What do we know about Harry?
Well, he was born on February 23, 1845,at times I list his birth year as 1846 because of his Civil War enlistment record, but I need to start using the date from his death certificate completed by his daughter, Rachel, in 1928. For all other information, I use the 1880 United States Federal Census from the household of Harry Flowers while he resided in Putnam County, Florida. Here, he lived with his first wife, Lydia Bradley, and his three children, Samuel, Mary, and Josie Flowers. What I did not notice before is the change in his father’s birthplace–Alabama, not Georgia. Georgia as his father’s birthplace appears in the 1920 Federal Census. In his death certificate, Rachel listed her grandfather’s birthplace as being in Florida. Three birth states from three different people. It is possible that Rachel did not know of her grandfather’s birthplace and assumed he was born in Florida as her father. It is possible that someone else completed her father’s information in the 1920 Census. This could also be the case in the 1880 Federal Census.
Harry listed his birth place as Putnam County, Florida. So, let us begin there with the 1850 U.S. Federal Census Slave Schedule. Luckily, there is only three pages for Putnam County (thank God!).
What am I looking for?
A young black male between the ages of three to six years old for the 1850 and 13 to 16 years old in the 1860s in Putnam County, Florida. Harry would have been about five years old.
List of Slave Owners
Nathan Norton–Owned 12 slaves with boys of the following ages: 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 (1850)–Owned 20 slaves, with boys around the ages of 13, 14, and 16 (1860).
Jeremiah Deed-Owned 5 slaves with one being a 3 year old male.
Archibald Cole-Owned 43 slaves with boys of the following ages: 3, 3, 5, 5, 7–Owned 42 slaves, with boys around the ages of 12 and 14 (1860)
James Kingly-Owned 3 slaves, one being a 6 year old male. *Handwriting was hard to distinguish*–Owned
Benj Chapman-Owned 11 slaves with boys of the following ages: 4,6, and 6
Benj Hoopkins-Owned 33 slaves with boys of the following ages: 5 and 7
Note: This is only if Harry remained in his said birthplace of Putnam County. Also some of these owners could not be found in the 1860 version. (Link the entire slave schedule for Putnam Co. here.)
B: September 24, 1819 Camden County, Georgia, USA
D: January 15, 1907 Haines City, Polk, Florida, USA
Parents: Nathan Norton (b. 1765) Mary Blocker (b. 1790)
Spouse: Elizabeth Rebecca Eubank (married 1837)
Children: William, Nathan, Louisa, Edwin, Franklin, Penelope, Julia
Luckily most of his family did the work on Ancestry. It seems by 1840, a young Nathan Norton had found himself in Nassau, Florida Territory (remember it was not a state until the late 1840s). At the time he owned three slaves. By the 1850 Census, Nathan resided in Putnam County with his wife, three children, and brother, William. A farmer from Georgia, his land was valued at $500. From the 1880 Census, I learned Nathan was an orange planter and farmer, perhaps he owned orchards across from Florida. In 1860, Nathan and his wife continued to farm on land valued at $4,000 and personal property valued at $10,000 (slaves). Something also interesting about this individual is the fact that he enlisted in Palatka Florida in the U.S. Civil War (Confederate side), was a First Lieutenant, but he mustered out a year later in August 12, 1863. He also fought in the Indian Wars at the age of 16.
1880 Federal Census of the Household of Nathan Norton (It was originally difficult to read)
What is unique about Norton is his place of birth, Georgia, as Harry’s father. This could possibly be a link or a huge dead end, but you never know until you start researching. So, we will begin with Mr. Norton and continue down the list as more information comes up.
Until the next post!