Series VPRS 625
Land Selection Files, sections 19 and 20, 1869
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1870 - 1874
  Series in Custody 1870 - 1874
  Contents 1870 - Circa 1889
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
1870 - 1874 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 2001 to 2014; Land Use Victoria 2014 - 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.**

    VPRS 625 Land Selection Files, sections 19 & 20 Land Act 1869 is controlled by Registers of Applications, sections 19 & 20 Land Act 1869 (VPRS 12026).

    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 next available number in the relevant register was allocated to the application and subsequently became the land selection file number if the 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 would be 324/19.

    Researchers can access VPRS 625 Land Selection Files, 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 Melbourne Archives Centre search room at Casselden Place 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 will was not created.

    Once the required file number has been obtained from Parish and Township Plans consult the Records Description List for VPRS 625 Land Selection Files, sections 19 & 20 Land Act 1869 to find the unit required.

    NB 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. Selection files can also be accessed through several series of registers of applications. Researchers should consult Registers of Applications, sections 19 & 20 Land Act 1869 (VPRS 12026) for access to selection files created 1870-1874 and the several registers of applications arranged by land district for access to sections 19 & 20 Land Act 1869 selection files created after 1874 (VPRS 626). (See summary guide for series titles and numbers).

    3. Register of Applications, Sections 19 & 20 Land Act1869 (VPRS 12026) is a self-indexing register and is arranged chronologically by date of application and entries made in the registers are arranged alphabetically by surname of applicant. If name of selector is known and an approximate date of selection, consult this series to find the required selection file number.

    4. 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 625 Land Selection Files, sections 19 & 20 Land Act 1869 to find the unit required.

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

  • 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 625 Land Selection Files, sections 19 & 20 Land Act 1869 are the selection files created by the Department of Crown Lands and Survey (VA 538) between 1870 and 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 file documents the survey and occupation of land prior to its alienation from the Crown (sale). 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 1874 and the establishment of the Occupation Branch file numbers can 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 can 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 and the allotment number.

    File Top-Numbered if the Licence Relinquished
    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 lease or 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.

    Lease Transferred
    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) that sent a memo to the Department of Crown Lands and Survey (VA 538) informing that office 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 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.

    1874 : Change in Administrative and Record-Keeping Practices
    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 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.

    After the establishment of the Occupation Branch in 1874 and the division of the State into Land Districts, applications were registered by District. Each District Land Office created and maintained their own series of registers of applications with application numbers that were allocated from the number one onwards. A new series of selection files was also created and maintained by each District Land Office at the Occupation Branch (VPRS 626). VPRS 626 is arranged by land district and contains files for selections made under sections 19 & 20 of the Land Act 1869 after 1874.

  • Recordkeeping System
    VPRS 625 Land Selection Files, sections 19 & 20 Land Act 1869 is arranged in file number order. (Selection file numbers were allocated by a register of applications (VPRS 12026).

    If an application to select Crown land was successful, the application number became the selection file number. 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 would be 324/19.

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

    In 1874 with the establishment of the Occupation Branch and the administration of land being divided amongst District Land Offices within the Occupation Branch, a number of Indexes to the files of VPRS 625 were created for each land district (e.g. Benalla, Geelong, Stawell etc). Hence the clerks of every District Land Office in the Occupation Branch were able to retrieve the files that were relevant to their particular Land District. These Indexes (the term used by the Occupation Branch staff) were created by transcribing details of current application / selection files from VPRS 12026 Register of Applications, see VPRS 12058. 12052. 12039. 12239, 12041, 12056, 12095, 12093, 12236, 12234, 12238, 12028, 12092.

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Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
Displaying 1 to 20 of 31  Go To First Page Of List Go To Previous Page Of List of 2 Go To Next Page Of List Go To Last Page Of List 
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1870 - 1874 Register of Applications, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 VPRS 12026
1870 - 1874 Index to Applications, Castlemaine, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12039
1870 - 1874 Index to Applications, Geelong, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12041
1870 - 1874 Index to Applications, Sandhurst, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12052
1870 - 1874 Index to Applications, St Arnaud, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (St Arnaud District Survey Office) VPRS 12056
1870 - 1874 Index to Applications, Echuca, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Echuca District Survey Office) VPRS 12093
1870 - 1874 Index to Applications, Benalla, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12095
1870 - 1876 Index to Applications, Stawell, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12058
1870 - 1876 Index to Applications, Echuca, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12239
1871 - 1874 Index to Applications, Seymour, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12236
1871 - 1882 Index to Applications, St Arnaud, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12234
1871 - 1908 Index to Applications, Sale and Bairnsdale, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12238
1872 - 1874 Index to Applications, Ararat, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12028
1873 - 1874 Index to Applications, Kerang, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Kerang District Survey Office) VPRS 12092
1873 - 1879 Register of Inward Correspondence, Stawell District Land Office VPRS 14337
1874 - 1876 Register of Inward Correspondence, Occupation Branch VPRS 621
1875 - 1878 Register of Inward Correspondence, Kerang Land District VPRS 14276
1876 - 1878 Register of Inward Correspondence, Echuca Land District VPRS 14275
1876 - 1896 Alphabetical Registers of Inwards Correspondence (Refer to Microfilm Copy, VPRS 228) VPRS 166
1876 - 1903 Register of Inward Correspondence, Melbourne Land District VPRS 3432
Controlled SeriesControlled Series
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Previous SeriesPrevious Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
Subsequent SeriesSubsequent Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
- 1874 Land Selection Files by Land District, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 VPRS 626
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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0000 1870 - Circa 1889 Open 609
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
Displaying 1 to 20 of 31  Go To First Page Of List Go To Previous Page Of List of 2 Go To Next Page Of List Go To Last Page Of List 
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1870 - 1874 Register of Applications, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 VPRS 12026
1870 - 1874 Index to Applications, Castlemaine, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12039
1870 - 1874 Index to Applications, Geelong, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12041
1870 - 1874 Index to Applications, Sandhurst, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12052
1870 - 1874 Index to Applications, St Arnaud, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (St Arnaud District Survey Office) VPRS 12056
1870 - 1874 Index to Applications, Echuca, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Echuca District Survey Office) VPRS 12093
1870 - 1874 Index to Applications, Benalla, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12095
1870 - 1876 Index to Applications, Stawell, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12058
1870 - 1876 Index to Applications, Echuca, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12239
1871 - 1874 Index to Applications, Seymour, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12236
1871 - 1882 Index to Applications, St Arnaud, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12234
1871 - 1908 Index to Applications, Sale and Bairnsdale, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12238
1872 - 1874 Index to Applications, Ararat, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Occupation Branch) VPRS 12028
1873 - 1874 Index to Applications, Kerang, Sections 19 and 20 Land Act 1869 (Kerang District Survey Office) VPRS 12092
1873 - 1879 Register of Inward Correspondence, Stawell District Land Office VPRS 14337
1874 - 1876 Register of Inward Correspondence, Occupation Branch VPRS 621
1875 - 1878 Register of Inward Correspondence, Kerang Land District VPRS 14276
1876 - 1878 Register of Inward Correspondence, Echuca Land District VPRS 14275
1876 - 1896 Alphabetical Registers of Inwards Correspondence (Refer to Microfilm Copy, VPRS 228) VPRS 166
1876 - 1903 Register of Inward Correspondence, Melbourne Land District VPRS 3432
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    PROVguide055 Land Records