Parish and historic maps offer a link to the past and provide information about local history, family genealogy and your own land and property. LPI’s collection of historical maps offer a rich source of information about land ownership and boundaries going back to the beginning of the settlement of NSW.
If you are conducting a current property transaction you may need to examine these historical maps too.
Hard copy charting maps were used to record changes to land boundaries in NSW, until manual updates ceased in 2002. The Charting Map collection consists of Regional Parish Maps, Status Branch Parish Maps and Land Titles Office Charting Maps and includes the 7515 Parish maps. Town maps for established town areas within the parishes are also included. No Town map has been updated since 1991.
Charting Maps act as an index to locate title related records and may contain other information such as original grantee name (and occasionally the date), references to volume and folio numbers (reference to title) and Primary Applications (used to convert Old System properties to Torrens title).
They can also be used to locate Crown plans, the original survey diagrams that provide survey details and land dimensions and size. A current Crown plan provides the latest legal boundaries of the land.
Accessing parish and charting maps
Historical Land Records Viewer (Pixel)
In 2002, charting of the state’s cadastre, or property boundaries, became computerised. The final editions of the charting maps prior to computerisation can be viewed free in the Historical Land Records Viewer (HLRV). The Historical Land Records Viewer is part of the Spatial Information eXchange (SIX).
If you don't know the name of the parish that contains the properties that interest you, use the Geographical Names Register, in the Geographical Names Board website, to search by locality or suburb. The result of the “Name” search will include the parish name.
Use the Online Shop to purchase copies of a Crown plan image. These plans can also be viewed free on public terminals at State Records’ reading rooms at the Rocks and Kingswood.
The Baseline website incorporates historical collections, cultural heritage sites and archival projects relating to land administration and titling. Baseline also provides online access to a selection of significant and/or interesting Surveyors’ Field Books. An online index of field books is currently being developed and the books transferred to State Records.
If you are interested in exploring more of NSW's land heritage, LPI has produced a series of five Guides to searching LPI records, to assist you in conducting online and over-the-counter searches of current and historical information.
You may also like to see our Historical Research page.