Between 1559 and 1819, the area now called Florida was under the rule of four nations: Spain, France, Great Britain and the United States. The United States purchased Florida from Spain in 1821 for $5 million. On Jan. 25, 1834, the U. S. Legislative Council for the Territory of Florida approved an act organizing Hillsborough as Florida's 19th county. In 1845, Florida was granted statehood.
At that time, Hillsborough County was a sprawling area that included what is now Pinellas, Polk, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee and Highlands Counties, most of Glades County, and part of Lee County. Despite its size, Hillsborough's population was only 836, not including soldiers or Native Americans.
Original families shown on the 1840 census include Steele, Cooper, Jackson, Spaulding, Kilgore and Hoffman. After the Civil War, you will find Dickman, Buzbee, Miley, Hewett, Burnett, Alderman and Kicklighter.