3 Replies Latest reply on Apr 22, 2021 3:11 PM by Richard Samford

    What is the history of my current residence?

    chantel jenks Newbie

      I recently moved into a house with my husband and son, as well as my best friend and her 4 month old baby boy and our dog. I am not sure how to go about researching the history of the property. We are renting, so I do feel a little crazy going to the landlord about this, but then again, I am going onto a public forum and asking this. I am not sure if I put my address in this box, or how this works, but I do live in Lancaster, PA. Anyway, I really hope someone can help. I have tried just googling things but nothing comes up. Thank you for your time.

        • Re: What is the history of my current residence?
          Robert Crumley Scout

          Dear Chantel Jenks,


          Thank you for posting your inquiry on History Hub.


          Here is a blog post that you may find helpful -



          You may also wish to contact the Lancaster County Recorder of Deeds office for help with your search.


          We hope you find this information helpful. Best of luck with your research.


          2 people found this helpful
          • Re: What is the history of my current residence?
            Tamie Dehler Wayfarer
            Here are a few suggestions That might help you.  These things have helped me in researching the history of homes and real estate in my own location, which is Indiana.

            1.  If your county has an online property search site, you can get much information about a home and some of its history, including maps, date built, architectural diagrams, real estate data, tax information, and appraisal data.  Here is an example of such a site:  https://beacon.schneidercorp.com/Default.aspx?site=CityofLawrenceIN.  You can search by address.

            2.  If there is an abstract for your home (some places don’t use them anymore–they use title insurance), you could ask to see it.  An owner receives the abstract when the mortgage is paid off.  It documents the history of the ownership of the land and when improvements were made.  Your landlord may have this, or the lending bank, or maybe you could visit a title company for more information.

            3.  In the absence of an abstract, you could search the deed records yourself, starting with the landlord’s purchase of the property and going backwards through all of the land transactions until you get to the original deed.  These would be at your county clerk’s office and would be indexed.  Tedious.

            3. If you’re in a city, then check and follow entries for your address in city directories for your town.  There is usually a section in city directories where you can look up an address by going through the street system.  You don’t have to know who lived there. That is how I found out when my address appeared on the block.  The previous city directories didn’t list my house number and then it turned up in 1924, so that was when it was built.

            4.  I attended a genealogy presentation in 2016 about how to research your home using the real estate site called Zillow.com, given by Jill Morelli at https://genealogycertification.wordpress.com/.  The instructions were to go to the site, enter your address, and click on the link for “source of information.”  When she did it for hew own home, she got a lot of amazing information about her house.  But the information you get depends on the state and county in which you live.  You might get nothing.

                Maybe one of these techniques will help you.

            2 people found this helpful
            • Re: What is the history of my current residence?
              Richard Samford Newbie

              Also... try the Special Collections dept. at Franklin and Marshall.  They might have info, or maybe city plat maps.  I pinned down the construction of my home to within a year that way.