Table of Contents for Discovering the History of Your House : And Your Neighborhood


Where Do You Start?
15(22)
Introduction
15(5)
House Research in Your Area
20(1)
Getting Started
20(2)
Even Your Subdivision Has a History
22(3)
Story: How I Got Started
23(2)
Supply List for Beginners
25(1)
Story: Only Believe Half of What You Hear
26(1)
``You're Not Using a Pen, Are You?''
26(1)
Story: ``Follow That House History Writer''
27(1)
Surf the Internet
27(1)
Go to Class
28(2)
Story: House Histories Sometimes Mirror Local History
29(1)
Follow the Paper Trail and the People Fail
30(3)
Story: Reach Out and Touch Someone
32(1)
Take a Genealogist to Lunch
33(1)
Story: Don't Believe Everything You Hear About Your House
34(1)
Historical Information is Here and There
34(3)
Looking at Visual Clues
37(24)
``What Style Is My House?''
37(4)
Story: Houses Are Not Always What They Seem
40(1)
Where Are the Plans for My House?
41(1)
Look for Old House Plan Books
42(1)
Take Snapshots of Your House
43(1)
Finding Hidden Treasures in Photo Files
43(2)
Your House Could Be on a Postcard
45(3)
Finding Your House on Fire Insurance Maps
48(3)
Story: Sanborn Maps and Spies
50(1)
Bird's-Eye Views Are Not Just for the Birds
51(1)
Never Pass Up an Old Map
51(1)
Story: Finding the Truth on Old Maps
52(1)
Don't Overlook Vintage Aerial Maps
52(1)
How Was My House Decorated When It Was Built?
53(4)
Using Vintage Architectural Magazines
57(4)
Searching for Physical Clues
61(22)
If Your Walls Could Talk
61(2)
Story: Does Your Home Have a Secret Room?
62(1)
Do You Have a Sears Catalog House?
63(3)
Story: The Mystery of the Name on the Window
65(1)
Did Your Home Come from Another Catalog Company?
66(2)
Story: The Porch Swing That Was Meant to Be
67(1)
Have You Tried a Metal Detector in Your Yard?
68(2)
Story: Front Doors in the Basement
70(1)
Digging Up the Past in Old Privy Holes
70(3)
Story: A House-Raising Story
72(1)
Was Your House Ever Moved?
73(3)
Story: House Moving Stories
74(2)
Uncovering the Original Colors of Your Home
76(3)
Story: You Never Know What You'll Find in an Old Basement
78(1)
My Home's Not Historic, But I Want to Fix It Up Right
79(4)
Using Your Address to Find Information
83(16)
Who Was the Architect for My Home?
83(2)
Locating Building Permits for Your House
85(2)
Story: Don't Let FOI Forms Scare You
86(1)
Utility Records Can Provide Clues
87(1)
Finding the Original Price of Your Home
87(2)
Contact Local insurance Companies
89(1)
Thank the Tax Man!
89(3)
Story: Tax Records Can Be Misleading
91(1)
Ask for Street and House Files
92(3)
Story: Just Because It's Written Down Doesn't Mean It's True!
94(1)
Is Your Home in a Subdivision?
95(1)
Is Your Home Listed on an Architectural Survey?
96(1)
Old Address vs. New Address
97(2)
What Families Owned Your House?
99(34)
House History Equals Homeowners' History
99(5)
Story: Klondike or Bust!
104(1)
Where and How to Find Deeds for Your House
104(4)
Story: A Deed Does Not Equal a House
107(1)
``Chaining the Title''
108(5)
What You Won't Find on a Deed
113(1)
Understanding 'hypes of Deeds
114(4)
Story: Signed With an X
118(1)
Squeezing Information from a Deed
118(9)
Story: Does ``Pfingste'' Sound Like ``Kingston'' to You?
126(1)
Using the Document Information Forms
127(2)
Story: Name Misspellings Can Drive You Knutz
129(1)
Deciphering Old-Style Script
129(2)
Story: No Saloons or Asylums, Please
130(1)
Your Home May Have Been Rented
131(2)
Investigating Owners to Learn Even More
133(34)
Let Your Fingers Do the Walking
133(3)
Census Records Yield Fascinating Details
136(7)
Ask Churches About People Records
143(2)
Listening to Oral Histories
145(1)
Look at Any Lists of People That You Find
145(1)
Going Once, Going Twice, Sold!
146(1)
Go to Court
147(1)
God Bless the Mormon Family History Centers
147(4)
Ask About Donor Files
151(2)
Look for Homeowners in Local History Books
153(1)
Search for Vintage Who's Who Books
153(2)
Don't Overlook Old Newspapers
155(2)
Social Directories Tell You Who Was Who
157(1)
Newspapers Contain Interesting Tidbits
157(2)
Story: Seasick Researchers
158(1)
Farmer's Directories Left Nothing Out
159(1)
Contacting Former Owners of Your Home
159(3)
Sample Letter to the Former Owner of Your Home
162(1)
Sample Questionnaire for the Former Owner of Your Home
163(4)
Story: Ghostly Faces at the Windows
165(2)
Clues from Beyond the Grave
167(8)
Death Indexes Lead to Obituaries
167(2)
Story: A Ghost Named Julia
168(1)
Cemetery Indexes Help You Find Obits
169(2)
Funeral Homes Can Be Helpful
171(1)
Obituaries Are Marvelous
171(2)
Story: Obituary Information Solves Puzzle
172(1)
Where There's a Will, There's Information
173(2)
Story: A Wealth of Information in Wills
174(1)
Curious About the History of Your Land?
175(20)
Going Back to the Beginning of History
175(2)
Who Owned Your Land Before Your Home Appeared?
177(2)
Understanding How Land Was Surveyed
179(4)
Land Measurement Trivia
183(1)
``N 18.5 Degrees 3 Chains 5 Links...''
184(1)
``North 15 Degrees East 13 Chains, East 8 Chains...''
185(6)
Untangling Land Measurements
191(1)
Landownership Maps Contain Landowners' Names
192(1)
Agricultural Censuses Yield Farm Information
193(2)
Making Your Own History
195(6)
Put Your Research Finds in Order
195(1)
Save Your Research and Memorabilia
196(2)
Start Your Own Photo Archive
198(1)
Give Something Back to Your Local Historical Society
199(2)
Other Sources of Information
201(70)
State Historic Preservation Offices
201(20)
Regional Depository Libraries
221(17)
State Libraries
238(13)
Vital Records Office
251(20)
Glossary 271(7)
Bibliography 278(5)
Index 283