Land Grants in Clay County

Land grants have been given from the government to individuals from 1763 through territorial times. The Archives has copies of many of the land grant document on file in the vertical files. Here are some links to various primary sources.

Sources

Land grant documentation is stored in various repositories, including:

First Spanish Period (until 1763)

Spain is not known to have issued land grants during its first colonial governance. If it did, it is doubtful that any were issued in the remote Clay County area.

The most logical place to search will be in the microfilm of the Archivo General de Indias, commonly called A. G. I., a copy of which is in the Stetson Collection at the PK Yonge library at UF. This will require substantial effort since it is in old-style Spanish manuscript, and virtually no place names from that era are known in the Clay County area. The A. G. I. has a website in English but much of the content is in Spanish.

British Period (1763-1783)

Several large tracts were definitely granted in the Clay County area. The Upper & Lower Crisp and the Patrick Tonyn plantations were the largest, but several others were also given.

 

The best hunting so far has been in the the National Archives of the UK. Documents related to property are in the 77th series of Treasury papers, called T/77, but you may find other relevant series as well. The original documents are written on parchment and are available for your review at Kew Gardens near London. Some documents copies have made there way to the Clay County Archives. You will see references to PRO in early history books, and this refers to the National Archives, which was previously called the Public Reference Office, before it was consolidated at Kew.

The British Library also has a manuscript collection worth checking.

The Second Spanish Period (1783-1819)

Several Spanish land grants were made after the British left and before Florida became a territory. Those that were confirmed by the U. S. show up on the First Territorial Survey as special sections, whose numbers are higher than 36. The Survey (made in the early 1830s) doesn’t show much improvement, except at Laurel Grove and the Whitesville / Garey’s Ferry area.

Spanish Land Grants documentation is extensive and available online. Search for the names you find in the “+36 sections” on the Territorial Survey. Many of the documents have been translated into English and some maps are provided.

Individual Land Grants

1888 Florida Southern Railway: Lands for Sale in Florida

This map is similar to the 1888 Plant map, except that land ownership is filled in.

Documents

Constitution of the Republic of East Florida

The Archives has developed an index to American and British papers which mention Florida in colonial times (1756-1819).

Dr. Schaefer’s British Land Grants online presentation.

Books at the Archives

Colonial Records of Spanish Florida 1577 – 1589 Vol II, by Jeannette Thurber Connor

Florida Under Five Flags, by Patrick Morris

Governor James Grant’s Villa, British A British East Fla. Indigo Plantation

William Bartram and the Ghost Plantations of Florida, by Daniel Schafer

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