Research Your House History

Researching the history of a building requires the whole panoply of genealogical research skills and then some!

Key resources:

  • Building permits

Normally kept in the city planning department. Unfortunately for Omaha researchers, some years ago the city's chief building inspector made the decision to throw all those records out--records spanning more than 100 years, from the 1880s to the 2000s. Permits for the Dundee neighborhood were the only ones to survive.

Originals held at the Genealogy & Local History Room. Water permits can often substitute for building permits as an indication of when a house was constructed since a connection to the water supply was usually arranged soon after the house was built. Online index (in progress) includes date, address, and homeowner.

Relevant articles:

A Place in History: Researching Your Nebraska Property
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Guide to where and what to search when researching the history of your property, including useful links and organizations in Nebraska.

National Register of Historic Places, opens a new window Since its inception in 1966, more than 80,000 properties have been listed in the National Register. Together these records hold information on more than 1.4 million individual resources--buildings, sites, districts, structures, and objects. Research in this collection, or find out how to get your property listed.

National Trust for Historic Preservation
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Useful links and resources for the owners of historic properties--or anyone interested in old buildings!

The Top 10 Places to Find Old Photos of Your House
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Good ideas for finding pictures of your property from yesteryear. The author of this blog, Marian Pierre-Louis, is a house historian who specializes in the historic homes of New England.

Who Lived In a House Like This?
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Although this guide to researching house history focuses on New York City, it provides excellent advice applicable to any location.

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