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

Reuben Hart: FL/AL Pioneer, Slaveholder & Enigma

It is believed that Reuben HART was born in NC around 1783, migrated to GA sometime before 1810, migrated first to south Alabama then to northwest Florida sometime around 1816-1817, then back to Alabama before 1840. In tow from Georgia to Alabama/Florida were his family  - wife Nancy Ann RIGDON HART and their children Reuben, … Continue reading Reuben Hart: FL/AL Pioneer, Slaveholder & Enigma

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

Researching Civil War Ancestors in the Northwest Florida Panhandle, Pt 2

In the last post we laid out a basic plan for getting to one man in one or more Confederate (and/or Union) military units.  Now comes the work to figure out what he likely experienced as the war progressed.  A word of caution: this set of two blogs is only a tiny part of understanding … Continue reading Researching Civil War Ancestors in the Northwest Florida Panhandle, Pt 2

The Florida Chautauqua Assembly in DeFuniak Springs, FL

The history of the Chautauqua Assembly starts before the Civil War in Chautauqua, New York. Its early beginnings were as informal camp meetings begun in 1855 by Methodists on the shore of Lake Chautauqua. Seventeen years later a Methodist minister and a layman in the Methodist faith expanded the camp meetings into formal education for … Continue reading The Florida Chautauqua Assembly in DeFuniak Springs, FL

Approaching the Coming Crisis: 1840-1860 in the NW Florida community of Oak Grove

Our little side journey meeting some of my ancestors has for the moment ended. Let’s return to Oak Grove, Okaloosa Co, FL in the decades of the 1840s and 1850s. In the last post on Oak Grove we left the area with the 1840 census. I listed 51 households from the 1840 census that I … Continue reading Approaching the Coming Crisis: 1840-1860 in the NW Florida community of Oak Grove

Big Fish in a Small Northwest Florida Pond: William Franklin and Mary Ann Malissa Hart King

The Kings were latecomers to the Oak Grove area, arriving sometime between 1880 and 1885. It isn’t known what motivated them to move west from Walton County and settle in the small, rural community of Oak Grove. But they are there by the 1885 Florida census and William Franklin is teaching, running a general store … Continue reading Big Fish in a Small Northwest Florida Pond: William Franklin and Mary Ann Malissa Hart King