||1862 - cont
||Series in Custody
||1862 - 1996
||1862 - 1996
|Format of Records:
|Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series|
|Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series|
|Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series|
- How to use the Records
These records are accessed by application number. For applications lodged and registered prior to 10 February 1904 this number can be obtained from VPRS 16705 Index to Applications for Certificates of Title.
If the researcher holds a certificate of title for the piece of land, then the application number may be marked on that certificate. If present, the number may be shown with the words, for example, "derived from application number 12345".
Researchers should otherwise first visit the Office of the Registrar General and Office of Titles to locate an application number. They will need to identify the piece of land in which they are interested. Land is primarily identified by parish, section and allotment numbers. In the search areas of those offices researchers can locate application numbers by referring to records held there.
Note that VPRS 460/P0 units 3213 to 30298 do not exist. Unit 30299 contains application 30299, unit 30300 contains application 30300, and so on, with the exceptions of applications 44323 and 44324, which are in consignment P4.
- Function / Content
This series consists of the files created to record the progress of applications to bring land alienated from the Crown prior to 2 October 1862 into the Torrens system of land registration. This system was introduced by the Real Property Act 1862 (25 VIC., No.140). That Act, and subsequent legislation, provides that a proprietor of "old law" land may make application to have the land incorporated into the Torrens System of Land Registration. Successful applications result in a certificate of title being issued for the land applied for. Under current legislation application can be made either under section 9 or section 26 of the Transfer of Land Act. (For more information about the "Torrens System", refer to the entry for VA 862 Office of the Registrar General and the Office of Titles.)
Section 9 Applications
Section 9 applications require the applicant to submit:
- an application and schedule of documents in support of the application;
- the documents referred to in the schedule, such as original crown grant, deeds, mortgages etc;
- a plan of survey and surveyor's field notes.
The survey material is examined by the Survey branch to determine "mathematical harmony" of the survey and the Legal Examiners examine the application to assess legal validity of the application. When all survey and legal requirements are met a certificate of title can be issued.
The contents of these files may include: the application, schedule and documents listed on the schedule; surveyor's report; Legal Examiner's requisition and report; correspondence; plans of survey (up to application number 18,000) or photocopies of plans; other deeds and statutory declarations; search of title; draft certificate of title.
Section 26 Applications
Section 26 conversion schemes introduced by the Transfer of Land (Conversion) Act No.128 of 1986 came into operation on 1 March 1988. Each scheme has in common that the applicant must lodge with the Registrar of Titles:
- a solicitor's certificate in the appropriate form in a schedule to the Act;
- deeds in the person's possession, and those not in the person's possession but which another person can be compelled to produce (except deeds deposited with the Registrar-General under the Property Law Act), that relate to the title to the land;
- a search of title.
For each conversion scheme, if the provisions of the Act are complied with, and if the deeds lodged show good root of title which is at least 30 years old, the Registrar may issue either an ordinary title or a qualified title of the kind the Registrar considers appropriate.
Applications under other sections
Applications made under other sections of the Act include:
Section 60: vesting orders by which applicants in possession of properties apply to have properties put in their own names (as is often the case with farming properties passed on by wills, deeds, etc.);
Section 72: applications made to include an easement on a title;
Section 73: applications made to remove an easement from a title;
Section 99: applications to amend boundaries on a title; and
Section 103: applications to amend errors on a title.
Applicants under both section 9 and section 26 schemes may withdraw the application at any time before the registration of a title. Application forms, solicitor's certificates and documents submitted in support of the application are returned to applicant when an application is withdrawn. The Act also provides that the Registrar may reject applications or declare them abandoned and essential documents are, similarly, returned to the applicant.
When there was an encumbrance (a matter or thing which effects clear title) to title, such as a mortgage, caveat or easement on the property, a separate encumbrance file envelope was created which was also controlled by the application number. These were kept separately from the application files until such time as the encumbrance ceased to have effect and were then placed into the application file. In some instances applications for which an encumbrance existed have been transferred into archival custody without the encumbrance envelope. Such encumbrances files will be transferred into custody as a separate series.
For section 9 and some section 26 applications plans of survey, surveyors field notes and survey related correspondence are maintained in a separate file controlled by the application number. These files are retained in the Office's survey section for ongoing reference.
An additional file, known as "search and sketch notes", is created by the Applications Clerk during the processing of applications. These are also controlled by the application number and are retained for ongoing reference in the Registrar General's Office applications area.
Variations to File Contents
When an application proceeded smoothly the contents of the file should be as noted above. Where variation to the procedures occurred, such as for rejected, abandoned and withdrawn applications or where encumbrances existed, the contents of the file may vary.
For rejected, abandoned and withdrawn applications the file may have little or no contents, the significant documents having been returned to the applicant. In some instances where documents are not found in an application file they may be located within the separate encumbrance file. Documents may also have been removed from such files and included with a subsequent application for the same piece of land. The file envelope will generally be marked with previous, subsequent or related applications numbers.
- Recordkeeping System
Each application bears a unique application number from a numerical sequence which commenced at number 1 in 1862 and which is continuing. Until 1984 this numerical sequence was applied exclusively to applications to bring land into the Torrens System and numbers were allocated manually but from that date (approximately application number 58,000) several changes took place.
- The URDS (Unregistered Dealings System) computerised document tracking system was introduced by Titles Office. This system was used to allocate application numbers to applications. URDS is simply a tracking device with inquiries by application number.
- Application numbers began to include an alpha suffix which acted as a - computer check digit.
- Several unrelated types of application under different sections of the Act were included in the existing numerical sequence.
- To accommodate the additional application types, URDS was used to block allocate numbers. File covers were colour coded to identify different application types, thus:
- green = section 9 applications;
- buff (envelope) = section 26 applications (from 1988);
- buff (envelope) = section 72,73 and 99 applications;
- buff (folder) = section 103 applications;
- blue = section 60 applications.
Prior to 1984 section 9 application numbers were allocated from a card register. This card register also served to record movement and progress of applications. The card register continues to be maintained for its file movement/progress function for section 9 applications. VPRS 405, Titles Application Books, may record the same information as the card register but for an earlier period. Records in custody for that series consist of 18 volumes with a date range from 1862 to 1964. The first volume, registering applications no.1 to 1091, includes an alphabetical index of applicants names. Subsequent volumes do not include indexes.
Indexes arranged in alphabetical order by surname were also created up to at least 10 February 1904 and are held as VPRS 16705. The existence of additional indexes is currently unknown.
The series date range clearly commences in 1862 and is continuing. The contents date range for individual consignments is difficult to determine accurately. The nature of section 26 applications is such that they are not accepted and registered by the agency unless they satisfy the requirements of the Act. Once accepted, therefore, they are processed quickly and have a contents date range of weeks rather than years.
Section 9 applications are subject to more rigorous requirements under the Act and undergo extensive investigation in order that the requirements are satisfied. Consequently, the date range of individual section 9 application files may be measured in many years.
The records in this series have come into custody in several consignments. The first consignment (460/P, which appears to have been made up of several consignments or processing projects) is stored in three separate ways. Application numbers 1 to 8194 have had the contents culled and the remaining documents placed in plastic bags which have been boxed into A1 boxes 1 to 703. The second part of consignment 460/P consists of un-culled files packaged in BB boxes number 704 to 1880 (application 8195 to 30298). The third part (application 30299 to 44399) was shelved, un-culled, directly onto the compactus shelves. Consignment 460/P1 (application 44400 to 54999) was similarly shelved directly into the shelves.
Un-culled files typically consist of a rigid cardboard envelope which bears the application number and hand written notes which record the progress of the application. The contents may include a variety of documents, generally folded and often tied into bundles with cotton tape. Many of the documents are "legal" documents and of various sizes. There may be several smaller envelopes containing documents within the larger envelope.
The documents are of a variety of media including vellum, parchment, rag paper, "modern" papers, stencil duplicate papers, thermal photocopies, wet chemical photocopies, "modern" photocopies etc. Some documents bear seals in sealing wax. Documents may date from the earliest grants of land in c 1836.
During processing of the P1 consignment a list of files identified as having mould or other conservation problems was made. Similar problems in the original consignment have not necessarily been identified.
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