Highlands County, Florida
Genealogy and Facts

Highlands County

Highlands County was created on April 23, 1921 from DeSoto County. This county was named for the county's hilly terrain.

The Highlands County Seat is located in Sebring also, the county government website is www.hcbcc.net/.

Areas bordering to Highlands County are Osceola County (north), Okeechobee County (east), Glades County (south), Charlotte County (southwest), De Soto County (west), Hardee County (west), Polk County (northwest).

Incorporated Cities and Towns located in Highlands County include Avon Park, Sebring, Lake Placid.

Highlands 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 Highlands 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.

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

Highlands Co. Mortality Schedules can be found for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Highlands Co. Industry and Agriculture can be obtained for 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880. Highlands Co. Union Veterans Schedules is available for 1890. The Slave Schedules exist for 1850 & 1860. One can find free online and printable census forms to help you with your research.

Highlands Co. Historical Events (published in 1944):

  • This county lies in the beautiful rolling hill and lake section of Florida.
  • Through influence of the great Librarian, Melvil Dewey, name of Lake Stearns (incorporated December 1, 1925) was changed to Lake Placid and under that name incorporated June 6, 1927.

Highlands County Societies and Family History Resources

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

Highlands County Courthouse and Government Records


Highlands County Courthouse

Researchers often fail to notice the importance of Highlands 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 Highlands 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 Highlands 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.
  • Highlands County Courthouse (all departments listed below are located here, unless otherwise noted)
    • Address: 590 South Commerce Avenue, Sebring, FL 33870-3867
  • Highlands 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) 402-6564
    • Marriage Records: 1921
    • Land Records: 1921
    • Probate Records: 1921 
    • Court Records: 1921
  • Highlands 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.
  • Highlands 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.

Highlands County Links

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

Highlands Co. FL Books, Newspapers & Publications

Highlands Co. FL Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Highlands Co. FL Court, Probate Land and Tax Records

Highlands Co. FL Census Records

Highlands Co. FL Cemeteries & Graveyards

Highlands Co. FL Church & Bible Records

Highlands Co. FL Family Websites, Pictures & Histories

Highlands Co. FL General and History Websites

Highlands Co. FL Immigration & Naturalization

Highlands Co. FL Maps, Atlases & Gazetteers

Highlands Co. FL Military Records

Highlands Co. FL Schools & Directories

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