Victorian Government Gazette 1851-1852, 1856-1865, 1874, 1877-1878, 1887-1891

Government Gazettes are a unique, useful and extremely fascinating resource for local, family and social historians and researchers in other fields throughout Australia. They were published by the government as a means of communication to officials and the general public and therefore contain information that is of great use in establishing an image of Australia and its people in the past.

Government Gazettes in general contain a vast amount of historical and genealogical information. However they are largely an untapped resource. The few complete runs that are available are usually only found in major libraries. Even for researchers who do have access to these, the sheer size and extent of the Gazettes is daunting.

Tens of thousands of ordinary people and localities, small and large, are mentioned every year in Government Gazettes. But they offer researchers much more than simply names and places. They will help you reconstruct events and circumstances in the life of individuals and communities.

They have information covering a broad spectrum of the community with important details and facts on thousands of people.

The following information can be found in most Gazettes:

  • Land transactions

  • Government appointments

  • Lost stock

  • Unclaimed letters

  • Police reports

  • Desertions

  • Ships arrivals

  • Insolvency notices

  • Permits, licences & certificates E.g.liquor, firewood, stone gravel and wood, depasturing, dogs, vehicles, drays, cow keepers, milk sellers, marriage celebrants, publicans, auctioneers etc...

  • Petitions (with names)

  • Trademark applications


Special features include:

  • Lists of magistrates

  • intestate estates

  • Unclaimed letters - tens of thousands of Victorian residents, usually with their addresses

  • Lists of ‘letters detained for sea postage’ - names and addresses on letters sent by Victorians to other 

  • Colonies or overseas addresses - a great guide to other relatives and acquaintances

  • Lists of letters returned from country addresses

  • Title deed notices - name, locality and amount due

  • A list of deserters from the 40th Regiment of Infantry - with description of deserter, date and place of desertion, date and place of enlistment, native place, trade and dress


Significant lists for this year include:

  • Register of Medical Practitioners

  • Dentists' Register

  • Prospecting Boards - members

  • Rolls of Electors Rectified (corrections)

  • Rolls of Merchants, Traders, Shipowners, seamen, etc

  • Estates of Deceased Persons

  • Land Tax Register & Valuation

  • Occupants of Crown Lands - rent in arrears

  • Lease applications, renewals, transfers etc


Unique features of 1891 include:

  • Land Tax Register and Valuations 

  • Licence Renewals

  • Patent and Trade Mark applications, approvals, rejections etc. 

  • Vital Statistics for Melbourne and Suburbs 

  • Register of Medical Practitioners

  • Dentists' Register

  • Estates of Deceased Persons

  • Public Service Lists

  • Agricultural Statistics 

  • Roll of Merchants and Traders 

  • Roll of Shipowners and Seamen 

  • Classified Roll of State Schools 

  • Occupants of Crown Lands 

  • Victorian Railways