House History Blog
Choosing the best web sites for house history research is quite difficult because most of the well known sites are designed for those tracing family history. Whilst house and family history are not too dissimilar, the one important difference is that house historians only trace people for as long as they are occupying the house – moving on when they leave, to the next owner or tenant.
So ,these "top"sites have been chosen with the house and its occupants in mind.
The second issue is that there are several subscription sites – Ancestry, Findmypast and The Genealogist that have mostly the same data – that is ,until you look at the records that are most suitable for house historians. So you might be surprised to see The Genealogist preferred to Ancestry in my list.
1. The Genealogist
Of course it probably doesn’t need to be said, but you will never truly trace the history of your house on-line. Many key records have not been transcribed or digitised so you will have to visit the local or national archives. This however is a list of those websites that we feel will help you most.
Although it has fewer records than its main competitors, The Genealogist is excellent for house and local historians. In particular it has an easy-to-use map and address search facility which is excellent for searching all the census and other records.
The Map Explorer is a powerful tool which uses geo-referenced historic maps and the facility to overlay several modern background maps, as well as providing a satellite view.
The site already includes all the previously released Lloyd George Domesday Survey maps linked to the field books and they are introducing a facility whereby you will be able to locate owners and occupiers from the tithe maps in The Genealogist's National Tithe Map collection.
The Genealogist also has the Returns of the Owners of Land (1873–1876).
An excellent review and explanation containing tips for searching The Genealogist collection can be found at
2. The British Newspaper Archive
Newspapers provide a commentary on the major occasions in our political, religious, sporting and cultural life, but are also a major source of information on everyday events. Newspapers contain advertisements, reports of social events, accidents, court proceedings and inquests. Some mundane, others exciting glimpses into the daily lives of the occupiers of our houses.
You may discover advertisements for houses for sale or to let, sometimes naming tenants as well as owners and possibly detailed descriptions of the house itself and the contents.
As well as searching newspapers for details of the house, you are also researching the lives of former occupants. Birth, marriage and death announcements, obituaries or probate notices can tell you so much about former occupants.
The British Newspaper Archive, starts in the 18th Century with extensive coverage for the 19th and early 20th Centuries. Local and national titles are added regularly and provide more than forty million pages of fascinating information. This is a subscription site which is alternatively available to Find my Past subscribers as they are owned by the same company.
To find out which newspapers have been digitised so far, click on this link ttps://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/titles
3. Find myPast
Trace my House
Occasional blog with hints and tips to help you trace the history of your house and its occupants.and a general review of the world of house historians
Finding an address in the census
First Steps in Discovering Your House History
Alternatives to the Census
Postcards & Photos
Books & House histories
Church & Parish Records