When researching land in Victoria, I would strongly recommend that you download the Lands Guide: a guide to finding records of Crown Land at Public Record Office Victoria. It is available on the PROV website and can be read online or downloaded as a PDF (Download icon at top left hand corner). This guide is so large you will need to download it so you can continually refer back to this excellent publication. Another bonus – the PDF version is text searchable.
During your research you will come across a whole swag of terminology. Sometimes you THINK you know the meaning and other times you might end up scratching your head. You should also be aware that the meaning of some words could change over time.
The Lands Guide has a comprehensive Glossary which you should use, however I have come across other terms that I felt necessary to compile for people for whom I did Land Research. It does not include all the terms from the Lands Guide but includes some extras.
I have almost completed recording an EXTENDED video presentation on ‘Victorian Land Titles and Documents’ for members of the Geelong Family History Group [GFHG]. It is available for free for Members of GFHG but I have decided to provide some key advice here for everyone.
- Glossary – Glossary – Land Research Terms (PDF file)
- Specific details you should know about the land you are researching – see below
- Official Parish and Town Plans – download from PROV for free – I recommend you download both imperial and metric files if available.
- Use the LASSI website – Land and Survey Spatial Information – to find key identifiers for the land in question. All of Victoria is covered including country allotments and town / city allotments. Use the HELP function top right to learn how to use this website properly!
Details you should know about the land you are researching in Victoria:
- Local Government Area / Council – before AND after c.1994 (Jeff Kennett’s consolidation of councils in Victoria), AND most importantly at the time relevant to your research. All of this information will help you track down more relevant records. Use relevant copies of Victorian Municipal Directory for assistance with this.
- Ward / Riding – usually found in Rate & Valuation Books
- Electoral districts – Federal and State. These can assist with locating occupant at the time.
Expect to spend more than five minutes researching land! Enjoy!