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Sharon D. Marsh


Author and Local NW Florida Historian


John Jesse Barrow, Jr. and Bertha Alma King Barrow of Oak Grove, Florida in northern Okaloosa County were both descendants of men and women who helped settle the territory of Florida prior to it becoming a state in 1845.  In addition, they were descendants of early settlers of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.  Their ancestors helped settle America; they created settlements in the wilderness and made America what it is.


This volume is an initial effort to present what is known, and unknown, about these families of settlers.  It attempts to place some of these ancestors within the context of the historical period in which they lived and died.  Their ancestors fought in almost all of America's wars and their descendants have continued to serve.  They were ordinary and extraordinary, some were famous and some were a bit infamous.  They were interesting and mundane.  They are a part of us and we are a part of them.


Genealogy is our personal experience of history.  It is our effort to understand who our ancestors, were, what they experienced, what their decisions were, and maybe why they made them, and to truly embrace the real heritage of a family, with all of its perceived good and bad.  Each of us is a composite of all who passed before us, as well as our personal experiences in our lifetimes.  We understand ourselves better when we understand some of the past that we carry with us in our DNA and in our beliefs, perceptions and attitudes that shape our present.