Researching Your Home

Why Would You Want to Research Your Home?

The process of uncovering your home's past can be a fun and worthwhile project. This guide has been developed to help direct you through the research process and allow you to make the most of the resources discussed here. Hopefully, you will be able to answer these questions about your home:
  • When was your house built?
  • Who built your house?
  • Who were the previous residents?
  • What was the original appearance?
  • What was the neighborhood or city like when the house was built?
When conducting your research it is important to understand that at times, research can be challenging and frustrating since you may not be able to find all the information you are looking for. Sometimes you can exhaust every resource and still not find what you are looking for, but don't be discouraged. The process of researching can be interesting and rewarding in itself.

How Do You Get Started?

What Do You Already Know?
  • Information from the purchase of your home.
  • Clues from previous owners and neighbors. Do they remember any alterations made to the house? Do they have any old photographs with your house included?
What information do you need to begin your search?
  • The current and pre-1929 street address. The city directories can be found at the Aurora Historical Society (appointments needed) or at the Aurora Public Library. Up until the 1960s, some of the major east-west streets had different names on each side of Stolp Avenue. For example, Downer Place was Fox on the east side, Galena was Main Street on the east side, and New York was Walnut on the west side.
  • The Property Identification Number (also called the PIN or parcel number)-this 10-digit number is unique to your property and is determined by County, section, parcel, and lot. If you own your property, you should be able to find it in your closing documents or own your property tax bill. You can also get your PIN number from your township office or the City of Aurora.
  • The legal description of your property-located in your legal documents, or attainable from your county recorder or township tax assessor's office. This is the key to researching your home if it is in Kane County.

Example of Information Needed

  • Addresses:
    • Current Address: 411 Oak Avenue
    • Pre-1929 Address: 179 Oak Avenue
  • PIN: 15-22-104-018
  • Legal Description: The north 51 feet of lots 31 and 32 in Block 4 of JR and JC Hanna's Addition to Aurora, in the City of Aurora, Kane County, Illinois.