Jacksonville Boys Home

Boys Home Association of Jacksonville Collection

About the Collection: The Boys home served as a residential home for orphans and boys whose parents were unable to care for them for a number of reasons. The Home also served as a halfway house for boys leaving the Florida Industrial School. The records from the home consist of 36 bankers’ boxes of files, 3 3-ring notebooks, and 1 drawer of index file cards. The files, the notebooks, and the index cards have been indexed in 3 separate databases. The dates of admission to the boys home range between 1914 and 1969.

About the Collection

The Boys’ Home Association, later known as the Boys’ Service Council, was founded by Juvenile Judge Walter Scott Criswell. Judge Criswell and his wife, Anna, never had children of their own; but they dedicated their lives to helping others. He also served as president of the Juvenile Judges Association of Florida and the Florida Crippled Children’s Commission.

The Boy’s Home was not just a home for troubled boys, it was a safe haven for those who had lost one or both of their parents and did not have family members to turn to. The 10-building facility closed in 2008.

The Florida State Genealogical Society has a collection of records from the Boys’ Home of Jacksonville from 1915 to 1955 that were obtained in 2020. These records have been indexed by surnames that are searchable.

  What you can find in these records:

  • Name of child
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Date arrived
  • Name of parents
  • Name of siblings
  • Date leaving the home
  • Letters to and from the Judge -not in all files
  • Updates on the child after leaving – not in all files
  • Pictures of child -not in all files

Preserving these records for the families of these residents is our number one priority.

Judge Criswell - Courtesy of the L. Janet Wells Scrapbook Collection, available at FSU.


File Folders

Contains 4,016 records with applications from 1910 to 1963. 


Contains 1,785 records with applications from 1906 to 1934.

Index Cards

Contains 1,670 records with applications from 1915 to 1969.