If someone in your family was born, passed away or worked on a pastoral property it is a good idea to find out if any records were kept on that station and whether they still exist.
Some station owners or managers kept records such as diaries, wage and ration books, and registers of births, deaths, marriages. The Noel Butlin Archives Centre at the Australian National University in Canberra holds some of these records, mainly for farms and cattle properties in New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory.
Pastoral directories may be helpful. These were published listings of pastoral properties, their names, owners and locations. The most comprehensive directory was Australian Pastoral Directory, but it did not include properties in Western Australia. There were many other short-lived directories.
Pastoral directories and maps that may help you to identify a property are held at the Noel Butlin Archives Centre. State libraries also hold pastoral directories. See Libraries with family history resources.
Other sources of information on pastoral properties include:
- state archives, if the property was ever owned by the state
- local archives, historical and family history societies
- university archives sometimes have records from their local area
- individuals, families of previous and current owners (contact Noel Butlin Archives Centre for help tracking ownership)
- you can search Trove (National Library) for the name of a station or property and you may find books, images, oral histories or newspaper articles about the property
- CoraWeb (genealogical website) has a section on Maps, Place Names and Land Records
Land and title records
State government land and title agencies can also help you to find information about pastoral properties. They have pastoral maps, records of land surveys and detailed records of who has bought and sold properties over time.
Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
- Land and Property Information New South Wales (LPI) Land and Property Searches
- Pastoral properties may also be located on Parish and historical maps which are searchable through the LPI website
- Northern Territory Land and Planning Services
- Northern Territory Archives Service Guide to archives relating to the pastoral industry in the Northern Territory
- National Archives Establishment of the Pastoral Industry in the Northern Territory
- Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Queensland - Land Titles Searches
- Queensland State Archives Brief Guide 5: Land Tenure Records (PDF 170 KB)
- Department for Administrative and Information Services Searching Land Titles Records
- Department of Primary Industries and Water Property, Titles and Maps
- Landgate is the Western Australian government agency responsible for land and property information and has a historical records service.