A bit of history:
The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 provided the steps which would allow territories in the Ohio Country to be admitted as states. By 1802, Ohio had the required population of 60,000. A territorial government was set at Chillicothe. In the same year, a constitutional convention was held. The Seventh Congress of the United States passed an Enabling Act in April setting forth the provisions by which Ohio could be admitted as a state.
Boundaries were set for the new state which consisted of counties; five of which were organized before 1800. Those five were: Washington, Hamilton, Adams, Jefferson, and Ross.
The first constitution was completed on 29 November 1802. This new constitution was submitted to Congress for final approval. The state constitution stated the first meeting of the General Assembly was to be 1 March 1803.
The first action by the assembly was to make the transition from territorial to state government. Thus Ohio became a state, the first formed from the old Northwest Territory.
In 1810, the state capital was moved from Chillicothe to Zanesville. In 1812 it returned to Chillicothe. Columbus became the state capital in 1816.
From Washington County in 1788 and Hamilton County in 1790, Ohio developed into its present 88 counties by 1851. The final boundaries for the counties were established in 1888. To see a map of Ohio with her counties click here: development.ohio.gov
Birth and death records began in 1867. These records are held in the Probate Court. Ohio created statewide registration in 1908. Records for 1908 to the present are held in the county's health department.
If requesting documents from the Ohio Department of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, P.O. Box 15098, Columbus, Ohio 43215-0098, it is important to know they have the births from 1908 and the deaths after 1945. Check the ODH website for more information: odh.state.oh.us/VitStats/vsmain1.htm
For death records from 1908-1944, request copies from the Ohio Historical Society. Details for obtaining copies can be found at the OHS website: ohiohistory.org.
Some counties have placed their death records online, but there are only a few.
Marriage records are at the county level and began when the county was formed. These records are located in the county's Probate Court.
Land records are located in the county's Recorder's Office.
Be sure to check https://familysearch.org/ for the following Ohio records:
Ohio Deaths: 1908-1953
Ohio Marriages: 1800-1958
Ohio Tax Records: 1800-1850
Ohio County Marriages: 1790-1950
Ohio Birth and Christenings: 1821-1962
Ohio Death and Burials: 1854-1997
USGenWeb has resources for each state. For Ohio's county records: http://files.usgwarchives.net/oh/
Check this book regarding Ohio's early history. This book explains the different type of surveys and land grants found in Ohio. The book can be downloaded http://www.auditor.stathttp://www.auditor.state.oh.us/Publications/General/OhioLandsBook.
This website lists the addresses of Ohio cemeteries: http://www.daddezio.com/cemetery/junction/CJ-OH-NDX.html
For cemeteries or gravestones, check Find A Grave at:http://www.findagrave.com/
About this website:
This website will discuss the development of the counties, the location of the courthouse, any courthouse disasters, new records centers, online information, and the local historical society and genealogical society addresses.
Jana Broglin, CG, OGSF