Genealogy and Local History
The Genealogy and Local History Center, temporarily located at the Struthers Library during the Main Library’s renovation, 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. At Struthers, you will find:
- Youngstown City Directories, print and microfilm
- Microfilm: Vindicator, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, older local newspapers
- Youngstown Vertical Files of local clippings and articles
- Items cataloged as Ohio Reference (OR) and non-local History Reference (HR)
- Scan Pro machines for viewing microfilm and microfiche
In addition, there are some OR and HR materials at the Brownlee Woods library which show in the catalog as location of either Brownlee-Special Collection or Brownlee-Reference:
- Duplicate genealogy and local history items
- A few sets which did not fit at Struthers, such as: Soldier and Casualty Rosters from the American Revolution through the Korean War
Genealogy is the hottest hobby out there right now, and we took some time with Tim Seman, our Genealogy and Local History Librarian to find out why. He has advice for everyone at all levels in their Genealogy research and a few interesting stories to tell. You can contact Tim at email@example.com. #PLYMC
Youngstown Sheet and Tube Bulletin
The Youngstown Sheet and Tube Bulletin collection covers August 1919 through 1977.
The Youngstown Sheet and Tube Bulletin was a monthly employee newsletter published by the company, beginning August 1919, and continuing through 1977. Issues included gossip and social news, along with photographs of babies, engagements, vacations and employee sporting events, departmental news, articles on safety in the plant and explanations of the various mill operations.
Company housing, provided through the Buckeye Land Company, a YS&T subsidiary, was advertised in the Bulletin beginning in the 1920s. By the 1950s the content had shifted away from the employee focus, to become increasingly more company and management oriented.
New! In Search of Mahoning County’s “Gretna Green”
When a couple seeks to marry where there are fewer marriage restrictions, the journey’s destination is often called a “Gretna Green,” which is the name of the original Scottish border town where 18th century English couples found a haven. For Ohioans, West Virginia has long been the jurisdiction for so-called “runaway marriages.” New Cumberland, the county seat of the northern-most Hancock County, was a convenient location for Youngstown residents.
So, if you are unable to find a marriage record in Mahoning County’s Probate Court, then search online for digital records of West Virginia Vital Statistics. Provided by the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, this database offers birth, death and marriage records for most West Virginia counties over many years. Hancock County alone enjoys marriage records from 1854 – 1873, and then from 1880 – 1971. Congratulations and Best Wishes!
New Links! Many of us have a keystone connection, in that our ancestors lived in Pennsylvania before coming to the Mahoning Valley. Explore the resources and services available from nearby agencies in Western Pennsylvania.
New Research Tool! 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. Of note is your ability to actually search the Youngstown Vindicator and other newspapers to find articles about your family, yourself, and your community!
What problem are you trying to solve?
Genealogy Classes & Programs
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 | DNA and Genealogy | Genealogical Researchers | Genealogy Center Policies | Genealogy FAQ | Genealogy Online Resources | Immigration | Local Genealogical & Historical Organizations | Military | Newspaper Indexes | Vital Records
Click 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) – Access from home March-December 31, 2020
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. During the Coronavirus crisis, ProQuest is allowing home access now through December 31, 2020.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Provides a wide range of Jewish genealogy resources including databases, family finder, 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. 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. Searching and Browsing the Google News Archive provides helpful instructions for using this resource. New! The Vindicator Archives
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.
Railroad Retirement Board Pension Records
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! Examine an actual record here.
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
A searchable interface for locating historical maps of communities in Ohio from 1882 through 1962.
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
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.
Genetic Genealogy Standards (website)
This document is intended to provide standards and best practices for the genealogical
community to follow when purchasing, recommending, sharing, or writing about the results of
DNA testing for ancestry.
International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) (website)
Advocates for and educates about the use of genetics as a tool for genealogical research while promoting a supportive network for genetic genealogists. Provides comparison charts to evaluate commercial testing providers.
U.S. National Library of Medicine – Genetics Home Reference (website)
Provides detailed answers to questions concerning direct-to-consumer genetic testing.
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.
Digital Collection at Youngstown State University
The Archives and Special Collections provides access to digital collections online through the Digital Maag website. The bulk of this material relates to the history of YSU, including the following collections:
- Center for Working Class Studies
- Jambar Newspaper Archives
- Rose Melnick Medical Museum
- Steel Valley Voices: An Ethnic Community Archive
- University Archives
- University Special Collections
William F. Maag Library at Youngstown State University
Maag Library enjoys an extensive Oral History Digital Collection
Mahoning Valley Historical Society
Explore the extensive archival and reference collections.
Tales of the Mahoning and Shenango Valley
Listen to recordings of the broadcasts created by the Industrial Information Institute and originally aired over the radio in the 1950s!
Western Reserve Historical Society
Founded 1867 in Cleveland, the Western Reserve Historical Society is the oldest cultural institution in Northeast Ohio. Collection focus is on the history of the Western Reserve. The Society preserves and curates a vast cultural collection, including archives and manuscripts.
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 II.
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.
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.
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.
Chronicling America (website)
Chronicling America is a website providing access to information about historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages, and is produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program and the Library of Congress. It provides an Internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers with descriptive information and select digitization of historic pages.
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.
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. Searching and Browsing the Google News Archive provides helpful instructions for using this resource. New! The Vindicator Archives
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 Digital Collection (website)
A service of Salem Public Library, browse images of the newspaper from 1905 to 2002.
Salem News Obituary Index (website)
Also a service of Salem Public Library, 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.
Youngstown Vindy Archives (website)
Provides access to the online Vindicator articles: deaths/tributes 2009-August 2019 and news from 2001-August 2019. Also links to browsing the digitized Vindicator in Google’s Newspaper Archive. Browsing Youngstown Vindicator in Google Newspaper Archive provides helpful instructions.
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:
The Ohio Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics has online information regarding the process for obtaining adoption records. Specific questions concerning this research on a local level should be directed to staff at the Mahoning County Probate Court:
Mahoning County Courthouse, 1st Floor
120 Market Street
Youngstown, Ohio 44503
County Clerk of Courts Title Office
345 Oak Hill Avenue
Renaissance Place, Entrance A
Youngstown, Ohio 44502
• 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 and page reference found on the card.
• Clerk will bring to desk the original docket containing the naturalization file. It normally contains two parts:
1) The Certificate of Arrival
2) The Petition/Citizenship Authorization
You may ask for photocopies, but in the interest of preservation you could take notes or capture
with digital camera. Docket books and the contents are fragile.
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Main Library in Oakland houses the famed Pennsylvania Department, where subject specialists are on hand to answer questions, provide research guidance, and assist in recommending and finding materials. Staff answer reference requests my mail and email.
Catholic Cemeteries Association of the Diocese of Pittsburgh
Search burial records and contact the Parish Cemetery Services office for further assistance.
Community Library of the Shenango Valley
Home of the Mercer County Genealogical Society, the library maintains various resources, including microfilm of the Sharon Herald newspaper from the 1870s to today.
Lawrence County Historical Society
The Society maintains a library located in the Medure Annex Building at the Lawrence County Historical Society. The library houses many research materials and features Lawrence County will books, immigration records, cemetery records, marriage records, military records, deeds, county history, maps of the county from 1885-1931, city directories, yearbooks from local schools, and reference works.
Mercer County Historical Society
The Mercer County Historical Society maintains a museum, library, and archives. They offer living history programs, an oral history project, and a publications program.
New Castle Public Library
Located on the second floor of the New Castle Public Library, the collection in the History Room includes family histories, standard reference works, county histories of Pennsylvania, and other genealogical material. The collection is especially strong in Pennsylvania census records and local family histories. The Genealogy staff will undertake limited research or facilitate requests for obituaries by mail for a fee. The library offers a marriage/obituary database to locate citations for articles within the New Castle News newspaper and other local newspapers for the period 1880 – present. Digital collections include a substantial offering of New Castle Directories for most years from 1872 – 1928.
|Austintown Historical Society|
3797 S Raccoon Rd.
Youngstown, OH 44515
Contact: Joyce Pogany
|Beaver Township Historical Society|
(located in former South Range High School)
11836 South Ave.
North Lima, OH 44452
Contact: Scott Conway
|Berlin Center Historical Society|
15791 W Akron-Canfield Rd.
Berlin Center, OH 44401
|Boardman Historical Society|
P.O. Box 3134
Youngstown, OH 44513
|Campbell Historical Society|
211 Struthers Liberty Rd.
Campbell, OH 44405
Contact: Florence Galida
|Canfield Fairground Western Reserve Village|
P.O. Box 250
Canfield, OH 44406
|Canfield Historical Society|
PO Box 3
Canfield, OH 44406
|Idora Park Institute|
527 Oak Ridge Dr.
Youngstown, OH 44512
Contact: Richard Scarsella
|Lake Milton Historical Society|
P.O. Box 592
Lake Milton, OH 44429
980 Canfield Rd.
Youngstown, OH 44511
|Loghurst Historical Log Home|
P.O. Box 680
3967 Boardman-Canfield Rd
Canfield, OH 44406
|McGuffey Historical Society|
P.O. Box 9561
Youngstown, OH 44512
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
|Mahoning Valley Historical Society|
Tyler History Center
325 West Federal St.
Youngstown, OH 44503
|North Jackson Historical Society|
P.O. Box 104
North Jackson, OH 44451
|Poland Historical Society|
P.O. Box 5052
Poland, OH 44514
Contact: Laurie Fox, President
|Sebring Historical Society|
P.O. Box 127
Sebring, OH 44672
|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
|Struthers Historical Society|
50 Terrace St.
Struthers, OH 44471
Contact: Marian Kutlesa
|Western Reserve Historical Society|
10825 East Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio 44106
|Youngstown City Health District|
Oak Hill Renaissance Place
345 Oak Hill Avenue, Suite 200
Youngstown, Ohio 44502
FAX – (330) 743-3960
|Youngstown Historical Center of Industry & Labor|
P.O. Box 533
151 Wood St.
Youngstown, OH 44501
PLEASE NOTE: The individuals listed below are provided for your information only. Inclusion on this list does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation.
646 N. Main St. Poland, Ohio 44514
Fee charged. Specializes in adoption research.
Georgene Morgan Fry
286 North Idlewood, Austintown, Ohio 44515
Fee charged. Will research courthouse, city hall and Library records.
Fee charged. Finds local, state, federal, and international records. Specializes in Slovak research.
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.
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 (Temporarily Suspended)
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.
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 Struthers Library (temporary location). 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 scanning of books and documents available?
Yes! At this time we do offer a flatbed scanner in the Genealogy and Local History Center at the Struthers Library (temporary location). Please see a staff member.