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Florida Public Records

   
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How To Search Public and Vital Records - Vital records are records of life events important enough that some level of government acquires, organizes, and preserves them. While the term "vital records" is often applied to a wide variety of life events... Read more
 
Florida Vital Records
Though statewide vital registration was mandated in 1899, birth and death records prior to 1917 are fragmented and inconsistent. Those after 1917 are deposited with the state's Bureau of Vital Statistics, as are most earlier birth and death registrations. That same office has jurisdiction over marriage records dated after 6 June 1927.

For birth and death records, and marriage records after 6 June 1927, write:

State of Florida Dept. of Health
Vital Statistics
1217 Pearl Street
P.O. Box 210
Jacksonville, FL 32231-0042
Tel: 904-359-6900
904-359-6911
http://www.state.fl.us/health/
At the very top of the page, in the drop down menu, choose "Certificates, Birth, Death, Marriage, Divorce" to see important information about records available, current fees, and forms that can be printed to order records.

For marriage records prior to 6 June 1927, write to the clerk of the county in question.

Florida Land Records
Florida is a federal-land state. Most land acquisitions by individuals were from pre-U.S. sovereigns, the federal government, or from other individuals. The state archive holds a vast body of records created about 1820–22 for the use of the federal government in affirming or denying earlier Spanish grants of land. The fragile original records, largely in Spanish, are extant, but the WPA made a five-volume transcript, Spanish Land Grants in Florida, which includes Spanish Grants, British Grants and Private Land Claims, which is available at the Florida State Archives and in a number of libraries, as well as in an inexpensive microfiche edition from the archives.

For government purchases, consult the Bureau of Land Management, Eastern States Office's patent indexes, available on CD-ROM through various genealogical vendors and through:

Government Printing Office, Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954

This patent index is also found among the database searches available at the Ancestry.com Web site (www.ancestry.com). Land-entry case files for these patents are available at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Land transactions between individuals are usually filed through the clerk of the courts in the county seat. For further information consult:

Hone, E. Wade. Land and Property Research in the United States. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1997.

Florida Court Records
Court records include probate records (which include wills), guardianship, naturalization, and a wide variety of other sources, ranging from criminal trials to simple road orders. All contain information about individuals within the area. It should be remembered that there are different levels of jurisdiction for courts in the United States, all of which should be considered for research under various circumstances. Court of Common Pleas, Orphan's Court, Probate Court, District Court, Superior Court, Supreme Court, and other titles are among those encountered. To study more about court records in general, see "Research in Court Records," by Arlene H. Eakle, in:

Szucs, Loretto Dennis, and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, eds. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. Rev. ed. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1997.

Florida Military Records
Fritot's Pension Records of Soldiers of the Revolution Who Removed to Florida (Jacksonville, Fla.: Jacksonville Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, 1946) remains among the few genealogically valuable references to later Floridians who had served in the Revolutionary War. The Florida State Archives holds a reference copy of the sixty-three-reel National Archives microfilm publication Compiled Service Records of Volunteers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Florida During the Florida Indian Wars, 1835–1858. There is no state index, but participants are included in the master Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During Indian Wars and Disturbances, 1815–1858. For referencing the Mexican War, rosters of the five involved Florida companies can be found in "Florida's Part in the War with Mexico," Florida Historical Quarterly 20 (1942): 235–59, by T. Frederick Davis.
More than 16,000 Floridians served in the Civil War (15,000 Confederate and 1,290 Union). The Florida State Archives has reference copies of the National Archives microfilm Consolidated Index to Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, as well as the Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Florida and the related publication for the volunteer Union Soldiers. These records are also available at the FHL. The Florida State Archives has a collection of some 12,775 approved and rejected pension applications. These files are indexed by both veterans' and widows' names. Available from the archives is also a Computer-Based Register and Index to the Florida State Board of Pensions' Confederate Service Pension Applications, 1885–1954. In addition to the records listed here, many militia records are being gathered and placed in the state archive.

For further information, consult:
Neagles, James C. U.S. Military Records: A Guide to Federal and State Sources. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1994.

Additional Sources
Patrick, Rembert W. Florida Under Five Flags. 3rd ed. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1960.

Harris, Michael H. Florida History: A Bibliography. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1972.

Guide to the Records of the Florida State Archives. Tallahassee: Florida Department of State, 1988.


Florida Vital Records:

Event: Birth

Cost of copy: $9.00

Address:
Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services
Office of Vital Statistics
P.O. Box 210
1217 Pearl Street
Jacksonville, FL 32231

Remarks: State office has some birth records dating back to April 1865 and some death records dating back to August 1877. The majority of records date from January 1917. (If the exact date is unknown, the fee is $9.00 (births) or $5.00 (deaths) for the first year searched and $2.00 for each additional year up to a maximum of $50.00. Fee includes one certification of record if found or certified statement stating record not on file.) Additional copies are $4.00 each when requested at the same time.

Check or money order should be made payable to Office of Vital Statistics. Personal checks are accepted. To verify current fees, the telephone number is (904) 359-6900. This will be a recorded message.

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Event: Death

Cost of copy: $5.00

Address:
Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services
Office of Vital Statistics
P.O. Box 210
1217 Pearl Street
Jacksonville, FL 32231

Remarks: State office has some birth records dating back to April 1865 and some death records dating back to August 1877. The majority of records date from January 1917. (If the exact date is unknown, the fee is $9.00 (births) or $5.00 (deaths) for the first year searched and $2.00 for each additional year up to a maximum of $50.00. Fee includes one certification of record if found or certified statement stating record not on file.) Additional copies are $4.00 each when requested at the same time.

Check or money order should be made payable to Office of Vital Statistics. Personal checks are accepted. To verify current fees, the telephone number is (904) 359-6900. This will be a recorded message.


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Event: Marriage

Cost of copy: $5.00

Address:
Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services
Office of Vital Statistics
P.O. Box 210
1217 Pearl Street
Jacksonville, FL 32231

Remarks: Records since June 6, 1927. (If the exact date is unknown, the fee is $5.00 for the first year searched and $2.00 for each additional year up to a maximum of $50.00. Fee includes one copy of record if found or certified statement stating record not on file.) Additional copies are $4.00 each when requested at the same time.


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Event: Divorce

Cost of copy: $5.00

Address:
Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services
Office of Vital Statistics
P.O. Box 210
1217 Pearl Street
Jacksonville, FL 32231

Remarks: Records since June 6, 1927. (If the exact date is unknown, the fee is $5.00 for the first year searched and $2.00 for each additional year up to a maximum of $50.00. Fee includes one copy of record if found or certified statement stating record not on file.) Additional copies are $4.00 each when requested at the same time.

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