Ohio Penitentiary Records

The Ohio Historical Society holds the Prisoners’ Register (the admission books) for the Ohio Penitentiary from 1829 through 1973. These records, particularly those prior to 1900, are of real interest to genealogists as they often contain a great deal of personal information about people who are not regularly mentioned on family trees. Aside from the physical description, which includes eye color, hair color and distinguishing marks, there are the notes about behavior. These notes include drinking, smoking and religious habits but will also contain information about close family and friends: the sort of people the prisoner was likely to connect with should he escape.

You can view and make copies of these records at the Ohio Historical Center for 25 cents per page. Or you can write in to the Research Services department and request copies sent to you through the mail. We charge a fee of $12.00 for copies of the admission record if you can provide a specific citation to the admission entry. A specific citation must include the name of the prison, the name of the person being researched, and the year of admission. If you cannot provide a specific year of admission, it will be considered a research request. There is a base nonrefundable fee of $25.00 for research requests. For the $25.00 fee we will search the Ohio Penitentiary admission records for a specified time period of your choosing (within a 10-year range) for the admission entry.

If you are interested in knowing what other types of records OHS holds for the Ohio Penitentiary, access our Online Computer Catalog for information about the items we hold. You can reach our catalog at the following Web address: http://www.ohiohistory.org/occ/menu.htm. You can access our library holdings by choosing to do an “Archives/Library Collections” search. You can do a Browse Author (alphabetical by author) search for Ohio Penitentiary to see what kinds of records we have written by the Ohio Pen organization. You can also do a Browse Subject search for Ohio Penitentiary to see what kinds of items were written about the prison.

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13 Responses to Ohio Penitentiary Records

  1. Tanna Allman says:

    I am looking for records of Wesley Allman who was given a life sentence for murder and sent to the Ohio Pen. in March 1881.

    He was pardoned by Gov.Foraker in Nov. of 1888.

    Sincerely
    Tanna Allman

  2. Allman’s admission record should show you information about exact dates, as well as giving you quite a bit of biographical information. You can then use the exact date of pardon to track down records about the pardon process. We would suggest State Archives Series 1322 and Series 661, both of which have pardon records in them.

  3. Autumn Andrea says:

    Looking for Jim Goodridge ( James ? ) From Monroe, MI who we believe was in the Penitentiary around 1955′ish for Forgery……He may have died there or was release and dropped off the face of the planet ….any info would be helpful !

    Thank You

    AutumnAndrea
    autumnadean30@gmail.com

  4. sam says:

    i am looking to find out about sherman bartholomew who shot and killed my grandpa francesco fantin in 1912 in roswell ohio

  5. Sarah Byers says:

    I would like to find records of the dates my father was incarcerated. I believe it was in the late ’30′s or early 40′s.

  6. Billie May says:

    1940 census, Line 33: Daniel S Corey, age 60. In the prison at: The Ohio State Brick Plant ( Pennl Institution), Jackson Twp, Perry County, Ohio. Would like to find information, on why he was here and to know how to receive his files. Any information is sure appreciated.
    Thank you, Billie May
    Email me at rundog8@rap.midco.net with any information.

  7. J C says:

    If I have a Final Release from Parole form from 1941, would you be able to locate more information about the person who’s name is on the form?

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