Rich or poor, if your ancestors lived in Holroyd prior to 1927, these ladies want to hear from you.
A ‘‘Holroyd pioneers’’ register is being compiled by the Holroyd Family History Group - and they hope to add everyone to the list.
Group member Pat O’Brien, 70, of Merrylands encouraged anyone aware of any local ancestors to return a form with some basic details.
‘‘It’s just to know who the people were that started our area, what they did, how they lived, how they got here, were they convicts, or landowners? Did they get land grants?’’
You only have to look at Sydney’s second settlement, Parramatta. By the time they’re finished with all these towers, you wont find much of the old Parramatta about. It’s only a matter of time before Holroyd goes down the same path.Pat O'Brien
Mrs O’Brien, who has recorded her own relatives on the register as well as about 3000 people buried at Mays Hill Cemetery, said the project had already produced some ‘‘absolutely wonderful stories’’ about the Holroyd area, then known as Prospect & Sherwood.
Already on the register is Mrs O’Brien’s grandfather, Frank Diprose, who ran a butcher shop on Merrylands Road and built his house - which still stands today - on St Ann Street in the early 1900s.
‘‘My grandfather won the ‘‘ugly man’’ competition, but he wasn’t ugly, he was absolutely gorgeous.
‘‘It was just a charity thing to raise money. He used to donate meat as prizes to all those competitions as well, so his name was mentioned quite a bit in the newspapers.’’
In 1923, another relative - James Murray - built a cottage on Warwick Road for £350.
Mrs O’Brien said it was even more important to save Holroyd’s unique history for propserity in the face of large scale development and change.
‘‘You only have to look at Sydney’s second settlement, Parramatta. By the time they’re finished with all these towers, you wont find much of the old Parramatta about. It’s only a matter of time before Holroyd goes down the same path.
‘‘Yet you go overseas, to England, and you see their history everywhere. We don’t have a lot of history here, we’re not even that old - but we don’t seem to want to keep it either. It’s so important.’’