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Research the Story of Your House

Examples of resources available to research your home

Have you ever wondered about the stories your home has to tell? Are you fascinated by the history of historical homes in your neighborhood? 

Madison Public Library partnered with the City of Madison Planning Department and Madison Trust for Historic Preservation to create a community presentation entitled, “Researching the Story of Your House.” 

Those looking to research their house might use the following resources:

  • Abstract of the house
  • City directories
  • ​Register of Deeds real estate records
  • Obituaries
  • Cemetery records
  • High school yearbooks
  • Newspaper articles
  • Neighborhood history books
  • Parade of Homes articles
  • Census records
  • Oral history “house history” interviews with recent owners or occupants
  • Photos from recent owners or occupants
  • Descendants’ and neighbors’ memories

And to learn the history of the structure itself, you can refer to:

  • Books about the history of the city, neighborhood, or subdivision
  • Neighborhood Walking Tour pamphlets
  • “Custer Cards”
  • Books about the house architectural styles
  • Architecture and history inventory
  • City or County Assessor website or tax bill (identify the legal description and parcel number)
  • County Plat Maps (land ownership in rural areas)
  • Sanborn Insurance Maps (outline drawings of buildings to compare changes)
  • Subdivision Maps
  • Tax Rolls
  • ​Building Permits

Neighborhood resources include local neighborhood associations and historic districts.

Madison Public Library occasionally host workshops to help you research the story of your home. You can watch our events calendar for upcoming events. 

View the entire presentation “Researching the Story of Your Housewhich includes contact information for the presenters.

Related Events

Finding Your Family History
Saturday, Aug 24, 10:00am - Goodman South Madison Library

Researching family history has become quite popular. This presentation will show you how to start the journey to uncovering family stories. Lori Bessler, Reference Librarian at the Wisconsin Historical Society, will provide instruction about resources that can show us all more about our family history. This event is aimed toward beginners but will also provide information for the person who has been doing genealogical research for a while. 

In the News

MadCity Dream Homes: Researching the history of your home | July 29, 2019

Aug 5, 2019