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Sophiasburgh Township Petitions

about surveying, 1821 and 1827

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Records of the Bay of Quinte

Background
The two petitions below request the government to resurvey the
1st & 2nd  concessions South West of Green Point in Sophiasburgh Township, Prince Edward County in 1821 and again in 1827. Settlers found that the lots had not been extended back as suggested in the original plan causing serious conflicts between neighbours.

In the 1822 petition
the inhabitants state that, "We therefore for the setling peace and amity in the said Township do most humbly pray that your Excellency will see fit to grant an order for the survey of the Township to be regulated and finished agreeable to Mr Atkins plan of the Township" The Council recommended "Let the parties interested suggest some plan agreeable to all to settle the difficulty."

It appears the issue was not resolved because in 1827, inhabitants petitioned again about the same survey problems. In its decision, the Executive Council "see[s] no objection to the Survey within prayed for at the expense of the Petitioners - but the right of Individuals are only bound by the original Govt. Survey."
This likely would not satisfy those who were short their expected acreage.

These petitions illustrate how the process worked and tell a story at the same time. The settlers set out their grieveance in a petition to the Council and usually, in land issues, a report was requested from the Surveyor. The Council then used the report to make an informed decision.

See also these other petitions dealing with Sophiasburgh inhabitants.

Randy Saylor, Jan 2012. I would like thank Carm Foster for doing all the transcription of these petitions.

Source 1: Upper Canada Land Petitions, RG 1 L3, Sophiasburgh, 1821, V461, bundle S16, #66, AO, C-2813
Source 2nd: Upper Canada Land Petitions, RG 1 L3, Sophiasburgh, 1827, V464, bundle S15, #19, AO, C-2815


The 1821 Petition

To his Excellency Sir Perigrine Maitland K. G. B. Lieutenant Govornor of the Province of Upper Canada in Council &c. &c. &c.

 
The Petition of the undersigned Inhabitants in the Township of Sophiasburgh in the County of Prince Edward.
 
Humbly Sheweth
That the survey of the Township of Sophiasburgh was left unfinished by Mr Atkins late deputy surveyor for the Midland District there being several of the concession lines which were not finished by Mr Atkins but have since been verry erroniously finished by other surveyors and in certain Instances oweing to the partial attraction of the needle Mr Atkins survey does not agree with the plan of the said Township returned to the Surveyor Generals office by Mr Atkins upon which plan the lands in the Township have been described for a confirmation of which we wish to refer your Excellency to a plan of part of the Township accompanying this Petition with the Surveyor Generals remarks

Thereon it is likewise ascertaind that Mr Atkins Plan of the Township returned to the Surveyor Generals office is a true and correct representation of the lands therein but there have been surveys made by other surveyors which does not correspond with Mr Atkins plan nor with the principal part of Mr Atkins survey which if allowed to remain permanent will be much to the damage of many of the proprietors of land in the said Township and will occasion much litigation and lawsuits

We therefore for the setling peace and amity in the said Township do most humbly pray that your Excellency will see fit to grant an order for the survey of the Township to be regulated and finished agreeable to Mr Atkins plan of the Township.  At the same time the undersigned are sorry to state to your Excellency that there are some few individuals who in that case will in some measure suffer in consequence of some part of their improvements being made agreeable to those erroneous surveys but will retain the compliment of land described in their Patents from Government but we do not consider the damage to the Township in that case to but trifling to what it will be if Mr Atkins plan of the Township which is returned to the Surveyor Generals office and upon which the lands in the Township have been described is departed from and your Petitioners as in duty bound will ever Pray ------


Sophiasburgh Hezekiah Clerk [Clark]
1st January 1821 James Noxen [Noxon]
Tobias Ryckman John Benson
Philip Roblin Nicholas Wessels
Adam Short Jesse Cole
Peter Van Blarcom Peter Valleau
Richard Osborn Norman L. Harvey
John Allison William Huff
Owen Wessels John Carley
James MacTiggart
Andrew K. Norton
Richard Morden
Richard Benson
Peter Van Horn
John Wood
Nathaniel Osborn

[Fold Notes on the petition]
The Inhabitants Sophiasburgh

Recd from James Wilson Esquire -
Referred to the Surveyor General to report by order
John Beikie, ???
Ent in Land Book I page 181

The line between the 1st & 2nd  concessions South West of Green Point in Sophiasburgh mentioned in the Petition and represented to be in its true place as at y.o.m. on the accompanying plan of Jonathan Greeley, not a licensed surveyor, corresponds with the same line (by which the descriptions have issued) ore the plan returned to this office by the late Deputy Surveyor Alexander Aitkin, but who, it appears surveyed the said line as at K. F. L erroneously on the ground instead of at y.o.m. the true position returned on his plan.

About eight of the Grantees in the 2nd concession appear to have settled by the erroneous line many years ago, and would no doubt be materially injured were it removed to its proper place as at y.o.m. unless the Grantees in the 1st concession, by accepting an equal quantity of land in rear of the 2nd  concession would surrender the land improved upon by the erroneous line to the Grantees in the 2nd  concession.  Without some agreement or consent of the parties interested in this behalf I can not suggest to your Excellency the expediency? of any alteration being made in the said line -
Suvr. Genl office                                                                                                  Thos. Ridout
9. Jany, 1822}                                                                                                    Survey General
 
Referred for the                                                                                  Read 6 February 1822
consideration of                                                                                  Let the Parties
The Honble Executive                                                                         interested suggest some
Council                                                                                               plan agreeable to all
By order                                                                                             of them to settle the
Gt House                                                                                           difficulty mentioned in
9th Jany.                                                                                             the Petition
G Hillier                                                                                                     J. B
                                                                                                                  ?    
 
A copy of the within Petition, the endorsement and the above Minute sent to the Surveyor General 2nd March 1822.


[surveyor's report] 
York 9th  January 1822
 
Sir
The endorsed Petition of the inhabs of Sophiasburgh long since referred for my report from the Council office having remained over for some elucidation which I have lately received, I now transmit my Report thereon, with the accompanying Plan*, for the information of His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
                                                                       

[side notation]
*Plan returned to
the Surveyor General with a copy of the Petition and Minutes thereon 2nd March 1822
  

I have the honor to be
Sir,
Your most obedient humble Servant
Thos: Ridout
Surveyr General

[To]
George Hillier Esquire                                                                                        
Secretary to his Excellency
the Lieut  Governor
       &c  &c  &c.

[copy of an older pertinent letter included in the documents]
Copy

I have examined the survey made by Mr Jonathan Greeley of part of the first and second concession south west of Green Point and part of the second concession west of Green Point in the Township of Sophiasburgh and find the same to correspond with the original plan of survey returned to this office by the late Mr Alexander Atkins Deputy Surveyor for the Midland District and upon which the lands therein have been described
Surveyor Generals Office
York 2nd July 1819 -
                                                                        
Signed Thomas Ridout
Surveyor General
To whoom it may concern


The 1827 Petition

To his Excellency Sir Peregrine Maitland R. C. B Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Upper Canada and Major General commanding his Majesty's forces therein &c &c &c
In Council assembled?

The Petition of the undersigned Freeholders of the First and Second concessions West of green point in the Township of Sophiasburgh in the County of Prince Edward

Humbly shewith

That in the original Survey of the said Township the two lines above mentioned (viz) the first and second concessions West of green point were run a little more than half their intended length and left unfinished that since the settlement of the Township a number of lines have been run in the vicinity by different Surveyors some of whom were not legally authorized
  
That under the present existing circumstances your petitioners cannot become satisfied as to the correctness of their lines nor are they from the manner in which the concession lines have been pretended to be run.  Satisfied as to these being settled in the concession in which their land ought to lie for according to a late survey of second concession line made without any authority the first concession from Lot No 64 or thereabouts has a length of only twenty five chains and continually growing shorter untill it expires

 
Your Petitioners therefore pray that your Excellency will see cause to direct Publeus T. Elmore Deputy Surveyor to commence at the termination of the said lines and continue them on the same course intended by Mr. Aiken in the original Survey and your Petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray

Sophiasburgh
Joseph Hicks
Septr 1st 1826
John Ryckman
David Bradshaw John Cole
George Cathey David Youmans
Frances G Cardwell Hezekiah Gardner
Joseph Turkey Daniel Gilbert
Thomas Bowerman J John Dingman
Joseph Maskel Andrew? Patterson
Micheil Maskeil David Dorland
Charls Maskeil Isaac Landrus
Joseph B Hicks Jeremiah Day
Reuben Walters Henry Secord
Townsend Walters Samuel T Hyatt



[Fold notes]
Petition of Freeholders of the 1st  & 2d Con. Tp Sophiasburgh


Government House York, 6 March 1827
Referred to the Surveyor General to report herein further information of the Honble  Executive Council.
By ???
Edw M ???
In absence of Major? Hillier

[surveyors report] 

The true situation and extent of several of the original lines in Sophiasburgh and other irregular Townships in the County of Prince Edward, long lines surveyed, or returned or surveyed by places to this office, having become extremely doubtful, nothing perhaps but a general examination or re-survey would fully point out the same, But as such a measure would be attended with much expense, I foresee now difficulty that could arise by an examination of the lines by a Deputy Surveyor (at the expense of the Petitioners) in that part of Sophiasburgh, mentioned in their Petition, if it be your Excellencys pleasure.
                                                                                          Thos.  Ridout
S. G. Office                                                                                 Surv Genl
York 22 March
                    1827
 
                                                                                     ???
The Council see no objection to the Survey within prayed for at the expense of the Petitioners - but the right of Individuals are only bound by the original Govt. Survey.
                                                                                                           JB
GM?                                                                                                     ???
Order issued 28th. June 1827.