Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Travel Tuesday - Big Talbot Island



We took a little side trip to visit Big Talbot Island, Florida on our way to Cocoa where we stay for a month during the winter. The Island is located just north of Jacksonville, Florida. 

Today the island is a state park primarily a natural preserve providing a premier location for nature study, bird–watching, or photography. You can also go hiking, bicycling, fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaking, and picnicking. There are even picnic pavilions, nature trails, a fishing pier, a boat ramp, bike trails and beaches.  So there is lots to do there including learning about history and visiting the historic sites.

John Carrol Houston, my 4th great grandfather, a Revolutionary War veteran of South Carolina, born about 1755, came to East Florida from Georgia about 1808. His wife was Jane Harvey, born about 1758 in Beaufort, South Carolina. They settled on Big Talbot Island, and at his death after Florida became a territory, and with his eldest son, John, had acquired several land grants.

The Houston's came to America from Ireland some years before the Revolutionary War.  General Samuel Houston of Texas fame is said to be a cousin of John Carrol Houston through a brother who went to Tennessee.
John Houston's grandson, John C Houston III, had a daughter Ada.  She married William Russell Roesch who became the first mayor of Eau Gallie, Florida. It is said that General Samuel Houston came to visit his cousin John Carrol Houston III in Eau Gallie.  So I take pride in saying that I am a cousin to General Houston.

On April 17, 2010, The Daughters of the American Revolution's local chapter dedicated a plaque to Revolutionary War Capt. John Carroll Houston at his family cemetery on Big Talbot Island. 

Houston served in the Revolutionary War with the South Carolina militia, listed as a rebel in the battles against the Spanish in Florida and one of the Founders of Duval County.  He was buried in the Houston family cemetery on Talbot Island, once part of the Christopher/Houston Plantation.  Five Civil War soldiers are also buried in the cemetery, which contains the oldest marked grave in Duval County. 

About 150 people attended the plaque dedication, including family members from as far away as Miami and Atlanta.








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