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Welcome to the AGHP Hernando County website. My name is Laverne Hammock Tornow and I will be your host for this site. I am a 6th generation Florida Cracker, with ties to several Pioneer Families of the Florida; among them the Hammock and Sparkman Families. I was born and educated in Hernando County having returned to Hernando County from Sarasota 3 years ago. My father Wilson Hammock was an ice deliveryman for the Atlantic ice Company for many years and many of the older residents of the county were familiar with him.

If you have any information you would like to donate, or would like to become a LOOK UP VOLUNTEER, please contact me. Click here to email me.

The Hernando County Florida INDEPENDENT History & Genealogy Site is a not-for-profit genealogical/historical research project hosted by USGenNet (http://usgennet.org/), a nonprofit, tax-exempt public benefit corporation. This project makes no claim to the copyrights of individual submitters, and is in full compliance with USGenNet's Conditions of Use.


In 1821 Andrew Jackson returned to Florida to establish a territorial Government for the United States. At that time Florida was a vast wilderness sparsely populated by Native American Indians, African Americans and Spaniards. Florida was very attractive to the plantationers of the Carolinas, Virginia and Georgia, with many arriving to claim lands and start new plantations.

At the time of the United States taking possession of Florida, Florida was divided in half, East and West Florida. The capitol of East florida was St. Augustine and the capitol of West Florida was Pensacola. These were then merged with Tallahassee being chosen for the new capitol of the Territory of Florida. Tallahassee's main attraction being that it was roughly halfway between the two.

By 1840 the white residents of the Florida Territory were developing the territory and pushing for Statehood. Florida was divided into 3 areas: east Florida, bounded on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and The Suwannee River on the west; Middle Florida bounded by the Suwannee on the east and the Appalachicola River on the west; and West Florida from the Appalachicola on the east and the Perdido River on the west. The southern area of the state, basically south of present day Gainesville was extremely sparsely settled with an agrarian economy. The majority of the plantations were in the Middle Florida District, and it was this area that wielded the political clout.

On March 3, 1845, Florida became the 27th state in the Union with William D. Moseley being elected the first Governor. Hernando County was established as DeSoto County on February 24, 1843 two years prior to Statehood. Shortly afterward it was renamed Benton County in honor of Thomas Hart Benton, US Senate, Missouri; who had sponsored the 1842 Florida Armed Occupation Act. After his stance on the Missouri Compromise, which angered some of the Florida Politicos, Benton County was once again renamed on December 24, 1850 in honor of Hernando DeSoto, this time taking DeSoto's first name.

On May 26, 1845 Florida held its first ever election. Some of the voters whose descendants still reside in Hernando County were:
  • Joshua Mizell
  • Baker, Aepheus
  • Baker, James
  • Baker, James W.
  • Boyet, Edward Sr.
  • Crum, A. A.
  • Crum, D. D.
  • Crum, Richard R.
  • Hope, David
  • Hope, William
  • Law, P. N.
  • Mizell, Joshua
  • Mizell, Morgan
  • Selph, Ezekiel
  • Selph, John
  • Sparkman, N. K.
  • Stringer,Alex
  • Tucker, A. J.
  • Tucker, Wm. W.
  • Whitehurst, D. S.
  • Whitehurst, John


  • Hernando County is situated 50 miles north of Tampa, 50 miles west of Orlando on the Central Gulf coast of Florida, also called the Nature Coast for its many miles of beautiful natural coastline. A part of the a larger area known as the ANNUTALGA HAMMOCK. Hernando County was once known for its bountiful Citrus Groves, and much of the county's economy was based on these groves. Due to changes in weather patterns resulting in several years of hard freezes, the once agrarian and phosphate mining economy has been replaced by a tourism and service based economy.


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    Hernando County FLGenWeb Florida in the Civil War
    General Land Office Plat & Field Note Index P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History
    Florida State Archives FLGenWeb
    USGenWeb Coming soon Cemteries
    Coming Soon HistoricChurches Coming Soon Historic Sites


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