Research at the Library

The Library is a terrific resource and offers many types of genealogy support.  In order to take full advantage of these resources you do need to visit the library in person and in some cases need to use their computers.  While many libraries offer remote access to some research databases from your home, it is more typical to find that while on-site using a library owned PC you can gain a much wider arrary of services.

We provide an overview of what is available from the the Cleveland Public Library which should provide you good insight into what you may find at your local library.  It is helpful to do you homework ahead of time prior to going to the library.  You may find that certain information is at one particular location and not another.  You may also find that a larger regional or county library may have a wider variety of services.  It is worth getting organized so you know what to expect.

Microfilm-Census – Microfilm tape with census information is quite often available although unlike a web-based service it is not directly searchable and you need to use an index to locate a page and then you can load another tape to find the specific page.

City Directory – Microfilm or printed bound copies of city directories and phone books. City directories tend to be produced every year or every other year which allows you to fill in the gaps between census which are produced about every 10 years.  City directories also help you see who else was living in the house and they can hint to their occupation.

Death Certificates – Death certificates covering years 1908 to 1954 are on microfilm at the Cleveland Public Library.  Other years are covered at other locations in Cleveland and depending on the time period you may need to visit either Cuyahoga County Archives, Cuyahoga County Court House – Probate Court, Cleveland City Hall – bureau of vital statistics or Ohio Vital records.

Marriage Registrations – Marriage registrations covering years 1810 – 1949 are on microfilm at the Cleveland Public Library.  Other years are covered at other locations including Cuyahoga County Archives and the Cuyahoga County Court House.

Newspaper Abstracts – Newspaper abstracts are an abbreviated summary of stories and articles which have been indexed by subject and date.  Here in Cleveland, the Annals of Cleveland cover years 1818 to 1935 and attempt to capture and indexed summary to the city’s life and culture.  While a large share of the articles cover national and state level topics, there are plenty of local stories.

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