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State of Ohio Genealogy

The State of Ohio is bordered by Pennsylvania (east), West Virginia (southeast), Kentucky (southwest), Indiana (west), Michigan. It has a land area of 44,828 square miles making it the 34th largest state. The capital is Columbus and the official state website is

Ohio's 2010 population was 11,536,504 and the largest cities (2010) are Columbus, 787,033; Cleveland, 396,8158; Cincinnati, 296,943; Toledo, 287,208; Akron, 199,110; Dayton, 141,527; Parma, 81,601; Youngstown, 66,982; Canton, 73,007; Lorain, 64,097.

The State of Ohio name comes from the Iroquois Indian word meaning "good river" or "large river." Ohio's state nickname is " Buckeye State ". The State Motto is "United we stand, divided we fall".

The state of Ohio got its name from the river of the same name. It runs all along the southeastern and southern borders of the states, as well as part of the eastern border. An Iriquois word that meant either "beautiful river" or "great river" is believed to have been the origin of the name "Ohio." Many buckeye trees grew in Ohio when it was first settled, which is why it has the nickname of the "Buckeye State." Those trees, which are in the horse chestnut family, were used to build some of the log cabins in the original Ohio settlements. Ohio was also the birthplace of each of the following U.S. Presidents: Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, Warren G. Harding. That fact gave it the nickname of "Mother of Modern Presidents."

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Adams, Allen, Ashland, Ashtabula, Athens, Auglaize, Belmont, Brown, Butler, Carroll, Champaign, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Columbiana, Coshocton, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Darke, Defiance, Delaware, Erie, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Gallia, Geauga, Greene, Guernsey, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison, Henry, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Huron, Jackson, Jefferson, Knox, Lake, Lawrence, Licking, Logan, Lorain, Lucas, Madison, Mahoning, Marion, Medina, Meigs, Mercer, Miami, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Ottawa, Paulding, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Portage, Preble, Putnam, Richland, Ross, Sandusky, Scioto, Seneca, Shelby, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Union, Van Wert, Vinton, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Williams, Wood, Wyandot

See more information about Ohio's Counties.

Ohio History

Believed to be the first white person to lay eyes on the Ohio River, the French explorer Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle came to the area in 1667. However, the Ohio River Valley wasn't colonized until 1747, when the Ohio Company of Virginia was formed. That led to the Ohio Land Company being organized in 1749. In 1763, when the French and Indian Wars came to a close, Great Britain got control of the area. However, in 1779 they lost that control.

People began migrating to the Ohio area on a fairly regular basis from 1787, which was when the Northwest Territory was established, onward. Marietta, which was located in Washington County, was where many Scottish and Irish settlers from Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Kentucky decided to live. That are was also home to Revolutionary War veterans, mainly from Connecticut and Massachusetts, as well as other settlers from New England. A part of Cincinnati called the Symmes Purchase became home to settlers from Essex County, which was located in New Jersey. During the years of 1790 and 1791, Gallipolis, a part of Gallia County, became home to French settlers. Then, between 1796 and the end of 1797, more settlers from Connecticut came to Ohio. They lived in what was known as the Connecticut Western Reserve. Three years later more Connecticut settlers, along with some from Vermont, decided to settle in Geauga County. Settlers from Maine also came to the area in 1796.

Montgomery County was also settled that year, by Scottish immigrants. Canadians who were sympathetic to the American Revolution began settling in the Columbus Refugee Tract when it was established in 1796. Then, in 1799, Ohio officially became a territory. The next year the first census of Ohio Territory was taken. That was quickly followed by land offices being opened in Cincinnati, Chillicothe, Marietta, and Steubenville. Then, in 1803, Ohio gained its statehood.

More immigrants soon moved to Ohio from Virginia and Kentucky. A large group of Welsh and German settlers from Pennsylvania also moved to the area. In 1803 Shakers calling themselves the "United Society of Believers of Christ's Second Appearing" moved into Warren County, Ohio. From 1814 to 1824 several groups of German settlers moved into Tuscarawas County and Brown County. Then, in 1825, the Erie Canal was opened. That caused several people to move to Ohio from the northeastern part of the country. That was followed, in 1831, by several Mormons moving to the state.

The establishment of the railroads caused even more immigrants, mainly Irish and English, to move to Ohio during the 1840s. Within 20 years of that time Ohio was the leader as far as states with the most railroad tracks laid.

Before the Civil War began, there was an intense abolitionist movement in Ohio. In fact, the Underground Railroad was widely used along the Ohio River and Lake Erie.

When the Civil War came to a close, political power in Ohio slowly began to build. In fact, 7 United States Presidents were born in the state. Ohio has also been widely known as a hub of both industry and agriculture. Meatpacking and barrel-making were two of the state's early industries. In the 1880s the American Federation of Labor was created in Ohio. As the state became more industrialized and urban areas grew, more African Americans began to move to the state from the South. Southern and eastern Europeans also began immigrating to the area. The mining industries in the state, including salt, coal, and limestone, also began to grow.

Ohio was home to several major capitalists in the 1900s, including John D, Rockefeller, Benjamin F. Goodrich, and Charles Franklin Kettering. They helped to build up the state's industrial strength. Many products came out of Ohio around that time, including everything from matches to steam shovels.

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