Richard D. Kerce

Pioneer in Columbia County, Florida, 1855-1859

Richard D. Kerce was born August 22, 1811, in Barnwell County, South Carolina. His parents have not been identified. He married Christianna/Anna “Susie” Eliza Bielling about 1838, probably in Barnwell County, South Carolina. She was born November 18, 1819.

Richard D. Kerce and his family moved often. They were found in the 1840 census living in Lee County, Georgia, next door to brother-in-law, John Belan; however, they were back in Barnwell County, South Carolina, by December 25, 1841, when their second child was born. The family was enumerated in Barnwell County in the 1850 census. By December 1855, they were living in Columbia County, Florida, and they were still in Columbia County, Florida, April 1, 1859, when Richard D. Kerce received 319.075 acres of land from the Bureau of Land Management, said land then in Columbia County, which later became part of Union County, Florida. By 1860, the Richard D. Kerce family was enumerated in Worth County, Georgia, but they moved to New River County, Florida, in time to be enumerated on the 1860 census there.

The known children of Christianna Bielling and Richard D. Kerce were: (1) Richard Benjamin Kerce, born ca 1839, died July 7, 1862; (2) William “Billy” Chesley Kerce, born December 25, 1841, died September17, 1934; (3) Mary Kerce, born February 1844, died young; (4) Catharine Kerce, born 1846, died young; (5) Henry P. Kerce, born April 16, 1847, died April 28, 1916; (6) Elizabeth Kerce, born October 14, 1848, died August 21, 1892; (7) Sarah Kerce, born ca 1851; (8) Martha C. Kerce, born February 28, 1852, died July 26, 1939; (9) Peter James Jerald Kerce, born April 25, 1854, died September 2, 1935; (10) Florence Pensey Kerce, born April 7, 1856, died January 19, 1936; (11) Arabelle Abeline “Isabella” Kerce, born May 5, 1858, died April 7, 1936.

Christianna I. Kerce (as noted on her tombstone) died September 24, 1893, and Richard D. Kerce died September 29, 1893. They were both buried in the New Zion Cemetery, Union County, Florida