In 1922 Ira Wilson Pinholster, Sr. wrote his niece Lu Amanda Pinholster a letter which is the only documentation found so far that John Pinholster (Spinholster, Shinholster, Spinnosa, Espineta, Espinosa) was originally from Saint Augustine, Florida, and possibly from Minorca. LuAmanda Pinholster wrote a short family history titled "Juan Espinosa Family," in which she stated that Juan (John) came from Minorca with (Alexander) Turnbull to work in the Indigo plantations. This has been used to document many family trees. One problem is that Turnbull's original fleet of immigrants arrived in Florida in 1768 to settle his colony of New Smyrna, south of St. Augustine. John Pinholster was probably not born yet (b.abt. 1773-1775). He was probably the son of immigrants, possibly Joseph Espineta and Maria Triay from Minorca, although this has not been proven. The immigrants were not given land grants and John Pinholster probably died in Liberty County, Georgia, shortly after he received a land grant while living there (between 1824 and 1827).
Brooker Florida, February 21, 1922, [To] Miss Luamanda Pinholster, Winchester, Virginia. To My Dear Niece:
I will try and reply to your request. First Alice and the two small girls are with me, the other two are married and gone one in Ky, the other in Fla.
All the information I can give you in regards to my Grandfather is, that St. Augustine was settled by a man named Turnbull and a colony of men and in that colony my Grandfather was one of them. He laid a Spanish Grant on 120 acres land there. His Home we call it. His name was John E. Spinnosa. This name is on record in St. Augustine. This town was settled in 1565 this you know.
The next time I knew of him he went to South Carolina. There he died and was buried there.
If you want any further information you write the clerk of court at St. Augustine and you may get more information.
All are well as far as I know. I am conplaining all the time from headache. Hope you keep well.
Your uncle as ever,
I. W. Pinholster, Sr.
The Camellias of Filoli – Part 3
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