The Cuban Genealogy Club of Miami, Florida

St. Augustine Connection / Floridanos

Spanish Florida (La Florida)
The connection between Cuba and Florida is not a recent event. Spanish Florida (La Florida) was the first major European land claim and attempted settlement in North America during the European Age of Discovery. La Florida formed part of the Spanish Empire during the Spanish colonization of America. While its boundaries were never clearly or formally defined, the territory was initially much larger than the present-day state of Florida, extending over much of what is now the southeastern United States, including all of present-day Florida plus portions of Georgia, Alabama,  Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Louisiana. Spain's claim to this vast area was based on several wide-ranging expeditions mounted during the 16th century.
Founded in 1565 by Spanish conquistador Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, the city of St. Augustine is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in North America. The settlement was plagued by a myriad of problems from indigenous rebellions to pirate attacks. In the end, these hardships made the Spanish Crown focus on St. Augustine and its immediate environs, abandoning hopes of northward expansion. Nevertheless, the colony remained of vital importance for the security of the larger Spanish Empire. Each year the galleons of the Fleet of the Indies, loaded with gold and silver from Mexican and Andean mines, sailed up the Gulf Stream with the St. Augustine harbor serving as the only Spanish station for six hundred miles of coastline.

Florida’s History:
1565 - 1763 (First Spanish Period)
1763 - 1783 (British Period)
1784 -1821 (Second Spanish Period)
1821 - Present (American Period)

Florida was under Spanish rule for 235 years! The British divided the Florida territory into two colonies separated by the Apalachicola River: East Florida, whose capital was St. Augustine, and West Florida, whose capital was Pensacola. Britain ceded both territories to Spain following the American Revolutionary War. Spain maintained these two Floridas as separate colonies.
Both St. Augustine and Pensacola, Florida are possible areas to search for “Cuban” ancestors during these Florida periods.

The Florida Historical Quarterly
 A leading scholarly publication and journal of record in Florida history. Published four times a year by the Florida Historical Society.

St. Augustine Historical Society (SAHS) Research Library
6 Artillery Lane
St. Augustine, Fl. 32084
"El Escribano" (The Scribe or Notary)
Publication of SAHS since January 1955. It is sent to members and libraries.

Roman Catholic Cathedral Parish of St. Augustine Records

The University of Florida has posted on-line translations of the records by Emily L. Wilson,
a long-serving librarian of the St. Augustine Historical Society.
St. Augustine Church Records Indexes/Extractions
These indices were transcribed and compiled by CGC Member, Stephen Renouf
(Trustee – Spain Society and National Society, Sons of the American Revolution)
We are grateful for his generosity in sharing his incredible work with us.
St. Augustine Census Indexes/Extractions

The Stetson Collection
The John Batterson Stetson Collection (150,000 photostats) contains documents drawn from the Archivo General de Indias and relates to all phases of Spanish activity in the Southeast Borderlands from 1518-1819. The Stetson Collection reveals records of voyages of exploration, the attacks of English and French corsairs, the development of negro slavery in the Borderlands, the emergence of the English presence on the Atlantic seaboard, and reports on Indian customs, languages, migrations, and populations, as well as the civil, military and ecclesiastical development of posts and missions. The Stetson Collection contains information on all phases of the Spanish presence in the American southeast from 1512 to 1783. The collection emphasizes the 1565 settlement of St. Augustine. The original Stetson Collection is located in the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History at the University of Florida.
The completed archival calendar to the Stetson Collection is made up of an annotated 3" x 5" card index to photostats of documents from various Spanish archives. You may view the INDEX on 3 reels at Florida International University's Green Library: Reel 1 covers 1512-1640; Reel 2 covers 1641 - 1734; Reel 3 covers 1735 - 1783.
The PDFs below are images of those microfilms made into PDFs. Please note this is ONLY the index. If you find a document of interest, you may view the microfilmed copy of the document at FIU.
NOTE: Some of the documents did not have dates so the determination "n.d." was given - namely, "no date". Those items are always at the beginning of a given year. The items then follow chronologically.
Available online at the UF Digital Collections

Four Alonso Solanas 
Lourdes del Pino
This set of notes was prepared as an aide during my research for the Florida Pioneer Descendant Certificate application.  The chosen Pioneer was Alonso Solana, who began his services in 1613 at the Presidio of St. Augustine.
Years ago transcriptions were made of the old St. Augustine Church records, which are very useful as a basis for beginning research of the old Floridano families, but contain many errors.  One of these errors is the provenance of the first Alonso Solana.
The usual material that would easily prove descendance, such as baptismal, marriage and death records have been lost or practically destroyed by time and insects in the case of the St. Augustine Parish, therefore it was necessary to find proof in other documents.  This was accomplished by obtaining documents from the Archive of the Indies through the Portal for Spanish Historical Documents (PARES) and the Stetson Collection. These documents, some of which are included in these notes, will hopefully clear any doubt about the provenance of the first Solana of St. Augustine.
Los Cuatro Alonso Solanas 
Lourdes del Pino
Estos apuntes fueron preparados con el fin de organizar las pruebas y documentos necesarios para obtener el certificado de Florida Pioneer Descendant a partir de Alonso Solana, soldado que llega a prestar sus servicios en Presidio de San Agustín de la Florida en 1613.
Desde hace años se han utilizado transcripciones que, aunque útiles como punto de partida para una investigación sobre estas familias Floridanas antiguas, contienen numerosos errores que se han propagado, específicamente en cuanto a la procedencia del primer Alonso Solana. 
Las pruebas usuales de filiación, tales como registros eclesiásticos de bautismo, matrimonio y defunción en algunos casos no existen, o están en duda, de manera que se utilizaron documentos del Archivo General de Indias tomados del Portal de Archivos Históricos de España (PARES) y del Stetson Collection para comprobar la línea de descendencia.  Esos documentos, algunos de los cuales se presentan en esta relación, sirven para aclarar esos errores.
(This is a large file. It may take a few moments for the file to open.)

Floridanos to Cuba (1763)
Florida was discovered by Juan Ponce de León en 1513, and in 1565 became the first permanent European settlement in what is now the United States of America under the leadership of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, decades before the founding of Jamestown and the arrival of the Pilgrims. Saint Augustine was the seat of Spanish rule in North America for about 200 years.

In 1762 the British attacked and occupied the city of Havana, Cuba, and under the conditions of the Treaty of Paris in 1763, Florida was given to the British Crown in exchange for Cuba and the Philippines. At that time, the Spanish citizens of Saint Augustine were resettled in Cuba and a few in Campeche, Mexico.

Based on the original list of Saint Augustine inhabitants resettled in Cuba, Sherry Johnson, professor of History at Florida International University, tracked these families in Cuba and produced the following work. One of our volunteers, Lourdes del Pino, has used additional information provided by Sherry Johnson to add to this work. We are truly grateful to both of them for their hard work. We are especially grateful to Sherry Johnson for her generosity in sharing her years of experience and fruits of her research with all of us!
Floridanos a Cuba (1763)
La Florida fue descubierta por Juan Ponce de León en 1513, y en 1565, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés estableció el primer asentamiento permanente europeo que existió en lo que hoy conocemos como los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica, décadas antes de la creación del asentamiento de Jamestown y de la llegada de los Peregrinos (Pilgrims). San Agustín fue la sede de gobierno español durante unos 200 años.

En 1762, los ingleses atacaron y ocuparon la ciudad de La Habana, y a raíz del Tratado de París de 1763, se cedió la Florida a la Corona Británica a cambio de que retiraran las tropas inglesas de Cuba y las Filipinas. Al llevarse a cabo estos cambios territoriales, los pobladores de San Agustín de la Florida fueron trasladados en su gran mayoría a Cuba, y unos pocos a Campeche.

Sherry Johnson, profesora de Historia de la Universidad Internacional de la Florida (FIU),basada en la lista de pobladores de San Agustín que se trasladaron a Cuba, siguió la pista de estas familias y produjo el trabajo que a continuación les presentamos. Una de nuestras voluntarias, Lourdes del Pino, le ha agregado mas información a este trabajo. Muchísimas gracias a Sherry y Lourdes!


Widows and Orphans of La Florida Receiving Aid (1770, 1789 and 1805)
Beginning in 1770, the widows, female orfans and mothers of military men who had served in the Presidio of Saint Augustine in Florida and were living in Cuba after the cession of Florida to the British, were granted “limosnas.” Under this system these women received annual monetary aid to sustain their families. We have transcribed the lists for 17701, 17892 and 18053. We thank Sherry Johnson, professor of History at Florida International University (FIU), for generously providing the 1789 and 1805 lists.
Viudas, Huérfanas y Madres de la Florida que Recibían “Limosnas” (1770,1789 y 1805)

A principios de 1770 se comenzaron a otorgar las llamadas “limosnas” a las viudas, huérfanas y madres de soldados que habían servido en el Presidio de San Agustín de la Florida, y cuyas familias habían sido trasladadas a Cuba a raíz de la cesión de la Florida a los británicos. Bajo este sistema, dichas mujeres recibían una ayuda monetaria anual para el sustento de sus familias.

Se han transcrito las listas de los años 17701, 17892 y 18053. Agradecemos a Sherry Johnson, profesora de Historia de la Universidad Internacional de la Florida (FIU), su generosidad por proporcionarnos las listas de 1789 y 1805.

La lista de 1770 comienza así:
“Yncluye las personas del sexo femenino procedentes de las familias españolas vecinas antiguas de la Plaza de San Agustín de la Florida, y al tiempo de su entrega a la Corona Británica, se trasladaron a la Havana donde gozan á la sason de las Penciones, Mercedes y Limosnas que lleban señaladas por sus clases. - Mayo 8 de 1770”


AGI Signatura Antigua 87-1-5
AGI signatura desconocida
Archivo Nacional de Cuba Legajo 6 Signatura 27