Voter Registration Records 1885-1909

Extracted voter registration lists from microfilm of The Fort Myers Press found at the Fort Myers-Lee County Public Library have been compiled in a book titled "Voter Registration Records, Town of Fort Myers and Lee County, Florida 1885-1909".
A limited printing was done with copies being donated to the Fort Myers-Lee County Public Library, the Southwest Florida Museum of History, the Southwest Florida Historical Society, the State Library of Florida, and the Lee County Genealogical Society.

We suggest you familiarize yourself with the following Aids to Research.

Definition of Terms

col       this term appears after some names in the early lists. Though it was never defined in the newspaper, we believe it was the abbreviation for colored.
District       Generally, a larger geographic area than a precinct.
Precinct                Generally, a smaller geographic area than a district.

The reader should be aware that some of the precincts identified in this compilation of lists may no longer exist. For example, “New Prospect” is now a part of North Fort Myers. The town of “Survey” now is Bonita Springs. The district known as “Wulfert” was on the north end of Sanibel Island.

Multiple Lists

In this compilation, we have identified two types of lists: (1) “revised” lists in which individuals were shown as “names stricken from the voter registration books” and the reasons given for this action, such as “left county” or “dead” or “non-payment of poll tax”. Some lists were revised when voters were reinstated after paying taxes. (2) The second type of list was published as “registered voters”, who were deemed qualified to vote in an upcoming election.

In some years, voter lists were frequently revised, sometimes several times in one month.

Note to Researchers

We recommend that when searching for a particular name, all spelling variations should be considered. As we extracted the names just as they were printed in the paper, we noticed that spelling often varied from one year to the next.

Two pages of maps (iii – iv) have been included to illustrate development of the Florida counties, and the County of Lee in particular. These were extracted from the April 1976 issue of South Florida Pioneers.

Title Page
Table of Contents
Map iii       County Development in South Florida 1820-1890
Map iv
Registered Voters       August 1885 - August 1895
Registered Voters       September 1896 - July 1897
Registered Voters       August 1897 - July 1898
Registered Voters       July 1898 - October 1898
Registered Voters       October 1898 - July 1900
Registered Voters       July 1901 - July 1903
Registered Voters       July 1904 - October 1904
Registered Voters       June 1905 - June 1908
Registered Voters       October 1908- June 1909