Your Guide to Finding Florida Ancestors

Postal Code: FL Abbreviation: Fla.
Capital: Tallahassee
First permanent settlement 1565
Under Spanish rule until 1762 Under British rule until 1783 (East and West Florida) Spanish until annexed into the U.S. between 1810 and 1819.
Florida Territory organized 1822 Admitted as the 27th state in 1845.
First mostly extant federal census: 1830
Statewide birth and death records: 1899
Statewide marriage records 1927.
(Individual counties will have earlier marriage records. )
Public-land state.

Books & Articles
On the Web

There is nothing more helpful that a handy reference book with information specific to the area you are researching. I've listed below those that I know about.

(find in a library) will give you a link to help you find the book in the library closest to you. Most will show libraries near Ann Arbor... to change the location, type in your zip code and you can find libraries near you.

All of the three books listed below have a small section covering each state that includes maps, historical information, vital records coverage and a bibliography of resources for that state.

  1. Handybook for Genealogists ( 11th edition) (find in a library) (note: some libraries may have earleir editions; those are perfectly usable)
  2. Ancestry's Redbook (you'll want the 3rd edition) (find in a library)
  3. The Family Tree Resource Book for Genealogical Research (find in a library)

Here are some books specific to Florida research.

Florida Fact Sheet

Historical and genealogical holdings in the state of Florida. 1992 out of print

Morris. Florida Place Names. 1974

Robie. Searching in Florida: A Reference Guide to Public and Vital Records. 1982 out of print

The Florida Genealogist

Coles. Genealogical Research in the Florida State Archives and the Florida State Library. Paulin. Jewish Genealogy in Florida
Michaels. Genealogical Research in Florida

Start print out or bookmark these FHL documents :Florida Research Outline and Florida Historical Background.

Print or bookmark this county map of Florida . You may also find historic maps useful to your research.

Next see what's available for your counties of interest at the Florida Gen Web (use the county selection list to find what's available for each of the counties) and do the same on the combined ALHN/AHGP Florida Page

Visit the websites of these libraries , archives and societies:

* Florida Archives They offer some searchable online collections, which include Florida World War I Service Cards, Confederate Pension Application Files and Spanish Land Grants)

State Library of Florida --Florida Collection
While there, search the Florida Biography Index

Florida State Genealogical Society. This site has a list of Florida counties, with addresses of courthouses, date of formation and name of parent counties.
For other local Florida genealogical societies, follw the links at the Florida Genealogical Society Directory

The Florida Newspaper Project will help you locate newspapers. Those that have been filmed can usually be borrowed on interlibrary loan.

The 1880 census can be searched for free at Find other online census records and more census information at's Florida links

Search for or place a query on the Florida county message boards. or see if one of the volunteers at Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness Florida can help you.

To get information about vital records check the Florida Vital Records (official page) or Vitalrec Florida Page

See if the burials you need have been posted on Florida or
Florida State Hospital Cemetery Records

Was your ancestor a Florida Black Sheep ?

More Links
* Genealogy Today's State Gen Site: Florida
* Ancestors Florida Resource Guide
* Rootsweb: Florida Resources
* Genealink's Florida Page
* Access Genealogy's List of Florida Links
* Cyndi's List Florida Page
* Linkpendium's Florida Page

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