37 1860: Land Registration ActWhen conducting land history research, you will often see a deeds index pagewhich contains a series of registrations which appear to be not in date order. Acrown grant, for example, appearing well below later registrations, mortgages,etc. This is due in part to the 1860 act, which collected together transactiondetails (instruments) for each property under private title.8 The system involved: Parish indexes, Deeds indexes, and Instruments.9
. Land districts were divided into parishes, most descriptive of the area they included (City of Auckland, Suburbs of Auckland, Waikomiti,Town of Onehunga). But then there is the Parish of Titirangi, in whichTitirangi is not included (it is actually Blockhouse Bay, Avondale, Waterview,Pt Chevalier, and part of Mt Albert/Owairaka).The parish indexes are index books, with the names of the parishes inalphabetical order, divided into allotments, further divided into Lots wherenecessary (Suburbs and City of Auckland is an example), and provide either deeds index references or post 1870 title references for each piece of land.Today, due the extreme fragility of the North Auckland parish index books,they have been scanned, and are available via a computer terminal at the LINZoffice at the moment.10
From the parish indexes, you go to the Deeds Index, the index pages for eachallotment within the parish registration district. These provide the referencesfor the instruments, as well as description of type (mortgage, conveyance, etc.),dates of the instrument, dates it was received at the registration office, andfollowing references (in this case, the Parish of Titirangi record leads to a post1870 title.) Note that pages are often shared by other parish information totally irrelevantgeographically to that at the head of the page. Also, there are times,annoyingly, where it seems the poor clerks working by gas or candle light havemade errors in recording the reference details properly. There will be deadends, but hopefully for the researcher not too many.At the moment, deeds indexes have not been digitised. The sooner they are, the better – the books are in an increasing vulnerable state.11
12 Early deeds sometimes show more than just the usual information such astransaction parties, sale prices or agreements, land description, whether therewere any buildings on the site …These examples show William Parker’s mark (he was illiterate), and theChinese character signatures of Ah See and Ah Chee when they look out thelease of the Carlaw Park land in the 1880s for a market garden.