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Murders/Killings in Geneva County early 1870s

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Murders/Killings in Geneva County early 1870s

Posted: 30 May 2012 12:25AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 30 May 2012 12:28AM GMT
Surnames: Phillips
I'm looking for information on any rumors or word of mouth stories to confirm a family story of our own. Our family has been told across multiple generations that there was a killing (more specifically some sort of revenge killing) that caused the family to flee, leave everything behind and get to "Indian country" to "evade the law". They left Geneva County, AL and moved to Berrydale, FL in Santa Rosa County, FL where William Edward Phillips (1829-1900) and his family migrated to where he dropped his first name and continued to go by Edward. From what we've been told it was some sort of revenge or family type killing, somebody killed a Phillips and thus they were killed back, along those lines. We've also heard something possibly involving killing an African American and it causing big problems. Just following census records I believe they probably left Geneva County, AL for Santa Rosa County, FL between 1870 and 1875 since some of the families children are seen being born in 1875 in Florida. Two interesting notes are Mary Frances Phillips (William Edward Phillips' daughter) has a child around this time that has no father present and retains his mother's maiden name (Monroe Phillips). Another big question is one of William Edward Phillips' sons Owen E Phillips (born 1860) completely disappears by the time everyone else in the family is in Florida.

*I'm aware of the Justice family murders which is interesting because my Phillips family lived by the same Justices in Geneva County, AL and furthermore William Phillips is buried on what was known as "Noah Justice's 40 acres" in Berrydale, FL.

I would greatly appreciate any folk tales or family stories that might can connect some of the old family tales, thanks!

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