Ohio Genealogy and History Guide

Ohio Genealogy Resources:





Bible Records


Ohio quick facts:

  • Statehood:
    March 1, 1803
  • State Capital:
  • State Nickname:
    The Buckeye State
  • State Bird:
  • State Song:
    "Beautiful Ohio"
  • State Flower:
    Scarlet Carnation
  • State Tree:
  • State Motto:
    With God, All Things Are Possible

Ohio Genealogy Research Guide:

Ohio Census Records:

The first Federal census enumerated for Ohio was in 1800 and a Federal census was taken every 10 years thereafter.  However, not all of those census years are available.  Please note: the earliest census records 1800-1840 schedules only list the name of the head of household in each family with numerical statistics for all other family members.  Beginning in 1850, all names in each family were listed, making them a better resource for genealogists, however don't be too quick to discount the earlier census records as they can reveal important information too.  See the census reference chart below to learn what census is available for Ohio genealogy research.

Ohio Federal Census Years:

  • 1800 Census records for Ohio burned in a fire, however Washington County did survive the fire.
  • 1810 Census records for Ohio burned in a fire with the exception of Washington County.
  • 1820 Census is complete with the exception of missing schedules for Franklin County and Wood County.
  • 1830 Census
  • 1840 Census
  • 1850 Census
  • 1860 Census
  • 1870 Census
  • 1880 Census
  • 1890 Census burned in a warehouse fire and what remains are small fragments for Clinton and Hamilton Counties and the Special schedules for Veterans and Widows which includes only Union veterans and widows.
  • 1900 Census
  • 1910 Census
  • 1920 Census
  • 1930 Census

Other census schedules besides the regular population schedules we are familiar with include Mortality Schedules (people who died during the census year), Agricultural Schedules (farms), Manufacturing Schedules, Social Statistics Schedules, and Dependent, Defective, and Delinquent Schedules.  Some states took their own state census but Ohio was not one of them.  There are no state census records for Ohio.

Ohio Military Records:

US Military service records can be obtained from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

Ohio soldiers records can be searched online at the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System but don't  consider this a definitive source.  The records held at NARA are more comprehensive.

War of 1812 - The Ohio Historical Society has the War of 1812 Roster of Ohio Soldiers online.

Ohio Civil War Documents Searchable Database is online at The Ohio Historical Society.  This is a great resource.

United States Civil War Prisons has some prisoner lists online.

Ohio Vital Records:

The Ohio Department of Health holds vital records including birth, death, marriage and divorce records, however, they are on file at the local county health department for each county.  Ohio birth and death records on file at the state level begin December 20, 1908, however each Ohio county office may hold births and deaths as early as 1867. The Ohio state health department only holds abstracts of the marriage and divorce records beginning in 1949.  If you want the actual marriage license copy or the divorce decree record, you should obtain them from the County Probate Court office of each county where the records will be on file since the inception of the county.

Ohio Genealogy Subscriptions Online:

Many websites with genealogy resources for Ohio are available online. Some offer free OH genealogy databases and other information for the online researcher, but the paid subscription websites hold a more consistent amount of quality data and offer free trials to that data.

1. Ohio State Databases of Census & Genealogy Records

          Get the Ancestry.com Free Trial when you register!

2. Genealogy.com offers genealogy databases, a library and U.S. Census Collection.

         FREE TRIAL of Genealogy.com

Ohio Scarlet CarnationOhio Condensed HistoryOhio Scarlet Carnation

Prior to 1650, the Ohio lands were inhabited by tribes of the Algonquian Indians.  Iroquois Indians conquered the other native Indian tribes in bloody battles called the Beaver Wars, taking the land and pushing the other tribes out.  A confederacy was formed by the Iroquois with the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondayas, Cayuagas, Tuscaroras and the Senecas.  They actually wiped out an entire tribe of Erie Indians.  Later, as the strength of the Iroquois had weakened, many other Indian tribes moved into the Ohio valley including the Ohio, Chippewa, Sauk, Eel River, Kaskaskia, Shawnee, Mingo, Munsee, Ottawa, Piankashaw, Potawatomi, Sauk, Wea, Wyandot, Delaware and the Miami.

In 1670, French explorer Rene'-Robert Cavelier claimed Ohio land for France.

After the French and Indian War, the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1763, giving England possession of all French claims in North America.  Most Native Americans in the Ohio area were against this decision and many battles ensued between the English and the Indians between 1760 and the 1780s. 

After the Revolutionary War, formally ending in 1783, an act, created in 1787, created the Northwest Territory which included the Ohio lands and American settlers began to move in, inciting many battles between Americans and the Indians, who were eventually forced from the Ohio area.

Admitted to the Union as the 17th state on February 19, 1803, Ohio was the first state carved from the Northwest Territory.  In 1810, Zanesville was declared the state capital.  In 1816, the capital was moved to Columbus, which remains the capital city of Ohio today.

Ohio has some of the most fertile and rich soil in the United States and enjoyed great prosperity with crops of corn, oats, wheat, soybeans, dairy products, eggs, tomatoes and many others.  Farming and livestock remain a primary occupation today and was ranked in the top ten of the U.S. in 2001.

OHIO HISTORY FACT: The state got it's name from an Iroquois word.  Ohio means "great water in the Iroquois language.

OHIO HISTORY FACT: The Wyandotte tribe was the last to leave Ohio in 1842.

OHIO HISTORY FACT: Eight US Presidents were born in Ohio.

Ohio History Resources Online:



Carnation graphics courtesy of Santa Lady