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Ohio County records differ extensively from county to county in either quality not to mention quantity. Some have already been very carefully conserved and some have been substantially mistreated and overlooked. Some Ohio records have simply disappeared. For genealogists carrying out research in Ohio there’s no effective replace for an on-site search of county courthouse records. For Definitions of all court terms see the Genealogy Encyclopedia.

Prior to 1867, it is difficult to find birth and death records. After this time, birth and death records were recorded at the probate court office in the county where the event occurred until 1908. Since 1908, event have been recorded at the county’s health department and also with the Vital Records Office in Columbus. If you are looking for a marriage record before 1949, consult the probate court office of the county where the marriage took place.

All deeds from a county, regardless of the year, are held in the county recorders office.

If you are making a request by mail, use the name of the county and “County Courthouse,” and below that list the address. Listed addresses are usually the location of the county government building. Sometimes records are located at a different address. See also a list of links to county and county seat government run websites.

List of Ohio Counties

CountyDate FormedParent CountyCounty Seat
Adams1797Hamilton CountyWest Union
Allen1820Shelby CountyLima
Ashland1846Wayne, Richland, Huron, and Lorain CountiesAshland
Ashtabula1807Trumbull and Geauga CountiesJefferson
Athens1805Washington CountyAthens
Auglaize1848Allen, Mercer, Darke, Hardin, Logan, Shelby, and Van Wert CountiesWapakoneta
Belmont1801Jefferson and Washington CountiesSt. Clairsville
Brown1818Adams and Clermont CountiesGeorgetown
Butler1803Hamilton CountyHamilton
Carroll1833Columbiana, Stark, Harrison, Jefferson, and Tuscarawas CountiesCarrollton
Champaign1805Greene and Franklin CountiesUrbana
Clark1818Champaign, Madison, and Greene CountiesSpringfield
Clermont1800Hamilton CountyBatavia
Clinton1810Highland and Warren CountiesWilmington
Columbiana1803Jefferson and Washington CountiesLisbon
Coshocton1810Muskingum and Tuscarawas CountiesCoshocton
Crawford1820Delaware CountyBucyrus
Cuyahoga1807Geauga CountyCleveland
Darke1809Miami CountyGreenville
Defiance1845Williams, Henry, and Paulding CountiesDefiance
Delaware1808Franklin CountyDelaware
Erie1838Huron and Sandusky CountiesSandusky
Fairfield1800Ross and Washington CountiesLancaster
Fayette1810Ross and Highland CountiesWashington Court House
Franklin1803Ross and Wayne CountiesColumbus
Fulton1850Lucas, Henry, and Williams CountiesWauseon
Gallia1803Washington and Adams CountiesGallipolis
Geauga1806Trumbull CountyChardon
Greene1803Hamilton and Ross CountiesXenia
Guernsey1810Belmont and Muskingum CountiesCambridge
Hamilton1790One of the original countiesCincinnati
Hancock1820Logan CountyFindlay
Hardin1820Logan CountyKenton
Harrison1813Jefferson and Tuscarawas CountiesCadiz
Henry1820Shelby CountyNapoleon
Highland1805Ross, Adams, and Clermont CountiesHillsboro
Hocking1818Athens, Ross, and Fairfield CountiesLogan
Holmes1824Coshocton, Wayne, and Tuscarawas CountiesMillersburg
Huron1809Portage and Cuyahoga CountiesNorwalk
Jackson1816Scioto, Gallia, Athens, and Ross CountiesJackson
Jefferson1797Washington CountySteubenville
Knox1808Fairfield CountyMount Vernon
Lake1840Geauga and Cuyahoga CountiesPainesville
Lawrence1815Gallia and Scioto CountiesIronton
Licking1808Fairfield CountyNewark
Logan1818Champaign CountyBellefontaine
Lorain1822Huron, Cuyahoga, and Medina CountiesElyria
Lucas1835Wood, Sandusky, and Huron CountiesToledo
Madison1810Franklin CountyLondon
Mahoning1846Columbiana and Trumbull CountiesYoungstown
Marion1820Delaware CountyMarion
Medina1812Portage CountyMedina
Meigs1819Gallia and Athens CountiesPomeroy
Mercer1820Darke CountyCelina
Miami1807Montgomery CountyTroy
Monroe1813Belmont, Washington, and Guernsey CountiesWoodsfield
Montgomery1803Hamilton and Wayne CountiesDayton
Morgan1817Washington, Guernsey, and Muskingum CountiesMcConnelsville
Morrow1848Knox, Marion, Delaware, and Richland CountiesMount Gilead
Muskingum1803Washington and Fairfield CountiesZanesville
Noble1851Monroe, Washington, Morgan, and Guernsey CountiesCaldwell
Ottawa1840Erie, Sandusky, and Lucas CountiesPort Clinton
Paulding1820Darke CountyPaulding
Perry1818Washington, Fairfield, and Muskingum CountiesNew Lexington
Pickaway1810Ross, Fairfield, and Franklin CountiesCircleville
Pike1815Ross, Scioto, and Adams CountiesWaverly
Portage1807Trumbull CountyRavenna
Preble1808Montgomery and Butler CountiesEaton
Putnam1820Shelby CountyOttawa
Richland1808Fairfield CountyMansfield
Ross1798Adams and Washington CountiesChillicothe
Sandusky1820Huron CountyFremont
Scioto1803Adams CountyPortsmouth
Seneca1820Huron CountyTiffin
Shelby1819Miami CountySidney
Stark1808Columbiana CountyCanton
Summit1840Medina, Portage, and Stark CountiesAkron
Trumbull1800Jefferson and Wayne CountiesWarren
Tuscarawas1808Muskingum CountyNew Philadelphia
Union1820Delaware, Franklin, Logan, and Madison CountiesMarysville
Van Wert1820Darke CountyVan Wert
Vinton1850Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, and Ross CountiesMcArthur
Warren1803Hamilton CountyLebanon
Washington1788One of the original countiesMarietta
Wayne1808From non-county areaWooster
Williams1820Darke CountyBryan
Wood1820Refactored from non-county territoryBowling Green
Wyandot1845Marion, Crawford, and Hardin CountiesUpper Sandusky


List of Ohio Extinct Counties

Ohio contains counties that no longer exist. They were created by the state, provincial, or territorial authorities. Most of these counties were created and disbanded during the Nineteenth century; county borders have adjusted very little since 1900 in the great number of states. These counties should be checked out when doing genealogy and family tree research. Pay attention where the courthouse records went to if the county was abolished or joined with another county.

  • Illinois County, Virginia, formed in 1778 and constituted most of present-day Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin; abolished 5 January 1782; territory ceded by Virginia to Congress in March 1784


List of Ohio Counties with Burned Courthouses

The destruction to Ohio courthouses significantly has a affect on genealogists in each and every way. Not only are these types of historic buildings ripped from each of our lifetimes, so are the documents they kept: marriage, wills, probate, land records, and others. Once destroyed they are lost permanently. Although they happen to have been put on mircofilm, computers and film burn as well. The most heartbreaking side of this is the reason why virtually all of our courthouses are destroyed at the hands of arsonist. Though, not all records were lost. Many Ohio counties have suffered a loss of records due to courthouse fires, floods, and theft.

Several courthouses are have suffered devastating fires. Fortunately, not all records were destroyed in these fires. Also, keep in mind that this is not an all-inclusive list; lesser-known fires or disasters could have occurred. It is best to make the request and not assume that the record has been destroyed. Courthouse fires that may have impacted records include:

  • Adams County Courthouse caught fire in 1910, resulting in the loss of most of the will books and other probate files, as well as some other records.
  • Belmont County Courthouse, 1980;
  • Brown County Courthouse, 1977;
  • Champaign County Courthouse, 1948;
  • Columbiana County Courthouse, 1976;
  • Crawford County Courthouse, 1831;
  • Delaware County Courthouse, 1835;
  • Fayette County Courthouse, 1828;
  • Franklin County Courthouse, 1879;
  • Fulton County Courthouse, before 1860;
  • Gallia County Courthouse, 1981;
  • Hamilton County Courthouse, 1814, 1849, 1884;
  • Henry County Courthouse, 1847;
  • Licking County Courthouse, Destroyed by fire on 2 April 1875. Records in the Recorder’s, Sheriff’s, Auditors and Treasurer’s offices were saved. The marriage records between 1829-1839 were possibly lost completely in the fire. Some estate records also were burned in the fire. There are gaps in records for this county. Also on 29 Mar 1879 the tower of the New Licking County Courthouse caught fire. No records were destroyed.
  • Monroe County Courthouse, 1840, 1867;
  • Seneca County Courthouse, 1841;
  • Trumbull County Courthouse, 1895.

Researchers should note that some records may have survived in each case. So, it is important to contact the county courthouses first and see which records are still available. Courthouse record keepers may also be able to point researchers to other resources.


Interactive Map of Ohio Counties Formation

An 1875 map of Zanesville is the earliest Sanborn insurance map in Ohio. The map is held by the historical society. Though not a complete inclusive listing, The Newberry Library holds a checklist of Printed Maps of the Middle West to 1800. The Western Reserve Historical Society (see Archives, Libraries, and Societies) holds an additional collection of maps. Sanborn maps can also be found online and on microfilm at academic and community libraries. Some are partial maps and some include the entire state of Ohio.

(Ohio maps made with the use AniMap Plus 3.0 & with the Permission of the Goldbug Company)