I had an interesting thing happen this past week.
Last summer I went through the genealogy records and put them on-line, at ancestry.com . I thought that would be it. It was a good summer hobby.
One of the more interesting branches of the family was from Valentine Bock. VB came to the US from Germany in the mid-1800s. His grandfather was killed and father had lost everything in the Napoleonic wars when the French "soldgers" burned the village and raped the women. V. Bock came to the USA and eventually came to Florida. He had orange groves around where Osceola had his village. He divorced his wife in Ocala, and she took the remaining kids and went back up north. V. Bock moved down the Fort Meade, and we didn't know much after that.
VB's younger son ran away at age 16 and eventually joined Pawnee Bill's Wild West Show in Oklahoma. (And was also briefly with Buffalo Bill's show, I believe.) Henry Bock was known as Buckskin Henry, built wagons and trained horses, and built much of Bill's ranch in Pawnee, Oklahoma. Pawnee Bill, who's real name was Gordon Lellie, had a very fanciful and mostly fictional auto-biography where Buckskin Harry is called "Beans" and is killed by Indians. The truth was that Harry had a religious conversion and became a missionary to the Pawnee, Osage, and Seneca Indians, and died in a car wreck when he retired around 1941.
So this was the more interesting family line that we were directly related too, and Mom liked to talk about them a lot. I only wish Mom was still alive to find out this new information, because she would have been quite astonished.
What we never knew was that V. Bock got remarried, and probably to a pretty young thing that outlived him by 26 years. V. Bock also had a ranch or farm near what is now the Dunnellon airport, very close to where Camp Izard (Fort Izard) was. I was with the Seminole Wars Foundation for a review of the archaeological dig at Camp Izard in 1995. And V. Bock had his own cattle brand. He moved down to Fort Meade and owned a large house, and died in 1913 and is buried with a very ornate tombstone.
I knew he died in Fort Meade, but didn't know anything else, and not where he was buried.
So I have a lot new information on one of my ancestors who ties into a lot of Florida history.
But that is not all. His second wife had the middle and last name of Powell Townsend. Those are very common Florida names, and very common among Florida eastern Creeks as well. My new friend and new found in-law did not know if there were any Creek ancestors, but the clues are there. They came from Georgia to northern Florida. They had a lot of Indian friends. And it was ironic that they settled in the small community of Istachatta in Hernando County. (Muskogee word for "Red Man.") Not conclusive evidence, but pointing in that direction.
So with genealogy you never know what will turn up. Now I have an ancestor who lived in some historic areas of Florida that I am familiar with, and even had a cattle or livestock brand.
On November 15th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
I have a hand written, three page letter from Valentine Bock to my great, grandfather, Hiram Watson Zellner. The ocassion for the letter was the death of Watts Zellner's young son, Hiram. At that time,January 16, 1894, V. Bock was a reverend and lived in the Hernando County area ...which included Istachatta. The Zellners are also German and came over during the War of 1812. It would be conceivable that people of German decent perhaps had connections and probably maintained contact. I am not sure this is the same person ...however, I have not seen that particular name before.
Yes, it would be the same person. I would love to see it. His second wife has relatives buried in Istachatta--I visited the cemetery in October. Email me at flaterritory (at) yahoo.com Bock had a farm in Fort Izard & Shady area of Marion County, and moved down to Fort Meade later in life. It is all in the same area.