How Do You Trace the History of Your House and Property?

You can trace the history of your house and property by utilizing records at public libraries and at county and city records offices. Libraries have several resources available for finding the history of a house, including old city directories that can provide names of former owners.

Census data can also help in finding former occupants who may have lived in the home. After determining the names of former occupants, use those names to look up old newspaper accounts or to find any newsworthy information that's connected to the home. Research old newspapers online or through the local library.

City and county records offices have previous deeds and house permits available for research, through which you can determine changes to the home, additions or improvements, and even pinpoint the year the home was built. You may find information regarding the home on old survey and plat maps. Deeds provide information on who previously sold the home and the purchase price in each sale.

Church records may also provide information on former owners of the home, along with obituaries. Birth, marriage and death records can provide names of former owners. Knowing who the former owners were can help you track down family members and descendants who may have information regarding the home and property.