Abstract In epidemiology research, a list of residences a person has occupied as well as a history of tenants for a residence are useful pieces of information for investigating geographically localized risk factors, environmental exposures,
and for analyzing disease clusters. This article reports on a methodology for constructing residential and tenure histories using multi‐year white page phone listings. Residential histories associate a person with a list of addresses of residence and the length of occupancy at each
address. Tenure histories document the list of persons occupying a residence along with length of occupancy. These histories were created using fuzzy matching on name address pairs between sequential years. Simulated annual phone listing data were used to develop and test the methodology which
was then applied to an actual white page phone listing for a study town in Maine. The approach is applied locally and generates partial local residential and tenure histories that capture local migrations. We see these local history sets as building blocks for constructing more geographically
extensive histories over time. Geocoded results were compared against numbers of housing units reported in the 2000 and 2010 US Census to assess the proportion of local residences captured by phone listings.