Land Records

Land Registry Records (post-1858)

Types of Land Registry Records

Abstract Indexes to Deeds

Abstract Indexes to deeds provide a history for each piece of land, including changes in ownership and other transactions over the years. They are not searchable by surname—you must know the location of the property. Sometimes you can find the address by searching for the family in a city directory or 1878 county atlas. For rural areas, the abstract indexes are organized by lot number and concession. For urban areas, they are organized by town lot.


Instruments are records (deeds, mortgages, liens, quit claims, wills, etc.) which affect legal title to land.

Copy Books

Copy Books contain duplicates of the records. They were written by hand; they served the same function as photocopiers and scanners do today.

How to Find Land Registry Documents for Kingston and Frontenac County

  1. Consult the Abstract Index Books on either the OnLand website or the FamilySearch site. The abstract index book will tell you the “instrument number” for the land transaction. It is usually found in the left-hand column.
  2. Then consult the collection Land Records of Frontenac County (1797-1955), on the FamilySearch website. Scroll down, find the correct book, and browse for the instrument number. You will need a free FamilySearch account in order to view these records.

For step-by-step instructions of the search process, with screenshots, see “Finding on the Ground : Wrap Up” (24 Aug 2021) on Ken McKinlay’s blog Family Tree Knots

See also the book Ontario Land Registry Records for Kingston, Ontario, Canada, by Steve Vollick and Paul Woodrow.