YOUR OLD HOUSE
Are you inspired to start researching your own house after reading Nancy’s story on pages 12-13? You might be wondering:
- How old is my house?
- Who owned and lived in my house?
- Where can I get an old photograph or blueprint of my house?
- What other records would be useful or interesting?
The staff in the Local History and Genealogy Department are experts in helping you access the resources needed to answer these questions.
Lucas County Auditor Records
We can show you how to access Lucas County Auditor records which may have accounts of your home. Property may be searched by parcel ID, current owner’s name, or street address. The information provided
includes a space for “Year Built” which may be a first clue in your house journey.
Other Auditor information includes recent transfers of ownership, improvements made to the property, and a recent photograph of the property. Current and historic property values and lot lines provide additional context for your research (and will make you long for real estate prices from long ago!)
The source for determining property ownership is a title deed from the Lucas County Recorder’s Office. Many people are able to accurately trace their home ownership back to the first owner by working through the title deed trail.
We can also familiarize you with County offices for your own in-person research.
The Library has various historic county, real estate, and insurance maps which show the outlines of buildings on property which can assist in dating houses and other facts.
Finding old pictures is often difficult because taking pictures of houses has never been a required government service. The Library can help with several digital collections:
Buildings and Architecture Digital Collection: Find photographs, blueprints, and architectural renderings.
Auditor’s Images: Block Cards from the Lucas County Auditor’s Office are visual records of properties for tax assessment purposes. Find photographs for addresses in Lucas County taken between 1937-1965.
Architecture of Northwest Ohio Resource Guide: Discover more about the history of architecture in Northwest Ohio and research your home.
There are many more resources to use based on how deeply you want to research your home. Use this checklist to make sure you leave no stone unturned in your house history journey (and be sure to stop by or call us at 419.259.5233 for help!):
- Ancestry Library edition (available online at all Library locations)
- Block cards (onsite at Main Library, plus some are online)
- Family Search (online)
- HeritageQuest online (online)
- Hubbell’s Blue Books (onsite at Main Library)
- Lucas County Auditor’s Office records (at the Auditor’s office)
- Lucas County Recorder’s Office records (at the Recorder’s office)
- Maps and atlases (onsite at Main Library and online)
- National Register of Historic Places forms (onsite at Main Library)
- Newspapers: The Blade, Toledo Newsbee, and more than 30 other local newspapers are available on microfilm at Main Library
- Sanborn Maps (onsite at Main Library and online)
- TLCPL digital collections (online)
- TLCPL obituary index (onsite at Main Library and online)
- Toledo City directories (onsite at Main Library, plus some are online)