Summit County Ohio Court Receives Grant

Hundreds of thousands of historic records will be freely available online

Salt Lake City, Utah—, FamilySearch, and the National Association of Government Archive and Records Administrators (NAGARA) announced on July 24, 2008, that Judge Bill Spicer and the Probate Division of the Summit County Common Pleas Court in Akron, Ohio, were awarded a 2008 grant for the digitization of Summit County marriage, birth, and death records. The court’s grant was one of only two awarded in 2008. This significant grant will make it possible for Summit County to digitally preserve and provide free online access to select historical documents.

The project targets 1840 to 1980 marriage records for over 550,000 individuals, birth records prior to 1908 for over 46,000 individuals, and death records prior to 1908 for over 22,000 individuals. A free, searchable name index linked to the digital images of the original records will be available to the public through the probate court’s Web site and the grant partners’ sites.  

“As a result of the grant, our Website, which was chosen as one of the 10 best in the country by the National College of Probate Judges, will now have the added distinction of being a model for the state and country for accessing historical court records,” said Judge Spicer. “Not only will it improve access, but by reducing the need to see the often-fragile originals, it will make the court’s job of preserving hundreds of thousands of original records easier. The project is a far-sighted and important effort in preserving local history. On behalf of the court and the citizens of Summit County, I thank the project sponsors for selecting Summit County Probate Court as its 2008 grant recipient.”

This is the first year that this national grant was offered. It is sponsored by and FamilySearch and administered by NAGARA. Under the grant, FamilySearch will digitize the original documents on-site in the Summit County courthouse by the end of 2008, and will create an electronic index linked to the images. The entire project is scheduled for completion in 2009. The commercial value of the grant is estimated to be $150,000.00. 

Media Contacts

Kimberly Guldeman
Summit County Probate Court

Paul Nauta
FamilySearch Public Affairs Manager

Mike Ward
Public Relations Director

About FamilySearch
FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization that maintains the world’s largest repository of genealogical resources. Patrons may access resources online at or through the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries. FamilySearch is a trademark of Intellectual Reserve, Inc. and is registered in the United States of America and other countries.

About the Ancestry Global Network
The Ancestry global network of family history Web sites is wholly owned by The Generations Network, Inc. It consists of nine Web sites – in the U.S., in the UK, in Canada, in Australia, in Germany, in Italy, in France, in Sweden and in China. Ancestry members have access to 7 billion names contained in 26,000 historical record collections. Tree-building and photo upload are free on all Ancestry websites. To date, users have created more than 7 million family trees containing 700 million profiles and 11 million photographs. Nearly 5.8 million unique visitors logged onto in August 2008 (comScore Media Metrix, Worldwide).

6 thoughts on “Summit County Ohio Court Receives Grant

  1. This will save me a lot of trips downtown and a lot of parking fees…plus, those marriage record books are starting to feel very heavy at my age. I’m very excited about this. Thank you, Judge Spicer,, FamilySearch, and all those who are involved in doing the microfilming

  2. Can’t wait to see this. Yes, thanks to everyone involved. So many of us will benefit from your efforts.

  3. Great! Yes ,I have three families in Summit County dating from 1813. This will really help, and thank you!

  4. This is really great news and I hope it becomes widespread quickly. I have been family historian for many years and have submitted our family history several times as it is updated and verified. Many of my ancestors are in Summit Co. as well as many other places in the country and this will save me lots of travel time and gas cost. I look forward to using this site.

  5. I first became interested in family history when I was employed as the Records Room Clerk at the Summit County Probate Court in the late 1970s. This grant will provide literally thousands of people the access they need to these vital historical records. Thank you to, FamilySearch, NAGARA for supporting this worthy endeavor. Congratulations to Judge Spicer and his staff, as well.

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