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logoProformat News                  ISSN 1833-9514
No 12
February 2007

March seminars
7 Mar: Tracing your English ancestors 6:30pm (WEA Centre Adelaide)

17 Mar: UK research 1:30pm (Fleurieu Peninsula Family History Group)
Seminar bookings must be made with the host organisation. See Graham Jaunay's seminar schedule.

Ship paintings
The depiction of the vessel bringing your family's pioneers to Australia as a water colour is becoming increasingly popular amongst clients of Adelaide Proformat. We have teamed up with marine artist and historian John Ford to ensure historically accurate depictions can be produced, Adelaide Proformat does the research and John Ford produces the watercolour.

The first step in the process is to determine the vessel involved and the particular voyage. Once this is known, we undertake a range of studies to determine the circumstances of the arrival. This work includes determining the ownership of the vessel which in turn leads to the design of the vessel and the colours of the hull etc, the rigging, and the weather to determine the state of the sea, sky and the amount of sail being employed. This work also determines the likelihood of any other vessels in the vicinity.
The client then determines how the voyage will be depicted and this can be anything from embarkation at an English port through to unloading in an Australian port or any aspect of the voyage.
While these works are unique commissioned professionally framed paintings and therefore not cheap, the smaller works are good value and can be passed on down the generations.
For more information click on the link to the right.
China HollandChina
Pictured L-R: China of Holdfast Bay Dec 1847; New Holland off the Onkaparinga Jul 1840; China unloading at Pt Adelaide Dec 1847.

Adelaide Northern Districts FHG Meetings

14 Feb Andrew G Peake: The Value of SA Government Gazette as a source for local and family history.
15 Mar Family History Help Night.
31 Mar Three Cemetery Tour - Salisbury St John, Zoar Bible Christian and Willaston General.

What was the most popular page on Adelaide Proformat's site in Jan 2007? Click for the answer.
20,308 visitors conducted 40,456 searches. Have you placed your research interests online yet?

In this issue:

• March seminars
• Ship paintings
• ANDFHG meetings

Land records in SA


Adelaide Proformat
5 Windana Mews
Glandore SA 5037

Tel: +61 8 8371 4465
Fax: +61 8 8374 4479


Drafting charts
Locating documents
Seminar presentations
Writing & publishing
SA lookup service
Ship paintings

Land records in SA
The Land Services Group at 101 Grenfell Street Adelaide includes the office of the Registrar-General who maintains records of land under the Torrens System. The Register Book is a public record that includes Certificates of Title and all instruments registered under the Real Property Act 1886. The Register Book contains a wealth of information on South Australia's history that can be accessed for research. One can trace the history of a particular piece of land or the history of land ownership back to the foundation of South Australia.
You can determine if a person held land in SA by searching the index of owners which will enable you to view the scanned Title at no charge that, if desired, in most cases can be printed out for a fee.
More significantly, researchers are continually coming across gaps in the records and accessing land ownership records may just help resolve these issues. Essentially every time a land owner's personal circumstances changed, the information should have been attached to these records. Usually this did not happen before the introduction of the Torrens System but once this was in place it became important to keep records up to date because basically the Title was the proof of ownership. Thus when a land owner, changed their name, married in the case of women prior to them being granted the right to hold property independently of their husband, or died, the matter had to be recorded on the Title. Likewise if the ownership changed in any aspect whatsoever, the matter had to be recorded. Thus Titles can be a source for finding births, marriages and deaths. Ironically in South Australia while the modern records held by the BDM Registry are embargoed, you can access the material via the Title.
Other material readily accessible by the public include:
    • Power of Attorney Index
    • Bill of Sale and Stock Mortgage Indexes.
Prior to the introduction of the Torrens System in 1858, the colony operated under the cumbersome English system whereby the purchaser had to go to considerable expense to prove that the vendor was the legal owner of the property for sale. The records held at the General Register Office (GRO) now commonly known as the Old Land System Office at 39 Carrington Street Adelaide include land transactions under Old System Titles and the original land grants. There are two main indexes to land dealings held at the GRO. These are the Memorial Index [a memorial is a precis of an original title document] and the Deposit Index, which is a finding-aid to deposits [i.e. original title documents or certified copies of them].
Both sites hold Real Property Act Application Packets but these can only be accessed by current owners of the properties contained therein. These packets hold all the paperwork supporting the Title. Sometimes these can be easily accessed if the property enclosed includes a government instrumentality. So check the plans for railway lines, widened roadways and the like and then make application to the appropriate office for permission to access the packet. Rarely is such permission withheld!
Incidentally the GRO also holds Registrations of deeds executed from 1837 and these include Deed Poll name changes), Enrolments from original deeds and Deposits of original deeds and plans.
State Records of SA holds some useful records relating to land. Land-tax was introduced in 1885. The Land Tax Returns are partially indexed and give details of land owned, location, area, name of owner and name of occupier. State Records has other land records, such as the Lands Department Notes on Early Purchasers and Lessees of Land [ref. 1324] and Crown Leases and Plans [GRG 59/22].
Information about land grants often was published in the Government Gazettes and those gazettes reproduced on CD by Archive CD Books Australia are easily searched.
It is possible to establish online access to property and land information using PropertyAssist. This service is designed for and mainly used by most conveyancers, financial institutions, real estate agents, solicitors, valuers and other professionals involved in land and property related business. However, PropertyAssist is available for any user with a simple and secure online payment via credit card.

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