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Lake County, Florida Genealogy

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


Lake County, Florida
Map of Florida highlighting Lake County
Location in the state of Florida
Map of the U.S. highlighting Florida
Location of Florida in the U.S.
Founded May 13, 1887
County Seat Tavares
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County Information[edit | edit source]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1899 1887 1915 1887 1887 1893 1830
*Statewide registration of births and deaths began in 1899. General compliance by 1920.

County Courthouse [edit | edit source]

Lake County Courthouse
315 W Main St; PO 7800
Tavares, FL 32778
Phone: 352.742.4100

Clerk Circuit Court has marriage, divorce, court and land records from 1887,
probate records from 1893 and adoption records.
County Health Department has death records. [2]

History[edit | edit source]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1887--Lake County was created 13 May 1887 from Orange County.
County seat: Tavares [3]

In 1562 a French Huguenot colony was established in the present site of Astor on the St Johns River. The entire colony was wiped out by the Spanish, in 1566. In 1763 James Spalding established a trading post at Astor.

During the Revolutionary War all of Florida belonged to the British. A few white hunters and traders lived in Lake County, along with runaway slaves and freedmen.

In 1782, Spain re-occupied Florida and began rewarding large tracts of land. Settlers built forts throughout the county to protect them from the Indians. At that time Lake County was known as Mosquito County. In 1823, at the Treaty of Moultrie Creek, the Seminoles were ordered to live on a reservation, most of which was in Lake County.

In 1862, most white males between 18 and 35 were forced into involuntary service to the Confederacy.

In 1887, Lake County became a county. It was named “Lake County” because it contains over 1400 lakes. It was carved from Orange and Sumter counties. In 1889, the courthouse was dedicated. It was known as the “Pioneer Building”.

During World War II, Lake County was the site of a Prison of War camp. It is now primarily an agricultural and retirement community.

Description[edit | edit source]

The County Seat is Tavares and the county was created May 27, 1887. The County is located in the Central area of the state.[4]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

1821-1997 "Rotating Formation Florida County Boundary Maps"

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

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:[5]

  • Towns
    Unincorporated communities
    Unorganized territories

    Resources[edit | edit source]

    African American[edit | edit source]

    Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

    Cemeteries of Lake, 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 site may have additional information on Lake County cemeteries.

    Census[edit | edit source]

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

    • 1783 Spanish Census USGenWeb
    • 1821 Census/Tax List Index USGenWeb
    • 1823 Census/Tax List Index USGenWeb
    • 1880 Census African Born Blacks and Mulattos USGenWeb
    • Federal Census Information from National Archives USGenWeb
    • State Census Information from Florida State Archives USGenWeb
    • Census of Pensioners Revolutionary Military Service USGenWeb

    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.

    Court[edit | edit source]

    Land[edit | edit source]

    Land and property records can place an ancestor in a particular location, provide economic information, and reveal family relationships. Land records include: deeds, abstracts and indexes, mortgages, leases, grants and land patents.

    See Florida Land and Property for additional information about early Florida land grants. After land was transferred to private ownership, subsequent transactions were usually recorded at the county courthouse and where records are currently housed.

    Local Histories[edit | edit source]

    Local histories are available for Lake County, Florida Genealogy. County histories may include biographies, church, school and government history, and military information. For more information about local histories see the wiki page section Florida Local Histories.

    Maps[edit | edit source]

    Marion CountyVolusia CountySeminole CountyOrange CountyOsceola CountyPolk CountySumter CountyFL LAKE.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]

    Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Lake County, Florida Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:

    • Early Florida Newspapers at the Florida State Library USGenWeb

    Obituaries[edit | edit source]

    Probate[edit | edit source]

    Online Probate Records

    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]
    Death Records[edit | edit source]
    Divorce Records[edit | edit source]
    Marriage Records[edit | edit source]

    Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

    Lake County Historical Society
    PO Box 7800
    Tavares, FL 32778

    Lake County Kinseekers Genealogical Society
    19 Quail Run
    Wildwood, FL 32785

    Pastfinders Genealogical Society of South Lake County

    Cooper Memorial Library

    2525 Oakley Seaver Dr

    Clermont, FL 34711

    The Villages Genealogical Society
    2063 Duval Court
    The Villages, FL 32162
    Telephone 352-750-4004
    Fax: 352-753-6372

    Leesburg Genealogical Society
    204 N. Fifth St.
    Leesburg, FL 32748

    Random Acts of Kindness List of Florida Archives, Libraries, Publications, Historical Genealogical Societies

    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), Lake 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), Lake County, Florida Page 135 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. Wikipedia contributors, "Lake County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Florida 04/25/2017.
    5. Wikipedia contributors, "Lake County, Florida," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Florida, accessed 26 January 2019.