How to Find Who Lived at an Address


Figuring out who lived at an address you’re moving into or nearby residences can be an interesting way to track a property’s history and historical significance. However, the task of tracking down previous owners often seems overwhelming, especially if you aren’t sure where to start. 

This article will give you the best methods to start this search process and help you understand why figuring out the history of an address may be helpful. Read on for everything you need to know.

Why Figure Out the History of a Residence?

Understanding who lived at an address previously can help with all sorts of important preservation and renovation items related to a property. Previous owners can shed insight into the history of a property or point you in the direction of other historical records about an address. Plus, learning more about a residence can help you appreciate its quirks more, learn about any historical significance, or simply quell your curiosity about previous owners. 

You may also want to find contact information for those who lived at a certain address to track down the owner of an abandoned property or left-behind items, figure out a forwarding address for someone who owes you money, or send legal documents to the correct individual. 

Methods to Find Who Lived at an Address

Several methods can help you learn about who previously lived at an address. If you don’t have much success with one method, don’t get disheartened and try another one, as you never know which method will turn up the best results for the specific address you’re looking for.

1.Speak With Your Realtor

One of the most effective methods for figuring out an address’s previous inhabitants is to speak with the realtor showing you the property or who sold the property to you. They will be able to shed light on whether or not the address is in a designated historic district, the names of previous owners, and where to get started looking for more information about the property in question.

2.Reach Out to the Previous Owners

If you have the names of the previous owners of an address, you may be able to locate them via social media, email, or phone to ask about the history of the property. Oftentimes, when you are buying a property, the sellers will be able to provide you with information about the address and any significant information you might need to know. If you’ve moved into a property without meeting the sellers, your realtor or landlord may be able to point you in the right direction for reaching out to previous owners.

Keep in mind that not every individual will want to discuss their previous address’s history with you, and some individuals might not know who lived at an address before them. In these cases, make sure to keep your questions respectful and know when to give up your search in favor of a different investigative method.

3.Search Deed Registries

Every address will have a property deed tied to it, and most localities have an online or in-person database where you can search these deeds. To find these websites, simply search your city or county’s name followed by something like ‘registry of deeds’ or ‘land records.’ Different localities may have varying names for the registry or office that keep these records.

You will need the previous owners’ names to find the property deed, and once you locate it, you will be able to see who they acquired the property from. From there, you can keep going back in the deeds as far as possible to find out who lived at an address throughout its history.

4.Utilize an Address Lookup Tool

Utilizing an address lookup tool is one of the easiest ways to track down the full history of an address. You can use an address lookup (like the linked one from information by inputting the street address in question and then performing the search.

The report that gets pulled up uses public record information to give you a complete picture of the previous and current residents of the address, in addition to important information like emails, phone numbers, or social media account details when possible.

Using an address lookup tool, you can easily gain information about who lived at an address and any other essential items you need to reach out to previous or current residents, if necessary.

5.Consult Census Records

Census records for your county can date back pretty far and give you an idea of who lived at an address in detail. These records often include names, dates, immigration information, marriage information, and any significant property information. This method is great if you are conducting in-depth historical research on a home or landmark.

6.Visit Your Local Library

Your local library is a treasure trove of information. Libraries, historical societies, and other preservation committees in your area will likely have data such as historical books, newspapers, census records, property deed information, and essential research tools to help you find out who previously lived at an address. 

All of this information and research ability can help you figure out important historical facts about a property and who lived, or currently lives, there.

Learning a Property’s History

Whether you’re purchasing a home for the first time or investigating a property your family has lived on for decades, figuring out its history and learning about the previous tenants can be an interesting and even rewarding task. 

Learning about who lived at an address can be helpful in terms of preservation and restoration, and figuring out the previous residents can lead to information about your home’s quirks and historical relevance. You may also need to find who lived at an address for business or legal purposes.

Regardless of your reasons for searching, make sure to look for information about an address with all of the search methods outlined above so you can gain a complete picture of who lived or still lives at that specific location.


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