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I was born in the naval hospital in Jacksonville, Fla. in 1959 and lived at 307 1/2 Palmetto Avenue. I have looked at every map, website etc. and I cannot find anything at that address. My military father and mother lived at several homes on Palmetto ave., 307 being one of them. 307 1/2 was an apartment in the back of the house they rented from the homeowner at 307.

Does anyone know what happened to this address?

Also there was a place called "bell's apartments" and a Winn-Dixie all on Palmetto Ave.

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  • Have you tried Google Earth, specifying Green Cove Springs, not just Jacksonville, after the address? There’s a Green Cove Springs Public Library nearby. You can enter street view and look at the house that’s very close to this address.
    – Xanne
    Commented Sep 10, 2022 at 23:36
  • Yes I have looked at google earth and I am in touch with local historians in the area.
    – Donna
    Commented Sep 11, 2022 at 15:45

1 Answer 1

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It is not safe to assume that any historical address is still the same today because streets can be re-named and re-numbered, or both. However, to establish a baseline, these are some of the tests I use when investigating an address.

USPS ZIP Code lookup accessed 16 Sep 2022, searched for Zip Code by address:

You entered: 
307 1/2 NORTH PALMETTO SPRINGS
GREEN COVE SPRINGS FL

The results show that the address is still deliverable.

307 1/2 N PALMETTO AVE
GREEN COVE SPRINGS FL 32043-

Clicking on the address at USPS gives more information, such as the County (Clay), the Carrier Route, and other internal USPS codes I'm not familiar with.

Property Search at the Clay County Property Appraiser's Office

I found parcels corresponding to 305 and 309 N Palmetto Avenue, owned by the same owner, but no 307. The last two sale dates for 309 N PALMETTO Ave are 10/21/2019 and 1/7/2004. Some Florida counties have deeds and other related documents available online, but unfortunately most of the ones I have checked so far don't have property records online as far back as the 1950s.

Even when I can't find my target property on the tax accessor's system, I use them to cross-check older sources like street directories and historical maps to look for signs of street-renaming and street re-numbering. Having the partcel boundaries with either a map showing the footprints of the buildings or having the boundary lines as an overlay on an overhead image of the neighborhood gives a better base for looking at deeds and property records than a naked Google map.

Google Street View

Be careful with Google Street View, as the addresses shown when you walk around can be approximate. Using the parcel 309 N Palmetto as an example: the corner house has the number 309 over one door, with no other numbers visible to the camera. There are signs that the building has been remodeled over the years (mismatched siding, etc.) so the configuration you're seeing today may not match what it looked like in the 1950s. There may be permits for the construction work if the house was added onto over the years, or there may not be (people will do work without getting a permit even when they are supposed to).

Even with its limitations, Google Street View gives you a chance to walk around and see the nature of the neighborhood as it is today.

Census Enumeration Maps

Using the tools at Stephen P. Morse's One-Step Web Pages, one can get links to the Enumeration Maps at NARA.

NARA Viewer (faster to display, lower resolution) Florida (FL) - Clay County - Green Cove Springs - ED 10-12 to 16

Direct link to JPEG (slower, higher res) Florida (FL) - Clay County - Green Cove Springs - ED 10-12 to 16

The ED database does not have the tools for this area to narrow down the EDs by the streets, but you can look at the descriptions for each ED as you navigate the ED map. These descriptions mention Palmetto Avenue, and would give you a starting point if you wanted to browse the 1950 Census:

ED 10-12: COMMISSIONER'S DISTRICT 5, GREEN COVE SPRINGS CITY, BOUNDED BY CITY LIMITS; CITY LIMITS; BAYARD, PALMETTO AVE, MIDDLEBURG AVE, RR

ED 10-16 COMMISSIONER'S DISTRICT 5, GREEN COVE SPRINGS CITY, BOUNDED BY (N) MIDDLEBURG AVE, PALMETTO AVE, BAYARD; (E) CITY LIMITS; (S) CITY LIMITS; (W) RR

For more information on how to use ED maps and other NARA resources, see the article from M. Marie Maxwell's Discovering Your Neighborhood: How to Use National Archives Records to Find Out More about Where You Live, from NARA's Prologue Magazine, Fall 2015, Vol. 47, No. 3, Genealogy Notes.

Other resources

Once I have a good grounding in an area with these maps, I use anything I can get my hands on to fill in the picture. Directories, more historical maps, newspaper research, anything I can find that has a street address associated with it.

House history

Military connections

Look for online communities with other service members who served (same unit/ship) as your parents. A lot of sites and forums were founded by Vietnam-era veterans but have histories about earlier times. You never know who might have old photos of your neighborhood.

Place-centered history sites:

Historical Newspapers and periodicals and digital collections

Don't neglect the resources at the University of Florida, including the Florida Digital Newspaper Library. Try The Ancestor Hunt for links to more online historical newspapers and other digital resources for Florida.

You have many approaches available, including looking for Winn-Dixie employee newsletters at the Internet Archive or other places online.

Societies

Consider joining the Florida State Genealogical Society; they may not have material that is directly relevant to your question, but the webinar series is top-notch (disclaimer: I am a member). In any case, check out their public resources. Look for other historical organizations that cover Florida and Clay County (or Duval County, if you want to learn more about Naval Hospital Jacksonville).

Research Tips

  • Search widely and read for context. I've found wonderful material from bloggers who had family in the same area as mine, even though nothing in their posts mentioned my family. Getting a feel for the Big Picture helps you spot significant clues when they come along.
  • Download copies of what you find
  • Create an account at the Internet Archive and use Save Page Now to save snapshots of web pages when possible
  • Keep a log of what you want to look for (a wishlist) and a record of what you've found, in part so you can find things again, but more importantly, so you can understand and properly analyze what you've found.
  • Use timelines and other worksheets to correlate data. I use writing studio software Scrivener and its companion program Scapple as research journal for locality research and house history, and LibreOffice Calc and Google Sheets for spreadsheets. The advantage of using Scrivener is that it integrates documents, index cards, an outliner, and binders all in one interface, and you can save Scapple drawings inside Scrivener. Use whatever works for you, but do write things down! Writing things out helps with analysis, remembering ideas you have for future searches, etc.
  • The fun thing about a search like this is that you have a prompt to look for anything and everything. Don't forget to have fun!

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