The modern 'Appendices' (AJHR), annual reports of government department presented to Parliament, do not have the vast amount of genealogical material which is in the 19th century version. The 'Return of sheepowners' appeared in the Appendices annually from 1878 to the 1920s in the ‘H’ section. The sheepowners are listed alphabetically within their counties. These give the name of the sheep owner, location, and number of sheep. There are some earlier sheep returns (and a few cattle returns) for some of the provinces in the provincial gazettes.
The annual sheep returns in the AJHR after 1879 are the best guide to the approximate dates of changes of ownership of runs.
Recently shorn "Benmore" merinos- Nov. 2009
THE ANNUAL SHEEP RETURNS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 30th APRIL, 1901.
Return of all Sheepowners, and Number of Sheep and Lambs, on 30th April, 1900, and 30th April, 1901; showing the County in which Owners reside and their Sheep are depastured, so far as the information is supplied in the Schedule B furnished by Sheepowners under section 47 of The Stock Act, 1893. H 23. Increase, North Island, 220,772 increase, South Island, 657,132: increase for colony, 877,904.