Ohio County Birth Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: Ohio, County Births, 1856-1909 .
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Collection Time Period

The collection covers the years 1856 to 1909.

Record Description

The collection includes a name index and images of county birth records in Ohio. The time period and type of record varies by county.

The records are usually handwritten on preprinted pages, bound into books. The books are in register style with multiple entries to a page. The records are generally well preserved, though some may have been lost because of fire or other disasters. Some of the records have been sent to the Ohio Historical Society.

Record Content

The records usually have the following genealogical information:

Ohio Birth Register.jpg
  • Child’s birth date
  • Sex
  • Township, county, and state of the birth
  • Child’s name
  • Parents’ names, including the mother’s maiden name
  • Name of the person reporting the birth
  • Residence of the parents

They may also list the following:

  • Parents' birth dates and places
  • Parents' age
  • Parents' occupation
  • Name of attending physician or midwife

How to Use the Records

Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. It is helpful to know the following:

  • The child's name
  • The birth place
  • The approximate birth date

Use the locator information in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestors in the birth records. Some on-line indexes, such as indexes to FamilySearch Historical Records, will take you directly to an image. Compare the information in the birth record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination. Be aware that as with any index, transcription errors may occur.

When you have located your ancestor’s birth record, carefully evaluate each piece of information about them. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors.

For example:

  • Use the birth date along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
  • The father’s occupation can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • The parents' birth places can tell you former residences and can help to establish a migration pattern for the family.

It is often helpful to extract the information on all children with the same parents. If the surname is unusual, you may want to compile birth entries for every person of the same surname and sort them into families based on the names of the parents. Continue to search the birth records to identify siblings, parents, and other relatives in the same or other generations who were born in the same county or nearby.

Keep in mind:

  • The information in birth records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from record to record.

Record History

Ohio counties generally began keeping birth records in 1867, when Ohio passed a law requiring this. Physicians or county assessors in cities and townships created the birth records and then sent them to the country probate court. On December 20, 1908, a new state law required the county to send the birth records to the state. Most births that occurred in a county were probably recorded because of the legal requirement for registration.

Why the Record Was Created

The state required counties to begin recording births both to document the births and to track public health issues. A delayed registration allowed an individual whose birth had not been recorded to obtain a birth certificate, which was usually needed to receive certain government benefits.

Record Reliability

The information on birth records is generally reliable, but there is always the possibility of misinformation.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.


Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Examples of Source Citations for a Record Found in This Collection

Please add sample citations to this article following the format guidelines in the wiki article listed above.

Examples of citations:

  • “Delaware Marriage Records,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed 4 March 2011), entry for William Anderson and Elizabeth Baynard Henry, married 23 November 1913; citing marriage certificate no. 859; FHL microfilm 2,025,063; Delaware Bureau of Archives and Records Management, Dover.
  • “El Salvador Civil Registration,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org: accessed 21 March 2011), entry for Jose Maria Antonio del Carmen, born 9 April 1880; citing La Libertad, San Juan Opico, Nacimientos 1879-1893, image 50; Ministerio Archivo Civil de la Alcaldia Municipal de San Salvador.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.

"Ohio, County Births, 1856-1909." FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org) Various county clerks throughout Ohio. FHL microfilm, 367 reels. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

The suggested format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections is found in the wiki article Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.