HOW OLD IS MY HOUSE?
WHAT STYLE OF HOUSE IS IT?
- If your house is one or two stories tall with rafters showing below the roof, it may be a bungalow built from 1905-1930.
- Is your house two stories with a gable facing the street and a side wing? This house is a vernacular farmhouse (1850-1890) also referred to as a folk or front gable and wing house.
- ls your house three stories tall with an asymmetrical facade, steeply pitched roofs and a porch? This is a Victorian house built between 1860 and 1910.
- A Greek revival may have columns, a Gothic revival has fall pointed gables and an Italianate house (1840 - 1885) has wide overhanging roof eaves supported by decorative brackets. You might own a Colonial, Dutch Colonial or Cape Cod. Occasionally styles are mixed or renovations disguise the original house. An Italianate house may be a front gable and wing house and a farmhouse may be dressed up as a Victorian.
Consulting these books and website will help determine what style your house is and when it was built:
- A Field Guide to American Houses - McAlester (728.0973 MCA)
- American House Styles - Baker (728.2709 BAK)
- House Histories - Light (728.028 LIG)
- Guide to American Homes, 1600-Present Residential Architecture in a Nutshell
Your house may be pictured or described in:
- Patchogue ... The Early Years - Henke (Q 974.725 V-PATCH HEN)
- Patchogue ... in the Twentieth Century - Henke (Q 974.725 V-PATCH HEN)
- SPLIA Historical Structures Inventory (LI REF 720.9747 SPL)
The Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities surveyed hundreds of houses on Long Island in the 1970's and 1980's. Our Local History Room has volumes containing structures from Blue Point to Eastport including houses in Medford, East Patchogue and North Patchogue. The Village of Patchogue was not surveyed but many houses built before 1900 outside the Village are included.
- Sanborn Fire Insurance Atlases
The Sanborn Fire Atlases were issued irregularly between 1884-1926 with parts of Patchogue and occasionally surrounding areas mapped. The Sanborn maps will tell if your house existed as of a particular month and year. Its general configuration will show if a porch, addition or outbuildings were added or removed.
- Library of Congress Panoramic Maps
Click on the map at the location of your house to enlarge fascinating views of Patchogue with individual buildings depicted.
WHO LIVED IN MY HOUSE?
Some early maps are the best source for discovering previous occupants of your house. These maps include names of property owners and indicate how Patchogue appeared before the addition of new streets and land subdivisions:
- Patchogue-Medford Library's Map Collection
The Patchogue map drawer in the local history room has Patchogue street maps dating to 1812. The Beers Atlas maps (1853, 1873 and 1888), the Chase Wall Map (1857) and the Hyde Atlas map (1915) list homeowner's names.
If a search through Patchogue maps resulted in the name of a prior owner, that name can be searched in the following sources:
- Patchogue Advance and Long Island Advance
Articles from the Patchogue Advance are the best reference for Village life and events including the comings and goings of Patchogue residents. The online version is indexed and searchable from 1926-1969+.
- Patchogue Business and Residential Directories (LI REF 384.6097)
Older editions of telephone directories list business owners and residents by their street addresses. There are directories for 1864, 1868-1869, 1877, 1898, 1904, 1910, 1912, 1926, 1937 and 1947 in the Local History Room.
- Long Island and Patchogue Vertical File Subject Headings Index
Check here to see if your prior homeowner has a file of their own in the Celia M. Hastings Local History Room.
- The Index to Birth, Marriage and Death Announcements in the Long Island Advance covers the years 1879-1924 and may lead to information on families who once lived in your house.
- Federal Censuses (1790-1940)
Censuses are available on the Patchogue-Medford Library website. Click on "Articles & Research", then "Genealogy". Early censuses often recorded the prior owner's occupation, their spouse, where they were born and the names and ages of their children.
- New York State Vital Records Index
The Vital Records Index microfiche covers New York State births (1881-1937), marriages (1881-1962) and deaths (1880-1962) can find someone who owned your home. Does not include all of New York City.
If Local History Room maps did not produce a prior homeowners name, try:
- Patchogue Village Clerk (14 Baker Street, Patchogue)
The Village Clerk has property ownership records from 1960 to the present.
- Suffolk County Clerk's Office - Historic Documents Library - Researching the History of Your House
Suffolk County's Archivist explains how to research your house and its previous owners through deeds and records at the County Center in Riverhead.
Many Suffolk County deeds are online at familysearch.org. Click on "Browse through..." and then click "Suffolk". Scroll past deeds to grantor/ee indexes searching by last name and date to find Liber and page number. Switch to deed libers to find page number (2 pages per image) and your deed.