When is a street, and can we get up to 88?
Street names change, motorways get built, whole streets are suddenly gone. This has happened to me on a couple of occasions. When I was in Bendigo looking at my great grandfather's legacy - ie the houses he built, the Bendigo historical society had previously sent me some information about where the houses were. The thing is, the numbers were different back in the 1800's, and I think that would be true almost anywhere in Australia. This is because the numbers were lot numbers back then, and the second lot that was sold was number 2 - not anywhere near number 1 necessarily.
On this occasion, local knowledge was the answer, I went to the local library, which has an extensive family history section and the librarian was able to tell me where the houses would have been built. I wish I had done a bit of research before hand though. Next time I will email the library with specific questions like this.
The latest occasion was when I was trying to find the location where my mother was born and lived just before she moved with the family to Australia. This is in Surrey, and the address on the census was #1 Edwards Cottages Farnham. My first thought was to do a google search - no luck. My next was to see if there was a Surrey Historical society. Well, I found the Surrey Heritage group on Facebook!
After posting a question on there wall, one of the team there searched for me and found that:
We hold a small, printed, set of sales particulars for the 4 cottages that made up ‘Edwards Cottages, Bishop’s Road, Upper Hale, Farnham’,dated 2 October 1946, at ref. 7099/1/83.
According to the description given in the catalogue (little more than a leaflet) the cottages comprised two ‘semi bungalows’ and two ‘two storey cottages’. It even gives the names of the then tenants. In 1946, the tenant at no.1 was Mrs. Nunn!
By looking up ‘Bishops Road, Farnham’ on ‘Google maps’ it is quite clear that these four little houses still stand. They still comprise two bungalows and two very small cottages.
I doubt there would have been any other way to find this information other than through the local knowledge that the people who work there have. I have now 'liked' the Surrey Heritage group on facebook, and find their posts really interesting. I cant wait to go and visit them in August. (photos coming!) The posts I have found most interesting so far have been about how to preserve old photos and "Marvels of the month" which are posts about interesting historical documents just found.
Here is the link to Caring for your Photographs: http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/recreation-heritage-and-culture/archives-and-history/surrey-history-centre/surrey-history-centre-conservation-section/caring-for-your-photographs.
One tip this post did not talk about was digitalising photos. I had my old wedding photo negatives from the 1970's. The actually photos are going all red due to the chemicals that were used then, so I took the negatives into a very reputable photo shop (Paxtons). It cost around $200, but they put all the negatives onto a disk for me, and restored them. This meant all the bits that had flaked off were put back, the hairs and dust removed etc. Now I have a perfect set of photos printed from this. Its possible to do with most old photos or negatives. The folks at Rootsweb also have a group that helps with restoring old photos.
Anyway, I have a list for when you are trying to find an historical place, here it is:
- Search google maps for the exact address - Use Snip It to get a photo!
- Look for the local historical society and contact them.
- Look for the local geneology society and contact them.
- Search on facebook for "town" history and see what groups you can find.
- Check the local library for help.
- Search google images for old photos of the street or town - you may find an old may here.
And one I found of Farnham (1913)
So, think about when you are looking for your street, not just where!
My next blog I will talk about some of the tricks to snatching photos and pictures.
Thanks to Back to the Future for this great quote:
Dr. Emmett Brown: If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour...
you're gonna see some serious shit.
Dr. Emmett Brown: Don't worry. As long as you hit that wire with the connecting hook at
precisely 88 miles per hour, the instant the lightning strikes the tower... everything will be fine.