Sponsored By GenealogyBank

30 December 2013

Houses Renumbered?

If you are researching in an urban area, are you aware if the house numbers were changed at any point during your research time period?

Are the contemporary numbers different from what they were during the time your ancestor lived there?

Location matters.

And if you don't have the answers to these questions, start with the reference section of the town/city library and go from there.


  1. This happened to my grandparents house. It was number 2 and then when the town boundary was changed, it became 1496. Ultimately it ended up being 819!

  2. Chicago changed around 1910 and Detroit around 1920.

  3. Absolutely true! My old house was renumbered multiple times. First number, the city had started at the railroad tracks and numbered odd and even down one side of the street to the corner, then across and up the other side before going to the next block. Some years later, city renumbered starting at the courthouse, since it was a county seat. The most recent renumbering occured in the 1980/1990s with 911.

  4. Some houses on my block had multiple residences, especially during WW II. Later when they became single family homes again, the numbers changed to reflect that.

  5. A lot of house numbers were changed with prepping for 911. The street where I grew up had no house numbers until after I went to college in the mid-70s. All of a sudden I was getting mail from home with a house number on it!

  6. Due to job changes, 2 related families traded houses, across a river dividing WI from upper MI. When did this family event happen? No clue, until we looked up the Street Descriptions (in the front of most city directories). Rechecking several years' dirs, we determined that 1 family had not moved every year for about 5 years, as we thought. Their corner house just had different house numbers & street names, depending on the year. Same house! Now I always check and photocopy Street Descriptions, plus church locations. Love those city dirs...