In 1763 the British took control of Florida. The British saw the economic potential of the area and encouraged colonists with land grants to come and settle in the colony. Among those settlers was Andrew Turnbull. In 1768 he arrived with more than 1200 indentured colonists to build a settlement on the coast south of St. Augustine. He named the colony New Smyrna.
The colonists were recruited from Greece, Italy and Turkey, but most of them came from Minorca, one of the Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain. Collectively they are referred to as Minorcans.
Life in the New Smyrna colony was difficult. In addition to illnesses and Indian raids, the colonists were mistreated by Turnbull and his overseers. They revolted in 1777 and walked to St. Augustine where they asked the govenor for santuary. When Florida returned to Spanish control in 1783, the Minorcans remained.
Below are a number of research resources available for Minorcan research. Note that links to books point to WorldCat. Use WorldCat to find the closest library holding the book.
- Menorcan Cultural Society welcomes anyone who is of Menorcan ancestry or is interested in supporting Menorcan culture and history.
- Passenger List: Passengers from the Balearic Islands to Florida in 1768 via Olive Tree Genealogy.
- Mullet on the Beach: the Minorcans of Florida, 1768-1788 by Patricia Griffin, University of Florida Press, Gainesville, Florida
- Minorcans in Florida: Their History and Heritage by Jane Quinn, Mission Press, St. Augustine, Florida, 1975
- Florida’s First Families: Translated Abstracts of Pre-1821 Spanish Censuses by Donna Rachel Mills, Mills Historical Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Naples, Florida, 1992
- Dr. Andrew Turnbull and the New Smyrna Colony of Florida by Carita Corse, Drew Press, Florida, 1919 (free download at Internet Archive)
- The Micklers of Florida by Patricia Ferguson Mickler, The Mickler House Publishers, Chuluota, Florida, 1991
- Fromajadas and Indigo: the Minorcan Colony by Kenneth H. Beeson, History Press, Charleston, South Carolina, 2008
- The Minorcans of Florida: Their History, Language and Culture by Philip Rascio, Luthers Press, New Smyrna Beach, Florida
- Father Pedro Camps’ Golden Book of the Minorcans by Leonard Joe McCown, L. J. McCown, Irving, Texas, 2003
- Mayport Remembered, People and Places by Helen Cooper Floyd, Alpha Printing Company, Pascagoula, Mississippi, 1991
- MayPort Remembered, Along the Waterfront by Helen Cooper Floyd, Alpha Printing Company, Pascagoula, Mississippi, 1992
- In the Shadow of the Lighthouse: A Folk History of Mayport, Florida by Helen Cooper Floyd, Alpha Printing Company, Pascagoula, Mississippi, 1994