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Florida Colonial Records

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Online Records[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

In 1565, Spain established the presidio of Saint Augustine, the first permanent European settlement. Saint Augustine was burned by the English in 1586, another major settlement was not established in Florida until 1698. The territory of Florida originally included Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. Florida was ceded to the English in 1763 and divided into West and East Florida. Florida was returned to Spain in 1784. Some of West Florida was annexed to the territories of Louisiana and Mississippi in 1812. The remainder of Florida was ceded to the United States in 1819.[1]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Civil Records[edit | edit source]

Spanish Dominion[edit | edit source]

Spanish colonial government records of Florida can be found in several different locations.

  • Archivo General de Indias in Seville, Spain: Papeles de Cuba and Papeles de Santo Domingo.
  • Mitchell Library, Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge (Copies of Cuban papers).
  • Tilton Library, Tulane University, New Orleans (copies of Cuban papers).
  • Loyola University Library, New Orleans (copies of Santo Domingo papers).
  • Pace Library, University of West Florida, Pensacola (copies of Cuban papers and Panton Leslie Papers, 1738-1853, on microfilm).
  • Archivo General de Cuba in Havana.
  • Saint Augustine Historical Society (copies of records from Havana).
  • Mississippi State Archives in Jackson (Spanish series, Provincial Archives).
  • Spanish land grant archives, 1764-1844 (film 1020288 ff.).
  • The P.K. Yonge Library, University of Florida, in Gainesville.

Records for Spanish East Florida (1783-1821), are located at the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. A card index is available as well as the original records on microfilm. For more information see "The East Florida Papers in the Library of Congress," by Mabel W. Manning, in Hispanic American Historical Review X No. 3 (August 1930), 392-7.

British Dominion[edit | edit source]

Original records of East Florida during the British period are held at the PRO in Kew, Surrey, England. Copies of the records are at the P.K. Yonge Library at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. These records include:

  • East Florida Claims Commission, 1763-1789 (film 1020205 ff./T 77).
  • Loyalist birth, marriage, and death records, 1755-1908 (film 0857997 ff/WO 42).
  • Land grants (CO 5), American Loyalist Claims, Series II (AO 13).
  • Documents relating to refugees, 1780-1856 (T 50).
  • List and Index Society. List of the Records of the Treasury, Paymaster, General's Office, the Exchequer and Audit Department, and the Board of Trade to 1837, Vol. 46, (1921, reprint, New York: Kraus Reprint Co., 1963). This indexes claimants in the East Florida Claims Commission (T 77)

Records for West Florida during the British period are available at the following locations: - Lelia Abercrombie Historical Library in Pensacola, Florida - Pace Library, University of West Florida, Pensacola, Florida. - Library of Congress, Washington, DC (Oliver Pollock Papers). - Mississippi State Archives (copies of PRO records).

Ecclesiastical Records[edit | edit source]

Catholic Records[edit | edit source]

Early Catholic parish registers and records are located at different archives and societies. Some are listed below:

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Christina K. Schaefer, Genealogical encyclopedia of the colonial Americas : a complete digest of the records of all the countries of the Western Hemisphere (Baltimore, Maryland : Genealogical Publishing Company, c1998), 573. WorldCat (Other Libraries); FHL book 929.11812 D26 1998