People and Property Historical Research Tips
By Kelly Kalb, Historical Research Director, The PPA
My name is Kelly Kalb, I’m the
Historical Research Director for the PPA.
I was added to the team to bring validation to names that Virginia, our
psychic medium, receives during investigations.
Since some property owners are unaware of previous owners of their homes
and the history of such people, I’m able to shed some light on possible
hauntings at a property. It is very
important to obtain any information we can to help validate whatever our investigators and medium come
up with at a location.
Basic steps to take when researching a
- Your county courthouse will have
all the information you need when researching previous owners of a
property. The Recorder of Deeds
office is where to begin your search.
Some counties even have an online database with the same
information, so you would not necessarily need to go to the
- Once you’ve obtained the names of
previous owners the next best place to find historical information on that
individual is www.ancestry.com. This website has a 7-day free trial
after which you are charged a fee (check the website for details). Ancestry.com is filled with old census
records, birth and death information, newspaper archives, military
records, and more. This website is
an excellent source of information.
- Now that you’ve started the long
journey of obtaining historical information on your individual if you’re
seeking specific newspaper articles check out www.footnote.com
(see the website for membership information). This website has an abundance of
newspaper archives as well as death records and census records.
- Contacting a historical society
for your county will help with more personal information on an
individual. They have local
historians that can also help with more personal accounts of the people
you are researching.
- Always remember to be
patient. The more you research the
more repetitive the information will become. Keep looking though, the more you search
the more information you may get.
Who knows may be a previous owner of your property was a friend or
relative of someone famous!
These are some basic tips and
websites to get started and make property research easier. Good luck and happy hunting!
By Kelly Kalb