North America has been inhabited by indigenous peoples for centuries. The area now known as Ohio was once claimed by European explorers from France, Spain, and England. In 1747, the Ohio Company of Virginia was organized to explore and settle the Ohio River Valley. It was also claimed by New York and Connecticut. England relinquished its claims to Ohio at the end of the Revolutionary War, and Virginia ceded its claims in 1784, when Congress passed ordinances for the governance of the Northwest Territory. On March 1, 1803, Ohio was admitted to the United States as the 17th state.
This guide offers a selection of resources and strategies for Ohio local history and genealogy research. These include the print and digital collections of the Library of Congress, as well as external repositories and web sites key to finding forebears in the Buckeye state.
The Library of Congress has one of the world's premier collections of U.S. and foreign genealogical and local historical publications, numbering more than 50,000 compiled family histories and over 100,000 U.S. local histories. The Library's genealogy collection began as early as 1815 with the purchase of Thomas Jefferson's library.