There are two separate and distinct series of Land Petitions for the Province of New Brunswick. The earlier series, which has been arranged and indexed separately, contains both approved and denied petitions for the years 1783-1918, with the great majority covering the period 1783-1866. The second series of petitions, which has also been indexed, contains approved petitions from the years 1832-1966. The term Current Series has been attached to this later group because it is still in use within the Department of Natural Resources and Energy, which retains the petitions from 1966 to the present.
The Index to the Current Series of Land Petitions, reflects the changes in the organization of the petitions over the years. From 1830 to 1867 the Petitions were grouped by volume and then numbered. This information, along with the name of the county and the date of the petition, is given in the Index. In 1868 a new numbering system was begun, which is still in use today. It denotes only the petition number, county and date. The Index includes microfilm reel numbers in some cases. Until 1925, all the names found in the Petitions were included in the Index, but from 1926 to 1966 only the name of the petitioner was indexed. Because of variations in the spelling of many names, it is recommended that researchers check all possible spellings of a surname.