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

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

The Little Red (or White or Log) Schoolhouse in Northwest Florida: The Student Experience

This week we will skip forward a bit and leave the system and enter the schools of our ancestors. Many of our grandparents and great-grandparents in Florida attended those famous one-room schoolhouses. Generally, this meant all of the students were in the same room, studying materials for their own level; and the older students helped … Continue reading The Little Red (or White or Log) Schoolhouse in Northwest Florida: The Student Experience

Northwest Florida History & Genealogy: My Current Projects

This post will be a little different.  I’m going to talk about my current projects in history and genealogy of the Northwest Florida panhandle and then do some encouraging for readers to take on similar projects. I posted on my Facebook page a few weeks ago on the recent appearance of the original Yellow River … Continue reading Northwest Florida History & Genealogy: My Current Projects

Hard Work and Good Eating – Part 1

Isn’t food wonderful? It fills the empty spot; it nourishes our bodies; it gives us pleasure and energy; and it creates a space and reason to engage in fellowship, laughter and love. I hope everyone had that experience this past Thanksgiving. My mother and I certainly did celebrating with one of my cousins’ family. Excellent … Continue reading Hard Work and Good Eating – Part 1

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