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Index to the Colonial Secretary's Letters relating to land, 1826-56

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This index covers requests from individuals for land - leases and purchases - received by the Colonial Secretary's office between 1826 and 1856. There are 10849 entries to search.

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About the records 

The papers in the Colonial Secretary: Letters from individuals re Land, 1826-56 include letters from individuals, memoranda, reports, applications and petitions, relating to the grant, purchase, rent or lease of land in the colony. Some letters were originally addressed to the Surveyor General and passed on to the Colonial Secretary. The memoranda and reports on the applications came from various public offices, among them the Surveyor General, the Town Surveyor, the Public Works Office, the Colonial Treasurer, the Land Board and the Registrar General. Included are many applications from the Collector of Internal Revenue and later the Revenue Branch of the Treasury requesting the issue of deeds of grant. In general more biographical information is included in letters before 1831. After this date the transactions became more formalized.

These letters appear to have been transferred to the Lands Department from whence they are believed to have come to the then Archives Office (now State Records NSW).

About the Indexing project

The index is part of the first stage in a long-term project to ensure the preservation and accessibility of the Colonial Secretary's papers, 1826-56, the major official primary source for Australian history in the first half of the nineteenth century.

Colonial Secretary: Letters from individuals re Land, 1826-56, NRS 907

An associated task to our long-term project to copy and improve access to the correspondence records of the Colonial Secretary, 1826-56 was the re-sorting of the Letters from individuals re Land, 1826-56. This was found to be necessary because of this series' relationship to the Main series of letters received and lands-related Special Bundles. The initial re-sort of the Letters has resulted in the improved and more accurate listing which can now be accessed through this on-line database.

The listing for the Letters from individuals re Land generally relates only to individual persons or partnerships of one or more persons.

To facilitate the finding of the papers of individuals a great many cross references have been added to the listing. Many of these are references to the land papers of the first owner, subsequently purchased or acquired by another person, and filed with that second individual. In such a case information about these papers has been noted under the name of the person under whom they are filed - 'includes papers re LOCKYER, Edmund [Major] (1826-1834)' - and a see also reference recorded under the name of that person, that is for Major Lockyer there will be a reference 'see also MARSDEN, Samuel [Revd] (1826-1834)'. Other references have been made to show where the papers relating to such matters as disputes over ownership, use or boundaries of land between two or more parties can be found; and to previous or subsequent names of women (where this information is available).

Please note that the listing also provides references to other records such as the Reports of the Commissioners of Claims and related Special bundles.

In those cases where it is known that the papers will not be found on the microfilm copies of the records, the papers have been copied and their 'COD' number cited.

A first and last day for the inclusive papers filed under each individual have been added. Please note, however, that this is essentially a date range and there may be one or two papers for the first date with a large gap before the next papers for that person. For many persons there are only a few papers and when trying to locate these on the microfilm copies of the Letters a careful search may need to be made.

Letters re land for institutions and churches are listed among the Colonial Secretary Special bundles.

Accessing the records

Microfilm copies of the Letters received by the Colonial Secretary re Land, 1826-56 are available in the reading room. Where indicated in the 'Remarks' column, facsimile (COD) copies are available.

Are copies available from this index?

We do not offer a copy service from this index. Copies can only be obtained in the reading room after viewing the records.


We would appreciate any feedback and suggestions you may have on using the Index.