About historical searching

Searching historical land records

The history of a block of land can be accessed through the register book. This book contains certificates of title and other information about property. These searches are often used to research family history, and in some cases searches can be free, however for others a fee may be payable.

Historical information available includes: 

  • name indexes for Real Property Act records from 1858 to 1975 which include names of crown lessees from the mid 1880's 
  • Real Property Act records - eg certificates of title and transfers 
  • survey plans 
  • some crown leases 
  • historical maps showing land tenure.

To conduct a search you will need:

  • the name of the property owner or crown lease
  • historical or pastoral name of the property - eg Mount Eba
  • the time period in which the property may have been bought
  • the property location - eg address, section number, hundred name.

How to conduct historical searching

You can access historical land information through the South Australian Integrated Land Information System (SAILIS).

Land Services staff will not conduct historical searching on your behalf. 

Video tutorials have been created to provide a starting point for those wishing to undertake historical searching and you are encouraged to view these before starting your search. 

Not all historical information is available online and some records kept at the Land Services office in Adelaide are available to the public Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Other sources of historical information include: 

Old systems section records

Records located at the old systems section, also called the general registry office, that are available to the public include: 

  • alphabetical indices of records from 1842 to the present for land that doesn't fall under the Real Property Act 1886 

The general registry office holds deeds and records of land that were freehold between 1837 and 1858. The office is open to the public from Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 4.00 pm. A name-based index is available, but not all records are available to the public as certain records may need permission from the owner.

Related information

On this site

Searching and purchasing data
Glossary of property terms
Contract terms and conditions
Certificates of title

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Page last updated: 19 August 2015