Restored Hamilton County, Ohio, Marriages, 1860-1869


On March 24, 1884 a great tragedy struck Cincinnati. A riot started that evening in the downtown area and resulted in the burning of the Hamilton County Courthouse. This fire destroyed many of the records in the courthouse, including marriage license applications and returns. Apparently, many of the older records (before 1860) were stored in another part of the courthouse and did not sustain as extensive damage as those from the period 1860 until March 1884. One set of records that was completely destroyed was the collection of marriage license applications and returns from 1860 to 1884.

Less than five percent of these lost records had ever been recovered until the Hamilton County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society and Jeffrey G. Herbert sat down to the task. This compilation reconstructs eighty-five percent of the lost data from January 1860 through December 1869. During this period, approximately 27,000 marriages took place in the Hamilton County area; this collection contains over 23,100 of them. The main source of information for these reconstructed records was the lists of marriage license applications published in the Cincinnati Volksblatt, a German-language newspaper for immigrants to Cincinnati. Another newspaper, the Protestäntische Zeitblatter, also served as a source. Wherever possible, the spelling of names was checked against church records, and sometimes these church records proved to be sources of additional marriage listings. Many of the names in church registers were not written in English during this time. All of the German Protestant churches kept their records and used the Old German script style of handwriting, which makes interpretation very difficult. Almost all of the Catholic churches kept their records in Latin.

The information in each marriage record includes the names of bride and groom, the marriage date and the name of the source. The records are listed alphabetically, first by grooms' names and then by brides' names.

Jeffrey G. Herbert

(1997), 2009, 8½x11, paper, alphabetical, 662 pp.

ISBN: 9780788406164