Ohio Genealogy and Ancestry Research

This page will provide you with information that will help you in your genealogy and ancestry research for the state of Ohio. It includes a timeline for the state, when the state began recording vital records, what US and State census records are available, a map of the counties in the state and link to page showing when counties were formed, and links to a variety of genealogy and ancestry resources for the state of Ohio.

Ohio History Timeline

1669 – French explorer Robert de La Salle explores the Ohio River claiming the land for the French.

1763 – The British take over after the French and Indian War. 1782 – The Gnadenhutten massacre occurs when 96 Lenape Indians are killed by an American militia.

1783 – The United States takes control after the Revolutionary War.

1787 – Ohio becomes part of the newly created Northwest Territory.

1788 – The first permanent settlement is established in Marietta.

1794 – The Battle of Fallen Timbers is fought between a Confederacy of Native Americans in Ohio and the United States.

1803 – Ohio becomes the 17th state.

1812 – The War of 1812 is fought against the British and their Native American allies.

1816 – Columbus becomes the capital.

1837 – The Proctor & Gamble Company is established in Cincinnati.

1898 – The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company is established in Akron.

1955 – The Ohio Turnpike opens.

1995 – The Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame museum opens in Cleveland.

Ohio Vital Records

Ohio enacted a statute in 1856-57 that required birth, death, and marriage registration, a law that was generally disregarded. A later 1867 law again required registration of birth and death records. Some of these are extant. Two types of ‘death records’ known to be in existence before 1867 are records of cholera deaths, registered during some epidemics, and veterans’ deaths, representing only a small proportion of the deaths that occurred. The third law, which went into effect on 20 December 1908, set up the current record keeping system in Ohio.

Ohio Vital Records at rootsweb and Ohio Vital Records at FamilySearch.org, has more details regarding vital records.  

Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org has a variety of online collections. I have included many of these in the links below.

Ohio Census Records


Population Schedules

  • Indexed-1800 (Washington County only), 1810 (Washington County only-others burned 1812), 1820 (Franklin and Wood counties missing), 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870 (Cincinnati and Cleveland only), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940
  • Soundex-1880, 1900, 1910 (Miracode), 1920

Industry and Agriculture Schedules

  • 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (lists do not exist for all counties for each year); manufacturer’s, 1820 (very limited)

Mortality Schedules

  • 1850 for counties H-W (published), 1860 all counties (published), 1870 (Seneca County only), 1880 (Adams to Geaugan counties only)

Union Veterans Schedules

  • 1890

Ohio Counties Map

Ohio Counties Map
Ohio Counties Map

You can find more county information at Ohio County Resources, originally written by Carol L. Maki and Michael John Neill for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources. This includes County name, address, date formed, parent county(ies), and dates first recorded birth, marriage, death, land, probate and court records.

Ohio Genealogy and Ancestry Links

Ohio History Timeline Links