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Religious Records Research at the Archives & Library of the Ohio History Connection


Presbyterians, a Protestant Christian religious denomination, arrived in the Northwest Territory by the late 1700s. By 1803, they were one of the largest religious denominations in Ohio. While the Presbyterians were scattered throughout Ohio, they were strongest among New England settlers in the Connecticut Western Reserve and among Scots-Irish people who settled in southern and eastern Ohio. In the Western Reserve, the Presbyterians formed a Plan of Union with the Congregationalists. Due to the small number of church buildings, ministers, and schools in the region, these two groups shared their resources. By the 1820s, Columbus, Cincinnati, Marietta and most of the other towns in Ohio had Presbyterian churches. Beginning in the 1830s, the Presbyterian Church divided over the issue of slavery with Northern and Southern branches, both present in Ohio through the Civil War. The church established Oberlin College in 1833.

Below are lists of select archival and library materials related to the Presbyterian Church, available for research at the Ohio History Connection Archives & Library. Review the catalog links below, or explore our Online Collections Catalog using a specific church name or related search terms for more information [example search terms: "Presbyterians", "Presbyterianism", "Presbyterian Church -- Ohio", "Presbyterians in Ohio"].

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