by the Commission, it is necessary to examine other records including: other series found in RG 40; Series RG 1-15 which consists of copies of Heir and Devisee Commission reports submitted by order of the Executive Council to the Surveyor General; Series RG 1-18 which consists of a bound copy of Heir and Devisee Commission reports for the period 1823 to 1840 which were sent to the Inspector General at the direction of the Executive Council.

Availability of Other Formats

The records comprising this series were microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah in 1983 and are available on microfilm MS 657, reels 15 to 94.

When these records were originally acquired by the Archives of Ontario, each case file comprised a separate docket. The dockets were arranged in numeric order and subsequently were grouped together in bundles about 12" in length. The bundles were then filed in docket cases. At the time of microfilming, these records were flattened and placed in file folders. The original numeric order of the dockets was maintained. The original bundle number for the case file is recorded on the upper left hand corner of each file folder.

In addition to being available from the Archives of Ontario through interinstitutional loan, these records are also available on microfilm through the Family History Centres of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To obtain references to the film, access the Family History Library Catalogue and search under the heading: Ontario. Heir and Devisee Commission (2nd). Please note that the Family History Library Catalogue microfilm reel references and the microfilm reel references used by the Archives of Ontario differ.


No accruals anticipated.

Former Codes

Series RG 40-5 formerly was Series RG 40 D-1.

Finding Aid
An nominal list of case files is available for this series.

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Agency or agencies that created these records

These records were created by the following Ontario government agency or agencies. Click on the agency reference code for information about this agency and other records it created.

1805-1895 :

Heir and Devisee Commission (BA142)

How to order these records

From our Reading Rooms

First examine the list of case files in order to narrow down your request, then retrieve the required self-service microfilm reel. Please note that microfilmed records are identified by their former reference codes.

Scroll up to "Finding Aid" for more information about any available finding aids or listings.

By Microfilm Interloan
These records are available through the Archives of Ontario Microfilm Interloan Service, which allows you to borrow microfilmed archival records through a library or other institution that participates in the interlibrary loan system.