Each book has been given a University of Windsor Archives accession number. The Essex County Copy Books have been given accession numbers beginning with a "1", then each book has been numbered sequentially. They are arranged on the stacks by these numbers. To locate the number of the book you are interested in, consult the card catalogue. Each book has been indexed by series and municipality, and will indicate the dates covered, the instrument numbers and whether or not the book contains an index.
Since many of the volumes are not indexed, to best utilize the Area Series Copy Books, it is necessary to know either the year in which the property was purchased, or the lot and concession number of the property.
1) If you know the lot and concession number, check the Abstract Index to Deeds ("Abstracts"). These can be accessed at the Land Registry Office in Windsor, or on microfilm either at the Archives of Ontario or on loan through your local LDS Family History Center. Check the abstracts (arranged by lot and concession number) to locate the date of transaction and instrument number for the land owner. The abstracts will give a one line history of the legal transactions affecting each parcel of land going back to the patent from the Crown.
2) Check the card catalogue at the University of Windsor Archives to locate the book number for the volume that contains the instrument number you are interested in. The archival assistant will then pull the book for you. (The Copy Books have also been microfilmed by the Registrar and these films are available at the Land Registry Office, however cannot be photocopied there. Microfilm copies can also be ordered through the LDS Family History Centers, and are also available at the Archives of Ontario in Toronto.)
3) If you do not know the lot and concession number, check The Land Records in Ontario for some suggestions on how to locate this information. It is possible to search the Copy Books without this information, however many of the books are not indexed. This would result in searching the books page by page to locate the name of the land owner. If you know the approximate year in which a transaction took place, this would help you to narrow down your search.
Return to: Land Registry Copy Books Page