Lake County, Ohio Genealogy

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Guide to Lake County, Ohio ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Painesville
Organized: 6 April 1840[1]
Parent County(s): Cuyahoga, Geauga[2]
Neighboring Counties
Ashtabula  • Geauga  • Cuyahoga
See County Maps
Lake County, Ohio Courthouse.jpg
Location Map
Map of Ohio highlighting Lake County.PNG
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county name was derived from its location on the southern shore of Lake Erie.[3] It is located in the Northeastern area of the state.[4] Lake County was created from Geauga County with one township (Willoughby) from Cuyahoga County. It is the smallest county in the state.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Lake County Courthouse
47 North Park Place
Painesville, OH 44077-3414
Phone: 440-350-2657
Lake County Website

Clerk has court records from 1840 at 25 N. Park Place.
Probate Judge has marriage and probate records at 25 N. Park Place.
County Recorder has land records[5] at 105 E. Main Street, basement Bldg D.

Lake County, Ohio Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[6]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1867 1840 1867 1840 1839 1840 1820
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1908. General compliance year is unknown.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

Painesville Twp. records before the early 1900s were damaged or lost due to flooding.
For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit Hometown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county: [9]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

For an extensive list of resources for Bible Records see Ohio Bible Records.

Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • Riddle, Albert Gallation; History of Geauga and Lake Counties, Ohio: with illustrations and biographical sketches of its pioneers and most prominent men (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Williams Bros., 1878) Online at Google Books, FamilySearch Digital Library
  • Biographical History of Northeastern Ohio, embracing the counties of Ashtabula, Geauga and Lake: ... (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1893) online at FamilySearch Digital Library
  • Biographies on OHGenWeb.

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Lake County, Ohio online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Ohio Cemeteries for more information.


Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1840 13,719
1850 14,654 6.8%
1860 15,576 6.3%
1870 15,935 2.3%
1880 16,326 2.5%
1890 18,235 11.7%
1900 21,680 18.9%
1910 22,927 5.8%
1920 28,667 25.0%
1930 41,674 45.4%
1940 50,020 20.0%
1950 75,979 51.9%
1960 148,700 95.7%
1970 197,200 32.6%
1980 212,801 7.9%
1990 215,499 1.3%
2000 227,511 5.6%
2010 230,041 1.1%
Source: "".

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Ohio denominations, see Ohio Church Records.
List of Churches and Church Parishes

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Ward and Branch Records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


  • Records of Resurrection Lutheran Church, Painesville, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at ($).
  • Lake County Ohio by Ancestry ($). All U.S., Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Church Records, 1781-1969 Results

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Ohio Land and Property for additional information about early Ohio land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse and where records are currently housed.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for this county. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see Ohio Local Histories.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Ashtabula CountyGeauga CountyCuyahoga CountyOH LAKE.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War

  • New Connecticut Chapter (Painesville, Ohio), DAR, A record of the revolutionary soldiers buried in Lake County, Ohio with a partial list of those in Geauga County (Columbus, Ohio: The Champlin Press) 1902. Online at FamilySearch Digital Library

Civil War
Civil War service men from Lake County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Lake County.

- 1st Regiment, Ohio Light Artillery, Battery C
- 11th Regiment, Ohio Infantry, Company E
- 105th Regiment, Ohio Infantry, Companies D and K

World War I

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Naturalization Records - An Alphabetical Abstract of the naturalization petitions from Lake County Probate Court (1860-1906) and Lake County Common Pleas Court (1906-1975). This includes Declarations of Intention and petitions that failed for a variety of reasons. Naturalizations between 1840 and 1860 were done in a variety of courts, which will be abstracted later.

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Lake County newspapers often contain genealogical value including obituaries, births, marriages, deaths, anniversaries, family gatherings, family travel, achievements, business notices, engagement information, and probate court proceedings.

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

From 1797 or the creation of the county, probate records were held by the Court of Common Pleas. After 1852, records are held by the Lake County Probate Court. Records include wills, estates, guardianships, naturalizations, marriage, adoption, and birth and death records (1867-1908 only). The records may give the decedent's date of death, name of spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence.

See Ohio Probate Records for information about how to use probate records.

Online Probate Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

Ohio tax records complement land records and can be used in place of censuses before 1820 or to supplement the years between censuses. Because only persons who owned taxable property were listed, many residents were not included in tax lists. There may also be gaps of several years in the tax records of some counties.

Online Tax Indexes and Records

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital records consist of birth, death, marriage and divorce records. Marriages were usually recorded from the formation of the county and are held at the office of the County Probate Court. Divorce records are located with the county Clerk of Courts.

Any existing birth and death records from 1867 through December 19, 1908 are located at the County Probate Court. The Ohio Department of Health has birth records filed after December 20, 1908 and death records filed after January 1, 1954, while the Ohio History Connection houses death records from December 20, 1908 through December 31, 1953.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Lake County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Ohio Archives and Libraries.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
  • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in Lake County. For state-wide library facilities, see Ohio Archives and Libraries.

Fairport Harbor Public Library
335 Vine St
Fairport Harbor, OH 44077-5799

Kirtland Public Library
9267 Chillicothe Rd
Kirtland, OH 44094-8500

Madison Public Library
6111 Middle Ridge Rd
Madison, OH 44057

Mentor Public Library
8215 Mentor Ave
Mentor, OH 44060-5786

Perry Public Library
3753 Main St
Perry, OH 44081-9501

Wickliffe Public Library
1713 Lincoln Rd
Wickliffe, OH 44092-2499

Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library
263 E 305th St
Willowick, OH 44095

Museums[edit | edit source]

Lake County History Center
415 Riverside Dr
Painesville, OH 44077, USA

Museums & Historical Sites
105 Main St
5th Floor Nolan Building
Painesville, OH 44077

Indian Museum of Lake County, Ohio
Physical Address:
7519 Mentor Ave, Ste A112
Mentor, OH 44060
Mailing Address:
PO Box 883
Willoughby, OH 44096

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Lake County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Ohio Societies.

Western Reserve Historical Society
Research Library in the History Center
10825 East Blvd
Cleveland, OH 44106
FamilySearch Wiki

Lake County Genealogical Society
c/o Morley Library
184 Phelps St
Painesville, OH 44077

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ‘’Ohio Atlas of Historical County Boundaries;’’ Ohio: Individual County Chronologies; Copyright The Newberry Library 2007
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Ohio.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Lake County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, accessed 2/22/2017.
  4. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Lake County, Ohio Genealogy and History”, accessed 2/22/2017.
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Ohio.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Ohio.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  7. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Ohio.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  8. ‘’Ohio Atlas of Historical County Boundaries;’’ Ohio: Individual County Chronologies; Copyright The Newberry Library 2007
  9. Wikipedia contributors, "Lake County, Ohio," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Ohio, accessed 23 December 2018.