Saskatchewan was originally part of the vast territory granted to the Hudson's Bay Company in 1670. Over the following two centuries, Native Peoples, fur traders and missionaries settled here.
On November 19, 1869, the Government of Canada acquired all the land belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company, commonly called Rupert's Land.
In 1870, the area between the province of Manitoba and the Canadian Rockies was organized into territories henceforth known as the Northwest Territories. The arrival of the railway in the mid-1880s opened these territories to mass settlement.
Until 1930, many immigrants came here from eastern Canada, the United States, Great Britain and Europe. Saskatchewan became a province on September 1, 1905.
Researchers interested in ancestors who lived in Saskatchewan use the main types of genealogical sources. A lot of information about these ancestors can be found, among other places, in land records and especially homestead records.
Civil Registration (Birth, Death, and Marriage Records)
The records are held at eHealth Saskatchewan. See their page eHealth Saskatchewan: Genealogy for indexes to older records and information about ordering copies of more recent records.
Library and Archives Canada holds the Letters Patent issued by the Lands Patent Branch of the Department of the Interior. The records refer to grants issued in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the railway belt of British Columbia, 1870-1930. Those records can be searched in the following database:
The land system in the western provinces was arranged by sections, townships and ranges. Detailed information is provided.
The Saskatchewan Archives Board holds homestead records. A database is available online.
Copies of the patents for grants, and records of subsequent transactions, are located in the eight district Land Titles offices.
Sales of agricultural land by the Canadian Pacific Railway to settlers in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, 1881-1906, can be searched in the Glenbow Archives CPR database.
Many libraries hold reference books, local histories, family histories and other books on genealogy.
Probate records created before 1958 are in the Surrogate Court nearest to the residence of the deceased.
Since 1958, wills can be probated at any one of the judicial centres in the province. The genealogist might now look in the centre closest to the residence of the executor of the will as well. Probated wills are also filed with the Surrogate Registrar at the Regina Court House.