Polk County, Florida Facts
Polk County, Florida ancestry and genealogy research page. Uncover links to record collections, history, and genealogy sources to aid you find your Polk Co., ancestors. Get started by building a Free Family Tree.
Polk County Facts
- Government Website: http://www.polk-county.net/
- Created Date / Origin: February 8, 1861 from Brevard County and Hillsborough County
- County Seat: Bartow
- Named After: James K. Polk (1795–1849), the 11th President of the United States
- Bordering Counties: Lake County (north), Orange County (northeast), Osceola County (east), Okeechobee County (southeast), Highlands County (southeast), Hardee County (south), Manatee County (southwest), Hillsborough County (west), Sumter County (northwest), Pasco County (northwest)
- Incorporated Cities and Towns include: Auburndale, Bartow, Davenport, Eagle Lake, Fort Meade, Frostproof, Haines City, Lake Alfred, Lakeland, Lake Wales, Mulberry, Polk City, Winter Haven Dundee, Hillcrest Heights, Lake Hamilton. Villages Include Highland Park
- Historical Events (published in 1944):
- The early Spanish explorers and missionaries left wild orange trees in numerous places.
- The region was made part of the Seminole reservation and so there were no American settlers until after the Indian wars had ended.
- Many veterans of these wars settled in Polk County. P
- olk has become Florida's greatest citrus fruit producing county and a leading cattle raising county.
- It is a delightful region of hills and lakes and possesses the highest point in the state, where Bok Tower is located.
- It produces more pebble phosphate than any other county in the United States.
- South Florida Military Institute founded by Gen. E. M. Law, September, 1894.
Polk County Societies and Family History Resources
A list of Polk County Historical and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.
- Florida State Genealogy Network (facebook.com)
- Polk County Historical Association, P. O. Box 2749, Bartow, FL 33830-2749
- Polk County Historical and Genealogical Library, 100 E. Main St., Bartow, FL 33830-4629; 941-534-4380
- Northeast Polk County Historical Society, 801 Ledwith Ave., P. O. Box 1507, Haines City, FL 33845
- Imperial Polk Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 10, Kathleen 33849
- Historic Lakeland, Inc., P. O. Box 3347, Lakeland, FL 33802
- Polk County, Florida Message Boards (boards.ancestry.com) read and post messages about your ancestors in Polk County
- Polk County, Florida Genealogy Forum (genforum.genealogy.com) read and post messages with other genealogy researchers for Polk County
- USGenWeb Archives for Polk County (usgwarchives.net)
- See Also Florida Archives, Genealogical and Historical Societies for statewide Addresses and links
Polk County Courthouse and Government Records
Researchers often fail to notice the importance of Polk County court, probate, and land documents as a source of family history and genealogy information and facts. Hidden away in Florida courthouses and archives everywhere tend to be the desires and worries of the many Florida residents.
The chances are great that your chosen ancestors have left a detailed record of at least a number of factors of their lives in the Polk County court records. Even if your forefathers is not referred to in a Court case, take into consideration all of the other methods which could have lead to her or him to appear in court records.
Make sure you call the clerk's department to confirm hours, mailing address, fees and other details before visiting or inquiring about information because of in some cases changing contact details. The Department Offices DO NOT DO RESEARCH. The records are available to interested parties, barring confidential issues. A lot of employees will assist individuals in obtaining the materials, but it is up to the person to undertake the researching.
The following indicates what vital, land, probate, and court records are in Polk county. The date listed for each category of record is usually the earliest registration filed. The earliest date does not indicate that there are numerous records for that year and does not mean that all such events were actually registered.
- Polk County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
- Address: P.O. Box 9000, Drawer CC-1, Bartow, FL 33831 or 255 N. Broadway, Bartow, FL 33830
- Polk County Clerk of the Circuit Court / County Clerk is custodian of all records of all predecessor courts, whether justice of the peace, city, county, probate, civil, or criminal.
- Phone: (863) 534-4000
- Marriage Records: 1862
- Land Records: 1862
- Probate Records: 1861
- Court Records: 1867
- Polk County Tax Collector collects all real estate taxes including postponed and delinquent, all county revenues in addition to the research and issue tax deed applications. Our department is the holder of tax records and assessed values.
- Florida Office of Vital Records has copies of Birth & Deaths reported 1917 to present and Divorce & Marriages since June 6, 1927. There is a fee for each copy requested. Please refer to the information to the Statewide Vital Records in Florida for current fees and application process.
Polk County Links
The following are links to Family history and genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Polk County. A lot of these genealogy links fall into 3 categories: Business oriented Sites, Private Sites or Organization Sites. Some have free access some require a fee. This is just a directory which has been collected or submitted. I do not endorse or promote one genealogy site over another. Feel free to submit your own preferred Polk County genealogy or family history affiliated sites.
Polk Co. FL Books, Newspapers & Publications
Polk Co. FL Birth, Marriage & Death Records
Polk Co. FL Court, Probate Land and Tax Records
Polk Co. FL Census Records
Polk Co. FL Cemeteries & Graveyards
Polk Co. FL Church & Bible Records
Polk Co. FL Family Websites, Pictures & Histories
Polk Co. FL General and History Websites
Polk Co. FL Immigration & Naturalization
Polk Co. FL Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers
Polk Co. FL Military Records
- Florida Military Records (fold3.com) will provide easy access to military records, stories, photos, and personal documents belonging to the Florida women and men which served. Suitable for Polk County genealogists, researchers, historians plus much more.
Polk Co. FL Schools & Directories