Historical records

Landgate is one of the oldest State Government agencies. It was originally known as The Survey Office of Western Australia and created as early as 1829. We hold valuable State archives of historic titles, maps, charts, survey plans and an array of other historic records that date back to the first colonisation of the Swan River Settlement.

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Historical records give you:

  • ex-owner details and sales records
  • historic titles from 1875 (Torrens system)
  • detailed reports, including 'chain of title' searches
  • cancelled titles and public plans
  • historic maps with land tenure
  • crown surveys, leases and registers.

Historical records are useful for:

  • searching your own family history
  • researching past ownership of a property
  • finding sales history of a property
  • discovering past land use for development or environmental studies
  • understanding changes in land tenure or cadastral boundaries over time.

Historical Ownership Name Search Report

The Historical Ownership Name Search Report can be accessed through Land Enquiry Services if you have a MyLandgate account. If you don’t have a MyLandgate account, requests for a historical ownership name report must be conducted in person at the Midland or Perth branch after presenting 100-points of ID required as part of the Name Suppression guidelines.

If you require an Index roll or micro fiche search to access older records, you must complete and submit the Historical Ex-Owner request form.


Table 1 Historical records samples
Samples of historical recordsSizeFormat
Certificate of Title10.6MBPDF
Country enrollment 5.75MBPDF
Historical Ownership Name Search Report211KBPDF
Town grant3.27MBPDF
Transfer of land5.27MBPDF

Start your search today

The quickest and easiest way is to fill out and return a completed request form. We will provide you with an estimated price before we start your search.

Price request form

Historical Records Price (not subject to GST)
Copies of titles $28.20
Leases $28.20
Surveys $28.20
Transfer of Land Act documents $28.20
Memorials $28.20
Cancelled titles $28.20
Superseded titles - digital title not on current version 14.10
Search of Historical Tenure in the Historical Database (Hourly rate or part thereof in addition to the historical record) $131.00
Manual processing fee$7.25
Digital History List$14.00

Please note: Searching for Historical Records is a staff-assisted service. Prices and delivery times may vary. In most cases an estimated cost can be provided before a search is commenced.

Find answers to your most common enquiries about historical records.

Can I perform a historical search myself?

Searching for historical records is a staff assisted service. Landgate provides this service in person, at our Midland office, or by request form. Once completed, request forms can be emailed, posted or faxed into Landgate.

What are perches, acres, roods, chains, hectares and links?

Perches, acres, roods, chains and links are Imperial (pre-metric) units of measurement used by surveyors during the 1800's.

One rood is equal to 1/4 acre or 40 perches. To convert acres, roods and perches to square metres, use our online area conversion calculator.

One chain equals 100 links. To convert chains or links to metres, use our online distance conversion calculator.

A hectare is a metric measurement. One hectare equals 10 000 square metres.

What historical records does Landgate keep?

  • ex-owners and sales information of a property
  • Certificates of Title dating back to 1875 (Torrens system)
  • detailed written reports, including 'chain of title' searches
  • cancelled Certificates of Title
  • historical maps showing land tenure
  • cancelled public plans
  • Crown and freehold surveys
  • Crown leases and registers
  • Deeds of Memorial and indexes and registers dating back to 1829
  • historic maps and imagery dating back to 1948.

What is a SMR digital history list?

A SMR digital history list shows any transaction that has occurred on a digital title since its creation. Digital titles only show current information, so to research the land transactions that have taken place since the title became digital, a SMR digital history list is needed.

What is a transfer of land document?

Transfer of land documents are documents that create a change to a Certificate of Title when lodged and registered at Landgate.

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This page was last updated on: 08 Feb 2023