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Bay County, Florida Genealogy

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

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Bay County, Florida
Map
Map of Florida highlighting Bay County
Location in the state of Florida
Map of the U.S. highlighting Florida
Location of Florida in the U.S.
Facts
Founded April 24, 1913
County Seat Panama City
Courthouse
FloridaBayCourthouse.jpg
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County Information[edit | edit source]

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

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[1]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1899 1913 1899 1913 1913 1913 1830
*Statewide registration of births and deaths began in 1899. General compliance by 1920.

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Bay County Courthouse

Bay County Courthouse
300 E 4th St; PO Box 2269;
Panama City, FL 32402;
Phone: 850.763.9061 

Health Department has birth and death records.
Clerk Circuit Court has marriage, probate, divorce, land records from 1913.[2]

Bay County Health Department
597 W. 11th Street
Panama City, FL 32401
(850) 872-4720 x1122
FAX (850) 872-4824

History[edit | edit source]

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1913-- Bay County was created 24 April 1913 from Calhoun County.
County seat: Panama City [3]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for St. Andrews Bay. The County Seat is Panama City and the county was created April 24, 1913. The County is located in the North West area of the state.[4]

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 MapofUS.org 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:[5]


Cities
Unincorporated communities
  • Allanton
  • Bahama Beach
  • Baker
  • Bay Harbor
  • Bayhead
  • Bayou George
  • Bayview
  • Beacon Beach
  • Bennett
  • Betts
  • Bid-A-Wee
  • Biltmore Beach
  • Brannonville
  • Cairo
  • Cook
  • Couch
  • Cove
  • Cromanton
  • Davis Beach
  • Delwood Beach
  • Dirego Park
  • Econfina
  • Edgewater Gulf Beach
  • Farmdale
  • Florida Beach
  • Fountain
  • Glenwood
  • Gulf Lagoon Beach
  • Gulf Resort Beach
  • Hiland Park
  • Hollywood Beach
  • Laird
  • Long Beach Resort
  • Long Point
  • Magnolia Beach
  • Majette
  • Millville
  • Nixon
  • Old Callaway
  • Open Sands
  • Pine Log
  • Resota Beach
  • Saint Andrew
  • San Blas
  • Saunders
  • Seminole Hills
  • Southport
  • Sunnyside
  • Vicksburg
  • West Bay
  • West Panama City Beach
  • Wetappo
  • Youngstown
Census-designated places


Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Calhoun  • Gulf  • Jackson  • Walton  • Washington

Resources[edit | edit source]

African American[edit | edit source]

Biography[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Bay, 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 Bay County cemeteries.

Census[edit | edit source]

For tips on accessing Bay 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.

  • Florida Territorial Land Records USGenWeb

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Local histories are available for Bay 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]

Walton CountyWashington CountyJackson CountyCalhoun CountyGulf CountyFL BAY.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


Military[edit | edit source]

Military Land Grants[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 Bay 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]

Probate records are held by the Bay County, Florida Genealogy Clerk of Court and are housed at the Bay County, Florida Genealogy Courthouse. See the wiki page Florida Probate Records for information about how to use probate records.

Content: Probate Records may give the decedent's date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their place of residence.

Record types: Wills, estates, guardianships, naturalizations, and adoptions.

Online Probate Records

  • 1784 – 1990 FamilySearch Florida Probate Records 1784-1990
  • 1810 – 1974 Ancestry.com $ 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, the County Clerk's office of the county where the event occurred or order electronically online. See also How to order Florida Vital Records

For some online statewide indexes, see the FamilySearch Historical Record Collections for Florida.

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]

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. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Bay 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), Bay County, Florida. Page 133 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, "Bay County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay_County,_Florida 04/21/2017.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Bay County, Florida," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bay_County,_Florida, accessed 10 Dec 2018.