Peter J. Black

Peter J. Black was born 1832 in Randolph County, Georgia to the parents of Peter and Mary (Griggs) Black. His father was born 1795 in South Carolina, his mother 1804 in North Carolina. Peter and Mary Griggs were married in Hancock Co., Georgia in1820.

Peter and Mary moved their family to Milford, Baker Co., Georgia, where their son Peter J. would marry Susan Sophronia Adams on January 3, 1860. Susan was born September 22, 1846 to the parents of William and Sarah “Sallie” Adams.

Peter and Susan began their family in Milford. A year after they married Peter along with two of his brothers enlisted in the Civil War. Susan was pregnant and her husband was going off to fight in a war hundreds of miles away. It must have been frightening!

Peter enlisted as a private in Co. G, 7th Regiment GA State Troopers, November 22, 1861. He mustered out May 2, 1862; enlisted as a private in Co. B, 62nd Reg. GA Inf. May 31, 1862. He was transferred to Co. B, 8th Reg. GA Cav., July 11, 1864; to Co. E, 3rd Reg. GA Inf. Nov. 27, 1864. He was also listed on the Muster Roll of the “Baker Repeaters” at the beginning of his enlistments. He served under General Ambrose R. Wright and after November 1864; General Sorrell. He participated in the difficult campaigns of the army including Cold Harbor. He was then involved in the Petersburg siege north and south of the James River and various conflicts around Appomattox. His regiment lost more than forty-five percent of the four hundred forty-one men engaged at Gettysburg and seventy-five casualties at Manassas. Peter surrendered and was paroled at Appomattox Court House VA with General Lee on April 9, 1865.
When the war was over Peter returned home to his wife and child who was now
three years old and continued to build his family.

Peter asnd Susan had the following children:

1.   Littleton Shartish (Shotish) Black… b. Feb. 2,1862, Milford, Baker Co., GA…d. Apr. 29, 1914, Crystal River, Citrus Co., FL; md. (a) I. D. Mixon (b) Alice Tucker.

2.    Ivory Nomie Black…b. May 15, 1866, Milford,  Baker Co., GA… d. Feb.5, 1893.

3.   Jacob Faithful Black…b. June 12, 1867, Milford, Baker Co., GA…d. Feb. 19, 1940, Pinellas Co., FL; buried…Crystal River, Citrus Co., FL; md. (a) Lula Beazell (b) Alice J. Martin.

4.    J. D. Black…b. Feb. 28, 1869, Decatur Co., GA… d. May, 1870.

5.    Ida Sophronia Black…b. Nov. 11,1871, Decatur Co., GA…d. aft.1904…Florida; md. James Charles Freeman.

6.    Benjamin Franklyn Black…b. Feb. 19, 1874, Bainbridge, Decatur Co., GA…d. Feb. 13, 1895.

7.    Rile Black b. June 15, 1876, GA…d. unknown.

8.    Norah Ester Black…b. Apr. 28, 1879, Milford, Baker Co., GA…d. Feb.5, 1899, probably Florida; md. unknown Scarborough.

9.    Jasper Albert Black…b. May 12, 1885, Milford,    Baker Co., GA…d. Oct. 22, 1941; md. Dora May McKinney.

10.      Hattie Vashti Black…b. Dec. 20, 1885, Milford, Baker Co., GA…d. Nov. 28, 1929, Lake Co., FL; md. Jesse Elbert Dykes.

11.  Fredrick Eugene Black…b. Apr. 5, 1890, Dothan, Houston Co., Al…d. August 3, 1948; md Daphne Gladys Williams.

In 1870 the family was living in Decatur Co., GA along the Flint River. This is where Peter and Susan lost a baby, (J. D.), who was just one year old, and where their next child was born. By 1880 the family had moved back to Milford, but sometime before 1990 they had moved to Dothan, Al where their last child was born and two of their sons married. 

Several families had picked up and left Milford sometime after the war; some going to Texas while others headed for Alabama and Florida. According to accounts published in “The History of Baker County, Georgia,” a carpetbagger was murdered after he stole a horse. “The person responsible fled the state and later sent for his family. Not only did his kin leave, but other families as well traveling by wagon train.” It is not known if this is why Peter took his family to Alabama, but there were discussions in our family over the years, about “The Blacks leaving in the middle of the night after someone was murdered.”

Around 1894, Peter and the family made their way into Florida settling in the Ocklawaha area of Marion County. They fell in love with the waters of Lake Weir. Peter and his sons quickly saw the potential of making a living on the lake, after getting their proverbial “feet wet”.  Peter’s son’s moved further south into Crystal River where they started commercial net fishing. They would visit their father who by now was renting boats to the visitors coming to the lake for recreation and sport. It was during these trips that the family got into trouble for seining on Lake Weir, which by now had become illegal. The tourists…not wanting their newly found paradise spoiled by the local fishermen, who were trying to carve out a living the best way they knew how. The family was being harassed unmercifully, but remained determined in their quest for a better life in Florida.

Peter died September 7, 1904, and in an article appearing in The Ocala Evening Star…the following was written; “Mr. Peter Black one of the pioneer fishermen of Lake Weir is dead and his remains were sent today to Crystal River to his son, L. S. Black for burial. The deceased was 78 years of age.”

Peter’s wife, Susan was made guardian over their minor son Freddie and in 1906 she petitioned the court in order to sell the property held in trust for her son, who was now teenager. She was living in Crystal River. Susan applied for a widow’s pension on her husbands Civil War Record, but it is unclear if she ever received one.

Author: Linda Flowers

On A Personal Note: 

I am the g g granddaughter of Peter J. Black.

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Photo (Ocklawaha River-1902) Courtesy of Florida Memory

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