Homeowners encouraged to share house history through new website

June 30, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Entertainment News
Thousands of people have discovered how they can tell the story of the home they grew up in through ThatsMyOldHouse.com, since the site’s inception two months ago. In addition, the site has served as a resource for those seeking background information on the historic home they currently live in.

“The site was built because there was a need recognized, people wanted to know who once lived in the home they were buying, what were their fondest memories in the house, and what kinds of changes they made to the house,” said founder Pamela Ravenwood of ThatsMyOldHouse.com. “When I served as the Executive Director for a Historical Society, we had people coming in all the time who wanted to research the history of their new home. Likewise, we had people coming in who wanted to make sure their family history was preserved. This website serves as a forum for both.”

Other historians from both large and small cities agree the site has value.

“It is a terrific project to build a database on the "genealogy " of homes,” said Los Angeles City Historical Society historian Helene Demeestere.“Thank you for sharing this.”

“What a wonderful way to share history!” said Jennifer Rupp, Director of Museum Operations for Marshall Historical Society. “ I will pass on your website to our members in our next newsletter. Thanks for letting me know about it!!”

The site was built with a sophisticated database that allows researchers to enter their family name, town, address or state to gather results. In turn, those entering information are led through a series of questions such as: What was your family name, how many people lived in your home, what years did you live in the house, or what was your fondest memory of living in the home – just to name a few. They are also asked to upload a photo if they have one.

Currently ThatsMyOldHouse.com is a free service. Ravenwood said it is her plan to expand the site to other countries as many of her visitors are from Australia and Europe. She has purchased the domain names for those countries and will look into opening up those sites within the next eighteen months.

“It is our theory that every home has a story to tell, whether it is hundreds of years old or only a few years old,” said Ravenwood. “Everybody is making history in the moment, and unfortunately many house stories are gone with those who recall them. Now is the time to start recording history so that as much information is gathered as possible. That is why we encourage everybody to tell us their story, not only of the home they grew up in but even the home they are currently living in. We want to make this site an ongoing source for years to come where such history is recorded and maintained.”