Last updated:

June 13, 2019

What do I need to know?

You will need to know the parish, township name, or a plan number. To find a parish or township name view these PDF maps South East | North East | North West | South West ( Melbourne parish names are in the south-west map), or look through this list of Parish names which include land districts.  The maps date from 1837 onward.

New! To search by contemporary place name and help us position our maps try our new Map Warper tool 

How do I search?

Tip! Some areas have more than one plan number, so check the list above to hone your search.

About these records

Parish plans (rural) and township plans (town/city)  were made to track how Crown land was divided up and whether it was leased, licensed or sold.  They are also a good place to look to find other records we might have on the same property.

Parish and Township working plans were maintained by regional land offices to record details about the use of Crown land.  They are copies of ‘record plans’, the formal legal record of Crown land status (whether alienated from the Crown or not), that were maintained centrally in Melbourne.  Like the record plans, the working plans often provide names of people who purchased or were granted Crown land, as well as details that can assist researchers to locate files relating to particular allotments.  Working plans may also contain much other information about: leases and licenses to occupy; Crown reservations; changes to road alignments and allotment boundaries; and the sale of land.

The plans cover all of Victoria, and may record information dating from the earliest European settlement up until the time of scanning (2001 – 2004).

Next Steps

Once you have the plan, you can use this guide to How to read a parish plan and Sample parish plan to help identify the properties and file numbers of interest.  These file numbers can be used to locate correspondence relating to that property in other collections.

What are in these records?

Parish and township plans are known as ‘cadastral’ maps, mainly concerned with showing property boundaries.

  • allotment numbers (the parish/allotment/section identifier for each block is called the ‘Crown Description’ and is widely used across many records to identify land)
  • property size
  • notes as to the length and orientation of boundaries
  • names of the ‘first’ occupiers of each property, and often plans are updated with subsequent owners
  • major roads and watercourses

Many properties will be annotated with a file number, which is important for locating other records about that property.

Tip! Many parishes will be split across multiple plans. These plans are numbered: Angora - 1, Angora - 2 and so on.