6 Owners and Occupants

If difficulties in researching the history of the house are encountered, one may wish to track down the people who lived in it or who owned the property. This information can be taken from the Abstract of Title and used in the following searches.


A chronology of the human habitation of a dwelling can be compiled using old city directories. City directories are annual listings of residents with their street addresses, occupations, and sometimes office addresses. They can be used to locate a former owner’s place of residence, if other than the house, or to verify the date of occupancy.


Local government offices are another source of information about the life of the owners. In Minneapolis, most of the offices for house history research are located in the Hennepin County Government Center; in St. Paul, they are located in the Ramsey County Court House. Vital statistics, such as births, deaths, marriages, adoptions, and naturalizations are filed in the offices of the district court. Some of the documents listed in the Abstract of Title are wills or estate proceedings, in which case the records will be kept by the clerk of the probate court. With some luck, an inventory of household goods may turn up as a result of a disposition proceeding.


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Drafting a House History Copyright © by Compiled by Barbara Bezat and Alan K. Lathrop is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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