Ohio County Land Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
United States
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Location of the United States of America
Record Description
Record Type Land Records
Collection years
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
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What is in the Collection?

Early county land records were handwritten into large bound volumes. One deed usually fills one to three pages. Deeds in the 1900s may be typed, while most recent deeds are computer-generated.

Soon after they were formed, counties began recording deeds and other land transaction records. The county recorder transcribed the documents to the registers, and the original documents remained with the owners or their families.

Counties in Ohio recorded land transactions to document the transfer of land ownership and thereby establish legal rights to land, track responsibilities for tax revenues, and designate persons to serve in various functions of the county, such as maintaining public roads in the early times.

The information given in county land records is quite reliable, although there may be errors made while transcribing the county’s copy from an original deed.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following information is found in these records:

  • Dates when the transaction occurred, written up, and recorded in the county
  • Names of the grantors (sellers), the grantees (buyers), witnesses, and sometimes neighbors
  • Ages are seldom given, but a person might be mentioned as a minor
  • Exact relationships may be stated in deeds for property sold or given to heirs during a person’s lifetime
  • Usually the residences of the grantor(s) and grantee(s)
  • Usually the occupations of both the grantor(s) and grantee(s)
  • Signature or mark (usually an X) of the grantor(s)
  • Legal description of the parcel
  • Until the late 1800s, the amount of consideration


Use land records, especially deeds from person to person, to identify names and relationship of family members, possible relatives, and in-laws. Deeds may also identify different places of residence where you can search for other records that might contain genealogical information.

What Do I Do Next?

Indexes and transcriptions may not include all the data found in the original records. Look at the actual image of the record, if you can, to verify the information and to find additional information.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Copy the citation below, in case you need to find this record again later.
  • Use the information found in the record to find additional land records that might have more information.
  • Use the age or estimated birth date to determine an approximate birth date to find church and vital records such as birth, baptism, marriage and death records.
  • Use the information found in the record to find immigration and probate records.
  • Use the information in each record to find additional family members in the censuses. There may be clues to maiden names if a father deeded property to his daughter upon marriage. Witnesses and neighbors may be in-laws or relatives.
  • Repeat this process with additional family member’s records to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records were kept years before counties began keeping records. They are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby town or county.
  • Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Check the info box above for additional FamilySearch websites and related websites that may assist you in finding similar records.

Citing this Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

"Ohio Land Records." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citingcounty clerks throughout Ohio.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.