Where Can You Look up a House’s History by Its Address?

The address of a house can be used to look up its history in a variety of ways at public libraries, as well as city and county records offices. Public libraries feature several resources for finding out the history of a house based on its address. The names of former owners can be located using previous phone directories.

Census data can be used to locate occupants who may have lived in the house prior to the invention of the telephone. Once the occupant information has been obtained using the address, the names of the former occupants can be used to look up news clippings that contain newsworthy information connected to the address. Although this may be done primarily online, it may be necessary to also use the library’s microfiche resources to view older news records, especially in smaller towns that may not have uploaded all of their older records to the Internet.

City and county records offices house permits and previous deed information. Using those records, it is possible to track changes in lot size of the address, improvements or additions to the home and any liens or judgments that were ever placed against it. It may also be possible to view the original blueprints of a home, depending on the city or county’s specific requirements for obtaining construction permits and the age of the house.