Three weeks ago, I pointed out a twenty four year-old article from Mother Earth News, about people tracing the genealogy, as it were, of their homes.
An article by Kimberly Powell popped up this weekend at About.com, that is either brand-new, or has been updated recently, about this very topic. It gets into some of the resources you can use to trace the history of your house, either by address, or by previous owner (including census records, if your lucky enough to live in a house that old).
What’s more interesting, is to use these resources to track the homes that were owned and/or lived in by your ancestors at various times. You never know, you may come across a distant relative – A house that somebody remembers passing out of the family might not have passed out of the family, but instead been passed to a relative from another branch of your family tree, or it may have been remembered as leaving the family because the person(s) it was passed was a female relative who no longer went by her maiden name after she was married.
I was lucky enough a few years ago to find a home that had been owned by an ancestor over 100 years ago. We happened to have pictures of the home from the 1920s. We had reprints made, went to the home, met the current owners, gave them the reprints. They were delighted, and emailed us that a few weeks later they had photos taken of the house from the exact some locations that the 1920s pictures were made, and hung them up side by side. We picked up a few tidbits of information about a member of our family that we didn’t know too much about from the current owners, and they pointed us to a few documents they had come across that we added to our collection.