Whether you’re a homeowner looking to learn more about your current home or a historian interested in tracing the evolution of a neighborhood, a variety of resources are available to help uncover the stories behind the walls of a house.
Here are some of the ways to research the history of a home.
First, gather as much information as possible about the property. This may include the year it was built, the names of previous owners, and its history of remodels.
Start by checking public records such as deeds, tax records, and building permits. Then, speak with neighbors, local historical societies, and real estate agents who may have sold the property in the past.
Simply entering the address into a Google search may reveal a lot of data about the property, which is an excellent way to begin the research.
Look for Historical Records
The next task is to dig deeper into the history of the home. Historical records such as census data, city directories, and newspapers can be invaluable resources for uncovering information about the people who lived in the house and any events that may have occurred on the property.
This is an excellent way of checking if someone died in your house. You can access many of these records online or through your local library or historical society.
In addition to historical records, interviews with previous owners or their family members can provide valuable insights into the history of a home. They may be able to share stories about the home’s previous occupants or even provide old photographs or other memorabilia.
People who have owned or lived on the property can tell you things that may not have ever been made public.
Research the Architectural Style
The architectural style of a home can also provide clues about its history. For example, a Victorian-era home may have features such as ornate trim, stained glass windows, or a wrap-around porch.
By researching a home’s architectural style, you can better understand the time period in which it was built and the social and cultural influences that may have shaped its design.
Examine the Property
One of the best ways to research the history of a home is to examine the property itself. This can include looking for physical evidence of previous owners, such as old coins or artifacts that may have been left behind.
Examining the home’s structure may uncover clues about its history, such as the materials used in construction or any changes or additions that may have been made over the years.
Visit Local Archives and Museums
Visiting local archives and museums can provide a wealth of information about the history of a home and the community in which it is located.
The search for old photographs, maps, and other historical documents may shed light on the property’s past. Some museums have exhibits dedicated to showcasing the history of local homes and neighborhoods, providing additional context for your research.
Use All the Resources Available
Researching the history of a home can be a fascinating and educational experience.
Begin by gathering as much information as possible about the property, contacting local real estate agents can assist.
Historical records are an excellent source of hidden or lost information. Even better, try to locate and interview the previous owners or tenants or their relatives,
Architectural design can tell a lot about a house; researching here can also answer many questions.
Nothing beats a physical inspection. Being on the property allows a person to make all kinds of discoveries. Make sure a thorough search is conducted.
Finally, a local museum or archive may have artifacts or memorabilia about the home that may have been thought to have been lost forever.
Whether you’re a homeowner, historian, or simply a curious observer, there’s always more to discover about the homes and communities around us.