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Researching the History of a House

Owners of older properties in Lancaster are often curious to learn about the history of their house and have questions about its past. When was the house built? What style is it? What did it look like originally? Who was the original owner? Who else has occupied the house over the years?

Clues to help unravel a house’s history can be found in a variety of public records and historical documents, which can be researched online, at government offices or at local research facilities. Read about avenues for research and local resources in a 27-page guide, “Researching the History of a House: A Guide to Researching Older Properties in Lancaster ”. Topics addressed in this booklet include establishing a chain of title through deed searches, identifying architectural styles and finding historic maps and old photographs, with information on local facilities as well as online sites where documents can be found.

Development of this guide to “Researching the History of a House” and its addition to the City of Lancaster’s website has been financed in part with Federal funds from the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. However, the contents and opinions do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of the Interior, nor does the mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Department of the Interior.

This program receives Federal financial assistance for identification and protection of historic properties. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability or age in its federally assisted programs. If you believe you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility as described above, or if you desire further information, please write to: Office of Equal Opportunity, National Park Service, 1849 C Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20240.