Hillsborough County, Florida


1835 - 1897

Isaac Carlton, a son of Alderman and Martha (Alderman) Carlton, was born on September 15, 1835 in Thomas County, Georgia. He came with his parents and other members of the Carlton and Alderman families to Hillsborough County, Florida in January of 1843 and lived with his mother until he married Eliza Ann Bryant on April 2, 1857. He father was killed in 1856. Eliza Ann Bryant was born on March 21, 1839 in south Georgia and was the daughter of Timothy and Sarah (Franklin) Bryant. They had seven children:

1. Francis Marion Carlton, born May 20, 1858; married on January 29, 1879, Sarah Jane Saffold, daughter of Daniel O. and Nancy (Coulter) Saffold; died April 4, 1927 in Manatee County. They had six children.

2. Georgia Ann Carlton, born July 10, 1859; married on January 30, 1879 James Dalkins Sweat. They had thirteen children.

3. James Washington Carlton, born January 27, 1861; married Mary "Molly" Susan Saffold on February 18, 1880 in Manatee County. Mary was sister to Sarah Jane Saffold.

4. Mary Ann Carlton, born November 5, 1862; married Benjamin B. Brown of Tampa, Florida on August 8, 1895. They had four children.

5. William Wright Carlton, born January 9, 1865; married Louise Virginia Durrance in 1886; died July 4, 1903. They had seven children.

6. Sarah "Sallie" Jane Carlton, born December 13, 1866; married George Alderman Franklin, son of George and Lavina (Alderman) Franklin of Antioch. They had two daughters.

7. Martha Elizabeth Carlton, born May 13, 1869; married Mitchell A. Franklin, son of George and Lavina (Alderman) Franklin. They had nine children to grow to adulthood.

Shortly after their marriage Isaac and Eliza settled in the southern part of Hillsborough County. His deeds reading Section 18, Township 32 and Range 21. He had deeds to 140 acres, living on Carlton Creek which ran out of Lake Carlton, which was named for Isaac.

Besides being a farmer, Isaac raised some cattle and used the brand "35", the year of his birth. In June of 1860 his name appears among those shipping cattle with William B. Hooker. At this time range for cattle was plentiful and Isaac could let his cattle graze over the fertile land around Lake Carlton and on into Manatee County.

In January of 1856 while Isaac was yet a single man, he was serving in the Seminole War under William B. Hooker who had been their neighbor in the Alafia region. He was not with the men at the Tillis farm where his father was killed but was sent on missions to the north and east of Tampa (Fort Brooke). He was exposed to chilling weather during the month of February in 1856 and developed a complaint he never fully recovered from. Thus he was home raising cattle to supply food for the Confederate army. Isaac was later, in his old age, given a pension for his Indian War services. In his application he stated that he was 5' 7" tall with grey eyes and sandy hair. While yet in the service in the Florida Volunteer Mounted Cavalry, he served under Captain Sparkman from February 28, 1857 to August 17, 1857 making tours to Fort Gardner and to the southeast to Fort Drum, as well as north up the west coast even after his marriage. It was while Isaac was stationed at Fort Brooke in April that he came home to Alafia where the settlers were in the fort for protection that he married Eliza Ann Bryant. He was discharged the following August.

Isaac Carlton was a long time member of the Primitive Baptist Church. He had been baptized in Alafia in September 1853 by an uncle, J. M. Hayman. From his farm in southern Hillsborough County Isaac provided for his family by growing cotton which the women made into cloth and stitched it on the sewing machine he bought from a traveling salesman. The girls and Eliza were proficient in making clothes for the family evne their shoes were skins tanned at home. Isaac raised the sugar, rice, corn and other vegetables as did all his neighbors. They made brooms from the palmetto fans and brush from the woods like broom sage that grew in the swamp. Floors were scrubbed with white sand and home—made soap.

Isaac Carlton died, faithful to his faith, February 21, 1897 and was buried in the Fellowship Cemetery near his home. Eliza Ann lived until June 8, 1922 and was buried beside her husband. Their oldest son, Francis Marion Carlton, wrote a sketch of their life.


I desire to write a sketch of my mother's life and death. Eliza A. Carlton was born in south Georgia, March 21, 1839. A daughter of Timothy and Sarah (Franklin) Bryant who moved to his Hillsborough County, Florida about 1855, the year before the last Seminole Indian War and while the people were fortified for protection from the Indians. She was married to Isaac Carlton April 2, 1857.

To them were born seven children———three sons and four daughters, all raised to have families, myself being the oldest, now 65 years old. My two youngest sisters, Mrs. Sally Franklin of Antioch, Florida and Mrs. Mattie Franklin of Tampa, Florida and I survive. Our two older sisters, Georgia Sweat and Mary Brown, died several years ago. The two older brothers, James W. Carlton and William Carlton, also died several years ago, all leaving large families.

It is a task for me to number the grandchildren and the great—grandchildren, but to consider the age of dear mother being 83 years, three months and thirteen days———being a pioneer resident here in south Florida in the Indian War undergoing the hardships prevalent in a frontier country, among varmints and wild beasts, with no modern conveniences to live other than to dig with a hoe, a club, ax, plow, rake and so forth. A few crude pots to cook meat, potatoes, cow peas and Indian corn with vegetables and wild fruit———often on the ground by a camp fire. Also to enumerate the many things encountered during the Indian War, the War Between the States and several years after, much of the time not having access to market.

Sometimes to go to the coast, boil salt water to get salt to salt the vituals, to make a fire was to use a flint striking steel———preparing tinder of burned or scorched cotton rags. Also many other hardships to get the needs of the family and to educate the children in private schools.

Isaac Carlton, my father having contracted afflictions in the Indian War——asthma, rheumatism, etc, suffered about twenty years——died in February, 1897.

I remember hearing my father and mother telling each other of what I now understand to have been the 'dealings of the Lord' with them———telling their experiences I did not know then. There not being a Primitive Baptist Church near at first, they joined a Missionary Baptist. I remember going to church with them and hearing them talk to each other while at home or going to and from church of their understanding of the Bible.

Their experience, it seemed to me, that they were not in full harmony with the doctrines of that church. At last I heard my father tell them that they had as well take his name off their book for he could not go along with them, and it seemed to me they regretted very much to give him up.

About that time the Primitive Elders came through this country and began to organize a church. They joined about 55 or 56 years ago and the best I have been able to see or understand they lived and died in the faith of Jesus their Savior———very much devoted to their brothers and sisters in the choir. The original Primitive Baptist holding to the belief in the Doctrine of Election predestination salvation alone and in the grace of God their Savior. . . .

I cannot remember to state all the wonderful things I have witnessed with and of my dear mother which since her husband, my father died and well it is for I could not find time and space to write it but let it suffice to say that many sweet conversations I have spent along with her talking with her about the dealings of the Lord. . . . .

It is written in the prophets and shall all be taught of God. Everyone therefore that has heard and has learned of the Father cometh to me, and I shall raise him up in the Last Days. So our mortal bodies must go to the earth as our dear friends have, to sleep, as our dear mother is sleeping. May we rest in hope of meeting them to praise God forever. Amen.

There were several more pages of the story about the faith of his mother and father written by a grieving and loving son but he was thankful for the years he had with his mother and for her great love for church and family. He says he is not grieving but his words tell how much he misses her. Francis Marion Carlton was a Primitive Baptist minister.

SOURCES: Isaac Carlton family Bible printed in 1840; Isaac Carlton family papers; Hillsborough County census—1850, 1860, 1870, 1880; Hillsborough County deed books—Book D, page 801, Book O, page 407, Book Q, page 456; Carlton file in Hillsborough Courthouse; info from Ray Carlton of Manatee County; Hillsborough County marriage records; Fellowship Cemetery; Isaac Carlton's Indian War papers from National Archives, Washington, DC.

Hillsborough County Home Page | Florida Home Page | Genealogy Trails Home Page |

Genealogy Trails ©