On July 15, 1870, Manitoba became a Canadian province.
- The first peoples were Indigenous, including Assiniboine, Ojibwa, Cree and Dene peoples.
- It was part of the territory granted to the Hudson's Bay Company in 1670, called Rupert's Land.
- The expansion of the fur trade and European settlement saw the growth of another group of peoples called Métis, who were the descendants of mixed Indigenous European families, in particular Francophones.
- Lord Selkirk established the Red River Colony in 1811.
- In 1869-1870, the Métis people under Louis Riel led the Red River Resistance. Their provisional government negotiated the terms for the Red River area to join Confederation as the Province of Manitoba.
- The small province expanded in size from lands absorbed from the Northwest Territories in 1881 and to its current boundaries in 1912.
Civil registration (birth, marriage and death records)
Civil registration is a provincial jurisdiction. In Manitoba, it began in 1882. The Manitoba Vital Statistics Agency holds birth, marriage and death records from 1882, including some earlier records from late registrations of births.
Records are open without restrictions for the following years:
- Births more than 100 years ago
- Marriages more than 80 years ago
- Deaths more than 70 years ago
Records can be searched in their Genealogy database. Copies of the records can be ordered for a fee.
For restricted records, contact the Manitoba Vital Statistics Agency.
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For information about the original land system of Townships, Ranges and Meridians, see our Land Grants of Western Canada database. The province is now divided into urban and rural municipalities.
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 to 1930. Those records can be searched in our database: Land Grants of Western Canada, 1870-1930.
Métis Scrip records
Library and Archives Canada holds records relating to Métis scrip applications, affidavits, files and registers (Department of the Interior, Dominion Lands Branch, Record Group 15). Search for documents using Archives Search. Enter the keywords RG15 and a name.
For records that are not digitized, find out how to access the records.
Read more about Métis Scrip Records.
Homestead files and other land records are held at the Archives of Manitoba. In the Keystone Archives Descriptive Database, see the descriptions of the Lands Branch (1930-1970) collection.
Other land records
The Land Titles Office of the Property Registry administers records relating to land transfers and the provincial systems of landholding.
Sales of agricultural land by the Canadian Pacific Railway to settlers in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, 1881 to 1927, can be searched in the Glenbow Archives' CPR Land Sales database.
The administration of wills and estates is a provincial jurisdiction.