Portage County, Ohio Genealogy
Guide to Portage County, Ohio ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
County Information[edit | edit source]
Description[edit | edit source]
The county was named for an old Native American path called "Portage Trail". It is located in the South-Central area of the state.
County Courthouse[edit | edit source]
Portage County Courthouse
203 West Main Street
Ravena, Ohio 44266
Portage County Website
Portage 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.
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: 
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]
Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]
Cemeteries[edit | edit source]
Census Records[edit | edit 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
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.
- Brown, Robert Charles, History of Portage County, Ohio: Containing a History of the County, Its Townships, Towns, Villages, Schools, Churches, Industries, etc., (Chicago, Illinois: Warner, Beers, 1885). Digital copy at Google Books, Internet Archive, FamilySearch Digital Library, FHL film 1697596 Item 14; book 977.137 H2h
- Holmes, James B., Portage Heritage: A History of Portage County; Its Towns and Townships and the Men and Women Who Have Developed Them, (Kent, Ohio: Commercial Press, 1957). Digital copy at Internet Archive, FamilySearch Digital Library, FHL film 1033821 Item 1
- Bowen, A.W., A Portrait and Biographical Record of Portage and Summit Counties, Ohio, (Logansport, Indiana: A.W. Bowen, 1898). Digital copy at Google Books, Internet Archive, FamilySearch Digital Library, FHL film 1000336 Item 5; book 977.13 D3p
Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]
- Maps of Ohio (1788-1940)
- FamilySearch Places: Map of cities and towns in this county - How to Use FS Places
Migration[edit | edit source]
Military Records[edit | edit source]
- 1888-1919 Ohio Soldier Home Records, 1888-1919 at FamilySearch — How to Use this Collection; index and images.
Service men from Portage 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 Portage County.
- -1st Regiment, Ohio Light Artillery, Batteries A, D, and I.
- - 104th Regiment, Ohio Infantry, Companies D and I
World War I
- 1914-1918 Ohio, World War I, Enrollment Cards, 1914-1918 at FamilySearch — How to Use this Collection; index and images.
- 1914-1919 Ohio, World War I Statement of Service Cards, 1914-1919 at FamilySearch — How to Use this Collection; index and images.
- 1916-1920 Ohio, WWI Index and Return Cards, 1916-1920 at FamilySearch — How to Use this Collection; index and images.
Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]
Online Naturalization Indexes and Records
- 1800-1977 Ohio, County Naturalization Records, 1800-1977 at FamilySearch — How to Use this Collection; index and images.
Newspapers[edit | edit source]
Portage 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.
- For more online Ohio newspapers index and images, see Ohio Newspapers.
- 1793-late 1900's Newspapers at Ohio History Connection — Select county.
- 1793-2009 Ohio Newspapers, 1793-2009 at MyHeritage — index & images, ($)
- Early- late 1900's Newspapers at Ohio Memory — sort by County, City, Time Period, and more.
Obituaries[edit | edit source]
Other Records[edit | edit source]
Periodicals[edit | edit source]
Probate Records[edit | edit source]
From 1797 or the creation of the county, probate records were held by the Court of Common Pleas. After 1852, records are held by the Portage County Probate Court. Records include wills, estates, guardianships, naturalizations, marriage, adoption, and birth and death records (1867-1908 only). The records may give the decedent's date of death, name of spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence.
See Ohio Probate Records for information about how to use probate records.
Online Probate Indexes and Records
- 1786-1998 Ohio Wills and Probate Records 1786-1998 at Ancestry ($) — index and images.
- 1789-1996 Ohio Probate Records 1789-1996 at FamilySearch.org — How to Use this Collection; index and images.
School Records[edit | edit source]
- Kent State University Yearbooks - approximately 1914-1985 yearbooks are freely available on the Internet Archive
Social Security Records[edit | edit source]
- 1935-2014 United States Social Security Death Index at FamilySearch — How to use this collection; index. Also at Ancestry, findmypast, Fold3, GenealogyBank, MyHeritage, and Steve Morse. Click here for more information.
- 1936-2007 U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 at Ancestry ($) — index, click here for more information.
Tax Records[edit | edit source]
Ohio tax records complement land records and can be used in place of censuses before 1820 or to supplement the years between censuses. Because only persons who owned taxable property were listed, many residents were not included in tax lists. There may also be gaps of several years in the tax records of some counties.
Online Tax Indexes and Records
- 1800-1850 Ohio Tax Records, 1800-1850 at FamilySearch — How to Use this Collection; index and images.
- 1800-1850 Ohio Tax Records, 1800-1850 at MyHeritage ($) — index
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]
- 1841-2003 Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003 at FamilySearch — How to Use this Collection; index and images; or scroll down to Browse images by county.
- 1908-1998 Ohio, Birth Index, 1908-1998 at Ancestry ($) — Index
- 1959-1998 Ohio, Birth Index, 1959-1998 at MyHeritage - index ($)
Marriage[edit | edit source]
- 1789-2013 Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013 at FamilySearch — How to Use this Collection; index and images.
- 1800-1942 Ohio, Marriages, 1800-1942 at FamilySearch — How to Use this Collection; index.
- 1800-1958 Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958 at FamilySearch — How to Use this Collection; index.
- 1970-2003 Ohio, Marriages, 1970 - 2003 at MyHeritage ($) — index
Death[edit | edit source]
- 1833-1967 Ohio, Church and Civil Deaths, 1833-1967 at FamilySearch — How to Use this Collection; index
- 1840-2001 Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001 at FamilySearch — How to Use this Collection; index and images.
- 1908-1932, 1938–1944, and 1958–2007 Ohio, Death Index, 1908-1932, 1938-1944, and 1958-2007 at FamilySearch – How to Use this Collection; Index.
- 1908-1932, 1938-2018 Ohio, Death Records, 1908-1932, 1938-2018 at Ancestry ($) — index and images
- 1913-1944, 1954-1963 Ohio Death Index, 1913-1944, 1954-1963 at MyHeritage ($) — index
Divorce[edit | edit source]
- 1962-2007 Ohio, Divorce Abstracts, 1962-1963, 1967-1971, 1973-2007 at Ancestry ($)
Research Facilities[edit | edit source]
Archives[edit | edit source]
Listed below are archives in Portage 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
- Akron Ohio Family History Center (Tallmadge)
- Rootstown Ohio Family History Center
- Plano Community District Public Library - an affiliate library
- Akron-Summit County Public Library - an affiliate library
Libraries[edit | edit source]
Listed below are libraries in Portage County. For state-wide library facilities, see Ohio Archives and Libraries.
Portage County District Library
Aurora Memorial Library
115 East Pioneer Trail
Aurora, OH 44202
Museums[edit | edit source]
Societies[edit | edit source]
Listed below are societies in Portage County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Ohio Societies.
Websites[edit | edit source]
- Local Gov't Records by County at Ohio History Connection — Browse their list; records are not online.
- Custom Browse of Historical Collections at Ohio Memory — Use map or alpha bar to select county or place, then browse search options in left sidebar.
- Ohio Genealogical Society ($) — online databases
- Portage County Ohio Genealogy
- Ohio GenWeb: Portage County - free genealogy resources; part of the national USGenWeb Project
- FamilySearch Catalog – The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection. Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records.
Research Guides[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Ohio Historical Boundary Changes - list of all boundary changes by county provided by Newberry Library
- Genealogy Trails History Group, “Portage County, Ohio Genealogy and History”, http://genealogytrails.com/ohio/portage/ accessed 2/27/2017.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Ohio.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- Wikipedia contributors, "Portage County, Ohio," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portage_County,_Ohio, accessed 9 January 2019.