Clay County, Florida History

Tracing our family trees can give us a glimpse or more into our heritage and a better understanding of our family history. The Clay County Archives in Florida wants to provide the best research for that genealogy.

Clay County has a database called The Goldmine of Names specific to Clay County and it’s history. They also have an African-American Genealogy section. Volunteers have been collecting and indexing black history sources.

There are also a couple of books you may be interested in. Jane Lander’s “Black Society in Spanish Florida”, available at the Archives and “The Forresters” by Vishi Garig (my personal friend!). According to the archives website, The Forrester family was the only free African-American family in Clay County in 1860. Many Clay residents are their descendants including, the Lycurgus, Redmond, Lewis, Miller, Lemon and Stewart families.

The archives can help you find the original source material. Much of it comes from bound records, court cases, or vertical files which have at the Archives.

The Archives maintains subject files for more than 400 individuals and families. The files contain clippings, photos, family histories, oral interviews and other items. | Catalog of the Subject Files – Genealogy |The catalog is constantly updated so if you do not see a name you are interested in, email them and they can check their files for you.

There are even some wonderful oral histories of these first Clay County residents:

Burroughs Jackson, Maude
Chalker, Martha A.
Coker, Neil
Cross, Martin
Hall, Margaret
Jennings, S. Bryan
Lycurgus, Edward – WPA Oral Interview, Fleming slave family
Oliver, Mami
Permenter, Eugene
Philips, Elizabeth
Smith, Sara Lynn Boe
Williamson, Ann

If you cannot make it to Clay County, let me help. I will be happy to help you with your family research.


2 thoughts on “Clay County, Florida History”

  1. I have a question I am hoping you can answer. Anne Barham is my 10th great grandmother, but the date of her death eludes me. I have always shown it as 1709, but when I Richards will I see his wife as Sara.

    Was she Sara Anne? Did Anne die earlier and Richard Bennett remarry? Have I just suddenly confused myself?

    Thank you so much for letting me bother you! Fredda

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. Hi Fredda, thank you for writing and for reading my blogs! Richard Bennett, Sr. made his will in 1709. His first wife was Anne, his second wife was Sarah, widow of Daniel Lewis. Sarah Lewis Bennett Lancaster made her will in October of 1722. We know Anne was alive as late as 1682 because she was on a land deed with Richard. However, I do not think anyone has an exact date of her death, only that it was between 1682 and 1709. Email me at if I can help further.


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