Wednesday, 1 November 2006

Saskatchewan Homestead Index

This file locator database contains 360,000 references to those men and women who, under the terms of the Dominion Lands Act, took part in the homestead process in the area now known as Saskatchewan between 1872 to 1930.

To encourage settlement in the west the Government of Canada offered a free homestead of 160 acres for a $10 registration fee. In order to receive the patent for the land the settler had to be a male 21 years of age or a woman who was the sole support of her family. Before being granted a patent the applicant had to be a British subject or a naturalized British subject, had to reside on the homestead for a period of time, usually six months of the year for three years, make improvements to the land by cultivating at least 30 acres of land, and erect a house worth at least $300. The database also contains information on those who received Métis Scrip, South African Scrip, or WW1 Soldier Grants.

You can search by name or legal land description; the latter allowing you to identify the neighbours on that section and adjacent sections.

Using the file number found in the index, the researcher can access microfilm copies of the files at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah and through its Family History Centers.

The file may contain information about the settler such as nationality, place of origin and family makeup, although names of other family members are seldom given. There may also be various sworn statements and information about the homestead itself including required agricultural improvements on the land before ownership was granted; in some cases, correspondence about matters concerning the homestead may be included.