House Research

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(Helpful Hints for House Histories)
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Created by: [[User:Libby the Librarian | Libby Feil]], May 2007<br />
Created by: [[User:Libby the Librarian | Libby Feil]], October 2005<br />
Last updated by: [[User:Libby the Librarian | Libby Feil]], February 21, 2009
Last updated by: [[User:Libby the Librarian | Libby Feil]], February 21, 2009
[[Category:Hobbies]] [[Category:Genealogy & Local History]]
[[Category:Hobbies]] [[Category:Genealogy & Local History]]

Revision as of 15:22, 21 February 2009

Subscription Databases

St. Joseph County Links


Helpful Hints for House Histories

By John Kovach

There are a number of places to check if you are looking for some history about your home. To find out who has lived in the home, you can use city and county directories. Start with the year you moved into the house and work backward in time. Local & Family History Services has South Bend directories from 1867 to the present. The Library also has some county directories, which may exist as their own books or may be part of some city directories.

Once you have some names of former residents, you can try to locate their obituaries by using our Obituary Index (help sheet). You might discover that one of those individuals built or first occupied your home. Our newspaper clippings files might contain some biographical information about your home's previous owners too.

You can also track how the shape of your house changed by finding it in the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps (help sheet). The maps are available in the Library or at home with a valid St. Joseph County Public Library card.

Another great resource for finding out more about the date and style of your home is a set of reports from the Historic Preservation Commission of South Bend and St. Joseph County. In particular, the 1993 City of South Bend Summary Report: Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory has lots of information about local architectural styles, including lists and some pictures of historic homes and neighborhoods. The 2007 edition includes even more buildings, including modern-style homes, and includes an extremely useful index. There is also a 2006 edition of this work that covers St. Joseph County outside of South Bend and is just as helpful.

Of course, the Local & Family History Services librarians have lots more tips to share with you when you come in for a visit!

Back to the Local History page

Created by: Libby Feil, October 2005
Last updated by: Libby Feil, February 21, 2009

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