The uses and importance of Florida military records in family history and genealogical research for ancestors that were veterans are obvious but Florida military records can also be valuable to researchers whose immediate ancestors just weren’t soldiers in any war. Because of the quantity of genealogical details contained in several Florida military pension data files they should not be ignored all through the research process.
Around 150 “Special Archives Publications” have been produced by The Florida Department of Military Affairs, St. Francis Barracks, 82 Marine Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084. Those publications can be found in many different libraries and archives, both in and out of the state of Florida. Researchers can send a request to the director of the department for information on specific titles. The Florida State Archives website can also lead researchers to a copy of that list.
Florida remained loyal to Great Britain throughout the Revolutionary War. So, there are not many Revolutionary War records available in repositories in the state. Loyalists flocked to Florida for safety from other states, including Georgia and South Carolina. In fact, the Florida-Georgia line was the site of several minor skirmishes during the war. So was Pensacola. Several Loyalists filed claims in Florida after seeking asylum there.
Prior to the United States Acquiring Florida, the War of 1812 took place. Military records from that time can be found in The East Florida Papers, 1737-1858.
The Indian Wars took place during three different time periods. Those time periods were:
- 1817 to 1818
- 1835 to 1842
- 1855 to 1858
The Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During Indian Wars and Disturbances, 1815-1858 lists repositories across the state that have Indian War records on file, including the Florida State Archives.
When the Mexican war took place (1846 to 1848), Florida had only been a state for about a year. There is limited information available on Florida’s participation in that war.
During the Civil War, Florida ceded from the United States. That took place on January 10, 1861. It didn’t rejoin the Union until April 22, 1865. When the Civil War ended, the only Confederate capital to the Mississippi River’s east that had not been occupied by the other side was located in Florida. Over 16,000 residents of Florida served in the Civil War. Only 1,290 of them served on the Union side. Many of the volumes of the publication of the Florida Department of Military Affairs list information about Civil war soldiers who served on both sides and were residents of Florida. Microfilmed copies of Service and Pension indexes for Confederate and Union soldiers are available in many Florida libraries, as well as at the Florida State Archives.
Confederate veterans and widows of veterans were granted pensions through three different laws. Those laws were passed in 1885, 1887, and 1889. Around 14,000 denied and approved pension applications from 1885 through 1954 are available at the Florida State Archives. The FHL also has copies of those records on file. Those records can be found online as well.
The Jacksonville Public Library is home to the Florida Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Home records. It is a 3-binder collection with a full index. Both the FHL and the National Archives have microfilmed Confederate Soldiers in Florida records on file. There are also Union records available at both the FHL and the National Archives.
The majority of volunteers in the Florida infantry during the Spanish-American War stayed in Florida. Part 3 of Soldiers of Florida lists several of those infantry volunteers. It does not have an index, but can help researchers to find other information. National Archives and Records Administration microfilm publication (M1087) consists of 13 reels. It contains a collection called Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served in the Florida Infantry During the War with Spain. It has a 126-roll index (M871) as well. A large collection of Spanish-American war records can also be found at the Florida Historical Society.
Florida in the Revolutionary War
- Florida Society of Daughters of the American Revolution
- Florida Society of Sons of the American Revolution
- “ Pension Records of Soldiers of the Revolution Who Removed to Florida”, 1946 by Fritot, Jessie Robinson.
- ” Florida in the American Revolution”, 1975 by Wright, J. Leitch.
- “Revolutionary Soldiers in Florida,” The Florida Genealogist.
- “Patriots Who Died and/or Are Buried in Florida. Sons of the American Revolution”. Excellent resources for identifying many of the are:
- “Loyalists in East Florida, 1774 to 1785: The most important documents pertaining thereto” , 1972 by Siebert, Wilbur Henry. .
- “Index to Series 1 of American Loyalist Claims” 1990 vy Dwyer, Clifford S.
- “Index to Series 2 of American Loyalist Claims”, 1986 by J. R. Jones.
Florida in the War of 1812
Florida in the Indian Wars
Florida in the Mexican-American War
Florida in the Civil War
- Research in the Civil War 1861-1865
- Biographical Rosters of Florida’s Confederate and Union Soldiers, 1861–65. 6 vols by David W. Hartman & David Coles. Wilmington, , 1995.
- “Register of Florida CSA Pension Applications”, 1989 by Virgil D. White
- The Roster of Union Soldiers, 1861–1865. (Florida, vol. 19) Wilmington, N.C.: Broadfoot Publishing. Co., 1997.
- Davis, William Watson. The Civil War and Reconstruction in Florida. Reprint. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1964.
- Florida State Genealogical Society. Census Department of the South, November 1864: For Jacksonville, Fernandina, and St. Augustine, Florida. Ordered by the Department of the South, Hilton Head, South Carolina. Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, 2002.
- Schmidt, Lewis G. The Civil War in Florida: A Military History. 4 vols. Allentown, Penn.: L.G. Schmidt, 1989–92.
- “Discovering the Civil War in Florida: A Reader and Guide”, 2001 by Taylor, Paul. .
- Civil War Records at the Florida State Archives (portal.state.pa.us)
- Civil War links from fold3.com with original data from the National Archives:
- Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Florida – Compiled service records of Confederate soldiers from Florida units, labeled with each soldier’s name, rank, and unit. Original data from the National Archives
- Compiled Service Records of Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Florida
- Civil War and Later Veterans Pension Index from Florida
- Florida Confederate Amnesty Papers – Case Files of Applications from Florida of former Confederates for Presidential Pardons (“Amnesty Papers”), 1865-1867
- Florida Civil War “Widows’ Pensions”
- Barred and Disallowed Florida Claims – The Southern Claims Commission denied these claims by Florida citizens seeking compensation for property loss. They were barred or disallowed for a number of reasons. Original data from the National Archives
- Florida Civil War Maps – Maps, charts, and atlases depicting battles, troop positions and movements, engagements, and fortifications in Florida during the Civil War, 1861-1865.
- Florida Civil War Infantry Regiments and Units
- Florida Civil War Cavalry Regiments and Units
- Florida Civil War Artillery Regiments and Units
- Civil War links from ancestry.com:
- Florida, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865
- Florida, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865
- Florida, Confederate Veterans and Widows Pension Applications, 1885-1955
- Florida Civil War Books (amazon.com)
Florida Modern Wars
War Website Links