Genealogical Research - MAHONING COUNTY
Mahoning County was organized in 1846 from Columbiana and Trumbull Counties. Upper tier townships taken from Trumbull County are Austintown, Berlin, Boardman, Canfield, Coitsville, Ellsworth, Jackson, Milton, Poland, and Youngstown. Lower tier townships taken from Columbiana County are Beaver, Goshen, Green, Smith, and Springfield. Mahoning County is bounded on the north by Trumbull County, on the south by Columbiana County, on the west by Portage and Stark Counties, and on the east by Lawrence and Mercer Counties, Pennsylvania. Mahoning County Courthouse 120 Market Street Youngstown, Ohio 44503 Clerk: 330-740-2104
BIRTH & DEATH RECORDS
The early records are in the Marriage Department of the Probate Court, in the lower level of the county courthouse. A volume with the title: “Births, Deaths and Marriages” contains these records for a one-year period: 1 April 1856 through 31 March 1857. Births and deaths were not recorded again until 1 April 1864. The records were kept by the County until 20 December 1908 and can be found in the Marriage Department office. After 20 December 1908, these events were recorded at the County Health Department. In Mahoning County, the records (after 20 December 1908 until the present) are available at the Youngstown City Health District. The pre-1908 births and deaths were reported by the attending physician (if there was one), a neighbor, a parent, a friend, whoever might go to town and stop in the courthouse and tell the clerk about the event. The law about recording these events was not enforced. There are no certificates prior to 20 December 1908. Eventually (in the 1880s) the Tax Assessor of each township began recoding the births and deaths. While going around assessing properties he would ask if anyone had been born or had died in the past year in the family. If no one was home, the birth or death was not recorded, so there are many cases where there is no record. Usually the assessor wrote the information on whatever piece of paper he had on hand. When he arrived at the courthouse, he gave it to the clerk, who wrote the information in large volumes. Each entry was written across two pages and the books are impossible to photocopy. If the tax assessor or clerk had poor handwriting, or the clerk was very busy, mistakes were made in the transcribing. You must also be aware of variant spellings. The early death records seldom mention the names of parents. They were not required unless the deceased was an unnamed infant. In the 1930s the WPA indexed the ledgers and the data on the ledger pages was entered on cards. These index cards make it easier to check the records. Because of poor handwriting, faded ink, or unfamiliarity with the names, sometimes the indexer couldn’t decipher a name. In which case there was no card made for the entry, and that person or event is not in the card file. The city of Campbell started their Board of Health in 1932 and Struthers in 1909.
For Births and Deaths in Youngstown from 1 April 1856 to 31 March 1857, and from 1 April 1864 to 20 December 1908:
Marriage License Division Mahoning County Courthouse, 1st Floor 120 Market Street Youngstown, Ohio 44503 330-740-2324 After 20 December 1908: Youngstown City Health District (1) 9 W. Front Street, 1st Floor Youngstown, Ohio 44503 330-742-8212
Marriage records have been kept by the county since its beginning in 1846. Please be aware that in Ohio parents’ names were not required until 1 January 1899. If either the bride or the groom was underage, parents or guardians were required to give the consent. Infrequently, the parent’s names were recorded, but usually the record just says, “Parent’s consent give in open Court,” without naming them. The one exception, before 1899, is the little book mentioned earlier, “Births, Deaths and Marriages,” which sometimes names the parents. Marriage licenses were not required until 1945. A couple could be married by any licensed clergyman if “Bans” were published in the church three times before the marriage. This took the place of a license. If the officiating clergyman didn’t “return” the marriage to the courthouse, there would be no record at the official level.
How to Obtain Divorce Records in Mahoning County: Visit the Clerk of Courts office, 2nd floor. Indices are in different files depending on date. Your aim is to locate the relevant name(s) and examine the entry to find the case number for the divorce. Sometimes divorce information will be found in an alimony case. Telephone the Mahoning County Microfilm Department 330-740-2303 (Website) and request the record by sharing the case number and the corresponding name. Ask for both the petition and the decree. They will send by email everything they find. You will receive a pdf of the record.
GUARDIANSHIPS, ADOPTIONS, AND PROBATE RECORDS
Guardianship records are in the Probate Office from 1846 to date. Adoptions are “sealed” and are not available for research. Probate records (Wills and Estates) have been kept from 1846 and are available on microfilm or microfiche, depending on the date of the action. The original Probate Records (from 1846 through circa 1900) are at the Mahoning Valley Historical Society Archival Library (Arms Museum) and may be copied there.
Contacts: Mahoning County Probate Court Mahoning County Courthouse 120 Market Street Youngstown, Ohio 44503 Phone: 330-740-2314
LAND RECORDS, MILITARY SERVICE, MILITARY DISCHARGES AND GRAVES REGISTRATION
These records are in the Recorder’s Office and available for research. Soldiers’ discharges, from the Civil War to date, may be photocopied from the ledgers. Grave registration cards, from the Revolutionary War to date, may be copied also. The deeds, for the lands that became Mahoning County, were copied from the original records in each of the parent counties. They are available for research in the lower level of the Recorder’s Office.
Mahoning County Recorder Mahoning County Courthouse 120 Market Street Youngstown, Ohio 44503 330-740-2345
The Recorder also maintains many old maps of Mahoning County. For online access to county maps, including historical images
Naturalization Records County Clerk of Courts Title Office 345 Oak Hill Avenue Renaissance Place, Entrance A Youngstown, Ohio 44502 330-740-2111 Monday-Friday, 8:00AM-4:00PM
- Go to title department desk and ask clerk for access to metal filing cabinets in lobby near the Veterans Service Commission.
- Examine naturalization indexes to obtain volume and page number from card. (Pay attention to other details on card) Take care to maintain original order. These cards are packed in tight.
- Using scratch paper, provide the clerk with volume, page reference and name found on the card.
- Clerk will bring to desk the original docket containing the naturalization file.
- You may ask for photocopies, but in the interest of preservation you could take notes or capture with digital camera or wand scanner. Docket books and the contents are fragile.
MAHONING COUNTY COURT PROFILES
The Mahoning County Probate Court is responsible for the judicial administration of decedent’s estates, guardianships of minor children and mentally incompetent individuals, testamentary trusts, legal adoptions, mental illness cases, certain civil cases, estate tax appeals, name change petitions, marriage license applications, applications for delayed registration of birth, applications to correct a birth record, and petitions for the disinterment of a deceased body.
Clerk of Courts
The principle duty of the Mahoning County Clerk of Courts is to keep journals, records, books, and papers pertaining to the Court of Common Pleas and the Court of Appeals. The Clerk's responsibilities involve not only the filing, docketing, indexing, and preserving of all pleadings, but also with arriving at decisions regarding the procedures required by law and the issuance of writs including summons and subpoenas. The Clerk of Courts is also responsible for issuing titles for motor vehicles and watercraft. As part of this responsibility the Clerk collects the sales tax on automobiles and remits the money to the State of Ohio. In this regard, the Clerk also issues copies of titles, duplicates, notations of licenses on vehicles and watercraft and fees associated with these responsibilities.
The County Recorder is responsible for the safekeeping of every deed, mortgage, lease, mechanic’s lien, and all other types of documents dealing with ownership of land and rights to it. The most important aspect of the Mahoning County Recorder is to index the document so it may be found among multitude of other documents also on file. Accurate indexing makes it possible to establish a “chain of command” (a history of ownership) and ensures that any debts or encumbrances against the property are evident. Lawyers, historians, genealogists and land title examiners in addition utilize these invaluable records to the general public. In Ohio, it is the County Recorder who has the important and indispensable task of keeping the vital records concerning ownership in real estate (land) and to all encumbrances or liens upon it. Without the safekeeping and organizing of the Mahoning County Recorder in keeping all documents in a competent and logical manner, purchasing land would be impossible and be assured of a clear title or to lend money with land as security.
Mahoning County Microfilm Department
- Journal and Docket Books
Area Courts (Boardman, Canfield, Austintown, Sebring)
Commissioners Journals (dating as far back as 1846)
Auditor Ownership Cards
Auditor and Treasurer Tax Records
Coroners Reports (1883-2004)
*While files are available for the most part to the public, some documents may require redaction due to confidential information.
Jessy Horkey, MSLS Supervisor of Microfilm Mahoning County Commissioners
345 Oak Hill Avenue, Basement Floor Youngstown, OH 44502 330-740-2303 ext. 6801
Useful Local Contacts
Mahoning County Chapter Ohio Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 9333 Boardman, Ohio 44513-9333
Mahoning Valley Historical Society
648 Wick Avenue Youngstown, Ohio 44502 330-743-2589
Struthers Board of Health
6 Elm Street Struthers, Ohio 44471
Campbell Health Dept
351 Tenney Avenue Campbell, Ohio 44405
Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor
151 West Wood Street Youngstown, Ohio 44501
[Prepared by Tim Seman, 2022]
(1) The Vital Statistics Division of the Youngstown City Health District is responsible for: Recording all births and deaths that occur in the City of Youngstown and Mahoning County, excluding the city of Struthers. Issuing certified copies of birth and death certificates of those events that occurred in the City of Youngstown and Mahoning County, excluding the city of Struthers except for the years 1892 until 1932. Keeping on file births and deaths that occurred in the City of Youngstown and Mahoning County from 1892 until the present; Struthers 1892 until 1932.