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Probate Court Records
Normally, when it comes to Court records, the County Clerk of Courts has the responsibility of maintaining Court records. Under Ohio law, the Probate Judge serves as his / her own clerk, and is responsible for the care and safekeeping of all Probate records. The Court maintains many records that are open to the public. The following is a guide that will assist you in searching for Probate records, as well as provide alternate sources for obtaining records. These alternate sources primarily serve those persons conducting genealogy research.

Guide To Probate Records
What Are Probate Records? back to top

Probate Records are documents and/or filings, which chronologically records proceedings in the Probate Court. Typically, parties on their own behalf or with the help of an attorney, file an Application or Motion to open a matter under the jurisdiction of Probate Court. The Court then responds to these filings in the form of Entries (Orders).

Where Are The Records For Probate Court Located? back to top

The Probate Court's address is as follows:
William Howard Taft Center
Hamilton County Probate Court
James C. Cissell, Judge
230 East 9th Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-2145
Operation Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Monday - Friday
General Information Number: (513) 946-3600. The Court is located on the 9th and 10th floors of the William Howard Taft Building. The 9th floor maintains all records from the 1800s to the present. All cases are available for public viewing. The Court offers information on other departments and organizations that may be helpful to you if the Court does not have the records that you would like to obtain.

What Does The Court's Record Inventory Consist Of? back to top


Click here for a complete inventory of Probate Records.
Click here for added genealogical research sources.
The following is a list of the types of cases one would find in Probate Court:
Adoptions Mental Illness
Birth Certificate Corrections Midwife Records
Birth Records Ministers' Licenses
Chiropractors' Licenses Ministers' Returns
Concealment of Assets Minor Settlements
Construction of Wills Miscellaneous Administrative
Declaration of Validity of Wills Dockets
Declaratory Judgement Name Changes
Delayed Birth Registrations Naturalizations
Determination of Heirs Physicians Certification
Estates Presumption of Death
Guardianships Registration of Doctors
Inheritance Taxes Registration of Nurses
Land Sales Trusts
Legitimizations Acknowledgement Will Contests
of Paternity Wills on Deposit
Marriage Licenses Wills
Medical Registrations
In What Format Are Records Maintained? back to top
Active Cases:
Pre-2000 consist of hard copy (paper documents). 2000 - Present cases consists of hard copy and computer image, accessible through the Court's Internet Case Search.
Closed Cases:
Pre-2000 cases are archived in bound books, microfilm, and microfiche. 2000 - Present cases are archived in bound books, microfilm, and microfiche. However, the computer images are still available through the Court's Internet Case Search.
How Do I Search? back to top
Before beginning your search, there are some basic terms you should familiarize yourself with. These are:
Index: Computer indices are an alphabetical list of names with an associated case number. Book indices are listed alphabetically by year.
Docket: A docket or docket sheet is the chronological listing of all documents filed in a particular case.
Record: A document, exhibit, audio / video recording, etc. Records are found using Indexes and Docket sheets.
Where Do I Search? back to top

Click here for additional sources for Vital Statistics information.The Court is located on the 9th and 10th floors of the William Howard Taft Building. The 9th floor maintains all records from the 1800s to the present. All cases are available for public viewing. The Court offers information on other departments and organizations that may be helpful to you if the Court does not have the records that you would like to obtain.
Administration / Guardianship / Wills back to top
Records are in case files for open cases located on the 9th floor in the File Room. Cases opened January 1, 2000, can be accessed through the Court's Internet Case Search.
There are also indexes on computer and records on microfilm and fiche for the years 1974 - present that are closed on the 9th floor of the File Room. Computer indexes can also be accessed through the Court's Internet Case Search.Bound records, copies of will and indexes for the years 1971 through 1973 are located on the 10th floor in the Records Room.
Adoptions back to top
Adoptions after January 1, 1964 are confidential. Adoptions prior to January 1, 1964 are not confidential. However, they are not open for public viewing.
Years Of Records Format
Restored Adoptions - 1850's - 1890's These cases are in bound book form.
1900's - Present These cases will be on Microfilm and Microfiche.
Birth / Death Records back to top
Birth indexes and records circa 1864 through 1908, and Death Records 1882 through 1908, both in bound volumes are located on the 9th floor in the Records Room. Birth and Death records can also be obtained from the Ohio Department of Health Office of Vital Statistics. Alternate sources for Birth / Death Records can be obtained by clicking here.
Civil Cases back to top
Civil Cases that were opened between 1943 to 1997 have only five (5) digit case numbers.
Marriage Records back to top
Only the most current Marriage License applications (last 3 months) are located on the 10th floor in the Marriage License Department. All other recent Marriage Licenses (1966 - present) are available through the Records Room on the 9th floor. All other Marriage Licenses (1817 - present) are located on the 9th floor in the Records Dept.

Marriage Records have been registered with the State Bureau of Vital Statistics in Columbus since September 7, 1949, but these records are only for reference. Also, copies of these records cannot be obtained from Probate Court.

The Catholic Church has supplied miscellaneous marriage records from 1883 through 1946. These records are self-indexed.
Mental Health back to top
All case documents are confidential. A docket sheet may be retrieved to view all filings. The actual documents are not available for viewing without permission of the Court.
Naturalization Records back to top
The Court's naturalization records consist of two books of indexes (1864 through 1884). Marriage Record Book C8 also contains a limited index. Records on microfilm are located on the 9th floor in the File Room. Alternate sources for Naturalization Records can be obtained by clicking here .
How Can I Obtain Copies Of Records And What Are The Fees? back to top
There are several options for requesting Court Records:
    • Order Records in person from the File Room, which is located on the 9th floor.
    • Order by fax (513) 946-3565. Use your cover sheet to list the name of the case, the case number, and the documents you are requesting.
    • Order documents via this web site.
Currently, the Court does not accept personal checks. Cash or credit cards (MasterCard, American Express, and Discover only) are accepted.
There is a nominal fee for copy requests of court documents:
Photo Copies
$0.05 per page
Microfiche Copies
$0.10 per page
Certified Copies $1.00 per request
Exemplified / Authenticated Records $3.00 per request
Certified Marriage Records
$2.00 per certification
Docket Sheet Print Out $1.00 per request


The Court does provide coin operated copy machines, allowing users the ability to make copies of documents for $0.05 per page.
How Long Does The Court Retain Records? back to top
Rule 26 of the Rules for Superintendents mandates the guidelines for retention of court records. These guidelines for retention are as follows:
Type of Record
Retention Guidelines
(Q) Adoption records. Adoption records shall be retained permanently.
(R) Birth and death registrations. Birth and death registrations dated prior to 1908 shall be retained permanently.
(S) Civil commitment records. Civil commitment records shall be retained for three years after the case is closed.
(T) Dockets, records of documents, journals, and indexes. Dockets, records of documents, journals, and indexes shall be retained permanently.
(U) Evidence filed in support of expenditures or distributions. Vouchers, proof, or other evidence filed in support of expenditures or distributions stated in an account. Shall be retained for three years after the date of filing.
(V) Marriage license records. Marriage license records shall be retained permanently.
(W) Trust accountings. Trust accountings shall be retained for twelve years after the date the accounting was approved.
(X) Temporary estate tax orders. Divisions (D) and (E) of this rule do not apply to records of estates in which temporary estate tax orders are pending.
(Y) All other records. All other records shall be retained for twelve years after the date of the case, cause, proceeding, or matter is closed or completed.