Long Branch — If These Walls Could Talk: Researching Your House History, will be presented Wed., July 15, 7 p.m. in the Community Room at the Long Branch Main Library, 328 Broadway.
Have you ever been curious about the history of your house or property? How old is it? Who built it? Who might have lived there before you? Maybe you would like to know how your neighborhood was developed. Exploring your house history can be fun, fascinating and fulfilling. Every home stands witness to the lives of its former owners and can provide insight into previous residents, the neighborhood and the community at large.
Getting started may seem daunting, but if these questions really intrigue you, it is possible to learn how to research the history of your house. You can become a “history detective” and discover the stories your house can tell. Join nationally renowned land title historian and author Joseph A. Grabas at the Long Branch Public Library to learn how to unlock the unexpected history of your home and land.
Land records can unlock the hidden history of your home, but to construct a complete house history, a variety of sources should be consulted. There are many resources that can provide information about your house, ranging from city directories to architectural styles.
If it seems too difficult or time-consuming to get started, this free library program may be just the impetus you need to get started. Grabas will conduct a hands-on workshop in land records research, along with the additional research necessary to discover the story of your home.
Grabas, a Monmouth County Historical Commissioner, is a Certified Title Professional of the NJ Land Title Association and the American Land Title Association, as well as a founding Trustee of the New Jersey Land Title Institute. He has taught at Rutgers University, Drew University and Bloomfield College and lectured widely to professional organizations on topics related to historical land records and colonial slavery and emancipation.
A book signing for Mr. Grabas’ newest book, “Owning New Jersey: Historic Tales of War, Property Disputes and the Pursuit of Happiness,” will follow the workshop.
In 1664, the Wild West began at the Jersey shoreline. What followed was a determined and complex cacophony of land transfers, settlements, property disputes, land riots, border wars and the extrication of the Native Americans and their rights in and to New Jersey.
Grabas will discuss the history of the settlement and development of the State, as found during his 36-year exploration within the millions of documents recorded in the various County Clerk’s offices.
The Long Branch Free Public Library has a number of resources that can assist with your quest for clues and answers to your house’s history, including local city directories and historic photographs.
Please call or visit our Local History Room for more information. More information may be found at www.longbranchlib.org.