Bay County, Florida Genealogy

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Bay County

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


Bay County, Florida
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.
Founded April 24, 1913
County Seat Panama City
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County Information

Bay County, Florida Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1913 1850 1885 1913

County Courthouse

Bay County Courthouse

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

Heatlh Deptment has bird and death records;
Clerk Circuit Court has marriage, probate, divoce, Court
ircuit  has marriage, probate, divorce, ct & land rec from 1913[2]

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


Parent County

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


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

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

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

Places / Localities

Populated Places

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit [https://,cfips,097,c,traill.cfm HomeTown Locator]. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[5]

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

Calhoun  • Gulf  • Jackson  • Walton  • Washington


African American



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.


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 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.



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

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.


Walton CountyWashington CountyJackson CountyCalhoun CountyGulf CountyFL BAY.PNG
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Military Land Grants
Civil War
World War I
World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War


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



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 $ Florida Wills and Probate Records 1810-1974


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

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
Death Records
Divorce Records
Marriage Records

Societies and Libraries

Bay County Genealogical Society
PO Box 662
Panama City 32402-0662

Family History Centers

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.



  1. Alice Eichholz, Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, Revised ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1992), 123-139. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 1992
  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,,_Florida 04/21/2017.
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Bay County, Florida," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,¬_County,_Florida, accessed 10 December 2018.