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DeSoto County, Florida Genealogy

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Guide to DeSoto County, Florida ancestry, family history, and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.

DeSoto County, Florida
Map of Florida highlighting DeSoto County
Location in the state of Florida
Map of the U.S. highlighting Florida
Location of Florida in the U.S.
Founded May 19, 1887
County Seat Arcadia
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County Information[edit | edit source]

DeSoto County, Florida Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1899 1887 1899 1887 1887 1887 1830
*Statewide registration of births and deaths began in 1899. General compliance by 1920.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

De Soto County Courthouse
 115 Oak Street
Arcadia, FL 33821
Phone: 862.993.4876

County Judge has probate records from 1887.
Clerk Ciruit Court has divorce, court and land records from 1887. [2]

History[edit | edit source]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1887--DeSoto County was created 19 May 1887 from Manatee County.
County seat: Arcadia [3]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for Hernando de Soto, Spanish explorer. The County Seat is Arcadia and the county was created May 1887.[4] The County is located in the Southwest area of the state.[5]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

For animated maps illustrating Florida county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Florida County Boundary Maps" (1821-1997) may be viewed for free at the website.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

Places / Localities[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[6]

Unincorporated communities
  • Brownville
  • Cubitis
  • Fort Ogden
  • Hull
  • Platt
  • Southfort
  • Tryon
Census-designated places
Ghost towns

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Charlotte  • Glades  • Hardee  • Highlands  • Manatee  • Sarasota

Resources[edit | edit source]

African American[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of DeSoto, Florida online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
TombstoneTranscriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Florida Cemeteries for more information

The following web sites may have additional information on DeSoto County cemeteries.

Census[edit | edit source]

Desoto County Federal Census Index-FLGenWeb Project,Inc.

For tips on accessing DeSoto County, Florida Genealogy census records online, see: Florida Census.

Church[edit | edit source]

Church records and the information they provide vary significantly depending on the denomination and the record keeper. They may contain information about members of the congregation, such as age, date of baptism, christening, or birth; marriage information and maiden names; and death date. For general information about Florida denominations, view the Florida Church Records wiki page.

Churches of Desoto Co

Court[edit | edit source]

Land[edit | edit source]

Template:FL Land

Florida Territorial Land Records

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Template:FL History

Maps[edit | edit source]

Manatee CountyHardee CountySarasota CountyCharlotte CountyGlades CountyHighlands CountyFL DESOTO.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Civil War[edit | edit source]
World War I[edit | edit source]
World War II[edit | edit source]
Korean War[edit | edit source]
Vietnam War[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Template:FL Newspaper abstracts

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

  • USGenWeb Obituary transcriptions from Florida counties Obituaries Project

Probate[edit | edit source]

Online Probate Records

  • 1784 – 1990 FamilySearch Florida Probate Records 1784-1990
  • 1810 – 1974 $ Florida Wills and Probate Records 1810-1974

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Taxes were levied on free white males over 21 and slaves aged 21 to 60. These persons are referred to as "polls." Tax listings, or digests, of a county generally list the taxable landowners and other polls and the amount of tax. The records for each county are divided by militia district. For more information see the wiki page Florida Taxation.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Vital Records consist of births, adoptions, marriages, divorces, and deaths recorded on registers, certificates, and documents. A copy or an extract of most original records can be purchased from the Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Florida State Archives, or the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred.

Birth Records[edit | edit source]
  • 1880 - 1935 - FamilySearch Florida, Births and Christenings, 1880-1935
Death Records[edit | edit source]
Divorce Records[edit | edit source]
Marriage Records[edit | edit source]

Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

DeSoto County Historical Society, Inc.
PO Box 1824
Arcadia, FL 34265
Telephone Number: 863-993-3277

Genealogical Society of Sarasota, Inc.
PO Box 1917
Sarasota, FL 34230-1917

Lemon Bay Historical Society
PO BOx 1245
Englewood, FL 34293-1245
Telephone Number: 941-473-8491

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes.

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), DeSoto County, Florida . Page 133-137 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 143-145.
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), DeSoto County, Florida Page 134 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. Genealogy Trails History Group, “DeSoto County, Florida Genealogy and History”, accessed 04/24/2017.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "DeSoto County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Florida 04/24/2017.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "DeSoto County, Florida," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Florida, accessed 10 December 2018.