December 17, 2013

Ohio Vital Records on FamilySearch: Tuesday's Tip

Marion county ohio courthouse genealogy

FamilySearch is wrapping up a banner year of digitizing genealogical records. They’ve made significant additions to their six Ohio vital records databases in 2013:

The result is that you’re more likely than ever before to find either a reference to your ancestor’s Ohio birth, marriage, or death record or an actual image of it online. That’s great news. But what if you think a record should be in one of these databases, but it isn’t? Maybe you’re almost positive your great-great-grandparents got married in Knox County, Ohio, in the 1870s, but can’t find any mention of their record in either of the marriage databases.

Well, the adage that it’s not all online is true. Not all records have been microfilmed, not all those microfilmed have been indexed, and not all those indexed have been digitized. So how do you know what is and isn’t included in the Ohio birth, marriage, and death databases? It takes a little digging, but you can find a coverage chart for at least some of them. Go to “Ohio, Deaths and Burials, 1854-1997” and click on “Learn More” under the description. Scroll down to where it says “Coverage Table” and click on the link for the Wiki article. Or click on this direct link to the FamilySearch Ohio historical records coverage table.

Here’s a snippet of what you’ll see:

Once you click through, you'll see the chart shows that no Knox County records are included in the “Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958” database. Now you know that you’ll need to find another way to access your great-great-grandparents’ record, either on microfilm or by contacting the county Probate Court. But keep checking back to the Ohio birth, death, and marriage databases listed above in 2014, because FamilySearch is continually adding to its collections, and the chart may not be updated to reflect new additions. In this brave new world of online accessibility, the record you’ve been waiting for might appear one day!


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