Saturday, July 26, 2014

Wanderings of Moses

I shared some maps of the homesteads my great grandfather Green settled in Taylor County Florida last week. This time I thought I would highlight homesteads of my great great grandfather Moses Wilson.

The Bureau of Land Management maintains records of the first land owner in many States so you can identify the homesteads and land purchases from the 1800s granted to early settlers.

My cousin Cindy, who lives in St. Petersburg says everyone who was born in that part of Florida is related to the Wilson family. Moses had at least 25 children by two wives, so she could be right. Moses, like his namesake, moved around for a while before he found his promised land.

Moses Wilson was born in North Carolina in 1813, moved to Alabama soon after it was opened up to settlement in the 1820s and then moved to Florida when the Civil War started.

1835 Alabama Homestead
In 1835 he obtained a 42 acre homestead in Montgomery County Alabama. It is near the Ramer community, west of Hwy 231. We drive that road several times every year going to Florida. His land is the dark orange box in each of the pictures.

I spent an afternoon in this rural area about five years ago, looking for a cemetery where several Wilson relatives were buried. At the time I thought Moses's father was buried there but now know he wasn't.
1837 Alabama Homestead

In 1837 Moses obtained a 40 acre homestead just south of the first parcel in Montgomery County.

He moved to Florida in 1861 and settled in what is now Pasco County. He originally bought land and lived adjacent to several children.

1883 Florida Homestead
In 1883 he obtained an 80 acre homestead just south of Dade City, Florida. It is near Hwy 301, which they call Old Lakeland Highway on the map. If you follow that highway south you would pass close to the property my parents lived on in Manatee County.

Moses died on April 17, 1896 and I think he was buried in the Dade City Cemetery, just north of his property. There is no marker for him, but several of his children are buried there. There are many old graves with illegible markers. The cemetery was originally called Oak Grove Cemetery, named for the nearby Baptist Church, where he was a member.

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