The first French explorer to explore the area that is now Ohio came to the area in 1669. He was Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle. When the French and Indian Wars ended, Ohio became the property of Great Britain. The United States didn’t acquire Ohio until 1783, when the Revolutionary War came to an end. In 1788 Marietta was established as the first white settlement in the area. It became the Northwest Territory’s capital.There were many conflicts between Native Americans and white settlers in Ohio in the 1790s. In 1794 a battle took place at Fallen Timbers. Major General Anthony Wayne won that battle. Then, on September 10, 1813, the Battle of Lake Erie was won by Commodore Oliver H. Perry, who was victorious against the British.
The State of Ohio entered the union as the 17th state on March 1, 1803. It has 88 Counties.
Getting Started with Ohio Genealogy
Ohio Genealogy Tips & Hints – If you have traced your family tree to the state of Ohio you are in good company. How do you begin to Ohio research in order to find the information you need about your family tree?
The easiest step toward gathering information can start with a search on the Internet. It is possible to trace Ohio ancestry through several sources; many of these can be found online. These include information from courthouses and government entities, census records, deeds and cemeteries. Other ways to garner Ohio family history is through photographs, name searches and linking up with other people who are also performing genealogy searches.
The motives for tracing genealogy are as varied as the people who perform searches. Some people are looking for birth parents or other relatives, searching for medical reasons, historical information or even to verify an inheritance. Whatever the reason, finding Ohio ancestry information is easy and inexpensive.
Tips When Looking for Ohio Genealogy Data – One of the larger of the Midwestern states, Ohio has a diverse history with links to Native American cultures, different periods of history, and a lot of unique cities. This is why so many people have familial connections to the area and why there is a demand for Ohio genealogy materials.
Searching for Ohio Genealogy Information – Today, we can get details about anything over the Internet, and this is a reason that all genealogists should begin their work at a computer. When beginning to search for Ohio genealogy information you can go online and use the many resources available in order to obtain copies of historical materials or simply gather data.
Though there is a lot online it does not mean that everything you require for Ohio genealogy is available electronically. This indicates that research for Ohio genealogy also has to take offline locations into consideration too. Once you identify the “real world” resources to use for Ohio genealogy, and which are your best online resources, you can search more effectively.
Best Tactics for Ohio Genealogy Research – Almost all research begins with the public records available, and these tend to also be the most plentiful of the online resources for Ohio genealogy. They are found in the following places:
- Vital Records – these will always cover the basic birth, marriage, divorce, and death records from county, state, and national archives. These might also contain newspaper items, military records, immigration and naturalization details, cemetery or obituary information, census records, and passenger lists and records as well. These are going to be available as online or offline resources for Ohio genealogy.
- State Records – from probate information to surname lists, state census information, private manuscripts, newspapers, military or veterans information, marriage details, maps, land records, genealogical folders, estate information, deeds, death records, cemetery information, birth certificates and more; such records are available as online and offline resources for Ohio genealogy.
- Local Records – state research tends to begin in a county clerk’s office or website, and then moves on to the small local libraries, historical societies, local genealogical societies, and school or college libraries for Ohio genealogy data. These are materials that are usually offline and viewable by appointment or special arrangement.
Best Locations for Ohio Genealogy Information – Where are the best sources for Ohio genealogy data? We have provided details and links for some of the best for Ohio genealogy below:
- Vital Statistics, Ohio Department of Health, 246 North High Street, 1st Floor, Columbus, OH 43216. This is the best way for obtaining birth, death, marriage and divorce records via a written request or even online.
Additional state and local records can be found at the:
- Ohio State Archives, 800 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, OH 43211; This is also the home of the Ohio History Center too. The Ohio State Archives provides researchers looking for genealogy data with access to everything from death indexes and materials from the War of 1812 to listings of historical sites to African American archives.
Below are vital websites that will provide a lot of state-specific details to those in search for Ohio genealogy data.
- Columbus Metropolitan Library’s incredible genealogy resources
- RAOGK Volunteers for Ohio (raogk.org)
- OH Genealogy Community (plus.google.com)
- OH State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- Encyclopedia of Ohio (ohiohistorycentral.org)
- USGenweb – OH Genealogy (ingenweb.com)
- Free GenForum Message Boards – OH (genforum.genealogy.com)
- Free Rootsweb Message Boards – OH (boards.ancestry.com)
- Cyndis List OH Links (cyndislist.com)
- OH Mailing List (rootsweb.ancestry.com)
- OH American History and Genealogy Project (usgennet.org)
- The OHGenWeb Project Ohio Research Exchange Program (rootsweb.ancestry.com)
- USGenWeb Archives Project for Ohio (usgwarchives.net)
Research in Ohio Ethnic Groups
African American Research – To research ancestry of African Americans in Ohio, the best resource is “Fugitive Slave Cases in Ohio Prior to 1850.” This publication can be found in the Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly 69: 160-84. Many valuable records can be found at The Archives Library Division of Ohio Historical Society. These include: Selected Bibliography of Black History Sources at the Ohio Historical Society; the state auditor’s “Special Enumeration of Blacks Immigrating to Ohio, 1861–1863,”; State Archives Series 2261; the state’s first African-American newspaper, the Palladium of Liberty; You can also visit the Afro-American Museum in Wilberforce, Ohio.
- USF Africana Heritage Project (africanaheritage.com)
- Virginia, Freedmen’s Bureau Letters or Correspondence, 1865-1872 (familysearch.org)
- African American Genealogical Research (lva.virginia.gov)
- African-Americans Migrating to Ohio, 1861-1863 (ogs.org)
- Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1938 (memory.loc.gov)
- American Slave Narratives: An Online Anthology
- National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center, P. O. Box 578 , 1350 Brush Row Road, Wilberforce, OH 45384; (937) 376-4944, 1 (800) 752-2603 (toll free)
- Ohio African American Books (amazon.com)
- The Ohio Black History Guide (amazon.com)
- Black Ohio and the Color Line, 1860–1915 (amazon.com)
- The Negro in Ohio, 1802–1870 (amazon.com)
- Blacks in Ohio (amazon.com)
- Register of Black, Mulatto and Poor Persons in Four Ohio Counties, 1791–1861 (amazon.com)
- Ohio Negroes in the Civil War. Publications of the Ohio Civil War Centennial Commission, no. 6 (amazon.com)
- Ohio Native American Books (amazon.com)
Native American Research – Before the Europeans entered Ohio, it is believed that twelve to fifteen thousand native Americans lived in the area. This included several tribes separated by geographic region. The Miami were located in the West. The Northwest was home to the Wyandotte, the Ottawa, the Huron, and the Seneca. The Mingo lived in the east. The lower Scioto Valley held the Shawnee, and the Muskinghum Valley was home to the Delaware and the Tuscarora.
The Native Americans in Ohio were repeatedly caught up in the middle of European conflicts. First between the British and the French, where Natives fought on both sides of the war, and then between the British and the colonists in the American Revolution. Their situation only worsened after these conflicts ended, as the Americans now sought to fight them for their land. In 1794, after a twelve year struggle, Anthony Wayne defeated the natives at the battle of Fallen Timbers. A treaty was signed in 1795 that further stripped the natives of their land. By 1833, all Native Americans had left the area.
- Ohio Native American Books (amazon.com)
When researching other ethnic groups, the collection held by the Western Reserve Historical Society on ethnic immigrants is most complete. Two helpful sources are:
- Maxwell, Fay. Irish Refugee Tract Abstract Data and History of Irish Acadians. Columbus, Ohio: Maxwell Publications, ca. 1974.
- Smith, Clifford Neal. Early Nineteenth Century German Settlers in Ohio, Kentucky and Other States. McNeal, Ariz.: Westland Publications, 1984.