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


Polk County, Florida
Map of Florida highlighting Polk County
Location in the state of Florida
Map of the U.S. highlighting Florida
Location of Florida in the U.S.
Founded February 8, 1861
County Seat Bartow
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County Information

Polk County, Florida Record Dates

Beginning Dates for Major County Records[1]
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1892 1862 1830 1862 1861

County Courthouse

Polk County Courthouse
255 N Broadway Ave
Bartow, FL 33830-3912
Phone: 863.534.4540

Boundaries changed 1871.
Clerk Circuit Court has marriage, divorce, court, and land records from 1861. [2]

Quick Facts

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Polk County, Florida
A bit of history of creation from Hillsborough County.

Parent County

8 February 1861: Polk County was created from Hillsborough County.
County seat: Bartow [3]

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 MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss

For a list of record loss in Florida counties see: Florida Counties with Burned Courthouses

Places / Localities


Bartow Historical Library, . The preceding list of places includes incorporated cities and towns, unincorporated towns and communities, and place names that may have been used in family histories. Some have well-organized records and even have web sites. Some are simply social communities with no official records, but which may be referenced in small-town newspapers. The list is provided to help researchers identify localities within the county. As records or histories of these localities are identified, a page will be added for each of these place names.


Archives and Libraries

Bartow Historical Library, Bartow, Polk Co., Florida


Heritage and History in Polk County

Willow Lawn Cemetery- African American- & obits

Jackson C. Longworth - African American Polk Co. Pioneer



For cemeteries within cities and communities, please refer to their pages.


For tips on accessing Polk County, Florida Genealogy census records online, see: Florida Census.


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 Records

Funeral Homes and Records


Town Listings for Polk County


Mailing Lists

Message Boards



Local Histories

Local histories are available for Polk 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.

Land and Property

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.



Military History and Records


Additional newspapers abstracts can sometimes be found using search phrases such as Polk County, Florida Genealogy newspapers in online catalogs like:

Personal News


Valentine V. VanHuss -FLGenWeb Project,Inc.



Probate records are held by the Polk County, Florida Genealogy Clerk of Court and are housed at the Polk County, Florida Genealogy Courthouse. Microfilmed records can be found online at Florida Probate Records, 1784-1990. 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 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, and Museums

Imperial Polk Genealogical Society
PO Box 10
Kathleen, FL 33849
863-858-2738 Email: ipgslakeland@gmail.com

Polk County Historical/Genealogical Library
100 E. Main St
Bartow, FL 33830
Phone: 863 534-4380

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), Polk County, Florida Page 136 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. WorldCat 50140092 FHL Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.] (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/3/3f/Igifloridamz.pdf.


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  • This page was last modified on 12 November 2015, at 02:52.
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