Clay County Public Records from the 18th Century and Early 19th Century

COLLECTION: PUBR

The Clay County Archives houses a large collection of public records in the form of bound documents and files. It is in generally good condition, stored in a secured, air conditioned vault adjacent to the Archives. The Archivist will retrieve materials as researchers call for them.  Deeds and the Grantor/Grantee Indexes are stored in the Clerk’s Vault in the current courthouse located at 825 North Orange Avenue, Green Cove Springs.

Generally, the records at the Archives start in 1858 and go forward to the 1960s. Archived materials include all of the existing, early records of the Board of County Commissioners and the constitutional officers. For example: probate, civil & criminal proceedings, Board of County Commissioners (BCC) minutes, tax records, deeds, voter lists (poll books), and Clay County Sheriff’s Office records. More recent public records maintained by the Clay County Clerk of the Circuit Court (1958 to present) are available at www.clayclerk.com.

The Archives was created to be custodian of Clay County’s hardcopy public records as they transition from modern use to those identified as having historic significance. The records have moved from time to time. They were first at the original Whitesville county seat (west of the fork of Black Creek). When the county seat was moved to Green Cove Springs in April 1872, some records were lost. There is a partial gap from 1859 through 1872 in many of our records series. The Civil War and a lack of county government during those years contributed to the gap. Years later, when space at the Clay County Courthouse was limited, old records were moved to the now-abandoned Yerkes Laboratory (a monkey farm) on Kingsley Avenue. They are now in storage at the Archives.  Many have been professionally restored and digitized in a succession of restoration projects.

Sheriff

  • Jail Registers 1880’s to 1970’s
  • Sheriff’s Criminal Dockets, Record of Convictions, Civil Executions 1870’s to 1950’s
  • Whiskey (Moonshine) Arrests and Forfietures
  • Sheriff JP Hall Sheriff’s Office Financial Records (expenditures, payroll, etc.)
  • Warrants, Jail Commitments, Extraditions 1870’s to 1950’s
  • Coroners Book 1949-1956

Supervisor of Elections

  • Voting records from the 1860s to about 1940’s

Taxes

Tax records at the Archives include:

  • Tax Books 1869-1960, with indexes.
  • Delinquent Tax Adjustments 1924-1952
  • Intangible Personal Property Tax Registers 1960-1972;
  • Land Sold For Taxes 1914-1972
  • Land Taxes Past Due and Unpaid (1891-1900)
  • List of Errors, Insolvencies and Double Assessments (1930-1936)
  • Personal Property (1964-1966)
  • Record of County Lands Aquired for Delinquent Taxes (1945-1947)
  • Redeemed Tax Certificates (1905-1970)
  • Report of Tax Sale Certificates (1931-1952)
  • School, Road and Bridge Special Tax Assessment Registers (1934-1942)
  • Tax Sale Certificates, Tax Adjustments, Cash Redemptions (1934-1942)

The Board of County Commissioners

  • Minute Books (1872-1968)
  • Supplemental Minutes Files of loose papers (1900-1979)
  • Road and Bridge Petitions (1911-1944)
  • Preservation Board (Historical Commission) Minutes — The recent minutes are at the Board’s website, but the Archives are the custodian of the historic minutes.

The Courts

Generally starting from the 1870’s to the 1970’s

  • Circuit Court Minute Books
  • Bench Docket Circuit Court
  • Motion Docket Book
  • Bar Docket
  • Juvenile Court (not available to the public)
  • Incompetency Records (not available to the public)

Law & Chancery Files (1859-1945)

Probate (1859-1956)

  • Wills, Guardianship, Administration, Testamentary
  • Probate Court Register, Probate Progress Docket
  • Inventories and Accounts in Probate

Board of Education

  • Board of Education Minutes — Stored at the Board of Education building in Green Cove Springs, the first two years have been transcribed.
  • Board of Education Payroll Books early 1900’s
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