Who's been sleeping in my bed?

Every old house has a story to tell. Would you like to know yours?

Researching your house is like researching your ancestors; start with compiling the information that you already know and work backwards.

Details such as the Folio and Lot numbers for the block of land that your house sits on can be very helpful in finding out more information, especially when you are contacting Landgate.

Where to start 

Listed below are a variety of resources you can use to discover the history of your house. However, if you need advice our Local Studies staff are more than happy to help.

To book a free one hour session contact us on 9383 8999 or send an email

Newspaper articles at Trove

Find full text and searchable newspapers online. You can search for your street name and may find the names of people who lived in your house before, mentioned in letters to the newspaper and other places such as court appearances, car registrations and more. You may even find advertisements for the sale of your property in the past and details of wills and probate relating to the property.  


Plans and maps at the State Library of Western Australia and the State Records Office of Western Australia

Find maps and plans, for example real estate plans, sewerage maps and plans, that can provide details of buildings on the site, including out-houses and sheds. These maps can also show development in the street.

Rate books at the State Records Office of Western Australia

Rate books can be found at the State Records Office of WA and sometimes at your Local Government Authority's office. The City of Perth's Rate Books (including the four Local Government Authority's that split from the City of Perth in 1994) have been digitised and are available to search at Ancestry 

Wise's Post Office directories at the State Library of Western Australia

These directories have been digitised by the State Library of Western Australia and provide clues as to when a street may have first appeared or when a house was built. It is searchable alphabetically via street names. Work backwards and forwards through the years of the directory until you pin point the year when your house number first appeared in the directory. This will give you an approximate date for when your house was built. 

Historic photographs 

Many libraries, historical societies and archives collect photographs. Search collections like the State Library of Western Australia, Trove and your own Local Government Authority for photographs. While there may not be photographs of your house available, there will be photographs from the period your house was built.