Ottawa County, Ohio Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Port Clinton
Organized: March 6, 1840[1]
Parent County(s): Erie, Lucas, Sandusky[2]
Neighboring Counties
Lucas  • Wood  • Sandusky  • Erie
See County Maps
Ottawa County, Ohio Courthouse.jpg
Location Map
OH ottawa.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named either for the Ottawa Indian Tribe or for a Native American word meaning "trader". It is located in the North-Central area of the state.[3]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Ottawa County Courthouse
315 Madison St
Port Clinton, OH 43452-1993
Phone: 419-734-6755
Ottawa County Website

County Health Department has birth, death and burial records;
Probate Judge has marriage and probate records;
Clerk Court has divorce and court records from 1840 and naturalization 1905-1929;
County Recorder has land records[4]

Ottawa 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[5]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1867 1840 1867 1840 1820 1840 1820
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1908. General compliance year is unknown.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

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: [7]

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]

  • Commemorative biographical record of the counties of Sandusky and Ottawa, Ohio, containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens (Chicago: J.H.Beers & Co., 1896) Online at FamilySearch Digital Library

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

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Ottawa 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 2,248
1850 3,308 47.2%
1860 7,016 112.1%
1870 13,364 90.5%
1880 19,762 47.9%
1890 21,974 11.2%
1900 22,213 1.1%
1910 22,360 0.7%
1920 22,193 −0.7%
1930 24,109 8.6%
1940 24,360 1.0%
1950 29,469 21.0%
1960 35,323 19.9%
1970 37,099 5.0%
1980 40,076 8.0%
1990 40,029 −0.1%
2000 40,985 2.4%
2010 41,428 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



  • Records of St. John's Lutheran Church, Oak Harbor, in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America database at ($).[8]

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.

Online Land Indexes and Records

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.

  • Ryall, Lydia J., Sketches and stories of the Lake Erie islands (Norwalk, Ohio: The American Publishers Co., 1913). Online at FamilySearch Digital Library
  • Thorndale, Theresa, Sketches and stories of the Lake Erie islands (Sandusky, Ohio: I.F. Mack & Brother, 1898). Online at Google Books, Hathitrust
  • Ottawa County Genealogical Society, The History of Ottawa County, Ohio and Its' Families, (Port Clinton, Ohio: Ohio Genealogical Society. Ottawa County Chapter, 1985). FHL book 977.1212 D3h

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

MichiganLucas CountyWood CountySandusky CountyErie CountyOH OTTAWA.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War
Civil War service men from Ottawa 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 Ottawa County.

- 41st Regiment, Ohio Infantry, Companies F and I
- 100th Regiment, Ohio Infantry, Company G

World War I

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Ottawa 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]

The Obituary Index includes references to more than 1.5 million death, marriage and obituary notices. What began as a project at the Hayes Presidential Center grew into a partnership with 40 public libraries throughout the state of Ohio. Some of the listings date back as far as 1830. In addition to newspaper obituaries, the index includes entries indexing church records, federal mortality indexes, family papers, etc.

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 Ottawa 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 Ottawa 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 Ottawa County. For state-wide library facilities, see Ohio Archives and Libraries.

Harris-Elmore Public Library
328 Toledo St
PO Box 45
Elmore, OH 43416

Ida Rupp Public Library
310 Madison St
Port Clinton, OH 43452-1921

Oak Harbor Public Library
147 W Main St
Oak Harbor, OH 43449-1344

Museums[edit | edit source]

Ottawa County Historical Society
Keeper's House, Cemetery, Museum
PO Box 385
Port Clinton, OH 43452
Keeper's House
9999 E Bayshore Rd
Lakeside Marblehead, OH 43440
419) 798-9339

Ottawa County Museum Digital Collection
126 W Third St
Port Clinton, OH 43452

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Ottawa 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

Ottawa County Historical Society
PO Box 385
Port Clinton, OH 43452

The Ottawa County Genealogical Society
PO Box 193
Port Clinton, OH 43452-0193

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Ohio.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  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. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Ottawa County, Ohio Genealogy and History”, accessed 2/22/2017.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Ohio.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  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. Wikipedia contributors, "Ottawa County, Ohio," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Ohio, accessed 7 January 2019.
  8. "Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: An Inventory of Selected Congregational Records of the American Lutheran Church in Minnesota at the Minnesota Historical Society," Collection Finding Aids, Minnesota Historical Society,, accessed 10 June 2013.