Genealogy Research

Summer Road Trip! How To Discover Your Cincinnati Ancestors in FindMyPast

Discover your Cincinnati ancestors in this virtual summer road trip through FindMyPast‘s U.S. record collections! Explore those Catholic Parish records!

I am kicking off a virtual summer road trip along with FindMyPast. Over the next 8 weeks, we will be traveling together through the U. S. record collections to be found at FindMyPast. Pack your suitcases, and let’s head out.

Cincinnati skyline

First Stop – Cincinnati, Ohio!

I visited Cincinnati for the first time in 2012 for the National Genealogy Society Conference. What’s better than days of talking genealogy with people whose eye do not glaze over!

I have not done much Ohio focused genealogy research personally, but I do know Cincinnati has some fabulous resources for family history researchers. So, in prepping for my virtual road trip to Cincinnati, I did my “homework”.

I researched repositories and historical sites to visit. I don’t want to spend all my time in the records (as tempting as it is!), but I also want to get a feel for the history of where ancestors may have lived. You know me. I am after the social history as well. I want to know what their lives were like. I want to know what they saw and how they thought and how the weather/economy/political events affected their lives and life decisions.

Whew! That’s a lot, but if we want to break down genealogy brick walls, we have to dig deep into their lives. [I’ll step off my soapbox now.]

Skyline of Cincinnati with white words on red background reading "Finding Ancestors in Cincinnati.

Let’s Find Those Cincinnati, Ohio Ancestors

One of your first stops on a virtual road trip to Cincinnati should be the 1848 Panorama. I first learned of it at the NGS conference where the keynote speaker gave a presentation on it. If like me, you love pulling history from old photos, you will want to take a look. The panorama was taken on September 24, 1848, Charles Fontayne and William S. Porter in a series of 8 daguerreotype plates. Zoom in and see the details of 1848 Cincinnati.

Next up explore these local genealogy resources and repositories of Hamilton County either in person or online.

Let’s talk about Ohio Land Records for a Moment

Land records are so important to researching our ancestors. They are some of the first records after the vital records we seek out for our ancestors. Researching Ohio land records can get complicated rather quickly. I urge you to learn about the Ohio land records from the Ohio History Connection before you begin. Additionally, the Ohio State Auditor’s Ohio Lands by Dr. George W. Knepper is a helpful free e-booklet.

Catholic Parish Records at FindMyPast

Let’s extend our virtual summer road trip into the digital world of the Catholic Heritage Archives at FindMyPast!

Are you researching Catholic ancestors in the Cincinnati diocese? If so, you want to add the Catholic Roman Catholic Parish Records at FindMyPast to your genealogy toolbox. With 800,000 indexed images and 3 million + names, you can search original baptism, marriage and burial registers spanning 1800 to 1953.

To find these fantastic records, head over to FindMyPast: [Not a member? Sign up for a Free trial!]

Screenshot of "All records sets" in FindMyPast search tab

From the dropdown, click “All record sets”.

Results of Cincinnati search in "all record sets" in FindMyPast

Type in “Cincinnati” and you will find the Cincinnati Catholic record collections. Easy!

Here’s an example of a baptism record from the Cincinnati Roman Catholic Parish Baptisms for Anna Barrett b. 1860 in Cincinnati and baptized in the St. Thomas parish.

Transcript of Catholic Baptismal record for Anna Barrett born 1860 in Cincinnati
Transcription of the Baptismal Record for Anna Barrett (1860)
Original Catholic record for Anna Barrett of 1860 Cincinnati
Original entry of the Baptismal Record

Be sure to include the Cincinnati Roman Catholic Parish Congregational Records in your search. As genealogy researchers we are often focused on birth, marriage and death records (as we should be!). Congregational records include documentation of other church life events and stories such as reconciliations and confirmations.

You may notice the record in is Latin, but that does not mean your research is stalled. As researchers, we do not have to be fluent in a language to read a document*. For parish records in Latin, we need to be able to recognize words and terms such as Baptizandi Nomen [baptized with the name], Natus [birth], and sepultus [buried]. A Genealogist’s Guide to Latin will get you started and serve as a resource.

Keep Researching Ohio Ancestors at FindMyPast

FindMypast has a few more record sets that will be helpful in your research of not only your Cincinnati ancestors, but other Ohioan ancestors. Include these records sets in your search:

More Ohio Research Resources

Researching outside of Cincinnati? Include the resources and repositories below in your genealogy research toolbox.

While You Are There….

What summer road trip – virtual or otherwise – would be complete without seeing some of the sights? Cincinnati offers tours and destinations with a history and heritage focus.

I always recommend taking a walking tour when you visit a city. Walking tours give you an opportunity to learn about specific topics such as the settlement of an area and ask your questions of a local guide. Cincinnati Heritage Programs Walking Tours offers neighborhood walking tours to explore the architecture and heritage of city. Were you Ohioan ancestors brew masters? The “Brewers & Barons” Walking Tour is for you.

Clock at Union Station in Cincinnati Ohio

Not able to physically travel to Cincinnati? The Cincinnati Museum Center offers virtual tours and field trips. Additionally, if you see a tour you are interested in, reach out to the tour operators and see a virtual tour is an option. During the pandemic, many tour companies have made virtual touring an option. [See how that works in Walk Where Your Ancestors Walked: Take a Walking Heritage Tour.]

Interested in learning more about your culinary heritage? Cincinnati Food Tours offers a variety of food tours! Explore the foods your ancestors may have eaten and enjoy the eclectic offerings of a city founded by different ethnic groups.

[Side note: My husband and I love to take food tours in the cities we visit!]

Did you notice how I wove social history of your ancestors into fun tours? 😊 Once you’ve completed your records search for your ancestor, explore Cincinnati and learn more about your ancestors and their way of life!

Don’t forget your souvenir!

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