Libraries

Genealogy Research

This information has been compiled to better serve our genealogy and local history patrons. Below are the policies and frequently asked questions that are most relevant for those doing family and local history research. Please contact the Archives & Rare Books Library if you have any questions or require further information.

Genealogical Records Request Form  - Please download and print the the Genealogy Records Request Form and mail it to the Archives and Rare Books Library to request copies from the three major collections of genealogical research interest listed below.

We have three major collections of interest to genealogical research:

In addition, the Archives and Rare Books Library holds a number of local government records. A list of some of the collections is available on the Local Government Records Finding Aids page.  

Note: The records of Highland County Ohio have been returned to that county. Inquiries regarding those records should be directed to Highland County Government Offices or to the Ohio Historical Society.

Important FAQs

You may contact the library via email, regular mail service, or phone, for a variety of general reference questions. However, we do not answer genealogical questions by email or phone. You must still send genealogical requests to the library using regular mail service and the genealogical records request form

Our contact information:
Email: archives@ucmail.uc.edu
Mail:  Archives & Rare Books Library
          University of Cincinnati
          PO Box 210113
          Cincinnati, OH 45221-0113
Phone: 513-556-1959

Yes. Because of limited staffing and offsite storage of materials, appointments are required, particularly if you are traveling a distance or intend to conduct extensive research.  Please contact us in advance of your visit as some materials are located in remote storage centers, requiring 1 to 2 weeks to retrieve.  Please call (513) 556-1959 to schedule an appointment.

No. We will provide records from the three specific record sets of genealogical interest:  the Cincinnati Birth and Death records, the Hamilton County (Ohio) wills, and the Hamilton County (Ohio) Naturalization records. However, we do not conduct general genealogical research. We offer a mail records request service for those patrons unable to visit our facility. Print, complete, and mail the genealogical records request form to the address listed on the form. We do NOT accept genealogical requests via email or phone, though you can contact us in those ways for more information about making a request.

If you wish research to be conducted in collections beyond those available through our mail service but you cannot visit personally, we recommend consulting the Hamilton County Genealogical Society for a list of professional researchers.

Yes. We have birth records for the City of Cincinnati covering 1874-1908 and death records for the City of Cincinnati covering 1865-1908. These records have been digitized and are now available online.

Births and deaths inside the City of Cincinnati corporation limit after 1908 may be obtained by contacting the Cincinnati Health Department:

Vital Statistics Office
1525 Elm Street, 4th Floor, West
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: (513) 352-3120
Fax: (513) 352-1420
https://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/health/birth-death-certificates/

Births and deaths before 1909 in Hamilton County but outside the City of Cincinnati may be obtained through the Hamilton County Probate Court. These records have been digitized and are freely available online at https://www.probatect.org/court-records/archive-categories

Brths and deaths after 1908 in Hamilton County may also be obtained by contacting the Ohio Department of Health:

Ohio Dept. of Health, Vital Statistics
Phone: (614) 466-2531
https://www.odh.ohio.gov/vs

Before the State of Ohio assumed responsibility for recording births and deaths in late 1908, there was no requirement for recording such events. We find that about fifty percent of these events were actually recorded. The absence of a record in this collection does not necessarily mean that the event did not happen here. To document these events, you can try searching for church records as described in the next question.

Make sure that the area you are interested in is indeed within the city limits. Due to annexations, the boundaries of Cincinnati changed many times through the years. A Cincinnati neighborhood map is available here [original link path: https://libraries.uc.edu/content/dam/libraries/arb/images/urban-studies/maps/cincinnati-neighborhoods.pdf] and a map showing annexation dates up to 1944 is available here [original link path: https://libraries.uc.edu/content/dam/libraries/arb/images/urban-studies/maps/map-cincinnati-annexations-1944.jpg]. St. Bernard and Norwood are within the border of the City of Cincinnati but were never annexed into the city and maintained their own records.

The City of Cincinnati did not keep death records before 1865 or birth records before 1874. For events before these dates church records or cemetery records are a good source. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County's Genealogy and Local History Department has some published indexes for baptisms and burials that may be helpful. Two major Cincinnati cemeteries have their records available online, Spring Grove and Walnut Hills. You can also check our will index [original link path: arb/collections/local-government/will-index.html], which goes back to 1791, for death information.

Genealogy volunteers created this list of medical terms explaining what the late 19th century medical terms mean and how these translate into modern language usage.

We have Declarations of Intention for Hamilton County Ohio covering 1837-1916. A transcription and an index are available online: Hamilton County Ohio Citizenship Records, 1837-1916 [insert link to citizenship records page]. The original records cannot be photocopied, however you can visit the Library and take non-flash photographs of the records. The transcriptions contain the complete information from the original records.

We have wills for Hamilton County covering 1791-1901. An index is available. Our records include the will and may include some probate documents. However, we do not hold the estate or administration papers for these wills. The Hamilton County Probate Court has estates freely available online at https://www.probatect.org/court-records/archive-categories

The following collections are available online:

Yearbooks - The Cincinnatian yearbook was published annually by the students of the University of Cincinnati from 1894 through 1972, with the exception of 1906, and sporadically since 1972. It is available online at: http://digital.libraries.uc.edu/collections/cincinnatian/

Student Newspaper - The News Record student newspaper is available online for the years from 1960-1980 at http://digital.libraries.uc.edu/collections/newsrecord/. Years before 1960 and after 1980 are available in hard copy in the Archives and Rare Books Library.

Commencement Programs - UC commencement programs are available online from 1878-1973 at http://digital.libraries.uc.edu/collections/commencement/. More recent commencement programs are available in hard copy at the Archives and Rare Books Library.

Alumni directories and student directories are available by visiting the Library.

The Archives and Rare Books Library does not have student academic records. These are still maintained at the Registrar's Office. Release of historic student records is done at the discretion of the University Registrar. Contact information can be found on the Registrar's web page.

No. You should contact the Hamilton County Probate Court Records office, which has microfilm of all marriage records. Phone: (513) 946-3551. The Probate Court has digitized many of its marriage records and has made them freely available online at https://www.probatect.org/court-records/archive-categories

No. Census records are available at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County's Genealogy and Local History Department.

Complete the Genealogical Records Request Form and remit a check or money order for $10.00, payable to the University of Cincinnati, along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Response time is typically 2-3 weeks. The $10.00 fee is the minimum amount we assess and will cover 1-40 pages of photocopies. For more than 40 pages, you will be billed for the additional amount when we send your documents. You may also visit the department in person and obtain copies for 25 cents/page.