Search For Your Ancestors in Historical Documents




Bay County, Florida

Bay County

Bay County was created on April 24, 1913 from Calhoun County and Washington County. This county was named for St. Andrew's Bay, the central geographic feature of the county.

The Bay County Seat is located in Panama City also, the county government website is

Areas bordering to Bay County are Washington County (north), Jackson County (northeast), Calhoun County (east), Gulf County (southeast), Walton County (west).

Incorporated Cities and Towns located in Bay County include Callaway, Lynn Haven, Mexico Beach, Panama City, Panama City Beach, Parker, Springfield Cedar Grove.

Bay County vital records can be found at the Florida Office of Vital Records which 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.

You can search online for Bay County Birth, Marriage, Divorce or Death Records. You can also Order Electronically Online or can download an application for Florida Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Divorce Certificate, Death Certificate Application to mail.

Bay County consists of Federal Census Schedules to guide in looking into your family tree. Federal Population Schedules can be found for 1920, 1930, 1940.

One can find free online and printable census forms to help you with your research.

Bay Co. Historical Events (published in 1944):

  • Some of the most beautiful beaches on the West Coast are in Bay County.
  • Confederate salt works valued at $3,000,000 destroyed by Federals in 1863.

Bay County Societies and Family History Resources

A list of Bay County Historical  and Genealogical Societies, Forums, Message Boards, Libraries, Archives.

Bay County Courthouse and Government Records

Bay County Courthouse

Researchers often fail to notice the importance of Bay 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 Bay 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.

The following indicates what vital, land, probate, and court records are in Bay 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.

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.
  • Bay County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: P.O. Box 2269, Panama City, FL 32402 or 300 East 4th Street, Panama City, FL 32401
  • Bay 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: (850) 747-5222
    • Marriage Records: 1913
    • Land Records: 1885
    • Probate Records: 1913
    • Court Records: 1913
  • Bay 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.
  • Bay County Health Department has copies of Birth & Death certificates. Also has computer access from 1917 to present for birth records for the entire state as well as births that occurred in this county.

Bay County Links

The following are links to Family history and genealogy, Records and Resources relevant to Bay 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 Bay County genealogy or family history affiliated sites.

Bay Co. FL Books, Newspapers & Publications

Bay Co. FL Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Bay Co. FL Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Bay Co. FL Census Records

Bay Co. FL Cemeteries & Graveyards

Bay Co. FL Church & Bible Records

Bay Co. FL Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Bay Co. FL General and History Websites

Bay Co. FL Immigration & Naturalization

Bay Co. FL Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Bay Co. FL Military Records

Bay Co. FL Schools & Directories

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