While Stark County happens to be the county in which I was born, I rarely have had any need to research there. However, if you DO have Stark County research, be sure to take advantage of one of the handful of counties in Ohio that have digitized all of their deeds and made them available for free, directly through the County Recorder’s website. While it may seem less than intuitive, once you figure out how the system works, you’ll see that it’s actually quite efficient.
First, go to the Stark County Recorder’s site. Click on the “Search Records” link from the menu on the left-hand side of the screen. Acknowledge the disclaimer to continue. On the next screen, you will need to register for your free account (all that’s asked for is name and email address).
Once you’ve registered, you arrive at the main search page. Assuming you are doing historical research, select “Archive Search.”
In the archive search, you will have a split screen. The top of the screen is where you search the indexes. The bottom is where you select the book, volume and page once you have found it in the index.
The index system seems a little clunky, but once you work through it a few times, it’s actually pretty slick. From the index section, you need to select: Which record group you are searching, the time period, the specific range within that time period (forget the fact that the site refers to this as “Alpha”), and then the page of the index you need. How do you know which page? Selecting the “1 Pg Name/Corp” page brings you to the index key. Just as an example, let’s look for the earliest deeds for Martin Funk:
Here are the selections to start the index search for early Martin Funk deeds:
Selecting the Pg Name\Corp brings us to the index key:
The left-hand column is the first letter of the surname, and the letters across are the first letter of the given name. The nice thing about this index is that it is consistent across the books. Once you know the page for the name you’re searching for, you don’t need to look it up each time. Here we are looking for page 163, so we can go back and select that from the index search:
The actual page numbers are listed in parenthesis, so there is no need to guess image numbers– the pages referred to in the docket books are correctly listed on the search page. This is the page image for our selection:
The first deed listed for Martin Funk is found in B:377. We can now go back to the bottom half of the search screen and get that page:
And that’s it! We now have the deed we were looking for. It can be printed and saved directly from your browser.
If we had not found any deeds in the date range we were looking for, all we need do is go back to the index selections, pick a new range, and go to page 163 of that book (since we already know the page on which surname F, first name M appears).