TRACING THE HISTORY OF YOUR HOUSE By Cathy Beaudoin
Consider these questions as you explore your home’s past… When was the house built? Who was the architect or builder? What style is it? What did the house look like originally? Who were original owners or occupants? How does house fit into the neighborhood? The City?
5 paths to investigate: 1.) Begin with the setting: rural vs. urban, waterside vs. forest, low-lying vs. hillside, newer side street or urban core 2.) Oral histories: ask around---neighbors and long-time residents, historical society members 3.) Physical evidence: style, building materials, framing, nails, roofing, siding, foundations, windows, doors, fireplaces 4.) Consult a professional: “house investigators” ($350!) 5.) Documentary evidence: deeds, tax records, probate records, cemetery records, building permits, directories, atlases, maps, newspapers, photographs, census records
Library’s Historical Room: Dover history section
Register of Deeds Office Strafford County Building <ul><li>Record made each time property (lot & bldgs) sold </li></ul><ul><li>Deeds bound in large volumes at County Building </li></ul><ul><li>Mortgagor and Mortgagee Indexes by decade </li></ul><ul><li>Start with yourself: find your own deed </li></ul><ul><li>Deed will refer to date, volume, and page of previous </li></ul><ul><li>sale </li></ul><ul><li>Locate previous volume and travel back in history! </li></ul>
Photographs of some of Dover’s Historic Houses from the Library’s collection
Register of Probate Strafford County Building Wills Testamentary proceedings Inventories Administration Accounts Indentures Petitions Renunciations Accounts of sales Balance books Guardian bonds/accts Documents tracing the settling of an estate