April 9 - H is for House

Hove you looked into who lived in your house, before you did?  Who owned the land? Was it a land grant?  Who built the house?  All interesting questions that I've tried to answer about my home of the past 40 years.

[ I'm using Australian records. I think the concept would be similar in other countries.]

Just like tracing your ancestors, you start with what you know and work backwards. This time you use land records.  Have a look at the deed to your house. (Some modern deeds wont have this information and you will need to look further back.)   You will be the most recent entry on the document. Go back by dates and note down who purchased and when. You should also note subdivisions as parts can belong to different people. It is slow and sometimes tedious but well worth it. Learn to think outside the normal.

Anyway, back to my place.  We are only the second family to live in the house and I've searched back to the original grant, given to George Johnstone Jnr on 23rd April 1804.  It was grazing land and then a market garden, before the house was built in 1951.

There are many more steps and much reading of past deeds to find all the owners but it was fun.

Anyone interesting, infamous or famous own your home?

Bye for now,


  1. We are the third owners of our house. First was a doctor, then a young couple who got a divorce thus prompting the sale of the house which we then bought. My parents were the original owners of their house. When they died and my sister and I prepared to sell it, we went into the attic over the garage and wrote all our names and dates of residence on a beam. I don't know if the buyers ever saw it, but maybe one day someone will.
    Visiting from AtoZ
    Wendy at
    Jollett Etc.

    1. Lovely idea but I'd never get up into the roof.

  2. Another thing on my to do list.

  3. I am probably getting the dates slightly off, but I grew up in a farm that was originally part of a 100 acre family farm. The barn was built around 1851, and the house I grew up in was built around 1860. It was on the outskirts of small town of about 1000 people, including farmland. Interestingly, though my parents didn't move to Ohio until the 1970s, when we were going through one of our family history books for a school report there was a mention of a relative moving to ohio back in the early 1800s to be mayor of this same small town! How crazy is that?
    ~VanillaBean at Travelling Spoons

    1. Such history. This house was only built in 1951/2.

  4. The houses I've lived in here in Australia have been built new so I know their history. When we visited PNG a few years ago we revisited some of our homes and the PNG people who lived there were tickled to meet us...fun! I've done some research like this for one of my ancestors and turned up some interesting stories.


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