New book details Raney family history

Sara McFerrin

Sara McFerrin

Published: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 09:49 AM.

 The Raney family makes their way into a new book commemorating their very first biographical tell-all, “Raney Days: the David G. Raney Family and their Antebellum Home,” set to be released next week.

Raney Days features stories and biographical tales of the family then and now. David G. Raney, a cotton trade entrepreneur and father of Judge George P. Raney, first native Floridian Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, built the historic Raney House in Apalachicola in 1838.

Author Sara McFerrin spent time pairing interviews with individual Raney descendants and analyzing historical records to write a factual account of the struggles and tenacity of one of Florida’s pioneering families.

"From the wilds of the new territory of Florida in the 1800s to seventh generation Raneys in modern day Florida, the family plays a vital role in history,” said McFerrin. “You’ll find a detailed account of the Raneys and how their antebellum home was rescued and restored. Family members have shared stories and photographs. Actually, there are over one hundred photos in the book.”

McFerrin began writing Raney Days as she developed interest in digging deeper into the local history of her home in Apalachicola. As a docent for the Raney House Museum, she advanced her knowledge and attention to the influence the Raney family had on the small coastal town. McFerrin reached out to many Raney descendants who gave their own accounts of family history and memorable descriptions to be included in the book.

“Although this story of the Raney Family is based on historical events, it appeals to the imagination,” said Carolyn Raney Stoia, descendant of Judge George P. Raney. Stoia contributed documents and family photos as well as liaising with the Raney family and the author.

To celebrate the launch of Raney Days, an open book signing will be at the Raney House Museum on Saturday, August 2 from 3 to 6 p.m. All Raney descendants are invited to attend a complimentary dinner, sponsored by the Apalachicola Area Historical Society, afterward to commemorate the historic legacy of the Raney family.

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