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

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A chapter of the
Ohio Genealogical Society

Religious Institutions

Due to its history (created in 1791) and geographical location, Hamilton County has a unique diversity of religious organizations. The amount of records that has been kept varies considerably depending upon the religion they represent. Many religious institutions have changed names and even denominations.
Historical References
Hamilton County Churches and Synagogues
An exhaustive reference on 573 local institutions (pdf) is an essential source of information, with the following facts (if known) kindly contributed by Lee Ann McNabb:
 a. Denomination
 b. Years of Operation
 c. History of Building (s) 
 d. Current contact information
 e. Repository (archive)
 f. Microfilmed records
 g. Name change history
 h. Associated cemetery
 i. Books about it at Public Library
 j. Website address
 k. FamilySearch microfilm #
 l. Greater Cin'ti Memory Project
 m. Additional comments
Major Denominations and Archives
German Protestant Churches
Jewish Congregations 
Hamilton County Jewish Congregations:  a quick reference and resource guide (PDF) to historical and current Jewish congregations. Each entry includes names associated with the congregation, its cultural and religious affiliation, years in existence, a history of its addresses and, where relevant, its associated cemetery and website. Also included for each congregation is a summary of the most significant local research resources where more information can be found.
Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, 3101 Clifton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45220 
The Marcus Center has a large and growing genealogy collection, with over 1,000 family genealogy files and congregational records from early Jewish settlement to modern times.
"Jews in Cincinnati" Cincinnati, A City of Immigrants 
Presbyterian Churches
Cincinnati Presbytery, 1323 Myrtle Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45206
The Presbytery maintains baptisms, marriage, death, joining, departing, society, Sunday school and financial records, and may have records from closed churches. However, they may have been sent to the Presbyterian Archive in Philadelphia.
Methodist Churches
The Methodist church was founded in the United States in 1784. It split over slavery in 1844 into the Methodist Protestant church in the North and Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The two reunited in 1939. Later merged with the United Brethren Church in 1968 to form the United Methodist Church.
Protestant Episcopal Churches
Diocese of Southern Ohio, 412 Sycamore Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
The Diocese has the records of closed churches. The availability of current and historical records is currently unknown. A list of Episcopal churches in A Guide to Genealogical Resources in Cincinnati & Hamilton County, Ohio (available from the Hamilton County Genealogical Society's Shop) provides the date organized, neighborhood, and whether the church is now closed.  
Quaker Meetings
Cincinnati Friends Meeting, 8075 Keller Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45243   
As early as 1811, Quaker families gathered in one another's homes. "Friends past and present: the bicentennial history of Cincinnati Friends Meeting (1815-2015)" by Sabrina Darnowsky provides an in-depth look at Cincinnati Monthly Meeting and how it has changed over the past 200 years and how it fits into Cincinnati history. Copy in Local history & Genealogy department at Main Library, Ref: 289.609771 qS678Zd 2015
The best way to search for local Quaker ancestors is to see "Index to Encyclopedia of American Quaker genealogy" by William W. Hinshaw. Available at the Main library, Genealogy Dept., Ref: 929 qH665e
Roman Catholic Churches     
Archives of the Chancery, 212 E. 8th Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
The Archives does accept genealogical requests for sacramental records -- baptism, marriage, death, confirmation, first communion -- created before 1930. Genealogists can visit the website link above and either submit an online form electronically or make a printout to send in the mail.  Telephone calls and email requests will not be accepted.  For a fee of $25.00, researchers can request up to four (4) specific names and type of records.  The payment is non-refundable, but if no records are found, an explanation of what records were searched will be provided.  The Archives can devote up to one hour per request, so researchers are encouraged to consult published sources before submitting their requests.  For example, if the specific parish is not known, please provide the best address you can find.  Name variations are also helpful. Please note that the Archives does not hold cemetery or adoption records. The Archives is not set up for genealogists to come in person to do research. 
A list of Catholic churches in A Guide to Genealogical Resources in Cincinnati & Hamilton County, Ohio (available from the HCGS Shop) indicates whether a church has records onsite or at another location. The list also provides the date the church was organized, address, and ethnic affiliation. 
The Catholic Heritage of Cincinnati, A Resource for Researchers of the Roman Catholic Church and its Members in Cincinnati and Hamilton County, offers profiles of parishes, institutions, religious orders, and cemeteries as well as information on history, resources and research. 
Microfilmed church records of the Covington Diocese can be seen at the Kenton County Public Library and the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort. The settlement of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky was such that many if not most local families have relatives living in both areas.
Types of Religious Records    
For more information, see Local Records - Church Records.      
  • Baptisms
  • Marriages
  • Deaths and burials
  • Confirmation
  • Sunday School, societies, elders, deacons, trustees
  • Trustee and financial records
  • Church establishment records, constitution, deeds
page modified: May 2024