Your Home’s History: Introduction

A guide to researching the history of your house

Have you ever wondered who built your house? Are you looking for the original architectural plans of your home?

Here at the West Yorkshire Archive Service, we have a wealth of records which can help you to explore the history of your home. This exhibition will guide you through the different types of records we hold and what kind of information you can find out from them. This online exhibition has been adapted from one held at the WYAS Kirklees office, and whilst records relating to Kirklees have been used for illustrative purposes, all five of our offices have similar records in their collections.

Getting started

The history of every house and the people who lived there will be unique. One of the best places to start is to estimate the age of your house. Architectural features may be able to give you clues. There are several useful websites you can use for advice:

Do you already have deeds or records relating to your home? Our Wakefield office holds the West Riding Registry of Deeds which contains memorial copies of deeds dating from 1704 to September 1970. If you know the names of any previous owners or occupants and when they lived there this can be helpful. You can download our user guide on the Registry of Deeds here:

For anything after 1970 you can find information from the Land Registry:

Do you want to know about the people who have lived in your home? Many of our popular family history resources are available via Family history sites such as Ancestry are good places to start to get names of individuals from records such as the census and electoral rolls. Once you have the names of the individuals you can then see if we hold additional records such as records relating to their employment and education.

You can download our guide to researching house history by clicking on the link below:

Other Exhibition Pages

Your Home’s History: Pre-Nineteenth Century Records

Your Home’s History: Building Control

Your Home’s History: The Development of Council Housing

Your Home’s History: Home Life