I've been looking forward to PRH's holiday break from school for a number of reasons, one being the opportunity for me to do more research about the history of our house. This beautiful document is our deed. I've skimmed it, but haven't sat down and read the entire thing (it's quite long). We do know that the property was purchased in 1870 and changed hands many, many times. I'm hoping to find out more though; why is the house in this location, what did the original owners do for a living, etc? Have you done research about your home? Where did you have the best luck finding information? What did you find out? Watch out, Historical Society, here I come!


Anonymous said...

It has always been a dream of mine to live in an historical house. I hope you find something interesting or heartwarming! New York played a huge role in the Revolutionary War and your house is old enough to have been involved in some way. Good luck!



cheryl.andrey said...

I've been working on researching our own historical home. I'm not sure if it would be the same in your area, but in our county you can go to the county archives and pull up old property cards that include into + photos about your house.

Here's the photo that we were able to get: http://cherylandrey.blogspot.com/2011/11/homeowners.html

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Handbags*N*Pigtails said...

Long story but when we bought our house, the laywer we went through KEPT our prospective(I think thats what its called?) even when we told her we wanted it back.
It took us years but we finally just got it back. SOOOO interesting. The house was built in 1860 and the two daughters' names of the original owners are written up in our attic:)

Wanda said...

an't wait to hear what you find. I bought my house a year ago (1925 rowhouse) I have the name on the original deed but not sure of the next step.

Jen said...

Abbey...I have done a bit of research on our home. As I have mentioned before it is also an 1880 farmhouse. I have found a lot of good information about the property itself at the County Clerk's office. That was were I started and I met a man there who does Genealogy and he suggested a weird website called Old Fulton Postcards. http://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html
It is a website were you can search NY state newspaper articles back to the early 1800's. So once you find the name of the original and subsequent property owners, you can search their name/town etc. and you may find some interesting things such as wedding announcements, birth announcements, etc. It was very interesting to say the least, and I found out a lot about the people who lived in our house that the legal documents couldn't tell us. Good luck and Happy Hunting!

Speck said...

This is tons of fun. Although I live in Portland Oregon, I still own my old victorian in NY. It was a girls home at one point (11 bedrooms, oh my!) and when we insulated (thus knocking out that sexy lathe and plaster everyone adores) we discovered a key buried in the wall. And there were newspapers with dates from the 1800's lining some exterior walls (as if they would help keep the cold out, ha!)

Enjoy your research and time off! Cheers--

leFiligree said...

since our city is so young and our neighborhood built in the 50s, we can look up the tax records online. have you considered looking into the censuses for those time periods? its pretty easy to look people up by city and see their vocation, and track them thru the decades.

Paulette said...

A--Don;t have any advice on research, but you might consider adding Red House by Sarah Messer to your reading list. It's about growing up in an historic house, and it's part memoir, part history. (If I can find the article I wrote about it, I'll e-mail it to you.)

tiffany said...

I'm also very curious about my home and the people who have lived in it. It is 99 years old and I want to have a 100 year party next year but also want to have information to share about it.
I'm in Canada and we have a document called "Henderson's Directory" that dates back to the 1880's. I've found one name of a gentleman who lived in my home in the 1930's-40's but that is as far as I've gotten without going to the library to look at the physical documents.
I love this stuff!

Jessica Hume said...

My house is 104 years old, and sits on the original property of Camp Taylor in Louisville, KY, which is the camp where F. Scott Fitzgerald was stationed while he was brewing up parts of The Great Gatsby. I have been meaning to do some research on it, and when I can I will begin with our Hall of Records/County Clerk's Office. We used info there to document the history of a local, family-owned business, and had great luck. Plus, it's fun to go through all those giant, dusty old tomes. Good luck!

OctoNoctua said...

We recently lived in a Chicago bungalow from the early twenties that had the original stove, albeit in the basement. It looked like it used to be teal and chrome, it was so cool. Old houses can also be a little spooky - I would not go in the basement at night at all, and never by myself, because I knew something was going to come scuttling out of the back corner and eat me. But perhaps that's just me.
I can't wait to hear more about the history, that's a lot of owners, and a lot of stories!

Kim Whitley-Gaynor said...

We got very lucky when we bought our 1853 dog trot style home. We found a book report (probably prepared by a high school kid) on the history of our home. Turns out it was built by the founder of the town of Alto, TX and it was moved to the country (where it now sits) in the 80's. Lots more was in the book report, but you get the drift. If I were you, I'd talk to the County tax office, local government officials, neighbors, and anyone who has lived in your area for their entire life. Once you talk with a few people, I imagine they will direct you to speak to another person, then another, then another, and you'll find the information you're looking for.


P.S. Love your blog.

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