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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 property:

  • 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 courthouse. 
  • 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





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