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Naming our property - Cheslyn Rise

I realised that I can't keep calling our new property "the new property" forever!  It needs a name, and this is the story of naming the new property.

Mustering cattle at Cheslyn Rise

We decided to name our new property after a property that was in my family a few generations ago.  It was the property that my grannie grew up on in Horowhenua, New Zealand.  It was owned by her grandfather William and Annie Adkin, who won it in a ballot in 1889 (if anyone has working on the the number of "greats" separating me and William, let me know!).  The property was 100 acres near Levin, and it was named Cheslyn Rise.  "Cheslyn" after an area in Britain that William liked, and "Rise" because it was on a hill.  My grannie's uncle Leslie Adkin was a well-known photographer and naturalist, and there is a book about his life and the property, which is even on google books, so I guess that makes it world famous in NZ!  Unfortunately the property didn't stay our family as my grannie's father died soon after returning from WWI, and I'm a little fuzzy on the details, but I think the property was sold to the Apple and Pear Board at some stage (but I could have that mixed up, I'm sure a relative will fill me in), so I don't know if the name is still used.

clearing Cheslyn Rise

We couldn't think of a suitable name for our property (Green Acres, Kingaroy Veiws, it all sounded so cheesy and like subdivision names!), so finally we decided that it would be nice to name it after my family's property, and bring a little bit (more) of NZ to Kumbia, Australia.  Our place is also on a rise, but I doubt that its anything like Cheslyn, UK.  My ancestors spent an awful lot of time and effort clearing their block by hand (which was required by the government at the time), and we certainly won't be doing the same, but I hope that we will have the same hardworking and pioneering spirit in trying to establish a new property and doing things a little differently.  Calling our property Cheslyn Rise makes me feel connected to my NZ farming heritage and I feel so privileged to know so much about my ancestors' lives on the land.  I hope we can build a house half as nice as their's too!

The amazing house on Cheslyn Rise, built by hand!!


  1. Lovely name with a lot of history behind it.

  2. Oh I love that house! Oh yes that name is nice - your ancestors would be proud of you!

  3. Nice to be able to carry it on. What a fab house they had.

  4. Love the name of the property and what a fabulous idea to bring history to your new home. Got to love the house that they built. Stunning - houses certainly aren't built like that any more.

  5. wow at the house... oh for the quality and the time and the 'all' that went into buildings then.

  6. LOVE the name, and how special that it was named after your ancestor's place! That house is amazing - do you know if it is still standing? Funny - we ditched the "Green Acres" name, too!

  7. What a lovley name and it's nice to have a connection to the name. Let me know if you build a house like that one! I think I might pop up for a weekend and stay in one of the guest rooms!

  8. I am sure your long gone relatives are smiling. What a grand house - what a pity they had to clear the trees.... how things have changed, thank goodness. Joy

  9. Great photos. What a wonderful idea to use this name. You're family would be very proud.

  10. I love the name, love the sentiment behind, and hope you do get to build an amazing house there one day. Exciting!

  11. My dad and both my uncles have now sent me emails with everything they remember about the house and property. Its a bit of a sad story actually, as my great=grandmother was pregnant with my grannie when her husband died and had to give up her section of the land and go back to live with her father in the main house. Great-grandmother and grannie moved to Wellington when Grannie went to uni (I'm a forth generation uni graduate!) and later the house was split up (top story put on the ground) and now the land is all dubdivided, so the name isn't used anymore. My uncles told my grannie about it (she's in a rest home and getting a bit forgetful) and apparently she was very excited to hear that the name would be used again.

  12. What a great idea Liz! This post makes me so happy :)
    I remember doing a wee project on this when I was at intermediate. Think I'll dig it out when I go home next week for a bit of nostalgia!

    C-L Hodge

  13. Hi Liz. I stumbled upon your blog while doing some family research of my own.
    Cheslyn Rise is still there on Queen Street East in Levin. My mother, Dora Elizabeth (good old family names) was gifted a small piece of the land as a wedding present and built our family home on the land. My understanding is she is now the last relative still living on the land, as my Grandfather, Jeffrey Gilbert Law, sold Cheslyn Rise around 40 years ago. "Chessy" is still farmed and the homestead is in very good hands of her the 'new' owners, mums lovely neighbors.
    Although sadly the reason for my research is due to a new highway suggested to impact both Cheslyn Rise and my mothers property.
    It is lovely to hear that you have named your own home after the homestead.


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