This is a question our historical society is asked frequently. People move into the community and ask about the history of their house or property. The age of house, who lived there and events are common starters and interesting to find out.
First we recommend looking at your property deed or title. If you only have the last seller you will need to start at the local courthouse in the recorders department. A search needs to be done of past home owners and years of purchase.
Second, talk to surrounding neighbors and residents of the town where you purchased. If someone has lived in the same place or address for a number of years, they might know about your current house and have stories about the past owners or even old photos. Contacts and networking are important.
Third, once you have a list of past property owners, look for the names in the census records. We have some of these books at AWTHS Reference Library. Other sources or places to look include: Arcanum or Greenville Public Library, the Darke Genealogical Society at Garst in Greenville and looking on-line thru Family Search or Ancestry.
Fourth, look in old newspapers for the names or addresses of the property. AWTHS has limited info from the Arcanum Newspapers. Other libraries may have papers on microfilm.
Fifth, google the names on the internet and see what search engines can find. Those who have researched their family’s history and worked on family trees may have already found this information. Their search may not include all the names in the deeds but every find is a gold mine. In searching also put out inquires for old photos of the property or the family.
These are a few starters to get you pointed in the right direction. Please consider a copy of your report for the AWTHS library files.
Home Owners from the past and Addresses AWTHS has on file. Some include Old Photos as well as Present.
Charles Williams and William and Ira Dull. Old and Present Photo.
405 W. George Charles Smith. Old and Present Photo.
Founders Lot on North. Color Photos.
302 W. South Fred Harris and Metzgar . Old and Present Photo
Clark Home Corner of Main and George-Gone. Old Photo only.
Kaylor Home First was east side of South Main. Moved to Locust Lot 327. Old and Present Photo.
2 North Main John W. Smith Home. Present Home.
4 North Main Ozias Smith. Some B/W photos and present.
3 North Main T.D. Smith- Gone today. Old Photo.
1 North Main Zimmerman- Gone Today. Old Photo.