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Series VPRS 626
Land Selection Files by Land District, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1874 - Circa 1911
  Series in Custody 1874 - Circa 1911
  Contents 1874 - 1911
Public Access: Open
Location: North Melbourne
Format of Records: Physical
 
Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1874 - 1911 Department of Crown Lands and Survey VA 538
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
2013 - cont Office of the Registrar-General and the Office of Titles, (known as Land Victoria from 2001 to ct.) VA 862
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    **Researchers please note: the P0 consignment of this series has been reprocessed to permit ordering at item level. Use "Search in a series" and the application number to locate items of interest. Below are instructions on how to find application numbers. The P1 consignment contains items found during reprocessing which were unable to be easily identified as part of this sequence of applications. Data, including names of applicants, land districts and parishes have been entered and can also be searched for using the "Search in a Series" function.**

    VPRS 626 Land Selection Files by Land District, sections 19 & 20 Land Act 1869 is controlled by registers of applications for each Land District.

    Registers of applications control selection and occupation files. If an application to select Crown land was successful, the application number became the selection file number. When an application to select Crown land was received by the Department of Crown Lands and Survey (VA 538) it would be registered in a register of applications. The register allocated a number to each applicant that was written on the application to select and subsequently became their land selection file number if their application was approved. For example if an application to select under section 19 of the Land Act 1869 was registered as application number 324 then the selection or occupation file number was 324/19.

    Researchers can access VPRS 626 Land Selection Files by Land District, sections 19 & 20 Land Act 1869 in two ways:

    1. Parish and Township Plans are a record of ownership and occupation of land in each parish and town in Victoria at fixed points in time. Parish and Township Plans are available on microfiche at the Victorian Archives Centre search room in North Melbourne. These plans record the names of purchasers of Crown land on allotments along with the relevant file number for that selection or sale. However, the plans do not provide information on temporary occupants of Crown land (ie licensees or lessees). They also do not record any subsequent change in ownership of an allotment. In order to trace subsequent ownership of land, Office of Titles (VA 2888) records must be used.

    Parish and Township Plans are only useful if the file required relates to Crown land in which a Crown Grant was issued (ie the land was alienated from the Crown). Crown Grants were issued to selectors who had met all conditions of their licence or lease and who could afford the purchase price of the land. A Crown Grant could also be obtained through a lease in which the rent was used to pay off the purchase price of the land (section 20 Land Act 1869). If the land was sold outright at public auction, the purchaser was recorded on Parish and Township Plans, however, for land sold at public auction a selection file was not created.

    Once the required file number has been obtained from Parish and Township Plans consult the Records Description List for VPRS 626 Land Selection Files by Land District, sections 19 & 20 Land Act 1869 to find the unit required.

    Please Note: The Department of Natural Resources and Environment (VA 3972) also have copies of Parish and Township Plans available to the public through Land Records and Information Services, which is located at 7th floor 436 Lonsdale Street Melbourne. Land Records and Information Services can be contacted on (03) 9603 9003.

    2. Registers of Applications control selection files. The files in VPRS 626 are controlled by registers that were created for each Land District. (For example, for Ararat, see register (controlling series) VPRS 12029 and/or VPRS 12030.)

    If name of selector is known, as well as Land District and an approximate date of selection, refer to the relevant register to find the required selection file number. If parish or township name is known but not Land District, consult the Township and Parish Guide available in PROV search rooms to find Land District name.

    Application numbers became selection file numbers if application was successful. Once the required selection file number has been located in the register, consult the Records Description List for VPRS 626 Land Selection Files by Land District, sections 19 & 20 Land Act 1869 to find the unit required. Selection files are listed by Land District.

    For further information about Parish and Township Plans, the microfiche Catalogue of Land Files and tips on trouble shooting when searching for lands records, see the Lands Manual available in PROV search rooms. [NB See the Lands Manual available in PROV search rooms.]

  • Function / Content
    Under section 19 of the Land Act 1869 selectors could apply for a three-year licence to occupy Crown land. The rent was set at two shillings per acre and a maximum of 320 acres per selector was allowed. On application a deposit of half a years rent was paid. If the application was refused, the deposit was refunded. Section 20 of the Act placed conditions on the three-year licence; selectors were required to improve their allotment by the erection of fencing and a dwelling, cultivation of their land and the destruction of vermin and noxious weeds. After the licence term had expired, the selector was eligible to apply for a seven-year lease or a Crown Grant to purchase their allotment. Grants or leases were only approved if improvement conditions had been met. If a selector opted for a seven-year lease, the yearly rent was used to pay off the purchase price of the land.

    VPRS 626 Land Selection Files by Land District, sections 19 & 20 Land Act 1869 are the selection files created by the Occupation Branch of the Department of Crown Lands and Survey (VA 538) after 1874 to document occupation of Crown land selected under section 19 and 20 of the Land Act 1869.

    Selection files are files of leases or licences that terminated with the issue of a Crown Grant to the occupants. The files document the survey and occupation of land prior to its alienation (sale) from the Crown. For example, details of leases and licences, selection number, name of lessee, surveyors reports and correspondence. All selection files end with a Deed of Grant. The files usually contain in chronological order, an application for licence; an application for lease; an application for crown grant and finally alienation via a copy of the grant.

    Selection file numbers appear as fractional numbers, the denominator being the section of the Land Act that the land was selected under and the numerator being the successive number in its class. For example file 2098/19 is the 2098th file created for land selected under the 19th section of the Land Act. After c. March 1874, and the establishment of the Occupation Branch, file numbers may be repeated across land districts. It is the district name along with the file number that is the unique identifier. Selection file numbers for land alienated from the Crown may be obtained from Parish and Township Plans. A Parish Plan shows each allotment for the parish. The plans record the name of the grantee, date of grant, the area, the allotment number and the file number.

    Selection file numbers may also be obtained from registers of applications. Registers of applications control selection and occupation files. When an application to select Crown land was received by the Department it was registered in a register of applications. The register of applications allocated a number to each applicant that was written on the application to select which subsequently became their land selection file number if their application was approved. For example if an application to select under section 19 of the Land Act 1869 were registered as application number 324 then the selection or occupation file number would be 324/19.

    Top-numbering

    The application number remained the selection file number for a particular piece of land if all terms and conditions were met and the selection resulted in a Crown Grant. However, often the original selector did not end up owning the land. Many selectors forfeited or abandoned their licence. If this were the case then the land was re-opened up for selection. Any new applicants were registered in a register of applications under a new application number. The original selectors file was attached to the new applicants file. The new file number was annotated in the register against the original selectors entry.

    Even if the same selector applied for a licence on land he had previously forfeited a new application number was allocated and the file would have a new selection file number.

    Transfer of Leases

    If the allotment was held under lease the ownership of the lease could be transferred without the need to open up the land for re-selection. The transfer of lease was managed by the Office of Titles (VA 2888) which sent a memo to the Department of Crown Lands and Survey (VA 538) informing them of the lease transfer. This memo was attached to the selection file. The transfer was not recorded in the register of applications.

    A transfer of lease was recorded in the rent roll and a new entry made for the transferee. Rent rolls were administered by rental clerks at the Occupation Branch. The transfer was also recorded on the selection file. A new application was not required to transfer a lease; therefore the selection file number remained the same, as no new entry was made in a register of applications.

    Changes in Administrative Arrangements in the Department in c. March 1874

    The additional advantages provided to selectors as a result of the Land Act 1869 resulted in an exceptional number of applications to select Crown land. By 1873 the Department of Crown Lands and Survey (VA 538) was experiencing many problems in managing applications. Public complaints were at an all time high. The complaints ranged from extraordinarily long delays in application processing, applications being approved for more than one person on the same allotment and long delays in replying to correspondence.

    In an attempt to try and rationalise the way the Department managed Crown land, the Occupation Branch was established in c. late March 1874 under the influence of H Byron Moore, Assistant Surveyor General. The Occupation Branch was to deal with all matters relating to the occupation of Crown land.

    The State was divided into fifteen Land Districts, these being Ararat, Ballarat, Beechworth, Benalla, Castlemaine and Dunolly, Echuca, Geelong Warrnambool and Camperdown, Hamilton, Horsham, Melbourne, Sale and Bairnsdale, Sandhurst (Bendigo), Seymour and St Arnaud. Each District was represented at the Occupation Branch in Melbourne by a District Land Office.

    Each District Land Office consisted of a double table or desk at which both a clerk and draughtsman sat. Everything in the way of files, maps and plans were at convenient reach. The same officers dealt with the sale of Crown land from its inception to its disposition. The District Offices' staff consisted essentially of a clerical officer and a draughtsman who dealt solely with that Land District. It was their business to know the District and to deal with all land business related to it. By 1877 each District Land Office consisted of a District Officer, a rental clerk, a draughtsman and several general clerks.

  • Recordkeeping System
    VPRS 626 Land Selection Files by Land District, sections 19 & 20 Land Act 1869 is arranged by land district. Within each district section the selection files are arranged in file number order. File registration numbers commenced with one (1) in each land district.

    If an application to select under section 19 of the Land Act 1869 were registered as application number 324 then the selection or occupation file number would be 324/19.

    The contents of the registers of applications were arranged alphabetically by applicants surname; application numbers were block-allocated under each letter. Because numbers were block-allocated alphabetically prior to use, some application numbers remained unused as registers filled and were closed off. Hence there are gaps in the selection file number sequence. The other reason for gaps in the file number sequence is that if an application to select were refused, the number that accompanied that application became defunct.

    Serialisation

    After the establishment of the Occupation Branch in c. March 1874 and the division of the State into Land Districts, applications were registered by District.

    When in current use, the files for each land district were probably maintained separately by each District Land Office at the Occupation Branch. That is, the Sale District files were maintained by the Sale District Land Office of the Occupation Branch quite separately from the Bendigo selection files which were maintained by the Bendigo District Land Office and so on.

    Hence, VPRS 626 in theory consists of a number of separate series controlled by quite separate control records. However, it has been kept in the one series as it has been used by researchers in this form for many years. Reprocessing it into separate series is unlikely to enhance access. VPRS 626 Land Selection Files by Land District, sections 19 & 20 Land Act 1869 is currently arranged by Land District and the Records Description List clearly identifies each District and its files.

More research resourcesMore research resources
    PROVguide055 Land Records
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
Displaying 1 to 20 of 51  Go To First Page Of List Go To Previous Page Of List of 3 Go To Next Page Of List Go To Last Page Of List 
Display entries per page
Date Range Series Title Series Number
1874 - ? 1875 Register of Inward Correspondence, Beechworth Land District VPRS 14273
1874 - 1876 Register of Inward Correspondence, Occupation Branch VPRS 621
1874 - 1876 Register of Inward Correspondence, Melbourne Land District VPRS 14271
1874 - 1876 Register of Inward Correspondence, Echuca Land District VPRS 14274
1874 - 1907 Register of Applications, Seymour, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12235
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Sandhurst, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Sandhurst District Survey Office) VPRS 12054
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Kerang, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12059
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Kerang, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Kerang District Survey Office) VPRS 12060
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Benalla, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12061
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Echuca, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12062
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Echuca, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Echuca District Survey Office) VPRS 12063
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, St Arnaud, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12057
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Ararat, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12029
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Ararat, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Ararat District Survey Office) VPRS 12030
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Alexandra, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12031
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Alexandra, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Alexandra District Survey Office) VPRS 12032
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Ballarat, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12033
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Ballarat, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Ballarat District Survey Office) VPRS 12034
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Beechworth, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12035
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Beechworth, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Beechworth District Survey Office) VPRS 12036
Controlled SeriesControlled Series
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1874 - 1883 Register of Applications, Sale, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Sale District Survey Office) VPRS 13304
Previous SeriesPrevious Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
- 1874 Land Selection Files, sections 19 and 20, 1869 VPRS 625
Subsequent SeriesSubsequent Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
List/s of records in this seriesList/s of records in this series
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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0000 1874 - 1911 Open 2489
P0001 1874 - 1911 Open 21
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
Displaying 1 to 20 of 51  Go To First Page Of List Go To Previous Page Of List of 3 Go To Next Page Of List Go To Last Page Of List 
Display entries per page
Date Range Series Title Series Number
1874 - ? 1875 Register of Inward Correspondence, Beechworth Land District VPRS 14273
1874 - 1876 Register of Inward Correspondence, Occupation Branch VPRS 621
1874 - 1876 Register of Inward Correspondence, Melbourne Land District VPRS 14271
1874 - 1876 Register of Inward Correspondence, Echuca Land District VPRS 14274
1874 - 1907 Register of Applications, Seymour, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12235
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Sandhurst, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Sandhurst District Survey Office) VPRS 12054
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Kerang, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12059
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Kerang, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Kerang District Survey Office) VPRS 12060
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Benalla, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12061
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Echuca, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12062
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Echuca, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Echuca District Survey Office) VPRS 12063
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, St Arnaud, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12057
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Ararat, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12029
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Ararat, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Ararat District Survey Office) VPRS 12030
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Alexandra, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12031
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Alexandra, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Alexandra District Survey Office) VPRS 12032
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Ballarat, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12033
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Ballarat, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Ballarat District Survey Office) VPRS 12034
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Beechworth, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12035
1874 - 1912 Register of Applications, Beechworth, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Beechworth District Survey Office) VPRS 12036
More research resourcesMore research resources
    PROVguide055 Land Records

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