Is anyone tracing pioneer families of early Florida, 1565 to 1900?

+5 votes
in The Tree House by Sharon Centanne G2G6 Pilot (155k points)

The Florida State Genealogical Society has a Pioneer Descendant Certification Program at

Florida Pioneer Descendant Certificate - State - This award can be given to any person regardless of his or her place of residence who shall provide documentary proof satisfactory to the committee, which establishes a solid chain of evidence that he or she has an ancestor who settled in Florida (present boundaries) before the state was admitted to the union, 3 March 1845. The application and all supporting documentation shall remain the property of the Society and the Florida State Archives.

Like other lineage programs it has a pioneer database.

Great information!


Ann Carmel




2 Answers

+1 vote

Have you seen the Southern Colonies project Sharon!  I believe we need some help with Florida!  Mags

by Mags Gaulden G2G6 Pilot (524k points)
+1 vote
I need help tracking Floridians before 1840.  Any suggestions?  The Florida Geneologic society doesn't seems to have much in the way of tools.  Just a database of certificates but no trees!
by Jennie Yates G2G Crew (700 points)
Florida became a state in 1845. This means you are looking for territorial records, and possibly for Spanish records or tribal records before 1819 when Florida was acquired by the United States.

You might look at military records of those stationed here as part of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. You might find some records of the Seminole Nation at their museum in the Everglades. You might want to check with the University of Florida archealogy folks and with the Seminole Historic Preservation Society.

You could also look for land grants and homesteading records. Florida was very sparsely populated before 1860, and most folks lived in North Florida between what is now Jacksonville and Pensacola. No air conditioning meant hot summers, mosquitos and malaria.

Seminole Indians lived in shelters with no walls, just a palm thatched roof on poles.  Many of them were transported to Oklahoma to allow white voting settlers to homestead. It was a racist, sexist place here, and 60,000 white male voters were need to achieve statehood. I am not sure if their are records of Seminoles transported, male voters or slaves, but the State Library of Florida may have some information.

You might also want to attend a Rondevous of Florida Frontier Re-enactors to see if they have any resources. Old issues of the Florida Frontier Gazette might be useful too, for well known early Floridians. Forts like Fort Foster in Hillsborough County might have information. Check with the Florida Park Service for locations and contact info.
Thank you Sharon!  I will check those sources.  If you have any links that would be great, otherwise I can google.

My grandmother spent part of her childhood in one of those huts, living with her grandmother.  They weren't Native Americans but lived with them from time to time when the grandfather kicked them out. (To confirm your sexist time comment) My grandmother's stories were very different from anything I have read about.  Apparently in hard times if you spoke the language you could go live with the nearest tribe, just join in whatever work they were doing and you were welcome. Her grandmother would get started with the women's work and she would gather berries or roots etc with the children.  They were all (7 of the 8 I can find) born in and around East Okeechobee, St. Lucie, Brevard and Osceola.  You are right many more records in N. Florida.

I was a bit surprised when several databases showed 0% Native American but 12-30% (depending on the database) Mediterranean.  I suspect Minorcan ancestor/s, its the eaiest explanation based on time, place and explains some genetics.

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