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Uncover your home's history

Just as your family has a history, so does your home. As the Preservation Association of Central New York (PACNY) put it, if walls could talk they would have a lot to say. That's why on Saturday Feb. 26 PACNY is hosting "Researching the History of Your Home: Part One."

Paul Pflanz, events and awards committee chairman for PACNY, and his wife have researched the history of many homes, including their own. He's found some surprising and even eerie information.

When he worked at the Onondaga Historical Association a woman contacted him about some pictures she had of her grandparents home, located on his block. It turns out it was his house. In one of the pictures there's a black wicker chair in the corner of a room. Strangely enough Pflanz and his wife also bought a black wicker chair and put it in the same corner. Eerie?

For this event the Onondaga County Library and PACNY will walk people through the services available at the library as well as teach them techniques and tips to help with research. There will also be a tour of the library and genealogy department.

There are a number of places to start your search.You can begin by looking for your house's abstract. The abstract defines the title to the property, who built the first home and the history of ownership. Sometimes the bank holds onto it, but you may be able to find it in library records.

As Pflanz puts it, researching your home is like turning over rocks, you may turn over a rock and find just a salamander, but every once in a while you'll find a gem.

The research shouldn't be expensive, the most it may cost you is a membership to the Onondaga Historical Association for access to their research center. Research will cost you more time than money, but that really depends on how much time you have and what you are looking for.

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