Genealogy and Local History

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Railroad iconResource Highlights

Did your ancestor work on a railroad?

Explore the pension records of the Railroad Retirement Board.

Information in these records includes: birth, death, and marriage dates; copies of death certificates; maiden names of female ancestors; names of parents; birthplaces; previous work history; hand signatures, and more!

Information in these records includes: birth, death, and marriage dates; copies of death certificates; maiden names of female ancestors; names of parents; birthplaces; previous work history; hand signatures, and more!  Examine an actual record here.


             Influenza Quarantine Sign                                                

Remembering the Influenza Pandemic of 1918

As World War One came to an end, the world faced the difficult challenge of coping with the destructive force of one of the most violent outbreaks of influenza ever known.  In October 1918 alone, approximately 195,000 Americans died during this most violent month.  Death on this scale impacted the war effort, our communities, and resonates today with consequences for genealogical research.

This fall we observe this major historical event with the program, Public Health & Genealogy: The Influenza Epidemic in the Mahoning Valley.

There are excellent online resources to explore as well:

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has a timeline to examine.

The Smithsonian Institution has an excellent overview.

Check back here for more information as we approach the anniversary of this significant public health disaster.


The Genealogy and Local History Center, located in the Information Services Department at Main Library, maintains an extensive collection of genealogical and historical material. Our collection emphasizes the Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana areas, but we also collect genealogical material from other locations. See our Genealogy Center Policies for more information »

What problem are you trying to solve?
Genealogy Book-A-Librarian – Genealogy Tutorials

• Meet face-to-face with the Genealogy and Local History Librarian
• Receive a comprehensive demonstration of available resources
• Learn about and sign up for genealogy programs

To schedule an appointment, simply call 330.744.8636 or email Tim Seman – Genealogy & Local History Librarian

Genealogy Classes & Programs

View the current
Genealogy Schedule »

 

There are many resources that provide information about your kin.  The following lists contain free websites, as well as databases you can explore with your library card.  Whether you are in the library or beyond, check out these tools to acquire the kinformation you need!

Burials/Cemeteries | Genealogical Researchers | Genealogy Center Policies | Genealogy FAQ | Genealogy Online Resources | Immigration | Local Genealogical & Historical Organizations | Newspaper Indexes | Vital Records


Genealogy Online Resources

Niche Academy iconClick this icon next to the title to see an Online Tutorial for using the database

African American Heritage (ProQuest)
Genealogy database devoted to African American family history research.

AfriGeneas African Ancestored Genealogy (website)
Site for African-American genealogy research and community.

Ancestry Library (ProQuest) – In Library Access Only Niche Academy icon
The ultimate of genealogy resources, offering access to all available U.S. census images and indexes, the American Genealogical Biographical Index, military records, international records, and more.

BLM General Land Grant Office Records (website)
Search federal land titles, conveyances, and patents for Public Land states–held by the Bureau of Land Management.

Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet (website)
For more than a decade, this site has provided links to nearly every genealogical source there is.

FamilySearch (website)
A genealogy service provided by the LDS, coverage is international in scope, with records from all U.S. states and many countries around the world.  Use of this resource requires free registration, whereby each researcher sets up their own account.  FamilySearch has a wiki that serves as on online genealogy encyclopedia, offering articles and audiovisual tutorials.

Fold3 (ProQuest)Niche Academy icon
Combining original historical documents with social networking to create a truly unique experience involving the stories of our past, this database features documents, historical newspapers, naturalization information and much more.

HeritageQuest (ProQuest)
A growing collection of research materials for tracing family history and American culture that combines digital, searchable images of U.S. federal census records with the digitized version of the popular UMI® Genealogy and Local History collection.

JewishGen (website)
Provides a wide range of Jewish genealogy resources including databases, familyfinder, articles, societies, projects and discussion groups.

Mahoning County Chapter, OGS (website)
Local chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society.

MyHeritage Library Edition (EBSCO)
MyHeritage is one of the largest, most internationally diverse genealogy databases of its kind in the world. It includes billions of historical documents from more than 48 countries, millions of historical photos, public records, indexes and additional resources.

National Archives & Record Administration – Access to Archival Databases (AAD) (website)
You will find in the Access to Archival Databases (AAD) resource online access to records in a small selection of historic databases preserved permanently in NARA.

Ohio Death Certificate Index (website)
An online index to death certificates of persons who died in Ohio between 1913 and 1944.

Online Searchable Death Indexes, Records & Obituaries (website)
This website is a directory of links to websites with online death indexes, listed by state and county.

Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
A searchable interface for locating historical maps of communities in Ohio from 1882 through 1962.

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Burials/Cemeteries

Catholic Cemeteries Association of the Diocese of Pittsburgh (website)
Search burial records and contact the Parish Cemetery Services office for further assistance.

Find a Grave (website)
Over 170 million grave records, including famous people

Interment.Net (website)
Online transcriptions of cemetery inscriptions from all corners of the world.

Poland Township Cemeteries (website)
A site provided by Poland Township that identifies Poland Center Cemetery and Lowellville Cemetery.  Burials are searchable.

Tod Homestead Cemetery Grave Search (website)
This searchable index for locating burials is offered by Tod Homestead Cemetery, 2200 Belmont Avenue, Youngstown.

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Immigration

CastleGarden.org (website)
Free access to a database of over 10 million immigrants from 1830-1892.

Ellis Island Online (website)
Research passenger records from ships that brought immigrants to Ellis Island from 1892 through 1924.

U.S. Ports of Arrival and Their Available Passenger Lists 1820-1957 (website)
While not comprehensive, this is an extensive list of links to ports and passenger lists organized by states, and includes crossings from Canada and Mexico.

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Military

The following websites provide information regarding personnel records, unit histories, letters/diaries/oral histories, prisoners of war, aircraft crash incidents, military burials, and World War Two.

National Archives
Request service records electronically or by mail.

Individual Deceased Personnel Files
Explore the process of requesting IDPFs.

National Archives Catalog
Search the NARA for all manner of records, many are digitized.

U.S. Army Center of Military History
Obtain and read over 600 publications authored by scholars who use primary source materials to write incredibly detailed accounts.  This is an essential resource for acquiring text from, and references to, military unit histories.

Chapman University: Center for American War Letters Archive
This is a unique and extensive manuscript collection of previously unpublished war letters from every American conflict, beginning with handwritten missives composed during the Revolutionary War and continuing up to emails sent from Iraq and Afghanistan. These personal war-related correspondences are a vital record of the collective memory of the American people, as witnessed and articulated by service members, veterans, and their loved ones, who experienced these wars firsthand.

Library of Congress: Veterans History Project/Oral Histories
The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.

Library of Congress: Veterans History Project/Prisoners of War
Select “prisoner of war” as a search criterion and examine the personal accounts of former POW.  These narratives are unique and important components of any military genealogy.

Pegasus Archive: Prisoners of War
This is a site about the experiences of Prisoners of War, of any nationality, during World War Two.

Aviation Archaeology
This database is for USAAF/USAF accident reports from 1918 to 1955.  Search the database using pilot name or other details and request copies of crash reports.

American Battle Monuments Commission
The American Battle Monuments Commission, established by the Congress in 1923, is an agency of the executive branch of the federal government.  The ABMC—guardian of America’s overseas commemorative cemeteries and memorials—honors the service, achievements and sacrifice of U.S. Armed Forces.  Search the database to find the location of burial and discover details of military service.

Find a Grave
This well-known, global database provides burial information for U.S. Military cemeteries abroad.  In cooperation with the ABMC, photos of individual graves are being added to Find a Grave.  Thus far, this is the only source online that offers images of ABMC grave markers.

National World War Two Museum
Designated by Congress as the official WWII museum of the United States, the National WWII Museum is located in downtown New Orleans on a six-acre campus.  Offering both sweeping narrative and poignant personal detail, the museum features immersive exhibits, multimedia experiences, and an expansive collection of artifacts and first-person oral histories.  Beyond the galleries, the Museum’s online collections, virtual field trips, webinars, educational travel programs, and renowned International Conference on World War II offer patrons new ways to connect to history and honor the generation that sacrificed so much to secure our freedom.

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Newspaper Indexes – Deaths, Marriages, Obituaries

Akron Beacon Journal Obituary Indices (website)
Obituary indices from 1937 to present, citations only, are made available by the staff of the Akron-Summit County Public Library. Contact that library to obtain copies.

Alliance Review (website)
Search here for Alliance obituary, marriage and newspaper articles, brought to you by the Rodman Public Library.

Cleveland Death Notices, Obituaries, and Death Certificates (website)
Find here links to locate death notices or obituaries from 1830 to the present.

Digital Archives of the Lepper Public Library [Lisbon, Columbiana County] (website)
Search various newspaper collections and high school yearbooks.

Hubbard Obituary Listing (website)
Search here for obituaries located in local Hubbard newspapers.

MyHeritage Library Edition (EBSCO)
This resource includes all the newspapers digitized in the Google Newspaper Archives. When you choose the Newspapers category, you can do a keyword search using the Name and Publication place fields. Note that while the Youngstown Vindicator from 1869-2009 is included, there are many poorly digitized and completely missing issues which will not be found in search results.

New Castle Marriage/Obituary Database (website)
Search here for marriage notices and obituaries in the New Castle News.

Niles Newspapers (website)
Full-text, searchable access to Niles newspapers from 1908-2011.

Obituary, Death and Marriage Index for Ohio Counties (website)
Growing index to 800,000+ obituaries, death and marriage notices, and other information published in newspapers in 36 Ohio counties. Information is submitted by libraries from across Ohio and is maintained by the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center.

Packard Cablegram (website)
An internal news publication of the Packard Electric Division of the General Motors Corporation. It is searchable, and may include information about workers, their families, family history (births, marriages, and deaths), and social events.  The Packard Cablegram was produced from 1927-1991  This resource provides scanned images of issues from 1946-1991.

Salem News Obituary Index (website)
Search here for obituaries in the Salem News from 1943 onward.

Warren Tribune Chronicle Obituary Index (website)
Static as well as searchable indices for selected years are provided by the Local History & Genealogy Department at Warren-Trumbull County Public Library.

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Vital Records

Mahoning County was formed in 1846 by combining Austintown, Berlin, Boardman, Canfield, Coitsville, Ellsworth, Jackson, Milton, Poland and Youngstown townships from Trumbull County, and Beaver, Green, Goshen, Smith and Springfield townships from Columbiana County.

For vital records contact information, select from a county below:

Mahoning

Columbiana

Trumbull

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Local Genealogical & Historical Organizations

Austintown Historical Society
3797 S Raccoon Rd.
Youngstown, OH 44515
(330) 792-1129
Contact: Joyce Pogany
Beaver Township Historical Society
(located in former South Range High School)
11836 South Ave.
North Lima, OH 44452
(330) 549-9552
Contact: Scott Conway
Berlin Center Historical Society
15791 W Akron-Canfield Rd.
Berlin Center, OH 44401
(330) 547-2929
Boardman Historical Society
P.O. Box 3134
Youngstown, OH 44513
Campbell Historical Society
211 Struthers Liberty Rd.
Campbell, OH 44405
(330) 755-4496
Contact: Florence Galida
Canfield Fairground Western Reserve Village
P.O. Box 250
Canfield, OH 44406
(330) 533-4107
Canfield Historical Society
PO Box 3
Canfield, OH  44406
(330) 533-3458
Idora Park Institute
527 Oak Ridge Dr.
Youngstown, OH 44512
(330) 726-8277
Contact: Richard Scarsella
Lake Milton Historical Society
P.O. Box 592
Lake Milton, OH  44429
Lanterman’s Mill
980 Canfield Rd.
Youngstown, OH 44511
(330) 740-7115
Loghurst Historical Log Home
P.O. Box 680
3967 Boardman-Canfield Rd
Canfield, OH 44406
(330) 533-4330
McGuffey Historical Society
P.O. Box 9561
Youngstown, OH 44512
(330) 726-8277
Contact: Richard Scarsella
Mahoning County Chapter of the
Ohio Genealogical Society
PO Box 9333
Youngstown, OH 44513
Mahoning Valley Historical Society 
Arms Family Museum
648 Wick Ave.
Youngstown, OH 44502
(330) 743-2589
Mahoning Valley Historical Society
Tyler History Center
325 West Federal St.
Youngstown, OH 44503
(330) 743-2589
North Jackson Historical Society
P.O. Box 104
North Jackson, OH  44451
(330) 654-2777
Poland Township Historical Society
2894 Algonquin Dr.
Youngstown, OH  44514
(330) 707-0692
Contact: Joan Madej
Sebring Historical Society
P.O. Box 127
Sebring, OH  44672
(330) 938-2261
Sebring Railroad Museum & Historical Society
216 E Penn Ave.
Sebring, OH 44672
Springfield Township Historical Society
P.O. Box 187
14188 Youngstown-Pittsburgh Rd.
Petersburg, OH 44454
(330) 366-0203
Struthers Historical Society
50 Terrace St.
Struthers, OH 44471
(330) 755-7189
Contact: Marian Kutlesa
Western Reserve Historical Society
10825 East Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
(216) 721-5722
Youngstown City Health District
Oak Hill Renaissance Place
345 Oak Hill Avenue, Suite 200
Youngstown, Ohio 44502
(330) 743-3333
FAX – (330) 743-3960
Youngstown Historical Center of Industry & Labor
P.O. Box 533
151 Wood St.
Youngstown, OH 44501
1-800-262-6137

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Genealogical Researchers

PLEASE NOTE: The individuals listed below are provided for your information only. Inclusion on this list does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation.

Kristin Bodendorfer
646 N. Main St. Poland, Ohio 44514
330-953-0068
jklaa@aol.com
Fee charged. Specializes in adoption research.

Georgene Morgan Fry
286 North Idlewood, Austintown, Ohio 44515
gmorfry56@yahoo.com
Fee charged. Will research courthouse, city hall and Library records.

Dan Kuzma
330-502-3345
danieljkuzma@gmail.com
Fee charged.  Finds local, state, federal, and international records.  Specializes in Slovak research.

Ohio Researchers
https://www.ohiohistory.org/learn/archives-library/archiveslibrary-services/research-for-hire

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Genealogy Center Policies

The Library provides assistance with genealogy research.  Librarians assist customers in the use of basic genealogical sources such as local files and print materials, indexes, databases, etc. Searching of the catalog, online sources, local biographical sources and indexes to the major local histories will be done by staff as time permits. Customers who require materials not available in the library’s collection or databases may be referred to the genealogy and local history librarian, local genealogical organizations and researchers.

Renting Microfilm 

Please Note: On September 1, 2017, FamilySearch discontinued its microfilm distribution services.  The change is the result of significant progress in FamilySearch’s microfilm digitization efforts. Digital imaging has made it easier to find ancestors through the internet, mobile, and other technologies.  Researchers are directed to www.familysearch.org to establish a personal username and password account for access to online digitized microfilm.

For patrons who call, write or email us, we are able to check the following sources:

* Henry R. Baldwin Records, an index of Northeastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania cemetery inscriptions dated 1867-1918. (We will check the name indexes.)
* Indexes of local history books.
* Youngstown City Directories from 1869 to the present. (We will check three volumes per request.)
* Youngstown Telephone Directories from 1915 to the present. (We will check three volumes per request.)
* Youngstown Vindicator indexes: 1869-1919 (incomplete); 1921-1930; 1933-1938; 2001-present.
* Obituary and birth announcement research is limited for pre-1920 newspapers. Searching the microfilm for these items before 1920 involves time-consuming research outside the parameters of our service policy unless an indexing source can be used. We set a limit of five obituaries, death notices or birth announcements per request, and we will check no more than five days from a known birth or death date, unless circumstances related to the events direct otherwise.

Volunteers
Volunteers from the Ohio Genealogical Society, Mahoning Chapter are available on Thursday afternoons from 1-4 p.m. in the Genealogy and Local History Center at Main Library. Patrons requiring more extensive research, advice, or instruction may be referred to the genealogy and local history librarian or to local genealogical organizations and researchers.

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Genealogy FAQ

Will the library find all the members of my extended family?

No, we can assist you in locating sources and advise you what type of records to search, but you must do your own work or hire a genealogist.

When I request that information be sent by mail or email, is there a charge for copies of obituaries and other newspaper articles, city directory pages, etc.?

There is $1.00 per image fee for a printed copy mailed to your home, but there is no charge for images scanned and sent by e-mail.  Please note: Advance payment is not required for printed images. An invoice will be sent along with the requested information and should be returned with your payment. We cannot return advance payments or self-addressed stamped envelopes in the event that information is not found, so please wait for the results of your search and the total amount due before sending payment.

Is self-service printing and scanning from microform available?

Yes!  Self-serve printing and scanning stations for microfilm and microfiche are available in the Genealogy and Local History Center at the Main Library. You can capture scanned images from microfilm and microfiche and secure the information by sending it to the printer or by saving it to your flash drive. And yes, you can even email the images to yourself!  There is no fee for self-service scanning.  Print fees of $0.10 per 8 1/2 x 11 page or $0.25 per 11 x 17 page still apply should you wish to produce a paper copy of what you scanned.

If you do not wish to make digital images by scanning, you can still produce paper copies at $0.10 per page by using the standard equipment.

Is self-service scanning of books and documents available?

Yes! At this time we do offer a public flatbed scanner in the Genealogy and Local History Center at the Main Library.  You can scan images from books and documents.  The captured images may then be saved to a flash drive, Google Drive, or a smartphone/tablet or emailed to yourself.  There is no fee for these uses of the scanner.  Plus, you can scan images and send them to be printed; black-and-white copies are $0.10 per page and color copies are $0.25 per page.  This public scanner station is also a public fax station, and faxing costs $1.00 per page (cash only).

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