Seneca County, Ohio Genealogy

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Seneca County

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


Seneca County, Ohio
Boundary map of Seneca County, Ohio
Map of the U.S. highlighting Ohio
Location of Ohio in the U.S.
Seneca County, Ohio Courthouse.jpg
Address Seneca County Courthouse
103 S. Washington St.
Tiffin, Ohio 44883-2352
Seneca County Website

Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records

*For earlier dates, try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries
  • Parent Counties: Formed from Huron County in 1820 (1824).
  • County Seat: Tiffin


The county was named after the Seneca Indian Tribe. It's county seat is Tiffin and was founded April 1, 1820. It is located in the Northcentral area of the state.[1]

Neighboring Counties

Sandusky County  • Huron County  • Crawford County  • Wyandot County  • Hancock County  • Wood County

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Boundary Changes

For animated maps illustrating Ohio county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Ohio County Boundary Maps" (1788-1940) may be viewed for free at the website.

Record Loss

1841 A courthouse fire may have damaged or destroyed some records.
For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:


Bible Records


Business Records and Commerce


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

Online Grave Transcripts Published Grave Transcripts County Cemetery Directories

Family History Library

Ohio Gravestones


Names in Stone

USGW Tombstones

Billion Graves

Billion Graves


OHGenWeb Tombstone Photos
See Ohio Cemeteries for more information.


Church Records

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, view the Ohio Church Records wiki page.



Reed Assumption Church is sometimes mentioned as being in Reedtown, but it is really in the nearby country west of Reedtown, which is called the Reed area. There was a church, school, and cemetery that were called Reed Assumption until the parish was closed in 2005. The cemetery is still called Reed Assumption. The church building is still there, but not the school. No other buildings are left, except the church and maybe the rectory. The frame school was torn down in the 1960s (when a new school was built to serve the area and the parishes of St. Sebastian, Reed Assumption, and Marywood-St. Michaels. It was a public school system known as Seneca-Huron because St. Sebastian (Bismark) was in Huron County and Assumption (Reed) and St. Michael's (Franks) were in Seneca County. The public school system was formed earlier (late 1940s?) for financial reasons, but all the teachers were Catholic nuns and they had Mass and religion classes every day. The convent house was moved a mile or so away and is used as a private home. It is a few miles west of Reedtown. Reedtown is on a state highway and is a very small unincorporated village. The only remaining business is Reedtown Tavern and maybe a car/machine repair shop. However, quite a few homes are still there.

A couple miles away in the country is a place called Frank's Corner. This area is also known as Marywood. In the earliest times, it was called Thompson (Township). The church and the cemetery there were called St. Michael's. The cemetery is still known by that name, but when the Reed and Marywood parishes were closed, along with Bismark St. Sebastian, a few years ago, the three were consolidated into a new parish now known as St. Gaspar del Bufalo (yes, that is the way it is spelled). That parish uses the 1800's Gothic style church that was formerly St. Michael's. Quite a few homes are still located there.

These settlements and parishes are adjacent to each other and separated by only a few miles. Both parishes, as well as the adjacent St. Sebastian parish, to the east in Bismark, were very "tightknit" German settlements and remain such today, with many of the same family names since the mid 1800s.

  • 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.

Court Records

Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups




Local histories are available for Seneca County, Ohio Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section Ohio Local Histories.

Local Histories
  • Baughman, Abraham J., History of Seneca County, Ohio: A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People, and Its Principal Interests,(Seneca, Ohio: Lewis Publishing Company, 1911). Digital copy at Google Books Internet Archive
  • Seneca County Chapter, Ancestral Pioneer Men and Women of Seneca County, Ohio: Including Proven First Families, (Tiffin, Ohio: Ohio Genealogical Society. Seneca County Chapter, 1987). FHL fiche 6087943; book 977.1 A1 no. 265

Land and Property

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.

Finding More Land Records

Additional land records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Seneca County, Ohio Genealogy Land and Property Records in online catalogs like:


Wood CountySandusky CountyErie CountyHancock CountyWyandot CountyCrawford CountyHuron CountyOH SENECA.PNG
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Civil War

Servicemen from Seneca 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 Seneca County.

– 8th Regiment, Ohio Infantry, Company A
– 123rd Regiment, Ohio Infantry
Company D
Company I
Company K

Naturalization and Citizenship


Seneca 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 Historical Society. 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. Online Newspapers
Online Newspaper Abstracts
Newspaper Extracts and Abstracts in Book Form




Probate records created after 1852 are held by the Seneca County, Ohio Genealogy Probate Court. From 1797 or the creation of the county, probate records were held by the Court of Common Pleas. Most counties transferred all records to the Probate Court, but in some circumstances, Court of Common Pleas records should be searched for records prior to 1852. Most records are housed at the Seneca County, Ohio Genealogy Courthouse. Some records are on microfilm at the Ohio Genealogical Society and the Family History Library. For more complete information about the location of county probate records see:

See the wiki page Ohio Probate Records for information about how to use probate records.

Content: Probate Records may give the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence.

Record types: Wills, estates, guardianships, naturalizations, marriage, adoption, and birth and death records (1867-1908 only).

Online Probate Records

Finding More Probate Records

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

Public Records



Seneca County Courthouse
103 S Washington Street
Tiffin, OH 44883-2354
Phone: 419.447.0671

Probate Judge has birth, marriage, and probate, 
County Health Department has death records;
Clerk Court has divorce and court records from 1826;
County Recorder has land records[3]

Family History Centers

Family history centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.

For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory. Put your town name in the top search box.


Seneca County Chapter Ohio Genealogical Society
P. O. Box 157
Tiffin, OH 44883-0841

Online Genealogy Research Groups


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. For more information see the wiki page Ohio Taxation.

Finding More Tax Records

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

Vital Records


Online Birth Indexes and Records

Original Birth Records on Microfilm


Online Marriage Indexes and Records

Original Marriage Records on Microfilm


Online Death Indexes and Records

Finding More Vital Records

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

Original Death Records on Microfilm




Populated Places

“Marywood” – People often refer to a place called Marywood for a residence and/or marriages in Seneca County. There is no city called Marywood. In the “old times” when the local people spoke of Marywood, they were referring to the area around the three churches named Reed Assumption (which is in Reedtown); Saint Michael's (which has a Bellevue* address) and Saint Sebastian (which also has a Bellevue* address). Presently (2009), when people speak of Marywood, they generally are referring to Saint Michaels and/or a shrine called the Sorrowful Mother Shrine; you can learn more by going to the web at

The physical address of the Sorrowful Mother Shrine is: 
4106 State Route 269
Bellevue, Ohio 44811

  • Bellevue is a city that spans four counties: Erie, Huron, Sandusky, and Seneca

Neighboring Counties


  1. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Seneca County, Ohio Genealogy and History”, accessed 2/27/2017.
  2. Carol Willsey Bell, Ohio Wills and Estates to 1850: An Index (Columbus, Ohio: the author, 1981). FamilySearch Books Online - Free online copy.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Seneca County, Ohio. Page 545 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.