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Property Research


The minimum information necessary to initiate a search to date the age of a building is the street address and permanent parcel number. Research should begin with the current Fiscal Officer's tax maps located in Room 310 of the County Administration Building, 1219 Ontario Street, Cleveland, Ohio. There one can locate the property on the map according to its permanent parcel number. The parcel number is available from several sources, including a deed, tax bill, reappraisal notice, or the Fiscal Officer Website. The deeds are available, 1810 to the present, in the Cuyahoga County Recorder's Office, located on the second floor of the Administration Building. The information to be copied from the map book includes, on the page adjacent to the map, a list of current and previous owners, dates of transfer, the original lot and sub-lot number (if applicable), the dimensions of the property, and a general idea of the location of the property in relation to surrounding streets and landmarks.

It is important to record as much information as possible in order to trace accurately the property in the Treasurer's tax duplicates. Failure to note this information may often lead to problems because dimensions, street names, property descriptions, and the like change throughout the years. The tax duplicates, 1819-1986, are in the holding of the Cuyahoga County Archives.

Additional documentation of ownership changes is available upon completion of the first phase of research. It is listed in tax maps available on microfilm in Room 310. The original map volumes are in storage at the Cuyahoga County Archives. The maps are divided by districts east and west of the river for Cleveland and by separate suburban localities. The information to be copied from this series of maps (Cleveland 1890's-1940's, suburbs, 1910-1940's) includes data similar to those gathered from the current maps. Changes in street names and property dimensions, including acreage listings, should be noted for accurate documentation.

The researcher, having obtained information from all available maps in the County Administration Building, should proceed to the Cuyahoga County Archives, 2905 Franklin Boulevard, N.W., Cleveland, Ohio 44113. The County Archives has on file a complete listing of all the maps maintained in its collections. For properties in the City of Cleveland the researcher should check several map volumes, dated 1870, 1880, and 1890, and atlases for the City of Cleveland, 1881 and 1898, for documentation of structures on the property during those years. For properties in the suburbs one should check atlases of Cuyahoga County for 1874 and 1892, and tax maps which are dated 1860, 1870, 1880, and 1890, for ownership listings and for documentation of structures on the property during those years. The information to be copied from these maps is again similar to that registered on more current maps. The researcher should be careful to note if a small box or outline of a building is shown on the property. This denotes that a building stood on the property in the years the map covers. At this point, research through the Treasurer's tax duplicates using the owner's names obtained from the maps, will document the construction date of the building by obseving significant changes in the tax values.

Property Research is by APPOINTMENT ONLY. Please contact Archives at (216) 443-7250.