Uncovering the history of your home or business property can be very interesting and rewarding. Discovering this story requires detective work and research that is beyond the scope of our holdings. Nonetheless, the Library & Archives has numerous sources that may be used to locate property information. The refer to our Researching Your Home and Property
guide for an outline of the major resources available in our collection for property research.
It is recommended that the researcher begin by developing a lineage of previous owners by researching property deeds. It is important to realize that not all deeds have been recorded. However, all recorded deeds beginning in 1749 are found at the York County Archives
located at 150 Pleasant Acres Road, York. The grantor and grantee indexes for the York County Deed Books from 1749 through 1943 are searchable on their website. Additionally, the Library & Archives has many unrecorded deeds in its collection. Please keep in mind that many unrecorded deeds still remain in private hands.
The Library & Archives also has copies of recorded deeds from 1749 to 1850 on microfilm, but it is best to begin with recent property transfers and work backwards. If you have recently purchased a property or had it refinanced, request a copy of the title search from your settlement company. The title search will provide a list of prior owners over the past several decades.
Once you have located the names of the previous owners and their dates of ownership, these names and dates that will become the "keys" to access the resources found in the Library & Archives.
For restoration and architectural information contact the experts at Historic York, Inc., a private non-profit historic preservation organization. It services all of York County and the City of York. Since 1975, the organization's mission has been to preserve the architectural legacy of York County.
Historic York, Inc. offers a variety of services to the York community, many of which are provided free of charge or for minimal cost. Fees collected from consulting services allow Historic York, Inc. to retain credentialed staff to help fulfill the organization's important mission.