Where someone lived in Tasmania

​​This guide will help you search for where people lived or worked.  For information on the history of the buildings themselves, see our guide to researching a building's history

Research tips

  •  If a person did not own a property but rented a place to live or lived with their employer, the only records about them may be census records, post office directories, electoral rolls. They can also be traced through alphabetical sections of assessment and valuation rolls (see below).
  • You can sometimes find information about where someone lived when searching other records, such as birth, death or marriage registrations and wills. See related Family History guides below. 
  • Tracing where ex-convicts lived can be difficult, as they may have changed their name soon after gaining their freedom, or left the state. 
  • Launceston properties and country properties: a guide to research contains excellent general research tips as well as local information on Tasmania's north.

Researching a building's history, Land grants, Census, musters & electoral rolls, Maps + plans, Place names, Tasmanian Wills, Directories and almanacs, Church registers.

What is online?

Search and view many records in the Tasmanian Names Index including census records and wills. 

Colonial census records - our census records are listed under the householder's name for most of the years between 1837 and 1857 (not a complete set; most individual returns have not survived). They are more detailed from 1842, indicating address, construction type of a building - stone, brick or wood, and give details on the make-up of the household. 

Tasmanian wills - our wills can be used to trace property history. If the will you are looking for is not available, you can contact the Land Data Registration Branch of the Land Titles Office, as they have copies of some wills relating to land transfers.

Tasmania post office directories 1890-1948 (Wise's)

Tasmania post office directories 1890 - 1948 is a searchable online resource which is usually arranged in three parts: alphabetically by street for Hobart and Launceston and some larger towns such as Burnie; alphabetical lists of residents by town; alphabetical directory of both individuals and business for all of Tasmania; and trade and community directories.

Assessment and valuation rolls 

The rolls were published in the Tasmanian Government Gazette up to c.1960, formerly known as Hobart Town Gazette (1825-1880) and Hobart Gazette (1881-1906).  A rates assessment of Hobart properties was done in 1847, but rates were not enacted until the establishment of Municipal Councils in 1852. The earliest Hobart and Launceston valuations occurred between 1853-1855, 1858-1860 and 1862-1863. The Rural Municipal Act of 1858 allowed for the collecting of this information in the country areas as well. The rolls show:

  • When a property first appears and gives the name of the occupant as well as the name of the owner.
  • Street listings in rolls for Hobart (1847, 1853-1950) and Launceston (1853-1950).
  • Alphabetical occupiers' listings for areas outside Hobart and Launceston.

Online resources:

Please contact us if you find there any missing items from the online valuation rolls. 

We also hold hard copies of indexes and valuation rolls for selected years, microfilm of the Gazettes for all years that rolls were published, and a selection of alphabetical printed assessment and valuation rolls published by the Tasmanian Family History Society Inc. in the Hobart Reading Room.  

Useful indexes

  • The Tasmanian Index 1966-1994 - a digitised card index to Tasmanian newspapers, journals and some other important early publications such as John West's History of Tasmania (1852) and the Cyclopedia of Tasmania (1900 and 1931). Useful for property and people searches. 
  • The Tasmanian Index 1994-2010 - an online database indexing the three Tasmanian daily newspapers, the district newspapers, and  major Tasmanian serial publications. Contains detailed references to places, people and events.
  • Whitfeld Index (Tasmanian Section) – a digitised selective index of personal names found in Tasmanian colonial newspapers 1816-c.1900, mostly relevant to Northern Tasmania. Emphasis on members of early settler and eminent families and includes land grants and property sales.   
  • Wayn Index – a digitised version of a handwritten card index to colonial Tasmanian Government records and colonial newspapers. The records indexed include Governor's Office Despatches and Correspondence of the Colonial Secretary's Office prior to 1856. See Early colonial administration records for more information on the Wayn Index.

Tasmanian newspapers

TROVE - digitised Tasmanian newspapers from 1810 to 1954 on Trove may provide details such as sales, lettings and business information via public notices, advertisements and articles.  Once you have found a location for your person, try keywords that combine owner/occupant's names and property details, and see Trove's Help page and property search tips on page 14 here.  You may find that the house number, name of the street and even the areas changes over time, so be flexible with your search terms. 

Tasmanian newspapers not on Trove, including digitised Tasmanian Mail from 1877 – 1920 and Weekly Courier from 1901 – 1935.

The List (Land Titles Office)

The LIST (Land Information System Tasmania) is an online government resource that helps you trace the history of Tasmanian land and property through the use of historic maps, plans, deeds and titles. For example:

  • To view copies of historic title documents, select Properties & Titles on The List home page, create a free account, and select 'Historic Deeds' to view index books for 1827 – 1972. Follow the instructions to view copies of historic deeds for a particular person. For later dates, fees apply. You can also access current title, valuation and property sales information online for a fee.
  • Using the online map application LISTmap, you can view and create customised maps using multiple layers of information.

What else is available?


 

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