Posted by Anne Gillespie Mitchell on March 28, 2014 in Research

800px-Florida-lores-smallIt’s time for some sunshine, Florida Style! Check out our Florida State Research Guide to catch up on everything has to offer on our 27th state.

Florida has been a popular destination for many in it’s colorful history. The Spanish, French and English explored its lands starting in the early 1500’s, passing control of its people and riches back and forth for many centuries. Florida was a destination for English loyalists as it decided not to join the American Revolution.

In 1821, the United States – after much wrangling over the years with the Spanish and French – took it over and it became a Territory, with future president Andrew Jackson becoming its first governor.

The early 1800s were plagued with three wars with Native Americans known as the Seminole Wars. The United States Army finally quashed the rebellion in the 1850s forcing most of the remaining Seminoles west of the Mississippi river.

On January 10th, 1861, Florida seceded from the Union and 10 days later joined the Confederacy becoming one of the of the founding Confederate states.  Florida was readmitted to the Union in 1868.

As the nation ramped up its efforts for both World War I and II, soldiers and aviators came to Florida to begin their training. After the war, many soldiers came back to Florida and made it their home.

In the 1950s, as the desire to explore space ramped up, Cape Canaveral was established, launching the first satellite in 1958. The Cape would be the site of many more rocket launches into space including the historic mission when man first stepped on the moon.

Want to learn more about the Sunshine State? Check out our Florida State Research Guide. And be sure to visit our learning center and see what other states we have available for you.

Happy Searching!


Anne Gillespie Mitchell

Anne Gillespie Mitchell is a Senior Product Manager at She is an active blogger on and writes the Ancestry Anne column. She has been chasing her ancestors through Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina for many years. Anne holds a certificate from Boston University's Online Genealogical Research Program. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook and Finding Forgotten Stories.