|SUMMIT COUNTY CHAPTER
of the Ohio Genealogical Society
P O Box 2232 Akron OH 44309-2232
The Formation of Summit County,
Ohio and Her Townships
What is a Parent County?
People often use the phrase "I was in the right place at the right time" to describe their good fortune. For genealogists this is not just a phrase but an important rule. You must research the places right along with the people.
Knowing when a county was formed will help you find
the records you're looking for. You won't find records for your ancestor
in Summit County in 1830 because Summit County did not exist. Before its
organization in 1840 the area now known as Summit County was divided among
Medina, Portage, and Stark Counties. These counties are known as Summit
County's Parent Counties.
WHAT IS A PARENT COUNTY?
When a new county was formed it was necessary to
"take" townships from existing counties, or parent counties, in order to
form the new one. Consequently, no matter where your research takes you,
you need to know the background of each County in question.
1 - When was it formed?
2 - What were it's Parent Counties?
3 - What townships did a Parent County lose to the new county?
Let's apply these questions to Summit County.
WHEN WAS SUMMIT COUNTY FORMED?
Summit County was formed in 1840 and was made up of sixteen (16) townships. These townships were: Bath, Boston, Copley, Coventry, Franklin, Green, Hudson, Northampton, Northfield, Norton, Portage, Richfield, Springfield, Stow, Tallmadge, and Twinsburg.
WHAT WERE SUMMIT COUNTY'S PARENT COUNTIES?
Portage, Medina, and Stark Counties. Before 1840 all of Summit County's 16 townships belonged to one of these Parent Counties.
WHERE DID SUMMIT COUNTY'S TOWNSHIPS COME FROM?
Portage County lost: Boston, Coventry, Hudson, Northampton, Northfield, Portage, Springfield, Stow, Tallmadge, and Twinsburg townships.
Medina County lost: Bath, Copley, Norton, and Richfield townships.
Stark County lost: Green and Franklin townships.
Your records should always show the correct county of residence; or
where an event such as a birth, death, or marriage occurred. For more information
on records in Summit County, Ohio (and her Parent Counties) contact:
|Summit County Chapter, OGS
P O Box 2232
Akron OH 44309-2232
| Portage County Chapter, OGS
P O Box 821
Ravenna OH 44266
|Medina County Chapter, OGS
P O Box 804
Medina OH 44258-0804
|Stark County Chapter, OGS
7300 Woodcrest NE
N Canton OH 44721-1949
If your ancestors were among the first settlers in
the area now know as Summit County, Ohio you might find this following
TIMELINE of help.
1669 - The first explorations by Europeans in what is now Ohio. Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, claimed all
of Ohio for France.
1763 - The French assigned the "Great West" to the English by the Treaty of Paris, 10 Feb 1763.
1778 - As early as 1778 a Congressional Committee proposed that Connecticut,
Virginia, New York and Massachusetts
cede their Western lands to the New Central Government. Connecticut's claim, under an English Charter
issued in 1662 by King Charles II, encompassed all land between the 41st and 42nd parallels of north latitude, from
Providence plantations on the east to the Pacific Ocean on the West.
1779 - George Rogers Clark, operating under the authority of Partick
Henry, Governor of Virginia, defeated Lt. Col.
Henry Hamilton, the Lt. Gov. of Canada at Vincennes 24 Feb 1779. The Americans took control of what was to
become the Northwest Territory.
1785 - Indian title to the Western Reserve lands lying east of the Cuyahoga
River was extinquished by The Treaty of
Fort McIntosh, 21 Jan 1785.
1786 - By Deed of Cession, 13 Sep 1786, Connecticut relinquished all
land in this territory except for a reserved section
defined as the Western Reserve. The Western Reserve started at the Pennsylvania-Ohio line and extended 120 miles
westward to the present Seneca and Sandusky County lines. It was bordered on the north by Lake Erie, and
on the south by the parallel of the 41st degree North Latitude. All of the present day Summit County was in the
Western Reserve except the southern most townships of Franklin and Green.
1787 - Congress passed an ordinance on 13 Jul 1787 creating the Northwest
Territory that included much of what are
today Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
1788 - The first permanent settlement made under the Ordinance of 1787
was at Marietta. Washington County was
organized as an original county.
1797 - Jefferson County was organized from Washington County.
1799 - Ohio became a territory.
1800 - Indiana Territory was formed which reduced Ohio to its present size.
1800 - Trumbull County was organized from Jefferson County and Wayne
County, Michigan. (The original Wayne
County was established 15 Aug 1796 but this county disappeared from Ohio in 1803 when Ohio became a State
and it ultimately became Wayne County, Michigan. The Present Wayne County, Ohio was established 13 Feb 1808.)
1803 - Columbiana County was organized from Jefferson & Washington Counties.
1800 - Connecticut released its jurisdictional claim to the Western
Reserve by a Deed of Cession to the United States of
America on 30 May 1800.
1803 - On 19 Feb 1803, Congress approved the constitution which admitted
Ohio to the Union on 1 Mar 1803, the
17th in order of admission.
1803 - Columbiana County was organized from Jefferson and Washington Counties.
1808 - Portage County was organized from Trumbull County.
1808 - Stark County was organized from Columbiana County.
1818 - Medina County was organized from Portage County.
1840 - Summit County was organized from Portage, Stark, and Medina Counties.
'The Handybook for Genealogists'" 8th edition Published by The
Everton Publishers, Inc; P O Box 368; Logan UT 84321
Alphabetical listing of all states. Each state has an alphabetical listing of it's counties, when they were formed, where to write for records; plus addresses for known libraries and genealogical societies.
'Ohio Land Grants' and 'Ohio Lands - A Short History'
Two free booklets on the formation of Ohio and her lands. Both booklets are 5"x7", softbound, with approximately 40-50 pages. A very comprehensive look at how Ohio lands were divided but very easy to understand. Contains several good maps. Both booklets can be obtained by writing to:
Auditor of State's Land Office
1272 South Front St
P O Box 1140
Columbus OH 43266-0040
Provided by: SUMMIT COUNTY CHAPTER, OGS
P O Box 2232
Akron OH 44309-2232
Compiled by: Marlene Diefendorf, September 1997
Back to the Summit County Genealogy Home Page