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Genealogy Portal

Wayne County, Ohio Online Resource Center Portals BusinessGenealogyLocal History

Main Research services and fees Family trees

Welcome to the Wayne County Public Library Genealogy Portal.

Topics in Genealogy
Birth Census Court Death Ethnicity Genealogies Immigration Marriage Property

Department Services
The Wayne County Public Library provides access to several genealogy databases as a service to its patrons. Some databases may only be accessed by visiting the library. Other databases may be accessed from home with a valid library card. Other databases listed below may be accessed anywhere with Internet access.


Frequently Used Databases

  • Access World News: Remote access with valid library card
    • More than 665 million current and archived articles can be searched, browsed, printed, emailed and even cited from over 10,000 news sources around the world! Extensive, exclusive coverage in Wooster and throughout the state of Ohio, the United States and all over the globe! Available in the library and remotely with your library card on an easy-to-use mobile responsive interface. Includes quick links into suggested topics for your convenience.
  • African American Heritage: Oplin database, Remote access with valid library card
  • American Ancestors: Main library use only
  • Ancestry Library Edition: Oplin database, Temporary, remote access with valid library card
  • FamilySearch: Anywhere with Internet access
  • Fold3: Oplin database, Remote access with valid library card
  • Heritage Quest Online: Remote access with valid library card
  • RB Hayes Obituary Index: Anywhere with Internet access
  • WCPL Catalog: Anywhere with Internet access

Local Newspapers

  • Ohio Newspapers: Remote access with valid library card.
    • Includes the Akron Beacon Journal 1984 - present; the Ashland Times-Gazette 2006 - present; several newspapers from the Columbus area; Medina Sun 2007 - present; Plain Dealer (Cleveland) 1991 - present; Repository (Canton) 1999- present; and many more titles.
  • The Daily Record (official website): The Daily Record covers news, sports, and events in Wooster and surrounding Wayne County, Ohio.
  • The Daily Record Collection: Remote access with valid library card.
    • This links provides images to the Wooster Daily Record from 2018. Text-based articles date back to 1999.
  • Historical Newspapers of Wayne County, Ohio 24 newspaper titles covering the years 1840-1982: Anywhere with Internet access
    • Creston Journal 1904-1930
    • Dalton Gazette 1875-2002
    • Rittman Press 1912-1979
    • Wayne County Democrat 1850-1913
    • West Salem Messenger 1963-2019
    • Wooster Daily News 1883-1885
    • Wooster Daily Republican 1890-1895
    • Wooster Republican 1853-1908
    • Shreve News1907-1952
    • For a complete listing, see the page on newspapers.
  • Wayne County Democrat 31 issues sporadically covering 1845-1891 and November 1913: Anywhere with Internet access
  • Wooster Daily News 1906-1913, 1917-1920:Anywhere with Internet access
  • Wooster Daily Republican 1917-1920: Anywhere with Internet access
  • Newspaper Archive. includes the Orrville and Massillon newspapers: Temporary, remote access with valid library card


Society Databases

Wayne County, Ohio Digital Collections

Internal Databases
Volunteers and staff members have spent countless hours working on many projects. Many of these projects are now available through this website. Other projects are still in progress. Additional databases may be found on the Internal Databases page of the Wayne County, Ohio Online Resource Center.

Wayne County, Ohio Databases




Census Records

Court Records

Property Records









Entry GLH.jpg

WCPL Main Branch (2nd floor), Part of Adult Services Department (Next to the elevator) 220 West Liberty St., Wooster, OH 44691.


Due to Covid-19, the Wayne county Public Library is currently closed to the public. Staff continue to answer questions. If you have questions, please contact the department by phone or email.
Phone service is available at the Wooster Branch during the following hours:
Monday 9:30am–6:00pm
Tuesday 9:30am–6:00pm
Wednesday 9:30am–5:00pm
Thursday 9:30am–6:00pm
Friday 9:30am–5:00pm
Saturday 10:00am–2:00pm


Reference desk.jpg

Mailing Address: Wayne County Public Library Genealogy and Local History 304 N. Market St. Wooster, OH 44691. telephone: 330-262-0916, ext. 4670 email: genealogy@wcpl.info


Deborah, Genealogy Librarian, BSBA, MLS, CPL, PLCGS

Katie, Genealogy Associate

Elaine, Library Assistant

Digital Collection
The Genealogy and Local History Department has been providing digital images through our department's website for the convenience of our researchers.

Digital Collection








Research assistance

To request information, you may contact the department several ways:

  1. Mail your request to the Wayne County Public Library; Genealogy and Local History; PO Box 1349; Wooster, OH 44691
  2. Email genealogy@wcpl.info
  3. Phone the department at 330-262-0916, ext. 4670. Only simple questions will be answered by phone. Any detailed request should be submitted by mail or email.

When requesting information, please be specific with your request. Please limit the requested items to five per month. Include names of interest, approximate dates, and places the events may have taken place.

Due to volume of requests and helping researchers who come into the department, we will a nswer your requests as quickly as time permits. See Research services and fees for a complete list of available services and costs.

Guides to Collection
Many items located in our department are not cataloged. Some of these items are listed through our department's website.

Guides to Collection

Other Services
Information found in the Genealogy and Local History Department of the Wayne County Public Library extends beyond the county line. For a description of the scope of the collection, please view our Collection Guidelines.

On 21 August 2009, the Wayne County Public Library was certified as a designated FamilySearch Affiliate Library. This certification permitted researchers to order in microfilm from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. On 1 September 2017, microfilm lending services were discontinued. FamilySearch anticipates all current microfilm to be digitally available by the year 2020. Please be patient between the discontinuation date and the time when all current microfilm will be digitized.

Wayne County was the parent county of both Ashland County, Ohio and Holmes County, Ohio. Other Neighboring Counties include Stark County to the East and Summit County to the Northeast and Medina County to the North. Ashland is to the West of Wayne County and Holmes County is to the South.
Did you know prior to the formation of the Wooster Cemetery Association on 12 July 1852, the deceased were buried in local churchyards or the public grave yard in Wooster, Ohio? Known Graveyards (burial ground affiliated with a church) and cemeteries that were once located in Wooster and are now gone include: Beaver Hat's Cemetery, Early Presbyterian Cemetery, the German Lutheran Cemetery, the Mellinger Cemetery, Old Saint Mary's Catholic Cemetery, Old Wooster City Cemetery, Warner/Jones Cemetery and the Wooster Old Associates (A Location Guide for the Cemeteries of Wayne County, Ohio pp. 26 & 27). The first white man who died in Wayne County, Ohio was Alexander Crawford, brother of Josiah Crawford. Josiah Crawford was the owner of one of the first mills. It was known as Bahl's mill. (Douglass' History of Wayne County, Ohio p. 297). The year was 1808. He was buried in the "Public Graveyard" which was given to the town of Wooster by Joseph H. Larwill.
Did you know...
The Genealogy and Local History Department of the Wayne County Public Library has sent out the next batch of early newspapers to be digitized. Digitizing our newspapers has been made possible through generous donations given to our department. The Rittman Press from 1912-1982 and the Dalton Gazette from 1875-1923 are the two newspapers currently selected for digitizing. The reels of microfilm for these two newspapers will not be available in the department for a couple months, effective 21 December 2017. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
About Us
This website serves as both source and repository for research pertaining to the local history of Wayne County and the genealogy of its residents. For an introduction to conducting genealogical research, see our Getting started guide. If you're looking for something specific, use the search bar above. To find information on a specific family name, search for the name followed by "(surname)" without quotation marks. To find information about the Smith family, for example, you would search for "Smith (surname)" without quotation marks. For historical information on specific businesses in Wayne County, Ohio, browse through our business history category or do a search on the name of the business.