Ohio Vital Records
Ohio Vital Records
In Ohio, the Office of Vital Records is in charge of maintaining all state records relating to important life events. These can include divorce records, marriage records, marriage licenses, death certificates, and birth certificates to name a few. All of these documents are compiled in one central registry for statistical analysis.
A divorce record is issued once the registration of said divorce is completed. There was a divorce rate of 3.1 per 1,000 inhabitants in 2015.
Marriage records are issued by the government once the marriage is officially registered. There was no state-wide marriage registration until 1949, but records from that point are stored by the Division of Vital Statistics in Ohio. Each county has a probate judge who files the original marriage records. Before the state-wide registration came into place, records were kept by individual counties. These records include marriage licenses, marriage consents of minors, marriage records, and marriage returns. One of the most valuable genealogical sources in Ohio is the state’s long-standing and complete marriage record collection. Marriage records can show a variety of details, including the name of the bridge and groom, marriage date, county location, and the individual officiating. There can be information on the ages of the bride and groom, but parents are not named on pre-1900 records. Each county now maintains its own marriage index. The Family History Library also has microfilm records for each county up to 1910, and some up to 1970. Some pre-1876 records are also available here after being indexed by the International Genealogical index, however 25 counties are not included.
Birth certificates are used to document the birth of each and every child, and can either refer to the original certificate itself, or a certified copy. In 1897, county-level registrations began and were kept by the probate court. A few counties even have records going back as far as 1840. State-wide registration began in 1908. Birth records before this year are available from the relevant county probate court in the county or city department. Birth records usually contain details such as, a child’s name, place of birth, date of birth, sex, race, parents’ names and more. A copy of a birth certificate costs $21.50.
Death records are copies of the information recorded in the official death certificate. County-level registration was introduced in 1897 and records were kept by the probate court. The earliest records date back to the 1840s. State-wide registration was introduced in 1908. Records before this date can be accessed from the relevant county probate court. Death records include such information as the person’s name, age, date of death, location of death, place of birth, name of parents, occupation, cause of death and more. A copy of death records costs $21.50.
Why are these records available to the public?
The Ohio State Legislature passed a law in 1954 called the Ohio Open Records Act. This allows any member of the public in the state to access court and public records whenever they want. Every Ohio resident now has the fundamental right to request government documents from any level.
A person can request records online.
Ohio Department of Health
P.O. Box 15098