Union County Births, 1867-1908
(17,493 records)
(Updated: April 22 2015)

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Birth Records (1867-1908)

These records contain the child’s full name, date of birth, place of birth (city/township/county/state), gender, race, and their parents’ names. It also notes the volume and page of corrected birth information, which can be found more fully in the Birth Registration & Corrections Index. The index begins with the first birth recorded on July 1, 1867, and ends with the last birth recorded on December 31, 1908. The earliest records from 1867 and 1868 usually do not list the name of the person being born and also do not list the maiden name of the mother, while subsequent years are more consistent in documenting such information. It should be noted that the terms “babe,” “baby”, “infant,” “not named” and “unnamed” have been standardized to “Not Named”. The original records can be found at the Union County Probate Court. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Marysville Public Library, Ohio Historical Society, or through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Birth records from 1909 to present can be found at the Union County Health Department.

Union County birth records from 1867 to 1908 were originally recorded in a four volume set. The records from 1867 to 1885 are arranged chronologically by year and alphabetically by township. The surnames are then organized alphabetically in the township subset. Records from 1886 to 1908 are arranged alphabetically by recording year. These records document the births occurring in Union County and the births of individuals whose parents reside in Union County, hence birth records for individuals born outside Union County and outside the State of Ohio. These records originate from the probate court and are maintained through that office. Probate courts existed in the Northwest Territory prior to Ohio’s statehood. They had authority in probate, testamentary, and guardianship cases, although the probate judge and two common pleas court judges issued all final judgments. In 1802, Ohio’s first constitution abolished separate probate courts and transferred their authority to the common pleas courts. Separate probate courts reappeared in 1851, when Ohio drafted a new constitution. This gave the probate court the power to grant marriage licenses and control land sales by appointed executors, administrators, and guardians along with powers in probate, testamentary, guardianship, adoption, mental illness, and naturalization. Authorities the court still maintains today, except in regards to naturalization, which power was transferred to the federal government in 1906.

On March 18, 1867, the Ohio General Assembly passed an act “to provide for the registry of births and deaths” in the State of Ohio to take effect July 1, 1867. The law mandated that probate judges “shall keep a record of the births…reported.” The law also specified that the information “shall state, in separate columns, the date of making the record, the date and place of birth, the name, sex and color of the child, and the names and residence of the parents…” Originally it was the duty of “the physicians and professional midwives” to report the births to the probate court every three months. In 1869, the law was amended so that the township assessor’s became responsible for the gathering and transmission of birth records to the probate court. The assessors’ registries reflected a twelve month period “ending on the first day of March,” and at that time the registries were recorded in the probate court. Physicians, surgeons and midwives were still required to maintain a registry of births as previously stated. In 1893, individuals whose birth was omitted from the birth records could upon “the sworn testimony of two or more competent witnesses” have the record amended to reflect their birth. These basic parameters remained in effect until the law was repealed in 1908.

Commencing January 1, 1909, the Ohio Bureau of Vital Statistics was created and the responsibility for the recording of birth records was transferred to that agency, which was usually done through the local Health Districts. In Union County, births occurring between March 1908 and December 1908, which should have been recorded in March 1909, were still recorded in the Probate Court. In effect, birth records for individuals end in the Union County Probate Court for those born prior to January 1, 1909.