Brief History of Palm Beach County
Palm Beach County was carved out of Dade County in 1909, becoming Florida’s 47th county. The first county government meetings were held in an old four-room school house at the corner of Clematis Street and Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach. At the time, only about 5,300 people lived in the new county comprised of portions of what are now Broward, Martin and Okeechobee counties.
Clerk & Comptroller’s Historical Records
In 1838, the framers of Florida’s constitution foresaw the importance of having an independent Clerk as guardian of the public’s records. Genealogy researchers can typically find court records, mortgages, deeds, as well as marriage and divorce records through the Clerk & Comptroller’s office if the ancestor lived in Palm Beach County.
In our offices, official records are available on microfilm or microfiche from as far back as the late 1800’s. You may also search for more recent records online. Online records date back to 1968.
How to Get Started
If your research goes back further than the information available online, or you would prefer to do your research in person, please visit the Records Service Center, where staff is available to assist you and to answer questions.
- Official Records - Find court judgments, deeds, liens, marriage licenses, mortgages, plats and tax deeds in Palm Beach County.
- Court Records - Search free online database of civil, criminal and traffic court information in Palm Beach County.
Where You Can Find Records
The Record Services Center public view area is located in the Main Courthouse in downtown West Palm Beach at 205 North Dixie Highway, 4th floor.
Additionally, customers may obtain copies of records going back to 1968 online at the Clerk & Comptroller’s website or at Clerk & Comptroller branch locations in Delray Beach, Palm Beach Gardens and Belle Glade.
Cost to Do Research
There is no cost to do a records search if you use the Record Services Center public view area on your own or do your research online.
Florida law requires a service charge of $2 dollars if you request staff to do the search for you. Lengthy record searches performed by staff may take several days. The service charge is levied per name or legal description per year researched. Checks and money orders are acceptable payment.
If you wish to purchase copies of the records you find, the fee is $1 per page. Copies of documents found through our Official Records search can be printed from your own computer at no charge.
Other Helpful Links
- Clerk & Comptroller’s Frequently Asked Questions – Records Research & Copies
- Florida Department of State, Division of Library & Information Services
- Florida Department of Health Office of Vital Statistics
- Historical Society of Palm Beach County
- Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County
- Jewish Genealogical Society of Palm Beach County
Note: Clicking on any of these links will take you away from the Clerk & Comptroller’s website. We make no guarantee regarding the accuracy or reliability of the content on these sites.