Last night yours truly and Kristi Chase of the City’s Historic Preservation department gave a presentation on genealogical and house history research. Since most people remember research processes when they’re given concrete examples, we took one house in Somerville and explained how to use library resources and local government document to find out how the house had been altered over the course of its existence and to find out who lived there since it was built. So technically, the presentation was “Researching the History of Your House and the People Who Lived There.” I demonstrated how to use resources such as the census, deeds, and military service records to gather information on who lived in a specific house, and Kristi was impressive as she showed how one can use maps, historic photos, and building permits to uncover radical changes to the house (in this case, a rather spare house built in the 1850s had been converted into an example of Queen Anne fancifulness).
Our talk was one of the final events of Somerville’s Historic Preservation Month. We’ll be giving it again next year and hope you’ll attend.