Genealogy Resources

Explore these resources that can help you connect with the families and individuals of historic Oberlin.


City Directory Database
We have compiled a database of all of the Oberlin residents, businesses, and addresses contained in the City Directories that have been published in Oberlin through the years. Just enter the name of the person you're looking for, and if s/he appears in any of the directories yet entered, the search will return the information included in each directory listing, including address, occupation, and other household occupants, depending on the year.


Lorain County Death Records (provided by Don Hilton)

Database of Lorain County Probate Records from 1867-1908 and Coroner Reports from 1878-1938. 

Oberlin Board of Health Death Records: 1888 thru 1908

Oberlin Board of Health Birth Records: 1890 thru 1892 (very incomplete)


Newspapers (provided by Oberlin College)


Oberlin African-American Genealogy and History Group
Organized in 2000, this non-profit encourages African-American genealogy and history research through meetings, event sponsorship, workshops, collaborative projects and programs.


Oberlin City-Wide Building Inventory
The Oberlin Heritage Center is working on an ongoing survey of historic sites in Oberlin, in cooperation with the City of Oberlin's Historic Preservation Commission. The Ohio Historical Society Historic Inventory form is completed for each site. If you know the address of the individual (or find it through the City Directory Database, above), these forms can provide more information about the house and all its known occupants.


Oberlin College Archives
The Oberlin College Archives has a wealth of information about local students and professors, in addition to many documents relating to Oberlin's early history.


O-High Alumni
The Oberlin High School Alumni Association has compiled class pages going back to 1863. The site also includes a message forum, reunion information, alumni obituaries, and more.


Ohio Historical Society Death Certificate Index
Copies of death certificates can be ordered online for a fee for the years 1913-1944.  Requests can also be made for 1909-1912 and 1945-1953.


Our Common Center
Our Common Center is a database of historic images of downtown Oberlin. Please excuse us as we upgrade our database systems!


Westwood Cemetery Project
Volunteers have worked hard to transcribe the data on nearly every tombstone in Oberlin's Westwood Cemetery. Follow the link above to access the cemetery database, see gravestone photos, and download self-guided brochures.


1850 Census of Russia Township and 1860 Census of Russia Township
The census is a wonderful resource for historians and genealogists. Russia Township included Oberlin and its immediate surroundings.


For further information and research:

Resource Center
We also maintain a library of materials relating to Oberlin's history, including many genealogical resources. Due to limited staff availability, the Resource Center is available by appointment only. If you would like to use our Resource Center, please make an appointment by calling us at (440) 774-1700 or by sending an email to [email protected].