House History

House History | Maps

By 1848, the state of New South Wales had been divided into 141 counties.

The counties were subsequently divided into Parishes and together they formed the basis of land administration in the state. Parish maps recorded the transfer of land from government to individuals. They did not show changes in ownership from individual to individual except when the original grantee had sold or mortgaged the land before the first surveyor reached the area. Different editions of each parish map were produced.

The types of information, which may be found on a parish map, vary between maps and may include:

  • The name of the original land grantee
  • The name of the estate located on a portion of land
  • The date of Crown Grants made prior to 1863
  • The area of each portion of land
  • The date when a portion of land was gazetted as being for a particular type of use
  • Place names
  • Municipal district boundaries and the date that municipal districts were proclaimed
  • Town areas (see town or village maps for more details relating to town and village areas). Town maps are not available for private towns. E.g. Berry, Terara, Milton.

All parish maps are divided into portions of land. Each portion of land is numbered and this number is shown on the map face. Every portion of land corresponds to a grant of crown land, either free grant, purchased grant or conversion of a conditional purchase or homestead selection. There are more portions of land in a closely settled area than in a sparsely occupied area. At the outer edge of the parish map tables link portion numbers to land titles records and gazetted notices for public use.

There are many maps which show the location of pastoral runs, stations and squatting ‘runs’. Most can be viewed online through the NLA. Many localities and pastoral stations are referred to and described in Bailliere’s gazetteers, published for each colony in the 1860s and 1870s.

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