Elsewhere on this site is information about records of the Hamilton County Probate Court, such as marriages, deaths, wills and estates, guardianships, naturalizations, and more. Divorces recorded by the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court are also described elsewhere on this site.
The fourth Hamilton County Courthouse 1854 - 1884
This page currently provides access to and descriptions of three court related indexes added from 2017 through 2023:
Index of Hamilton County, Ohio Reported Court Records 1841 - 1884 (three volumes)
Many of the records housed in the Hamilton County courthouse were destroyed by a riot and subsequent fire in March 1884. This three-volume index attempts to recreate as many court cases as possible from daily summaries reported in this local newspaper, which can provide valuable information to the family history researcher. Typical cases reported include: Probate Court (wills and estates, guardianships, insanity cases, adoptions, probate notices), Common Pleas Court (divorces, civil disputes, property cases and petitions, bastardy and criminal cases) and Superior and District Court (appeals), and coroner inquests.
Volume 1: Index of Hamilton County, Ohio Reported Court Records 1841 - 1869: Complied by Jeffrey G. Herbert. Published 2017. This index contains the names of individuals in over 25,700 court cases reported in The Cincinnati Enquirer, from 1841 through 1869.
Volume 2: Index of Hamilton County, Ohio Reported Court Records 1870 - 1879: Complied by Jeffrey G. Herbert. Published 2018. This index contains the names of individuals in over 28,250 court cases reported in The Cincinnati Enquirer, between 1870 and 1879.
Volume 3: Index of Hamilton County, Ohio Reported Court Records 1880 - 1884:
Complied by Jeffrey G. Herbert. Published 2019. This index contains the names of individuals in over 16,600 court cases reported in The Cincinnati Enquirer, between 1880 and 1884.
Published Full Index
The full index is published in our two books and contain for each reported case: name, type of court case, date of notice, page in newspaper, and the specific court. The books are available:
- For purchase:
- In print format on our Shop & Support page (20% discount for HCGS members), or
- Vol. 1 in Kindle format from Amazon, or
- Vol. 2 in Kindle format from Amazon, or
- Vol. 3 in Kindle format from Amazon,
Public Online Abbreviated Index
An abbreviated index is available online from each volume at the following links that contain for each reported case: name, type of court case, year of notice.
From the record found in the abbreviated index a search can more readily be made of the published full index described above to find the date of publication, the page in the newspaper, and the specific court.
Acquiring a copy of the newspaper notice/summary
Once the full index has been obtained then a copy of the actual newspaper notice or summary of the court case can be acquired in one of the following ways:
Index of Hamilton County, Ohio Reconstructed Court Records 1852 - 1884
After the Courthouse fire in 1884, those Common Pleas court records that survived were copied into 45 books, approximately 25,000 pages. The indexes are arranged by the first letter of the first name, within the first letter of the last name. Example: Adams, Ann ... Allen, Barney... Aston, Charles etc. Businesses or partnerships are in the last page of each letter. If the business is known as say "A. B. Smith & sons" it will be listed under S. You only need to look in the left hand column. Both Plaintiff and Defendant will be in left column. There are mistakes with page number in book column and vice versa.
The records are not yet available online or at the Court House. So if you are a member, e-mail me (Jim) at email@example.com with the names, book and page, and I will email you the case pages.
Index to the Criminal Records in the Commissioners' Reports
The Annual reports of the Hamilton County, Ohio Commissioners to the Court of Common Pleas for 1857-1865 and 1868-1871 contains records of those residents who were fined or jailed for various crimes ranging from petit larceny to murder and their sentences. These annual reports are housed at the Cincinnati Historical Society Library and have been indexed in the following pages. If you find the name of your ancestor, ask the CHLA librarian for call number 352.07214 36212.
For a more complete description of this index see the article "
Two New Indexes of Criminal and Death Records on the HCGS Website" which was published on page 43 of the June 2023 HCGS Tracer
Chris Bell-Puckett, genealogist
Eileen Mullin, volunteer typist
page modified: 2023-06-01 RTB