Using Newspapers in Researching Ancestors During the Civil War

Most of us who research our ancestors in the Civil War beyond finding the name in an index and making a note of the service and with what regiment, are familiar with some of the basic options for adding more detail to our ancestor’s service. But just in case I have some folks just getting … Continue reading Using Newspapers in Researching Ancestors During the Civil War

Florida’s Secession and how NW Florida Families Experienced the War – Part 3

For my last two blogs (Part 1 and Part 2), we’ve been looking at Florida’s Secession Convention and its Declaration in support of secession that led to Florida leaving the United States and within a short period of time becoming a part of the Confederate States of America. In this final blog in this series, … Continue reading Florida’s Secession and how NW Florida Families Experienced the War – Part 3

Florida’s Secession from the Union and What That Teaches Us About the War – Part 2

As the nation entered 1861, South Carolina had adjourned its Convention and issued its Declaration (17 Dec 1860 - 20 Dec 1860, Declaration issued on 20 Dec 1860 and adopted on the 24th) and several more Southern states had determined to have a Convention to discuss secession (though the assumption in most cases was that … Continue reading Florida’s Secession from the Union and What That Teaches Us About the War – Part 2

Florida’s Secession from the Union and What That Teaches Us About the War – Part 1

Before I get to Florida’s Convention and Declaration, I want to share my framework for this discussion. For me, the War for Southern Independence (aka Civil War, War Between the States) was a seminal event for our ancestors. It was the second major test of our democratic skills as a nation (the first was the … Continue reading Florida’s Secession from the Union and What That Teaches Us About the War – Part 1

Putting Detail to Your Ancestor’s Service in the Civil War

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season of peace, joy, family, giving and eating. We celebrate Christmas in our household and it was full of talking, laughing, eating and playing. My Mom is helping me plan and design a memorial, quilted wall-hanging for my 7 direct ancestors and I will add one of my … Continue reading Putting Detail to Your Ancestor’s Service in the Civil War

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