Duval County, Florida

Genealogy Trails
Genealogy and History
Volunteers Dedicated to Free Genealogy


Florida Cracker Trail
The Florida Cracker Trail runs from just East of Bradenton,
and ends in Fort Pierce, a total distance of approximately
120 miles.

In years past, this route was used for both cattle and
horses. Today it includes parts of State Road 66, State
Road 64, and U.S. Highway 98.On November 20, 2000, the
Florida Cracker Trail was selected as a Community
Millennium Trail. The Millennium Trails is a partnership
among the White House Millennium Council, the Department of
Transportation, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the National
Endowment for the Arts and other public agencies and
private organizations. The goal of Millennium trails is the
creation of a nationwide network of trails that protect
natural environment, interpret history and culture, and
enhance alternative transportation, recreation and
tourism.An annual Cracker Trail ride is now held the last
full week in February of each year. The ride begins at a
site just east of Bradenton, Florida, and ends with a
parade through downtown Ft. Pierce, Florida, a total of
approximately 120 miles. Each day's ride is
approximately 15 to 20 miles in length. The purpose of the
is to draw attention to Florida's horse and cattle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Contributed by Norita Shepherd Moss

People who live in Florida or who come from Florida are called Floridians. Floridians have been referred to as "gators" after the Alligator population of the state. They've been called "Crackers" in a reference to the sound of the farmers, cowboys or mule drivers cracking their whips over the backs of their mules or cattle in the early days of the state. Early residents of Georgia were called "Crackers" for a very different reason. For the " cracking or grinding of corn . Many people from Georgia settled before and after it became a state. So the term may have came with them. Most native Floridians do not mind being called a " Cracker".


Here are words and phrases used by Crackers over the centuries.

Catchdogs — Cracker cattle-herding dogs trained to literally "catch" a cow and hold its ear or nose in its teeth until a cowman arrived.

Chittlins — Cracker version of chitterlings, or hog innards, cleaned and cooked.

Conchs — Key West Crackers.

Cooter — A freshwater soft-shell turtle eaten by Crackers.

Corn Pone — A "dressed-up" hoecake, made from the standard cornmeal, but with milk instead of water used in the batter. Cone pone differs from cornbread in that the former is fried and the latter is baked.

Cracklin — Fried hog fat used for food, sometimes mixed into meal to make cracklin cornbread.

Croker sack — Burlap gunny sack sometimes used for clothing.

Curlew — Pink spoonbills hunted for food and for their plumes.

Drag — A rawhide whip used by Crackers for driving cattle or wagon oxen.

Fatback — Called fatback because this is exactly where it comes from — off the back of a hog. It was cut in small squares and put in cooking pots to flavor beans and other vegetables. Sometimes, it was roasted until it became crunchy and eaten like popcorn for a snack. Lard was made by boiling the fatback and straining it through fine cloth.

Fetch — To get, as in to "fetch" some water.

Grits — A principal Cracker staple made from dried and coarsely ground corn, used in place of potatoes, never as a cereal. Hominy grits, not to be confused with hominy corn, is a Northern label for a coarser grain of ground corn.

Hoecake — Primitive bread cake made of cornmeal, salt and water and cooked in an iron griddle or skillet. It is said that these cakes were once baked on a hoe held over an open fire.

Hominy — Whole grains of white corn treated with lye and boiled for food.

Literd — A hot fire started with fat pine.

Low-bush lightning — Cracker term for moonshine–liquor made and smuggled during Prohibition.

Marshtackie — A small horse with a narrow chest, prized by cowmen for their smooth ride, durability and quick maneuverability. Descendants of the horses brought to Florida by the Spanish, they are adapted to the Florida wilderness.

Pilau — Any dish of meat and rice cooked together, like a chicken pilau. Pronounced "per-loo" by Crackers.

Piney-woods rooter — Wild hog and a regular part of the Cracker diet.

Poultices — Medicinal salves made with materials such as soap, fat meat, chewing tobacco, chopped onion, scraped Irish potato and wet baking soda.

Pull — To take a hard drink from a liquor jug.

Rot gut — Bad whiskey.

Sawmill chicken — Salt pork.

Scrub chicken — Gopher tortoise, once a Cracker delicacy, now illegal to take.

Scrub cows — Cracker cattle bred to withstand the tough conditions of the Florida range. They are descendants of original Spanish cattle introduced to Florida in 1521.

Swamp cabbage — The tender heart of Sabal palm, cut and boiled like cabbage.

Store-boughten — Cracker materials which could only be purchased from a store.

Truck garden — A plot garden which was grown to produce a surplus of vegetables for sale to local grocery stores, etc.

Varmit — The Cracker version of varmint, or any small animal, especially rodents.

Courtesy Dana Ste. Claire, curator, The Cracker Culture in Florida History. Daytona Beach Museum of Arts and Sciences.tled in Florida before

Contributed by Norita Shepherd Moss



Duval County was created in 1822 from St. Johns County. It was named for William Pope DuVal, Territorial Governor of Florida from 1822 to 1834. When Duval County was created it covered a massive area, from the Suwannee River on the west to the Atlantic Ocean on the east, north of a line from the mouth of the Suwannee River to Jacksonville on the St. Johns River. Alachua and Nassau Counties were created out of parts of Duval County in 1824. Clay County was created from part of Duval County in 1858. Part of St. Johns County south and east of the lower reaches of the St. Johns River was transferred to Duval County in the 1840s.

On October 1, 1968, the government of Duval County was consolidated with the government of the City of Jacksonville, although the Duval County cities of Atlantic Beach, Baldwin, Jacksonville Beach, and Neptune Beach are not included in the corporate limits of Jacksonville, and maintain their own municipal governments. In the early 1990s these three beach cities considered separating from Duval and forming Ocean County, an idea that had been discussed since consolidation, but after the 1995 election of Jacksonville mayor John Delaney, a resident and former Mayor of Neptune Beach, the idea was dropped

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Contributed by Norita Shepherd Moss

Here is a tale of hopes unrealized. Here is evidence that our fathers
laid the foundation of a worth while structure which we have neglected
or forgotten.
Before the Civil War most of Florida was a wilderness.
There were but half a dozen small towns and a few scattered farming
districts. Except for certain short boom periods--the sudden rise and
collapse of the ports, and the flush times in Middle Florida, when credit,
based largely on land, was the source of a flood of money flowing freely
about Tallahassee until the bubble burst--except for these few years
Florida was, in the main, a land of poverty-the poverty of a new country
with no ready source of wealth to bring a quick prosperity.
Yet many of the pioneers,. though they had work enough to do in making
their start, looked beyond their own affairs and gave a thought to the
future of the State they, were building for their children. Among other
evidence of this forethought, during the period of comparative quiet
following the years of Indian disturbances, is the organizing of the
Historical Society of Florida.
Little is now known of this body; but it was no paper society - the fruit
of a passing enthusiasm. Its foundation was carefully and solidly laid.
A copy of its first publication has come down to us: a thin, 16mo.
pamphlet issued soon after the organization-which took place in
St. Augustine, in 1856 - and containing its constitution and by-laws,
together with a list of its officers and members.
We have also a pamphlet of thirty-two pages, 8vo, issued in the latter
part of the following year-the publication of an address before the
Society by one of its members who was later to write the first real
history of Florida-George R. Fairbanks.

Here we learn something of the broad purpose and high hopes of the
founders. He says :
‘“To explore this field [Florida history], to seek and gather up the
ancient chronicles in which its annals are contained, to retain the
traditionary lore which may yet throw light upon the past, to trace
its monuments and remains, to elucidate what has been written, to
disprove the false and support the true, to do justice to the men who
have figured in the olden time, to keep and preserve all that is known
in trust for those who come after us, to increase and extend the
knowledge of our own history among those who now claim the title of
its citizens, and to teach our children that first essential knowledge,
the history of our own State, are objects well worthy of our best efforts.
To accomplish these ends we have organized the Historical Society
of Florida. We desire to number among its members all who feel an
interest in the history of their native or adopted State. We seek their
goodwill, their aid, and their encouragement.
“We desire to build up and perpetuate a library, which shall be open
for reference to the scholar, the teacher, and the student; where shall
be collected all the published or manuscript works relating to the State,
which can be procured. We desire, by means of lectures, to impart
and extend such information as may be useful; and we look, hereafter,
to having the ability to throw open to all, through the press, such rare
and curious works as could not otherwise be reached.
“Standing, then, within these time-honored walls (the Palace of the
Spanish Governors), in this most ancient city of our land, within the
shadow of that gray and moss-covered castle, where everything
recalls the past, whose very existence is a landmark of history, we
cannot help feeling an earnest desire to look into that past, to draw
out its secrets, and to bring back to our own minds and memories
the scenes and actions of the olden time ; and when our day shall in
turn be numbered with the past, and others shall have succeeded us,
as we now fill the places of the generations who on this spot have
lived and died, it may well be that a tribute of respect and reverence
may be then bestowed upon us, as the founders and benefactors
of this Society, which then, we fondly hope, may number its
thousands of members, its noble hall, its splendid library, and its
valuable publications; and our small beginnings may spread into a
future of which we can now form no conception.”
Those last words of Major Fairbanks’s are prophetical ; for how
could he conceive of the present state of the Society in this day
of the State’s growth and prosperity-the hall, the library, the
publications, the numerous members-all are still to be realized some
time in the future .
But his hopes for his own State have long ago come to be
accomplishments in nearly all the others, for most of them have now
all that he pictured for Florida. Judging by the admirable beginning
which the founders made, we can readily believe that nothing but
the clouds of the coming war could have halted the work which they
undertook and which was then of necessity suspended.
Showing the general interest then taken in the Society is the long
list of members-one hundred and thirty-four, a very great number for
that time-which includes nearly all of the prominent men of the period;
and to any one acquainted with the affairs of that day, it is evident-
that the leaders in every section of the State were founders of the
The names of the officers and resident members, as
listed in the publications of the Society, follow :

Major B. A. Putnam
Rev. J. H. Myers
Geo. R. Fairbanks, Esq.
Hon. McQueen McIntosh
Hon. D. L. Yulee
Hon. Wm. A. Forward
Executive Committee
Rev. A. A. Miller
Rev. E. Aubril
O. M. Dorman, Esq.
Corresponding Secretary and Treasurer
Geo. Burt, Esq.
Recording Secretary and Librarian
K. B. Gibbs, Esq.


Auld, Rev. D. J.
Haile, Edward
Alvarez, Antonio Hawkins, Geo. S.
Anderson, J. Geo. Hayward, W. R.
Ambler, D. C. Ingram, Tillman
Avery, O. M. Ives, E. R
Archer, Jas. T.
June, Dr.
Aubriel, Rev. E. S. Kirkland, I. L.
Baldwin, A. S. Lancaster, J. B.
Bours, Rev. W. W. Long, Nicholas
Brown, Geo. L. Livingston, Felix
Beard, John Long, Medicus
Baker, James M.
Lowther, T. D.
Baltzell, Thomas McCarthy, F.
Broome, Jas. E Maxwell, A. E.
Burt, James Mallory, S. R.
Burt, Geo. McIntosh, McQueen
Bailey, James B. Moseley, W. D.
Benet, Peter Mauran, P. B.
Blackburn, E. E. Marvin, William
Burritt, S. L.
Morton, Jackson
Cabell, E. C. Madeore, Rev. B.
Call, Richard K. Miller, A. J.
Call, Wilkinson Matchlock, John S
Call, Geo. W. Mitchell, Augustus
Center, George Mitchell, C. O. M.
Carmichael, Rev. W. M., D. D. McClellan, I. F.
Campbell, Richard
Mays, D. H.
Chase, Wm. H. McGehee, J. C.
Carr, B. E. McCants, J.
Cobb, Nathan Myers, Rev. J. H.
Cole, A. H. Miller, Rev. A. A.
Dick, John Meeker, C. C.
DuPont, C. H. Papy, M. D.
Dorman, O. M. Pelot, Jno. C.
Dell, J. G. Putnam, B. A.
Dell, Philip Peck, John E.
Dumas, P. B.
Perry, M. S.
Dorman, Rodney Pope, Barton
Dawkins, J. B. Pearson, B. M.
Drew, Columbus Payne, G. B.
Dunham, D. R. Quarterman, Rev. J. M.
Dancey, E. L. Rutledge, Rt. Rev. Bishop
Dummett, Douglass Rogers, S. St. George
Douglass, Samuel J. Reed, A. M.
Dupont, Abram
Randall, Thomas
Davis, W. M. G. Randolph, J. H.
English, Chas. G Simmons, W. H.
Forward, W. A. Simpkins, E. C.
Fairbanks, Samuel Smith, Buckingham
Fleming, L. J. Solana, Matteo
Fraser, Philip Spaulding, D. A.
Fairbanks, Geo. R. Stewart, R. A.
Floyd, R. F. Sanderson, J. P
Findley, J. T. Smith, J. Caraway
Finegan, Joseph Steele, Augustus
Gibbs, Geo. C. Stringfellow, W. H.
Garey, S. M. Y. Smith, M. Whit
Gillis, Calvin Tanner, J. S.
Gibbs, K. B. Walker, D. S.
Gerardeau, W. O. Weems, F. M.
Gould, J. M. Williams, J. L.
Hawes, Geo. E. Wright, B. D.
Hay, Walter Ward, Geo. T.
Humphreys, Gad Whitehurst, D. W.
Holmes, T. O. Westcott, John
Hilton, R. B. Yulee, D. L
Haile, Thos. E. Yonge, C. C.

In 1902 the Society was reorganized, and George R. Fairbanks,
who was a leading spirit in its founding nearly fifty years before,
became its president. Three years later the body was incorporated
by Major Fairbanks, Francis P. Fleming, George W. Wilson, Charles
M. Cooper, James P. Taliaferro, V. W. Shields, William A. Blount, and
George P. Raney. Under the hand of its next president, Governor
Fleming, the Society increased its membership, began the collection
of historical material, and established and regularly issued its magazine,
“The Florida Historical Society Quarterly.” But soon after the death of
Governor Fleming, in 1908, the Quarterly suspended publication. And
since that time the body, without the support and binding power of its
magazine, has been more or less inactive. It is hoped that with the
resumption of this publication, the Society will again take the place it
once held, and that progress towards a realization of the dream of its
founders in 1856 will be continuous.
In making the following observations as to the various distinguished
members of “The Florida Historical Society,” organized A. D. 1856,
the author has mentioned those prominent men of Florida members
of the Society whom he has been able to obtain information about by
talking to old citizens, an examination of the various published histories
of Florida, an examination of the Florida Supreme Court Reports and
Acts of the Legislature of Florida. In the next issue of the Quarterly
Magazine, we will be glad to publish accounts of members of the
Society of 1856 not especially mentioned in this article.

Taking the names as they appear on the roll of officers and members
above, the first name mentioned is Major B. A. Putnam, President of the
Society, who came to Florida as a United States Army officer in the
Indian War of 1818-19, under command of General Andrew Jackson.
Major Putnam was afterwards Surveyor- General and Judge of the
Supreme Court.
Major George R. Fairbanks wrote two histories of Florida, and was a
Major in the Confederate Army and one of the Trustees of the University
of the South at Sewanee, Tenn.
Hon. McQueen McIntosh was United States District Judge of Florida and
father of McQueen McIntosh, a graduate of West Point and a Brigadier-
General in the Confederate Army, who was killed at the Battle of Pea
Ridge, Arkansas.
Hon. D. L. Yulee represented the Territory of Florida as a Delegate in
Congress, was afterwards United States Senator from Florida, and was
the first President and builder of the Florida Central & Peninsular Railroad
Co., which ran from Fernandina, Florida, on the Atlantic, to Cedar Keys,
Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico.
Hon. William A. Forward was a Judge of the Circuit Court of Florida and
afterwards a Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida.
K. P. Gibbs, Esquire, was a planter at Ft. George Island, and inherited
the plantation of his uncle Zepheniah Kingsley. He was quite a character
in the early days of Florida, and Mr. Gibbs was also Clerk of the Circuit
Court at St. Augustine for many years.
D. C. Ambler was the father of D. G. Ambler, of Jacksonville, who was
a banker and prominent citizen of this State.
James T. Archer was the first Secretary of State of Florida, and
afterwards Attorney-General of Florida.
Dr. A. S. Baldwin was an early resident of Jacksonville, a physician of
high standing and a scientist of no mean ability, and father of deep
water from the ocean to Jacksonville.
Rev. W. W. Bours was an Episcopal clergyman in the early days of
Jacksonville, and was the uncle of the present W. A. Bours.
Hon. John Beard was a prominent citizen of Tallahassee, and
afterwards Registrar of Public Lands of the State.
Hon. James M. Baker was Judge of the Supreme Court, Confederate
State Senator and Judge of the Circuit Court here in Duval County,Fl.
Hon. Thomas Baltzell was Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court
in the early 50s.
Hon. James E. Broome was Governor of Florida and won the election
as a Democrat against the Whig candidate, who at the time, was the
late Colonel George T. Ward.
Hon. S. L. Burritt was a leading lawyer of Jacksonville and Florida,
and was drowned on the ill-fated steamer “Mount,” which was wrecked
off the North Carolina coast in the early fifties.
E. C. Cabell was the first Congressman of the State of Florida, and
member of the First Constitutional Convention.
Governor Richard K. Call was the second Territorial Governor of
Florida, and as General Call commanded the troops in Florida during
the first two years of the Seminole Indian War from 1835-42.
Wilkinson Call was a nephew of Governor Call, and was United States
Senator from Florida through three terms after the War between the
Major George W. Call was one of the leading lawyers of Florida, Major
of the 2nd Florida Infantry, C. S. A., and was killed at the Battle of Seven
Pines, Va. He was the father of Judge R. M. Call, of the United States
District Court.
Gen. William H. Chase was a Major of Engineers, U. S. A., at the time
he retired from such service; was afterwards Major-General of the
Confederate States Army and President of the Georgia, Florida &
Alabama Railroad, leading from Pensacola, Fla., to a point in Alabama.
Hon. C. H. Dupont was Justice and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
of Florida.
J. G. Dell and Philip Dell were pioneer citizens of Alachua County, and
men of prominence in the early days of Florida.
Hon. J. B. Dawkins was Judge of the Circuit Court of Florida.
Columbus Drew was an editor of one of the first papers in Jacksonville,
Florida, was a leading citizen and author and poet, and was Comptroller
of the State of Florida in the administration of Governor Geo. F. Drew.
E. L. Dancy was an officer of the corps of Engineers, United States Army,
and retired when quite a young man. He superintended the building of the
sea-wall at St. Augustine, and was afterwards an officer in the Confederate
States Army.
Douglass Dummett owned one of the largest groves on the Indian River,
which was famous for its fine quality of oranges, just before and after the
War between the States.
Hon. Samuel J. Douglass was a Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida.
Brig.-Gen. W. M. G. Davis was a prominent lawyer in Florida before 1861;
was first Colonel of the First Florida Cavalry, C. S. A., and afterwards
promoted to Brigadier-General in the same Army.
Samuel Fairbanks was brother of Major George R. Fairbanks, a prominent
citizen of Jacksonville.
L. I. Fleming was a leading lawyer of Jacksonville and of Florida.
Gen. J. J. Findley was a Captain in the Seminole War, became Brigadier-
General, C. S. A., member of United States Congress, United States
Senator and Circuit Judge of Florida for many years.
Joseph Finegan was a member of the United States Congress before the
War between the States, and Brigadier-General, C. S. A.
George C. Gibbs was Mayor of Jacksonville before 1861, Captain of
Infantry in the Mexican War, and a Captain in the regular Army, C. S. A.,
and in command at St. Augustine, Fla.; afterwards recruited a volunteer
regiment in North Carolina, of which he was Colonel, fought at Seven
Pines and was Commandant at Libbey Prison and for a time at Andersonville
Col. Gad Humphreys was United States Indian Agent in Florida before and
during the Seminole Indian War, from 1835-42.
Hon. R. B. Hilton was Judge of the Circuit Court and a member of the
Confederate States Congress.
Thomas E. Haile and Edward Haile were prominent early residents of
Alachua County, Florida.
George S. Hawkins was a member of the United States Congress and
a Justice of the Florida Supreme Court.
J. B. Lancaster was Judge of the Circuit Court of Florida and sat a
number of times on the Supreme Court of Florida.
Felix Livingston was a, prominent lawyer of Fernandina, Florida.
A. E. Maxwell was United States Congressman, Attorney-General of
Florida, Confederate States Senator, Judge of the Circuit Court, Justice
and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida, and the father of Judge
Evelyn C. Maxwell a former Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida.
S. R. Mallory was United States Senator from Florida at the time of her
secession, and was Secretary of the Confederate States Navy.
W. D. Moseley was the first Governor of the State of Florida.
William Marvin was Judge of the United States District Court of Florida,
and was Provisional Governor of Florida during its military occupation
after the War between the States.
Jackson Morton was a prominent member of the Florida Bar, a member
of the first Constitutional Convention, and also a member of the Secession
J. F. McClellan was a prominent lawyer, made the second Digest of the
laws of Florida, and was Judge of the Circuit Court.
D, H. Mays was a prominent planter in Jefferson County, and the father of
former Congressman, D. H. Mays.
J. C. McGehee was President of the Secession Convention and a member
of the first Constitutional Convention of Florida.
M. D. Papy was Attorney-General of the State.
M. S. Perry was Governor of the State of Florida.
B. M. Pearson was State’s Attorney in South Carolina before coming to
Florida, and was afterwards a Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida.
Rt. Rev. Bishop Rutledge was first Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of
S. St. George Rogers was Lieutenant-Colonel in the Florida Indian War
from 1855-56, and was afterwards Lieutenant-Colonel of the 2nd Florida
Infantry, Army of Northern Virginia.
A. M. Reed was a banker and leading citizen in the early days of Jacksonville.
Thomas Randall was Judge of the Circuit Court of Florida.
J. H. Randolph was a prominent citizen of Tallahassee,
Sheriff of Leon County and of the Supreme Court of Florida.
Buckingham Smith was a large property owner and prominent citizen in
the early history of Florida, and wrote various articles on Florida history.
J. P. Sanderson was an early resident of Jacksonville and one of the
leading lawyers of this State.
J. Caraway Smith was Colonel of the 2nd Florida Cavalry, C. S. A., and
participated in the Battle of Olustee.
D. S. Walker was Commissioner of Lands of Florida, the first
Superintendent of Public Instruction, Judge of the Circuit Court, Judge of
the Supreme Court and Governor of Florida.
J. L. Williams was the J. Lee Williams who was selected one of the two
parties appointed to select a site for the Capitol at Tallahassee ; was a
civil engineer and author of one of the early histories of Florida.
George T. Ward was a Whig candidate for Governor who was defeated
by Governor James E. Broome, a Democrat; was a member of the
Secession Convention and afterwards Colonel of the 2nd Florida Infantry,
C. S. A., and was killed at the Battle of Williamsburg, Va.
John Westcott was a prominent citizen of St. Augustine, Florida, in the
early days, and was in the United States Land Office there for many years.
He was a cousin of United States Senator Westcott, of Tallahassee.
C. C. Yonge was a member of the First Constitutional Convention of
Florida, held at St. Joseph, and was the father of the Hon. P. K. Yonge.

1st Vice-President,
The Florida Historical Society.

[Source: Vol III, July 1924, No. 1, Florida Historical Society Quarterly]


Florida Genealogy Trails
Copyright © Genealogy Trails