Ancestry for sale. Cheap. Vital Records not Included.

How five generations of my family mostly manage to avoid vital record registration.

Some of my ancestors were pioneer settlers in the area of Columbiana County, Ohio +/-1800-+/-1810, about the time the government opened up the Ohio lands. They came from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland. The men were farmers and probably traders. The known surnames are Carle, Low(e), Firestone, Miller and Kimmerling.

Columbiana County started the practice of recording marriages in 1803, but it didn't even begin to ask folks to report births and deaths until 1851.

Other than the "names the same," those marriage records don't contain information by which to correlate the record data to a birth record (even if such records exist). The marriage records I work with from Ohio contain the bride/groom names, date of marriage, who performed ceremony, and date and place the marriage was recorded.

Now, long before Columbiana County has even thought about reporting births and deaths, my folks who married at Columbiana have moved on. They moved to Richland and then Williams County, Ohio, as land in the northwest part of the state opened up.

Both Richland and Williams counties started to record births and deaths in about 1867. (Can you picture the vital record caboose moving further and further down the track?)

Anther group of my ancestors were really pioneer settlers in the western part of Ohio. We have an Irish immigrant named Butler, arriving to settle at northwest Ohio after his service in the Revolution, via Pennsylvania and Michigan. John Butler was a soldier most of his life. About 1810-1814, we have two brothers, ?soldiers and traders, arriving from New Hampshire via a route we don't yet know. The brothers are in Miami County, Ohio, long enough for one to marry in 1814.

Like Williams County, Miami doesn't start to record births and deaths until 1867.

From Miami County, the brothers migrate to Fort Defiance, say 1815-1816. They are considered the first settlers of that place. It will become part of Williams County when the latter formed, 1820.

As above, Williams County started to record births and deaths in about 1867.

By the time Williams County has formed, one of the New Hampshire brothers has deceased. There is no vital record about his death, nor is there single vital record about any of his children's births. The other brother, my ancestor, will become the first sheriff of Williams County. He marries in 1820, probably at Defiance. Since Williams doesn't have a place to keep records until 1824, recording of the good sheriff's marriage is delayed six months; it's finally written into the books of Wood County--two Ohio counties to the east.

Many children are born to the Sheriff and his wife, but there are no vital records about those births.

It's finally 1850 (Columbiana County, Ohio will soon start recording births and deaths). Time for my family to migrate out of Ohio via the Oregon Trail, headed for the California gold rush. :)

My line eventually settles at Deer Lodge County, Montana. Deer Lodge won't start recorded births until 1907; they start recording deaths in 1895.