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9/1/2008
If your ancestral home is old enough or architecturally noteworthy, someone might've already researched its history.
If your ancestral home is old enough or architecturally noteworthy, someone might've already researched its history. The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) <nps.gov/history/nr> recognizes structures significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering and culture. Anyone can nominate a place; a state review board, public comment period and National Park Service staff review determine whether properties get listed.

Online, search the 80,000 current listings in an online database and browse listings by week since 1996. The state historical society or preservation office Web site also might have information on historic places. You can request copies of nomination materials from the NRHP; state preservation offices and local historical societies may have them, too.

Between 1933 and 1974, the Historic American Buildings Survey and the Historic American Engineering Record documented 31,000 structures in drawings, photographs and historical reports. The data are at the Library of Congress; learn more at <memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/habs_haer>. A partial list of documented structures is at<loc.gov/rr/print/habslist.html>.
 
From the September 2008 Family Tree Magazine

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