How To Discover The Secret History Behind Your Town

Written by on July 15, 2013 in Lifestyle - No comments | Print this page

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Junction of Tottenham Court Road and Euston Road in 1904

Photo By : camdenphotos

Where’s  the fun in just living in a town? Surely you want to be able to know  exactly where you are living, not just on the map, but where your town fits in with history.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to discover the past legends who lived in your town? Did anything extraordinary ever happen? Why is that statue there? Every town has a secret, whether it’s something big or small, get to know the story behind where you live.

Build a Timeline

Start by looking at the basic history of your town. This should start from when it was built, and what was there when it first existed. Make a note of things as soon as you find them out – you can always change the order of things once you have all your information.

Buildings Are the Key

Depending on what era your town is, there can be a lot to find out about the buildings in your area. One building can hold a lot of history.

Your local church can be a good starting point, as they tend to hold a lot of historic significance, and even the Vicar may be able to tell you some information. Look for any other iconic buildings in your area, buildings that might have unusual architecture or play an important role in your community.

Check Records

The local library is the best place to go to search previous records. They will have everything from map documents, and court records, to microfilm records of old newspapers.

You can also try searching land records which will reveal any real estate transactions. You should also try heading to your local schools and checking the yearbooks which will indicate who attended at what time from which you can then try and contact.

The librarian will be able to assist you further and will point you in right direction for any historic references.

Make Contacts

Go to your local resident meetings and find out who is on your local council. Get to know who runs what in your town and talk to owners of local businesses.

Even if they do not know much about the history of your town, there is a high chance that they will be able to put you in contact with the right people who do.

If there is a local college or university in your town, make contact with their history department. They may already have existing research already carried out and  they can share that info with you.

Talk to People

Your biggest source of information will be the residents. Find telephone numbers in your local directories or phone book and start making some calls.

There will be at least a dozen people who have lived in your town all their life and hopefully they will be able to tell you all the ins and outs. If you don’t get much luck with phoning around, don’t be hesitant to just knock on some doors. People should be more than happy to share their stories.

Featured images:

Rosa Sherwood loves everything historic and loves finding out new things. She writes for White Pages.

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