Ohio Biography

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

Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Biographies provide useful genealogical information such as a person’s birth date and place; names of family members, including maiden names; education; occupation; and social, political, and religious affiliation. They may also contain a physical description of the person, previous residences, and immigration information. Biographies are the product of family knowledge or previous research about early settlers and prominent citizens of a state, county, or town. Local histories may contain biographical sketches of lesser-known people.

Biographies in Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Biographical information is often found in state, county, and town histories.
  • Towards the end of the 19th century, began publishers soliciting short biographical/family histories from local founding families, offering to publish them in an upcoming local history. This then became an incentive for family members to buy a copy of the book.
  • Families represented were not necessarily prominent. Practically everyone living there, especially in the Midwest, counted as an early settler.
  • These biographies often start with the first member of the family to settle in the area, and detail their descendants at the time of publishing. They may tell where the family moved in from. Children's marriages often are given, with maiden names included.

Finding Biographies[edit | edit source]

  • The county Wiki page lists several county histories. It also lists local libraries, and societies which probably have copies of local histories.
  • Many histories are no longer under copyright and can be found in the following online, digitized book collections. Search with keywords "History" and "the name of your locality" (state, county, or town).
  • The FamilySearch library has extensive collections of these local histories. Many are digitized. Search the FamilySearch Catalog under your locality for the topics "Biography" and "History".

Biographical Encyclopedias[edit | edit source]

  • Upton, Harriet Taylor. History of the Western Reserve. Three Volumes. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing, 1910. FHL films 934867-68, book 977.13 H2uA digital version is available through the FamilySearch catalog entry. The complete text is also viewable at Google Books
Upton, Harriet Taylor and Lake County Genealogical Society, An Every-Name Index to the History of the Western Reserve (Mentor, Ohio: Lake County Chapter, OGS, 1988.) At various libraries (WorldCat; FHL fiche 6093927, book 977.13 H2u index 1988
  • Galbreath, Charles B. History of Ohio. Five Volumes. (Chicago, Illinois: American Historical Society, 1925.) FHL films 931797-801, book 977.1 H2gaThe last three volumes contain biographical sketches of prominent Ohio citizens. (The entire 3,562 page book is viewable at HeritageQuest online, through most public library websites.)
  • Boardman, Alice, Marjorie Price, DAR (Ohio), Ohio Historical Society, The Ohio Surname Index (Columbus, Ohio:Ohio Historical Society, 1984) Ohio Historical Society,1984; FHL films 398201-64 An every-name card index to about 450,000 persons mentioned in various biographical sections of Ohio county histories.

Family History Library[edit | edit source]

The Family History has a large collection of county histories which include biographical information. To access biographies in the FamilySearch Catalog, use a Place-name Search for:


Statewide Collections[edit | edit source]

Further Reading[edit | edit source]

See the United States Biography for information on nationwide biographical collections. See also the "Ohio History" and "Ohio Genealogy" sections for additional sources. You may wish to explore biography, history and genealogy sections in the wiki at county levels also.

Biographies can be found on state, county and local levels. The Family History Library has many collected biographies and local or county histories with biographical sketches on residents. Additional resources for Ohio biographies may be found in the Ohio Biography topic page of the FamilySearch Catalog with indexes found at Ohio Biography Indexes. Copies of records on FHL microfilm and microfiche can be ordered for viewing at Introduction to Family History Centers. Also find Ohio Biography resources available at other libraries (WorldCat). Explore how to search WorldCat and the Introduction to the FamilySearch Catalog.

To find biographies and published family histories on specific surnames in the FamilySearch Catalog, use a Last names Search.