Wood County, Ohio Genealogy

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Guide to Wood County, Ohio ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

Wood County, Ohio
Boundary map of Wood County, Ohio
Map of the U.S. highlighting Ohio
Location of Ohio in the U.S.
Wood County Ohio Courthouse.jpg
Address Wood County Courthouse
1 Courthouse Square
Bowling Green, Ohio 43402
Wood County Website

Wood County, Ohio Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1867 1820 1867 1823 1820 1820 1820
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1908. General compliance year is unknown.
  • Parent Counties: Refactored from non-county territory in 1820.
  • County Seat: Bowling Green

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named in honor of Captain Eleazer Darby Wood, an engineer in the War of 1812 who built Fort Meigs. It's county seat is Bowling Green and was founded April 1, 1820. It is located in the Northwest area of the state.[2]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit Hometown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county: [3]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Lucas County  • Ottawa County  • Sandusky County  • Seneca County  • Hancock County  • Putnam County  • Henry County

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

For animated maps illustrating Ohio county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Ohio County Boundary Maps" (1788-1940) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Business Records and Commerce[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemetery records often reveal birth, marriage, death, relationship, military, and religious information.

Online Grave Transcripts Published Grave Transcripts County Cemetery Directories


Family History Library




Names in Stone

USGW Tombstones

Billion Graves

Billion Graves


OHGenWeb Tombstone Photos

Ohio Gravestones

See Ohio Cemeteries for more information.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1820 733
1830 1,102 50.3%
1840 5,357 386.1%
1850 9,157 70.9%
1860 17,886 95.3%
1870 24,596 37.5%
1880 34,022 38.3%
1890 44,392 30.5%
1900 51,555 16.1%
1910 46,330 −10.1%
1920 44,892 −3.1%
1930 50,320 12.1%
1940 51,796 2.9%
1950 59,605 15.1%
1960 72,596 21.8%
1970 89,722 23.6%
1980 107,372 19.7%
1990 113,269 5.5%
2000 121,065 6.9%
2010 125,488 3.7%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Ohio denominations, see Ohio Church Records.

Catholic[edit | edit source]
  • 1796–2004 Ohio, Diocese of Toledo, Catholic Parish Records, 1796-2004 at FamilySearch Historical Records – free. This collection includes images of parish registers recording the events of baptism, first communion, confirmation, marriage, and death in the Diocese of Toledo (Ohio), Roman Catholic Church. These records are accessed by browsing the images by county. In addition to traditional parish registers, this collection includes miscellaneous cemetery records, Books of the Elect, Professions of Faith, Sick Call registers, etc.

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

Ethnic, Political, or Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Wood County, Ohio Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see the wiki page section Ohio Local Histories.

Wood County is located in northwestern Ohio and is surrounded by Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky, Seneca, Hancock, Putnam and Henry counties. Wood County was established 1 April 1820 from Logan County and is named for Colonel E. Wood who fought in the War of 1812 and helped build Fort Meigs, which is located on the northern border of the county.[4]

Fort Meigs was built by General William Henry Harrison on a high bluff of the southern bank of the Maumee River to the east of the town of Perrysburg and was named for the Governor of Ohio Return Jonathan Meigs.[5]

Originally, the land that became Wood County was swamp land known as the Black Swamp and was inhabited by a variety of native american tribes such as the Wyandot, Miami, Ottawa, Erie, Seneca and Pottawatomie.[6] The land was very lush with forests of large oak, sycamore and hickory trees; wildlife native to this part of Ohio are boar, black bears, timber wolves and bobcats.[7] Draining of the swamp and clearing the trees began in the 1850s as settlers moved in to create farm land and since then, Wood County has been mostly agricultural in nature, covered by farms growing mostly soybeans, corn and wheat.[8]

After the treaty of Brownsville in 1808, construction of the Western Reserve Road began. The road connected the Maumee River to the western edge of the Connecticut Reserve stretching from Fort Meigs to Fremont, along present day U.S. Route 20.[9] This route was difficult to travel due to high levels of water from rains and overflowing creeks, and the added danger of insects carrying diseases such as malaria.[10]

Bowling Green, founded in 1834, is the county seat and is centrally located. It is the home of Bowling Green State University, established as the “State Normal School” in 1910 for training teachers; the first classes being held in 1914 and the first bachelor’s degrees awarded in 1917.[11]

A vast majority of the settlers to Wood County were from Germany or other Germanic-derived countries; in the 1990 US Census 31% of the Bowling Green population and 40% of the Perrysburg population claimed to have German ancestry.[12]

Local Histories[edit | edit source]
  • Evers, C.W., Reminiscences of Pioneer Days in Wood County and the Maumee Valley: a Pioneer Scrap Book, (Bowling Green, Ohio: The Democrat, 1910). Digital copy at Internet Archive FHL book 977.116 H2e
  • Commemorative, Historical and Biographical records of Wood County, Ohio: Its Past, Present, Early Settlement and Development, Biographies and Portraits of Early Settlers and Representative Citizens, (Chicago: J.H. Beer, 1897). Digital copy at: FamilySearch Digital Library, Google Books; FHL book 977.116 H2c
  • Jones, Paul Willis, Human Interest History of Wood County, Ohio, (Bowling Green, Ohio : Ohio Genealogical Society. Wood County Chapter, 2007) FHL book 977.116 H2j
  • Van Tassel, Charles, Historical Highlights of Wood County, (Fort Wayne, Indiana: Allen County Public Library, 1984) FHL book 977.116 H2v

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

See Ohio Land and Property for additional information about early Ohio land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse and where records are currently housed. Deeds, estates, plat maps and other property records are located at the Wood County Courthouse, 1 Courthouse Square, Bowling Green, Ohio 43402. These records may be copied or photographed and are available to the public. Records from 1821 through 1919 have been microfilmed and are available through the Family History Library.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Lucas CountyOttawa CountySandusky CountySeneca CountyHancock CountyPutnam CountyHenry CountyOH WOOD.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Many maps are available at the various libraries and repositories listed above. The below are in addition to those that you can locate, view and download online.

Wood County Engineer
This website has current township maps online as well as links to the current township leaders.

Wood County Auditor
This site will allow you to search for existing land owners and locate maps of their property boundaries.

Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection
City and state historical topographical maps; also outline county maps and National Parks maps.

United States Geological Survey
Ohio Catalog of topographic and other Published Maps. This print publication is now available online at the link above. You can download historical topographical maps as well.

Military[edit | edit source]

War of 1812[edit | edit source]
Civil War[edit | edit source]

Civil War service men from Wood County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Wood County.

  • Ohio Genealogical Society. Wood County Chapter. Wood County's role in the Civil War. (Bowling Green, Ohio : Ohio Genealogical Society. Wood County Chapter, c1997-), FHL book 977.116 M2w v. 1, v. 2
- 100th Regiment, Ohio Infantry, Company A
- 111th Regiment, Ohio Infantry, Companies B, D, I, and K
World War I[edit | edit source]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Wood County, Ohio Genealogy newspapers may contain genealogical value including obituaries, births, marriages, deaths, anniversaries, family gatherings, family travel, achievements, business notices, engagement information, and probate court proceedings.

To access newspapers, contact public libraries, Ohio Genealogical Society chapters, college or university libraries, the Library of Congress, Google News, or the Ohio Memory. The Ohio Genealogical Society Obituary Database is another source of newspaper information.

For more Ohio newspaper information see the Newspaper Guides on the wiki page Ohio Newspapers. Online Newspapers
Online Newspaper Abstracts
Newspaper Extracts and Abstracts in Book Form

The libraries listed above have excellent collections of microfilmed newspapers for Wood County, including the small town and rural newspapers. The primary newspaper for the area was the Wood County Sentinel (also known as The Daily Sentinel, The Daily Sentinel-Tribune and other variations). Many of the newspapers are being cataloged and filmed via Chronicling America at the Library of Congress: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Periodicals and Published Sources
[edit | edit source]

Beers, J.H. Commemorative, Historical and Biographical Record of Wood County, Ohio. Chicago, Illinois. J. H. Beers and Co, 1897.

Burke, Thomas A., Ohio Lands. 6th Edition, Ohio Auditor of State, 1995.

Downes, Randolph C., Evolution of Ohio County Boundaries. Ohio Historical Society, 1970.

Schweitzer, Ph.D., Sc.D., George K. Ohio Genealogical Research. Published by the author, 1997.

Swanson, Hal, The Ohio Township Helper: An Aid to Locating Counties and Townships in the State of Ohio. Colorado Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, no date.

Wood County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, compiler, An Index to Wills and Estates 1820-1921, Wood County, Ohio. ECP Printing, Eau Claire, WI, 2009.

Wood County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, compiler, Fort Meigs Union Cemetery, Wood County, Ohio. Closson Press, Apollo, PA, 1998.

Wood County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, compiler, Index to Naturalization Records, Wood County, Ohio. Closson Press, Apollo, PA, 2000.

Wood County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, compiler, Oak Grove Cemetery in Bowling Green (Center Township) Wood County, Ohio. Closson Press, Apollo, PA, 1985.

Wood County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, compiler, Union Hill Cemetery, Plain Township, Wood County, Ohio. Closson Press, Apollo, PA, 1993.

Wood County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, compiler, Weston Township Cemeteries, Wood County, Ohio. Closson Press, Apollo, PA, 1985.

Wood County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, compiler, Wood County, Ohio Atlas: Landowner Maps 1871 & 1858, Tract Book 1830-1850, Road & River Tracts, Canal Land Purchases. Closson Press, Apollo, PA, 1999.

Wood County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, compiler,Wood County, Ohio Early Landowners, Recorded Patent Deeds 1822-1854. WCOGS, Bowling Green, OH, 2000.

Probate[edit | edit source]

From 1797 or the creation of the county, probate records were held by the Court of Common Pleas. After 1852, records are held by the {{{1}}} County Probate Court. Records include wills, estates, guardianships, naturalizations, marriage, adoption, and birth and death records (1867-1908 only). The records may give the decedent's date of death, name of spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence.

See Ohio Probate Records for information about how to use probate records. Online Probate Indexes and Records

Finding More Probate Records[edit source]

Additional probate records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Wood County, Ohio Genealogy Probate Records in online catalogs like:

Public Records[edit | edit source]

Repositories[edit | edit source]

Courthouse and Vital Records[edit | edit source]

  • Wood County Courthouse
    1 Courthouse Square
    Bowling Green, OH 43402-2473
    Telephone: 419.354.9230
    Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30am -
    County Health Department has birth records from 1908
    County Recorder has land records Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Wood County, Ohio. Page 546 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
    There is an online index available at the above website

  • Wood County Ohio Health Department
    1840 E. Gypsy Lane Rd.
    Bowling Green, Ohio 43402
    General Phone: 419.352.8402 or toll free: 866.861.9338
    Vital Statistics Office: 419.354.1050
    Available records: birth and death records 1908-present.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

For additional nearby Family History Centers, search online in the FHC directory. Put your town name in the top search box.

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Wood County District Public Library
251 N. Main Street
Bowling Green, Ohio 43402
Telephone: 419.352.5104
Available records: Bowling Green phone books and city directories, family histories, Wood County First Families list, military rosters, newspapers on microfilm (Sentinel-Tribune under it’s various titles and other surrounding area newspapers. There are some gaps but collection is through the present.) They maintain a variety of publications, books and journals about Wood County but also have references for other counties as well. Also, Ancestry Library Edition is available for use in the library.

Way Public Library
101 E. Indiana Ave.
Perrysburg, Ohio 43551
Telephone: 419.874.3135
Hours: Monday - Thursday 9:00am - 8:30pm, Friday - Saturday 9:00am - 5:30pm, Sunday 1:00pm - 5:00pm (seasonal)
Available records: family histories, house histories, maps and atlases, local church records, historic photographs of people and places in the area, pamphlet file, newspaper file on local topics; digital photo collection through OhioMemory.org/way; in-house database that includes vital statistics, newspaper surname index, surname index for the publications Bend of the River Magazine and Ohio Cues (of the Maumee Valley Historical Society); personal library of Willard V. Way including hotel registers beginning in 1865, oral histories and photographs.

Bowling Green State University - Center for Archival Collections
5th Floor - Jerome Library
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, Ohio 43403
Telephone: 419.372.2411
Hours vary, check website for schedule
Available records: manuscript collection, local government records, newspaper collection (for all of northwest Ohio and some in southern Michigan – full list on website), Civil War records, rare books and special collections. Website contains geographical name information by county.
Microfilm rolls may be purchased through the CAC.

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
Spiegel Grove
Fremont, Ohio 43420
Telephone: 419.332.2081
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 9:00am - 5:00pm
Available records: besides the President’s own books and manuscripts, also are materials about the Lake Erie area, family papers and an obituary index for Northwest Ohio. There is an online catalog maintained through Bowling Green State University website.

Museums[edit | edit source]

Wood County Historical Center and Museum
13660 County Home Rd.
Bowling Green, Ohio 43402
Telephone: 419.352.0967
Hours vary, check website for schedule
The museum publishes the Black Swamp Chanticleer newsletter. There is no online catalog but they ask that you contact the curator if you are trying to locate something specific. They collect artifacts and items of historical interest to the Wood County area such as farm equipment, documents, etc. The museum is located at what used to the be the Poor Farm also known as “The Home.”

Societies[edit | edit source]

Wood County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 722
Located in Courthouse Square
Bowling Green, Ohio 43402
Telephone: 419.354.9557
Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00am - 12:00pm
Available records: Publications for sale include indexes to probate records of births, deaths, marriages, naturalization, cemeteries, agricultural census and plat maps. Will do research and look-ups for a fee. There are several online indexes and databases available as well at the above website.

Ohio Historical Society
800 E. 17th Ave.
Columbus, Ohio 43211
Telephone: 614.297.2300
Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 10:00am - 5:00pm
Available records: artifacts, items of natural history interest, manuscripts and audiovisuals, photographs, oral histories, online indexes and digital collections, death certificate index, state and local government documents, newspaper collection (available through ILL).

Ohio State Genealogical Society
611 State Route 97 West
Bellville, Ohio 44813-8813
Telephone: 419.886.1903
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 9:00am - 5:00pm
Available records: First families of Ohio records, state-wide obituary index, bible records, Civil War, Revolutionary War, cemetery, birth, marriage, divorce, tax lists, also various county-specific databases.

Online Genealogy Research Groups[edit | edit source]

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Ohio tax records complement land records and can be used in place of censuses before 1820 or to supplement the years between censuses. Because only persons who owned taxable property were listed, many residents were not included in tax lists. There may also be gaps of several years in the tax records of some counties.

Microfilm: "Tax records, Auditor 1822-1850" contains 3 rolls, beginning with film number 522854, available through the Family History Library.

Finding More Tax Records

Additional tax records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Wood County, Ohio Genealogy Tax Records in online catalogs like:

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital records consist of birth, death, marriage and divorce records. Marriages were usually recorded from the formation of the county and are held at the office of the County Probate Court. Divorce records are located with the county Clerk of Courts.

Any existing birth and death records from 1867 through December 19, 1908 are located at the County Probate Court. The Ohio Department of Health has birth records filed after December 20, 1908 and death records filed after January 1, 1954, while the Ohio History Connection houses death records from December 20, 1908 through December 31, 1953.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Online Birth Indexes and Records

Original Birth Records on Microfilm

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Online Marriage Indexes and Records

Original Marriage Records on Microfilm

Death[edit | edit source]

Online Death Indexes and Records

Finding More Tax Records

Additional tax records can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Wood County, Ohio Genealogy Tax Records in online catalogs like:

Original Death Records on Microfilm

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Websites[edit | edit source]

  • Wood County, Ohio GenWeb
    This site has not been updated for several years. Many links are broken and many informational items are out of date.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Wood County, Ohio. Page 540-547 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 531-533.
  2. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Wood County, Ohio Genealogy and History”, http://genealogytrails.com/ohio/wood/ accessed 2/27/2017.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Wood County, Ohio," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood_County,_Ohio, accessed 18 January 2019.
  4. Office of Policy, Research and Strategic Planning, “Ohio County Profiles: Wood County,” digital file (http://development.ohio.gov/research/files/s0.htm : accessed 16 September 2012), page 1.
  5. Larry L. Nelson, Men of Patriotism Courage Enterprise: Fort Meigs in the War of 1812 (Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 1997), 38.
  6. DeAnna Lawrence, Genealogy Trails (http://genealogytrails.com/ohio/wood/ : accessed 16 September 2012), “Bowling Green Pre-1833.”
  7. Lawrence, Genealogy Trails, “Bowling Green Pre-1833.”
  8. Geoff Howes and Lucy Long, Wood County History (https://web.archive.org/web/20080827223230/http://woodcountyhistory.org/foodways/german_more.html : accessed 16 September 2012), “German-Americans in Northwest Ohio.”
  9. Lawrence, Genealogy Trails, “Bowling Green Pre-1833.”
  10. Lawrence, Genealogy Trails, “Bowling Green Pre-1833.”
  11. Bowling Green State University, BGSU History and Traditions, website article (http://www.bgsu.edu/offices/sa/deanofstudents/traditions/ : accessed 16 September 2012), “Main Campus and Firelands Campus.”
  12. Geoff Howes and Lucy Long, Wood County History, “German-Americans in Northwest Ohio.”