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TIP: Locate the local library where your ancestor lived and use their genealogy guides. These usually provide links to local resources not found elsewhere.
Cleveland Public Library
Guides, books, and databases from the Cleveland Public Library, including death certificates and obituaries. Access to Ancestry Library Edition, onsite only.
Cuyahoga County Public Library
Guides, books, and databases from the county library system. Access to Ancestry Library Edition.
Family History Center
Provides access to most of the microfilms and microfiche in the Family History Library to help patrons identify their ancestors. Locations in Solon and Westlake. Operated by LDS.
Western Reserve Historical Society Research Library
Great place for local genealogy searching. Reduced admission price for students.
TIP: Marriage licenses are usually issued by the county government. If your ancestor was not married in Ohio, check the county in which that person lived to see what records may be online or available for copying.
No birth records were required by law before 1867. County Probate Courts recorded births between 1867-1908. The State of Ohio began issuing birth certificates on December 20, 1908.
Death Records & Obituaries
The State of Ohio began issuing death certificates on December 20, 1908. Prior to that date, death records were kept by the county or city in which the person died. There is a separate series for stillborn deaths.
TIP: Check the local public library in the area where your ancestor died. Many have put their obituary collections online.
Cuyahoga County Archives
Cuyahoga County Archives is located at 2905 Franklin Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44113. Contains original county records which are available for photocopying. See complete list of records here.
- Birth records, 1849-1908
- Cleveland City Directories, 1837-1939 (not inclusive)
- Coroner's case files, 1833-1900 (not inclusive)
- Death records, 1840-1908
- Marriage records, 1810-1941 (originals)
- Naturalization records, 1818-1971
- Probate Court estate case files, 1813-1913
Index to above records available on RootsWeb. Images of documents are now appearing on FamilySearch.org; however, their index to the images is not yet available.