House names were used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to identify the location of a house, prior to the numbering of streets. In Strathfield, street numbering commenced in the 1920s. House names were used on records such as post office directories, such as Sands or Wise’s directories which listed the house location and occupier.
Land records such as valuation lists held by Councils often noted the name of the house as well as Lot numbers. Records from early 1920s to 1950s frequently feature house names.
Directories such as Sands and Wise’s Post Office Directories (like an early version of White Pages phone directory) list the occupant of the property because the purpose of the directory was to identify where a person lived. While Council records list the owner because the purpose of a valuation record is to value the property for taxes and rates.
If you want to find the name of your house in Strathfield, please take the following into consideration:
Researchers should be aware that there have been a number of Council amalgamations and boundary adjustments in Strathfield Local Government Area that would affect their research. The location of your house will determine which records are available.
- Strathfield Local Government Area was incorporated in 1885. This area is only a third of the current council area and was bounded by the railway line at north, Liverpool Road at south, The Boulevarde at east and Rookwood Cemetery at west.
- Flemington (now Homebush West), which had remained unincorporated, was added in 1892. Therefore there are no council records prior to 1892 of this area.
- Homebush Council was incorporated in 1906 and amalgamated with Strathfield in 1947. Homebush Council was located north of the railway line and bounded by Powell’s Creek and current Homebush Bay Drive (approximate boundary location) and Courallie Avenue. Most Sands records exist from 1908 as this area was previously unincorporated. Some Homebush Council records are still in existance though there are no building registers and valuation records are not fully complete.
- The west ward of Enfield Council was added to Strathfield in 1949. Enfield Council was incorporated in 1889 and its west ward was amalgamated with Strathfield Council in late 1948 (officially 1 January 1949). This ward was bounded by Juno Parade at Greenacre and Punchbowl Road at Belfield at south, Roberts Road at west, Coronation Parade at east and Liverpool Road at north. Enfield Council records are still in existance, though there are no complete building registers and valuation records are an incomplete series.
- In 1992, a boundary adjustment with Auburn Council added additional area in Homebush West near the former Ford car factory. All records prior to 1992 are held by Auburn Council.
Sands Sydney Directory indicates that most streets in Strathfield Council used street numbers by 1928, Homebush Council by 1929 and Enfield Council by 1923. However, there were still many properties, especially large homes that continued to be known by their names for many years.
Renumbering of Streets
Researchers should be aware that most streets in Strathfield Local Government Area have been renumbered over time. Renumbering has been necessary due to sub-divisions of large properties and the need for additional street numbers.
Most streets in the former Enfield Council area were renumbered and reversed (eg changed from odd to even and even to odd) in the 1950’s to standardise the numbering system throughout Strathfield Local Government Area, where odd numbers are used from north and west facing properties) and even numbers for south and east facing properties.
Sources of Information
The Sands Sydney Directory (published until 1932/3) is a popular reference for local and family history research as it is available in many local libraries. The Sands Directory was early post office directory which listed occupants of properties in street order. Information in Sands is not always accurate and lists occupiers, not owners. Sands is best used in combination with other sources of information to verify your findings.
Council records such as valuation lists often record the house name. Though valuation records from c.1920s to c.1960s generally include house names, a change of name is not always recorded especially if a renter was using a different house name. Occupancy details are more likely to appear in Sands Directory than on Council property records, which were concerned with recording property ownership and payment of rates and taxes. House names are not permanent.
Houses were often named by the owner or occupant but can change with a new owner or occupant. There are many examples in Strathfield such as the previously mentioned ‘Brunyarra’ built by John Spencer Brunton c.1886. Later known as ‘Prestwich’ (when owned by Judge Edward Scholes); ‘Murrumbah’ (when owned by Dr Arthur Mills and later Albert Grace of retailer Grace Bros); ‘Del Monte’ (1928-1950, when owned by Mrs Mary Bailey, who operated Del Monte as a wedding reception centre); and lastly, Santa Maria Del Monte (from 1950 when acquired by the Sisters of St Dominic).
It is not unusual for houses to have multiple names, particularly when ownership or occupancy changed on a frequent basis. House names can move with the occupant. In Strathfield, it is not uncommon for a resident to move to another house in the district and name his new house with the name of his previous home. Examples include:
- Architect Harry Chambers Kent designed and built ‘Kelmswood’ (88-94 Redmyre Rd) in 1893 as his private residence, on the corner of Redmyre Rd and Florence St. Around 1916, Kent moved across the road to the other corner of Redmyre Rd and Florence St (86 Redmyre Rd) and called the new house ‘Kelmswood’. Kent’s original house is now called ‘Woodstock’ and his later home was later renamed ‘Wyangarie’, then ‘Borambil’ by subsequent owners.
- John Robert Firth, Mayor of Strathfield (1916, 1928-32), lived at ‘Holmfirth’ in Redmyre Rd but later when he moved to a home called ‘Girraween’ in Victoria St, which he renamed ‘Holmfirth’.
- John Curnow, Mayor of Strathfield (1925), originally lived in Meredith St in a house called ‘Chyralsson’. When he later moved to 147 Albert Rd and named this house ‘Chyralsson’ also.
Hi I was just wondering if you guys had any information on my house. I live at 441 Liverpool Road Strathfield. I’ve lived here for 15 years. My entire life. And my mum and her mum for over 30 years. I know it used to be a butcher a some point. Just wondering if you had any photos or any information what so ever on it. Thanks would mean the world to me and my family as we have finally decided to sell.
Am researching this, will respond shortly. Cathy
I recently purchased 12 Tennyson St Enfield. I am after the original name of the property as well as any history you are able to provide me with.
Looking for any information on our old house.
My family lived in 13 Powell Street, Homebush. It was a lovely house, 4 bedrooms, 4 fireplaces all quite large rooms.
The house was called Matlock.
My grandfather’s name was George Taylor Wells. He was a gardener.
Is there any way you can help?
Thank you, Heather.
Heather, what’s the time period as some houses have been renumbered.Cathy
Hi Cathy, I think I’m correct in saying this email response was not meant for me; though 33 Merley Road – 1923 – Potts Estate, did have a house name of PARINGA that we found in 1980, stored in the old Hydebrae ‘school house’ that sits on our property. And I wonder if that can be confirmed at all? Dawn & Paul Morante
Paul, I don’t know how this enquiry was sent to you, its a mystery. I recall something about a school house but can’t remember all the details. I’ll see what I can find. Cathy
Heather, I don’t have any photos of the house, but I can confirm George Taylor Wells, Gardener was the owner of the cottage ‘Matlock’ 13 Powell Street Homebush. The house was located on Lot part 10, of section 27 Underwood Estate. He was the owner from at least 1926 until his death. The house transferred to Mr George Taylor Wells in May 1970 under his will. Hoping this assists your enquiry. Cathy
I am just trying to find a bit about the history of 23 Long St Strathfield 2135, could you please advise the name of the previous owners and when the property was first built.
The house is an interwar cottage. Built in 1924-1925 on Lot 2 of the Emerald Hills Estate. The land was owned by Hy Wood, who seems to be a builder who built the house estimated build cost of 800 pounds and then on-sold it to Mrs Pearl Pring. The house was built in brick with a tiled roof of at least five rooms. The Pring family remained the owners until 1960s. I can’t find a house name for the house but by 1925, much of Strathfield had adopted street numbering. Regards Cathy
Hello, I have recently purchased 59 Redmyre Road, Strathfield and wondered if you had any information about the house history and previous owners.
I have posted information on 59 Redmyre Road https://strathfieldheritage.com/?page_id=15229&preview=true&_thumbnail_id=15233
Sorry the photo isn’t great, will update when I can. Regards Cathy
Thank you so much
I am just trying to find a bit about the history of 4 Coleman Avenue Homebush. Are you able to advise the name of the previous owners and when the property was first built, house name ( if any) and any other interesting historical information?
No problem, I’ll see what I can find. Cathy
Dino, the house was built in 1924 and the house name ‘Bosworth’. Still working on this and will post more. Cathy
My parents bought 8 Carrington Avenue from a Mrs Hartley in 1970. Back then it was painted pink and was called Dalkeith Lodge.
Although my father passed in 2019, my mother still lives in that house.
I would love it if you had any information on its history as I believe it was built at around the same time as Glen Luna and could possibly have been a foreman’s residence???
I’ll see what I can find. Cathy