William Russell Roesch, the son of a Union soldier married Ada Louise Houston, the daughter of a Confederate sympathizer. The marriage took place in Bahia, Florida on January 16, 1885. They are my great grandparents.
According to their marriage certificate, witnesses were all family members: Eugene Alexander Stewart a dairy farmer, and Ada's sister, Isabel Margaret Houston Stewart known as Belle. Belle's husband, Bethal J. Stewart, performed the marriage ceremony and signed the certificate as Notary Public.
I had documented the marriage information, but had no idea where Bahia was located. I did find a Bahia located further south near Miami, but, my great grandparents were from Eau Gallie, located half-way between Miami and Jacksonville. It just didn't make sense that the family would travel that far for a wedding in 1885.
I stopped into the town hall of Palm Shores located just north of Eau Gallie and asked the Town Clerk if their town was ever known as Bahia, or if they had ever heard of this town and the reason for my inquiry. Unfortunately, the answer was no to my suspicions. But she also informed me that Palm Shores was a relatively new town.
Encouraged with that piece of information, I continued my search discovering there once was a post office in the town of Bahia. Finally, my detective work paid off when I came across an old map of Brevard County dated 1895 that pin-pointed Bahia as the town just north of Eau Gallie. There it was, sitting right where Palm Shores sits today. I made a copy of the map and gave it to the Town Clerk. She was delighted to have this new piece of information and filed it away with the history of Palm Shores.
I was delighted to have unraveled my great grandparents Bahia wedding mystery. Now the town of Eau Gallie is no longer as it has more recently merged into the town of Melbourne. These towns, especially the name of Eau Gallie have meaning to our family and it saddens me to see them dissappear.