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    How old is that old house?

     

    MONTGOMERY COUNTY GOVERNMENT RECORDS CAN BE USED AS FOLLOWS TO TRACE THE HISTORY OF AN "OLD" BUILDING TO FIND OUT WHEN IT WAS BUILT:
     
    1. Determine the chain of ownership by researching the County Recorder's DEED RECORDS using either the ALPHABETICAL INDEX (grantee-grantor) or TRACT INDEX (i.e., geographic/legal description abstract). Make a list of the owners and their inclusive years of ownership while completing this step.  

    All deed indices and records are available in the Recorder's office on the 5th floor of the County Administration Building (451 West Third St.) or the County Records Center & Archives (117 South Main St., 6th floor; use Main Street elevator):
     
     Recorder:  1805-present Both Index Types (Books & Microfilm)
     

     1805-1934 

    Deed Records (Microfilm) 
       1935-present Deed Records (Books & Microfilm)
     
     
     Records Center  1805-1910 Alphabetical Indexes (Books & Microfilm)
     & Archives:   1805-1934 Tract Index (Microfilm)
       1805-1934 Deed Records (Books & Microfilm)
     
     2.  Determine the annual value for property tax purposes by researching the Auditor's REAL ESTATE TAX LISTS (i.e., tax duplicates). Before 1974, these records are arranged by year, then by taxing district, then alphabetically by owner therein; thus, each year should be checked for the owner listed in Step#1 above. If there is already architectural or other reliable evidence of the approximate building date (e.g., "the 1880's"), research can be confined to a few years (e.g., 1880-1890). 

    Tax lists are at the County Records Center & Archives:
     
     1803-1954  Alphabetical Indexes (Books & Microfilm)
     1820-1896  Original Books (limited use)
     1955-1985  Original Books 
     
     3.  A significant increase (i.e., more than 50% in one year) in annual value for property tax purposes is usually evidence of construction or improvements in the year in which the change in value was recorded. It should be noted that property values for tax purposes were generally recorded at 40-45% of actual or probable "market value" before 1973; values are recorded at 35% since 1973. 
     
     4.  The County Records Center & Archives telephone # is 937-225-6366. Please note however, that it is the individual researcher's responsibility to do this research.