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09 July 2013

Was It Always The Same House Number?

Your ancestor might have always lived in the house that is presently at 1234 North Apple Street, but 1234 North Apple Street might not always have been 1234 North Apple Street. It might have 345 North Apple Street or 1234 Broad Street. In some cities homes have been renumbered and street names have changed. Local libraries, courthouses or other organizations in the area may be able to assist you in determining if there have been changes over time. 

Because you need to have the contemporary address when using certain records. 


  1. Yes, Chicago streets were renumbered in 1909. I always remember my Grandmother talking of this renumeration.

  2. House numbers were often changed when the 911 calling system went into effect. Especially in rural areas. Check with your local fire department or municipal offices.

  3. My grandfather's house was this way. Found early 1904 directory where it was 320 Waverly Dr. and they had the house until the 1940 and some where along the line it changed to 360 Waverly Dr. I knew they never moved.

  4. Somewhere online you can get a pdf of the renumbering for Chicago, called Plan of Renumbering and dated August 1909.

    I know Milwaukee streets were renumbered, probably in the late 1920s or 1930s, from what my grandmother told me.

  5. The street I grew up on had NO house numbers until the late 1970s. I was in college out of state and my sister sent me a letter with a house # in the return address. I suppose city directories, if they exist for the time period would help. If you compare the names on Apple street one year and on Broad St a few yrs later are the same people, then it would be safe to say that they didn't move. My hometown, although a very old town, has relatively few city directories and a lot of gaps in years. So not sure how I would pin down changes unless someone just knows....

  6. Maybe it's not just the house number that changed, either. Street names changed on the street where my great-grandfather lived! That was confusing for a bit.

    The street number in the house where I grew up changed from a 2-digit number to a 4-digit number sometime during my teen years. Those kinds of changes can be confusing if you're not thinking about the possibility. Thanks for mentioning it.