Saturday, February 6, 2010

St. Augustine Relatives

This is a fun and educational You Tube song about St. Augustine and Flagler College. I remember as a little girl, having dinner at the hotel that is now Flagler College.  It's all familiar to me, still home to many of my relatives.

A little history lesson: In 1767, Ignacio de Ortega with his wife and young son Lorenzo (my ancestors), left their home of Majorca, Spain as part of the largest colonial group (1403 Spanish and Greeks in 8 small ships) to ever cross the Atlantic.  They arrived in "Les Mosquites" now New Smyrna, Florida as indentured servants to the cruel Dr. AndrewTurnbull to clear the land, dig irrigation canals, and grow and process indigo, which at that time was more valuable than gold. Horribly mistreated, half of the group died in the first year. When the time came for Turnbull to settle the terms of the indenture with promised farmland, he instead beat and terrorized them into agreeing to longer tenures.  In 1777 my ancestors, and most of the remaining settlement, slipped away by foot in a long and dangerous journey to then British occupied St. Augustine.  A walk through the old cemetaries reveal many headstones with the names de Ortega and the family they married into, Mickler (MIKE-ler).  My mother is a Mickler and  many of our family members still live in and near St. Augustine.

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