Property Research Guide

Researching your home can be a very rewarding experience. Getting started, however, can seem overwhelming. It requires an understanding of the basic methods of historical research. Knowing where the resources can be found and how to interpret them in your research is a fundamental part of the process. The goal of this guide is to provide you with the tools necessary to begin your research and to help you overcome the hurdles that will be found along the way.
Think of house research as detective work. You have to sift through the many clues left behind and reconstruct a probable chain of events. It is unlikely that you will find a definitive answer to your question, “When was my house built?” But you will likely be able to build a body of evidence that supports a probable date of construction.

This guide was funded by a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.