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Genealogy: Research Your Home

First Steps

  • Look at your abstract for names of previous owners
  • Get information from the previous owners- do they have any pictures?
  • Talk to the neighbors
  • Look at the Property/Abstract/Abstract of Title for information on previous owners
  • Inspect the house- What materials were used? Hardware & wallpaper may have numbers that can be tracked for dates. Check for styles in windows and roofing.

Resources at the Northfield Library

The Northfield Library has a card file with information on residences on the east and west side of Northfield.  This file is located in the genealogy area upstairs at the library. Ask at the reference desk for assistance.  There is also an album of photographs of residences in Northfield dated 1899 (Views of Northfield).  These have also been scanned and are available on the Northfield History Collaborative website

In addition to these two resources, researchers have in the past had some luck getting information on residences using the Northfield News index to look up the names of former owners of their homes.  Sometimes these articles have information or pictures about a particular residence.  The Library owns microfilm for the Northfield News 1879-2009.

The library also has many resources for finding information about people in Northfield: telephone and city directories, yearbooks, state and federal census on microfilm, copies of scrapbooks, city maps and books on Northfield and Rice County history. .

St. Olaf/Carleton Archives

Contact the college archives about homes that may have belonged to college faculty or are very near the college campuses.

Gress House - 700 Union St., Northfield, MN

Rice County Assessor

Resource Librarian

Northfield Historical Society


Northfield City Hall

There are building permits on file that go back to the early 1970s. Call 507-645-8833 for more information.