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  #1  
Old 10-07-2019, 10:41 AM
Fool Fool is offline
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Default Researching my house

Lat September we bought an old farm house in western ny, on the deed it said built in 1900. Over the last year ive hunted maybe 3 times around the yard, lots of junk because ive been doing constant renovations. The more I open up and look at the structure and framing, I know its older than 1900...
I called my local historian and asked if she could help me research. She knew the house and said its been on the maps since 1850! Most likely due to the bark still on the trees in the basement spanning almost 18', hand hewn beams and Greek revival style. More than likely it was built in the 1830s.
She showed me the map and there is also a school house somewhere close by in 1850, I have not figured out where this was, yet.
I am still looking to find old pictures of the house because I know there was a barn and other structures nearby, anyone know where to look?
Also, I realize I will mostly find junk and im still noob at detecting but what is the best way to sort out junk? Equinox 600 with about 4 hours on it...

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Last edited by Fool; 10-07-2019 at 02:44 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-07-2019, 12:38 PM
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Silver_Seeker Silver_Seeker is offline
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PM me your address, I'll be right over!

LIDAR could be huge if your home is withing the area of NY covered on this site. https://gis.ny.gov/elevation/lidar-coverage.htm

A lot of times realestate records list 1900 because when they had to put down a date and it wasn't known they just wrote 1900 on every old house in town. I've seen this many, many times.

NY aerials to back to at least 1957 on historicaerials.com

Probably 1870 at least on historicmapworks.com

City/Town records, go to City Hall.

Go to local historical society.

Good luck, let us know how you make out!

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  #3  
Old 10-07-2019, 12:59 PM
Beepette Beepette is offline
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Check your local library for a Caldwell's Atlas for your county. The one I have for my area was published in 1874 and has drawings of all sorts of local farms, including mine, and mentions businesses like blacksmith shops.

I found info about my house and its first owner in a locally written history of my county. The author was a member of the county historical society.

Surprisingly, I found a little book on the history of my township on Amazon. It has some nice info in it, including where the local soldiers gathered for drills etc during the Civil War.

Talk to any folks in the neighborhood who have been there for a long time. A woman at our polling place told me where a schoolhouse once stood, and she knew a lot about some former owners (including one who found the original deed to the property in a wall when he closed up a clock niche...sadly, no idea what the guy did with it).

My house was built by a fellow who built several other houses around here, 4-5 of which are still occupied. One of those owners was knowledgeable about my township's early days, and another is a descendant of my home's original owner.

I've had kids and grandkids of former owners knock on the door and ask if we'd mind them looking around for old times' sake. The first time it happened, I wasn't into MDing, so asking certain questions wasn't a blip on radar, but in other years I was ready, and found out exactly where the outhouse stood, where the garden was etc.

You might luck out looking around here https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/
If nothing more, it's interesting reading.

GL and HH

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Old 10-07-2019, 02:12 PM
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Skwerly Skwerly is offline
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WOW how cool! subbing bc i have to know how this goes.

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  #5  
Old 10-07-2019, 02:35 PM
Fool Fool is offline
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thanks for the tips, I looked through the old maps site but nothing for my county
The GIS info used to be there, I cant find the right link but I used to be able to see the aerial from 1906 of my house, just not great quality. The town historian said she has pictures of the house from tax improvements made in the 1950s and 1970s, I am interested in seeing these.
Also I did some searching on the original landowners I believe from the 1852 map she has. When I was detecting I found a large area with lots of signals, non stop beeping for 100s of feet. I dug a couple of these and there was a layer of charred wood about 6" down. Im guessing a barn or another home was here as it is on the other side of the driveway as my house about 200' away. Thanks again for the tips!


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Last edited by Fool; 10-07-2019 at 02:53 PM. Reason: added pictures
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  #6  
Old 10-07-2019, 03:44 PM
Beepette Beepette is offline
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Whoa, you have a really nice basement! Mine's made out of dirt and rocks.

Do some interweb searches for dating old houses to help you find a timeframe. What is the foundation made from; is there subflooring or planks laid directly over joists; are sawmarks curved or vertical; are square nails cut or hand wrought? Lots of small clues. None of them are absolutes and a lot depends on the time and place when the house was built, but you can get a pretty good timeframe.

Right up close to my house I've found basically nothing but square nails, but out just a little way in the yard I've found coins and buttons -and parts of a cast iron stove. Near the barns and outbuildings yielded coins and interesting little bits of household life. I don't know how they possibly got there after a pond was dug in the 60s and the land was top filled, but I've found large cents and a Morgan silver dollar in my horse pasture out front. So my advice would be to not drive yourself crazy in the junky loud areas at first. Move away from and work your way in toward the burnt house remains. The 18 billion nails and scraps of metal will be easier to tolerate if you find something cool first.

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  #7  
Old 10-07-2019, 11:02 PM
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HistoryHippy HistoryHippy is offline
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Check 1800s township and county atlases. The ones in my area have the houses and outbuildings on the maps along with the owners names.
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