Useful in family history research, this list provides links to records relating to how our country was settled. Most links have online databases that you can use to search for records by surname, area or address.
- Australian Capital Territory
- New South Wales
- Western Australia
- South Australia
- Northern Territory
- ACT Heritage Register - organised by suburb or district in which the place is located and includes all the places or objects nominated, provisionally registered or fully registered
Queensland Archives has compiled indexes of their archival records. Use these links to get to the page and search the index database by name.
- Land Orders 1865 to 1866
- Mineral leases 1871-1940
- Miners rights 1874-1880
- Register of land sold 1842-1859
- Register of lands 1861-1868
- Register of lands sold 1849-1861
- Register of Pastoral Holdings 1863-1880
- Rents Payable Pastoral Runs Index 1860-1911
- Soldier Settlement 1917-1929
- Transfer of runs 1848-1874
Once you get to the Queensland Archives page, here's how to use it:
- Scroll down to "Index Categories"
- Click on the appropriate radio button for the type of records you are looking for - this will then expand to show what record sets are available.
- Click on the appropriate radio button for the records you are looking for - this will then expand (below the list) to show a search area where you can input names etc.
You may also be able to download the full index using a link that will appear on the top right of the page or below the search box (depending on what device you are using, eg: desktop, iPad etc).
- Court of Claims relating to Land, 1833-1835 - early or disputed land ownership
- De-pasturing Licenses, 1837-46 and 1851 - De-pasturing Licences permitted settlers to graze stock on Crown Lands "beyond the limits of location". The "limits of location" refer to the nineteen counties of settled area extending from Sydney
- Registers of land grants and leases, 1792-1865
- Surveyors' Field Books, 1794-1860 - records surveyor's name, date and locality.
- Surveyors' Letters, 1822-55 - These are letters received from surveyors, mostly relating to matters such as the survey description of farms, reserves, churches, schools, rivers and mountain ranges, or forwarding tracings and plans of these after survey.
- Surveyor General's Crown Plans, 1792-1886 - A listing of the Surveyor General's Crown Plans
- Register of auriferous (gold) leases, 1874-1953
- Closer Settlement Promotion files, 1913- - transfer of land ownership originally obtained under the Closer Settlement and Returned Soldiers schemes
- Closer Settlement Transfer Registers, Jul 1919-Apr 1925 - transfer of land ownership originally obtained under the Closer Settlement and Returned Soldiers schemes.
- Closer Settlement and Returned Soldier's Transfer files, 1907-36, 1951 - Relating to the transfer of land ownership originally obtained under the Closer Settlement and Returned Soldiers schemes.
- Registers of Settlement Purchase, 1905-1929 - land settlement under the Closer Settlement and Returned Soldiers schemes
- Squatters and Graziers, 1833-49 - de-pasturing licences and others who were occupying Crown land beyond the Nineteen Counties, and who were visited by Commissioners of Crown Lands.
- Colonial Secretary Papers, 1788-1825 - surname index of early NSW settlement
- Colonial Secretary - Letters relating to Land - Colonial Secretary's papers, 1826-56
- Colonial Secretary - Main Series of Letters Received, 1826-1982
- City of Melbourne building plans and permits (1916-1960)
- City of Melbourne early building records (1850-1915)
- Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works plans 1889-1970
- Parish and township plans
- Pastoral runs
- Planning schemes 1946-2007
- Rate records
- Researching your house
- Soldier Settlement Scheme
- Valuation registers
- Public Building Files, 1874 – 1988
- Public Works Department (Building Services Agency) Plans 1853 – 1998
- Historic Plans Collection, 1836 – 1984
- Regional Land Office Parish Plans Digitised Reference Set
- Photographs, Borough of Stawell, 1909 – c. 1970
- Treasurer’s Correspondence Relating to Pastoral Runs, 1838 -1855
- State Records Office of Western Australia - AEON archives Official State records are held by the State Records Office of Western Australia however indexes are not available online as yet. The State is looking to implement a more user friendly way of searching the archives, however in the interim you can search the "AEON" system for records. They do have a copying service - email or call them for details and costs. Alternatively, contact one of the local Western Australian Historical Societies as they may be able to locate what you are after.
- Welcome Walls projects - Free Online Search In Fremantle, over 400 panels commemorating the names of migrants who arrived through this area have been erected at the Western Australian Museum - Maritime at Victoria Quay.
- History of Country Town Names - origins for town names in rural Western Australia
- Arrival of the First Settlers - general historic info
- South Australian Land Purchases by Credit Selection 1869 -1890
- Colonial South Australian Pioneers 1836 to 1850s - Early settler arrivals, births, marriages, deaths and burials in Adelaide and wider South Australia
- Colonial South Australian Pioneers - Historical passenger lists, births, marriages & deaths 1836 to 1850s
- The Manning Index of South Australian History The Index contains many thousands of references to South Australian newspaper and magazine stories for the years 1837 to 1937. It also includes extensive selected text from the indexed publications, other primary and secondary sources and numerous extracts from Mr Manning's own writings.
The Nothern Territory Department of Arts and Museums is responsible for the Northern Territory Archives. A list of collections in the archive is available for download in PDF format (warning: 250+ pages) which can then be searched offline. The archives can also be searced online using the "Archives Navigator" service although it is not straight forward and no indexes are available. Read the Information for Researchers page for information on the service.
Last updated November 2018