Florida Counties and Historical Facts

Florida County records vary widely from county to county in both quality and quantity. Some have been carefully preserved while others have been much abused and neglected. Some Florida records have simply disappeared.

For genealogists doing research in Florida there is no effective replace for an on-site search of county courthouse records.

Map of Florida Counties
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Map of Florida Counties

Florida County Records

The office of the clerk of the courts in each county typically holds the marriage records for that county. County health departments typically hold original death and birth certificates.

The LDS church has put many of the court records on microfilm and made them available at the FHL. Researchers can order copies, as needed.

Most counties have also published “official records” online. Although none have published records for dates later than January 1, 1990.

Those records consist of Deeds, Marriage Certificates, Judgments, Liens, Probate Documents. Indexes to documents from earlier dates are available for some county records. Copies of records can be purchased online. Stendra or Viagra? https://www.rpspharmacy.com/stendra-vs-viagra/

Among the records useful to the genealogist and usually held by the county courthouses are original marriage and divorce records.

Probate court records include wills, administrations, bonds, inventories and appraisements, and guardianships.

Land grants, homesteads, deeds, mortgages, and similar or related records are found in earlier individual books, but for a number of years in most jurisdictions such records have been combined into “Official Record” books. Tadacip http://valleyofthesunpharmacy.com/tadacip/

Recorded plat books, civil and criminal court dockets (case schedules) minutes, order books, naturalizations, incorporations, incompetencies, soldier and sailor discharge records, Confederate oaths of allegiance, delayed birth certificates, and marks and brands are all generally useful as well.

See also a list of links to county and county seat government run websites.

List of Florida Extinct Counties

Florida has counties that no longer exist because they were discontinued, renamed or merged with another county.

A lot of these counties were established and disbanded within the 19th century; county borders have changed very little since 1900.

These are important for genealogy research purposes. Pay attention where the courthouse records went to if the county was eliminated or joined with some other county.

See the History of Florida Counties for more details.

List of Florida Counties with Burned Courthouses

Florida burned county courthouse
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The damage to courthouses greatly has a bearing on genealogists in every way.

Not only are these historic structures torn from our lifetimes, so are the records they housed: marriage, wills, probate, land records, and others.

Once destroyed they’re lost forever. Although they have been placed on mircofilm, computers and film burn too.

However, not all records were damaged or lost in some counties.

  • Baker County Courthouse, constructed in 1888, was lost to fire.
  • Bradford County Courthouse was burned in 1865, reportedly to destroy a murder indictment along with all other county records. A second courthouse burned in 1875,
  • Brevard County Courthouse had a Record Loss, unknown causes
  • Calhoun County Courthouse had a Record Loss, unknown causes
  • Clay County Courthouse – Court was held in McRae House which burned in 1872 and with it most of the county’s judicial records.
  • Columbia County Courthouse – Numerous prior courthouses, most if not all constructed from logs, fell victim to arsonists in 1848, 1860, 1867, and 1874. Most early records were destroyed.
  • Dade County Courthouse – Record Loss (Court)
  • Duval County Courthouse was burned during the Civil War, burned in 1901. Extent of reocrd loss unknown.
  • Franklin County Courthouse  destroyed by fire in 1887
  • Gadsden County Courthouse burned in 1849, supposedly an act of arson by a Forbes family slave.
  • Hamilton County Courthouse may have been destroyed by a tornado prior to 1836. Courthouse was destroyed by fire in 1929 and rebuilt in 1932.
  • Hernando County Courthouse  destroyed by fire in 1877
  • Hillsborough County Courthouse, a small log cabin, was burned by Indians during the Second Seminole War
  • Holmes County Courthouse at Cerro Gordo also burned at least once in the 1870’s. Westville Courthouse burned in 1902, and most early county records perished with it.
  • Jackson County Courthouse  was destroyed by fire on November 30, 1848. All records were destroyed
  • Lafayette County Courthouse  caught fire on New Year’s Eve, 1892, apparently the result of a drunken prank.
  • Madison County Courthouse burned in 1876 and was replaced by one built in 1880 of brick. This building burned as well, in 1912, and was replaced in 1913 by the present courthouse
  • Orange County Courthouse, a two-story hewn-log affair, was burned in 1868.  Most of the books and records were destroyed.
  • Santa Rosa County Courthouse – Record Loss (Marriage & Probate)
  • Wakulla County Courthouse – Record Loss (Marriage & Probate)
  • Walton County Courthouse – Record Loss (Marriage & Probate)
  • Washington County Courthouse – Record Loss

List of Florida Counties

List of Florida Counties

County Date Formed Parent County County Seat
Alachua 1824 Duval and Saint Johns counties Gainesville
Baker 1861 New River County Macclenny
Bay 1913 Calhoun and Washington counties Panama City
Bradford 1858 Columbia County Starke
Brevard 1844 Mosquito County Titusville
Broward 1915 Dade and Palm Beach counties Fort Lauderdale
Calhoun 1838 Franklin, Jackson and Washington counties Blountstown
Charlotte 1921 DeSoto County Punta Gorda
Citrus 1887 Hernando County Inverness
Clay 1858 Duval County Green Cove Springs
Collier 1923 Lee County Naples
Columbia 1832 Alachua County Lake City
DeSoto 1887 Manatee County Arcadia
Dixie 1921 Lafayette County Cross City
Duval 1822 Saint Johns County Jacksonville
Escambia 1821 One of the two original counties of Florida Pensacola
Flagler 1917 St. Johns and Volusia counties Bunnell
Franklin 1832 Gadsden and Washington counties Apalachicola
Gadsden 1823 Jackson County Quincy
Gilchrist 1925 Alachua County Trenton
Glades 1921 DeSoto County Moore Haven
Gulf 1925 Calhoun County Port St. Joe
Hamilton 1827 Jefferson County Jasper
Hardee 1921 DeSoto County Wauchula
Hendry 1923 Lee County La Belle
Hernando 1843 Alachua County Brooksville
Highlands 1921 DeSoto County Sebring
Hillsborough 1834 Alachua County and unorganized territory Tampa
Holmes 1848 Jackson and Walton counties Bonifay
Indian River 1925 St. Lucie County Vero Beach
Jackson 1822 Escambia County Marianna
Jefferson 1827 Leon County Monticello
Lafayette 1856 Madison County Mayo
Lake 1887 Orange and Sumter counties Tavares
Lee 1887 Monroe County Fort Myers
Leon 1824 Gadsden County Tallahassee
Levy 1845 Alachua County Bronson
Liberty 1855 Gadsden County Bristol
Madison 1827 Jefferson County Madison
Manatee 1855 Hillsborough County Bradenton
Marion 1844 Alachua and Mosquito counties Ocala
Martin 1925 Saint Lucie and Palm Beach counties Stuart
Miami-Dade 1836 Monroe County Miami
Monroe 1823 St. Johns County Key West
Nassau 1824 Duval County Fernandina Beach
Okaloosa 1915 Santa Rosa and Walton counties Crestview
Okeechobee 1917 Osceola, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties Okeechobee
Orange 1824 St. Johns County Orlando
Osceola 1887 Brevard and Orange counties Kissimmee
Palm Beach 1909 Miami-Dade County West Palm Beach
Pasco 1887 Hernando County Dade City
Pinellas 1911 Hillsborough County Clearwater
Polk 1861 Brevard and Hillsborough counties Bartow
Putnam 1849 Alachua and St. Johns counties Palatka
Saint Johns 1821 One of the two original counties Saint Augustine
Saint Lucie 1905 Brevard County Fort Pierce
Santa Rosa 1842 Escambia County Milton
Sarasota 1921 Manatee County Sarasota
Seminole 1913 Orange County Sanford
Sumter 1853 Marion County Bushnell
Suwannee 1858 Columbia County Live Oak
Taylor 1856 Madison County Perry
Union 1921 Bradford County Lake Butler
Volusia 1854 Orange County DeLand
Wakulla 1843 Leon County Crawfordville
Walton 1824 Escambia and Jackson counties DeFuniak Springs
Washington 1825 Jackson and Walton counties Chipley
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