Runk, J. M. & Co. Biographical and Genealogical History of the State of Delaware. Charnbersburg, P A: Runk, 1899. (DSA, HSD, UD)
Scharf, J. Thomas. History of Delaware 1609-1888.2 Volumes. Philadelphia: L. P. Richards and Co., 1888. (HSD, UD, DSA, some county libraries)
This two-volume set provides a general history of the state, its "hundreds," and some family histories.
Clinton A. Weslager and Carol E. Hoffecker have written many excellent books on Delaware topics--look for them!
Architectural Style Guides
Style guides may help you understand more about the appearance of your house. Although you may not find the exact style of your house illustrated, you can learn about the styles that could have influenced the builder of your home. These are three titles to look for, but there are many other style guides available at libraries and bookstores.
McAlester, Virginia and Lee McAlester. A Field Guide to American Houses. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984.
Poppeliers, John C., S. Allen Chambers, Jr., and Nancy B. Schwartz. What Style is It? A Guide to American Architecture. Washington, D.C.: Preservation Press, National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1983.
Ritkind, Carole. A Field Guide to American Architecture. New York: New American Library, 1980.
Historical Archaeology and the Landscape
You may want to delve deeper into the past through the perspective of the professional archaeologist. These authors teach us to respect the value of both the smallest piece of historical matter and the landscape that surrounds the house, by showing how the combination of research and artifacts, both large and small, can open the door to reveal the day-to-day lives of previous occupants.
Deetz, James. In Small Things Forgotten: An Archaeology of Early American Life. Rev. ed. New York: Doubleday, Anchor Books, 1996.
Deetz offers a very readable lesson on decoding the stories about the fOImer occupants of our homes, storied embedded in commonplace objects of the past, the "small things forgotten." Deetz's insights range from the house itself, seen as a reflection of the changing needs, traditions, abilities, and aspirations of former occupants, to the fragment of a dish found in the house, through which we can begin to learn about the culture of the previous occupants. Revised edition includes a chapter on the influence of African culture on America.
Landscape Archaeology: Reading and Interpreting the American Historical Landscape. Ed. Rebecca Yamin and Karen B. Metheny. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1996.
Twelve essays, on the cutting edge of research, will inspire the homeowner to think about how the landscape, like the house, can be an expression of the lives of former occupants. A variety of interdisciplinary sources are used to study different kinds of landscapes, such as the gardens of elite men and women, and ruins left standing in a rural countryside. Through their methodical studies of human interaction with the landscape, these authors tell stories about political viewpoints, religious beliefs, gender roles, and other human expressions.
Mrozowski, Stephen A., Grace H: Ziesing, and Mary C. Beaudry. Living on the Boott: Historical Archaeology at the Boott Mills Boarding Houses. Lowell, Mass.: University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, 1996.
A readable tale about the discovery of the different lifestyles at the boarding houses, tenements, and mill agents' houses in Lowell. The tale is woven from evidence uncovered by a team of researchers. Through their respect for the value of the smallest piece of matter, combined with careful record keeping and analysis, they reveal details about the lives of the occupants of these buildings that will amaze the reader.
Stewart-Abernathy, Leslie C. "Urban Farmsteads: Household Responsibilities in the City." Historical Archaeology. 20 (1986): 5-15. (Available at UD, Call No. E 11 .S625)
Even if your house is located in a village, it was originally surrounded by accessory buildings you might expect to find only on the farm, such as chicken houses and root cellars. This article, a case study of the town of Washington, Arkansas, provides a model for understanding your "urban farmstead." The author teaches you about the routine daily activities that would have taken place in your yard and how those activities evolved or were replaced as technologies and community ideals changed. Perhaps your garage is located where the horse barn stood!