The Villages Genealogical Society

El Destino Plantation Project

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Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, this project has been temporarily suspended.
FSGS and the Library of Florida History in Cocoa have asked us to help with another project. The Library holds many original documents from the El Destino Plantation, a large cotton plantation near Tallahassee. They have Plantation Journals for the period for 1862 through 1869, which cover the pre-Civil War, the War, Emancipation, and Reconstruction periods.The journals will be scanned this Spring, and then the records will be made available online for us to transcribe and index. The journals and related mill records and other business correspondence are a treasure trove of information about the lives of the slaves who lived and worked on this plantation. The journals record each day, with the weather and the number of slaves working at each task. They also state which slaves were sick or did not work, what rations, clothing, or medicine they received, and when doctors were called in to treat them. These are invaluable records to document slavery and the slaves themselves on a Florida cotton plantation, and will provide much genealogical information for their descendants.
The scanned images are now available to us to start the transcribing part of the project. We will be beginning with the plantation records and then move to the journals. When everything is transcribed, documents that contain slave names will then be indexed. There are about 600 documents in the collection.

Volunteers are needed to transcribe documents and proofread the completed transcriptions. This is not difficult, but does require some familiarity with Microsoft Word. If you do not have MS Word skills but you still want to get involved, you can help proofread completed transcriptions. And remember, the work can be done in the comfort of your home in your fuzzy slippers, so don’t have to be here in The Villages. All you need is your computer.

If you are interested in helping, please contact Pat Rand at pwrand@gmail.comDetailed transcription instructions are available on the VGS website under the Project tab and will be sent to you when you sign up. 
Record Example Transcrition Example
Transcribing Directions
Description of Journals
Guide to the El Destino Plantation Papers
El Destino Plantation on Wikipedia