Highlands County, Florida Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Sebring
Organized: April 23, 1921
Parent County(s): DeSoto[1]
Neighboring Counties
Charlotte  • DeSoto  • Glades  • Hardee  • Okeechobee  • Osceola  • Polk  •
See County Maps
Courthouse
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Location Map
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County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The county was named for the terrain of the county. The County is located in the Southcentral area of the state.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Highlands County Courthouse
590 S Commerce Avenue
Sebring, FL 33870
Phone: 863-402-6565
Highlands County Website

Clerk Circuit Court has marriage, divorce, probate and land records from 1921. [3]

Highlands 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 1921 1899 1921 1921 1921 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]

Cities
Towns
Unincorporated communities
  • Alpine
  • Archbold
  • Avon Park Lakes
  • Bairs Den
  • Bear Hollow
  • Brighton
  • Childs
  • Cornwell
  • De Soto City
  • Hen Scratch
  • Istokpoga
  • Lakemont
  • Lorida
  • Marland
  • Negrotown Knoll
  • Parker Island
Ghost towns


History Timeline[edit | edit source]

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 Highlands, 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 Highlands County cemeteries.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1930 9,192
1940 9,246 0.6%
1950 13,636 47.5%
1960 21,338 56.5%
1970 29,507 38.3%
1980 47,526 61.1%
1990 68,432 44.0%
2000 87,366 27.7%
2010 98,786 13.1%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

For tips on accessing 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
  • 1885 - Florida State Population Census includes sex, age, relationship, occupation, place of birth of each family member and parents. Also census for agriculture, manufacture and mortality.
  • Federal Census Information from National Archives USGenWeb
  • State Census Information from Florida State Archives USGenWeb
  • Census of Pensioners Revolutionary Military Service USGenWeb

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.

Florida Territorial Land Records

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]

Osceola CountyPolk CountyHardee CountyDeSoto CountyCharlotte CountyGlades CountyOkeechobee CountyFL HIGHLANDS.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

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

School 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]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[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.

Sebring Florida Family History Center
3235 Grand Prix Blvd
Sebring FL 33872
Phone: 863-382-1822
E-mail: FL_Sebring@familyhistorymail.org
Website

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Sebring Historical Society
321 W Center Ave
Sebring, FL 33870
Phone: 863-471-2522
Website

Highlands County Genealogical Society
c/o Lake Placid Library
47 Park Dr.
Lake Placid, FL 33852

Highlands County Historical Society
PO Box 1282
430 S. Commerce Ave
Sebring 33870
website

Florida Historical Society
435 Brevard Ave.
Cocoa FL 32922
Phone: 321-690-1971
Website

Florida State Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 940927
Maitland, FL 32794-0927
Phone: 407-494-3747
Website

Websites[edit | edit source]

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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, "Highlands County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, wikipedia 04/24/2017.
  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, "Highlands County, Florida," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, wikipedia accessed 26 January 2019.