How to research the property records in 2011 for a bluestone cottage in Timaru built in 1866.


This well built bluestone cottage is the oldest house in the vicinity and it sits right in the middle of the block and now has its entry down a long driveway just a whisker below the bridge on Westcott St. on land that was once part of Herbert Belfield's Waimataitai Estate. (Map - opens up in another window, B is Belfield House and is the bluestone cottage.) The chimney to the left is original and one has been removed, see the east wall, and the other remaining chimney is a replacement. There is a cabbage tree on the far side of the house, the west side. This is the front with a south facing aspect. We set out to prove that this stone house was the residence of District Judge Dudley Ward and we did.  

Suggested reading

2014 advise: For the uninitiated To see the online Canterbury indexes go to Archway click ‘Advanced Search’, click ‘Find Records’ (the ‘go’ button), scroll down to the ‘Accession’ box and enter CH1032. The reference number to each volume in Accession 1032 at Archway refer to the number on the spine of each physical volume according to a renumbering of volumes made by LINZ a few years ago. The first few pages of hits on Archways are for the deeds books which can't be viewed online. The registers are further down. Files slow to load but Google Chrome will do the job.

An insight into records of Land Information New Zealand
by Ronald Hermon, presented at the NZSG 2006 conference. pdf
How to request a copy of a land record fact sheet (pdf 203KB) from LINZ
Land Resources - Christchurch Cities Libraries

Historic land research relies on the cross referencing of titles. Searchers can start with a current computer registers (Certificate of title) and track ownership back to the original deed cross referencing and looking for the prior C/T reference numbers in the upper left or access the Deeds Indexes via the known legal description.  

Property Search - land ownership records - start online

1. Once an address is established, records pertaining to that property can be checked.
2. The legal description may lead to a DP number can be found on a City Council map - Timaru xplorer or here.
3. Find the correct Land District
4. Do a property search through LINZ. Surveyors produce these plans and were required by law to submit them to LINZ for approval when land is surveyed.  A survey plan number including the record type prefix e.g. SO, ML or DP
5. A search agent can be helpful.
6. If you have any problems with your order, contact LINZ customer services on 0800 ONLINE (0800 665 463) or by emailing  customersupport@linz.govt.nz   

Different ways to search a parcel of land:

1. Obtain a copy of the certificate of title through Land Information NZ. Order the Historical Search copy. They will email an attachment for $NZ15 within two days. In this case Historic meant back to 1950 and not 1866! To go back further than the current title, I needed to get the prior title so I ordered that for another $NZ15. Each C/T will cost $15. The prior title for CB525/277 is CB278/162. Prior C/T or Reference are shown in the top left hand corner of the CT. Old CT references, e.g. SO____ are shown on some older DP plans and these may save on time and cost by eliminating unnecessary searches. Note that the first two letters, CB, represent the land district and are not shown as part of the number. A certificate of title provides a legal description and a plan or diagram of the land, details of ownership both past and present. The Christchurch LINZ office is at 112 Tuam Street but they do not have any records held on site now, all request are sent in by post or email. Last step go to Archives NZ in Christchurch, Canterbury, N.Z. and photograph the deed. Total price about $120 for a search over a few weeks.

The different Titles over that years is usually due to the land being subdivided and part sold. Sometimes it is due to the Title being full. The legislation (or the Act's) has evolved over the years but that does not impact on the Title or the need for a new one. Any Title however must state the current legislation on it when a new Title is needed.

The current Title for the land is CB525/277, prior Title which is CB278/162. Prior to this is CB140/292, then CB81/272, next CB48/262, and lastly is CB25/125. This gets us back to 1877 when Henry Belfield had the land. Prior to Title CB25/125 the land was in the Deeds System. To figure out what Deeds Books cover this land I will need to purchase a copy of Voluntary Application 2987. The price for a copy of the application will also be $15.00.

2. Go to Terra Link and do a search for that title number - you may or may not end up with details - order CTs through this site (have to register) and they email as PDF file - enlarge to read faint details.
3. In 2001 LINZ changed to an electronic system, Landonline, and is available to registered uses. If you are in NZ go to a surveyor, real estate agent or solicitor who has Landonline access - they can do the search and open up the image on screen for printing out or email so to enlarge it.

Computer Register (Certificate of Title) - Historic
Land district: 		Canterbury
Title reference: 	Assessment No. 24942/512.00
Legal description: 	LOT 3 DP 3419
Address: 		2b Richmond Street
City/location: 		Timaru
Price: 			$15.00 CB525/227[Identifier]

Result- two attachments for CB525/277

  1. 1950 Certificate of Title Under Land Transfer Act - John Douglas Linton, farm labourer, 14 Feb.1950. Note in the upper left corner Vol. 278  Folio 162.
    14 Feb. 1950 John Douglas Linton of Timaru, farmer, as the same is delineated by the plan hereon coloured green: All that parcel of land containing one rood sixteen perches and seven tenths of a perch situated in the City of Timaru being Lot 3 on Deposited Plan No. 3419 part of Rural Section 2445. Granting right of way over part of Lot 2 Pan 3419 (C/t 385/82) coloured blue on the plan. 12 Oct. 1981 transfer 349413/1 to Ross A.C. of Timaru Car salesman.
  2. 1912 survey diagram, surveyed for James Murray and James Murray also the was the surveyor.
     Date of Survey: 27th July 1912
     Being part of R.S 2445 being lots 7 and L3 DP3407 City of Timaru and Block X Arowhenua SD.
     DP Plan number 2341 crossed out. Above it probably 3419.

DP = Deposited plans - is a survey plan. 
R.S = Rural Section

Result- one attachment for CB278/162 
           Lot 3 DP 3419, 2B Richmond St. Timaru
          Transfer No. 95544
          Reference Vol. 140, folio 292        Register book Vol. 278, folio 162

Parcel - Rural Section 2445 said comprising Lot 3 in the Land Registry Office as No. 3419 and Lots 21 and 22 as DC 3407.
Full and free right of way and passage upon, over and along that past Lot 2 said plan 3419 coloured pink on plan here.
John Chisholm of Timaru, farmer -16 Sept. 1912
Transferred the parcel to Clarence Thomas Evans Potts of Timaru, plumber 2 July 1921
He transferred the parcel to John Linton of Timaru, farmer 29 May 1922
who transferred to Annie Marjorie Fillingham of Lot 22 plan 3407 17 May 1934
who transferred it to John Linton 17 May 1934
who transferred it to Alexander Linton of Timaru, farmer 14th February 1950
who transferred it to John Douglas Linton 14 Feb. 1950 at 3 pm.
  

 

 Generations of LINTON's have lived in that cottage.

Cemetery Records 

Linton, Roberta Alice 
Address 		2B Richmond St. Timaru 
Age at Death 		74 Years 
Date of Interment 	Tuesday, 8 February 1972 
Timaru Cemetery  	Section General Block LB Plot 734 

Linton, Alexander 
Address 		2B Richmond St. Timaru 
Age at Death 		81 Years 
Date of Interment 	Thursday, 27 November 1980 
Timaru Cemetery 	Section General Block LB Plot 754 

Children of John and Marie (nee Blackmore) Linton 
b. 1899  Alexander Linton m. Robert Alice Jackson in 1923
b. 1896  Jean Linton
b. 1902  Elison Linton

Established the properties address

Must know present owner address or a have a fairly good knowledge of its location. Depending on how far you go back, the National Archives and museums might have land record information. Through a postal directory, pre-1880 electoral roll, rate assessment record, a parent's death entry or a child's birth entry, cemetery record ...

South Canterbury Land Records are held in Christchurch at the Land Titles Division of the Land Information New Zealand.
Timaru District Property Search
Property
Map

HintsSome Wills can be found in with the Land Title especially at Dunedin and Wellington.

The Christchurch Regional Office of Archives New Zealand holds a Nominal Index to Purchasers of Rural Sections from 1850s to 1870s for the Canterbury area including South Canterbury.  It is then possible to sight the original applications called Crown Grants which was the first issue of a Land Title. There is a forty year restriction on land tenure files. The Canterbury Museum has an index to some Canterbury mortgages. The archives have the Lands and Survey papers for Sherwood Downs settlement 1911-1914 including descriptions of each section and map in perfect condition.

Another source available on microfiche at most New Zealand Public Libraries is the "A Return of Freeholders of New Zealand, October 1882" which list owner, location, acreage and value.

Did Judge Ward lease the property from Herbert Belfield?

Canterbury Provincial Roll 1873-74
WARD, Charles Dudley Robert, lived near Timaru, had lease-hold land, House and land on Part R/S 2445, near Timaru.
[It looks like Judge Ward may have leased the cottage and land from Belfield as stated in the Canterbury Provincial Roll of 1873- 1874]
In the Wise's Directory for 1878-1879 there is no mention of Judge Ward, yet we know he was there as there was a fire on his land in January 1879 and when the "Akbar" was wrecked in June 1879. Herbert Belfield was listed, printer, Great North Rd.

List of Freeholders of N.Z. 1882 Judge Ward owned
81 acres in Geraldine County valued at £500
4487 acres in Waimate County valued at £15,993.
2452 acres in Southland valued at £6025
Altogether all his land in 1882 was worth £22,518.

An Obituary for Judge C.D.R. Ward in the Timaru Herald of 2 September 1913.

         Timaru Herald, 4 May 1896, Page 3
Guinness & LeCren have received instructions from Mr M.J. Knubley, as attorney for Mr Herbert Belfield, to sell by Public Auction on Saturday, the 9th day of May 1896 at their auction rooms, Strathallan Street, at 2 o'clock sharp
Brick House containing 10 rooms, with 6a 0r 36p of Land, now in the occupation of Mr. S.G. Raymond.
Well Built Stone House, containing 8 Rooms and Outhouses, with 10a 3r 0p of Land, now in the occupation of Mr F. Perkins.
5 - Roomed Wooden House in Buchanan's Paddock with quarter acre of Land, now in the occupation of Mrs McClatchie.
3a 0r 32 p on Wai-iti Road, being Lots 25,27,28,31,33 on Deposited Plan No. 757, part of Rural Section 2333.

Timaru Herald, 11 May 1896, Page 2
Messrs Guinness and LeCren offered at auction on Saturday four suburban properties belonging to Mr Herbert Belfield. There was no bid for the brick house, the stone house, or 3 acres off the Wai-iti road ; and a quarter-acre in Buchanan's paddock with 5 - roomed house, was passed in at £65. A brick house in York street, the property of Mr R. Irwin, was also offered, and for this there was no bid. There were but few people present at the sale.

Timaru Herald
25 February 1895   


Sir,— Will you kindly publish in your valuable paper our thanks for the kindness conferred on us by Mrs
Gillies and her daughters, also Mrs Cross, by giving us a picnic on the 21st in Mr Perkins' land, late Judge Ward's place. We are very thankful to the good ladies. I am, etc., One of the Old Men.

Timaru Herald  Birth.  On 11th May, 1894, At Waimataitai, Timaru, the wife of F. Perkins, of a daughter.

Timaru Herald, 26 January 1895, Page 1
Wanted a strong respectable young GIRL to assist with housework. Reference required. Apply Mrs F. Perkins, Bellfields, Waimataitai.

Timaru Herald, 5 December 1891, Page 4
To let or for sale 9 roomed stone house (Belfield's) with or without adjoining paddocks. M. J. KNUBLEY, Solicitor  

Timaru Herald, 12 January 1894, Page 1
For sale or to let : 8 - roomed STONE HOUSE (Belfield's with 18 acres of Land ; 1½ miles from Timaru. M.J. Knubley, Solicitor, Timaru

land measures conversion There are 4 roods in an acre and 40 perches in a rood.

Crown Grant

Cancelled Crown Grants R.S. 8137  - H Belfield - 4 Nov 1871  Archives New Zealand, Christchurch Regional Office - material transferred from Canterbury Museum
The first issue of a land title was called a Crown Grant and was registered with the Dept. of Justice Land and Deeds Registry in the appropriate district. All deeds are held with Archives New Zealand. It may be necessary to search the deeds registers in person. Scanning them and making them available online would be an incredible boon to researchers because they are an incredible genealogical resource. The condition of some pages is not so good due to searchers handling them over the years. The old bound volumes cannot be photocopied (too large, too heavy, and too fragile, as well as the potential for fading the ink). You will either have to transcribe the documents by hand or resort to a camera. Deeds were the main original record of property ownership before the land titles system. All deeds are held with Archives New Zealand. Start from a current computer register (Certificate of title). If the deeds reference is not shown (e.g. "D.I. 3 folio"), then work backwards using the prior title references until you find the reference. Deeds often have handy anecdotal information in them. Record locations. The deed system does not apply to any land granted by the Crown after February 1871, the date of the first NZ Land Transfer Act. The LINZ office is now open in Christchurch and also the ArchivesNZ Office in Christchurch.  

Maps

Levels - Spatial Map Print. Section of the Depoist Plan (DP)  RS 22591
LINZ maps - electoral, property parcels, topographic, topo250
South Canterbury road map Timaru 

The Bluestone Cottage
The cottage was sold in 1997 and prior to it selling there was a lovely photo of the cottage with a detailed write up in the Timaru Herald 30 January 1997. 

Built when Timaru was in its infancy the cottage would then have looked out over the marshy flats and newly pastured pastoral land to the bush clad hills and the snow covered mountains to the north. On its southerly side the sea would have pounded restlessly at the foot of the cliffs little more than a stone's throw way. Today nestled on its 1400sq in section in suburban Timaru the cottage retains all of its original charm and more than a few extra delights for today's busy homeowner. Thanks to the succession of owners who took delight in the uniqueness of the cottage and sought to ensure that any improvements they made didn't detract from the cottage's character. Entry to the property is via a graveled driveway. The cottage with its 60cm thick walls is constructed of natural bluestone, a popular building material of that era. Now painted white with wisteria, hollyhocks and roses softening the stark lines the exterior remains very much as it would have done more than a century ago. The tile porch with its wooden cottage style windows offers an open air sitting area while stained glass windows and a natural timber door provide an inviting entrance to the wide central hall. To the left is the lounge with its high ceilings, heavy wooden windows frame and the first of those much needed creature of comforts - a wood burning fire encased in a rustic fireplace of Central Otago schist.


Timaru Herald 30 January 1997

The lovely bluestone cottage at 2B Richmond Street, Timaru is down a gravel drive, almost opposite and down from the Waimataitai Street railway bridge. It overlooks Pacific Street with a row of house beneath it now and has a beautiful view to Mt Peel. Restoration was completed in 2011. The current owners were also told it was built in 1866, but have no documents. The only unchanged part is the door iron and brass rim lock and a slaughter house right at the back of the house and drain. There is a hook inside. One brick chimney has been replaced but the one at the back is original. There was modern fireplace in the big lounge and when this was peeled back a bluestone slab one was revealed. The restoration is in keeping with the age of the house and is tasteful and very thorough; we are was blown away with the end result after seeing other old houses turned into flats, and in disrepair. e.g. Taylor and Belfield. We are so pleased to see this beautiful bluestone house preserved for the future. It is amazing.


A beautiful find after the schist fire surround was removed. Photos taken in Aug. 2011 by M.T.
Fireplace bellows with embossed (repoussé) brass pictorial work on the front with a narrow leather strap to hanger.


Old and beautifully well made.


This is an iron mid 19th century rim lock. The little latch on the left makes the latch bolt stay withdrawn so you can go outside without locking yourself in.
Don't recognise the maker. I would definitely say it is original to the cottage. Another old rim lock.


Is it original?


The bathtub from the cottage sure reminds me of the one we had at home - the same claw feet and the length delightful. By the photo this will be from 1910 -1918.
A 6ft vintage single ended roll top cast iron, enamel lined, claw-foot tub. These bathtubs have the date underneath. 

Did Herbert Belfield build two houses on his Waimataitai Estate?
Yes, the first one of stone in 1866 and the second one of brick in 1878

We do know Judge Ward was a neighbour of his. The 1881 Timaru Herald cutting certainly confirms that Judge Ward's house was NOT Belfield's residence but on sections on the other (eastern) side of the railway line closer to Dashing Point. Herbert had built the two storey red brick house in 1878 over the bridge and up the hill and from this stone cottage. 

Jubilee History of South Canterbury J C Anderson, page 421

Building stone. Considering the variety of rock formations on the coastal side of South Canterbury, it is a matter for some surprise that so little building stone of any value exists. The local bluestone was first brought into use in the building of the engine-shed connected with the landing service on the beach and in April, 1866, H. Belfield used the stone in the erection of a dwelling; about the same time W. Ross put up a stone accommodation house, with white quoins, at the upper ferry of the Waitaki. Dolerite, or Timaru lava, has been used in a good number of public buildings in Timaru. In June 1874, when the erection of the new Courthouse in Timaru was about to take place, a suggestion was made that it might be of concrete, and this was adopted; a concrete dwelling was being erected at the time in Wellington.

Obituary

Press, 3 September 1917, Page 11
Word has been received of the death at Dawlish Devon, on July 10th, of Mr Herbert Belfield, one of the pioneers, and for many years a leading citizen of Timaru, who was also one of the first proprietors and editors of the "Timaru Herald." Born 83 years ago, Mr Belfield was a second cousin of the late Captain Woollcombe, who settled at Timaru in 1857. Until Captain Woollcombe's marriage in 1861, Mr Befield lived with him in the house which he built at Waimataitai, afterwards building for himself the residence which now forms part of Grasmere. Later he built and lived in the stone cottage near the Abattoirs, which Judge Ward afterwards occupied. Later still he built the two storey brick house which overlooks the Show Grounds. In 1864 the "Timaru Herald" was founded by Messrs A. G. Horton and F. Younghusband, and two years after its commencement, after other changes had taken place in its control, Mr Belfield became joint proprietor with Mr Horton. In 1871 be became sole proprietor, and was also editor until the arrival of Mr Edward Wakefield in 1874. Mr Belfield went Home to England in 1882, after the paper had been sold to a company, and did not return again to New Zealand. Mr Belfield married the fourth daughter of the late Captain Woollcombe, who survives him in England, with one daughter. His name is commemorated by Belfield Hill.  

The cottage garden with Russell lupins blooming in front with a cabbage tree behind, red fox gloves to the right. A beautiful heritage garden. 
The beautiful heritage garden edged with old bricks.

Obituary

Press, 3 September 1917, Page 11
Word has been received of the death at Dawlish Devon, on July 10th, of Mr Herbert Belfield, one of the pioneers, and for many years a leading citizen of Timaru, who was also one of the first proprietors and editors of the "Timaru Herald." Born 83 years ago, Mr Belfield was a second cousin of the late Captain Woollcombe, who settled at Timaru in 1857. Until Captain Woollcombe's marriage in 1861, Mr Befield lived with him in the house which he built at Waimataitai, afterwards building for himself the residence which now forms part of Grasmere. Later he built and lived in the stone cottage near the Abattoirs, which Judge Ward afterwards occupied. Later still he built the two storey brick house which overlooks the Show Grounds. In 1864 the "Timaru Herald" was founded by Messrs A. G. Horton and F. Younghusband, and two years after its commencement, after other changes had taken place in its control, Mr Belfield became joint proprietor with Mr Horton. In 1871 be became sole proprietor, and was also editor until the arrival of Mr Edward Wakefield in 1874. Mr Belfield went Home to England in 1882, after the paper had been sold to a company, and did not return again to New Zealand. Mr Belfield married the fourth daughter of the late Captain Woollcombe, who survives him in England, with one daughter. His name is commemorated by Belfield Hill.

The Timaru Herald 30 Dec 1878  Page 2
Fire. — At about a quarter past eleven o'clock on Saturday, smoke was seen rising from the vicinity of the Melville Hotel, and immediately after the fire bell was rang and an alarm given. The police station bell also rang, and in a few seconds Mr Moss Jonas with characteristic promptness, assisted by Mr Hassett and Captain Turnbull, had the fire-engine and hose-reel out on the street. The Mayor arrived immediately after, and in less thin five minutes most of the Fire Brigade were dressed and in readiness on the ground. A two-horse dray belonging to Mr Exley was the first to arrive, and in attaching the horses to the fire-engine vehicle the swivels at the end of the traces broke two or three times, and thus a delay of several minutes was caused. This difficulty having been got over, the Fire Brigade, Mr Jonas, and the Mayor, taking with them the fire engine and hose reel, proceeded in the direction of the fire, the scene of which they readied in a very short time. On arriving there it was found that the fire had not extended beyond the limits of the enclosure between the Great North Road and the railway line, and that happily it had wasted all its fury previously to their arrival. There was no difficulty in arriving at a conclusion as to its origin, as it could at once be seen that it had been caused by a spark from a passing train igniting the grass growing near the railway line. The grass being extremely dry the fire rapidly spread, and burned everything which grew in the enclosure from Mr Elworthy's residence to opposite the Melville Hotel, coming up to the very wall of Mr Hillary's house. The fire was nearly out on the arrival of the Brigade, and consequently their duties were confined to extinguishing the smouldering posts of the fence. Subsequently the water cart was taken over the ground, and the fire in the smouldering turf and tussocks was completely extinguished. While this was going on another fire was observed in the immediate vicinity of Judge Ward's residence, and leaving four men under the charge of Foreman Murray at the first fire, Captain Turnbull, Mr Jonas, and the Mayor, taking with them the rest of the Brigade and the engine and hose-reel, proceeded to the scene. On arriving there they found that the fire had originated in a similar manner to the former one, and though it had already caused a great deal of damage, and destroyed the beauty of this really handsome place, all immediate danger was over. Sergeant Haldane and a few of the police had reached there before them, and with the assistance of some of the residents in the neighborhood had succeeded in preventing the fire from reaching Judge Ward's house. All that now remained for the Brigade to do was to prevent the fire from spreading through the grass, and to this they applied themselves with considerable promptitude. They, however, suffered under the disadvantage of having no water available at a more convenient distance than 300 yards, from which place they continued bringing water until the well was empty and the fire out. The fire went over the ground between the railway line and Judge Ward's residence and everything that grew on it including a very tall blue gum was consumed by the devouring element. The men who had assembled there succeeded in preventing its going closer to the house than a distance of about three yards, but the general opinion was that had the house been built of other material than stone, it would have also been demolished. The damage done was considerable. It is said the fire originated in a plantation of trees belonging to Mr Belfield, where it burned a splendid lot of insignis and other trees. The whole of the orchard at Judge Ward's residence, some of the trees of which were ten or twelve years old, was destroyed, as was also the cow-shed and the live fences in its neighborhood. A good portion of the shrubbery of ornamental trees and shrubs north of the carriage drive were also completely demolished, and some valuable flowers got crushed and destroyed. We are informed that a short time ago the grass in the same place caught fire from the same cause, but was put out before it had assumed any magnitude. The engine from which the sparks that caused the fires came was the one attached to the train returning from Albury. It was burning Newcastle coal, and was provided with a sparkcatcher, so as to prevent the escape of sparks as much as possible. We make this statement, as the general belief with some people is that native coal emits more sparks than Newcastle coal, and that, consequently, it is more dangerous. This belief has been found to be an erroneous one. There is only one engine leaving the Timaru shed in which native coal is burned, and no accident has occurred through sparks escaping from it. On the contrary, it is considered the safest of the whole of the engines. We are told that a field of corn was set on fire last Saturday near the Waimate Junction, also by a spark from a passing train, but the amount of damage done has not yet transpired. When accidents of this nature are becoming so frequent, we think it; is time that the railway authorities took measures for preventing their recurrence.

The Timaru Herald piece (4 January 1879) mentions a burning plantation, this would have been towards the freezing works where their paddocks are now. It is on the flat before the cutting, and a spark could have blown across; not so easy when the engine is in the cutting.

 17 August 2011 Photos by M.T.

  1. Rough seas - surge from the Moore Street bridge.  

  2. Surge - from Waimataitai beach. In the early days there were building sections on the seaside of Climie Terrace, about two to three acres, but over the years the sea has eroded that land away. In recent times there has been rock placed behind the houses in Richmond St. on the sea side to protect them.

  3. InSpired - surge from the Bridge Rd, Timaru rail bridge. L to r. Old Atlas Flour mill, chimney stacks at the Timaru Hospital, Timaru City Council turret clock tower, St. Mary's bell tower, Chalmers Church spire, the red roof of the vacant Hydro Grand, the green dome of the Sacred Herat Basilica. The piazza, Soundshell, Bay Hall and aviary are in the foreground.

  4. Looking north - towards Washdyke from Bridge Rd bridge. Snow on the foothills - the Two Thumb Range to the left. Mt Peel to the right.

The LINZ may hold some secrets!


South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project