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Maps, Place Names and Land Records

CoraWeb - helping you trace your family history



Geoscience Australia - Place Name Search  Offers searches of the Gazetteer of Australia with 322,000+ Australian geographic names. Search results are linked to a map.

National Library of Australia - Map Collection This collection consists of 600,000+ maps, 2,500 atlases and 800,000 aerial photographs of Australia, Papua New Guinea and Antarctica. Over 15,800+ maps are digitised and available online.

National Library of Australia - Trove - Maps. Use this site to search for maps of Australia and the world. Includes printed sheets, atlases, globes, aerial photographs, star charts, nautical charts and tourist maps. New

National Library of Australia - Cartographic Links Guide

Mapco Offers free access to Australian state (NSW and SA), city maps and views. Currently items available include the Plan of the Settlements NSW 1796, various collections of views and maps of Adelaide (1836-1929) and maps of Gallipoli (1915).

Legal Terms in Land Records This American site has an alphabetical list, plus meanings, of many of the legal terms that appear in deeds and legal proceedings relating to land.  Please note that terminology is not totally consistent with Australian legal usage. Quite a few terms on the list are not used in Australia, a few have a different meaning and some uniquely Australian terminology is missing.

Australian Capital Territory
ACT Planning & Land Authority Click on Survey, place names, data & maps for access to a searchable database of the origins and meanings of Canberra's suburb and street names.

New South Wales

New South Wales Government - Land and Propery Information- Historical Records Online This site has 14+ million digitised records including land records and plans from 1792 and aerial photos from 1947. Records currently online include:
• Historical Parish Maps - digitised historical parish, county, town, municipal and pastoral maps for New South Wales
• Surveyors Field Book index
• Plan Lodgment Books

Department of Lands, Spatial Information Exchange (SIX) The SIX viewer enables users to integrate and view a wide selection of NSW spatial datasets, including property, cadastral and topographic information, satellite data and aerial photography.

State Records New South Wales - Indexes Online - Land Records include:
• Colonial Secretary's Letters relating to Land
• Court of Claims relating to Land, 1833-1835
• Depasturing Licenses, 1837-1846 and 1851
• Surveyors' Field Books, 1794-1860
• Surveyors' Letters, 1822-1855
• Surveyor General's Maps and Plans, 1792-1886
• Squatters and Graziers, 1833-1849
Indexes Online to Soldier Settlement include:
• Closer Settlement Promotion files, 1913-
• Closer Settlement Transfer Registers, Jul 1919-Apr 1925
• Closer Settlement and Returned Soldier's Transfer files, 1907-1936, 1951
• Registers of Settlement Purchase, 1905-1929
• Returned Soldier Settlement Miscellaneous Files

State Library of New South Wales - Maps Collection This collection includes 200,000+ maps including 40,000+ subdivision plans. Many are digitised and available online. The collection covers Australia, in particular NSW, the Pacific region, Antarctica and extends to the rest of the world. Some items of interest include: 
Subdivision plans of Sydney and NSW towns.  These lithographed land sale posters date from the 1880s to 1930s and are valuable chronicles of the past, recording the subdivision and development of land, and changes in land ownership. The full image is available with excellent, easy to use zooming facilities.
Digitised Detail Sheets for Sydney and some suburbs. These detailed maps were produced by the Surveyor General (1880s-1890s) for sewerage purposes. They show street blocks with outlines of all buildings, street numbers of premises, sewer shafts and manholes. Full image are available with easy to use zooming facilities.[Call no. ZM Ser 4 811.17/1]

Sydney Streets This site includes an online video which features historic photographs from the City of Sydney Archives with a commentary by city historians Shirley Fitzgerald and Lisa Murray. 

A Guide to Sydney City Street Names

Homestead Leases by Rusheen Craig Originally land in Far West of NSW was divided into vast pastoral holdings. In 1884 homestead leases were introduced and a person could apply for a 'small' 10,240 acre homestead lease. The onlines indexes to homestead leases cover 1885-1914 and the Western Land Leases indexes cover 1903-1910.

Northern Territory
Place Names in the Northern Territory


Queensland Place Names Online Search  Updated

Queensland State Archives Online Indexes  These include:
• Land selections prior to 1884
• Mineral leases 1871-1940
• Register of lands 1861-1868
• Register of land sold 1842-1859
• Register of lands sold 1849-1861
• Land Orders 1861-1874 (Immigration)

Rockhampton Map A surname searchable map showing early Rockhampton land owners (1863)

South Australia
Place Names Online - South Australian State Gazetteer

Land Services Group- Searching Family History This page has information on the Lands Titles Office, the records held and services offered.

Family History South Australia - South Australian Land Purchases by Credit Selection  A searchable database of 17,000+ credit selections 1869-1890. There is also detailed information on land records and land selection available.

LINC Tasmania - Online Indexes  These include:
• The E R Pretyman Index to Tasmanian Place Names. This extensive card index was compiled over many years by Ernest Roy Pretyman. It comprises entries derived from Nomenclature Board decisions gazetted in the Tasmanian Government Gazette and documents the early usage of place names in records such as the correspondence of the Lands and Surveys Department (series LSD1), early maps, the papers of Leslie Norman (series NS503) and in contemporary publications, Journals of the Land Commissioners, almanacs, gazetteers and newspapers.

LINC Tasmania - Digital Tasmania This is a project to digitise Tasmania's archival and heritage collections. A significant amount of material has been digitised and is available online including maps and plans. Material available includes:
• Metropolitan Drainage Board maps (1905-1910 with some updated to c.1947)
• Mill's Plains Morven District, Van Diemen's Land - The drawing is composed of a centre 'wheel' containing an aerial view drawing of Patterdale house building in the inner circle, surrounded by a segmented band of text explaining the view from each section
• Plans of the City of Hobart and suburbs
Plus more.

Ancestry This site offers access to indexes and digitised images of Tasmanian records. There is a free name search with various subscription options available to access images of the original records held by the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office. Databases include:
• Tasmania, Land Applications and Warrants, 1868-1887. This database contains various documents related to requests for land by immigrants to Tasmania.

VICNAMES This register of geographic names lists 200,000+ place names and is searchable online.

Public Record Office Victoria - Digitised Records and Online Indexes These include: 
• Index to Treasurer's Correspondence Relating to Pastoral Runs 1838-1855
• Index to Public Building Files 1874-1988
• Index to Public Works Department (Building Services Agency) Plans 1853-1998
• Index to Historic Plans Collection 1836-1984
• Index to Parish and Township working plans in VPRS 16171. This series contains digitised copies of parish and township working plans, as well as closer settlement, land settlement, soldier settlement, county and other miscellaneous working plans.

The Land Channel This Government site provides integrated access to land, resource and property information and services for the State of Victoria.

Western Australia
Landgate This site details online title searches, aerial imagery and maps. There is information on the history of country town names plus metropolitan suburb and street names.

© Cora Num 1997-2013. Last updated 19 November 2013