Location: Longueuil Township, Prescott, Upper Canada
History of Longueuil and the Challenges of Tracking Land Ownership
If, like me, you have ancestors who lived in the Seigniory of Longueuil, then you are probably aware of the challenges of tracing where their farms were. The following article published in Annual Report of the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors (Jan 1909, pages 153-154) gives a brief history of the township and describes the challenges of tracing property ownership.
THE SEIGNIORY OF LONGUEUIL
- BY E. T. WILKIE, O.L.S., CARLETON PLACE, ONT.
- This is the only Seigniory in the Province of Ontario, and is situated on the bank of the Ottawa River, with the Township of Hawkesbury on the east side of it, the Township of Alfred on the west side, and the Township of Caledonia on the south side. It is now generally known as the Township of Longueuil, being a regularly organized township under the municipal law of the Province.
- The Seigniory was a part of the grant from the French Government to "La Compagnie des Indes Occidentales," of France, the description being two leagues in front by two leagues in depth. On the 27th November, 18741, the company sold it to Mr. Prevost, the Town Mayor of Quebec. Prevost sold it to the Soulanges family, and by inheritance the Baron de Longueuil got it and the present name has followed from him. N. H. Treadwell, father of the late Sheriff Treadwell, purchased it from Baron de Longueuil, the consideration being one thousand guineas, Halifax currency, equal to about 17s 8¾d each. Sheriff Treadwell left it to his son, Charles Platt Treadwell, who sold it out in pieces about as indicated in the plan. There never was a survey made, although in the westerly part there seems to have been an attempt at a sort of concession and lot division. The plan was compiled by the late Robert Hamilton, and was the private property of the late Registrar, Mr. John Higginson, from whom I got permission to take a copy. In the Registry Office things are in a bad shape, the only way of following the title of a lot being by the names of the owners, no names being used on the lots. The Registrar would not guarantee title. Portions of it were known by such names as Murray Farm, Chandler Lot, Hartwick First Mile Square, Hartwick Second Mile Square, Block R, etc. The village of L'Orignal is situated in the north-east corner of the township, and takes in a considerable quantity of farm land.
- (Page 154 contains a map that is similar to the Plan of the Seigniory of Longueuil in the 1881 County Atlas for Prescott County.)
- The date of sale from the company to Mr. Prevost had to be before 1800 since settlers arrived in Seigniory circa 1800. It is most likely that the date was 1774 or 1784 (depends on the type of error in the text), however other dates are possible.
- According to History of the counties Argenteuil Quebec and Prescott Ontario, the original name was Seigniory de la Pointe L'Orignal (Moose Point). When the seigniory became known as Longueuil, the village retained the name L'Orignal.
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