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About Land Entry Records in Ohio for Family Historians

Excerpts from "Digging Into Ohio's Early Land Records," by Thomas Aquinas Burke in Preview, Ohio Historical Society, Vol. 4 No. 2, Spring 1995.

In the fall of 1994, a significant number of land office records held for many years by the Ohio Auditor of State were transferred to the OHS A/L. These historical records -- the oldest dating from the late eighteenth century -- include plats, survey notes, tract and entry books documenting the original subdivision of the Ohio Country. Also included are Virginia Military District entries and surveys, and various card indexes.

Available at OHS

  • Tract and Entry Books
    • Especially useful to family historians
    • Arranged by original survey, range, township, and section
    • List the names of entrymen (those applying for the purchase of land)
    • Date of their entry or application for purchase
    • Number of acres included in their purchase
    • Most original entry records predate the year 1855

  • Survey Notes and Maps
    • In general, of limited use to genealogists
    • Useful for researchers who wish to learn more about the natural environment of the state at the time its first settlements were established.

  • Tract and Entry Books from some Ohio federal land offices

  • Card Index to federal land entries by surname

  • Federal Entry information generally predates tax duplicate information by five years, from 1802-1849

Guidelines for offsite reference and vital records requests, see

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