Thursday, 21 July 2016

Examining the deeds

Last week while my Mum was having some work done on her house (new guttering in case you were wondering) an elderly couple were seen by the workmen taking photos of the house. They came and spoke to the workmen, apparently they were from New Zealand and their father had lived in the house just before the war. For some reason they just went off then and didn't stop to speak to my Mum who was in the house, hopefully they didn't come all that way just to see that house!

This got me interested anyway to try and find out who the father of the people from New Zealand may have been. I had a look in the house deeds, which is a thick folder of old documents. A Mr & Mrs Pugh bought the house from new in 1929 for £440 and they sold it to a Mr Charles Henry Alexander in 1939 for £450 (house prices obviously did not rise much in the 1930s). The Pughs went to live in Marston Green so we can assume that it was their son who went to New Zealand. For completion Alexander sold the house in 1949, and it was sold again in 1956 before my parents bought it in 1975.

The old documents are fascinating (i of course have quite a lot of experience in handling old documents from when i did my History Masters). The spelling in some of the oldest from the 1920s and 1930s is atrocious! Obviously people did not have auto-correct and spell checkers back then...

Also of interest is a court summons from the 1910s. I'm not sure why that is in there unless it relates to the land the house is built on (i'll have a closer look another time). I found while doing my Masters that odd documents often appear where they shouldn't be so maybe a filing clerk at a solicitors got a bit careless once long ago.