HomeThoughts and MusingsFinding Ancestors In Ohio’s Local Government Records Program

Ohio_Counties_sUnder the direction of the State Archivist, the Ohio Network of American History Research Centers was formed in 1970. The goal of the program was to fund and provide designated places for county and local governments to deposit their records of historical and genealogical value so that they could be maintained and accessed. Originally, there were seven network centers, each covering a specific geographical area.

Unfortunately, the program is no longer funded, which has resulted in some centers returning their records to the Ohio Historical Society, as well as other interested local repositories. Nevertheless, the records are still available, and are a terrific and largely ignored source for family history researchers. Very little of these records have been filmed, much less placed online. With the closure of some of the centers, it may be a little work to track down what records went where, but it is well worth the effort.

The record groups deposited in these centers vary depending on time and location. Not every type of record is available for every area. When you’ve exhausted the usual sorts of records and plucked all the low hanging fruit, the records in this collection help answer the question “Where do I go from here?” Some of the records are lists of names, such as the quadrennial enumerations or poll books. They can place your ancestor in a certain time and place, at times when no other records might. Other records are more narrative in nature and can provide details that enrich your understanding of your ancestor.

Typical records come from almost every county government office, and include:
Tax Records, Militia Records, Enumeration of Soldiers and Sailors, Poll Books, Tally Sheets, Justice of the Peace Dockets, Quadrennial Enumerations, District Court Records, Supreme Court Records, Military and School Records, Records of Indentures /Apprenticeships, Ditch Records and Surveys, Boys/Girls Industrial School Records, County Poorhouse Records, Mothers’ Pensions, County Home Records, Burial Record of Indigent Soldiers, Tax Duplicate, Order Books, Civil War Enumerations, Township Trustee Minutes, Mayor’s Court, Intoxication Dockets, Cemetery Records, and many, many more.

Happy Hunting!

Network Centers

Note: Centers marked with a * indicate that they have returned records, or are in the process of returning records. Contact that center to determine where records of interest were sent.

University of Akron
Archives Services, Polsky Building
225 S. Main St.
Akron, OH 44325-1702
(330) 972-7670
Counties: Ashland, Coshocton, Holmes, Medina, Portage, Richland, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas, Wayne
*Bowling Green State University
Center for Archival Collections
Jerome Library – 5th Floor
Bowling Green, OH 43403-0175
(419) 372-2411
Counties: Allen, Crawford, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Huron, Lucas, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca, Van Wert, Williams, Wood, Wyandot

*University of Cincinnati
Archives & Rare Books Department
Blegen Library – 8th Floor
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0113
(513) 556-1959
Counties: Adams, Brown, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton, Highland, Warren

Ohio Historical Society
Local Government Records Program (LGRP)
1982 Velma Avenue
Columbus, OH 43211-2497
(614) 297-2553
Counties: Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Knox, Licking, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Pickaway, Union

*Ohio University
Alden Library, Archives and Special Collections
Athens, OH 45701-2978
(740) 593-2710
Counties: Athens, Belmont, Gallia, Guernsey, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike Ross, Scioto, Vinton, Washington

Western Reserve Historical Society Library
10825 East Blvd.
Cleveland, OH 44106-1788
(216) 721-5722
Counties: Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain (also records from other counties obtained prior to the formation of the LGR program)

Wright State University
Dunbar Library – Archives and Special Collections
Dayton, OH 45435-0001
(937) 775-2092
Counties: Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Logan, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Shelby. (Also some records from Adams, Clermont, Hamilton, and Warren)

Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor
151 West Wood Street
PO Box 533
Youngstown, OH 44501-0533
(330) 743-5934
Counties: Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana, Harrison, Jefferson, and Carroll.


Finding Ancestors In Ohio’s Local Government Records Program — 1 Comment

  1. This is a wonderful summary. I have wondered when a geneablogger would present it all in one place. Thanks!

    It should be noted that each repository has its own limited selection of County documents. The seeker should check each one’s list. Each repository has its own procedures for searching and copying, as well.

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