How to Find Scrip Records

These records are now available in Archives Search.

R190 and RG 15

R190-0-3-E is the archival reference number given to the Department of the Interior fonds; the former archival reference number for this fonds is RG 15. You can access the fonds-level description using the Archives Search tool.

Series within R190 also have R numbers. For example, R190-44-1-E is the reference number for the series North-West Territories Métis scrip applications.

You can search for records using the fonds number (R number) as a keyword.

  • To conduct a search for material within the fonds, use a short version of the reference: R190.
  • To search for a specific series, use R190 and set the "Hierarchical level" field to "Series."

You can also use the former archival reference number as a search keyword (e.g., RG15-D-II-8-b).

How to Locate Métis Scrip Records in Archives Search

Archives Search contains descriptions of all the series, sub-series and accessions in RG 15/R190; it also contains file-level descriptions for Métis scrip files. Some scrip files have been digitized, allowing you to view them online.

Scrip files are listed in these finding aids: 15-20, 15-19, 15-17, 15-16, 15-5, 15-6.

To search for a scrip file for a particular person:

  1. Go to Archives Search and select the "Advanced Search" screen.
  2. In the "Search for" field, type R190 in the text box next to the first "Any Keyword" option.
  3. Type the name of the applicant (e.g., John Smith) in the text box next to the second "Any Keyword" option.
  4. In the "Hierarchical level" field, select the "Files" option.
  5. Click on the "Submit" button.

To view the descriptions of files listed in a finding aid (e.g., finding aid 15-20):

  1. Go to Archives Search and select the "Advanced Search" screen.
  2. In the "Search for" field, select the "Finding aid number" option from the drop-down list.
  3. Type 15-20 in the text box next to the "Finding aid number" option.
  4. Click on the "Submit" button. 

Notes:

  • In a small number of cases, scrip files were also issued to original white settlers and their descendants. (See example.)
  • Scrip issued to women can be listed under the person's family or maiden name, and sometimes under the name of the woman's father or brother. Try querying different combinations of names of people in the immediate family. (See example.)
  • For additional information and tips on Archives Search, see the Search Help

Finding Scrip

This guide is organized on the assumption that most researchers will have some idea as to residence of a claimant at the time he or she appeared before a scrip commission and will probably know the commission under which the claimant applied for scrip. However, if neither of these factors are known, it is going to be difficult, but not impossible, for a researcher to find the scrip documents they require.

The majority of the scrip records are filed under the document's registration number. The major task facing a researcher then is finding the proper number of the document. Only the four series containing affidavits and applications are filed alphabetically, but even then it can be a difficult job to find the right document when only the claimant's name is known, since many Métis applicants share the same name, and many of the applications have been withdrawn and placed in case files under one of four separate central registries.

To find scrip records relating to any Métis claim post-dating the first Manitoba commission, researchers should probably first refer to the delivery registers. These registers provide an alphabetical index to a claimant's complete scrip record. They record the document number for any record which may be filed under a numerical system. If an application has been placed in a case file, the case file number will also be indicated. For deliveries which may have been made between July 1885 and December 1887, see RG 15, volume 1518 (which is also on microfilm reel C-11879); for deliveries made between January 1888 and July 1899, see RG 15, volume 1519 (which is also on microfilm reel C-11879 and C-11880); and for deliveries which may have been made between August 1899 and 1928, see RG 15, volume 1520 (which is also on microfilm reel C-11880). The delivery registers will usually indicate the authority (i.e., the Commission) under which scrip was awarded. Researchers can then use this information to refer to the appropriate sections of this guide.

If a claim can not be found in the delivery registers, then it is possible that the application was made under the Manitoba Act (33 Vic., c. 3). To confirm this, researchers should refer to three key registers, all of which are organized alphabetically. The first, "Register of Grants to Half-breed Children under 33 Vic., Chapt. 3," which is now retained by Library and Archives Canada in RG 15, series D II 8m, volumes 1478 and 1511, gives a complete listing to all Métis claimants under section 31 of the Manitoba Act. The second, "Index to Grantees in Manitoba, 1873-1888," which is retained in RG 15, series D III 23, aperture card book 157, gives a complete listing to grantees under section 32 of the Act. The third register, "[Alphabetical Index to Claimants as Half-Breed Heads of Families]", which is now retained as RG 15, series D II 8m, volume 1484, is an alphabetical index of Métis claimants who were awarded scrip as head of a family under 37 Victoria, chapter 20. The index provides access to a more complete register which is now found in RG 15, series D II 8m, volumes 1479 to 1482. The latter will provide the registration numbers of the scrip awarded to a particular claimant, as well as the affidavit number and case file number.

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