52 Documents in 52 Weeks #49: 1816 Land Petition Autographs

Canada has some fairly unique records in its collections of land petitions. The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick houses a large collection, likely due to the fact that Loyalists and their heirs and new applicants were able to petition the government for lands that became available in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Many of these land petitions were run-of-the-mill except that multiple applicants usually applied in one petition, meaning the lists contained multiple adult family members and/or friends and current neighbors.

The other wonderful thing about these land records is that the originals have been microfilmed and can be viewed either at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick or through the Family History Library.

I obtained an image of an 1816 land petition for my ancestor, Israel Hicks and was thrilled to find original signatures at the bottom of the petition:

“Iseral Hicks” Plus Two More

I even got a bonus hit with this one, as Titus Thorton (Thornton) and John Carlile are collateral line ancestors of mine.

Loyalist and post-Loyalist records are not always plentiful for the ancestor one might be researching. Land petitions fill in many blanks and name many members of the FAN club.

The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick is one of my favorite websites. it might become one of yours, too, if you have New Brunswick lines and haven’t yet discovered it.

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