Century Home Plaque

Department of Archives and Records

History and Research

Obtaining a Century Home Plaque

Geauga County records are invaluable in tracing the history of a building.  They may be used as follows.

PLEASE NOTE:  It is the individual researcher’s responsibility to do this research.

A qualifying ‘CENTURY HOME’ or ‘CENTURY BUILDING’ must

  • Retain an appearance that is readily recognizable and identifiable with the era during which the structure was build.
  • Alterations and/or additions made to the structure must not detract from the intended design of the building.
  • Owners of older structures should be aware that historic preservationists strongly discourage the installation of materials such as aluminum or vinyl siding.
  • The Geauga County Historical Society urges owners to seek guidance from the Ohio Historic Preservation Office at the Ohio Historical Society or the National Trust for Historic Preservation before altering the facade of any century-old dwelling or other building.
  • Owners of structures located within designated Historic Districts should contact their township or village offices for information on local regulation.


  1. PRINT A COPY OF THE INSTRUCTIONS AND APPLICATION FOR A CENTURY PLAQUE.  These documents detail the qualifications for a century building and exactly what paperwork is needed for submission with the application.
  2. CREATE A DEED CHAIN.  A “Deed Chain” is a list of the owners, date of transfer, acres, deed volume and page numbers tracing the land back at least 100 years. Click here for a Deed Chain Form.

    • Beginning with the your land information and from whom you purchased the land.
    • Continue to trace your land via purchases backwards through the 20th and 19th century until you reach the owner the land at least 100 years ago.
    • If a deed cannot be found, it may have been unrecorded or it may have gone through probate court with a will.
    • Deed indices and records are available at the following office:


    Deed Records in Geauga County
    Record Years Primary Formats Used Location
    Index, vol. 1-4 1796 – 1873 Books Archives and Records Center
    12611 Ravenwood Drive
    Chardon, Ohio 44024
    Phone:  440-279-1770
    Record, vols. 1-299 1796 – 1956 Books
    Index 1796 – present Digital (Searchable Scans) Recorder’s Office
    Courthouse Annex
    231 Main Street, Suite 1-C
    Chardon, Ohio 44024
    Phone:  440-279-2020
    Record, vols. 300 – current 1798-1956
    1956 – 2004
    Books and Microfilm
    Recorded Documents 2004 – Present Digital


    Probate Records in Geauga County
    Records Years Primary Formats Used Location
    Indexes 1806-1990 Paper Archives and Record Center
    12611 Ravenwood Drive
    Chardon, Ohio 44024
    Phone:  440-279-1770
    Records 1806 – 1955 Books/Paper
    Index 1990 – present Digital Probate Court
    231 Main Street, Suite 200
    Chardon, Ohio 44024
    Phone:  440-226-4446
    Record 1955 – present Paper Contact Probate Court for permission to view these records at their office.


  3. CONDUCT A TAX RECORD SEARCH.  Using the names found in the deed search, trace the tax record of the property in the Auditor and Treasurer’s tax duplicates/lists.  Record each year, page number, owner, tract, section, lot, buildings, acres, value and tax for the property. Click here for a Tax Record Worksheet.

    • Prior to 1973, tax duplicates/lists are arranged by year, then taxing district, then alphabetically by owner.  From 1973 to the present, they are aranged by year, then taxing district, then parcel numbers.
    • On early tax records, notations may include “H” for House, “B” for Barn, and “G” for Granary.  If a structure is not listed, record any substantial increase (approximately 50%) in property taxes.  This usually indicates construction or major improvements on the property.
    • Tax duplicates/lists are available at the following locations:


    Tax Records in Geauga County
    Record Years Primary Formats Location
    Auditor’s Tax Duplicates 1810 – 1818 Books Archives and Records Center
    12611 Ravenwood Drive
    Chardon, Ohio 44024
    Phone:  440-279-1770
    NOTE:  The books are mostly used for research only.  They are too fragile and too large to handle.  Photocopies are made from microfilmed images.
    NOTE:  The Auditor and Treasure have overlapping volumes because each department kept different versions.  The auditor recorded what taxes were owed and the treasure recorded payment received.
    Treasurer’s Tax Duplicates 1826 – 1922 Books
    Auditor’s Tax Duplicates 1810 – 1971 Microfilm
    Treasurer’s Tax Duplicates 1972 – 2006 Microfilm



    Record Years Information Available
    Tax maps 1820 – 1870 Owner name and acreage only
    Decennial appraisals with maps 1870 – 1910
    Landowners map 1857 Includes some buildings
    Atlas maps 1874 and 1900
    Mechanics liens 1848 – 1930