Military Records – Genealogy Tips – Make the Journey More Than Names and Dates

There is no doubt that our male ancestors left more records behind than our female ancestors did. One place where nearly all the records will be about male ancestors is military records, at least through World War I. When I say military records, I mean not only the actual record of service but also military … Continue reading Military Records – Genealogy Tips – Make the Journey More Than Names and Dates

Florida and the Major 19th Century “Panics”: 1837, 1857, 1873 and 1893, Part 1

When most of us think about economic downturns, we think about the Great Depression of the 1930s and early 1940s or the Great Recession of 2008. In reality, economic downturns have happened regularly throughout the history of capitalism. Some are minor but painful and sometimes multiple strands of events come together at the same point … Continue reading Florida and the Major 19th Century “Panics”: 1837, 1857, 1873 and 1893, Part 1

Did Your Southern Ancestor Serve With the Union? An Exploration of the 1st Florida Union Cavalry Volunteers

The War for Southern Independence, aka the American Civil War or the War Between the States, was a difficult war as experienced by Floridians and south Alabamians. It was not just about “do I side with the Confederacy or the Union”, it was about the safety of families left behind and whether they would survive … Continue reading Did Your Southern Ancestor Serve With the Union? An Exploration of the 1st Florida Union Cavalry Volunteers

The Shadow Occupation in the Florida Panhandle – Ancestors Bootlegging for Fun and Profit

Sooner or later if you study and/or write about America, the South, or the Florida panhandle, you will likely find references to the making of moonshine. I did not have to find my first reference to this once shadowy endeavor, my grandfather spent a year in the Atlanta Penitentiary after being picked up for his … Continue reading The Shadow Occupation in the Florida Panhandle – Ancestors Bootlegging for Fun and Profit

“Walton County – Great West Florida Empire” – 16 March 1913

If your ancestors helped settle the Florida panhandle in the early 19th century, at some point they lived in either Escambia, Walton or Jackson counties because that was the earliest panhandle counties. In 1821, Escambia was the only county in the panhandle. The following year Jackson was added. In 1823, Gadsden separated the eastern part … Continue reading “Walton County – Great West Florida Empire” – 16 March 1913

The Intimate Connections Between South Alabama and Northwest Florida

When I was growing up, I would occasionally hear the following observations: 1) Central and South Florida are suburbs of New York (and sometimes Cuba), and 2) the Florida panhandle is lower Alabama (L.A.). Usually, it was folks from the opposite area taking a pot shot at the other part. Folks in the panhandle, to … Continue reading The Intimate Connections Between South Alabama and Northwest Florida

Questions of Honor and Courage: Individual Decisions During the Civil War

Many of us with ancestors in the Florida panhandle know there was a Union regiment of Southern men that served during the Civil War at Ft. Barrancas. Many of us have ancestors who served with that regiment and we have family stories or reasons that they served that we hold to be true. But most … Continue reading Questions of Honor and Courage: Individual Decisions During the Civil War