HOLMES COUNTY, FLORIDA

THE FIRST SETTLERS OF HOLMES COUNTY

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(From the book "Heart and History of Holmes County" by Anna Paget Wells, used by permission of the publisher, Sue Cronkite)   This book is chock full of pictures and what has been used within this website is only a small portion of the book.  It can still be ordered from Sue Cronkite.

The following families were listed by John L McKinnon in his History of Walton County as living in the part of Walton County that was given to make Holmes County:

    "The McQuaigs, some of the Gillises, Neals, Morrisons, McCallums, Vaughns, Brownells, Oates, Broxtons, Hunts, Geohagans, McKenzies, some of the McLendons, Hunters, Millers, Smiths, Parishes, Stanleys, McFaddons, Turners, Kerless, Kitrells, Oglesbys, Andrews, Neils, Watsons, Albins."

Fortunately for the people of Holmes County the 1850 Federal Census was taken in the second year of the county's existence.  This Census gave more information than previous censuses.  It gave the names and ages of children in a household.  Other censuses had only given the name of the head of the household.  This makes it much easier for Holmes Countians to shape up their family trees.

According to the 1850 Census, less than half of the people living in the county at that time were born in Florida.  The greatest number of people, other than those born in Florida, were born in Georgia; Alabama ranked second; North Carolina, third; South Carolina, fourth.  Four other states were represented:  Louisiana, Indiana, Massachusetts, and Virginia.  Only one period did not know where he had been born.

The 1850 Census revealed one surprising fact:  Only four of the people living in Holmes County in 1850 were born in Scotland.  The writer's great-great-grandfather, a native of Scotland, died in 1849, just a year before this Census was taken.  His name was John Morrison.  Many of his descendants still lived in Holmes County in 1982.

There was a great influx of Confederate soldiers who settled in Holmes County during the 1870s.  Before the Civic War public lands were not subject to homestead entry, but were purchased from the United States Government at $1.25 per acre.  In 1825 a land office was established at Tallahassee which operated until public lands were opened up for homestead.

The first National Homestead Act was passed during the War Between the States and became applicable to Florida after the war and Florida came back into the Union.

ANDERSONs  ANDREWSes  BROWNELLs  BROXSONs
CAWTHONs CURRYs A TRIBUTE TO WILL CURRY DOUGLASSes
FAIRCLOTHs GILLISes  GILLMANs GREENs
HATHAWAYs  MATHISes  MAYOs McKINNONs
MORRISONs NEELs  OATESes  
PADGETs   PITTMANs REGISTERs
RIDDLEs  SMITHs  TADLOCKs  VAUGHNs
  WATSONs WELLSes WILLIAMSes 

 

 


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This page was last updated on: 1 Aug 2004