Sep 022012
Continuing with Alona’s Family History through the Alphabet theme.

We were always told in maths class that maths is constant and that numbers don’t change. 

But is this really true? 
House numbers are common now in most urban places, however you don’t have to go too far back, to find that many houses were known by house name rather than by number. 

The house that my Grandmother bought from her husband William’s uncle, Edward Courtenay, was called “Loretta”.  Mail would be addressed to Loretta and the street name rather than to a number. In the old directories you will see houses listed as first on the right from Ann Street.

When the home was sold we retrieved this name plate and is one of the treasures we have at home.

Today in most areas of Australia and England if the houses do have a house number they will be numbered even numbers one side of the road and odd on the other.

This is not always the case, as the house numbering was done by the developer, not by the Council or  Post Office. In Oxford a number of streets particularly crescents  were numbered consecutively starting at one end of the street down one side then coming back and then finishing at the end of the street. 
And I have also seen this today in Australia particularly when houses are only on one side of the street such as Tallon Street, Sadliers Crossing, a suburb or Ipswich.

You may also find that a house may change it’s number over time. 

My grandmother’s home ‘Loretta’ on the corner of Ann and James Street, Fortitude Valley was numbered as 1 which made perfect sense as it was the first house on the street. 

The below images are from a number of directories and electoral rolls I have purchased over the years from Gould Genealogy . Without them I would never have been able to do as much research as I have whilst still working full-time and also studying. For some strange reason libraries don’t want to open their rooms at 1.00am which is when i have done a lot of my research over the years. One advantage of working was that I could afford to buy some great resources even though the disadvantage was that I couldn’t get to as many libraries as I wished.

Anyway back to the evolution of Loretta’s house number.

1936 Electoral Roll

1939 Electoral Roll

I love electoral rolls as you can see as a family ages and are now eligible to vote.

In 1949 Myrtle and William bought the home and they and their 9 year old daughter Violet left Myrtle’s Mother’s home in Red Hill to move to their new family home.

1949 Electoral Roll
1958 Electoral Roll

However suddenly the council decided in the early 1960s that the number should be changed to 9 James street. Remember this is the first house on the right as you walk from the Ann St-James St corner walking down James Street.  

The first Myrtle and William knew of the change was when they received a rates notice. On querying it they were told “that is what it now is” 

1963 Electoral Roll

So numbers do not always stay the same!

It is something to consider in your own research that numbers can change as can the name of the suburb,  state, county even country over time.

What examples of this have you found in your research?