Lake County, Florida Genealogy
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|
Location in the state of Florida
Location of Florida in the U.S.
|Founded||May 13, 1887|
- 1 County Information
- 2 County Courthouse
- 3 History
- 4 Populated Places
- 5 Resources
- 5.1 African American
- 5.2 Cemeteries
- 5.3 Census
- 5.4 Church
- 5.5 Court
- 5.6 Land
- 5.7 Local Histories
- 5.8 Maps
- 5.9 Military
- 5.10 Newspapers
- 5.11 Obituaries
- 5.12 Probate
- 5.13 Taxation
- 5.14 Vital Records
- 6 Societies and Libraries
- 7 Websites
- 8 References
Lake County, Florida Record Dates
Lake County Courthouse
315 W Main St; PO 7800
Tavares, FL 32778
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. 
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.
1821-1997 MapofUS.org "Rotating Formation Florida County Boundary Maps"
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
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:
The following web site may have additional information on Lake County cemeteries.
- Interment.net Florida cemetery records
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 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.
- 1821-1997 Maps of Florida
- 1870 Gray's Atlas Panhandle Portion of StateUSGenWeb
- 1882 Rand McNally Panhandle Portion of StateUSGenWeb
- Exploring Florida, FCIT Maps University of South Florida
- Lake County Military Records (USGenWeb Archives)
- Florida State Military Files USGenWeb
- Florida state pension records from various wars Pension Transcriptions USGenWeb
- 1861 - 1865 - Florida Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch — index
- 1861 - 1865 - Florida Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch — index
- 1861 - 1865 - U.S., Confederate Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865 at Ancestry — index (free)
- 1861 - 1865 - U.S., Union Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865 at Ancestry — index (free)
- 1885 - 1955 - Florida Confederate Veterans and Widows Pension Applications, 1885-1955 at FamilySearch — images only
- Lake County Applications for Florida Old Confederate Home (Genealogy Trails)
World War I
- 1917 - 1918 - Lake County Civilian Draft Registration (USGenWeb Archives)
- 1917 - 1920 - Florida, World War I Navy Card Roster, 1917-1920 at FamilySearch — index and images
World War II
- Lake County World War II Army Enlistees, Names Aaron - Conrad (USGenWeb Archives)
- Lake County World War II Army Enlistees, Names Cook - Harrisone (USGenWeb Archives)
- Lake County World War II Army Enlistees, Names Hart - Maynor (USGenWeb Archives)
- Lake County World War II Army Enlistees, Names McCall - Roache (USGenWeb Archives)
- Lake County World War II Army Enlistees, Names Roberts - Warren (USGenWeb Archives)
- Lake County World War II Army Enlistees, Names Washburn - Zellman (USGenWeb Archives)
- Lake County World War II Honor List of Dead and Missing Army and Army Air Forces Personnel (Genealogy Trails)
- Lake County Korean War Casualty List (Genealogy Trails)
- Florida Casualties in the Korean Conflict distantcousin.com
- Lake County Vietnam War Casualty List (Genealogy Trails)
- Florida Casualties in the Vietnam War distantcousin.com
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
- USGenWeb Obituaries Project Obituary transcriptions from Florida counties
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
- 1784 – 1990 FamilySearch Florida Probate Records 1784-1990
- 1810 – 1974 Ancestry.com $ Florida Wills and Probate Records 1810-1974
- Florida State Archives $
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 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.
- 1877 - 1939 - Florida, Deaths, 1877-1939 at FamilySearch — index
- 1900 - 1921 - Florida, Deaths and Burials, 1900-1921 at FamilySearch — index
- 1877 - 1998 - Florida, Death Index, 1877-1998 at FamilySearch — index
- 1802 - 1998 - Florida, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
- 1837 - 1974 - Florida, Marriages, 1837-1974 at FamilySearch — index
- 1830 - 1993 - Florida, Marriages, 1830-1993 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1830 - 1957 - Florida, County Marriages, 1830-1957 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1822 - 1875 and 1927 - 2001 - Florida, Marriage Index, 1822-1875 and 1927-2001 at FamilySearch — index
Societies and Libraries
Lake County Historical Society
PO Box 7800
Tavares, FL 32778
Lake County Kinseekers Genealogical Society
19 Quail Run
Wildwood, FL 32785
Leesburg Genealogical Society
204 N. Fifth St.
Leesburg, FL 32748
- Random Acts of Kindness List of Florida Archives, Libraries, Publications, Historical Genealogical Societies
- FamilySearch Find a Family History Center
- Florida Historical Society
- Florida State Genealogical Society
- Lake County Library
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.
- Unicoi County, FL History, Records, Facts and Genealogy
- Florida Genealogy Network Community on Google+
- Florida Genealogy Network Group on Facebook
- Kinseekers Genealogical Society
- FamilySearch Catalog
- Lake County, Florida Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- Lake County, FLGenWeb Project, Inc.
- Lake County, FLGenWeb Project
- Lake County, Florida, USGenWeb Archives
- Lake County, Florida Genealogy Trails
- Lake County FL Genealogy (LDS Genealogy)
- 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.
- 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.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- Wikipedia contributors, "Lake County," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_County,_Florida 04/25/2017.
- Wikipedia contributors, "Lake County, Florida," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_County,_Florida, accessed 26 January 2019.