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

County Facts
County seat: Steubenville
Organized: July 27, 1797
Parent County(s): Washington
Neighboring Counties
Columbiana  • Carroll  • Harrison  • Belmont  • Hancock (WV)  • Brooke (WV)  • Ohio (WV)
See County Maps
Location Map
OH jefferson.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, Secretary of State, and Vice President of the United States at the time of the County’s creation. It's county seat is La Belle and was founded July 29, 1797. It is located in the East-central area of the state.[1]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Jefferson County Courthouse
301 Market St.
Steubenville, Ohio 43952

Jefferson County Website

Jefferson County Courthouse
301 Market Street
Steubenville, OH 43952
Phone: 740.283.8583

Probate Judge has marriage, probate and naturalization records,
probate and naturalization records; Clerk Court has divorce and
court records from 1797; County Recorder has land records
from 1797; Board of Health has birth and death records[2]

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

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[3]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1867 1803 1867 1797 1797 1798 1820
Statewide registration for births and deaths started in 1908. General compliance year is unknown.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

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: [5]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places
Historic communities

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

For an extensive list of resources for Bible Records see Ohio Bible Records.

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Jefferson County, Ohio online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Ohio Cemeteries for more information.


Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1800 8,766
1810 17,260 96.9%
1820 18,531 7.4%
1830 22,489 21.4%
1840 25,030 11.3%
1850 29,133 16.4%
1860 26,115 −10.4%
1870 29,188 11.8%
1880 33,018 13.1%
1890 39,415 19.4%
1900 44,357 12.5%
1910 65,423 47.5%
1920 77,580 18.6%
1930 88,307 13.8%
1940 98,129 11.1%
1950 96,495 −1.7%
1960 99,201 2.8%
1970 96,193 −3.0%
1980 91,564 −4.8%
1990 80,298 −12.3%
2000 73,894 −8.0%
2010 69,709 −5.7%
Source: "".

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.

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Court of Common Pleas

Supreme Court

  • 1803-1826 Clerk of Courts Supreme Court Complete Record. 2 Vol. See Ohio State Archives.

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

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

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[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.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for this county. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories, see Ohio Local Histories.

  • Andrews, J.H., Centennial Souvenir of Steubenville and Jefferson County, Ohio: 1797-1897, (Apollo, Pennsylvania: Closson Press, 2006). FHL film 908200 Item 1
  • Miligan, T.V., History of Jefferson County, Ohio: An Address Delivered at the Centennial Celebration on 4 July 1876, (Westerville, Ohio: F.J. Milligan, 1993). FHL book 977.1 A1
  • Hunter, W.H., Pathfinders of Jefferson County, Ohio, (Ohio: Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society, 1885). Digital copy at Google Books FHL book 977.169 H2p
  • Sinclair, Dohrman J., Pioneer Collection of Jefferson County, Ohio, (Stephens City, Virginia: Commercial Press, 1984). FHL book 977.169 H2si
  • Sinclair, Mary Donaldson, Pioneer Days, (Steubenville, Ohio: M.D. Sinclair, 1962). FHL book 977.169 H2s

You can find many local histories within Jefferson County at Digital Shoebox, which is a website from the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County, Ohio (Schiappa Branch), where they have digitized many of their collection. This website includes library contributions from all of southeast Ohio.

You can also find much information on the Jefferson County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society website at Jefferson County Chapter Many of the early records of this county have been donated to the chapter, and they are in the process of housing and cataloging these collections.

You can also find much historical and genealogical information at the Jefferson County Historical Museum located at 426 Franklin Ave., Steubenville, OH 43952. Phone: 740-283-1133.Hours of operation vary due to volunteer staff, so please call ahead to make arrangements for tours and library researching.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Columbiana CountyCarroll CountyHarrison CountyBelmont CountyWest VirginiaOhio CountyBrooke CountyHancock CountyOH JEFFERSON.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Civil War
Civil War service men from Morgan 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 Morgan County.

- 98th Regiment, Ohio Infantry, Companies A and D

World War I

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

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

For more Ohio newspaper information see Ohio Newspapers and Obituaries.

The local newspaper is "The Herald-Star" located at 401 Herald Square, Steubenville, OH43952.Phone (740) 283-4711
WebsiteThe archive issues of this paper date to 1806, and can be accessed at the Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County (Schiappa Branch - Ohio Room).They are housed on microfilm, and many issues have been indexed.Some of these indexes are digitized online (including 1892), and others are available at the library.

Obituaries of the recently deceased (last 5-10 years) can also be accessed by visiting the websites of local funeral homes.A few of these are listed below:

Clarke Funeral Home, Toronto - Website

Everhart-Bove Funeral Home - Website

Shorac Funeral Homes - Website

Mosti Funeral Home - Website

J.E. Foster Funeral Homes - Website

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Wills - Index and Abstracts

  • early to 1853 Daily, Linda. Index to early wills and estates of Jefferson County, Ohio up to 1853. FHL US/CAN Book 977.1 A1 no. 676.
  • 1798-1821 - DiThomas, Mary, Will abstracts taken from will book one, 1798-1821, Jefferson County, Northwest Territory, and the State of Ohio. FHL US/CAN Book 977.1 A1 no. 269.
  • 1821-1836 - DiThomas, Mary E. Will abstracts taken from will book two, 1821-1836, Jefferson County, Ohio. State of Ohio FHL US/CAN Book 977.1 A1 no. 276.

Wills - Images (digital or film)


  • early to 1818 DiThomas, Mary E. Early estate administrations, Jefferson County, Ohio, to 1818 taken from Common Pleas Court journals. FHL US/CAN Book 977.169 P2.
  • 1838-1918 - Administrators' dockets, 1838-1918. FHL film.
  • 1849-1885 - Administrators bonds vols. 1-3, 1849-1885. FHL film.

Executors Bonds

  • 1849-1885 - Executors bonds vol. 1-3, 1849-1885. FHL film

Inventories - Index and Abstracts

  • 1803-1816 - Francy, Leila S. Inventory of estates, Jefferson County, Ohio books I and II, 1803-1816. FHL US/CAN Book 977.169 P28i.

Inventories - Images

  • 1803-1889 - Inventory of estates, 1803-1889. See FHL catalog.

Guardianship - Index and Abstracts

  • early to 1818 DiThomas, Mary E. Court appointed, and chosen guardians from Common Pleas Court journals, Jefferson County, Ohio, to 1818 FHL US/CAN Book 977.1 A1 no. 271.
  • 1838-1920 - Guardians' dockets, 1838-1920. FHL film.
  • 1849-1894 - Guardian bonds and letters, 1849-1894. FHL film.

Estate Packets

Final Record Books


Public Records[edit | edit source]

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[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 Jefferson 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.

The probate was formed in 1851 and generated many types of documents. Resources containing probate documents are listed under the Probate section of the Jefferson County, Ohio page. Likewise for resources containing naturalization documents see Naturalization. This section focuses on resources containing "the other" documents generated by the probate court; but in some cases a resource (such as a journal) will have entries regarding both probate and "other things".'Note also that the probate court had jurisdiction over the county and justice of the peace records.

  • Ohio, Jefferson County Court Records - FamilySearch Historical Records This is a wiki article describing and linking to an online collection. As of 15 Nov 2012 this collection only contains probate estate packets, but perhaps more documents generated by the the probate court will be added.
  • 1818-1820s Clerk of Court Justice of Peace Ledger. See Ohio State Archives
  • Probate journal, 1852-1887. FHL film.


Online Probate Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[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.

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]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Jefferson County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Ohio Archives and Libraries.

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 Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in Jefferson County. For state-wide library facilities, see Ohio Archives and Libraries.

  • Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County, Ohio - Schiappa Branch Ohio Room (for genealogical research and history), 4141 Mall Drive, Steubenville, OH 43952. Phone: 740-264-6166

Museums[edit | edit source]

  • Vivian Snyder Genealogical Library, Jefferson County Historical Museum, 426 Franklin Ave., Steubenville, OH43952.Phone (740) 283-1133

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Jefferson County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Ohio Societies.

  • Jefferson County Chapter, OGS - Website

Websites[edit | edit source]

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Genealogy Trails History Group, “Jefferson County, Ohio Genealogy and History”, accessed 2/17/2017.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Ohio.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Ohio.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Ohio.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Jefferson County, Ohio," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Ohio, accessed 20 December 2018.