Ottawa County, Ohio
Genealogy and Facts

Ottawa County

Ottawa County was created on March 6, 1840 from Erie County, Lucas County and Sandusky County. This county was named for the Ottawa Indians; Ottawa means "trader" in their language .

The Ottawa County Seat is located in Port Clinton also, the county government website is www.co.ottawa.oh.us/ .

Areas bordering to Ottawa County are Ontario, Canada (north and east), Erie County (southeast), Sandusky County (south), Wood County (west), Lucas County (northwest) .

Cities and towns located in Ottawa County include Port Clinton, Clay Center, Elmore, Genoa, Marblehead, Oak Harbor, Put-in-Bay, Rocky Ridge. Other communities include Curtice, Forest Park, Graytown, Gypsum, Isle St. George, Lacarne, Lakeside, Martin, Williston.

Ottawa County Townships Map

Ottawa County Townships include Allen, Bay, Benton, Carroll, Catawba Island, Clay, Danbury, Erie, Harris, Portage, Put-in-Bay, Salem.

Ottawa County vital records can be found at the Ohio Department of Health which has Birth Records since Dec 20, 1908; Death Records since since 1954 and copies of Marriage and Divorce Records since 1918 to present There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in Ohio for current fees and application process.

You can search online for Ottawa County Birth, Marriage, Divorce or Death Records. You can also Order Electronically Online or can download an application for Ohio Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Divorce Certificate, Death Certificate Application to mail.

Ottawa County consists of Federal Census Schedules to guide in looking into your family tree. Federal Population Schedules can be found for 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 (free index), 1890 (fragment), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.

Ottawa Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Ottawa Co. Industry and Agriculture can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Ottawa Co. Union Veterans Schedules is available for 1890. One can find free online and printable census forms to help you with your research.

Ottawa County Societies and Family History Resources

A list of Ottawa County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.

  • Ohio Genealogy Community (plus.google.com)
  • Ohio State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
  • Ottawa County Chapter, OGS, PO Box 193, Port Clinton, OH 43452-0193; Phone: (419) 898-0850; Ottawa County Chapter, OGS generally meets on the third Tuesday of each month (except July-none and August-picnic) at 7:00pm at the Community Room of the Ida Rupp Public Library, 310 Madison St., Port Clinton. This OGS Chapter meets monthly at the Ida Rupp Public Library.
  • Ottawa County Historical Society, PO Box 385, Port Clinton, OH 43452-0385; Phone: (419) 836-7449; The Ottawa County Historical Society restored the circa 1820 residence of Benajah and Rachael Wolcott, called the Keeper's House. Slide presentations on Ottawa County history are available as well as the monthly open house and activities.
  • Elmore Historical Society, PO Box 154, Elmore, OH 43416-0154; Phone: (419) 862-3552; The Elmore Historical Society is renovating the Elmore Depot using funds raised from the Portage River Festival.
  • Lake Erie Islands Historical Society, PO Box 25, 441 Delaware Ave, Put-in-Bay, OH 43456-0025; Phone: (419) 285-2804; The Lake Erie Islands Historical Society has a 6,000 sq. ft. building, with local history vineyards, wineries, and hostels. The Battle of Lake ship model collection tracing the development of shipping on the Great Lakes from 1600-2000. They also have Interlakes Regatta Assn. Trophies and photos from 1885, a research library, archives, and genealogy data on island families.
  • Lakeside Heritage Society Inc, 324 W 3rd St, Lakeside, OH 43440-1471; Phone: (419) 798-5519; The Lakeside Heritage Society preserves the history of the area. Its archives house books, photographs, maps, documents, pamphlets, and clippings of Lakeside and the Marblehead Peninsula. A collection of artifacts found at the Civil War prison on Johnson's Island is on display.
  • Marblehead Lighthouse Historical Society, PO Box 144, Marblehead, OH 43440-0144; Phone: (419) 798-2094;
  • Ottawa County USGenWeb Archives Project (usgwarchives.net)
  • Ottawa County, Ohio Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in Ottawa County
  • Ottawa County, Ohio Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Ottawa County

Ottawa County Courthouse and Government Records


Ottawa County Courthouse

Genealogist typically fail to notice the benefits of Ottawa County court, probate, and land records as a source of genealogical details. Hidden away in Ohio courthouses and archives just about everywhere are often the hopes and dreams and frustrations of countless Ohio people.

The possibilities are excellent that your potential forefathers have left a comprehensive document of at least quite a few aspects of their lives in the Ottawa County court records. Even if your ancestors is not discussed in a Court case, take into consideration all of the other methods which often can have lead to her or him appearing in court records.

Please make sure to call the clerk's department to confirm hours, mailing address, fees and other details prior to visiting or seeking information because of sometimes changing contact details. The Department Offices DO NOT DO RESEARCH. The records are accessible to interested parties, barring private issues. A good number of workers will help people in locating the materials, however it's up to the man or women to do the researching.

The following facts denotes exactly what death, marriage, birth, property, wills, and court records are typically in Ottawa County. The dates indicated listed below are considered the first noted records data for this particular county.

  • Ottawa County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 315 Madison St., Port Clinton 43452-1993
    • Phone: (419) 734-6710
  • Ottawa County Clerk of Probate Court handles the probating of wills, estate administrations, trusts, guardianships, adoptions, birth corrections, delayed birth registrations and issues marriage licenses. The Probate Court is that the Probate Judge is the ex-officio Clerk of Courts, thus, the Court performs all the duties as its own Clerk of Courts
    • Phone: 419-734-6830
    • Marriage Records: 1840 
    • Probate Records: 1840
  • Ottawa County Recorder has the duty of keeping specific records which may include: deeds, mortgages, military discharges, plats, etc.
    • Phone: 419-734-6730
    • Land Records: 1820
  • Ottawa County Clerk of Court of Common Pleas is responsible for duties that include filing, docketing, indexing, and preserving all court pleadings for civil, felony criminal and domestic relations cases.  Other services provided by the Clerk of Court of Common Pleas are administering oaths, keeping naturalization records, and recording and retention of coroner records.
    • Phone: (419) 734-6755
    • Court Records: 1840
  • The Ottawa County Health Department has Birth & Death Records from 1908-Present. For birth and death records prior to Dec. 20, 1908, contact the Probate Court of this county.

Ottawa County Links

The following are web links to Genealogy, Records and Resources pertaining to Ottawa County. A lot of these genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Professional Sites, Personal Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some have to have a payment. This is just a list which has been compiled or submitted. I do not recommend or promote one genealogy site above another. Feel free to submit your own favorite Ottawa County genealogy or family history related sites.

Ottawa Co. OH Books, Newspapers & Publications

Ottawa Co. OH Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Ottawa Co. OH Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Ottawa Co. OH Census Records

Ottawa Co. OH Cemeteries & Graveyards

Ottawa Co. OH Church & Bible Records

Ottawa Co. OH Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Ottawa Co. OH General and History Websites

Ottawa Co. OH Immigration & Naturalization

Ottawa Co. OH Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Ottawa Co. OH Military Records

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