Who lived here before me?

It’s fascinating to imagine the people who lived in your home before you. Who were they? What did they do? What were they like? Was the house the same as it is today? These are questions that have intrigued me for every home I’ve ever lived in.

Our current house is a relatively new one for the suburb, as it was built just 25 years ago. I know, however, there was a house on the site for the 85 years prior to that, and it was demolished to build our current home. And of course, before that first house was built, the land had other uses and custodians…going back for millennia.

I am tracing the custodianship of this piece of land as far back as I can, documenting the people, the structures and the land use over time.

Some of the sources I am using include:

  • Local council rates books
  • Certificates of land title at Public Record Office Victoria (PROV)
  • Research files at the local council history centre
  • Newspapers on Trove
  • Wills and probate files at PROV
  • Maps on the State Library of Victoria website
  • Secondary history books of the area
  • Research reports on Indigenous land use
  • Architectural house plans found in the garage
  • Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works plans
  • Online genealogical databases (e.g. Ancestry, FamilySearch)
  • Electoral rolls

Who lived in your home before you?