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Gillette Cemetery: A Pioneer Cemetery in the Gillette Community, Manatee County, Florida

Jacob Randolph Snell and Marvis R. Snell

This 479-page hardcover book, with 212 pictures and 69 illustrations, recounts 150 years of Florida history through the lives of those buried in the historic Gillette community. The authors used public records, written and oral family histories, newspapers, and church records, finding many individuals whose graves are now unmarked or whose markers are unreadable. A separate reference section, designed to assist genealogical research, lists all individuals by name, birth year and death year.

The Gillette Cemetery began as the family graveyard of Florida pioneer settlers Daniel and Molcy Gillett, who had migrated from north Florida in the 1840s.  The cemetery also served surrounding rural areas and the farming and fishing communities of Palm View, Rubonia, Ellenton and Terra Ceia. The remains of many other Terra Ceia residents were re-buried in Gillette when a shell mound, containing the old Terra Ceia cemetery, was sold for road construction in the early 1900s.

Individual profiles offer interesting and frequently tragic stories of pioneer settlement, agricultural development and more recent social changes. They reveal the story of Florida settler families and community life as it developed from the mid-1850s to the present.

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