Lorain County, OhioEdit This Page

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Guide to Lorain County Ohio genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

Hand and keyboard.jpg Ohio
Online Records
Coordinates: 41.47°0′N 82.15°0′W / 41.47°N 82.15°W / 41.47; -82.15
Lorain County, Ohio
Map
Map of Ohio highlighting Lorain County
Location in the state of Ohio
Map of the U.S. highlighting Ohio
Location of Ohio in the U.S.
Courthouse
Lorain County, Ohio Courthouse.jpg
Address Lorain County Courthouse
308 2nd St.
Elyria, OH 44035-5506
Lorain County Website
United StatesGotoarrow.png Ohio Gotoarrow.png Lorain County

Contents

Historical Facts

Beginning dates for major county records
Birth
Marriage
Death
Tax
Land
Probate
1867
1824
1867

1840
*For earlier dates, try... Church | Obituaries | Cemeteries




Neighboring Counties

Erie County  • Huron County  • Ashland County  • Medina County  • Cuyahoga County


Medina CountyLake CountyCuyahoga CountyStark CountyHolmes CountyWayne CountyAshland CountyHuron CountyCrawford CountyMorrow CountyRichland CountyOttawa CountyLorain CountyErie CountyTuscarawas CountySummit CountyOHLorain.JPG


Boundary Changes [2]

On 4 July 1805, all lands of the Connecticut Western Reserve from the original Treaty of Greenville line (the Cuyahoga River, Tuscarawas River, and the portage between them) to 120 miles west of the Pennsylvania line between the 41st Parallel and Lake Erie, were purchased from local Indian tribes in the Treaty of Fort Industry, opening the lands of Lorain County to white settlement.

Townships in the Western Reserve were supposed to be surveyed to be five miles square, however, mistakes were made in surveying the line between the lands belonging to the Connecticut Land Company (ending in Range 19) and the Firelands (beginning in Range 20), causing townships in Range 19, which became the western townships of Lorain County (Troy, Rochester, Brighton, Camden, Henrietta, and Brownhelm) to be much narrower. These townships were set aside as "surplus lands" and used to equalize the amounts of land received by stakeholders in the Connecticut Land Company.

  • All lands in what is now Lorain County were at first part of Trumbull County.
  • 1807 - Geauga County created, with the townships of Columbia, Eaton, Ridgeville, Troy (now Avon), Carlisle, Elyria, Sheffield, Russia, Amherst, Black River, Henrietta, and Brownhelm, as part; the others remaining with Trumbull County.
  • 1808 - Portage County created, receiving the townships previously attached to Trumbull County, namely Grafton, Penfield, LaGrange, Huntington, Wellington, Pittsfield, Rochester, Brighton, and Camden.
  • 1810 - Cuyahoga County receives all of the northern townships previously attached to Geauga County.
  • 1811 - Huron County received the townships of Carlisle, Elyria, Russia, Amherst, Henrietta, and Brownhelm, along with the parts of Black River and Sheffield Townships lying west of the Black River. All of Huron County was attached to Cuyahoga County until it was organized in 1815.
  • 1812 - Medina County created, receiving the townships previously attached to Portage County. All of Medina County was attached to Portage County until it was organized in 1818.
Map of Lorain County,​ Ohio,​ 1879.jpg
  • 1822 - Lorain County was formed and took in parts of:
    • Huron County: the townships of Carlisle, Elyria, Russia, Amherst, Henrietta, and Brownhelm, along with the parts of Black River and Sheffield Townships lying west of the Black River.
    • Cuyahoga County: the townships of Troy (now Avon), Ridgeville, Eaton, and Columbia, along with the western half of Lenox Township (now Olmsted) and the parts of Black River and Sheffield Townships lying east of the Black River.
    • Medina County: the townships of LaGrange, Wellington, Pittsfield, Brighton, and Camden.
Until the county government was organized in 1824, its parts remained attached to their former jurisdictions.
  • 1827 - Lorain County received the townships of Grafton, Homer, Penfield, Spencer, Sullivan, Huntington, Troy, and Rochester, while the western half of Lenox Township (now Olmsted) was added back to Cuyahoga County. Its northern boundary was set in the middle of Lake Erie along the international boundary with Canada.
  • 1840 - Summit County created, with the townships of Homer and Spencer added back into Medina County to compensate.
  • 1846 - Ashland County created, which received the townships of Sullivan and Troy.

Record Loss

For a list of record loss in Ohio counties see: Ohio Counties with Burned Courthouses

  • 1890 United States Census. 1890 Federal Population Schedules for Lorain County and most of Ohio were completely destroyed by a fire in the Commerce Department Building in 10 January 1921 and by government bureaucrats in 1934. The Special Schedules Enumerating Union Veterans and Widows in Ohio do survive, however.

Resources

Bible Records

Biography

Business Records and Commerce

Cemeteries

  • Cemetery Inscriptions of Lorain County, Ohio (Elyria, OH: Genealogical Workshop of the Lorain County Historical Society, 1980). Comprehensive listing of grave sites and records for public cemeteries all over the county, from the arrival of the earliest settlers from the East on up to 1980. Valuable shortcut to finding information that may no longer be legible on original stones. Available on the Lorain County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society website and from local libraries.

Individual cemeteries:


Cemetery records often reveal birth, marriage, death, relationship, military, and religious information.

Online Grave Transcripts Published Grave Transcripts County Cemetery Directories

Findagrave.com

Family History Library

Findagrave.com

Interment.net

WorldCat

Names in Stone

USGenWeb

Billion Graves

Billion Graves

Epodunk

Ohio Gravestones

Names in Stone

See Ohio Cemeteries for more information.

Census

Church Records

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Ohio denominations, view the Ohio Church Records wiki page.

  • Pittsfield Community Church Originally two churches, the Pittsfield Methodist Church, formed in 1824, and the Pittsfield Congregational Church, formed in 1836 (and originally organized as the Evangelical Union Church of Christ), which built permanent structures in 1845 and 1846, respectively. Both buildings were destroyed in the Pittsfield Tornado of 1965, at which point both churches elected to combine into the Pittsfield United Church of Christ, which rebuilt by 1966. The church became independent and was renamed Pittsfield Community Church in 1997.
Finding More Church Records

Additional church records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Lorain County, Ohio Church Records in online catalogs like:

Court Records

Emigration and Immigration

Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups

African American

Bigglestone, William E. They Stopped in Oberlin : Black Residents and Visitors of the Nineteenth Century - Scottsdale, Ariz. : Innovation Group, C 1981. - xxv, 252 p. F499.O2 B53 1981

Gazetteers

Genealogy

History

Local histories are available for Lorain County, Ohio. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section Ohio Local Histories.


Local Histories
  • Lorain County Sesquicentennial, 1824-1974, (Elyria, Ohio: American Mult-Service, 1974). FHL book 977.123 H2L
  • History of the Western Reserve, Volume 1, Volume 2, and Volume 3 by Harriet Taylor Upton (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1910).

Land and Property

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Ohio Land and Property for additional information about early Ohio land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse and where records are currently housed.

  • Lorain County Recorder, Administration Building, 226 Middle Ave, First Floor, Elyria, OH 44035. Phone: +1 (440) 329-5148. Hours: M-F 8am-4:30pm. Maintains official county land records, among other documents, going back to the county's beginning. A searchable index, along with certain document images, is available for documents beginning in the late-1980s/early-1990s to present through their website, or in the Recorder's Office.
Finding More Land Records

Additional land records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Lorain County, Ohio Land and Property Records in online catalogs like:


Maps

Ohlorain.jpg

Military

Civil War

Civil War service men from Lorain County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Lorain County.

Naturalization and Citizenship

Newspapers

Lorain County, Ohio newspapers may contain genealogical value including obituaries, births, marriages, deaths, anniversaries, family gatherings, family travel, achievements, business notices, engagement information, and probate court proceedings.

To access newspapers, contact public libraries, Ohio Genealogical Society chapters, college or university libraries, the Library of Congress, Google News, or the Ohio Historical Society. The Ohio Genealogical Society Obituary Database is another source of newspaper information.

For more Ohio newspaper information see the Newspaper Guides on the wiki page Ohio Newspapers. Chronicling America:  Historic American Newspapers at the Library of Congress lists a plethora of local newspaper titles along with libraries and historical societies which retain archives of them.  Please note that their listings are extensive, but not comprehensive, as local libraries may retain archives which are not listed.

Daily newspapers have been published since the 1800s in Elyria and Lorain.  Elyria newspapers often published information and announcements relevant to the entire county (being that Elyria is the county seat) with much focus on areas in the central and southern parts of the county, including at times western Cuyahoga and Medina Counties, eastern Erie and Huron Counties and northern Ashland County.  Lorain newspapers usually focused on the lakeshore communities.  Information published in both cities often includes births and deaths, marriages and divorces, hospital discharges, legal notices, court filings, land transfers, and personal news (for example, "Mr. John Smith and family from Wellington spent the day with his mother-in-law, Mrs. Wm. Whitney in LaGrange on Saturday.").

Daily newspapers in Cleveland also cover news and events in Lorain County, including obituaries.

  • NewspaperARCHIVE contains an extensive number of newspaper issues from both Elyria and Lorain, which are browseable and searchable, although not every issue of each newspaper is available (a fee is required, however it is availabe free of charge if accessed from this Elyria Public Library web page); their archives are also available with membership at Ancestry.com.
  • Microfilm and original archives are kept at local libraries.

Weekly community newspapers have been published for over 100 years in Amherst, Oberlin, and Wellington.  More recently, The Sun Sentinel covers Avon, Avon Lake, and North Ridgeville.

Online Newspapers
Online Newspaper Abstracts
Newspaper Extracts and Abstracts in Book Form

Obituaries

Periodicals

Probate

Probate records created after 1852 are held by the Lorain County, Ohio Probate Court. From 1797 or the creation of the county, probate records were held by the Court of Common Pleas. Most counties transferred all records to the Probate Court, but in some circumstances, Court of Common Pleas records should be searched for records prior to 1852. Most records are housed at the Lorain County, Ohio Courthouse. Some records are on microfilm at the Ohio Genealogical Society and the Family History Library. For more complete information about the location of county probate records see:

See the wiki page Ohio Probate Records for information about how to use probate records.

Content: Probate Records may give the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence.

Record types: Wills, estates, guardianships, naturalizations, marriage, adoption, and birth and death records (1867-1908 only).

  • 1790–1967 - Ohio, Probate Records, 1790-1967 at FamilySearch Historical Records – free. This collection consists of probate records and estate files from county courthouses in Ohio. The content and time period varies by county, with more records being added as they become available. This Collection will include records from 1789 to 1996. Currently, (September 2012) the collection is only searchable by browsing the images. A list of Fires that have destroyed records in the courthouses of several counties are listed on the Record Description page.


  • Lorain County Probate Court, Justice Center, 225 Court Street, 6th Floor, Elyria, OH 44035. Phone: +1 (440) 329-5175. Fax: +1 (440) 244-6261. Holds marriage and probate records from 1824 to present, along with countywide birth and death records from 1867 to 1908.
  • Lorain County Probate On-line Records Search contains all probate related records, including marriages, since 1990. The search also includes marriage records (bride's and groom's names only) back to about 1930.
Finding More Probate Records

Additional probate records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Lorain County, Ohio Probate Records in online catalogs like:

Public Records

Repositories

See also a List of Ohio Archives, Libraries, Publications, Historical & Genealogical Societies

Courthouse

Lorain County Courthouse
226 Middle Avenue;
Elyria, OH 44035;
Phone: 440.329.5428 

Probate Judge has birth, marriage and probate records;
Clerk Court has divorce records from 1850 and court
records from 1824; County Recorder has land records;
Elyria Public Library and Loraina County Historical Society
have books of genealogical interest[1]

Lorain County is located in Northeast Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie just west of Cleveland.  It has long been home to great agriculture and industry, though both have declined due to suburban sprawl spilling out of Cuyahoga County, and the emigration of manufacturing jobs to other regions. Although the county was created in 1822, records were not kept by it until the county government was organized and began to function in 1824

Family History Centers

FamilySearch Centers are branches of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and are located all over the world. Their goal is to provide resources for family history research.

The main FamilySearch Center for Lorain County, Ohio is the

For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory. Put your town name in the top search box.

Libraries
  • The Ohio Room at the Elyria Public Library System Central Library, 320 Washington Ave, Elyria, Ohio 44035. Phone: +1 (440) 323-5747. Fax: +1 (440) 323-5788. M-R 10am-7pm, F-Sa 12pm-4pm, Su 1pm-5pm. contains an extensive collection of local history and genealogy books, atlases, maps, obituary indexes, city directories, and high school yearbooks; also included are microfilm archives of county newspapers beginning in 1832, the United States Census for local counties, and Lorain County Probate Court birth, death, and marriage records and indexes.
  • Lorain Public Library System
  • Cleveland Public Library
  • Herrick Memorial Library, 101 Willard Memorial Square, Wellington, Ohio  44090.  Phone: +1 (440) 647-2120. Hours: M-R 9am-8:30pm, F-Sa 9am-5pm, Su Oct-Apr 1pm-5pm.
Museums
Societies

Taxation

Finding More Tax Records

Additional tax records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Lorain County, Ohio Tax Records in online catalogs like:

Vital Records

Vital records consist of birth, death, marriage and divorce records. Although Ohio enacted a statute in 1856 -1857 requiring registration of births, deaths and marriages, many counties did not comply. A second law was written in 1867 but, again, was not always followed. By 1908, the law was more clearly defined and kept. Any existing birth and death records from 1867 through December 19, 1908 are located at the Lorain County, Ohio Probate Court. The Ohio Department of Health has birth records filed after December 20, 1908 and death records filed after January 1, 1954 while the Ohio Historical Society houses death records from December 20, 1908 through December 31, 1953.

Original marriage records are held at the office of the Lorain County, Ohio Probate Court with divorce records located with the Lorain County, Ohio Clerk of Courts.

See also How to order Ohio Vital Records or order vital records electronically online.

Birth

Online Birth Indexes and Records

  • The probate court in Lorain County began keeping birth and death records when required by state law in 1867. Birth and death certificates have been recorded as of 20 December 1908

Original Birth Records on Microfilm

Marriage

Online Marriage Indexes and Records

(FamilySearch). Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and Family History Centers. "Finding Lorain County Marriage Records Using the 'Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958' database" is a blog article by Chris Staats that offers helpful tips for locating marriage records when visiting the probate court

Original Marriage Records on Microfilm

Death

Online Death Indexes and Records

Original Death Records on Microfilm

Finding More Vital Records

Additional vital records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Lorain County, Ohio Vital Records in online catalogs like:

Divorce

Civil Records

Beginning Dates for Lorain County Records
Birth  Marriage  Death  Census  Land  Probate  Court
1867
 
1824
 
1867
 
1830
 
1824
 
1824
 
1824


See also: Ohio Vital Records 

Official birth and death certificates are available from: 



Web Sites

Places

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), [FHL book 973 D27e 2002].
  2. George Frederick Wright, A Standard History of Lorain County, Ohio, Volume 1 (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1916), 62-9.
  3. Carol Willsey Bell, Ohio Wills and Estates to 1850: An Index (Columbus, Ohio: the author, 1981). FamilySearch Books Online - Free online copy.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 26 June 2014, at 20:16.
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