Cuyahoga County, Ohio Genealogy

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

Coordinates: 41.54°0′N 81.66°0′W / 41.54°N 81.66°W / 41.54; -81.66

Cuyahoga County, Ohio
Map of Ohio highlighting Cuyahoga County
Location in the state of Ohio, United States Genealogy
Map of the U.S. highlighting Ohio
Location of Ohio in the U.S.
Cuyahoga County, Ohio Courthouse.jpg
Address Cuyahoga County Courthouse
1219 Ontario St.
Cleveland, Ohio 44113-1603
Cuyahoga County Website

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1859 1810 1868 1823 1810 1810 1820
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1908. General compliance year is unknown.
  • Parent Counties: Formed from Geauga County 10 February 1808.[2]
  • County Seat: Cleveland

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named after the Iroquoian word Cuyahoga, which means 'crooked river'. The name is also assigned to the Cuyahoga River, which bisects the county. It's county seat is Cleveland and was founded Founded June 7, 1807. It is located in the North-Central area of the state.[3]

Places/Localities[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit Hometown Locator. Hometown Locator The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in Cuyahoga County: [4]


Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Lorain County  • Medina County  • Summit County  • Portage County  • Geauga County  • Lake County

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

For animated maps illustrating Ohio county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Ohio County Boundary Maps" (1788-1888) may be viewed for free at the website.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemetery records often reveal birth, marriage, death, relationship, military, and religious information.

Online Grave Transcripts Published Grave Transcripts County Cemetery Directories

Family History Library


Names in Stone

USGW Tombstones

Billion Graves

Billion Graves

Ohio Gravestones

See Ohio Cemeteries for more information.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1810 1,459
1820 6,328 333.7%
1830 10,373 63.9%
1840 26,506 155.5%
1850 48,099 81.5%
1860 78,033 62.2%
1870 132,010 69.2%
1880 196,943 49.2%
1890 309,970 57.4%
1900 439,120 41.7%
1910 637,425 45.2%
1920 943,495 48.0%
1930 1,201,455 27.3%
1940 1,217,250 1.3%
1950 1,389,532 14.2%
1960 1,647,895 18.6%
1970 1,721,300 4.5%
1980 1,498,400 −12.9%
1990 1,412,140 −5.8%
2000 1,393,978 −1.3%
2010 1,280,122 −8.2%
Source: "".

1930 Cuyahoga Census Abstract(partial)

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.

General[edit | edit source]

Cleveland Ohio Pastors and Their Churches by Laura Hine.

Catholic[edit | edit source]
  • 1796–2004 Ohio, Diocese of Toledo, Catholic Parish Records, 1796-2004 at FamilySearch Historical Records – free. This collection includes images of parish registers recording the events of baptism, first communion, confirmation, marriage, and death in the Diocese of Toledo (Ohio), Roman Catholic Church. These records are accessed by browsing the images by county. In addition to traditional parish registers, this collection includes miscellaneous cemetery records, Books of the Elect, Professions of Faith, Sick Call registers, etc.
Ward and Branch Records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints[edit | edit source]
  • Cleveland

City Directories[edit | edit source]

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

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

African American

Davis, Russell H. Black Americans in Cleveland from George Peake to Carl B Stokes, 1796-1969 - Washington : Associated Publishers, [c1972] - 525p. F499.C69 N32

Davis, Russell H. Memorable Negroes in Cleveland's Past. - Cleveland: Western Reserve Historical Society, 1969. 58 p. FHL 977.1 A1 no. 91

Archives, Libraries, and Museums
Church Records
Cemetery Records
Court Records

Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Local Histories[edit | edit source]
  • Johnson, Crisfield, History of Cuyahoga County, Ohio: in three parts, general history of the county, history of Cleveland, history of the townships, with portraits and biographical sketches of its prominent men and pioneers (Cleveland, Ohio: D.W. Ensign Co, Leader Print. Co., 1879) Digital version at: FamilySearch Digital Library, Internet Archives, FHL film 982061 Item 1.

A Book of Clevelanders

A History of Cleveland: Its Settlement, Rise, and Progress, 1796-1896 at FamilySearch Digital Library

Cuyahoga County American History and Genealogy Project

Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

Land and Property[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.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Lake CountyGeauga CountyPortage CountySummit CountyMedina CountyLorain CountyOH CUYAHOGA.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]

Civil War service men from Cuyahuga 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 Cuyahoga County.

World War I[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Naturalization Petitions for the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio Eastern Division, Cleveland 1907-1946 at Fold 3 (paid site) (the old Footnote)
Get free access to Fold 3 by signing on through the Cuyahoga County Public Library site.
Click "Research" then "Electronic Resources A-Z" then "Genealogy" then "Fold 3" (entering your Cuyahoga County Public Library card number when asked for)
Once on the Fold 3 site, click browse at the top and then Naturalizations then Documents then Naturalizations Ohio Northern


Cuyahoga County Index

This index, arranged alphabetically by surname, and dating from 1859-1901, provides access
to the naturalization records preserved by the Cuyahoga County Probate Court in three sets
of volumes: Declaration of Aliens (DOA) (16 volumes); Declaration of Alien Minors (DOAM)
(8 volumes); and the Naturalization Book (NB) (26 volumes). Those interested in additional
information regarding the naturalization process, particularly as administered during the
late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the United States, should request from the
Cuyahoga County Archives a copy of the information sheet "Tracing an Immigrant Ancestor
through the Naturalization Records in the Cuyahoga County Archives."

The index contains eleven columns or data fields that include the name of the volume indexed,
the volume number and page number, the surname, first name, middle name, country of origin,
the date of arrival, the date of declaration (date that the declaration or "first paper" was
filed), and the date of naturalization. The database also includes a "Record Problem" column
that many contain additional information useful to the researcher. Spelling variations for a
first name are listed here, while surname spelling variations are noted with a "see also"
reference. Records that are incomplete or that have been identified as void are so marked.
For naturalizations recorded in the NATURALIZATION BOOK (NB) volumes 25 or 26, a reference to
a petition number may be listed. In a few cases this column may provide a clarification or
correction to the data that was recorded in the original records. Finally, missing pages are
noted in this column. Researchers should be aware that not all immigrants made application
for citizenship in the Probate Court, as some sought naturalization in the Court of Common
Pleas and in the U.S. District Court. The County Archives preserves the Common Pleas naturaliz-
ation records and you should contact the Archives for a search of available indexes to those
documents. The records from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio are pres-
erved by the National Archives and Records Service-Great Lakes Region in Chicago, Illinois.

When requesting a copy of a Probate Court naturalization document from the Archives you should
provide the following information: the person's name, date of declaration and/or date of natural-
ization, and the reference to the relevant volume, by name, e.g. DOA, DOAM, NB, and to the appro-
priate volume and page numbers. Persons can communicate with the Archives by mail, or visit in
person, at 2905 Franklin Blvd. N.W. Cleveland, Ohio 44113; or they can make a request by tele-
phone (216) 443-7250, fax communication (216) 443-3636, or by e-mail,

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

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

To access newspapers, contact public libraries, Ohio Genealogical Society chapters, college or university libraries, the Library of Congress, Google News, or the Ohio Memory. The Ohio Genealogical Society Obituary Database is another source of newspaper information.

For more Ohio newspaper information see the Newspaper Guides on the wiki page Ohio Newspapers and Obituaries.

Online Newspapers

Online Newspaper Abstracts

Newspaper Extracts and Abstracts in Book Form

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

  • 1850-1975 - Cleveland Necrology File online at the Cleveland Public Library website. Cleveland Plain Dealer (1850-1975), Cleveland Herald (1833, 1847-8, 1876, 1878-9), and Cleveland Press (1941-1975), cemetery records and other death records covering some of the years between 1850 and 1975.

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate[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 {{{1}}} 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

Wiki articles describing collections are found at:

Finding More Probate Records[edit source]

Additional probate records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Cuyahoga County, Ohio Genealogy Probate Records in online catalogs like:

Public Records[edit | edit source]

Repositories[edit | edit source]

Courthouse[edit | edit source]
  • Cuyahoga County Courthouse
    1200 Ontario Street
    Cleveland, OH 44113
    Phone: 216.443.7950

    Probate Court has birth records 1859-1901 and death records
    1868-1908; Western Reserve Historical Society has marriage
    records 1810-1941 and tax revenues 1819-1869; Marriage License
    Bureau has marriage records from 1810; County Courthouse has
    naturalization records 1818-1906 and probate records from 1810;
    Clerk Court has divorce records 1837-1925; County Administration
    Building has land records from 1810[5]

A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:

Ohio Cuyahoga County Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

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]
Museums[edit | edit source]
Societies[edit | edit source]
Connecticut Western Reserve in northeast Ohio.png

The Connecticut Western Reserve Genealogy  was a part of northeast Ohio originally intended for settlement by Revolutionary War refugees from Connecticut.[6] The former Connecticut Western Reserve  lands were in the modern counties of Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, and Trumbull fully, but also in parts of Ashland, Mahoning, Ottawa, Summit, and Wayne counties in Ohio.

The Research Library at the Western Reserve Historical Society History Center  is the premier repository for Cleveland, Ohio and Connecticut Western Reserve history material. One of the principal strengths is its manuscript collections.[7] The WRHS collection has original land records, genealogies of New England, New York, and Pennsylvania, biographies, histories, and family Bibles.[6]

Other Societies

Online Genealogy Research Groups[edit | edit source]

School Records[edit | edit source]

Courtesy of the Cleveland Public Library:

Taxation[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.

Finding More Tax Records

Additional tax records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Cuyahoga County, Ohio Genealogy Tax Records in online catalogs like:

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]

Online Birth Indexes and Records

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Online Marriage Indexes and Records

Original Marriage Records on Microfilm

Death[edit | edit source]

Online Death Indexes and Records

Finding More Vital Records

Additional vital records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Cuyahoga County, Ohio Genealogy Vital Records in online catalogs like:

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Voter Registration[edit | edit source]

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Page 540-547 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 531-533.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
  3. accessed 2/14/2017
  4. Wikipedia contributors, "Cuyahoga County, Ohio," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Ohio, accessed 8 November 2018.
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Page 541 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. 6.0 6.1 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.
  7. Family History and Genealogical Research in Western Reserve Historical Society (accessed 11 March 2015).

Wiki articles describing these collections are found at: