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Florida Genealogy

Most state records date from 1917 though some regions have vital records material from 1877. So if you are researching Florida genealogy, that is roughly your available timeline for getting records and documents.

Florida Vital Records

Most investigations into Florida genealogy start with the state collection of vital records, which are the documents recording births, deaths and marriage for the area. The Bureau of Vital Statistics in Jacksonville is the main source for these types of records in Florida, so you can direct your requests to them.

Getting a birth record can be difficult because of the state privacy laws. All birth registrations are confidential for 100 years and copies will only be issued to immediate relatives and only in the case when the person on the record has died. Any records more than 100 years old are freely accessible without these restrictions.

Death records have their own restrictions and they are much less stringent. You can order a copy of any death record at all if you don't require the cause of death to be included. If you do, then you can only get records more than 50 years old unless you are an immediate relative.

With marriage records, there are no restrictions at all, and you can order copies of any documents (also from the Bureau of Vital Statistics). You may also order these at the local county clerk's office where the marriage took place.

None of these records are free. You can order a birth record for $9, and records for deaths and marriages are only $5 each. These fees are non-refundable even if the clerks are unable to find the records you want. The forms for making these records requests can be downloaded from the Florida Department of Health website.

State Archives

If your Florida genealogy needs go beyond the typical vital records, there is a good chance that the State Archives may be able to help further. Their document holdings include both state and county government records, collections of manuscripts, photographs, Civil War records, military records and more.

They specifically have a large collection of records that would appeal to genealogists, such as property documents, probate records, tax rolls, old maps, deeds and published genealogy books.

All the materials that they have are free to access though you may have to pay for any photocopies that you do. Their research rooms are open from 9 until 4 on weekdays so you can visit whenever it is convenient for you. The Archive is in Tallahassee at the R.A Gray Building.

Other Genealogy Resources

To help you with your research, you may want to get in touch with one of the many Florida genealogy societies and groups. There are many of them for individual counties, as well as groups that cover larger parts of the state. The Florida Historical Society and Florida State Genealogy Society are two large ones that can be a helpful place to begin.

They may have their own genealogical resources available to members, or may just be able to point you in the right direction.

State Resources 





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