Lake County, Florida Genealogy

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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.


Lake County, Florida
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.
Founded May 13, 1887
County Seat Tavares
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County Information

Lake County, Florida Record Dates

Known Beginning Dates for Major Records[1]
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.

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]


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.


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 "Rotating Formation Florida County Boundary Maps"

Record Loss

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

Populated Places

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]

  • Towns
    Unincorporated communities
    Unorganized territories


    African American


    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.


    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 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.

    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.


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


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


    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



    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


    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

    The Villages Genealogical Society
    2063 Duval Court
    The Villages, FL 32162
    Telephone 352-750-4004
    Fax: 352-753-6372

    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.



    1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Lake 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), 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,,_Florida 04/25/2017.
    5. Wikipedia contributors, "Lake County, Florida," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Florida, accessed 26 January 2019.