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From Wayne County, Ohio Online Resource Center
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Wayne County, Ohio Public Library
Welcome to the
Online Resource Center
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Databases ↑Up
The methodology of researching one's family history has not changes. However, how individuals are able to access images has changed. Many companies and organizations offer information through the Internet. Some may have a cost associated with them. These are known as subscription databases. Other databases are freely searchable.
Library Databases
Frequently Used Websites
  • Bureau of Land Management: Provides access to more than five million Federal land title records issued between 1788 and the present.
  • Cyndi's List: Includes more than 300,000 links to genealogy websites. The links are categorized and cross-referenced.
  • FamilySearch: Includes millions of digitized records. Search the global index or access images through the online catalog and the images.
  • RB Hayes Obituary Index: Includes more than 3.7 million obituaries, death and marriage notices and other sources from the 1810s to the present day from more than 65 partner libraries, including the Wayne County (OH) Public Library.
  • US GenWeb: Includes many text-based indexes and abstracts of records throughout the United States. The availability of information depends on the county of interest.
Wayne County, Ohio
People Records ↑Up
There are many resources available when researching one's family history. Some of the main areas include Vital Records (Births, Marriages, Deaths), Census Records, Court Records, Biographies and Compiled Genealogies to name a few.
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Births started in Ohio in 1867 and were recorded at the local level. Births were recorded at both the local and state level beginning in December 1908.

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Marriages started in Ohio at the time the county was officially established.

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Early divorces may be found in Common Pleas Court: Supreme Court Records, in Journals, and in newspapers.

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Deaths started in Ohio in 1867 and were recorded at the local level. Deaths were recorded at both the local and state level beginning in December 1908.

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The U.S. Census was first taken in 1790. It has been taken every 10 years. The individual details for the 1950 U.S. Census was released April 1, 2022.

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Early court records include wills, estates, naturalizations, criminal and civil actions, list of jurors, ministers being ordained, international vendors, and much more.

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Use Compiled genealogies with caution. These usually include secondary information and may be correct or incorrect.

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Biographies may be found in newspapers as well as county history books.

Infrastructure ↑Up
Infrastructure focuses on the history of the county, its buildings and property, transportation and much more.
County Histories
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Community and county histories contain information on people and places. You may find information on churches, schools, businesses, early settlers and much more.

Historical Buildings
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Many communities have historical buildings, some that have been recognized while others have not.

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There are more than 230 cemeteries in the county. Many are still in existence while others have not survived the test of time.

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Property records include land deeds as well as taxes. Often, land deeds are the only resource available to researchers that may provide evidence of a parent-child relationship.

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The first train arrived in Wooster, Ohio in 1852. The railway opened opportunities for people to travel longer distances at quicker rates.

Social Entities ↑Up
Genealogy is much more than names, places and events. It is important to understand the social history of a community. Businesses, organizations, churches, schools, and ethnic groups help make up the social aspects of a community. Newspapers include a wealth of information about the community.

In many of the local municipalities, the downtown area was the center of the business industry. As the years went by, businesses set up shop throughout the county.

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Organizations have been common throughout history. They provide many services at little or no cost to many. Some have been long lasting while others were in existence for a limited period of time.

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When the early settlers started a new community, the first and most important public building to be erected was the church. The church was the hub for many social activities.

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Education Services has always been very important in Wayne County. In 1878, historian Ben Douglass stated that "Education Services in Wayne county is perhaps as far advanced as in any other county in the State, and that in its progress and development it can challenge comparison with the foremost in Ohio."


Many immigrants to the United States brought traditions, elements of their culture, skills, trade and much more to the United States. Often, they came with very little in their pockets seeking a better life for themselves and their descendants.

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From the beginning of our country, our nation has been a melting pot. Immigrants came to Colonial America and the United States to seeking economic opportunities or seeking asylum from religious and/or government persecution.

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Learn about the individuals who served for the U.S. Armed Services in wars from the Revolutionary War through World War II.

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Historical newspapers were the "Social Media" of their time. If you want to find out the latest gossip, spend some time reading the news of long ago.

Research ↑Up
There is a growing number of collections becoming available online. The library offers many resources, both local and national to help assist you in your research.
Digital Collection

The number of digital collections becoming available through commercial businesses and non-profit organizations is improving access to valuable documents and information. Wayne County, Ohio digital collections may be found through a variety of websites.

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The library has access to several subscriptions databases. In addition, volunteers and staff have created a number of unique databases for the county.


Our collection includes books on Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New York, Indiana, and West Virginia. In addition, there is a growing collection of family papers and family histories available for visitors to browse.

Finding Aids
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Several subject bibliographies have been prepared to assist researchers with the collection. These include books on a variety of ethnic groups, military, women's history, heraldry, the Mayflower, organizing your genealogy, preservation, and much more.


Whether you are a novice or seasoned researchers, there is something here for you. Several instructional videos have been prepared. In some cases, several documents that go along with the instructional videos are available through the classroom.

About ↑Up
The Wayne County, Ohio Online Community Archive is designed to be a history of Wayne County, Ohio from when Wooster was first surveyed in 1807 until the present day. It is divided into three main sections: Genealogy, Local History, and Business. This Community Archive is a work in progress and is not designed to be a comprehensive and complete history of Wayne County, Ohio and its communities.
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The genealogy portal focuses on individuals who at one time resided in Wayne County, Ohio or who may have had some business or personal connection with the County. Explore biographies, narratives on residents of the county, and examine records left behind by individuals.

Local History
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Examine the history of Wayne County, Ohio and its many communities. You will find information on townships, towns and villages, buildings, organizations, military, churches, schools, and so much more.

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Family run businesses are the start of any community. The business section explores many of the businesses here in Wayne County, many of which became nationally and internationally recognized.

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What is the overall vision of the Wayne County, Ohio Online Resource Center? It is designed to serve as a collaborative project to provide a thorough and historical accurate record of Wayne County and its communities.

Navigate the Community History Wiki
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Do you need help navigating the Community History Wiki? Learn how the Wayne County, Ohio Online Resource Center is organized and some hints to improve search results.


Take a closer look at the Online Resource Center's sections via our portals.

  • Organization
  • Genealogy
  • Local History
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    • Public Library