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Open Membership

Membership to the Ottawa County Genealogical Society is open to the General Public. Membership fees are due in January of each year regardless of when you joined the previous year.  Membership is required to receive MARSHLAND TO HEARTLAND.  Persons joining any time during the year will receive all issues for that year. You can download and print an application in either a Word Format or a PDF Format.

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First Families of Ottawa County Membership

Any person who is a member of The Ottawa County Genealogical Society may be included in the roster of First Families of Ottawa County by proving that he or she is descended from one or more individuals who settled within the present boundaries of Ottawa County prior to or as of the dates established by these three categories:

  • Category 1: Pioneer 1840 and before
  • Category 2: Settler   1841 - 1860
  • Category 3: Century 1861 - 1913

The applicant must complete an application form showing his or her ancestor(s).  Please fill out a separate application for each category if you are submitting ancestors for more than one category.  Fill in the blanks in a pedigree chart which are pertinent to his or her descent from said ancestor(s).  The applicant's name shall appear on line #1 of this chart.

The application must be accompanied by copy machine, photo, or other facsimile copies, or by exact copies certified as "true copies" by a courthouse official, genealogical librarian, church of­fice secretary, etc., of all documents necessary to prove the ancestor's settlement in Ottawa County, Ohio in accordance with the category checked on the application.  Proof of each generation of descent from the ancestor to the applicant must be included.  Proof may not be omitted for any generation.  All proof documents must show their source.

Applications must be typed or printed and sent with their accompanying proof to:

The Ottawa County Genealogical Society
First Families Chairman
P.O. Box 193
Port Clinton, OH 43452-0193

You must be a member of the Ottawa Co. Genealogical Society to be eligible. 
Membership dues are $16.00 for a single membership or $20.00 for a family membership per year. 

There is also a $15.00 application fee for each category you are applying for on the application.
No limit on amount of persons in each category


Basic Rules of Evidence

1. Primary or collateral evidence from vital statistics, courthouse or other government records, church and school records, etc. is considered usually to be beyond doubt, excellent proof.

2. Secondary evidence, such as census records, newspaper clippings, old letters, Bible or other
family records, contemporary to the facts reported, is considered almost as authentic.

3. Circumstantial  evidence, or "hearsay" is not considered proof, unless backed up by primary or secondary evidence.

4. Oral, written, or published family traditions are very often wrong, and not accepted as proof.

5. Printed or manuscript genealogies, or genealogical compilations are usually not acceptable as proof. Hardesty's 1874 Historical Atlas of Ottawa County is not acceptable.

6. Lineage papers from patriotic or hereditary societies, by themselves, are not considered proof. The document copies used for proving the lineage might be considered as proof, if they follow these rules of evidence.

7. Material authored by the applicant, or his family, cannot be considered proof.

8. If a document merely implies a fact, this is not considered proof. An example is the expression "heirs-in-law" used in some states. This indicates different things in different states, but in no case found is it used as an indication or proof of direct descent. The statement could mean nieces, nephews, cousins, adopted children, or even parents.

9. Copies of old letters, family records, etc., can be accepted as proof only for facts the writer of the record or letter would logically know of his own contemporary knowledge. They cannot be accepted as proof for facts the writer could have only obtained by hearsay from older generations or other sources.

10. Land transactions (deeds, warrants, grants, etc.) can only be accepted as evidence of settlement in Ottawa County if the record actually states that the individual was "of Ottawa County".

11. Female ancestors must be proved as individuals by their maiden name.

12. Additional applications for more than one ancestor do not require duplicate information or proof.

13. Each application and proof must be submitted with all documents fastened together to prevent loss of documentation. Please - no loose papers.

14. Do not submit original copies of proof. All documents submitted become the property of the Ottawa County Genealogical Society.

For more information, or to obtain an application, please write to the Ottawa County Chapter address at the top of this page. Or print an application form from our web site. You can download and print either the Word Format or
PDF Format. Make sure it all fits on one page. Fill it out and send it in to this address.
The Ottawa County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 193
Port Clinton, OH 43452-0193
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