Hamilton County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 15865
Cincinnati, Ohio 45215-0865
Telephone:  (513) 956-7078

HCGS Facebook   HCGS Blog   HCGS Twitter

Hamilton County Recorder's Office

Wayne Coates, Hamilton County Recorder

2nd floor, Hamilton County Administration Building
138 East Court St., Cincinnati OH 45202
(across Sycamore Street from the county courthouse)
513-946-4570
 
Hours: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday - Friday

The Recorder's Office was established in April 1794 when all of Ohio was divided into only two counties. Present Hamilton County lines were established about 1805. The Recorder's Office records, preserves and makes available for inspection documents relating to real estate and other personal records. Real estate involves not only the sale, lease or transfer of property, but also encumbrances (such as mortgages and liens) that would either block or affect the title of a piece of property.

Books on Hamilton County property are available at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (PLCH). Also Recorder's Office records and indexes of most interest to genealogists and historians are also available at the Cincinnati History Library and Archives on over 1,300 microfilms. CHL & A has collected materials relating to the Greater Cincinnati area since 1831. For additional information, go to the Records Repositories - Library - CHLA.

Real estate

For assistance with Hamilton County land research, see Local Records - Land Records & Maps page.

 
Other than real estate

Beginning in 1794, the Recorder accepted almost any document the public wished to be recorded.  When the office opened, all records were recorded in deed books. As time went on, six major non-deed record groups were separated into their own dedicated books with their own indexes: Organizations (1844-1988), Veterans Discharges (1859-present), Partnerships (1846-1988), Powers of Attorney (1848-1988), Cemetery Lot Deeds (1859-1934). After 1859, all other types were designated as Miscellaneous and recorded in Miscellaneous Books.

For examples of deeds and 40 other types of documents, William Graver has created an every name and business (7,649) index to Deed Books D1, F3 and R2 (1801-1820). The index not only gives the full name, but title, document type, places outside of Hamilton County and a unique "chain" index, that is, the number of other persons in the same document with other surnames. Title is "Index to selected Hamilton County, Ohio, recorder's books, 1801-1820", (2000).  PLCH Main library: 929.377177 G775, CHLA: GENERAL 929.37714 G775
 
Minor types of non-deed records recorded in deed books, 1794-1859, and afterwards as Miscellaneous:
 
acceptance affidavit agent agreement anti-nuptial appointment
articles of association assignment award bankruptcy bond caveat
certificate of marriage change of name church decree company compromise consent
consolidation constitution contract decision declaration decree dedication
deed deposition dower dying declaration forfeit guarantee
judgement last will lease lien manufacturing mortgage
note order of court partition patent petition proposition
receipt right of way settlement specification survey testament
trust trustee will      
 

Non-deed indexes - vol. 1 only available here

Since January 2011, Wayne Coates, County Recorder, and the Hamilton County Genealogical Society have been engaged in a joint effort to have historical (1794-1900) indexes and records available on the internet. Eventually, all indexes over 110 years old, oldest first, will be online. Many indexes and records are also available on microfilm at the Cincinnati History Library and Archives. Those available so far can be accessed below.

Sundries Indexes  

Non-deed documents were indexed in the Sundries Indexes from 1794 to 1988. Volume 1 covers 1794 to 1889. A number of index entries are incomplete, unreadable or not identified by book (1 or 2). Until these entries are resolved, they are listed as incomplete below. 

Sundries Index, Volume 1, 1794-1889:    A to K      L to Z      Incomplete entries

Sundries Indexes, volumes 1 through 8 (1794-1969) have been digitized and are online at FamilySearch.org , click on Browse and then "Land and Property Records".

Cemetery, Miscellaneous, Organizations, Partnerships, Powers of Attorney and Veteran Discharge records  

Until 1844, these six major non-deed record groups were recorded in deed books. Early deed indexes are not yet available online. Deed indexes can be seen at the Recorder's Office or CHLA. Indexes to the books after 1844 dedicated to these groups have been digitized and are online at FamilySearch.org , click on Browse and then "Land and Property Records".

 

Cemetery lot documents                              Indexes & record description

Cemetery lots were recorded like other deeds, in regular deed books until 1859. See Deed Indexes no.1 to 8 for that period. After 1859 separate books were used. Lots for this period are recorded in Cemetery Lot Deed Books 1,2,3. Cemetery deeds have not been accepted for recording since 1934. Note that in the 1800s there were many German cemeteries which in World War I (1916) removed German from the name, like Vine Street and Walnut Hills today. Most of the "S" deeds are for Spring Grove. Some deeds are under 'Trustees of the ____ Cemetery'. Cemetery lot indexes are arranged in sets of alternate "To" and "From" pages. You need to search both "From" and "To" pages for the person of interest, as seller and as buyer.
  • The "From" pages list:   purchaser name,   "From",   seller name,        book #   and page #.
  • The "To" pages list:       seller name,           "To",    purchaser name,   book #   and page #.
The entries on the pages are alphabetical only by first letter of the last name or cemetery. Then the entries are recorded in the order they occur in the deed books. That is, book 1 from page 1 to the end, then book 2 from page 1 to the end, then book 3 to its last page. Letter S is split in half because so many cemetery names begin with the letter S.  
 
Cemetery Lots, By-Name Indexes, 1859-1934:
 
Cem ABC       Cem DEF       Cem G       Cem HIJKL       Cem MNOPQR       Cem S 1       Cem S 2       Cem TUVWXYZ
 
 
Miscellaneous records                                 Indexes & record description
 
Miscellaneous documents were recorded in regular deed books until 1859. See Deed Indexes no.1 to 8 for that period. After 1859 separate books, Miscellaneous Books 1 and 2 (1858-1908), were used. These 2 books have been digitized and are online at FamilySearch.org , click on Browse and then "Land and Property Records". The Miscellaneous document indexes are arranged in alphabetical order, A to Z. The entries on the pages are alphabetical only by first letter of the surname. Then the entries are recorded in the order they occur in the document books. That is, book 1 from page 1 to the end, then book 2 from page 1 through the last page of book 2.
 
Miscellaneous Records, By-Name Indexes, 1859-1908:
 
Misc AB      Misc CD      Misc EFGH      Misc IJKLM      Misc NOPQR      Misc STUVWXYZ 
 
      
Organization and church papers                Indexes & record description
 
Organization papers were recorded in regular deed books until 1844. See Deed Indexes no.1 to 8 for that period. After 1844 separate books, Organization Books 1 through 8, were used. The Organization papers indexes are arranged in alphabetical order, A to Z. The entries on the pages are alphabetical only by first letter of the name. Then the entries are recorded in the order they occur in the papers or books. That is, book 1 from page 1 to the end, then book 2 from page 1 to the end, etc. through last page of book 6.
 
Organization and Church Papers, By-Name Indexes, 1844-1919:
 
Organ. ABC        Organ. DEFG        Organ. HIJKLMNO        Organ. PQRS        Organ. TUVWXYZ
                                                               
 
Partnership documents                                Indexes & record description
 
Partnership documents were recorded in regular deed books until 1846. See Deed Indexes no.1 to 4 for that period. After 1846 separate books, Partnership Books 1 and 2 (1846-1934), were used. These 2 books have been digitized and are online at FamilySearch.org , click on Browse and then "Land and Property Records".The Partnership indexes are arranged in alphabetical order, A to Z. The entries on the pages are alphabetical only by first letter of the surname. Then the entries are recorded in the order they occur in the document books. That is, book 1 from page 1 to the end, then book 2 from page 1 through the last page of book 2.
 
Partnership Documents, By-Name indexes, 1846-1915:
 
Partner ABCDEF                           Partner GHIJKLMNOP                       Partner QRSTUVWXYZ
 
 
Powers of attorney                                        Indexes & record description
 
Powers of attorney were recorded in regular deed and mortgage books until 1848. After 1848 separate books, Powers of Attorney Books 1 to 5, were used until 1881. See Powers of Attorney index 1794-1881 for that period. From 1881 to 1922, P. of A. books 6 to 11 were used. Books 1 to 9 and indexes to books 1-11 have been digitized and are online at FamilySearch.org, click on Browse and then "Land and Property Records".  From 1922 to 1979, P. of A. were recorded in P. of A. books 12-50, indexed at the rear of each book. Books 51 to 71 used from 1979 to 1988 are not indexed.
 
 
Veteran (Army & Navy) discharges               Indexes & record description
 
Veteran discharges were recorded in regular deed books until 1859. See Deed Indexes no.1 to 8 for that period. After 1859 separate books, Miscellaneous Books 1 and 2, were used. Army discharges to 1865 are recorded in Miscellaneous Book 1, and Navy discharges to 1917 are recorded in Miscellaneous Books 1 & 2.
 
The Miscellaneous document indexes are arranged in alphabetical order, A to Z. The entries on the pages are alphabetical only by first letter of the name. Then the entries are recorded in the order they occur in the document books. That is, book 1 from page 1 to the end, then book 2 from page 1 through the last page of book 2.
 
Because of privacy, indexes are only available to the public to 1937. See the Recorder's website for additional information about veteran records.
 
Veteran Discharges, By-Name Indexes, Army 1859-1865, Navy 1859-1917:
 
Vet ABCDEFG                         vet HIJKLMNOPQR                               vet STUVWXYZ 
 
 
Guides

An exhaustive, detailed guide to all records at the Recorder's Office is Hamilton County, Ohio, Guide to Recorder's Indexes and Documents, 1794-1988, by William H. Graver (Little Miami Publishing, Milford Ohio, 2003), available from the HCGS Shop.

Recorder's Office Finding Aid:  Office layout and getting record copies

Resources
 
Jim Dempsey, “Hamilton County Recorder’s Office - Far More Than Deeds”, The Tracer, November 2011.
 
Jim Dempsey, "Hamilton County Recorder’s Office Early Indexes and Records", The Tracer, September 2012
 
Jim Dempsey, "Hamilton County Recorder’s Office Records to Be Added to FamilySearch", The Tracer, December 2013
 
 
Page modified: 6/4/2014