|Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
E-mail: Ask a Reference Question
- Main Library
- 800 Vine Street
- Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-2009
Telephone: genealogy 513-369-6905, or general 513-369-6900
Hours of the Genealogy Dept:
Mon-Wed 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Thu-Sat: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sun: 1 pm - 5 pm
Map, directions, and public transportation:
- Parking: Parking is available at metered on-street spaces and at several pay garages or surface lots within a short walking distance of the Library. The closest city garage is the Garfield Garage located on the south side of Ninth Street between Vine and Race Streets.
- Public transportation: Most Cincinnati Metro bus routes stop within 3 blocks of the Main Library. Routes 6, 14X, 15X, 17, 19, 20, 21, 23X 24, 25, and 67 stop next to the Library.
Internet sites and databases:
- Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County books-music-movies, research, programs, news, about us, services, catalog, kidspace, teenspace, and makerspace.
- Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County catalog search online by keyword, title, author, series, subject, family surname, call number, or government document number. Also available on WorldCat.
- Main Library - Genealogy and Local History Department about them, the collection, and services.
- Inland Rivers Library Covers flatboats, keelboats, steamboats, and diesel-powered vessels, including books and pamphlets about specific rivers, river transportation history, souvenir booklets on floods, directories of packets and steamboats, riverboat travel brochures, river guides, navigation charts, freight books, diaries, logbooks, scrapbooks, crew registers, passenger lists, maps, and 8,000 photos.
- Veterans History Project and database: veterans of World War I, World War II, and the Korean, Vietnamese, and Persian Gulf Wars as well as civilians who served in support of the veterans.
- Sites by Subject - Genealogy Internet links to research databases, general sites, adoption, African American, blogs, census, greater Cincinnati genealogy, immigration, international, libraries-archives-organizations, military genealogy, Native American, vital records.
A top genealogy and local history collection of early Ohio sources. This includes the Inland Rivers Library of the Ohio River and its tributaries (riverboat traffic between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Louisville, Kentucky) in Special Collections. The main genealogy collection includes local history and culture such as African Americans (slaves and freedmen), early pioneers, and 19th century police reports, complete U.S. federal census (1790–1930), passenger lists, city directories, military histories, maps, church and cemetery records. Resources from all 50 states and many foreign countries are also available.
If you cannot visit or find a source at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, a similar source may be available at one of the following.
- National Archives I, Washington DC, census, pre-WWI military service & pensions, passenger lists, naturalizations, passports, federal bounty land, homesteads, bankruptcy, ethnic sources, prisons, and federal employees. Includes Northwest Territory (Ohio) papers.
- National Archives Great Lakes Region (Chicago) old federal court and agency records for Ohio, U.S. federal censuses 1790–1940; military service and pension indexes, passenger lists, naturalizations, Ancestry.com, HeritageQuest, Fold3.
- Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana, premier periodical collection, including Ohio genealogies, local histories, databases, military, censuses, directories, and passenger lists.
- Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois, a large repository with genealogies, local histories, censuses, military, land, indexes, vital records, court, and tax records mostly from the Mississippi Valley, eastern seaboard, Canada, and the British Isles.
- Ohio History Connection, Columbus, serves as the state archives. Excellent manuscript collection for government, land, and military records. Also has biographies, genealogies, and vital records. 
- State Library of Ohio, Columbus, has good records of Ohio, and of states like Pennsylvania, New York, and the states of New England which all contributed early immigrants to Ohio.
- Columbus Metropolitan Library Internet history and genealogy, Sanborn maps, newspaper indexes, Columbus Historical Society, and images. (Genealogy section moved until Aug 2016).
- Dayton Metro Library, the Dayton Room has one of Ohio's best genealogical collections including books, periodicals, indexes, genealogies, and biographies.
- Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, a good solid genealogy collection with oral histories, state and county histories, biographies, and genealogies. Youngstown was a portal for immigrants from Pennsylvania and New England entering Ohio.
- Toledo‑Lucas County Public Library, this is the place to come if you are looking for early Ohio settlers who entered Ohio via the Great Lakes and Toledo. They have Great Lakes traffic records.
- Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, The Western Reserve was a large part of Ohio settled by Connecticut Revolutionary War refugees. This important collection includes original land records, as well as many genealogies, biographies, histories, and Bibles of Pennsylvania and New England. 
- Hamilton County Public Health birth and deaths since 1908.
- Hamilton County Clerk of the Courts, civil, and criminal cases.
- Hamilton County Coroner suspicious or unusual deaths.
- Hamilton County Recorder land records, DD-214 military discharges, veterans graves.
- Hamilton County Probate Court adoptions, birth, guardianships, mental commitments, name changes, probates and wills.
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, Cincinnati, recent civil and criminal cases.
- Cincinnati History Library and Archives books, pamphlets, maps, photos, manuscripts, films and sound recordings of Greater Cincinnati, the state of Ohio, and the Old Northwest Territory.
- Hamiliton County Genealogical Society events, records, repositories, services, queries, surnames, and publications.
- American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, manuscripts, photos, oral histories, 1000 family files, Jewish communities and immigration to the American colonies and Caribbean Islands.
- Archdiocese of Cincinnati Regional Roman Catholic records of historic value.
- National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati, more a museum (few original manuscripts) than an archives. However, it has a family history center, where patrons can view limited-access FamilySearch databases.
- Repositories in surrounding counties: Delaware, Fairfield, Licking, Madison, Pickaway, and Union.
- Ohio Genealogical Society, Bellville, has the best collection of family folders in Ohio. They also have county record guides, biographies, genealogies and unique indexes to various Ohio records.
- Bowling Green State University Jerome Library local government records, and newspapers.
- Erie Lackawanna Historical Society, Cleveland, history of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, Erie Railroad, Erie Lackawanna Railway, and related lines.
- Ohio University Alden Library, Athens, their excellent manuscript collection includes church records, and business records. They also have county histories, biographies, and newspapers. It is like a second state archives.
- Palatines to America German Genealogy Society Resource Center, Columbus, has an extensive collection of German immigrant ancestor files.
- Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, Fremont, is strong on Ohio history and genealogy, as well as Sandusky River and Great Lakes history, U.S. history and Black studies.
- University of Akron Libraries Polsky Building one of six regional centers of Ohio records such as newspapers, printed materials, and local government records.
- University of Cincinnati Blegen Library one of six regional history centers of Ohio for records such as newspapers, printed materials, and local government records.
- Wright State University Dunbar Library, Dayton, one of six regional centers of Ohio records such as newspapers, printed materials, and local government records.
- Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor one of six regional history centers of Ohio for records such as newspapers, printed materials, and local government records.
- Repositories in surrounding states: Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia; and in Canada: Ontario.
- Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, millions of books, newspapers, periodicals, and photos about genealogy and family history, biographies, censuses, citizenship, immigration to and from Ohio and the USA, settlement, births, marriages, deaths, and divorces.