County Office Research: Focus on the County Auditor & the County Recorder

Have you ever wondered how or why records in a county office were created? The county auditor and recorder offices create a variety of records that help us understand where and how our ancestors were living. Finding an ancestor documented in records like a tax list or a deed book may be the clue that sets you on the track to finding additional information. Representatives from the Franklin County Auditor and the Franklin County Recorder will explain the resources available, how to access the information, and what it is like to do research at a county office in Ohio. This is an excellent opportunity for family researchers to learn how these offices can make their research more complete and use the legal records concerning property to identify family surnames and places where they lived before vital statistics records were being maintained in the probate court office. Additionally, this is a rare opportunity for family historians to talk with the employees of the Auditor and Recorder Offices in a workshop setting.

Date: Saturday, September 22, 2012
Time: 10:00am – Noon
Location: Ohio History Center’s Archives/Library Classroom
Cost: $15.00 OHS/FCGHS members, $20.00 non members

To register online through the Ohio History Store, click here.
In person: during regular business hours at the OHC Library
By telephone: 614-297-2510
By email:

Records that the Ohio County Auditor’s Office has created in Ohio’s History (a sample that highlights items that may be of particular interest to family historians) :

  1. Tax Lists & Maps: Various types of property records that include names of individuals, property descriptions, and valuation.
  2. Assessment Lists: Lists of real property valuations including description of lot or tract, value of land & buildings and record of appraisals/reassessments.
  3. Quadrennial Enumerations (May have been stored with the Clerk of Courts of Common Pleas Office in some counties): Enumeration of white mail inhabitants of the county over 21 years old showing for each: name, address, race, occupation, and whether a freeholder of land within the county.
  4. Civil War Bounties: Township assessors’ lists of volunteers filed with the county auditor for payment of county bounty, showing volunteer, company in which enlisted, age dependents, date of enlistment, and sworn statements of money paid the county for bounties to volunteers.
  5. Enumerations of Deaf, Dumb, Blind, Idiotic, and Insane: Original reports to the auditor from township assessors showing information for individuals identified with a disability listed. Information may include name of person, “affliction,” age, sex, color, residence, whether in charge of a guardian, cause of affliction, and how long afflicted.
  6. Enumeration of Feebleminded, Cripples, and Epileptics: Information may include name and address of patients, amount of funds contributed toward care, how each person is cared for, if institutionalized the date of admission is given.
  7. Enumerations of Soldiers and Sailors: Contains enumeration of living veterans who served in the Mexican, Civil and Spanish American wars & the Philippine Insurrection.  Showing name, branch of service, war, company, regiment, battery or vessel, rank and address.
  8. Exemptions from Military Service: Contains original affidavits from physicians relative to a person drafted into Civil War service concerning the reason for exemption.
  9. Indigent Soldier Burial Records: For each indigent soldier buried by the county this record shows name, last residence, rank, date of death, itemized account of burial cost, place and date of burial.  Because the approval came from county’s commissioners office, the reports may be filed with the commissioners.
  10. Manufacturers, Mines, and Labor Miscellaneous Statistics: Township assessor reports of adults employed in various industries.  Names not given, but this is an excellent way to get a sense of a county’s employment base.
  11. Militia Rolls: Contains Civil War enrollment of male residents of the county subject to conscription showing name, age, and place of residence.
  12. Mothers’ Pension Records: Shows name of recipient, case number, number of dependent children, monthly award & dates initiated and terminated.
  13. Oil and Gas Returns: Detailed data on production of oil or gas on leased lands, showing names and addresses of lessor and lessee, location & acreage leased.
  14. Oil Wall Lists: Shows information on oil wells within the county including name and address of property owner
  15. Practicing Physicians and Layers Lists: Showing name and township of residence
  16. Records of Inmates in the State Benevolent Institutions: Record of dependent persons committed to state institutions showing name, age, name of guardian, relationship, financial condition, institution where person is living, date committed and reason for commitment.

Records that the Ohio County Recorder’s Office has created in Ohio’s History (a sample that highlights items that may be of particular interest to family historians):

  1. Deed Records: Contains verbatim transcripts of deed filed showing file number, names and addresses of Grantor and Grantee, description of property, date of transfer, and index references to plat books.
  2. Certificates of Transfer of Real Estate Records: Transfer of real property in estates showing decedent, age, heirs, relationship, portion inherited, description and location of property, date filed and recorded.
  3. Articles of Incorporation: Transcripts of articles of incorporation of fraternal, religious, social, and immigrant aid associations as well as business concerns.
  4. Entry Records: Contains copies of original land grants to the first settlers of the county including a description of the land, owner identification, date and acreage.
  5. Abstract of Mortgage Records: Shows name of grantor and grantee, date mortgage recorded, mortgage, and date cancelled.
  6. Lease Records: Verbatim transcript of leases, subleases, assignments of leases, and memoranda of leases.
  7. Mortgage Records: Verbatim transcript of mortgages, showing file number, names and addresses of mortgagor and mortgagee, description of property, total amount and duration of mortgage, and index references to plat books.
  8. Plat Books: Contains plat maps of all land within the county from its settlement or 1803 (whichever is earlier), showing streets/roads/alleys as laid out, including subdivisions of existing lots and annexations to municipal corporations.  Show full name and address of deed holder, description of original property, and date recorded.
  9. Power of Attorney Record: Verbatim transcript of powers of attorney filed, showing grantee, grantor, date granted, & specific acts authorized to perform.
  10. Soldiers Discharge Records: Verbatim transcripts of honorable discharges from the US Armed Forces, showing full name, and address of soldier, rank, and last duty assignment.
  11. Soldiers Grave Records: Soldiers name, location of cemetery, lot, section, block and grave number
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