The Great Black Swamp

Lucas County was one of the last areas to be settled in Northwest Ohio. The reason for this was The Great Black Swamp, a dark dense forest and muddy swamp infested with mosquitoes and home to many wild animals. It was famous for a condition known as the ague (now believed to have been malaria). Around 1830 pioneers slowly began to settle in the area and eventually they created a system of ditches to drain the land resulting in the rich soil and agriculture of Northwest Ohio. 

About Lucas County, Ohio

Lucas County, Ohio, is located in Northwest Ohio. It is bordered on the east by Lake Erie and on the south by the Maumee River. The county was originally part of Wood County, Ohio and Lenawee County, Michigan. It was organized in 1835 and is bordered by Wood, Ottawa, Fulton, and Henry Counties in Ohio and by Lenawee and Monroe Counties in Michigan.

Toledo,the county seat and largest city, is known as the Glass Capitol. It is also known for its zoo and art museum plus Jeep, the Mudhens, and Tony Packos.

Three wars were fought in the area. The Battle of Fallen Timbers which opened the way for settlers  in Ohio; The War of 1812, which is sometimes called the "last battle of the Revolution"; and the Toledo War, which settle the border dispute with Michigan.

Besides the port city of Toledo, several small towns make up the suburbs: Maumee, Waterville, Whitehouse, Holland, Sylvania, and Oregon. 

Library Research

The Main Branch of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library in downtown Toledo has a wonderful Local History and Genealogy Department. Although more and more records are now available online, there will always be a need to research in the genealogy departments of local libraries.

A request can be for basic information about an ancestor such as birth, marriage, or death dates and places. If you are new to genealogy research, Tom can help you find what you need to get started and then offer suggestions about the next steps to take in your research.

If you are an experienced genealogist, you may have run into a brick wall. Sometimes someone familiar with the area can provide information about events or history that only a local would know. No request is too basic or too unique.

There is a small charge of $7 plus postage and copy cost. You do not have to be a member of the chapter to take advantage of this service.

You may also mail your request to:

Lucas Chapter, OGS

c/o Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Local History and Genealogy Department

325 North Michigan Street

Toledo, Ohio 43604-1614

Lucas County Area Research

Lucas County Courthouse

700 Adams Street

Toledo, Ohio 43604

Probate Court, Suite 200

Toledo Lucas County Public Library

325 North Michigan Street

Toledo, Ohio 43604

Local History and Genealogy Department, 3rd floor

City of Toledo

One Government Center

640 Jackson Street

Toledo, Ohio 43604

Recorders Office  #700

Jerome Library

Bowling Green State University

Bowling Green, Ohio

Center for Archival Collections, 5th floor

Canaday Center

University of Toledo

William S. Carlson Library, 5th floor

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center

Speigel Grove

Fremont, Ohio