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Tara S. Gree, Clerk of Court and Comptroller of Clay County, FL
Clerk of Court and Comptroller of Clay County, FL Clerk of Court and Comptroller of Clay County, FL
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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 has not yet 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 Archivo General de Indias microfilm, 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 an 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 National Archives of the UK. Documents related to the property are in the 77th series of Treasury papers, called T/77, but you may also find other relevant series. The original documents are written on parchment and are available for your review at Kew Gardens near London. Some document copies have made their 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 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 in the “+36 sections” on the Territorial Survey. Many documents have been translated into English, and some maps are provided.

Individual Land Grants

1888 Florida Southern Railway: 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 have 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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Passport Day - Saturday, April 27th at Orange Park Branch

We encourage those in need of new passports to use this site (Passport page) to make an appointment (O.P. Branch only) and to review the checklist of items needed to submit a passport application.  Please review the release linked below for details.  It is time for Passport Day in Clay!

Passport Day 2024 – Media Release