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Cindy Nettles

            Asia Minor ("A.M.") Caston was born ca. 1805 , the oldest child of Samuel Caston and Susannah Ballard.   His first marriage was ca. 1828/29, to his first cousin Eliza Caston, daughter of William Caston .
            The 1830 South Carolina census for Lancaster County lists a Minor Caston, aged 20-30, who is most likely A.M. Caston.  The household includes a female aged 20-30 (most likely Eliza), and a female child under the age of 5 (probably Eliza's daughter Ariminta Mason), and a son under the age of 5 (probably Samuel N. Caston).  A.M. Caston was most likely counted in the Lancaster County household of his father, Samuel Caston, in the 1820 census.
 A.M. Caston does not appear in the 1840 or 1850 census records for South Carolina or for Florida.  The 1850 Florida census shows sons Samuel N. Caston (20), teacher, and Jefferson Caston (18), laborer, living in Newnansville.
             A.M. and Eliza Caston moved to Florida sometime prior to 28 May 1853, when the deed records of Alachua County show that they were granted a life estate in property in Newnansville.  The deed recital states that at the death of both of them, the property was to be sold and the proceeds divided among their three sons:  Samuel N. Caston, William J. Caston, and Alston B. Caston.   [Samuel N. Caston was the court clerk who recorded the deed, having served as clerk of the circuit court, Alachua County, Eastern Circuit of Florida, from ca 26 May 1853 until 6 Jan 1854. ]  The deed does not mention their fourth son, Jefferson, who was a resident of Alachua County at the time of the 1850 census , but who later emigrated to Texas, where he died on 1 Oct 1858.
            A.M. Caston was Alachua County Judge of Probate from 1851/52 - June 1855.   In addition to his duties as Probate Judge, A.M. Caston served as postmaster at Newnansville from 21 Dec 1852 - 3 May 1853.   [His son William later served as postmaster from 25 July 1860 -3 May 1866.   Census records indicate that William Caston was a magistrate in 1860.]  On 6 Sept 1854, the Board of County Commissioners of Alachua County, with A.M. Caston serving as president of the Board, issued "Order No. 1", removing the county seat from Newnansville to a new location " be named Gainesville."
            Following first wife Eliza's death in 1857, A.M. Caston married again to Milly ________ .  The 1860 Florida census shows that on 27 July 1860, A.M. Caston (56) and Milly Caston (43) resided in Newnansville.  Also residing in the household were the three Odum children, for whom A.M. Caston had been named guardian.   A.M. Caston died sometime between 6 Nov 1862 (the date of his will) and 24 Nov 1862 (the date the will was recorded).  The will leaves some personal property to his "...beloved wife Milly Caston", and makes reference to "...her place in New River County".  He also makes bequests to his "...two sons, Samuel Napoleon Caston and Alson Bolivar Caston..." who no longer reside in the county.
           A.M. Caston's burial place is presently unknown.

      Submitted: Feb 2000