Stark County History

The area now known as Ohio was originally Indian land (Erie, Huron, Ottawa, Tuscarora, Mingo, Delaware, Shawnee, and Miami) that was visited by Frenchmen like Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle between 1669 and 1670. As a result of La Salle's exploration and maps, France laid claim to the entire Ohio valley. The French and English fought for control of the area, and it wasn't until the War of 1812 that United States control was affirmed. The creation of the Northwest Territory by the Continental Congress on 13 July, 1787, and the passage of the Land Ordinance of 1785, which authorized the sale of mile square sections, led to greater development in Ohio. When the Federal requirement of 60,000 free adult males was met, Ohio became the first state admitted from the Northwest Territory in 1803.


On 13 February, 1808 by an act of the State Legislature, Stark County was drawn from land originally in Columbiana County. It was organized on 1 January, 1809. Prior to 1815, Stark County consisted of eight townships - Canton, Green, Nimishillen, Osnaburg, Perry, Plain, Sandy, and Tuscarawas. The County was named after one of George Washington's Revolutionary War Generals, John Stark. Clicking on the township name below will take you to a list of the early settlers of that township.

Note: Brown, Rose, and Harrison were created from Sandy township but reassigned to Carroll Co. Franklin and Green were reassigned to Summit County in 1840. Be aware that your ancestor may appear in Franklin Township, Stark County for instance, before 1840, and then appear in Summit County in 1850, even though they did not move.

Earliest Available Dates of Stark County Vital Records

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