Polk County, Florida GenealogyEdit This Page
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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|
Location in the state of Florida
Location of Florida in the U.S.
|Founded||February 8, 1861|
Polk County, Florida Record Dates
Polk County Courthouse
255 N Broadway Ave
Bartow, FL 33830-3912
Boundaries changed 1871.
Clerk Circuit Court has marriage, divorce, court, and land records from 1861. 
Quick FactsA bit of history of creation from Hillsborough County.
8 February 1861: Polk County was created from Hillsborough County.
County seat: Bartow 
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.
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
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.
Funeral Homes and Records
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:
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.
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.
- 1880 - 1935 Florida, Births and Christenings, 1880-1935 at FamilySearch.org — index
- 1882-1940 - Polk County Birth Record Books 1-2 Index 1882-1940 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch - free.
- 1877 - 1939 Florida, Deaths, 1877-1939 at FamilySearch.org — index
- 1900 - 1921 Florida, Deaths and Burials, 1900-1921 at FamilySearch.org — index
- 1877 - 1998 Florida, Death Index, 1877-1998 at FamilySearch.org — index
- 1837 - 1974 Florida, Marriages, 1837-1974 at FamilySearch.org — index
- 1830 - 1993 Florida, Marriages, 1830-1993 at FamilySearch.org — index/images
- 1822 - 1875 and 1927 - 2001 Florida, Marriage Index, 1822-1875 and 1927-2001 at FamilySearch.org — index/images
- 1861-1927 - Polk County Marriage Books A-B, 1-11 Index 1861-1927 in International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch - free.
Societies and Libraries, and Museums
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 Centers for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.
- Lake Hamilton Florida Family History Center (Haines City)
- Lakeland Florida Family History Center
- Valdosta Florida Family History Center
- Polk County, FL History, Records, Facts and Genealogy
- Florida Genealogy Network Community on Google+
- Florida Genealogy Network Group on Facebook
- FamilySearch Catalog
- Polk County, Florida Genealogy and Family History (Linkpendium)
- Polk County, FLGenWeb Project, Inc.
- ↑ 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
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ WorldCat 50140092 FHL Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.] (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002)
- ↑ 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.
- This page was last modified on 16 July 2015, at 16:51.
- This page has been accessed 13,174 times.
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