GETTING STARTED wITH

Historical House Research

The Hudson Library retains a wide variety of materials to assist you in learning more about the history of your home. Archives librarians are also available to help you get your started on your house research, please contact us for more information.

Start here

If you are just looking for basic information on your home, we suggest you start with the following resources first:

Discover the history of Hudson’s oldest homes and buildings. This table includes many of the city’s oldest homes and incorporates data from the library’s Summit Memory Collections and Hudson Heritage Association. Details for homes may include architectural information, house reports (if available), house history and links to related collections. Photographs, if available, were created by William Moos (1919-1984) who was a painter, architect and founding member of the Hudson Heritage Association. 

This book is a photographic and written catalog of 350 structures in Hudson and is a good place to start for basic information. Copies of the book are available for circulation.

The Hudson Library maintains a collection of The Hudson Heritage Association house reports, which vary in size and scope but typically include copies of previous owners, deed and tax history, architectural reports/ inspections and occasional photographs.

Includes photographs (1950) and descriptions for more than 500 homes in the downtown Hudson corridor, keyword searchable by address. While not as extensive as a house report, this resource includes basic descriptions of properties sometimes including homeowner information and approximate build date.

Located in the archives reading room. The city directories are helpful for tracking down property owners. Some of the city directories (1910, 1950) list properties by address, rather than by owner, which makes the searching easier.

It is recommended to start working at the latest possible date and work backwards in time. If you are interested in conducting more extensive house research, please consult the tips below.

GREAT LOT/SUBLOT

To start house research, it is recommended that you know the great lot and sublot (or village block) (if applicable) where the house once stood (or still stands). Land in Western Reserve was originally divided into evenly divided townships and ranges and then further subdivided into great lots. Hudson (known as Range 10, town 4) consisted of 100 great lots (see image). Maps are the best resource for determining the great lot and sublot numbers.

The 1855 plat map of Hudson.
The 1855 plat map of Hudson.

Located in the archives reading room dating 1855, 1878 and 1891.

It is useful to know if the property you are searching for is in the TOWNSHIP or VILLAGE of Hudson.  

 TOWNSHIPVILLAGE
Great Lot Numbers 35, 36, 45, 46, 55, 56, 65, 66 Usually any other great lot
Subdivision Usually subdivided even further (great lot | block | sublot)Typically not subdivided further (formerly) but usually given a directional location within the sublot (i.e. 60 North or 60 N)

Deed Research

Deeds provide information about the ownership of the history of a property. You should be familiar with the terms “grantor” and “grantee” when doing property research. A Grantor (“Seller”) is the individual who transfers the property to the Grantee (“Buyer”).  Deeds will only give you information about who owned the property, but will typically not include information about improvements or additions (buildings) added to the land. 

You must know a grantor/grantee (either from general knowledge, tax records or maps) to at least get started. Start by using the index in the back of the volume to find the pages where the individual is listed.

Deeds are maintained at the county level. Hudson was part of three different counties throughout its history: Trumbull (1799-1807), Portage (1807-1840), Summit (March 3, 1840-present). The Summit County Recorder’s office has the full run of deeds, but other county offices may be consulted below:

DatesLocation
1799-1807Summit County Recorder’s Office
Trumbull County Recorder’s Archive
1807-1840Summit County Recorder’s Office
Portage County Recorder’s Office
1840-1888Summit County Recorder’s Office
Hudson Library & Historical Society (available on microfilm)
1888-TodaySummit County Recorder’s Office

Tax Research ​

Tax records are helpful to determine home construction dates and ownership history. Once you know either the home owner (during a particular year) or the great lot number, you can start working on the tax research.

Hudson Township Tax Assessment 1811
Hudson Township Tax Assessment 1811

The Hudson Library owns microfiche copies of the tax auditor’s records from 1808-1939. 

The Summit County auditor’s office has original copies of all tax records to present. 

Additional Resources

These are detailed maps of U.S. cities and towns in the 19th and 20th centuries. Then can be helpful to track ownership of buildings from one year to the next, and also when lots were developed into buildings and houses. 

Trace the owner of a property using census records. Keep in mind that the 1890 census was destroyed in a fire and does not exist.

  • Ancestry Library Edition (available for free at the Hudson Library & Historical Society)
    • U. S. Census records; military records; court, land and probate records; vital and church records; directories; petitions for naturalization; passenger lists and more.
  • Family Search
    • Offers free family history, family tree and genealogy records and resources from around the world. The site features an online searchable database of many different records including the United States Census and the U.S. Social Security Death Index as well as military, church, and vital records from the United States and from many different countries.

Keep all of your research organized with this worksheet.