Lake County, Florida Genealogy

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United States
Florida
Lake County

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

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Lake County, Florida
Map
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.
Facts
Founded May 13, 1887
County Seat Tavares
Courthouse
FloridaLakeCourthouse.jpg
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County Information

Lake County, Florida Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1887 1830 1887 1887

County Courthouse

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

Parent County

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

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

1821-1997 MapofUS.org "Rotating Formation Florida County Boundary Maps"

Record Loss

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

Places / Localities

Cities

  • Clermont
  • Eustis
  • Fruitland Park
  • Groveland
  • Leesburg
  • Mascotte
  • Minneola
  • Mount Dora
  • Tavares
  • Umatilla

Towns

  • Altoona Incorporated in 1887, but abolished in 1899, after a fire wiped out most of the town's buildings. *Astatula
  • Astor
  • Bassville Park
  • Bay Lakes
  • Citrus Ridge
  • Ferndale
  • Howey-in-the-Hills
  • Lake Kathryn
  • Lake Mack-Forest Hills
  • Lisbon
  • Montverde
  • Okahumpka
  • Pittman
  • Sorrento

Resources

African American

Cemeteries

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

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

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

Land

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

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

Fllake.png


Military

Civil War
World War I
World War II
Korean War
Vietnam War

Newspapers

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


Probate

Probate records are held by the Lake County, Florida Genealogy Clerk of Court and are housed at the Lake 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

Taxation

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

Lake County Historical Society
PO Box 7800
Tavares, FL 32778

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

The Villages Genealogical Society
2063 Duval Court
The Villages, FL 32162
Telephone 352-750-4004
Fax: 352-753-6372
E-mail:info@vgsfl.org
Website

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



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.

Websites

References

  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), 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, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_County,_Florida 04/25/2017.