Monday, February 20, 2017

Jefferson County, Ohio, Court Records at FamilySearch

Jefferson County Court Records, 1797-1947 at FamilySearch is a collection of browsable (and mostly unindexed) records.  Most of the early ones are handwritten, sometimes faded and light; some of the later ones are typewritten.  Below are the records available in this collection.
The 1880 Census is a volume of indexes of enumeration districts (E.D.).  Each index includes every name in alphabetical order (by first letter only) along with color, sex, and age.  There is no list or index at the beginning telling on which page to look for a particular E.D.

County Court Records
Civil Dockets 1852-1916
These are unindexed records in chronological order.  If you know an ancestor had a court case you may find a record of it in the civil dockets.  Knowing the date would be helpful.
Council Proceedings, 1823-1890
These are chronological records recording the council's discussion of physical and environmental changes and decisions for the governance of  the city of Steubenville:  bridges built or repaired; roads paved; gutters repaired or relaid; installation of street lights and water pipes; paving of sidewalks; creation of bond funds; ordinances concerning pawnbrokers, punishment of intoxicated persons, etc.; and appointments of city wardens, among other things.  Scattered throughout are the names of citizens of the city who were owed money or who were contracted for work.

Hospital Records:  County Infirmary record, 1889-1933 
At the front of this volume is a typed, alphabetical list of individuals included in the records.  This list includes name, race/sex, and (for most individuals) admit and discharge dates and birth and death dates.  Handwritten records begin at image 102.  Strangely enough, this ledger's entries span two pages with unnumbered lines.  You will need to count the lines down (or up) on each page to be sure you're looking at information for the same individual.

Land and Property Records includes three sets of records, all from the early 1900s.
        Cross Creek Township, Wayne Township and Steubenville city plat book, 1914
        Steubenville ward 4 plat book and assessment, 1910
        Wells Township district 19 plat book, 1914
There are plat maps and lists of owners with lot numbers, addition names, feet from the front and depth of lot in feet.  If you want to find information about property your an ancestor owned you will need to know the ward where the property was situated.  Otherwise, you can browse the books to see if you can find an ancestor.

Naturalization Records is a large collection with a variety of records.  Many are for the early 1900s but the range is from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s.  The records include
        Declarations of intention
        Petitions for naturalization
        Petition evidence
        Citizenship granted or denied
        Minor citizenship records

Pension Records are Mother's Pensions between 1920 and 1936.  This is a not-to-be-missed collection if you are searching for widows with children during the above dates.  Some of these records are alphabetical typed lists, others are handwritten pages in folders that include the mother's application with name and address; a list to children and their birth dates; and information about the home.  The handwritten application requires the mother's birth date; location of birth; spouse's name, marriage date, and death date of spouse; report of an investigation by a probation officer that includes the names and locations of relatives. 

Probate Records is the largest group of records in this collection.  It includes
        Account records, 12 volumes, 1807-1866
        Administrator's application and bond, 7 volumes, 1885-1913
        Assignee's Bonds, 1883-1959
        Estate files (miscellaneous), 1873-1958 (most years)
        Estate files (recovered records), 1820-1930
        Estates case, 1797-1959.  Each is numbered but I saw no index.
        Guardian's application and bond, 5 volumes, 1893-1928
        Guardian's letters, 1894-1919
        Inventory of estates, 1889-1917
        Letters of administration, 1867-1913
        Letters testamentary, 1867-1924
        Ministers' licenses, 1874-1967
        Miscellaneous estates cases, 1879-1935
        Probate final record, 1889-1919
        Probate journal, 1852-1932
        Wills, 1899-1900

Vital Records is another large collection.  As you would guess, most records are hand-written, at least until later years.  Also, most subcollections are categorized by year, then numbered within the year.  Each category of delayed births opens with a list of names with record number for that subcollection.  The record of births has an alphabetical list (by first letter only) of surnames on the first pages of the volume.
        Coroner's Reports, 1887-1896, 1917-1951
        Delayed Births, 1867-1956 (most years)
        Marriage certificates, 1813-1850
        Record of births, 1895-1906

After looking through some of the records in these collections I feel grateful again for indexing that creates easy ways for us to locate records of our ancestors and for OCR which allows us to type a name in a search box, press a button, and find information.  This collection also reminds me to be grateful for physical books with pages that can be read and turned.  Though digital and unindexed, I'm beyond grateful to have these images at my fingertips.


Copyright ©2017 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.


  1. I don't have anyone in Jefferson Co, but if I did, your analysis of the holdings would be very helpful.

    1. Thanks, Wendy. This is the kind of post I like to read about resources I'm not aware of, especially if they're for the areas where my ancestors lived.


I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

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