The New Jersey Historic Preservation Office has a brief guide on How to Research the History of a House (PDF).
The following are questions to keep in mind when researching the history of your property/structure:
- What is the name of the structure?
- What is the location and address of the property?
- What is the date it was built?
- Who were the architect, designer and supplier of material for the structure?
- What alterations and additions (with dates, name of architect, builder, etc.) have been made to the house?
- What is the name of the original owner and of all subsequent owners?
- What additions to, or sale of, the property were made by the owners?
- What historical events and/or persons are associated with the structure?
The following list of primary (archival and original) and secondary sources of documentation will assist in your property history search:
- Architectural/Construction Drawings
- Building permits, block and lot numbers
- Census Records (Federal and New Jersey)
- Deeds (names of owners, dates of ownership)
- Estate Records/Wills
- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS)
- Historic Resource Surveys and
- Bergen County Historic Sites Survey
- Bergen County Stonehouse Survey
- Mahwah Township Cragmere Survey
- Interview former owners and older neighbors
- Local, municipal, and/or county histories
- Maps and Aerial Photographs
- Newspapers and books
- Plot Boods (volumes of large-scale maps showing plots and buildings on each block)
- Registers of Historic Places
- National Register of Historic Places
- New Jersey Register of Historic Places
- Real Estate listings
- Tax Appraisal Records (Municipal)