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Where to Research the History of Your Property

When researching your property, both primary (original and archival) and secondary sources should be used. The following list includes both primary and secondary resources.

Click on the source heading to see a list of materials and other sources available.

Local Library & Historical Society

County Courthouse

Corporate and Institutional Records

Municipal Government Offices

Private Collections

Research information is also available from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Interagency Resources Division. You can contact the National Park Service to receive your copy of National Register Bulletin #39, Researching your Historic Property, on-line at, or contact the Ohio Historic Preservation Office.

A copy of "Technical Leaflet 89, The History of a House, How to trace it," by Linda Ellsworth, Historian and Chief, Bureau of Research and Publications, Historic Pensacola Preservation Board, can also be obtained by writing to the American Association for State and Local History, 1717 Church Street, Nashville, Tennessee 37203.

Local Library & Historical Society

Existing Historic Inventories

Secondary Sources
• city & county histories
• corporate histories

Builder's/Trade Catalogs


City Directories & Gazetteers

Manuscript Collections
Census Records
• population
• agriculture
• manufacturing

Maps/Historical Atlases

Insurance Maps

Oral Histories

Pictorial Collections
• postcards
• photographs
• prints/lithographs

Tax Duplicates

Architectural & Engineering Drawings
• specifications

Deed Indexes

Cemetery Records

WPA Church Survey Records

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County Courthouse

Auditor’s Office/Board of Equalization
• plat books
• assessor’s cards
• tax duplicate records
• industrial reports

Recorder’s Office
• property abstracts
• plat maps
• deed records
• mechanic’s lien records
• mortgage records

Probate Court
• will/death records
• marriage records
• estate/inventory records 

Clerk of Courts
• common pleas court records

 Engineer’s Office
• ditch and road survey records
• survey records 

Commissioner’s Office
• commissioner’s records 

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Corporate & Institutional Records

• dedication pamphlets
• marriage records
• baptismal records
• account books
• church bulletins

• written histories
• maps
• ledgers
• account books
• photographs
• interviews
• annual reports
• real estate records

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Municipal Government Offices

Buildings & Inspections
• building permits
• building cards

Engineering Office
• maps
• aerial photographs

Water Works
• water & sewer tap records

Clerk's Office
• ordinances
• city bulletins

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Private Collections

Personal Papers/Manuscripts




Family Bible Records

Interviews and Oral Histories

Architectural Drawings



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