Name Origins of Florida Places @ Florida OCHP

County Name Origins

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The Atlas of Florida is our source for Florida city and county names. If your community is not included here, it may be listed in the other sources cited below.

Alachua (1824) -- Alachua is either a Muskogee or Timucua word for sinkhole. Right: an 1883 map showing townships, railroads and county roads in Alachua and surrounding counties.

Baker (1861) -- James McNair Baker, Fourth Municipal District, Confederate Senator.

Bay (1913) -- Named after St. Andrews Bay.

Bradford (1861) -- (was New River, 1858-1861) Captain Richard Bradford, killed at Battle of Santa Rosa Island during Civil War.

Brevard (1855) -- (was St. Lucia 1844-1855) Doctor Ephriam Brevard, writer of the so-called Mecklenberg (N.C.) Declaration of Independence, or Theodore Washington Brevard, state comptroller, 1854, 1855-1860.

Broward (1915) -- Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, governor 1905-1909.


Calhoun (1838) -- John C., U.S. Senator from South Carolina.

Charlotte (1921) -- The Bay of Charlotte Harbor.

.Citrus County Image Citrus (1887) -- Citrus trees. Left: a 1950's citrus worker fills his bag with oranges in an attempt to beat a mid-February cold snap.

Clay (1858) -- Henry Clay, U.S. Senator from Kentucky.

Collier (1923) -- Barron Collier, landowner and developer.

Columbia (1832) -- Christopher Columbus.


Dade (1836) -- Major Francis L. Dade, killed at the Dade Battlefield, 1835.

De Soto (1887) -- Hernando de Soto, Spanish explorer.

Dixie (1921) -- Lyric term for the South. Right: when this photo was taken in 1923, turpentine stills like this one were a regular sight in Dixie County. Dixie County Image

Duval (1822) -- William P. DuVal, territorial governor, 1822-1834.

Escambia County Image Escambia (1821) -- Escambia River and Spanish for "barter" or "exchange." Left: this map of Pensacola Bay and the Gulf Coast of what is now Escambia County was drawn by Dr. Carlos de Siguenza y Gongora while he was on a trip headed by Admiral Andres de Pez in 1693.

Flagler (1917) -- Henry M. Flagler, East Coast railroad builder.

Franklin (1832) -- Benjamin Franklin, scientist and author.


Gadsden (1823) -- James Gadsden of South Carolina, aide-de-camp of Jackson in Florida campaign of 1818.

Gilchrist (1925) -- Albert W. Gilchrist, governor, 1909-1913.

Glades (1921) -- Everglades. Right: clockwise from left Edward Frank, credited with inventing the swamp buggy, George Espenlaub, who operated one of the first Everglades guide services, and Henry Espenlaub camping in the Everglades. Glades County Image
Gulf County Image Gulf (1925) -- Gulf of Mexico. Left: this map shows the Gulf of Mexico as charted by Cortes in the 1500's.

Hamilton (1827) -- Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of U.S. Treasury.

Hardee (1921) -- Cary A. Hardee, governor, 1921-1925.

Hendry (1923) -- Captain Francis A. Hendry, one of the first settlers.

Hernando (1843) -- (was Benton, 1844-1850) Hernando de Soto, Spanish explorer.

Highlands (1921) -- Highland terrain.

Hillsborough (1834) -- Wills Hill, Viscount Hillsborough of England. Right: a map of Tampa Bay from the Real Cedula concediendo nuevas gracias para formento del comercio de la Luisiana, ca. 1782. Hillsborough County Image

Holmes (1848) -- Thomas J. Holmes of North Carolina who settled in the area about 1830.


Indian River (1925) -- Indian River

Atlas of Florida, edited by Edward A. Fernald and Elizabeth D. Purdum, (Revised Edition), Gainesville, Florida: University Press of Florida, c1992.

Photos Courtesy of The Florida Photographic Collection, Florida State Archives.

Additional Resouces:
Florida Handbook, 2001-2002, compiled by Allen Morris and Joan Perry Morris, Tallahassee, Florida: Peninsular Publishing Co., c2001.

Florida Place Names: Alachua to Zolfo Springs, by Allen Morris, Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, c1995.

A Provisional Gazetteer of Florida Place-Names of Indian Derivation, by J. Clarence Simpson, Tallahassee, Florida: Florida Geological Survey, Special Publication No. 1, 1956.

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