Also see: Argyle Township

Yarmouth Township

The first New England Planters arrived in Yarmouth Township in 1761. Various land transactions took place within Yarmouth Township from the 1760's onward, but it was not until 1787 that a confirmed grant of the entire Township was made official by the Nova Scotia Government. At this time a map of the entire Township, divided into numbered grant lots, was drawn up from the previous surveying that had been carried out. The term "Yarmouth Township" refers to what is known today as the Town and Municipality of Yarmouth.

The entire Township was granted in Three Divisions, so called. Most grantees receiving land in the Township of Yarmouth were granted lots in all Three Divisions.

First Division lots tended to be located near the core of original settlement. That is to say, in the vicinity of Yarmouth Town and Chebogue. Second and Third Division lots tended to be in more remote or unsettled areas.

There are two original or early Yarmouth Township Grant Maps. One is located at the Yarmouth County Museum & Archives, and the second at the Yarmouth County Registry of Deeds, Yarmouth, NS. A careful study of these maps shows subtle differences between the two.

Modern copies of the grant maps can be purchased from:

Crown Land Records Office
Department of Natural Resources
Box 2345
Halifax, NS
B3J 3C8
(902) 424-8681

The two earliest record books pertaining to the division of land in Yarmouth Township are:

ATCHA holds copies of both books, as well as an index to the Proprietors Book, compiled by Ann Sorensen & the late George P. Sorensen. The original copy of the Proprietors Book was held by the Yarmouth County Registry of Deeds in 1986. The original copy of the Field Surveyors Handbook is held by the Yarmouth County Museum & Archives.

ATCHA also has a microfilm copy of two volumes of land grants that are held by the Yarmouth County Registry of Deeds. These are land grants issued after 1854. Usually these are lots of timber land which were being purchased from the Nova Scotia government by various individuals or groups, as opposed to free grants of land given to people in order to encourage settlement.

The majority of the land grants found in these two volumes should pertain to land in Argyle Township, due to the fact that all the land in Yarmouth Township was granted at one time in 1787. There may be some exceptions to this, in cases where lots of land in Yarmouth Township had to be re-granted if the original proprietors had not fulfilled the terms of the original grant. There is an index at the beginning of each of the two volumes.

Although the term "grant" implies a gift of land, this was not always the case. "Grant" refers to any transaction whereby land was transferred from the government into private hands. By 1854 most "grants" were purchased.

Yar. Co. - Land Grants v. 1 - 1854-1881
v.2 - 1881-1969
Gen. Soc. of Utah Microfilm no.