Emperor Jones’ Land in Suwannee County, Florida, Retrieved from HistoryGeo.com
When searching the Bureau of Land Management records for information on African American Homesteaders in Section 12, in Township 25, in Suwannee County, Florida, where my great grandfather Randel Farnell lived, I discovered that one name, Emperor Jones, had not been granted his claim based on the Homestead Act of 1862. He had been granted a claim based on the Pre-Emption Act of 1841. This act allowed individuals to claim federal land as their personal property. In order to complete acquisition of pre-emption land, the claimant had to reside on the land and work consistently to improve the land for at least five years. The Act was specifically designed to help those already living on the land, otherwise considered “squatters,” to acquire legal ownership of their property. Here is what has been learned about Emperor Jones of Suwannee County, Florida.
Emperor Jones was born in February 1839 according to the 1900 census, though possibly as early as 1836, based on the 1880 census.  He reports that he was born in Florida in all census records where he is found, to wit: the 1880, 1900, and 1920 censuses. In 1880, he was found living in Greenville, Madison County, Florida. He said that his father was South Carolina, but in 1900, he said his father was born in Georgia. In 1880, he was married to Louisa Ferguson, also from Madison County, and had four children. They would eventually have 11 children.
It has been stated by descendants that he was the son of Bright Jones and “Thirsy” (Theresa?) Harris. There was a Bright Jones, reporting his age in 1870 as 45, just barely old enough to be Emperor’s father, if the 1839 birth year is accepted. In 1870, Bright also lived in Madison County, Florida, just “outside” the town of Madison, with his wife, Maria, and their children. He reports that he was from North Carolina. If Bright was the father, Maria was not the mother, since she was too young to have given birth to Emperor. Her age was reported as 30, making her a contemporary of Emperor. No record for the reported mother of Emperor, “Thirsy,” has been identified as of this date.
On 13 March 1883, Emperor Jones paid $0.25/acre on 79.78 acres in the NE ¼ of the NW ¼, and the NW ¼ of the NE ¼, of Section 12 (the same section as my great grandfather, Randel Farnell’s Homestead claim), in Township 2S, of the Range 13E Meridien in Suwannee County, for a total of $99.75. As stated above, this land was not being acquired under the Homestead Act of 1862, but rather the Pre-Emption Act of 1841.
Like the Homestead “proving up” process, Emperor had to testify on his own behalf. In February of 1883, he stated he was 40 years old (which would make his birth year 1843), a Native-born citizen, and that he was married with four children. He said he had first settled the land the year before in January of 1882. He stated that the land was not within the incorporated limits of any town or city, nor slated to be so, but was served by the Live Oak Post Office in Suwannee County. He said that he did not own land in another state, that he had not interrupted his residency on the land at any time in the past year. He declared that it was his intention to cultivate the land to grow corn and cotton. To date, he had cleared five acres. One interesting piece of information about the property was that the log dwelling house, barn, and kitchen where he lived originally belonged to a “JP Greene,” but they were his now. “JP Greene” may have been James P. Greene, who was living in Houston postal area in 1870, working for the Railroad.
Again, as with the Homestead “proving up,” there were several witnesses who testified: W. B. (William Butler) Telford,  A. R. (Abner R.) Creekmore, M. L. (Madison L.) Johnson, and Jerry Fulcher. William Butler Telford was white, born in South Carolina, and a Confederate veteran. He filed his own Pre-Emption claims in 1884 and 1889. Abner Roberson Creekmore was also white, born in Mississippi, and a Confederate veteran. He was not listed as a Homestead patentee or Pre-Emption claimant. Madison Johnson was an African American, born in Georgia. He received his Homestead patent in 1878. Jerry Fulcher was African American, born in Florida. He did not file for either Homestead or Pre-Emption land, but his wife, Martha Washington Fulcher, who was born in Georgia, filed for Homestead land in 1880, four years before she married Jerry Fulcher.
Notice was also posted in the Florida Bulletin, noting that four individuals had testified on 27 February 1893, on behalf of Emperor Jones. The claim was approved on 20 December 1884, patented 25 February 1885, and recorded in volume 10, page 251, at the Gainesville, Alachua County, Land Office. 
Emperor Jones lived another 43 years, dying on 23 December 1928, in Suwannee County, most likely on the land he acquired in his Pre-emption claim. It is not known at this time where he was buried.
A Different Emperor Jones
Some researchers have speculated that this Emperor Jones served in the United States Colored Troops. He did not. The Emperor Jones that enlisted in the USCT reported variously that he was from Craven County or Jones County, North Carolina in his enlistment records. He enlisted in New Bern, Craven County in Company D Company, 35th US Colored Infantry, in the summer of 1863. He mustered out in 1866, on Folly Island, Charleston County, South Carolina. At that time, his age was recorded as 22, which would make his birth year 1844. He was presumably the same Emperor Jones living on neighboring Johns Island, with his wife, Venus, in 1870, and when he signed up with the Freedmen’s Savings Bank in March 1871. In his bank entry, he stated that his parents were Jeff and Phillis Jones, and that he had a brother Abram. He continued to live on Johns Island, Charleston County, until he died sometime between 1873-1880, when Venus reported being a widow with two children.
William Gainer Williams (1869-1953), oldest son of Joshua W. Williams
Currently, there is a lot of discussion around voting rights and potential voter suppression. Many are anxious to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Bill in Congress. Sadly, this is an issue that has been of concern for 153 years since the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870. One case in point revolved around allegations of voter suppression in the 1880 congressional election in various Florida counties.
In Live Oak, Suwannee County, where my family lived, the election came under scrutiny because of allegations of behaviors recognized as voter suppression, and in some cases, intimidation, resulting in many registered voters of color not being able to vote. Their complaints, along with those of others in the state, were significant enough that the Republican candidate, Horatio Bisbee Jr., filed a lawsuit and launched a congressional inquiry. The lawsuit and congressional inquiry were known as Bisbee Jr. v. Finlay. 
I gained many insights into the political activism of the community of color in Suwannee County from reviewing the data and testimony of witnesses. Several of the witnesses were Florida Homesteaders and witnesses for the proving up process for other homesteaders.
Elijah Carruthers was one of the original witnesses for the application for homestead land by my great grandfather, Randel Farnell. He was one of the first witnesses to testify in the Bisbee case.
“My name is Elijah Coruthers. I live about four miles from Live Oak. On November 2, I was living about one mile from Live Oak. I was a registered voter at Live Oak, precinct No. 1. I voted at two Presidential elections, General Hayes’ and General Garfield’s. I did not vote at the regular poll at district No. 1, on November 2, 1880. The way was so crowded when I came at one o’clock in the afternoon, there was about fifty men in the line when I came – that is the crowd I speak of. I did not get no [sic] nearer the ballot box than the corner of the house, and there was twenty-five or thirty behind me when the poll closed who had not voted. A white man by the name of Granger came to the poll with me and got in the line just ahead of me, and he came out and went under the gangway, … and was allowed to vote. He voted the Democratic ticket. … About half hour before sundown W. H. Reding came to the line after he had voted, who is No. 324 on the poll – list, and asked us if we had voted, and we told him no, and he said I have just come and I have voted, and that we may just as well get out for we would not get to vote. … Mr. Reding was a Democrat. I do not know of any Democrat that did not get to vote, but I know of a good many Republicans that did not get to vote.” 
William Evans was another of the witnesses on Randel Farnell’s Homestead application who gave testimony.
“I came to the poll at Live Oak precinct, district No. 1, Suwannee County, Florida, about 1 o’clock, and John Fraser came between 4 and 5 o’clock, and went round us from the line and voted, while I did not get my vote in at the regular poll at all, though I had been there since 1 o’clock; I was entitled to vote, being a regular voter: if I had have voted I would have voted the Republican ticket, for H. Bisbee for Congress ; which ticket I did vote in the hall of the court-house at night on the 2d of November, 1880.”
Henry was a Florida Homesteader and a witness for my great grandfather Randel Farnell’s final proof for his homestead claim. Henry told a similar story to Elijah Carruthers’ testimony.
“I was not allowed to vote at the regular poll at said voting place. If I had have been allowed to vote I would have voted the Republican ticket, and H. Bisbee, Jr., for Congress; which ticket I did vote at night, in the hall of the court-house … . I went to the poll about 9 o’clock in the morning and staid [sic] there all day, and did not get a chance to vote. The reasons I did not vote at the regular poll on said election day are the same as those given by other witnesses on yesterday at this examination and also today.”
Other witnesses included homesteader Ned Wilson, and Randel’s half-brother, Henry Farnell. However, for me, the most interesting of the testimonies was that of Joshua W. Williams, my other great grandfather.
Joshua W. Williams
Joshua W. Williams was a Republican “inspector,” or poll watcher for the 1880 election. He was interviewed about the events at the election. He explained in more detail what happened.
“My name is Joshua W. Williams. I was present from 8 o’clock on the morning of the general election on the 2d day of November, 1880, until about 2 o’clock that night, at the Live Oak precinct, district No. 1, Suwannee Count, Florida. I was a Republican inspector at the Live Oak poll. About 9 o’clock in the morning there was a crowd standing in front of the poll window. I was setting next to the window, and about that time there had been about twenty white votes cast and about two colored votes cast, when the colored voters complained that they could not get to the poll on account of there being so many white voters crowding around the window. I spoke to Mr. Blount and Mr. Mosely, the other two Democratic inspectors, and they stopped receiving votes to listen to me. I said that there must be some arrangements made by which one colored and one white man could come and vote together. They said that the sheriff and marshal would attend to that outside, and they commenced voting again. This stopped the voting [for] about five minutes, and the white crowd continued at the window voting until I called the attention of the other inspectors to it the second time. Then Mr. Blount, the Democratic inspector, spoke to the marshal and said, make those men stand back from the window. Then they commenced voting one white and one colored man alternately. Up to this time there had been only two or three challenges. After that almost every colored voter was challenged, which consumed ten or fifteen minutes each until the closing of the poll. About three hours and a half was wasted in challenges by the Democratic representative men. Colonel White and the clerk of the poll wrote the questions and answers. I saw white men come under the banister as policemen and vote any how outside the regular. I saw the policemen take off their badges and give them to citizens so that they might come up and vote out of their regular turn. About the time the managers were going to close the poll I saw a large number of Republican voters who had not voted, and I protested against closing the polls until they voted, but they over-ruled me and closed the polls; some white Democrats outside, before the table was moved back from the window, shoved down the window. (Signed) J. W. WILLIAMS.” 
Altogether, eighty-nine men were interviewed and provided testimony. As an aside, it should be noted that unlike Henry Farnell, Ned Wilson, Elijah Carruthers, and Henry McGee, Joshua Williams was literate and could sign his own name. This is not surprising since the 1880 census noted that he was a “teacher.” He would also go on to become postmaster. On the other hand, it is noteworthy that despite illiteracy, these men, and others like them, had registered to vote and showed up ready to vote! In fact, there was a large “colored” electorate. While there were 536 registered white voters, there were also 569 “colored” registered voters. Among them were homesteaders and witnesses, Randel Farnell, Alexander Gainer, Caleb Simpkins, and Isreal Whitehurst, in addition to those already named. 
Voter suppression is always about fear, the fear of those who seek to suppress others that they will not be able to compete fairly. Thus, rather than promote a fair agenda and strong candidates which voters could endorse or not, those who fear they will lose control seek to change the rules or break the rules, rather than risk losing control. Despite these efforts to prevent voters from casting their ballots, these “colored” voters, just ten years after being granted the right to vote in the Fifteenth Amendment, were not intimidated and were willing to advocate for themselves by bearing witness to the injustices they experienced.
The unfair treatment of the “colored” voters in precinct one in Live Oak was also witnessed by the sheriff, a white man, W. H. Slate, who stated that he was a Republican. He described how he saw about thirty-five “colored” voters challenged by the Democratic inspectors, grilling them about whether they were sure they were in the right precinct and threatening them with arrest if it was discovered they were not registered in that precinct.
“I am positive that the number [of colored voters challenged] was quite large. This system of challenge on the Democratic side was almost entirely confined to colored voters. I think that I am safe in saying that this challenging and the writing down by the clerk of questions and answers consumed two hours; this is rather under than over the estimate. … I know the most of the colored men that were challenged, and they were regular voters at this precinct, and I think were all entitled to vote. All those colored men were told the law, and that they would be liable to arrest and indictment; this took up a good deal of time. I protested against this frivolous challenging and delays which I have referred to, but it did no good to the inspectors. The Republican inspector, Joshua Williams, would sometimes join me in this protest and some times he would protest against it alone.” 
Fortunately for these voters of color, the chairman of the board of county commissioners, George Rixford, a white man and Democrat, also made note of the irregularities and injustices. 
“About the time the poll was about to be closed by the inspectors I went in to the room and protested against it, and demanded that the polls be kept open so that every man be allowed to vote. The demand was refused, and, as chairman of the board of county commissioners, I protested against their closing the polls. At the time the poll was closed the line of voters was quite full, and I judged that there was about one hundred voters who had not voted when the polls closed; there was not more than half a dozen white men in this line. … The usual vote at this precinct has been about 450 votes, and at this election the number of votes polled at the regular poll for Congressman was 346” (emphasis mine).
He recommended that a special election be set aside so that those who had been denied the opportunity to vote on the regular election day would be able cast their ballots.
“I felt so dissatisfied with these men losing their votes that I advised the opening of another ballot-box, which was done after the election was closed, in the court-house hall, where about eighty men cast their votes.”
The suggestion was taken, as referenced by William Evans above. 
Thank you, Sheriff Slate and Commissioner Rixford, and all the witnesses who came forward, including my great grandfather, Joshua W. Williams, for standing up for democracy!
 House of Representatives, Bisbee Jr. vs Finlay, Index to the Miscellaneous Documents for the House of Representatives for the First Session of the Forty Seventh Congress, 1881-1882 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office), Volume 1(11), 765-798.
 Elijah Coruthers Testimony, in Miscellaneous Documents, pp. 771-772.
 William Evens Testimony, in Miscellaneous Documents, p. 786.
 Henry McGee Testimony, in Miscellaneous Documents, pp. 779-780.
 Joshua W. Williams Testimony, in Miscellaneous Documents, pp. 775-776.
In truth, I don’t know a lot about the men in my great grandfather’s (Randel Farnell) community who filed applications for land in the 1870s and ‘80s, under the Homestead Act of 1862. Until recently, I did not realize how many of his neighbors and potential friends had filed for claims under the Homestead Act. I especially did not realize how many Black neighbors had filed claims. Neither the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) index nor the records themselves have any identifying information concerning race. Therefore, one must research each name (unless one is already familiar with a particular individual) in other records to determine their racial identity. I learned their identities, and the identities of others in other sections of Suwannee County by checking each name against the census. In Section 12, I found two other men of color, besides my great grandfather and one of his witnesses (Henry McGehee/McGhee/McGee) whose daughter would marry my great grandmother’s brother. Across the county I found over 40.
Indeed, Suwannee County was by no means unique in having claimants of color. There were Black claimants throughout Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Stories about some of these settlers by their descendants (including three of mine) are told in the new book, Black Homesteaders of the South (History Press, 2022), to be released in October 2022.
Black Claimants and Witnesses in Section 12
As noted, initial information stemmed from my great grandfather, Randel Farnell, and his claim. From his paperwork, I realized one of his witnesses was Henry McGehee/McGhee/McGee, who was the father of Addie McGhee, who married my great grandmother Sallie Jacobs Farnell’s younger brother Joseph. I noticed from their applications, that their properties were adjacent to each other. Conversely, my great grandfather, Randel, had been a witness on Henry’s application. In fact, Henry’s application predated my great grandfather’s. I have already written about these two applications in previous posts, but what about the other Black Homesteaders in Section 12? Were they also possibly good friends? Certainly, they must have known each other.
Edward “Ned” Wilson reported in 1880 that he was born in Georgia about 1840. He appeared first in Suwannee County records when he registers to vote on 6 August 1867, as recorded in Voter Registration Book 1, p. 196. He reported having been in the state for twelve months previously. There is no record found to date for his marriage to “Ida,” his wife on the 1880 census. She apparently died before 1885, when Edward/Ned was listed as unmarried. At that time, Edward was living with my great grandfather, Randel Farnell (also a homesteader), and his family, and next door to Henry McGehee. On 6 December 1903, there was a marriage record for an Edward Wilson and Mary Blalock. There is no way to ascertain if this is the same Edward Wilson since no other evidence of his residence at that time in Live Oak has been identified. There is no known information about when or where he died.
[1885 census with Randel next to Henry]
On 21 May 1869, Edward Wilson appeared before the Registrar, Charles Mundee, at the Land Office in Tallahassee, Florida. There he made application under the Homestead Act of 1862 for 39.89 acres in the SE ¼ of the SE ¼ of Section 12 of Range 13E, Township 2S. He paid $7.00 for the application.
Seven years later, on 16 May 1879, William Forsyth Bynum and Isreal [sic] Samuel Whitehurst Sr. provided testimony for Edward’s final proof for his Homestead application. This record does not show whether the witness was William Forsyth Sr. or Jr. William Jr. was closer in age to Isreal Whitehurst, but William Sr. was closer in age to Edward. However, William Sr. was Deputy Clerk of the Circuit Court. He was also a witness along with my great grandfather, Randel Farnell, for homesteader and neighbor, Henry McGehee.
William Forsyth Bynum Sr. was born in Virginia, but moved to Dooly County, Georgia, where he married his wife, Elsie Ann Posey. They had three sons, William Jr., John, and Francis. William, and family, moved to Florida. He was listed as a “druggist” and “farmer,” in the 1870 and 1880 censuses respectively. During the Civil War he served in the Confederate 4th Florida Infantry. William died in 1904, in Live Oak, and is buried in Antioch Baptist Church Cemetery. William’s son, John, filed for his own Homestead land in 1892, in the same quadrant as Randel Farnell, Henry McGee, and Edward Wilson.
Isreal Samuel Whitehurst Sr. was born reportedly in Florida. He was married to Chloe Eliza McKinney. They had fourteen children. Isreal, Edward, and my great grandfather, Randel Farnell, were friends. At least two of Isreal’s daughters, Rebecca and Senter, attended the Florida Normal and Industrial College in Tallahassee (now, Florida A & M University) with my grandmother, Randel’s daughter, Lela, as evidenced by their entries in my grandmother’s autograph book.
Isreal died in 1921 and was buried in Eastside Memorial Cemetery, in Live Oak.
William Bynum and Isreal Whitehurst stated in their testimony that Edward was the head of a family that included a wife and child (no child was listed in the 1880 census), and that he settled on his land on 21 May 1869. They said he cleared and fenced “16 or 18” acres. They went on to state that he had planted 300 fruit trees and cultivated the land yearly. They went on to state that Edward began living on the land permanently around “August or September” 1869. For the home portion of the land, they said he had fenced and cultivated 4-18 acres of land on which he had, “built a house with two rooms, corn crib, chicken house, planted and cultivated almost 300 fruit trees, and now in good repair and in cultivation.” They said they were swearing to this at the local circuit courthouse because of the distance to the land office now located in Gainesville. The final receipt of payment of $2.00, for the recording of the patent was noted as received “by RR” by the land office in Gainesville, on 19 May 1876. A final Certificate #1058 was issued on 19 March 1877. The Patent was sent to the Recorder on 22 May 1877. It was recorded on 15 June 1877, in Book 2, page 395, of the federal land records. The Patent was forwarded to the Live Oak Registrar of Deeds on 7 October 1880, however, there is no record of its recordation in the Suwannee County Deed Index, nor of its sale at any future date.
As mentioned above, where or when Edward Wilson died is unknown.
Shadrack Taylor and his wife, Jane, were both reportedly born in Georgia about 1827 and 1828, respectively. Shadrack states in the 1880 census that his father was from the District of Columbia, but his mother was from Spain. Exactly how and when Shadrack and Jane came to Florida is not known. However, he was in Suwannee County by 12 October 1866, when he filed Application 209 with the land office in Tallahassee, for the North half of the Southeast Quarter of Section 12, Township 2S, of Range 13, equaling 39.89. acres of land.
Shadrack and his wife appeared in the 1880 census,  living next door to my great grandfather, Randel Farnell, also a Black Florida Homesteader. However, he does not appear in the federal census again, not even in the 1885 state census was he found. What happened to him? Where was Jane? The Homestead file gave some answers.
According to an affidavit on 22 July 1884, made by Jane Taylor, Shadrack’s wife, he died in October 1883. She stated that they had been living on the land when he filed for the application in 1866. She stated that they had built a house, fenced the land, cleared, and cultivated it, living continuously on the land until Shadrack’s death. She went on to state that she had continued to live on the land after his death until the present. However, she states that due to his “illiteracy” and his “ignorance of the law,” he had failed to “prove up” and make “final proof,” of his “continuous occupation and cultivation of his said homestead within the “statutory period.” Therefore, the claim had been cancelled on 13 March 1876.
Subsequently, Jane went on to attest that on 22 April 1879, “May Rigon” made Application 7148, on the same land as Shadrack Taylor’s. Jane stated that May Rigon had not lived one single day on the property and that she had, in fact, left the state of Florida shortly after filing and resided in Georgia ever since. Jane said, on the other hand, that she has continuously resided on the land that noted in her husband’s Application 209. Therefore, she was requesting that May Rigon’s application be set aside in favor of Shadrack’s, and that she, Jane, as his widow, be allowed to make final proof, thereby completing the application. She was represented by John Bynum, son of William Forsyth Bynum, Deputy Clerk of the Court and a witness for Black Homesteader Henry McGehee. On the same day, that Jane Taylor testified, Elijah Smith (a Black Homesteader in Section 2, not 12) and Edward “Ned” Wilson (another Black Homesteader in Section 12) gave testimony on Jane’s behalf. They testified that everything she had said was true.
Alas, Jane would not live much longer on the property. By October 1884, she too had died. The probate Judge, R. W. Phillips, certified on 8 February 1886, that Adelice Goldwire was one of the heirs of Shadrack Taylor. However, that same day, Adelice testified that she was unable to produce the Receiver’s receipt for Shadrack’s Application 209. Nothing more is known about Adelice.
On 17 February 1886, a receipt for $97.73 was issued to the “Heirs of Shadrack Taylor,” who lived in Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, for Application 11102, for 79.73 acres described as the North ½ of the SE ¼ of Section 12. It is notable that this is the same description for Shadrack’s parcel, but his application said the property was 39 acres, while this application said it was 79 acres. A patent was finally issued on 26 June 1889. However, the patent was not registered with the Suwannee County Registrar of Deeds until 29 June 1909.
It is not known where either Shadrack or Jane Taylor were buried.
The FAN Club
We talk a lot about the “FAN Club” in genealogy. It is a term coined by the renowned genealogist, Elizabeth Shown Mills. It refers to “Friends, Associates, and Neighbors,” in other words, our social circle. We readily look for them in census records, but we don’t often look in other records. We do recognize that witnesses on our family deeds and wills are frequently family members, friends, and neighbors, but we don’t look often enough to see if our ancestors were witnesses for their neighbors. Even so, the most information we usually glean is that our ancestor signed the specific document. Here we have not only signatures but testimonies about the claimants, and some information about how long the claimants and witnesses have known each other. These documents helped paint a picture of at least a part of my great grandfather Randel Farnell’s social circle, his FAN club, to wit:
Randel and William Bynum were witnesses for Henry McGehee, whose daughter married my great grandfather’s brother in-law. Henry McGehee was witness for my great grandfather. Isreal Whitehurst, a friend of my great grandfather’s, whose daughters went to school with my grandmother, was witness for Ned Wilson, who lived with my great grandfather in 1885. Ned Wilson was a witness on behalf of Jane, the widow of Shadrack Taylor, who lived next door to my great grandfather and Henry McGehee in 1880.
In addition, in the case of Shadrack, we also have information about his death, his heirs, and where the heirs lived. These records really are a treasure trove of information. Thus, by studying the documents of our ancestors’ witnesses, we get a glimpse into their world, not just their lives.
 Bennett, B. A., Black Homesteaders of the South (Cheltenham, UK: The History Press); to be released 24 October 2022 (available for pre-order).
 Publication of this essay by the National Park Service on its Black Homesteading website is pending. See also: Edward Wilson, Accession #FL0680__.395, General Land Office Records, Bureau of Land Management. Retrieved from: BLM General Land Office Records.
 1880 US Federal Census, Precinct 1, Suwannee County, Florida; Head: Ned Wilson, NARA Roll: 132; Page: 281A; Enumeration District: 145. Retrieved from Ancestry.com.
 Voter Registration Rolls, 1867-68. Tallahassee, Florida, USA: Florida Memory, State Library & Archives of Florida. Floridamemory.com
 Florida, U.S., County Marriage Records, 1823-1982 [database on-line] Edward Wilson and Mary Blalock, 26 December 1903. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016. Retrieved from: Ancestry.com.
 Georgia, U.S., Marriage Records from Select Counties, 1828-1978 [database on-line], William F. Bynum and Ann Posey. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013. Retrieved from: Ancestry.com.
 1870 US Federal Census: Subdivision 9, Suwannee County, Florida; Head: William F. Bynum, NARA Roll: M593_133; Page: 693A. Retrieved from: Ancestry.com.
 1870 US Federal Census: Subdivision 9, Suwannee County, Florida; Head: William F. Bynum, NARA Roll: M593_133; Page: 693A. Retrieved from: Ancestry.com.
 1880 US Federal Census: Precinct 1, Suwannee County, Florida; Head: William F. Bynum, NARA Roll: 132; Page: 293A; Enumeration District: 145. Retrieved from: Ancestry.com.
 U.S., Confederate Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865 [database on-line], William F. Bynum. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Retrieved from: Ancestry.com.
 Find a Grave, database and images, memorial page for Dr William Forsyth Bynum (29 Feb 1832–9 May 1904), Find a Grave Memorial ID 57928601, citing Antioch Baptist Church Cemetery, Live Oak, Suwannee County, Florida, USA ; Maintained by KChaffeeB (contributor 46506715) . Retrieved from: Findagrave.com
 Bureau of Land Management. Florida, U.S., Homestead and Cash Entry Patents, [database on-line], John H. Bynum, Application 16601, Patent 9442. Retrieved from: BLM General Land Office Records.
 1880 US Federal Census: Precinct 1, Suwannee County, Florida; Isreal Whitehurst, Head. NARA Roll: T9-132; Page: 285A; Enumeration District: 145. Retrieved from: Ancestry.com.
 1900 US Federal Census: Live Oak, Suwannee County, Florida; Isrial Whites [sic], head; Chloey, wife; married 35 years (circa 1885). NARA Roll: T623-177; Page: 18; Enumeration District: 0109; FHL microfilm: 1240177. Retrieved from: Ancestry.com.
 Williams, M. A., “Autograph Book of Lela Virginia Farnell,” Journal of the Afro American Historical and Genealogical Society, Volume 16, Number 2 (1997). Original in the Farnell-Williams Collection at the Meeks-Eaton Black Archives, Florida A & M University.
 U.S., Find a Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Isreal S. Whitehurst, Eastside Memorial Cemetery, Live Oak, Suwannee County, Florida; Memorial #187212592; Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Retrieved from: Ancestry.com
 This essay is pending publication on the National Park Service’s Black Homesteading website. See also: Shadrack Taylor, Accession #FL0630__.293, General Land Office Records, Bureau of Land Management. Retrieved from: BLM General Land Office Records.
 1880 US Federal Census: Precinct 1, Suwannee County, Florida, Shadrick Taylor, head; Jane Taylor, wife. NARA Roll: 132; Page: 282C; Enumeration District: 145. Retrieved from: Ancestry.com.
 Ancestry.com. U.S., General Land Office Records, 1776-2015 [database on-line], Randel Farnell. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008. Retrieved from Ancestry.com.
 1860 US Federal Census, Township 5, Lafayette County, Florida, Wm F. Bynum, head; John Bynum, age 3; NARA Roll: M653_107; Page: 965; Family History Library Film: 803107. Retrieved from Ancestry.com.
 Bureau of Land Management. Florida Pre-1908 Homestead & Cash Entry Patents, Elijah Smith, Accession Number FLO760_.460. General Land Office Automated Records Project, 1993. Retrieved from: BLM General Land Office Records.
 Grantee Index to Deeds, Suwannee County Florida, Heirs of Shadrack Taylor from United States of America, Homestead Certificate, (29 July 1909, Deed Book GG, p. 380) p. 104, Image 661. Retrieved from: FamilySearch.org.
 Bureau of Land Management. Florida, U.S., Homestead and Cash Entry Patents, Pre-1908 [database on-line], Edward Wilson. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1997. Retrieved from: Ancestry.com.