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Why all the moving?

Many of my ancestors came from Belfast. I have noticed that they moved houses very often, sometimes every couple of years, often to different houses in the same street , so it was not usually to larger accommodation for a larger family. Does anybody know why that was? Did the landlords keep moving people out to up the rent.? Were people doing moonlight flits? Wouldn't have worked very well in the same street. Any ideas?

David Quinn

Tuesday 14th January 2020, 07:22PM

Message Board Replies

  • I’d ask what your evidence is that your family were moving to different houses in the same street? If, for example, it was taken from comparison between the 1901 & 1911 censuses, then the numbers there were the enumerators private numbering system, and did not necessarily bear any relation to any postal address. So the family  may not have moved at all. Likewise the numbers in Griffiths Valuation and the Valuation revision records don’t relate to postal addresses.

    If you could give us a specific example, it might be easier to analyze.  But your general question about whether landlords deliberately moved people about, I think the answer is unlikely. Why would they do that? They might lose money doing that. They generally only moved people on if they weren’t paying the rent. People are more likely to have moved because they had changed their place of employment or because the rent in one location was better, or because they needed a slightly larger house for their slightly larger family.


    Tuesday 14th January 2020, 08:25PM
  • Elwyn

    Thanks for your reply. There are many example of oving within streets on my tree but it is a big tree and I am having trouble locating them. Firstly to say that I haven't got these addresses in the main from the censuses but fom birth records in I can give you one example. My grandmother Amelia Stewart was born in 23 Wigton Street Belfast in 1897, actually her grandfather's house. Her brother John was born in 1899 in 18 Hemsworth Street. Her sister Agnes was born in 1899 in 45 Upper Meenan Street, her sister Elizabeth was born in 1901 in 102 Snugville Street, just round the corner. Next sister Mary was born in 1903 in 21 Upper Meenan Street, Grace was born in 1905 in 31 Upper meenan Street. Billy was born in 1905 in 31 Upper Meenan Street. And finally Dinah was born in 1912 in 40 Upper Meenan Street. 

    Being 70 I well remember upper Meenen Street since a number of family members still lived there when I was young. The houses were pretty well all the same - two up two down. So were the houses in the other streets mentioned. As I say there was alot of this. It is mysterious.

    David Quinn




    David Quinn

    Thursday 16th January 2020, 02:33PM
  • David,

    Yes that is strange. I can’t offer any explanation.


    Friday 17th January 2020, 10:37AM