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A Hunch pays off

Discussion in 'Advanced techniques for experienced users' started by Heatherblether, Aug 15, 2021.

  1. Heatherblether

    Heatherblether LostCousins Member

    I thought I would share this as was so excited !

    My Scottish great aunt shows as living in England in the 1939 register, as Cook, with a family who have mentions in wiki when I googled their names. I had viewed my great aunts death cert at the archives sometime ago and knew she was living in a nice area of her home town and now a grave stone can be seen on online. She never married and the death cert showed her occupation as ladys-maid and house keeper. I thought it looked like she had more money than expected?

    My gut feeling drove me to look further into the couple in whose she service she lived and worked. The husband died first and his widow, Blanche died in 1946 - I bought Blanche's will, Wiki had already told me she had brought wealth into the marriage. My hunch and £1.50 paid off.

    My great aunt was left £1000 - indeed the will states that if there is insufficient funds at the time of her death to pay the other named beneficiaries then my great aunt is to be paid first.

    This has left me feeling rather happy that my great Aunt was held in such regard, I am happy she had a nice retirement.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  2. webwiz

    webwiz LostCousins Star

    Nice one. A grand was a lot of money then. It would buy a house.
  3. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Maybe - the average price of a house in the UK in 1946 was £1459 according to this article.

    EDIT: link amended
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2021
  4. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    My Great Aunt Eva (I now know not truly bloodline but was always regarded as such) is on record of telling that she and her husband bought their first house 'just before the war' (1938 I believe) in Birmingham for £899. The story goes on to say they had a £1 knocked off because of a broken window pane. May be apocryphal but a cousin swears the story true.

    My mother also told of her elder brother (the only one in close family able to afford actually buying a house albeit by taking out a Mortgage) saying the house cost a little over a thousand pounds (said with great awe) 'just after the war'. So I think 'a grand' would buy a house in the early 1940's regardless of national averages.

    By the way Peter your article link did not work for me
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2021
  5. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    Nor for me.

    I'm with Bob on 1940s house prices. No doubt you couldn't buy a house in the South of England for £1000 then, but you could 'up North' (even cheaper than Birmingham). My parents bought a nice semi in a quiet suburb of Manchester in 1962 for well under £2,000 (might have been as low as £1,500 - my memory fails me), which would have been considerably cheaper 20 years before.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2021
  6. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    I had experience of moving to the South (South East actually) of England, securing a job in Kent in 1970. At the time my income was insufficient to be considered for a Mortgage, never mind having enough for a deposit. I do recall a colleague bought a house in Ashford in 1972 for £2200 (give or take).

    I finally was considered for a Mortgage in 1976 and paid the princely sum of £3800 for a Bungalow in Whitstable which a handful of years later I sold for £11500. In the 80's and beyond house prices rose to astronomical levels (as viewed at the time) and sadly many remain beyond the reach of first time buyers. This is where the great North/South divide comes in (and even the East/West) to find areas where property can be bought at a fraction of the cost of London and the South.
  7. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    When we bought our first house in Lancashire in 1980, it was still possible to buy a house for under £1000 in the same town.
  8. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    I have a 'family heirloom' it is a scan of an envelope addressed to my paternal uncle plus a scan of the enclosure. The envelope is date stamped 1934 at Stockport, Cheshire.
    The enclosure is a written note to say the owner of the house has received the sum of £10 as deposit on the house which he is selling for £395. It then goes on to say there is chief rent of £3 - 10 - 0 per annum.
    I don't understand why rent was charged, perhaps it was leasehold?
  9. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    Ground rent is payable on leasehold properties, but chief rent (also known as a rentcharge) is payable on freehold land. Wikipedia has an entry on rentcharge here.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 2
  10. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Now fixed.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1

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