Kinsearching August 12, 2012




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Were any of your ancestors among the early settlers of Jefferson and Leon counties, Florida? Many pioneers moved to Middle Florida from the Carolinas, Maryland, or Virginia after the signing of the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819. Southern planters migrated because they were always seeking the availability of fertile land. This aspect is highlighted in Felicia Bianca Silpa’s article, “Reflections of Virginia on the Manatee River,” which appears in Historical Archaeology, vol. 46, no. 1 (2012), pages 74-93.

     The article supplies general background material on Florida and the several countries that claimed ownership of the area at various times. To help researchers better understand American expansion, frontier settlement, and establishment of an elite society in Middle Florida, Silpa focuses on the creation of the Gamble Plantation on the Manatee River. In the process, she explores the family history of Major Robert GAMBLE (1813-1906), whose GAMBLE and GRATTAN ancestors resided in Virginia. Accompanying the text are a chart showing Robert’s descent in the male line from Robert GAMBLE (1709-1763), a map, and photographs. Other families mentioned in the narrative include CALL, GADSDEN, MURAT, RANDALL, RANDOLPH, and WIRT.

     As its name implies, The Christian Herald and Signs of Our Times, was a religious publication edited by Rev. Thomas DeWitt Talmage in New York between 1890 and 1902. (A biographical sketch of Talmage, who served as pastor in both the Presbyterian Church and the Reformed Church in America—formerly the Reformed Dutch Church--can be found on Wikipedia.) Usually referred to as The Christian Herald, the publication sometimes carried news about ministers, missionaries, and subscribers. Page 375 of the 7 June 1893 (vol. 16, no. 23) issue has these selected items in the “Brief Notes” section:

     “...Rev. J. P. LANE, the missionary of the American Sunday School Union...lost his property in the recent cyclone.”

     “...Rev. Geo. C. improving in health. He hopes to be ready for full work in October. His residence is changed from Philadelphia to East Northfield, Mass.”

     “A revival has been going on at Northfield, Conn., under the labors of Evangelist E. A. LAWRENCE....”

     “Rev. E. P. TELFORD has closed the series of meetings he has been holding in Lowell, Mass...Thence the Evingelist (sic) went to Lawrence, M[a]ss., where he has arranged to preach in both the Park and St. Paul’s M. E. Churches”

     “Evangelist WYCKHOFF has been holding meetings through the past month at Beechwood, Ill., and neighboring villages. In many places where there is no church, the services have been held in barns.”

     “Rev. George R. GRAFF, pastor of the Methodis (sic) Episcopal Church of Morrisville, Pa., writes that many souls have been brought into the church in the revival which accompanied the labors of Evangelists GRANT and TULLAR of the Central Union Mission, Washington, D. C.”

     An item concerning the Hebrew Christian Church, 17 St. Mark’s Place in New York, mentions “ being done in mission labor among Jews by Dr. FAUST, who was converted under Mr. FRESHMAN...and...the recovery of Mrs. FRESHMAN from a severe illness....”

     (Editor’s note: Surnames in the material above were capitalized for emphasis. Some punctuation was added for clarity.)

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