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 Street) or the County Records Center and Archives (117 South Main Street, 6th floor; use Main Street elevator):
- 1805 to Present - Both Index Types (Books & Microfilm)
- 1805 to 1934 - Deed Records (Microfilm)
- 1935 to Present - Deed Records (Books & Microfilm)
Records Center & Archives
- 1805 to Present - Alphabetical Indexes (Books & Microfilm)
- 1805 to 1934 - Tract Index (Microfilm)
- 1805 to 1934 - Deed Records (Books and Microfilm)
2. Determine the annual value for property tax purposes by researching 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 it is already architectural or other reliable evidence of the approximate building date (e.g., "the 1880s"), research can be confined to a few years (e.g., 1880 to 1890).
Tax lists are at the County Records Center and Archives:
- 1803 to1954 - Alphabetical Indexes (Books and Microfilm)
- 1820 to1896 - Original Books (limited use)
- 1955 to1985 - 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 to 45% of actual or probable "market value" before 1973; values are recorded at 35% since 1973.
4. The County Records Center and Archives telephone Number is 937-225-6366. Please note, however, that it is the individual researcher's responsibility to do this research.