Ohio Church Records

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The FamilySearch moderator for Ohio is familyjournals

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Introduction[edit | edit source]

By 1900 the prominent denominations in Ohio were Roman Catholic, Methodist, and Presbyterian. There were also groups of Baptists, Lutherans, and Society of Friends. There are handbooks may help you locate and use church records. [1][2]

While the majority of church records remain with the local churches, the Family History Library, Ohio Historical Society, and Western Reserve Historical Societyhave copies of local records from some churches. The Family History Library has film copies of the manuscript collection in the Western Reserve Historical Society. See A Guide to Manuscripts at the Ohio Historical Society, described in Ohio Archives and Libraries.

Many of the local church records available at the Family History Library have been microfilmed at various archives and libraries. Whenever possible, these are listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under:


While no listing of Family History Library films by repository is available, the FamilySearch Catalog identifies when and where each record was microfilmed. Example: Family History Library List of Ohio Churches

Denominational histories for groups such as the Church of the Brethren, Evangelical, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints(1830 to 1838), Lutheran, Mennonite, Methodist, Moravian, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic are listed in the Locality Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:

  • Lists of Incorporated churches before 1850 are included in Data Abstracted from the Laws of Ohio, 1803-1900. [3]

There are several more articles concerning Church records in Ohio, they are:

Locating Church Records

Local church records are listed in the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:


Statewide or regional records are listed under:


An example is: Shaker Membership Card Index. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1974. FHL Film 934620-23

Non-Denominational[edit | edit source]

Census Bureau, Special Reports, Religious Bodies: 1906
Ruth E. Browning abstracted names and events from The Christian Messenger and created an every name index. The Christian Messenger was a religious newspaper during the 1800's which included "letters with information about the churches, obituaries, death notices, names of subscribers, letters from preachers, etc."[4]  The information abstracted from this newspaper came from several counties in Ohio.

Baptist[edit | edit source]

North American Baptist General Conference
7308 Madison Street
Forest Park, IL 60130

  • You can learn more about Baptist records in The Records of American Baptists in Ohio, and Related Organizations.[5]

Jewish[edit | edit source]

Jewish Genealogy Society of Cleveland
996 Eastlawn Drive
Highland Heights, OH 44143-3126
Phone: (440) 449-2326
E-mail: br1595@aol.com

Lutheran[edit | edit source]

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
8765 West Higgins Road
Chicago, IL 60631-4198
Phone: 773-380-2818

Trinity Lutheran Church
Church Records from 1884 to 1978
Kent, OH

  • If a church is still active, the church will be able to help locate the records. The records of churches in the United States that have been disbanded are located at the ELCA Archives in Chicago. The archives has records of many congregations, and those on microfilm may be borrowed for a small fee. A partial list of church records in its collection is listed in: ALC Archives[6]These are arranged by the state and city in which the congregation resides. Family History Library fiche 6330692 includes Ohio. The ALC (American Lutheran Church) Archives are now part of the ELCA Archives.

Methodist[edit | edit source]

Methodist Historical Commission
L.A. Beeghly Library
Ohio Wesleyan University
43 Rowland Avenue
Delaware, OH 43015
Phone: (740) 368-3285

Methodist General Commission on Archives & History
The United Methodist Church
36 Madison Avenue
Madison, NJ 07940

United Methodist Church
601 W. Riverview Avenue
Dayton, OH 45406-5543
North District Phone: (888) 227-9490
South District Phone: (937) 227-9475

  • In Guide to the Manuscript Collection of Early Ohio Methodism: United Methodist Church of Ohio you will find additional help in locating Methodist records. FHL Book 977.1 K23h; fiche 6017063[7]

Moravian[edit | edit source]

The Moravian Archives
41 West Locust Street
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18018
United States of America
Phone: (610) 866-3255
Fax: (610) 866-9210

For information concerning missions to the American Indians visit Moravian Missions Among American Indians. For a map and list of missions visit Early Moravian Missions in Eastern Pennsylvania and Surrounding Areas 1740-1773.

Mission records are also available in the FHL Collection. The records are indexed in the FHL CollectionBook 970.1 F642i.

Presbyterian[edit | edit source]

Presbyterian Historical Society
425 Lombard Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147-1516
Phone: (215) 627-1852

The Family History Library has numerous records of local churches in Ohio. They were microfilmed at the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. [9]The collection includes papers of some Ohio Presbyterian churches and ministers.

  • Inventory of the Church Archives of Ohio Presbyterian Churches has inventories of Presbyterian churches and their records [10]
  • Inventories are arranged alphabetically by county. Volume one includes indexes by place names, church names, and date of organization. Information was collected about the records, history, buildings, and clergymen. There is another source that may contain information that is not included in the previous inventory. Records are listed alphabetically by counties.[11]

Roman Catholic[edit | edit source]

Archdiocese of Cincinnati
Chancery Office
100 E. Eighth Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: (513) 421-3131
Fax: (513) 421-6225
E-mail: commdir@archdiocese-cinti.org

The dioces includes the counties of: Adams, Auglaize, Brown, Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Darke, Greene, Hamilton, Highland, Logan, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Shelby, Warren.[12]

Diocese of Columbus
198 E. Gay St.
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: (614) 228-2457

The diocese includes the counties of: Coshocton, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Hardin, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Knox, Licking, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Tuscarawas, Union, Vinton, Washington.[12]

The Diocese of Columbus created the Catholic Record Society, a group that has published a monthly journal since 1975 called The Barquilla. This journal contains articles as well as transcriptions of records (e.g. baptisms, marriages, burial records). There is a subject index that allows users to identify which journal contains desired information, and anissues listing, which provides links to issues of the journal from 1975 on. Anything located in Volumes I-XXIV (1975-1999) can be accessed for free. Articles of interest in issues after 1999 can be ordered for $1 each. Further inquires can be sent to the Catholic Record Society by following these directions.

Diocese of Cleveland
1404 East 9th St.
Cleveland, OH 44114
Phone: (216) 696-6525
(800) 869-6525 (Ohio only)
Fax: (216) 621-7332

The diocese includes the counties of: Ashland, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Summit and Wayne.[12]

Diocese of Steubenville
422 Washington Street
P.O. Box 969
Steubenville, OH 43952
Phone: (740) 282-3631
Fax: (740) 282-3327

The diocese includes the counties of: Athens, Belmont, Carroll, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Jefferson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble and Washington.[12]

Diocese of Toledo
Chancery Office
1933 Spielbusch Avenue
P.O. Box 985
Toledo, OH 43697-0985
Phone: (419) 244-6711
Fax: (419) 244-4791

The diocese includes the counties of: Allen, Crawford, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, Huron, Lucas, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Van Wert, Williams, Wood and Wyandot.[12]

A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:

Ohio, Diocese of Toledo, Catholic Parish Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

Diocese of Youngstown
Chancery Office
144 West Wood Street
Youngstown, OH 44503
Phone: (330) 744-8451
Fax: (330) 742-6448
E-mail: doychancery@impresso.com

The diocese includes the counties of: Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning, Portage, Stark and Trumbull.[12]

Shakers[edit | edit source]

  • The Shakers of Ohio became virtually extinct by 1900 due mainly to the lack of converts. They moved to Shaker communities in other states.
  • Shaker Membership Card Index. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1974. (Family History Library films 934620-23.)

Society of Friends (Quakers) [edit | edit source]

Ohio Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends
Olney Friends School
61830 Sandy Ridge Road
Barnesville, OH 43713
Phone: (740) 425-3168

Evangelical Friends Church, Eastern Division
5350 Broadmoor Circle, N.W.
Canton, OH 44709
Phone: (330) 493-1660
Fax: (330) 493-0852

Wilmington College
S. Arthur Watson Library
Pyle Center Box 1227
251 Ludovic Street
Wilmington, Ohio 45177
Phone: (937) 382-6661, ext. 345 | 1 (800) 341-9318 | Fax: (937) 383-8571

  • The Family History Library has microfilm copies of the Quaker records from Wilmington College, Wilmington, Ohio and from the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.

Published abstracts:

  • Hinshaw, William Wade. Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy. 6 Vols. Ann Arbor, Mich.: Edwards Brothers, 1936-1950. Volumes IV and V covers Ohio Monthly Meetings. FHL Collection digital version at Ancestry ($). To locate copies nearest you, use WorldCat.

Websites for Quaker Genealogy Helps:


There are different websites that list churches in Ohio.

Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:


Periodicals have published records of many Ohio churches. These are referenced in the PERiodical Source Index (PERSI) described in the "Periodicals" page.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Charles Otis Gill and Gifford Pinchot, Six Thousand Country Churches (New York, New York: Macmillan, 1919). (Family History Library book 977.1 K2g; film 908228 item 2.)
  2. Ferne Reedy Lubbers and Margaret Dieringer, Advent of Religious Groups into Ohio (n.p., 1978). (Family History Library book 977.1 K2a; film 1033939 item 21.)
  3. "Data Abstracted from the Laws of Ohio, 1803-1900 Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1960. (Family History Library film 223918.)
  4. Ruth E. Browning, Name Index to the Christian Messenger at http://www.mun.ca/rels/restmov/texts/resources/index/index.html
  5. Eltscher, Susan M., comp. The Records of American Baptists in Ohio, and Related Organizations. Rochester, New York: American Baptist Historical Society, 1981. (Family History Library book 977.1 A1 number 239; fiche 6088732.) Cover title: A Basic Guide to Regional Baptist Archives and Historical Resources for Ohio: Baptist Archives and Records Survey.
  6. ALC Archives. ALC Congregations on Microfilm. Dubuque, Iowa: The Archives, [197?]. (Family History Library fiche 6330690-93.)
  7. Harter, Frances D. Guide to the Manuscript Collection of Early Ohio Methodism: United Methodist Church of Ohio. Delaware, Ohio: United Methodist Archives Center, 1980. (Family History Library book 977.1 K23h; fiche 6017063.)
  8. United Methodist Archives (Ohio). Methodist Ministers Card Index: All Ohio Conferences, 1797-1981. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio Historical Society, 1982. (Family History Library film 1292563-66.)
  9. Shane Manuscript Collection. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1966-1967. (On 36 Family History Library films beginning with 498614.)
  10. Historical Records Survey (Ohio). Inventory of the Church Archives of Ohio Presbyterian Churches. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1972. Family History Library films 854488, 899320-22.
  11. Historical Records Survey (Ohio). Inventory of the Church Archives of Ohio Presbyterian Churches. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1967. (Family History Library films 506375-80.)
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 Map of the Roman Catholic Dioceses in the United States of America, Office of Catholic Schools Diocese of Columbus, accessed 3 Nov 2010.