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Anyway, English maps of the Keys made just prior to the Revolutionary War of 1776 used the word "Key." A Colonial American court record of the "Libel of Dennis and Allen vs the snow St.
Fermin alias Britanis" in 1744 used the word "Keys" referring to the Florida Keys.
Its origin is not well established except by usage.
Most believe that it began by the Spanish adapting the word "cayo' from the Taino Indians of Hispanola and Cuba referring to small islands.
As if this were not bad enough, Strong had also previously sold Key West to George Murray before John Geddes.
In summary, Salas sold it twice, Strong and Simonton, and Strong twice, Murray and Geddes.
Other than the Native Americans, apparently no one settled permanently until about the time Florida became a United States territory in 1821.
There are scattered references, but no specifics, to New Englanders and Bahamians as permanent settlers before the early 1800s.
The silence was broken occasionally by those seeking refuge from being shipwrecked, to fish, to lumber, to salvage, etc.
The same year the president authorized a custom house at Key West. A few believe that it came from the seven-year apple tree found in the Keys, which was also called hueso by the Spanish.
Regardless of its origin, the name Key West prevailed with time. Perry, the Navy on February 1, 1823, ordered Commodore David Porter to establish a depot in Key West to end piracy. The aforementioned civilians preceded the military into Key West.
Soil was formed by decaying organic matter and storm actions. This pyramiding of trillions of life cells, along with the forces of nature, produced an island called Cayo Hueso by early Spanish travelers.
For millenniums the ocean continued to drop and the ocean currents, wind currents, birds, etc. A note on the word "Key" used to identify an island.