Lake County, Florida Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Tavares
Organized: May 13, 1887
Parent County(s): Orange[1]
Neighboring Counties
Marion County  • Orange County  • Osceola County  • Polk County  • Seminole County  • Sumter County  • Volusia County  •
See County Maps
Location Map
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The County is named for the many lakes contained within its borders. The County is located in the Central area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Lake County Courthouse
315 W Main St; PO 7800
Tavares, FL 32778
Phone: 352-742-4100
Lake County Website

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.[3]

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

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[4]
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.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

Boundary Changes[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]

  • Towns
    Unincorporated communities
    Unorganized territories

    History Timeline[edit | edit source]

    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 1862 - most white males between 18 and 35 were forced into involuntary service to the Confederacy.
    • 13 May 1887 - Lake County was created from Orange County. It was named “Lake County” because it contains over 1400 lakes. It was carved from Orange and Sumter counties.
    • 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.

    Resources[edit | edit source]

    Bible Records[edit | edit source]

    Biographies[edit | edit source]

    Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

    Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

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

    Census Records[edit | edit source]

    Historical populations
    Census Pop.
    1890 8,034
    1900 7,467 −7.1%
    1910 9,509 27.3%
    1920 12,744 34.0%
    1930 23,161 81.7%
    1940 27,255 17.7%
    1950 36,340 33.3%
    1960 57,383 57.9%
    1970 69,305 20.8%
    1980 104,870 51.3%
    1990 152,104 45.0%
    2000 210,528 38.4%
    2010 297,052 41.1%
    Source: "".

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

    Church Records[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.
    List of Churches and Church Parishes

    Court Records[edit | edit source]

    Directories[edit | edit source]

    Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

    Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

    African American

    Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

    Genealogies[edit | edit source]

    Guardianship[edit | edit source]

    Land and Property Records[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 most counties. 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 and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

    Marion CountyVolusia CountySeminole CountyOrange CountyOsceola CountyPolk CountySumter CountyFL LAKE.PNG
    Click a neighboring county
    for more resources

    Migration[edit | edit source]

    Military Records[edit | edit source]

    Civil War

    World War I

    World War II

    Korean War

    Vietnam War

    Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

    Newspapers[edit | edit source]

    Obituaries[edit | edit source]

    Other Records[edit | edit source]

    Periodicals[edit | edit source]

    Probate Records[edit | edit source]

    Online Indexes and Records

    School Records[edit | edit source]

    Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

    Tax Records[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[edit | edit source]

    Marriage[edit | edit source]

    Death[edit | edit source]

    Divorce[edit | edit source]

    Voter Records[edit | edit source]

    Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

    Archives[edit | edit source]

    Listed below are archives in Lake County. For state-wide archival repositories, see Florida Archives and Libraries.

    Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

    Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

    • Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
    • FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

    Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries

    Libraries[edit | edit source]

    Listed below are libraries in Lake County. For state-wide library facilities, see Florida Archives and Libraries.

    Lake County Library System
    418 W Alfred St., Suite C
    Tavares, FL 32778
    Phone: 352-742-6204
    main website

    Lake County Florida has a library system that supports 16 different locations. Please go to the main website to find locations.

    Museums[edit | edit source]

    Societies[edit | edit source]

    Listed below are societies in Lake County. For state-wide genealogical societies, see Florida Societies.

    Lake County Historical Society
    317 W Main St.
    Tavares, FL 32778

    Kinseekers Genealogical Society of Lake County
    11745 Rancho Drive
    Leesburg, Florida 34788
    Website Facebook

    Leesburg Historical Society
    111 South Sixth St.
    Leesburg, FL 32748

    Pastfinders Genealogical Society of South Lake County
    2525 Oakley Seaver Dr
    Clermont, FL 34711
    (407) 405-0579
    Website Facebook

    The Villages Genealogical Society
    2322 Wilton Way
    The Villages, FL 32162

    Websites[edit | edit source]

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    The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.

    Research Guides[edit | edit source]

    References[edit | edit source]

    1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Florida.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
    2. Wikipedia contributors, "Lake County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, wikipedia 04/25/2017.
    3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Florida.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
    4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Florida.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
    5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Florida.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
    6. Wikipedia contributors, "Lake County, Florida," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, wikipedia accessed 26 January 2019.