April 1863 – April 1864: The Independence Experiment Begins to Falter and the Florida Panhandle Homefront Becomes Chaotic

Let’s do a thought experiment to open this month’s post. It is June 1863. You are a 32-year man who was born and raised in the Florida panhandle. You are married with four children still living. Your wife is a small woman with a strong will but losing a couple of children over the last … Continue reading April 1863 – April 1864: The Independence Experiment Begins to Falter and the Florida Panhandle Homefront Becomes Chaotic

Early Florida Confederate Regiments in the War for Southern Independence: 1861-1862

Let me shift hats from local historian to genealogist. If you really want to know how your Florida panhandle ancestor experienced the war, you must go beyond finding the same name on an index of Confederate soldiers from the general area where your ancestor lived and assuming it is the correct man and that the … Continue reading Early Florida Confederate Regiments in the War for Southern Independence: 1861-1862

1861: The Florida Panhandle’s Role in the War for Southern Independence, Part 1

A hundred and sixty years seems like a lot and plenty of time to heal wounds and move forward. And yet, today’s political climate tells us it was either not enough time, or we didn’t bother to use the time wisely. We are still struggling with some of the same issues today that our ancestors … Continue reading 1861: The Florida Panhandle’s Role in the War for Southern Independence, Part 1

Oak Grove in Okaloosa County, FL: It’s Importance & Development in the History of the FL Panhandle

Anyone who knows me, or follows my blogs, knows I have an affinity with the upper Yellow River area known as Oak Grove. For the last couple of years, I’ve been researching the genealogy and history of the area that will eventually culminate in a book. Some of us with family from the area like to … Continue reading Oak Grove in Okaloosa County, FL: It’s Importance & Development in the History of the FL Panhandle

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

Yesterday and Today Along Jackson’s 1818 Route Across the Panhandle

It is hard to believe this is the last day of 2018. In some ways, it went by too fast, and in others, it truly crept. But it will officially be gone in another few hours. I do hope everyone has had a safe and wonderful holiday celebrating with family and friends. I’ve been busy … Continue reading Yesterday and Today Along Jackson’s 1818 Route Across the Panhandle

Washington County: Highlights from the 1907 Pensacola Journal newspaper

A few months ago I was browsing early Pensacola Journal newspapers at the Chronicling America website and discovered that they would occasionally do a whole section of the paper on a Florida Panhandle county with ads and articles about the county. I quickly got sidetracked from what I had gone there to look for and … Continue reading Washington County: Highlights from the 1907 Pensacola Journal newspaper

The Challenge of Holmes County Family History Research

Introduction I, like a number of other native Floridians, have ancestors who helped settle Holmes County, Florida. It is a difficult county to research in. As I mentioned in my post of 8 January 2018, the early moving county boundary lines for the area that would become Holmes County in 1848 makes it a challenge … Continue reading The Challenge of Holmes County Family History Research