Researching Your House and Property

It is possible to research the records for surviving information related to a property. However, it should be noted that State Records may not hold information on all houses/properties. Some of the records which can be searched include:

  • Parish Maps
  • Primary Applications
  • Department of Valuer General
  • Metropolitan Water Sewerage and Drainage Board
  • Related property and assets records
  • Records relating to occupants
  • Holdings of other organisations

Parish Maps can often provide the original owner of the land on which the house was built, the size of the original block, the date that it was granted by or purchased from the Crown.

Primary Applications: A Primary Application is made to convert land title from what is known as Old System title to registration under the provisions of the Real Property Acts (commonly referred to as Torrens Title). These packets can contain:

  • The survey plan
  • Correspondence, including Lands Department working papers and memos
  • Reports from the Title Examiner’s and the Survey Draftsman
  • The draft Certificate of Title
  • Caveats against the Application by adjoining owners or others claiming an interest in the land, and
  • Deeds, possibly including mortgages, and other dealings with the land.

Department of Valuer General: These cards provide information on the valuation of properties in Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and many other urban areas. They can contain title details, descriptions of land, locality and improvements such as buildings, fences, owners’ names and changes of ownership.

Metropolitan Water Sewerage and Drainage Board: The Detail sheets are maps which provide information about buildings which existed at the time of survey. A survey was usually done in preparation for a sewer. Details of houses may include street name, house number and name, lot number, the outline of the ground floor and details of construction material.

Related Property and Asset Record: For most of the related records here you will need the name of the owner in order to locate the records.

  • Probate PacketsDeceased Estate Files
  • Inquest Records
  • Insolvency Records
  • Police Records
  • Government Property Records

Records Relating to Occupants

  • Census Records
  • Electoral Rolls

Holdings of Other Organisations

  • Land and Property Information
  • Local Council records

For more information go to: http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/state-archives/guides-and-finding-aids/archives-in-brief/archives-in-brief-116

or contact State Records

Telephone: +61 2 9673 1788
Email: info@records.nsw.gov.au
Facsimile: +61 2 9833 4518
Postal Address: PO Box 516, Kingswood 2747, NSW, AUSTRALIA

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