Your Guide to Researching
Ohio Ancestors

* General Guides * Maps * Statewide Genealogy Web sites * Societies, Libraries and Archives *
* Finding and Using Records * Queries & Help * More Links *

General Guides to Ohio Research

Two online sources cover each state. Throughout this page I will provide links to each of them, but take a moment now to look at the whole of each of them. I don't provide links everything on each of them.

  • Family History Library Research Wiki: Ohio
    • Remember: from this main page you can also click links to pages for each county in Ohio
  • Ancestry Redbook Wiki: Ohio
    • (note you will click the links to the right to see further topics)

Books you might purchase or use in a library include

Each of the three reference books listed below has a small section covering each state that includes maps, historical information, vital records coverage and a bibliography of resources for that state. (note: some libraries may have earlier editions; those are usable)

  1. Handybook for Genealogists ( 11th edition) (find in a library)
  2. Ancestry's Redbook, 3rd ed, revised. (find in a library) (see above for online copy)
  3. The Family Tree Resource Book for Genealogical Research (find in a library)

Atlases, Maps & Gazetteers

For more information on finding and using maps,
see Your Guide to Atlases, Maps and Gazetteers.

Statewide Genealogy Web sites

Next, see what is available for your counties of interest at at one of these statewide sites. For each, use the county selection list to find out what is available for the various counties.

Content will vary, but often you will find the GenWeb site to be the most robust. All are volunteer driven sites; all data free, but as time goes by, the upkeep of many of these sites seems to be falling by the wayside.

Societies, Libraries and Archives

For more information on using libraries and archives, see genealogy guides to Libraries and Archives

Finding and Using Records:

adoption African American bible cemetery, census, church, city directories, histories, court & legal, military, land and property, Native Americans, naturalizations, newspapers, probate, vital.

FIRST.. use the catalog at the place name box in the Family History Library catalog to find out what has been filmed covering the state of Ohio the counties of Ohio and the cities, villages or townships within the counties.

  • As you type Ohio in the place box, you will see an alphabetical listing of counties in the drop down;
    • once in a county, you can click in the place box on the left to see an alphabetical list of the towns, cities and villages within that county.
    • This only shows areas for which material is available at the Family History Library.
  • An item will likely be in one of the three, perhaps two of the three and almost never in all three of these searches --you need to check each

NEXT... see what Ohio material records are available online on the FamilySearch.org Records Collection https://familysearch.org/search/collection/list#page=1&region=UNITED_STATES

AND REMEMBER The Family History Library is not the only place you will find material. A great deal is available online or in libraries and archives, courthouses or other institutions and organizations across the nation.

To find more....

  • You can search WorldCat to find publications on Ohio
  • You want to identify publications that cover the state as a whole, as well as a specific region, county or city/village within the state.
      • The Allen County Library at Fort Wayne has an excellent collection that includes books covering the whole state. For each state they have created a pathfinder that provides a listing of the most commonlyused books covering the whole state or a large region of the state. No one library has everything, but this bibliography will list almost all of the well known books for the state of Ohio. http://www.genealogycenter.org/Pathfinders/Snapshots.asp
        • This bibliography won't include thelistings of books that cover the counties for any state except Indiana. You will find those through WorldCat, the Family History Library Catalog and other sources.
  • Use PERSI to discover records that have been published in genealogical quarterlies, magazines and newsletters.

Below is information on some of the records you will seek; these links are intended to help you educate yourself on the use and value of the records, as well as find them.

Adoption: For general information, see Guide to Adoption Records, this web site

  • FamilySearch Wiki: Ohio Adoption -- look in vital records
  • Access to Adoption Records:
    • use the dropdown to select the state Ohio,
    • then scroll down and select the topic Access to Records under the Adoption category.
  • Ohio. Dept. of Health. Adoption information

African American: For general information, see Guide to African American Records, this web site

Bible: For general information, see Guide to Bible Records, this web site

Cemetery: For general information, see Guide to Cemetery Records, this web site

  • FamilySearch Wiki: Ohio Cemeteries
  • Ancestry Redbook Wiki: Ohio Cemetery Records
  • These large cemetery sites will also have records for Ohio
    • Findagrave -- you can limit your search of a surname to a state or county.
        • Note: you can request a photo if the grave you seek is not there and there is a volunteer for the area. Here is the photo request FAQ
    • Search BillionGraves by filtering for state: Ohio
    • Interment.net: Ohio Cemeteries
      • Note: you can search all Ohio cemeteries using the search box, upper left corner (gray column)
    • AccessGenealogy: links to Ohio cemetery records online -- get census
    • U.S. Gen Web Tombstone Transcription Project forOhio
  • Guide to Online Cemetery Records & Indexes: Ohio(includes links to obits, cemetery and death records.)
  • Ohio Genealogical Society: Ohio cemetery research and preservation
  • OGS: Ohio Cemetery Locations Index (to find cemeteries; not a name index)

Census: For general information, see Guide to Census Records, this web site.

Church: For general information, see Guide to Church Records, this web site.

  • Family Search Wiki: Ohio Church Records
  • Ancestry Redbook: Ohio Church Records
  • U.S. GenWeb Church Records Project: Ohio http://usgwarchives.net/church/index.html#index
  • Catholic church records: Ohio http://localcatholic.webs.com/unitedstates.htm
  • Ohio-Genealogy.org lists Church records on subscription, as well as non subscription sites.

City and County Directories: For general information, see guide to City and County Directories, this web site.

County and Local Histories: For general information, see Guide to County Histories, this web site.

Court & Legal; For general information, see Guide to Law Libraries and Guide to Courthouse Research on this web site.

  • FamilySearch.org Wiki:
    • Ohio Court Records
    • Ohio Law & Legislation
  • Ancestry Redbook Wiki: Ohio Court Records
  • Blacksheep Ohio ancestors may have been in trouble with the legal system!

Land & Property: For general information, see Guide to Land Records, this web site.

  • FamilySearch Wiki: Ohio Land & Property
  • Ancestry Redbook: Ohio Land Records
  • Use the dropdown to search Arizona Federal Land Patent information at the BLM site. (I need to do more work with this)
  • See what is available at http://www.directlinesoftware.com/land_record_reference

Military; For general information, see Guide to Military Records, this web site.

  • FamilySearch Wiki: Ohio Military Records
  • FamilySearch Wiki: Ohio in the Civil War
  • Ancestry Redbook: Ohio Military Records.

Native Americans

Naturalizations; For general information, see Guide to Naturalizations, this web site.

  • FamilySearch Wiki: Ohio Naturalization and Citizenship
  • Ancestry Redbook: Ohio Naturalization

Newspapers: For general information, see Guide to Newspapers, this web site.

  • FamilySearch Wiki: Ohio Newspapers
  • Ancestry Redbook Wiki: Ohio Periodicals, Newspapers & Manuscript Collections
  • Find newspapers published in South Carolina at Chronicling America Directory 1690-present (this finds what was published; it is not the portion of the site that searches the digitized newspapers)
    • Use the dropdown to select state, county, city.
    • click a title to get more information
    • Once you know which newspapers were published in the county or city during the time you are researching, you will try to find digitized, microfilm or (less likely) paper copies of that newspaper.
  • Remember: you can search any Ohio newspaper digitized at Chronicling America by using the drop down to limit your search to the state, county or city.
  • Not all digitized newspapers are at the Chronicling America site.
    • Online Historical Newspapers: Ohio (this will include subscription sites.)
    • Genealogy Buff U.S. Newspaper Directory -- finds online current newspapers http://www.genealogybuff.com/np/
  • Use the Ohio Newspaper Project to locate newspapers that have been microfilmed
    • Your local library should be able to obtain microfilm copies of newspapers on interlibrary loan.
  • Ohio Online Historical Newspapers Summary -- free and subscription. http://www.theancestorhunt.com/newspapers.html
  • Ohio Obituary Lookup

Probate: For general information, see Guide to Probate Records, this web site.

  • Ancestry Redbook overview: Ohio Court Records
  • Family Search Wiki: Ohio Court Records

Tax Records; For general information, see Guide to Tax Lists, this web site.

  • Ancestry Redbook overview: Ohio Tax Records
  • Family Search Wiki: Ohio Tax Records

Vital: For general information, see Guide to Vital Records, this web site.

  • Ancestry Redbook overview: Ohio Vital Records
  • Family Search Wiki: Ohio Vital Records
  • Vital Rec: Ohio
    • Remember to check the county pages for information on vital records of each county
  • [official site]
  • Where to write for vital record: Ohio http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm

Queries & Help

  • Check the Ohio Genweb page for look up volunteers.
  • Genealogy.com Boards
  • Ancestry/Rootsweb message boards

More Links

  • Linkpendium's Ohio Page
  • Cyndi's List Ohio Page
  • Genealink's Ohio page
  • Access Genealogy List of Ohio Links
  • Rootsweb U.S. Resources: Ohio (this finds data hosted on the Rootsweb servers)
  • Ohio-genealogy.com, includes links to data in subscription databases as well as free




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This page last updated October 23, 2014