Ohio Records Details and Resources

Ohio Records Details and Resources

Where to find Ohio census records, immigration records, land records, maps, vital records and more.


County-level registration of births and deaths began in 1867 and was the responsibility of the probate court. Statewide vital registration would not begin until the end of 1908. Marriage records generally exist from statehood, though they often list only the names of the bride and groom, the marriage date, and the officiant.

Indexes to death records from 1908 to 1937 are available online through the Ohio Historical Society’s Web site http://www.ohiohistory.org. The Society has copies of death certificates from 1908 to 1944, and you can request them for a fee (you also can find Ohio death certificates from 1908 to 1953 free on FamilySearch http://www.familysearch.org). Births after 1908 and deaths after 1953 must be requested from the Ohio Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, Box 15098, Columbus, OH 43215, http://www.odh.ohio.gov/vitalstatistics/vitalstats.aspx.

Remember that which land tract your ancestor settled affects where you will find early land records. The federal government sold some Ohio land, while other tracts were used to satisfy federal and state bounty lands. In all, 13 tracts were earmarked for dispersal. Understanding where a given tract lay and the counties formed from it is a clue to where your ancestors may have lived before Ohio. An excellent resource for Ohio history and the division of land is the Official Ohio Lands Book by Dr. George W. Knepper (Auditor of State, 2002). This book is available online at http://www.auditor.state.oh.us/Publications/General/OhioLandsBook.pdf.

From 1797 until 1851, probate records were the responsibility of courts of common pleas. In 1852, separate probate courts were created. Look for both the will and the estate file, sometimes called a case file or probate packet, which includes much more than the will. You may find settlement papers, inventories and receipts. For estates before 1850, a valuable statewide resource is Carol Willsey Bell’s Ohio Wills and Estates to 1850: An Index (Carol Willsey Bell, 1981).

The Ohio Historical Society, 1982 Velma Ave., Columbus, OH 43211, which serves as the state archives, is an excellent place to begin your Ohio research. Also visit the Ohio Genealogical Society, which has published many Ohio records and offers members databases on its website http://www.ogs.org.

The Western Reserve Historical Society, 10825 East Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44106, http://www.wrhs.org, has an extensive manuscript collection, as well as Revolutionary War Pension records.

Ohio has established eight research centers, each responsible for collecting records for the counties in its region. To find out more about each center and the counties it is responsible for, visit the Ohio Historical Society’s website http://www.ohiohistory.org/resource/lgr/networkl.html.


  • Federal Non-Population Census Schedules, Ohio 1850-1880, in The Custody of the State Library of Ohio: Products of Agriculture, And Products of Industry (National Archives, 1988)


  • County Naturalizations Held by OHS (Ohio Historical Society, 1996-2001)
  • Gone to Ohio: Ashland, Brown, Columbiana, Harrison, Jefferson, Richland, Champaign, Crawford, Wood, Logan, Mahoning, Stark and Trumbull Counties, From the Pennsylvania Counties: Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, and York, 3 vols., by Gloria L. Aughenbaugh (South Central Pennsylvania Genealogical Society, 1990-1996)
  • Mountain People in a Flat Land: A Popular History of Appalachian Migration to Northeast Ohio 1940-1965 by Carl E. Feather (Ohio University Press, 1998)
  • Naturalization Index 1852-1991 from the US District Court Records, Southern District of Ohio (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1992)
  • Ohio, Trailways to Highways 1776-1976 (Genealogical Society of Utah, 1977)
  • The Origin and Distribution of Settlement Groups by Hubert G.H. Wilhelm (Ohio University, 1982)
  • The Politics of Community: Migration and Politics in Antebellum Ohio by Kenneth J. Winkle (Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge, 1988)


  • The Bounty Lands of the American Revolution in Ohio by William Thomas Hutchinson (Arno Press, 1979)
  • Canal Lands by the Ohio Auditor of State, Ohio Historical Society (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1959)
  • Early Ohio Settlers Purchasers of Land in Southwestern Ohio, 1800-1840 by Ellen T. Berry and David Berry (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1993)
  • Early Ohioans’ Residences From the Land Grant Records by Mayburt Stephenson Riegel (Ohio Genealogical Society, 1976)
  • First Ownership of Ohio Lands by Albion Morris Dyer (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1982)
  • Governor’s Deeds Card Index, 1833-1994 from the Ohio Historical Society (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1995)
  • Miscellaneous Lands Ohio Auditor of State Records (Columbus Microfilm, Inc., 1954-1958, 1995)
  • Ohio, 1787-1840 (Broderbund, 1999, CD-ROM)
  • Ohio Lands: A Short History, 6th edition, by Thomas E. Ferguson (Auditor’s Office, State of Ohio, 1995)
  • Ohio Lands South of the Indian Boundary Line (Marie Taylor Clark, 1984)
  • Ohio Lands and Their History by William Edwards Peters (W.E. Peters, 1930)
  • Ohio Lands and Their Subdivision, 2nd edition, by William Edwards Peters (W.E. Peters, 1918)
  • Original Ohio Land Subdivision Being Volume III: Final Report Ohio Cooperative Topographic Survey by C.E. Sherman (State Reformatory Press, 1925)
  • US Revolutionary War Bounty Land Warrants Used in the U.S. Military District of Ohio and Related Papers, Acts of 1788, 1803, 1806 from the US General Land Office (National Archives, 1971)
  • Virginia Military District Lands of Ohio; Indexes from the State Auditor’s Office in Columbus, OH (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1995, 1958)


  • Atlas of Ohio (American Publishing Co., 1975)
  • Atlas of the State of Ohio by H.F. Walling (The Bookmark, 1868, reprint 1995)
  • The Development of Ohio’s Counties and Their Historic Courthouses by Lawrence J. Marzulli (County Commissioners Association of Ohio, ca. 1980)
  • Early Maps of the Ohio Valley by Lloyd Arnold Brown (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1959)
  • Historical Atlas and Chronology of County Boundaries, 1788-1980 by John H. Long (G.K. Hall, 1984)
  • Jurisdictional Histories For Ohio’s Eighty-Eight Counties, 1788-1985 by W. Louis Phillips (Heritage Books, 1986)
  • Maps Of Ohio Showing The Development Of Its Counties (W.L. Howison & Assoc., 1980)
  • Ohio Atlas and Gazetteer, 4th edition, (DeLorme Mapping Co., 1996)
  • Ohio County Maps compiled by C.J Puetz (Thomas Publishing Co., 1992)
  • The Ohio Gazetteer by John Kilbourn (The Bookmark, 1981)
  • The Ohio Gazetteer And Traveler’s Guide by Warren Jenkins (Isaac N. Whiting, 1837)
  • Ohio Lands: A Short History, 3rd edition, by Thomas A. Burke (State Auditor, 1991)
  • Ohio Place Names by Larry L. Miller (Indiana University Press, 1996)
  • Ohio Town Names by William D. Overman (Atlantic Press, 1958)
  • The Post Offices Of Ohio by John S. Gallagher (The Depot, 1979)


  • Annotated Bibliography of Ohio Patriots: Revolutionary War & War of 1812 by William Louis Phillips (Heritage Books, 1985)
  • Civil War Documents (Ohio Historical Society, 1996-2001)
  • Genealogical Abstracts of the Revolutionary War Pension Files, 4 vols., by Virgil D. White (National Historical Publishing, 1990)
  • History of the 21st Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, in the War of the Rebellion (Higginson Book Co., 1893, reprint 1995)
  • Index to the Official Roster of Ohio Soldiers in The War with Spain by Jana Sloan Broglin (Ohio Genealogical Society, 1990)
  • Index to Roster of Ohio Soldiers, War of 1812 by Grace Garner (Eastern Washington Genealogical Society, 1974)
  • Middle Western Section Records from the Daughters of the American Revolution, Ohio (Allen County Public Library, 1983)
  • The Official Roster of Ohio Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the World War, 1917-1918, 22 vols., from the Ohio Adjutant General’s Office (F.J. Heer Printing Co., 1926-1929)
  • The Official Roster of Ohio Soldiers in the War with Spain 1898-1899 from the Ohio Adjutant General’s Office (Edward T. Miller, Co., 1916)
  • The Official Roster of the Soldiers of the American Revolution Buried in the State of Ohio, 3 vols., from the Ohio Adjutant General’s Office (F.J. Heer Printing, 1929-59)
  • The Official Roster of the Soldiers of the American Revolution Who Lived in the State of Ohio: Vol. 2, A-Z by Mrs. Orville D. Dailey (Daughters of the American Revolution, Ohio, ca. 1938)
  • Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866 from the Ohio Roster Commission (Werner Co., 1886-1895)
  • Ohio Indian, Revolutionary War, and War of 1812 Trails by Fay Maxwell (Ohio Genealogy Center, 1974)
  • Ohio Revolutionary War Soldiers 1840 Census and Grave Locations by Fay Maxwell (Ohio Genealogy Center, 1985)
  • Ohio, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 from the US Selective Service System (National Archives, 1987-1988)
  • Ohio’s Virginia Military Tract Settlers, Also 1801 Tax List by Fay Maxwell (Ohio Genealogy Center, 1991)
  • Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land-Warrant Application Files from the US Veterans Administration (National Archives, 1969)
  • Roster of Ohio Soldiers in The War of 1812 from the Ohio Adjutant General’s Department (Clearfield Co., 1968, reprint 1989)
  • Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War with Mexico 1846-1848 (Ohio Genealogical Society, 1897, reprint 1991)
  • State Summary of War Casualties (Ohio), U.S. Navy, 1946: (Includes Navy, Marine, And Coast Guard) from the US Navy Department (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1960)
  • Two Hundred Years the Military History of Ohio (H.H. Hardesty, 1886)
  • War of 1812, Roster of Ohio Soldiers (Ohio Historical Society, 1996-2001)
  • World War II Honor List of Dead and Missing — State of Ohio, June 1946 from the US War Department (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1960)
  • Young American Patriots: The Youth of Ohio in World War II (National Publishing Co., 1947)


  • Abstracts and Extracts of the Legislative Acts And Resolutions of the State of Ohio: 1803-1821 by Mary L. Bowman (Ohio Genealogical Society, 1994)
  • Guide to Local Government Records at the Ohio University Library by the Ohio Historical Society (Ohio University Library, 1986)
  • A History of the Courts and Lawyers of Ohio, 4 vols., edited by Carrington Tanner Marshall (American Historical Society, 1934)
  • Inventory of the State Archives of Ohio by the Historical Records Survey (Ohio Historical Records Survey Project, 1940)
  • Ohio Circuit Court Records (National Archives)
  • Ohio Federal Court Orders, 1803-1807 (TLC Genealogy, 1998)
  • Ohio Marriages Recorded in County Courts Through 1820: An Index by Jean Nathan (The Society, 1996)
  • Ohio Wills and Estates to 1850: An Index by Carol Willsey Bell (Bell Books, 1981)
  • Wills, 1655-1871, 1917 by (Daughters of the American Revolution, Ohio, 1970-1971)


  • Certificates of Death, 1908-1944; Index, 1908-1911 from the Ohio Department of Health (Ohio Historical Society, 1983, 1994-1995)
  • Death Certificate Index, 1913-1937 (Ohio Historical Society, 1992)
  • Early Vital Records of Ohio, 1750-1970 from the Daughters of the American Revolution, Ohio (Genealogical Society of Utah, 1972)
  • Index of Death and Other Notices Appearing In the Cincinnati Free Press 1874-1920 indexed by Jeffrey G. Herbert (Heritage Books, 1993)
  • Index to Grave Records of Servicemen in the War of 1812 edited by Phyllis Miller (Society of the US Daughters of 1812)
  • Marriage Notices From the Ohio Observer Series 1827-1855 by James F. Caccamo (Closson Press, 1994)
  • Marriage Records (Automated Archives, 1994, CD-ROM)
  • Ohio Birth and Death Records by County (State Library of Ohio, 2001)
  • Ohio Cemeteries edited by Maxine Hartmann Smith (Ohio Genealogical Society, 1978)
  • Ohio Cemetery Records (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1972)
  • Ohio Cemetery Records: Extracted from the “Old Northwest” Genealogical Quarterly (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1989)
  • Ohio Divorces: The Early Years by Carol Willsey Bell (Bell Books, ca. 1994)
  • Ohio Marriages: Extracted form the Old Northwest Genealogical Quarterly edited by Marjorie Smith (Genealogical Publishing Co., 1980)
  • Veteran’s Records, 1941-1964 from the Ohio Department of Health (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1974)

Return to the main Ohio page

From the Family Tree Sourcebook
Also available: the State Research Guide Book, State Research Guides CD and The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy.

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