About Us

What are the duties of County Recorder?

In Ohio it is the County Recorder who has the important and indispensable task of keeping the vital records pertaining to ownership in real estate (land) and to all encumbrances and liens upon it.  Without the work of the County Recorder in recording, safekeeping and organizing all documents in a competent and logical manner, it would be nearly impossible to purchase land and be assured of a clear title or to lend money with land as security.  The real estate market is a vital part of our economy.  Buying a home is usually the largest purchase that a person will ever make in their lifetime.  Having current, accurate, simple to search information readily available for the public plays an important role in the process. Ross County Recorder Kathy Dunn and her Staff take great pride in their commitment to provide the public, title examiners and lenders with the tools they need to make their home purchase research and decisions. Our goal is to make it simple for you to research a property’s history by accurately indexing the basic information about the property and providing you with easy access to the original documents filed.  Having clear concise public records will help you make an informed decision.

Your County Recorder Works For You:

  1. To Create and maintain a complete, accurate and permanent record of every document   pertaining to the conveyance and encumbrance of land within the county.
  2. Maintains permanent land records in archival form and makes them easily accessible to the public.
  3. Enforces more than 1000 sections of state law in the Ohio Revised Code pertaining to the duties of the Recorder’s Office.
  4. Takes great care to ensure that every document received is accurately filed, recorded and indexed.
  5. Serves on the County’s Record Commission which authorizes the retention of county records and determines when and how these government records may be disposed of.
  6. Serves on the County’s Automatic Data Processing Board to authorize any purchase, lease or contract for data processing equipment for county offices.
  7. Collects fees for documents filed in the Recorder’s office and various other fees set by Ohio Revised Code.  All monies collected are paid directly into the County General Fund.
  8. Maintains an accurate record of all monies appropriated to the Recorder’s office for its operation.
  9. Performs all accounting functions necessary for the operation of the Recorder’s office.  This includes preparation of annual budgets, reports, vouchers, purchase orders etc., and maintains all payroll records, sick and vacation leave records and other records pertaining to the Recorder’s staff.
  10. Files an annual ethics report, inventory of office equipment and supplies, affirmative action reports and every other report as required by law.
  11. Notifies Boards of County Commissioners as well as Township Trustees annually of their duty to file Zoning Resolutions, Maps and Amendments.

History of the Practice of Recording

The practice of recording real estate documents is based on law in England which traveled to the New World with the colonists.  Public land registrars were appointed in colonial America to keep accurate records.  A system of registration was necessary to prove the rights of persons who first made claims to property.  In 1787 the Northwest Territory was formed, encompassing all lands north and west of the Ohio River.  A Recorder's office was established in each county.  Ohio became a state in 1803 and although the state constitution did not provide for a Recorder's office, the first state legislature mandated that a Recorder be appointed in each county by the Judges of the Court of Common Please.  In 1829, the Recorder's office became an elective position and in 1936 the term was established at four years.


County Recorder Kathy Dunn is one of 7 children born to the late Raymond and Vesta Adkins formerly of Waverly, Ohio.  She is a 1971 graduate of Waverly High School and a 1975 Electro-Mechanical Engineering graduate of Scioto Technical College (now Shawnee State) in Portsmouth Ohio.  In December 1990 she graduated from Hondros College earning her Real Estate Licensing education requirements and passed her state exam in January 1991. Kathy continues to maintain her Real Estate Licensing education requirements but has and continues to be a full-time working recorder since her election in 1997.

Kathy Dunn’s work experience includes 22 years (1974-1996) as the General Manager of the former downtown Second Street businesses known as Tri-County Vending Service and Wholesale Electronics Inc.  Dunn was a part-time Realtor with Kear Realty from 1991-1996 and the Chillicothe City Treasurer from October 1986-January 1997, a part-time elected position, until she took office as County Recorder in January 1997.  She is currently serving her 6th four year term as Ross County Recorder.

Kathy has served on numerous Committees and Associations over the years including the State Veterans Identification Card Design Committee, numerous Ohio Recorder Associations positions including the Executive and Legislative Committees, the Ross County Records Commission and the Ross County Data Processing Board.  Dunn also served as the State President of the Ohio Recorder’s Association in 2005.  She has testified and worked on several pieces of state and local legislative issues including legislation to remove social security numbers from documents recorded in the Recorder’s Office, a law allowing active Military personnel to record Power of Attorneys at no fee in the Recorder’s Office, a law creating the Veterans Identification Card and legislation to prevent persons from misleading homeowners with solicitation letters to get copies of their deed records for the excessive cost of $89.00 or more.

Kathy, married to husband Bob for 42 years and son, Quin live in Chillicothe.

Disclaimer about obsolete regulations contrary to law

Provisions contained in any Deed, Lease, Subdivision Regulations, Plats or any other Instrument of Conveyance WHICH RESTRICTS the sale, rental or use of property because of RACE, COLOR, SEX, ORIGIN or RELIGION is UNLAWFUL DISCRIMINATION, INVALID and UNENFORCEABLE under Federal Law.

“Documents recorded in the recorder’s office generally are considered to be public records. Other persons have access to the information contained in recorded documents.” ORC 317.42(A)

Local recording policies and Rules

All Conveyance Instruments are to be reviewed by Recorder’s Office prior to submitting them for Transfer to make sure that the document can be recorded once transferred.

Get in Touch with Us

Ross County, Ohio Recorder

(740) 702-3000

2 North Paint Street, Suite E
Chillicothe, Ohio 45601