This website is designed in part those with a family tree that includes “pioneers” who came to Ohio in the late 1700s and early 1800s. In order to understand land and census records from those times, you need some understanding of how the land in Ohio was surveyed and how the boundaries of counties and townships changed over time. The starting point for much of this is the Northwest Ordinance.
Family history can be an interesting lens for viewing the larger flow of time and change. Reading about the Northwest Ordinance and the history of Ohio that followed may provide a deeper understanding, not only of one’s own family, but also of ideas and events that shaped a nation.
Needless to say, Ohio has a rich history that began long before the Northwest Ordinance. Some small part of that may be described here from time to time as background information. However, much of this earlier history was not recorded at the time it occurred, and understanding it requires professional expertise. This website is an amateur venture intended to inform and entertain by sharing selected stories about people, places and events that unfolded during and after the time when Ohio became part of the United States of America.
While researching your family tree, you may end up researching people who, as it turns out, are not part of that tree. In order to be sure of that, you may end up learning quite a bit about such people. In the process, you may recognize that they are interesting in their own right, that they share a place in history with your own ancestors, and that they too may be considered pioneers.
Looking forward, you may discover other people who shaped the present and future of Ohio (and other places): keepers of farms, producers of food, pilots of boats, refugees from oppression, founders of towns, hewers of wood, boilers of salt, cutters of stone, pavers of streets, miners of coal, smelters of iron, builders of railroads, preachers and teachers who inspired others to become better and do more, immigrants seeking opportunities, processors of pork, weavers of wool, shapers of steel, drillers of wells, vulcanizers of rubber, inventors of airplanes, mothers and fathers of children, makers of medicines, givers of healthcare, writers of books, workers in factories, pilots of spaceships, singers and songwriters, developers of ion engines, denizens of cubicles — and the list goes on. There are many kinds of pioneers.