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House and Building History
By researching the history of a house or building, you can discover interesting information about the property and the people associated with it.
The best place to begin is with your abstract or title search. The abstract is a written history of all recorded documents and proceedings related to a property. Abstract records are kept at the Niagara County Clerk's Office. You can also access digitized microfilm copies through the New York State Land Records link below.
You can search for previous property owners in newspapers or directories.
Maps can show you details in the landscape, property lines, and even building construction.
Parcel Information Search
Architecture styles can give you clues about a building's age and prominence.
American Architecture by
Call Number: NA705 .R669 2016
This highly illustrated introduction to the history of American architecture is now fully revised. American Architecture introduces readers to the major developments that shaped the American-built environment from the first Americans to the present, from the everyday vernacular to the high style of aspiration.
A Field Guide to American Houses by
Call Number: NA7205 .M35 2013 Reference
This book identifies the various styles and periods of American domestic architecture. Concentrating not on rare landmarks but on typical dwellings in ordinary neighborhoods all across the United States -- houses built over the past three hundred years and lived in by Americans of every social and economic background. It tells you -- and shows you in more than 1,200 illustrations -- what you need to know in order to be able to recognize the several distinct architectural styles and to understand their historical significance.
Houses Without Names by
Call Number: NA7205 .H76 2013
Many of the 80 million homes in the United States today have only loose-fitting, general names like ranch, duplex, bungalow, and flat. Most, however, cannot even be identified by these common names, much less by an architectural type such as Colonial, Italianate, or Queen Anne. In this illustrated guide, Thomas C. Hubka considers why most ordinary, working-class houses lack an adequate identifying nomenclature and proposes new ways to name and classify these anonymous structures, shedding a fresh light on their role in the development of American domestic culture and its housing landscape.
Land records are a valuable source of genealogical and historical information. In addition to researching the history of a property, land records documenting the sale and ownership of land may cite the kinship between parties or provide other vital records information. Land records may infer the approximate date when a person moved to a town or when a building was erected. They may also include the residence of the buyer.
New York State Land Records, 1630-1975
This collection from Family Search contains land and property records from the New York Land Office and county courthouses. The records include land grants, patents, deeds, and mortgages.
General Land Office Records
Resource from the Bureau of Land Management which provides access to Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States, including image access to more than five million Federal land title records issued between 1788 and the present. There are also images of survey plats and field notes, land status records, and control document index records.
NCCC's first campus
This building was the original home of Niagara County Community College. It was formerly owned by Nabisco Shredded Wheat. Photograph is from the NCCC Archives.
Holland Land Company Records
Holland Land Company Archives
Digitized microfilm records from the HLC. Original manuscript materials are held by the Gemeentelijke Archiefdienst van Amsterdam (Municipal Archives of Amsterdam) in The Netherlands. The Daniel A. Reed Library of The State University of New York at Fredonia holds the entire extent of the collection in microfilm format.
To best utilize the collection above, first consult these indexes:
Houses and Homes by
Call Number: E180 .H68 1987
This volume helps the reader document the history of a home. The reader will learn to examine written records, oral testimonies, visual sources, and the house's surroundings. The author covers American housing patterns, the individual characteristics of houses in different regions, construction techniques and materials, household technology, and family lifestyles.
Niagara County Community College. Henrietta G. Lewis Library. 3111 Saunders Settlement Rd., Sanborn, NY 14132 | 716-614-6786