Ohio also has a network of region archives called the Ohio Network of American History Research Centers (ONAHRC). Researchers will find the county records of a region of Ohio. Obviously, this can make researching mobile ancestors a bit more convenient.
The archives and libraries in the ONAHRC are:
- The Ohio Historical Society (covering central Ohio). OHS also serves as the archives for the state of Ohio (state government) and has the largest collection of Ohio newspapers.
- The University of Akron, Polsky Building (covering a portion of northeast Ohio).
- Bowling Green State University, Center for Archival Collections (covering northwest Ohio)
- University of Cincinnati, Blegen Library 8th floor (covering southwest Ohio)
- Ohio University, Alden Library (covering southeast Ohio)
- Western Reserve Historical Society Library (covering part of northeast Ohio, especially the counties in the old Connecticut Western Reserve)
- Wright State University, Paul Laurence Dunbar Library (covering west central Ohio)
- Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor (covering part of northwest Ohio).
Whence They Came: A Look at Migration PatternsOhio was an early gateway to the west. Land and resources were plentiful and relatively cheap. These factors, along with claims in the state made by Virginia and Connecticut, enticed settlers to the Buckeye state.
The first permanent white settlement in the Northwest Territory was at Marietta, Washington County in 1788. Located in the Ohio Company Purchase, Marietta drew people from New England. As the land opened up a bit more, the rest of southeastern Ohio drew people from Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina.
Northeastern Ohio is home to the Connecticut Western Reserve. This land, once claimed by the state of Connecticut, became home to many New Englanders and later to Pennsylvanians. Southern and southwestern Ohio saw a great influx of people from Kentucky and Virginia.
Northwest Ohio was the last part of the state to be settled. After the great swamps were drained, the area became home to people from all over Ohio, as well as New England and the mid-Atlantic states.
Immigrants also made their way to Ohio. Germans settled throughout the state, settling in both urban and rural areas. The center of the state became home to many English and Canadians. Irish settled in various places, especially in areas where they could find work in factories, mines or on the canals and railroads. Immigrants from eastern and southern Europe came in the later part of the 19th century and settled in industrial centers, such as Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo and Youngstown.
Ohio's license plates read, "Ohio: The Heart of It All." In many ways, this is true in a genealogical sense. With a long history, a diverse population and multiple migration trails, Ohio has a variety of records. Even better, these records are open and available. Researchers are fortunate if they have Ohio ancestors.