The aim was to research and document the names, locations, years of operation, and licensees for each of the 22 hotels that operated (or still operates) in the area covered by the Lambton Municipal Council.
Early on in my research, I came across a 1936 newspaper article looking back at Lambton’s history, which closed with the reminiscence of …
“… the flourishing times when the suburb had no fewer than 16 hotels”
Normally I am pretty wary about these kind of summary statements made decades after the fact, but to my surprise, when I had finished my research I found it to be dead accurate – in 1881 Lambton reached a peak of 16 hotels!
A few weeks ago I attended a Zoom seminar run by Newcastle Family History Society, at which Jeff Madsen explained how to navigate and search the Historical Land Records Viewer to find old land title certificates, which can contain valuable historical information, as well as the occasional map.
I had used this service before to find some old maps, but was never able to find anything when searching the Torrens (land titles) records. I learnt that the reason why I never found anything is because none of the contents are indexed. The only way you can find a land title certificate is if you know the Volume and Folio number. This is often referred to as the Vol-Fol, and is searched for by entering the numbers separated by a hyphen as shown below.
Without a Vol-Fol number, your chance of finding what you want is literally millions to one. However, having found a title certificate (that’s a story for another post), it will often contain a reference to the previous certificate, and possibly one or more references to following certificates. These links then form a ‘Chain of Title’ that shows the progressive changes of ownership and subdivision of land. Using this concept of ‘chain of title’, starting with my own property in Lambton I was able to trace the chain back to the original mineral lease granted to Morehead and Young in 1863 (Vol-Fol 2-4), and then trace the chain forward to Vol-Fol 3-156 from 1864 wherein the plan of the township of Lambton appears on page 3.
Finding this map was very exciting. It is the oldest map I had found of Lambton, more than 30 years older than what I had seen before. The map revealed a few interesting details:
It confirmed my previous suspicion that the original name for Howe St was How St, almost certainly named after Robert How, an investor in the Scottish and Australian Mining Company.
The main road from Wallsend to Newcastle was originally going to be Dickson St.
The section of Grainger St between Dickson St and Young St (Newcastle Rd now) was originally called Reservoir St.
Grainger St appears on this map as “Granger” without the ‘i’. Unlike the ‘How/Howe’ discrepancy, this is almost certainly a mis-spelling on the 1864 map. Newspaper reports and Government Gazettes overwhelmingly and from an early date spell it as “Grainger”. The street is named after “Charles Garston Grainger” which returns 454 results in Trove, whereas searching for “Charles Garston Granger” returns no results.
I was recently asked by a reader about Alfred Edden and Alfred Edden junior, their service in local councils, and if there was any connection to Arthur Edden Oval sports field in New Lambton. Here’s what I found …
There were three generations of Edden’s in the political sphere in NSW, with father, son and grandson each being elected to a different council in the Newcastle area.
Alfred Edden junior the eldest son of Alfred Edden senior, was born in 1882.
He was became an alderman on New Lambton council in 1908 when he was one of the three nominees for the three vacant positions in Third Ward. He was re-elected in 1911 and 1914, serving until 1916. After a break of a decade he had a second period as alderman in the New Lambton council in the years 1927-1934. He was elected as Mayor of New Lambton on two occasions, in 1911 and 1930.
He died in November 1954 and was buried in Sandgate Cemetery on 30 November 1954.
Arthur Ernest Edden (1902 – 1971)
Arthur Ernest Edden was the son of Alfred Edden junior, and was born sometime around 1902-03, based on him being 12 years old in 1915, and 68 years old when he died in 1971. Although his first name was “Arthur”, he was also known as “Alf”.
In November 1950 he nominated as a candidate in the Mid-West ward of Newcastle Council and was elected as an alderman in December 1950.