Saturday, July 07, 2012


The Birth of Isaac VARN is the 4th son of Jacob and Mary VARN, Jacob was one of three brothers who came as teenagers from Germany to South Carolina. His grandfather, John Peter VARN was an immigrant from Saxony, Germany, and the old town of Varnsdorf, on the Elbe River. Isaac was born Bet. April 30 - October 29, 1780 in North Orangeburg District, Barnwell, South Carolina, and died May 20, 1857 in Black Creek District, Duval County, Florida. Some early reports listed his name as David..

I found the above information on the internet.

In my little town there is a very old cemetery and I had been wanting to go and take photographs for some time.
I do have bad timing, as there was a funeral at the time in the rear of the cemetery, so I only investigated the front area so as not to disturb the family.
But I came upon this marker and I was very interested to find out some more information.
At this time, this was the oldest headstone I found.

Here is the rest of the the history.

(there is a lot but it is very interesting)

1784 Spain-participating indirectly in the Revolutionary War as an ally of France-captured Pensacola from the British and regained control of the rest of Florida as part of the peace treaty that ended the American Revolution.
1773 Jacob and Mary Varn have their first child Aaron, born in South Carolin 1789
April 2, 1889, Jacob and Mary have last child, son George, born is South Carolin 1801
Isaac Varn weds presumably in South Carolina.1802
February 28, 1802, Isaac Varn celebrates birth of his , Isaac Junior, born in South Carolina 1804
Isaac and wife have second son, Asa, born in South Carolina 1804
Isaac is 25 when his father, Jacob, dies in South Carolina 1807
December 7, 1804 Isaac and wife have 3rd son, George S. Varn, born in SC 1810
Isaac Senior notes birth of 4th child, their first daughter, Jane, born in SC 1814
Isaac Varn, age 34, moves to St. Mary’s River in Camden County, Ga 1814
Isaac and Wife have 5th child, Samuel S. Varn, born in GA 1817
March 1, 1817. Isaac Varn purchased 100 acres of land from Donald and John Tompkins in Camden County, Georgia on March 1, 1817
Isaac Varn, age 37 serves in the Indian Wars with Andrew Jackson and crew.
he served directly under Major William Bailey of Camden County .
Service from June 24 to July 3, 1817
1818 Isaac and wife have 6th Child, Nancy Ann, born in Camden County, Georgia
1818 First Seminole War, General Andrew Jackson makes his first foray into Florida.
Jackson’s battles with Florida’s Indian people. Isaac is part of this fray.
1819 Isaac additional Georgia Land Purchase on file at the Huxley Library in Homerville, indicates that the Isaac Varn was in Camden County, Georgia as late as 1919 and 1920 before moving to Black Creek District, Territory of Florida
1820 Isaac and wife have 7th child, Mary, born in Camden County, Georgia
1820 This lottery to reward veterans of the Indian Wars. During the 1820 land lottery of Georgia, Isaac drew 250 acres of land in Early County, Georgia land lottery. He had to pay a grant fee of $18 for this land
1820 Federal Census show Isaac and family still in Camden County,
George Census page 052 in GAS2a1293885.
1821 Spain formally ceded Florida to the USA according to terms of the Adams-OnĂ­s Treaty.
1821 Andrew Jackson becomes first Governor of Florida Territory
1823 Isaac Varn (age 42) moved from Georgia to Black Creek by Christmas of 1822. He built his cabin at Geary’s Ferry, Black Creek District, Territory of Florida and was living in that cabin by Christmas of 1923.
1823 Isaac Varn, Senior name appears in sworn court records showing residency in Florida with completed homestead cabin by December 25, 1923, and planting crops in Spring of 1824
1824 Isaac & wife’s 8th and final child, Rebecca, born Black Creek Dist. of Fla. Territory
1829 Isaac Varn, age 50 successful business man and now a widower with a six year old daughter to raise, Isaac Senior applied for a Marriage license right after Christmas Holidays.
1830 January 6, 1830, Isaac Senior applies for marriage license to marry Sarah Branning, this certificate is signed by Isaiah Hart, when the wedding in performed in June, the bride's name is corrected to Susan, although she was commonly called Sarah, she was born Susannah Hollingsworth. This new wife assumes the duties of raising Isaac's young children.
1830 June 12, 1830 Isaac Varnes, SENIOR, now a widower married his second wife, the 55 year old widow of Andrew Branning, Susannah (Sarah) Hollingsworth Branning. There are no children from this marriage and he married again in 1836 after the Death of Susannah.
1830 Sept 13 1830, In Document E-404, B. 49 list a last Will Recorded Oct 22nd 1830 of Isaac Varn recorded. Gives his Plantation lying in the fork of Black Creek to be equally divided among his present children, when the youngest becomes of age, also personal property (forever of deed to his children) I feel that when he married Susannah Branning, he recorded this so his children would inherit his real and personal property and that only his heirs would benefit from it. By recording this Deed of Gift, it secured his wishes
1830 The 1830 census shows he was a large landholder at Gary's Ferry and he owned a blacksmith shop, two male slaves and was a farmer and worked on a survey crew as a chain man, he was a blacksmith, wheelwright, made nails, owned a plantation and a warehouse, dealt in real estate. Isaac's plantation was at the forks of Black Creek, South of the North Prong, very close to the Branning Ferry and Bridge. This census shows Isaac with his new wife, who is 5 years his senior.
1833 Second Seminole War, Isaac Junior Serves in Military
1834 Federal Army Steals Isaac’s Lands to build Fort Heileman at Black Creek. Ft. Heileman. Named after Bvt. Lt. Col Julius F. Heileman, He died at Micanopy June 27, 1836
1835 November 10, 1835 - INDIAN WAR SERVICE NOV 10, 1835
Muster roll of Lieut. Elijah Bleach's Detachment of Capt. JE Hutcheson's Company of the 4th Regiment, 2nd Brigade of Florida Militia, Commanded by Col. Warren, ordered into the service of the United States by Brig. Gen'l Hernandez from the 10th day of November 1835 to the 5th day of March 1836. Names inscribed on this roll are:
Elijah BLEACH, 1st Lieut., mounted; resigned 17th January 1836.
Waterman L. BUDDINGTON, Sergt.; promoted to 2nd Lt., 2 Feb. 1836
Waterman L BUDDINGTON, 2nd Lieut., mounted; to 5th March 1836
George BRANNING, 1st Sergt., mounted
Thomas DILBERRY, Gergt., mounted
Thomas RIDGELEY, Sergt., not mounted
George FLEMING, Corp'l, mounted
George VARNS, Corp'l mounted
Jonathan THIGPIN, Junr., Corp'l, mounted
John D. OSTEEN, Corp'l, mounted
Asa VARNS, not mounted
Isaac VARNS, Senr., mounted
Found in Vol. 5, Page 40-41 in the Florida Indian Militia War Records
1836 May 12, 1836, Isaac Varnes Junior marries his Louisa Ann Mattair, daughter of Lewis Mattair (1876-1832) and Priscilla Courson Mattair, from St. Augustine, Florida.
1836 -1837
This was a time of organization and preparation for most Floridians. The settled areas of the territory were in desperate danger. Many forts were constructed in the territory to protect isolated settlements. After the outbreak of the Second Seminole War the United States Congress authorized the Secretary of War to issue rations to "unfortunate sufferers" who had fled their homesteads to the relative safety of a few armed camps. One of the largest of these posts was the military depot at Geary's Ferry on Black Creek. It was eventually named Fort Heilemann and was built on land owned by and confiscated from Isaac Varnes, Senior.
1837 July
We have records of the dilemma of our ancestors the Varnes family, and other refugees who deserted their homes and sought the security of Fort Heinemann. Captain Thomas Childs recorded in his diary the terrible situation he encountered while he was there the summer of 1836. "The refugees lived in 'leaky, drafty shacks'. There were frequently four makeshift beds in a 10 by 10 hovel. Fifty-two persons died of measles and diarrhea at Geary's Ferry during the month of July".
1837 July, 1837 the army's list of "Suffering Inhabitants of Florida" at Black Creek shows the following entries under those drawing rations for July, 1837.
Isaac Varne age over 14yrs male white free From Duval District
Louisa Varne age over 14 yrs female white free Wife of Isaac Junior
Louisa was 5 months pregnant with Andrew Lewis
Priscila Varne age over 14 yrs female white free Wife of Isaac Senior and was Louisa's Mother, widow of Louis Mattair. Who came to live with her daughter Louisa and Isaac Junior after the death of her husband.
1837 August, 1837, Isaac Varn Senior working for army at Ft. Heilemann as a Wheelwright getting paid a handsome $45 per month (RE92 on Page 249). Son Samuel Varn on the army payroll as teamster earning $12 a month
1837 November 11, 1837, after 18 months of marriage, Isaac Junior and Louisa have their first son, named Andrew after President Andrew Jackson, and Lewis after Louisa’s Father. Andrew Lewis Varnes is to later lose his life serving the CSA in the Civil War.
1838 March 31, 1838, Isaac Senior bought 145 ¼ acres from the State of Fla. for $1.25 /acre
1839 January - In spite of the Seminole War, statehood was an issue in 1838-1939. When a referendum in May of that year produced a majority of Florida voters in favor of statehood for Florida, Governor Keith Call authorized elections of delegates to a Constitutional Convention. Delegates debated until January 1839 when a constitution was approved.
Strong pro-slave sentiment was evident in the constitution.
1839 April 4th, 1939, Isaac Senior buys 11.62 acres in Forks of Creek for $14.52
1839 August 3, 1839, Isaac Junior and Louisa have a daughter, Jane born at Black Creek.
1840 Census shows Isaac Senior with a
1841 September 3, 1841, Isaac Junior and Louisa have a son named Isaac Varnes, III. He is to grow up to die in the Civil War like his brother Andrew.
1842 September 30, 1842 Birth of WILLIAM A. VARNES, son of George S. Varnes
1843 July 4, 1843, Isaac Junior and Louisa have a son David, who dies at age 9.
1843 July 23, 1843 Isaac Senior sold lot to Cay in forks
1843 December 14, 1843 Isaac Senior Sells waterfront lot to Willey in forks of Black Creek
1845 March 1, 1845, Isaac Junior and Louisa have another son, Henry who was to survive his Civil War tour of duty and is buried at Swift Creek Cemetery.
1844 July 10, 1844, Isaac Senior bought 41 3/5 acres. After his death this land was purchased by his daughter Rebecca, and her husband, John Hass, from his estate.
1844 October 2, 1844,Priscilla Courson Mattair Varns, Relinquished her Dower Interest in land being sold to Branning.
1845 March 3, 1845, Florida Became the 27th state. The 65 year old Isaac had been a Florida Pioneer for 25 years when Florida finally became a state. Florida became the twenty-seventh state of the United States of America. Two months after the proclamation of statehood, Floridians elected a governor, a member of Congress, seventeen state senators, and forty-one house members from twenty counties in the state. "All free white males twenty-one years of age, citizens of the U.S., residents of Florida, and identified with a district, could vote if they were enrolled in the militia or had a legal exemption from that duty". Isaac Varnes Sr. was voter # 13 at the Whiteville Precinct, Duval County, in the first statewide elections. William Moseley was elected the first governor of the state of Florida, and Thomas Brown became the second governor after statehood in 1849.
1845 May 26, 1845, Isaac Senior and Isaac Junior voted in the first Florida state wide election in Whitesville, Duval County, Florida.
1845 November 15, 1845, Isaac Senior is on record as he donated the land and a house known as "The Old Army Hospital" to the Black Creek Anti-Missionary Baptist Church for their Church and Cemetery. This deed had a reversion clause for property to go back to his heirs if property every ceases to be used as a church or cemetery.
1845 January 26, 1847, Isaac Junior's wife Louisa gave birth to a son, John, who later marries and names his son Isaac Varnes. John dies in 1847 and is buried at Varnes Cemetery.
1847 Isaac Senior sells lot for $150 to G. W. Haas and Robt. Curry, lot located in the forks
1847 Isaac Senior sell creek from lot to Cole and Prescott, Deed of Gift.
1849 December 1, 1849, a son Jacob is born to Isaac Junior and Louisa.
1850 Census show Priscilla is dead or at least gone, and a 70 year old Isaac living with Sarah Cone, age 12, the daughter of a neighboring mill owner.
1850 Slave Census shows a 70 year old Isaac with Female Slave, Isabella and her 17 year old daughter, her 7 year old son and her one year old daughter living with him. Isabella and her children were to be set free in Isaac’s Last Will and Testament in 1857.
CENSUS YR:  1850  STATE or TERRITORY:  FL  COUNTY:  Duval  DIVISION:  Black Creek District 
REEL NO: M432-58 PAGE NO: 109a REFERENCE: By Geo H. Smith on 10-28-1850 #209
1 12 12 Varn Isaac 70 M W Farmer 20,000 South Carolina
2 12 12 Cone Sarah 12 F W Florida
3 13 13 Haas John 39 M W Postmaster Pennsylvania
4 13 13 Haas Rebecca 26 F W Florida
5 13 13 Haas George H 5 M W Florida X
6 13 13 Haas Isaac 4 M W Florida X
7 13 13 Haas Mary C 2 F W Florida
8 13 13 Haas Martha 4/12 F W Florida
9 14 14 Coy Amasiah 49 M W Hotel Keeper 500 Massachusetts
1850 The 1850 Duval County Agricultural census of the Black Creek District listed Isaac Varnes Sr. as a farmer. It is recorded that he had a farm with improved and unimproved land. He had horses, hogs, milk cows and other cattle. He raised Indian corn, sweet potatoes, and cane sugar. The census estimated the worth of his enterprises at $20,000. This figure could be equated to a figure of well over one quarter million 2002 dollars.
1851 The name Geary's Ferry was changed to Middleburghe on May 1, 1851
1851 December 29, 1851 William Varnes is born to Isaac Junior and Louisa while still living in Middleburg. This boy to grow up to father Nathan Varnes thru his marriage to Rebecca Clemmons.
1853 January 19, 1853 a daughter Elizabeth ELISA Varnes, born to Isaac Junior and Louisa.
Is buried in Conner Cemetery.
1855 Third Seminole Indian War:
After several peaceful years, there was renewed interest in removing the few remaining Seminole Indians from South Florida. The Third Seminole War erupted in 1855. Governor George Broome ordered militia companies into service again. The soldiers removed most of the Indians. Fewer than one hundred Seminole Indians remained in the state at the conclusion of the war. Remember, however, that this handful of warriors never surrendered and retreated to the Everglades for over 100 years and we later had to buy Florida back from their decendants for 5 cents per acre.
1855 Isaac Varn, Jr. moves family to Johnstown area
1856 February 23, 1856, a final daughter, LOUISA is born to Isaac Junior and Louisa. Obviously named after her mother this girl would never marry but had a son by High Sheriff Stephen Denmark that she named Lemuel.
1857 January 14, 1857, Isaac directs that his last will and testament be drawn.
1857 May 20, 1857 at 5 AM, before daylight this warm spring morning, Isaac Varn, Varns, Varne, Varnes Senior dies at home, with no known wife, tended by his faithful house slave Isabella.
1857 May 21, Wednesday at 9 AM, Isaac Senior has his funeral preached by Rev. H. Quarterman, the local Methodist minister. His place of burial is unknown, but he is most likely buried where ever he placed his first wife some 25-30 years ago. It is also possible he is in an marked grave at the Methodist Cemetery near his daughter Rebecca Varn Haas.
1864 July 3, 1864, Isaac Varnes, Junior dies at home, age 62, His was the 1st. grave in Varnes Cemetery on the 4th of July, 1864.
1864 November 8, 1864, Isaac Varnes, III Son of Louisa and Isaac Junior, dies of war wounds in Civil War and is buried in Richmond, Virginia.
1869 June, Clay County Records show sale of the old Isaac Varnes Homestead, by John and Rebecca Varnes Haas to George E Haskill.
1878 September 26, 1878. Louisa Ann Mattair Varnes, widow of Isaac Varnes, Junior
dies at Johnstown and buried next to her husband at Varnes Cemetery.
1893 The spelling of Middleburge was changed to Middleburg on September 8, 1893.


  1. That is very interesting. It's really great to learn so much about your ancestors.

  2. WOW - you really did your homework on this one. I'm amazed that you could dig up all that informaiton. Very interesting.

  3. Wow! Our Mum doesn't know much about her own ancestry, but she is an enrolled member of the Chippewa tribe, from which her birth mother came. She was adopted. No one will tell her anything! But we love her just the same cause she adopted US! Adoption is great!! She was rescued just like we were.

    Abby Normal and Stygia

  4. That is very amazing and very interesting!

  5. So detailed and so very interesting!!! I didn't see anywhere whether this was your ancester? Did I miss it? I had to laugh at Anti-Missionary Baptist !!!

  6. I love genealogy. It's so much easier these days!