Ohio Archives and Libraries

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Ohio Wiki Topics
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Beginning Research
Record Types
Ohio Background
Cultural Groups
Local Research Resources

These repositories preserve sources, maintain indexes, and provide services to help genealogists document their ancestors who lived in Ohio.

Wiki Articles on Major Repositories for Ohio[edit | edit source]

Allen County Public Library (Ft. Wayne, IN) · American Jewish Archives · Archdiocese of Cincinnati · Archives of Ohio United Methodists · Bowling Green State University Jerome Library · Dayton Metro Library · Erie Lackawanna Historical Society Archives · Mennonite Historical Collections · National Archives at Chicago (Chicago, IL) · National Underground Railroad Freedom Center · Newberry Library (Chicago, IL) · Ohio Department of Health · Ohio Genealogical Society · Ohio History Connection · Ohio University Alden Library · Palatines to America German Genealogy Society Resource Center · Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County · Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County · Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center · State Library of Ohio · Toledo‑Lucas County Public Library · University of Cincinnati Blegen Library · Western Reserve Historical Society · Wright State University Dunbar Library

Online Records of Ohio[edit | edit source]

Links to online databases and indexes that may include vital records, biographies, cemeteries, censuses, histories, immigration records, land records, maps, military records, naturalizations, newspapers, obituaries, or probate records.

Statewide Repositories[edit | edit source]

Ohio Department of Health[edit | edit source]

Offfice of Vital Statistics
225 Neilston Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Telephone: 614-466-2531
E-mail: VitalStat@odh.ohio.gov
Internet: How to Apply

The Office of Vital Statistics preserves Ohio births since 1908, and deaths since 1964.[1] They do not have marriage or divorce records.[2]
Earlier 1867-1908 uncertified birth records, and 1867-1963 uncertified death records are available on plain paper from the Ohio History Connection (Ohio's archives), or at the city or county vital statistics office where the event occurred. A few counties have earlier records.[1]
Indexes. The Office of Vital Statistics maintains a limited online Death Certificate Index 1908-1963.[1] They also have a marriage index since 1950, and divorce index since 1954.[2] For other Ohio vital record indexes see also the Ohio Vital Records Wiki article.
How to obtain Birth and Death record copies. There are several ways to obtain copies of Ohio birth and death records:[3]
  • From a local Vital Statistics Office in a city or county where the event occurred. This is often faster; fees and hours vary. Sealed adoption records are only available in Columbus.
  • Walk-in at the downtown Columbus office for same-day service before 4:30 pm (except adoptions).
  • Order online using their online order form. Please allow three weeks for processing (adoptions usually take longer).
  • By mail following all their Records Request Instructions (pdf). Please allow at least three weeks for processing.
  • For an additional fee you can order online official Ohio death records since 1964 from a private company VitalChek Ohio. They provide a faster turn-around time.
How to obtain Marriage license copies since the formation of the county contact the local county probate court; for divorce decrees contact the local county clerk of courts.[2] Local fees and hours vary.

Ohio Genealogical Society[edit | edit source]

611 State Route 97 West
Bellville OH 44813-8813
Telephone: (419) 886-1903
Fax: 419-886-0092
E-mail: ogs@ogs.org
Internet: Ohio Genealogical Society

They have the best collection of family folders in Ohio. They also have county record guides, biographies, genealogies and some unique indexes to various Ohio records.[4]

Ohio History Connection in Columbus

Ohio History Connection[edit | edit source]

800 E. 17th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43211
Telephone: 614-297-2510
Fax: 614-297-2546
E-mail: reference@ohiohistory.org
Internet: Ohio History Connection Archives/Library
Internet: Ohio Memory: a collaborative project of the Ohio History Connection and the State Library of Ohio

The Archives Division of the State History Connection of Ohio serves as the state archives and primarily collects manuscript records of the state, including government, land, and military records. Also has biographies, genealogies, and early vital records (births 1867-1908; marriages since each county's formation; deaths 1867-1964).[4] A few cities and counties have even earlier vital records.

State Library of Ohio[edit | edit source]

274 East First Avenue
Columbus, OH 43201
Telephone: 614-644-7061
Fax: 614-644-7004
E-mail: refhelp@library.ohio.gov
Internet: State Library of Ohio
Internet: Ohio Memory: a collaborative project of the Ohio History Connection and the State Library of Ohio

This collection contains good records of Ohio, and of states like Pennsylvania, New York, and the states of New England which all contributed early immigrants to Ohio.[4]
The State Library of Ohio's genealogy collection is now housed at the Columbus Metropolitan Library. SLO still has the State of Ohio Government Documents Collection which may have genealogical content.

Regional Repositories[edit | edit source]

OH Network of Amer Hist Res Centers[edit | edit source]

Ohio Network of American History Research Centers These regional history centers collect Ohio records such as newspapers, printed materials, and local government records:

An inventory of each center's holdings is: Ohio Historical Society, Abstract of Ohio County Inventory, 1803-1977. Columbus, OH: OHS, 1977. At various repositories (WorldCat).

Bowling Green State University Jerome Library

Bowling Green State Univ Jerome Libr[edit | edit source]

Bowling Green State University Jerome Library
Center for Archival Collections
Bowling Green, OH 43403-0001
Telephone: 419-372-2411
E-mail: archive@bgsu.edu
Internet: Center for Archival Collections
Internet: Historical Collections of the Great Lakes

Has manuscripts, the Historical Collection of the Great Lakes, Rare Books and Special Collections, and local records of nineteen counties in northwest Ohio.[5]

Dayton Metro Library[edit | edit source]

Dayton Metro Library Main Branch

Main Branch
215 E. Third Street
Dayton, OH 45402
Telephone: 937-463-BOOK
E-mail: reference question form
Internet: Dayton Metro Library

The Dayton Room  has one of Ohio's best genealogical collections including books, periodicals, indexes, genealogies, and biographies.[4]

Erie Lackawanna Hist Soc Archives[edit | edit source]

Erie Lackawanna Historical Society Archives
Cleveland State University
1860 East 22nd St, Rhodes Tower, RM 321A
Cleveland Ohio 44115-2214
Telephone: 216-687-2449, or 216-687-2520
E-mail: l.duchez@csuohio.eduCleveland
Internet: Erie Lackawanna Historical Society

History of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, Erie Railroad, Erie Lackawanna Railway and related lines. No employee records.[6]

Ohio University Alden Library[edit | edit source]

Ohio University Alden Library in Athens

Ohio University, Archives and Special Collections
Athens, OH 45701-2978
Telephone: 740-593-2699
Fax: 740-593-2708
Internet: Archives and Special Collections
Internet: Alden Library

Their excellent manuscript collection includes church records, and business records. They also have county histories, biographies, and newspapers. It is like a second state archives.[4]

Pub Libr of Cincinnati & Hamilton Co[edit | edit source]

Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

Public Libr of Cincinnati & Hamilton County

800 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH, 45202
Telephone: 513-369-6900
E-mail: Ask a reference question form
Internet: Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

A top genealogy and local history collection of early Ohio sources. This includes the Inland Rivers Library  of the Ohio River and its tributaries (riverboat traffic between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Louisville, Kentucky) in Special Collections.[4]

Pub Libr of Youngstown & Mahoning Co[edit | edit source]

Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County
305 Wick Ave.
Youngstown, OH 44503
Telephone: 330-744-8636
Reference Fax: 330-744-3355
E-mail: E-mail reference question form
Internet: Genealogy and Local History

They have a good solid genealogy collection with oral histories, state and county histories, biographies, and genealogies. Youngstown was a portal for immigrants from Pennsylvania and New England entering Ohio.[4]

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center[edit | edit source]

R B Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont

Spiegel Grove
Fremont, OH 43420-2796
Telephone: 800-998-7737, ext. 231
Fax: 419-332-4952
E-mail: bhill@rbhayes.org
Internet: Hayes Research Library
Internet: Ohio Obituary Index of over 3 million obituaries, death, and marriage notices, and other Ohio sources from the 1810s to the present.

President Hayes' personal collection is strong on Ohio history, as well as Sandusky River and Great Lakes history, U.S. history and Black studies. The Hayes family history including many manuscripts are kept here.[4]

Toledo‑Lucas County Public Library[edit | edit source]

Toledo-Lucas County Public Library

Main Library
325 Michigan Street
Toledo, Ohio 43604
Telephone: genealogy 419-259-5233, or general 419-259-5200
Email: Contact us e-mail form
Internet: Biography and Genealogy

This is the place to come if you are looking for early Ohio settlers who entered Ohio via the Great Lakes and Toledo. They have Great Lakes traffic records.[4]

University of Cincinnati Blegen Library[edit | edit source]

University of Cincinnati Blegen Library

Archives and Rare Books Library
P.O. Box 210113
2602 McMicken Circle
Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0113
Telephone: 513-556-1959
Fax: 513-556-2113
E-mail: archives@ucmail.uc.edu
Internet: University of Cincinnati Archives Department

Cincinnati births and deaths 1865-1912, morgue records 1887-1930, German-Americana, urban studies, and the Ohio Network Collection.[7]

Western Reserve Historical Society[edit | edit source]

Connecticut Western Reserve in northeast Ohio.png

10825 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106-1788
Telephone: 216-721-5722 x1509
Fax: 216-721-0645
E-mail: reference@wrhs.org
Internet: Family History and Genealogical Research

The Western Reserve was a large part of Ohio at first intended for settlement by Connecticut Revolutionary War refugees. The Research Library at the Western Reserve Historical Society History Center  is the premier repository for Cleveland, Ohio and the Connecticut Western Reserve  history material. This important collection includes original land records, as well as many genealogies, biographies, histories, and Bibles from New York, Pennsylvania, and New England.[4] Includes over 20 million manuscripts for genealogical research and northeast Ohio history. They have the world's largest and most comprehensive collection of Shaker materials. Other important collections include the American Civil War, and the automotive industry.[8]

Wright State University Dunbar Library[edit | edit source]

Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton, OH 45435-0001
Telephone: 937-775-2092
Fax: 937-775-4109
E-mail: archives@www.libraries.wright.edu
Internet: Genealogy

Books, maps, census records, and other research materials for the eleven counties including churches, labor unions, businesses, social and welfare agencies, women's organizations, papers of private individuals and public officials, photos, published and unpublished family histories.[9]

Ethnic and Religious Repositories[edit | edit source]

Amererican Jewish Archives Marcus Center in Cincinnati

American Jewish Archives[edit | edit source]

101 Clifton Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45220
Telephone: 513-2211875
Fax 513-221-7812
E-mail: Ask an Archivist form
Internet: Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives

1,000 family genealogy files. Jewish communities and immigration records during the Colonial Period, early Jewish communities in the Caribbean Islands, along with congregational records from early Jewish settlement to modern times.[10]

Archdiocese of Cincinnati[edit | edit source]

212 East Eighth Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Telephone: 513-621-2086
E-mail: Contact us
Internet: Archdiocese of Cincinnati Archive

On-site research by appointment only. Accepts genealogical requests by mail or their online form. Fee required. The Archives has microfiche copies of baptism, marriage, and death registers of every open and closed parish in the Archdiocese, but not for parishes outside the current Archdiocese boundaries. Records after 1930 are restricted. Telephone and e-mail requests are not accepted.[11]

Methodist Archives at Ohio Wesleyan University Beeghly Library in Delaware, Ohio

Archives of Ohio United Methodists[edit | edit source]

Ohio Wesleyan University Beeghly Library
43 Rowland Ave
Delaware, OH 43015
Telephone: 740-368-3285
E-mail: aoum@owu.edu
Internet: Archives of Ohio United Methodism

History of United Methodism in general and in Ohio, manuscripts and conference proceedings, Methodist publications, local church history files, records of closed and abandoned churches, Dead Ministers file, newspapers, journals, periodicals, personal papers and diaries. The Archives offers research services into church history, clergy members, and genealogy.[12]

Irish American Archives Society[edit | edit source]

Collection at the Western Reserve Historical Society above.
Internet: Irish American Archives Society.

Mennonite Historical Collections[edit | edit source]

Bluffton University Mussellman Library
280 W College Ave
Bluffton, OH 45817
Telephone: 419-358-3251
E-mail: phillipsc@bluffton.edu
Internet: Mennonite Historical Collections

Their collections include 3,000 volumes of family histories. They also have periodicals about Mennonite and related groups, resources for genealogy research, secondary sources on Mennonite history and life, and historic materials from the village of Bluffton and of surrounding communities.[13]

Nat'l Underground Railroad Freedom Cntr[edit | edit source]

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Nat'l Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati

50 East Freedom Way
Cincinnati OH 45202-3913
Telephone: 513-333-7654
E-mail: OH_freedomcenter@familyhistorymail.org.
Internet: Genealogy at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is more a museum (few original manuscripts) than an archives. However, it has a family history center, where patrons can view limited-access FamilySearch and Ancestry databases.[14]

Palatines to America German Gen Center[edit | edit source]

Palatines to America German Genealogy Society Resource Center
PO Box 141260
Columbus, Ohio 43214
Telephone: 614-267-4700
E-mail: Contact us e-mail form
Internet: Palatines to America German Genealogy Society

They have an extensive collection of German immigrant ancestor files. Their book collection is at the Columbus Metropolitan Library.[15]

Shakers[edit | edit source]

See the Western Reserve Historical Society above.

Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana

Outside of Ohio Repositories[edit | edit source]

Allen County Public Library[edit | edit source]

900 Library Plaza
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802
Telephone: 260-421-1225
E-mail: genealogy@acpl.info
Internet: Genealogy Center ACPL

This is the second-largest genealogy collection in the United States[16] and the largest genealogy collection in a public library. Its holdings include more than 350,000 printed volumes and 513,000 items on microfilm and microfiche.[17] It has a premier genealogical periodical collection, local histories, genealogies, databases, military, censuses, directories, passenger lists, ethnic sources, and Canadians. They have a great Ohio collection.[18]

National Archives at Chicago, Illinois

National Archives at Chicago[edit | edit source]

7358 S. Pulaski Rd.
Chicago, IL 60629-5898
Phone: (773)948-9001
Fax: (773)948-9050
E-mail: chicago.archives@nara.gov
Internet: http://www.archives.gov/chicago/

Includes federal censuses 1790–1930; selected military service indexes, pension indexes, passenger lists, and naturalizations. Free computers for Ancestry, Heritage Quest, or Fold3. Federal agency, civil, and criminal court records of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.[19]

Newberry Library in Chicago, Illinois

Newberry Library[edit | edit source]

60 West Waltron Street
Chicago, IL 60610
Telephone: 312-255-3512
Email: reference@.

A large Chicago repository with genealogies, local histories, censuses, military, land, indexes, vital records, court, and tax records many from Ohio, the Mississippi Valley, eastern seaboard, Canada, and the British Isles.[20]

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Some of the above collections are partially duplicated at the Family History Library and its branch Family History Centers around the world. Most centers can help you by:

  • Giving you limited, personal, one-on-one research suggestions (but they do not do research for you)
    Lima Ohio Family History Center
  • Providing access to genealogical records through the premium online Internet FHC Portal for free.
  • Offering free how-to classes (varies by location)
  • Fostering contact between genealogical enthusiasts

There are several centers located in Ohio, for example:

Lima Ohio Family History Center
1195 Brower Rd
Lima OH 45801-2303 USA
Telephone: 1-419-227-2537
Each center is staffed by volunteers and has varying hours and services. Telephone in advance to verify their hours.

To locate one of these 4,500 centers in your own neighborhood, see Find a Family History Center.

Guides[edit | edit source]

Almost every county in Ohio has a branch of the Ohio Genealogical Society (OGS) that actively collects, preserves, and publishes local records. There are many other societies in Ohio proactive in promoting research.

To find other repositories of Ohio records, see also:

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Which Vital Records Do We Have? in Ohio Department of Health (accessed 10 May 2017).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Marriage and Divorce Information in Ohio Department of Health (accessed 10 May 2017).
  3. Easy Ways to Obtain a Birth or Death Record in Ohio Department of Health (accessed 10 May 2017).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 William Dollarhide, and Ronald A. Bremer, America's Best Genealogy Resource Centers (Bountiful, UT: Heritage Quest, 1988), 89. At various repositories (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 J54d.
  5. Center for Archival Collections in University Libraries (accessed 5 March 2015).
  6. Archives in Erie Lackawanna Historical Society, Inc. (accessed 5 March 2015).
  7. Archives and Rare Books Library in UC Libraries (accessed 5 March 2015).
  8. Significant Collections in Western Reserve Historical Society (accessed 27 February 2015).
  9. Genealogy in University Libraries (accessed 5 March 2015).
  10. Genealogy Guide in Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives (accessed 9 May 2017).
  11. Genealogy Requests in Archdiocese of Cincinnati (accesed 9 May 2017).
  12. Archives of Ohio United Methodism in Ohio Wesleyan University Libraries (accessed 9 May 2017).
  13. Archives & Special Collections: Mennonite Historical Collections in Mussellman Library (accessed 9 May 2017).
  14. Genealogy in National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (accessed 5 March 2015).
  15. Home in Palatines to America German Genealogy Society (accessed 5 March 2015).
  16. Allen County Public Library in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia (accessed 28 April 2010).
  17. Genealogy Center in Allen County Public Library (accessed 28 April 2010).
  18. Genealogy Center Collections in Genealogy Center (accessed 27 February 2015).
  19. Genealogy in National Archives at Chicago (accessed 27 February 2014).
  20. Genealogy and Local History in The Newberry (accessed 27 February 2015).