Richard Johnson of Bilsley, Lincolnshire, England was born in 1629 according to his tombstone. When he first arrived in Virginia from England is not certain, but it was at least by 1675. Some of his children either migrated with him or were born in the new world and they will be traced in this article. The advice and assistance of Linda Sparks Starr, Rhoda Fone and Suzanne Johnson was vital in producing this account and is very much appreciated. Each provided crucial documents that made it possible to make firm connections between the various Johnsons discussed in this series.
An early mention of Richard Johnson, a resident of the Parish of Stratton Major in New Kent County, appears in the records of York County, Virginia:
York County Richard Johnson. By this letter of attorney on 24 Jan. 1675, before me Nicholas Heyward, Notary and Tabellion Publick, dwelling in London, appeared Mr. George Lee, Citizen & Grocer of London, who appoints Richard Johnson of New Kent County, in Va., Merchant, his attorney; but if he refuses or is not living, then William Cole of Warwick County, Esq., to be my attorney, to make over to Robert Spring of York co., Merchant, all of said George Lee’s plantation in Bruton Parish, York, Co. 350 acres, next to plantation of Daniell Parke, Esq, for 200 pounds. Spring has paid 45 pounds and Lee to take bills of exchange of 154/17 (Weisiger, York Co…,169)
York County. I, Richard Johnson of New Kent County in Va. Merchant, by virtue of a letter to me from Mr. George Lee, Citizen & Grocer of London, have received bills of exchange drawn on several persons payable to Robert Spring, and by him endorsed and made payable to said Lee, whereof I have sold to said Spring all of said Lee’s plantation, 350 acres in Bruton Parish, York Co. 24 April 1676. Signed: Rich: Johnson. Wit: Theo Hone, Sam: Weldon. Rec. April 24, 1676 (Weisiger, York Co…., 170)
From this, it is obvious that Richard Johnson was a merchant as well as plantation owner & he most probably made several trips to England on business. At his death, he owned extensive tracts of land and was a wealthy and prominent Virginian.
In 1679, Richard Johnson patented land in an area that was probably near West Point:
Mr. Richard Johnson 523 acs on NE side Matapony River May 1679 Beg at Mastecock Sw, To run of Pesticock Sw granted to John Hume 1674 .. trans 11: (CPv2)
A few years later, he patented more land, this time in Rappahannock Co.:
 Col. Richard Johnson20 Sep 1683, 150 acs Rappa Co. on maine Sw of Piscaraway Cr p. 326. Adj Thomas Harper &Robert Clements. Granted to James Baugham 27 Feb 1665/6 deserted & granted to Thomas Batts; assigned to James Baugham Jr who deserted; granted to sd Johnson by order 16 Apr 1680. Trans 3: Garrett Hamon, Jon. Canady, Jon. Davis (CPv.2, 266)
Through an appointed agent, the Colonel quickly proceeded to sell this land.
Recognitr in Cur Com Rappa 6th die Febry 1683/4 et reocrdatr xx8th die
Know All Men by these presents that I Richard Johnson of the Parish of Stratton Majr: in the County of New Kent Gent., authorize Wm: Leigh of the aforesaid County true and lawfull Attorney to signe and deliver and also to acknowledge in open Court a legall assignmt of a Pattent of One hundred and fifty acres of land Lying in Piscataway in the County of Rappa: as by the Pattent bearing date the twentieth day of September 1683 may appeare unto James Boughan of Piscataway in the County of Rappa: giving my said Attorney full power to act in every respect as if I myselfe being personally present could doe and although the matter may require more speciall then is herein comprised and I doe hereby warrant my said Attorney in soe doing. In Testimony whereof I have sett my hand seale this seaventh day of June One thousand Six hundred eighty three. Wit: Joshua Story, Richard Gregory. Signed: Rich: Johnson
Recordatr 3 die Martii 1683/4 Test Wm. Colston, Cl. Cur (Sparacio, Old Rappahannock Co…..,)
(Old Rappa Deed Bk. 7, pp. 87-88) Know All Men by these presents that I William Leigh of the County of New Kent do (by virtue of a Letter of Attorney) from Col: Richard Johnson bearing date the Seaventh day of June in the yeare One thousand Six hundred eighty and three) assigne and make over in the name and behalf of the said Richd. Johnson have conveyed to Mr. James Boughan of Piscataway in the County of Rappah: his heires forever all the said Johnson’s Right to the within Pattent of One hundred and fifty acres of land with warranty against the sd Johnson or any persons that can lawfully lay claime under him. In testimony whereof I have sett my hand and seale the fifth day of Decembr: 1683. Wit: Wm. Colston. Signed: Wm. Leigh, Attorney of Col. Richd: Johnson(Sparacio, Old Rappahannock Co…..,)
1683 was a very active year for the Colonel and he continued to acquire large tracts of land:
Apr 1683Col. Richard Johnson & Mr. John Pigg,1150 acs N side the freshes of Mattopany Riv beg at Mouth of Holly Poynt Cr adj land Robert Bagby; William Herendo & Mr. Richard Whitehead by an Indian field [See King & Queen Co.] (CPV2, 259)
When Richard was about 57 years old, his wife, Susan Duncombe, died. Her tombstone states that this happened on August 8, 1686. She was only twenty two years and three months old and was most likely not his first wife. Susan was the daughter of William Dumcombe of Holbeach, Lincolnshire, England. Considering their ages, it is also possible that she was not the mother of all of Richard’s children. Richard was said to have been the father of a daughter who married in England & never left there. Richard may have married Susan as a second wife on one of his trips to England for business.
Richard Johnson was the father of at least three sons and reportedly one daughter. The birthdates of the sons are not known, but they have been identified as Richard, William and Thomas. There is no evidence that Richard remarried after Susan’s death.
By 1689, he was a resident of the Pamunkey Neck region of St. Peter’s Parish, New Kent County when he was included in a processioning order by the Vestry:
vestry 4 May 1689 The inhabitants belonging to St. Peter's Parish in Pamanach Neck, viz: Mrs. Susana Page, Thos Spenser, Jno Borross, Mrs. Gooch, James Henderson, Wm Turner, Col. Johnson, John Davis, Robt King, Mr. Gideon Macon, Geo. Cox, Thos Carr, Bird Chastain, James Adams, Thos Nichols, Edm Smith, Hen Dillon, Capt. Fran Page, Mr. Goodin – (The National Society… , The Vestry Book… , 18-19)
Richard Johnson was a Colonel of the Militia. In 1692, George Anderson apparently tried to submit to the House a travel expense request involving Col. Richard Johnson. This request was rejected because it would set a precedent :
 April 19, 1692 "That part of the Claim of Geo: Anderson for two days Carrying Lettrs to Coll. Rich: Johnson from the Hono'ble Ralph Wormeley Esqre, conceived to be noe Country Charge by you, the said Ralph Wormeley Esq're declaring it was to Carry Ord'rs about the Militia, is conceived to be a Country Charge and therefore out to be allowed.
 April 26, 1692 "To the third about the Claime of Geo: Anderson ... The House are of Opinion the same is noe Country Charge, and ought not to be allowed, for that Coll Johnson is a militia Officer under the Comand and within the District of Ralph Wormeley Esq're, and that if carrying Lett'rs, Orders or Instructions from Superior to inferior Officers within the same district should be once admitted a publick Charge, the same would be of evill Consequence and accumulate the Charge Equivalent to maintaining of the Eleven Souldiers at the heads of the Rivers, to which the allowing this Claim would be a leading President (McIlweine, Legislative Journals….., p.165, 169)
In 1695, Johnson purchased more land in the Pamunkey Neck area:
Col. Richard JOHNSON 3285 acs K & Q Co. in Pamunkey Neck; both sides Goodwin or Monkewin Sw, next above Thomas Bray, Richard Gissedge & James MINGE. 25 OCT 1695 p. 8, imp. 66: Richard JOHNSON … James ADAMS .. James JOHNSON … Richard JOHNSON … Susana JOHNSON .. Note: Surrendered in the Genll Ct. (CPv3, 2)
Some of the individuals mentioned in the importation list for this patent are of particular interest to Johnson researchers. One of the Richard Johnsons may refer to the Col. himself, but the second Richard Johnson may be his son. The implication of the listing is that James and Susanna Johnson may also be relatives of Col. Richard, but no proof of this has surfaced.
The record indicates that he surrendered this patent for the College of William & Mary. However, a later document seems to show that the Col. was able to reacquire the land.
Col. Richd JOHNSON 3285 acs K & Q Co. in Pomunky Neck; both sides Goodwin Sw or Monkewin Sw; next above Thomas Bray, Richd. Gisadge & James Minge; 25 Oct 1695 p. 78. Imp 66: Surrenderd as above 8 Oct 1696. Witnesses: Benj. Lillingston & Wm Harrison. Ack. At Genrll Ct 15 Oct 1696 by James Preston, his atty. (CP,v.3, 12)
Col. Johnson was a member of the Governor’s Council from 1696 through 1699. On May 16, 1699, Col. Richard Johnson was mentioned as absent from a Council meeting (McIlweine, Legislative Journals…..) He had died that May at age 70. His tombstone in King William County has been damaged over the years, but does state:
Here Lyeth the Body of ColloRichard Johnson, late of his Majesties Honorable Council who departed this life May 1699, aged 70. [On the same tablet his son] here lyeth Major Richard [missing, missing] departed [missing] uary [missing and on same tablet] this stone lieth [missing] of M Oriana Tho [missing] Relict of Major Richard [missing] daughter ofM Will[missing]. This is believed to be Mrs. Oriana Thorpe Littlepage. Another tablet reads: Here Lyeth Interred ye Body Susan Daughter of Wm Duncombe of Holbeach in Ye County of Lincoln Esq and wife of Collo Richard Johnson Esq who departed this life much lamented the 8th of August Anno Domini 1686, aged twenty-two years and three months. Heu Heu (TVF, Vol.4, #3, 169) A 1740 petition to the General Assembly, filed by Richard Chapman referred to the Colonel’s April 8, 1698 will & some of its provisions. Specifically, the petition stated:
And by his said will, also devised divers lands and hereditaments to Richard Johnson, and William Johnson, brothers of the said Thomas Johnson; and declared his will to be, that if either of them the said Thomas, Richard, and William Johnson, should die before they came to the age of twenty one years, or without heir of their bodies, that all the estate real given to him so dying, should be equally divided betwixt the two surviving brothers, with divers other limitations in the said will particularly mentioned, as by the said will, proved and recorded in the county court of King and Queen, relation being thereunto had, may more at large appear.
The Colonel continued to appear in various records after his death. His will, however, has not been located. The 1704 Quit Rent Rolls for King William County show Col. Johnson’s Quarters having 600 acres.
His King and Queen County land had these neighbors:
6 Jun 1699 John Carleton 118 acs K & Q Co. p. 186. Beg at the Hon. Col. Richard Johnson; over Blake’s Springs Br, along Richard Bradford alias Homes’ to sd Johnson alias Jane Jefferys & trans 3 (CPv3,25)
6 June 1699 Mr. Bartholomew Ramsey 1300 acs K & Q Co. p. 196. Adj Mr. Thomas Todd’s, formerly called Sawyer’s, land; on the Dragon Sw; land of Mr. Thomas Foster, alias James Williams; Wm Blake; Col. Richard Johnson & line of John Roberts, now Ramsey’s; down the Axell Sw, (CPv3, 27)
25 Apr 1701 Charles Fleming 1184 acs K & Q Co. in Pamunkey Neck; on brs of Mahixon Cr adj. Col. Johnson; land of Bradley & Ralph Wormeley. p. 368. Imp 24: James Austin, Giles West, Dorcas West … (CPv3, 48)
This following patent in King William Co. is of particular interest because the Arnold family was later involved in transactions with the Johnsons of Louisa Co.
23 Oct 1703 Thomas Thomason 150 acs King Wm Co. on brs of the Governor’s Sw beg at Col. Johnson’s plantation; to the old field near Thomason’s house p. 548. Part of land granted Benja Arnold, John Hurt & Ambros Smith 24 Apr 1703 who assigned to sd Thomason. Trans. (CP,v3, 74)
Another patent mentions the land of the deceased Colonel:
23 Oct 1703 Capt. Peter Kemp 600 acs King Wm Co. on both sides of North Wales Path betw brs of Perry’s Sw & moncuen Sw; in Col. Johnson’s line; p. 560. Trans 12: (CP,v3, 76)
This son may or may not be the oldest, but he was the first to appear in the record. He was probably born about 1684. Very soon after the death of his father, he obtained land that was left to him in the Colonel’s will:
2 May 1705. William Johnson 4900 acs King Wm Co. p. 675. Given him by
will of Col. Richard Johnson; on brs & both sides of the Goodwin alias Montcuen Sw; according to bounds of patent granted sd Johnson 25 Oct 1695.
Beg. Close by W side of the Governor's Sw, about 30 po above the Rowling
Bridge from Johnson's Quarter to Mattapony River. Trans 33: (CP,v3, 97)
William may have been re-patenting his father’s land and probably was of age at this time. The amount of land is larger than the Colonel’s patent & the source of the original land is not clear.
“Oriana Tho….,”an apparent daughter of William was memorialized on her grandfather’s tombstone when she was buried in the Upper Church of Stratton Major Parish in King and Queen County. The identity of William’s wife is not known, but a court case, filed after his death, seems to give the identity of his three children:
“In 1738 Dr. Peter Hay presented a petition to the House of Burgesses in behalf of himself, Philip Johnson, and Oriana Littlepage for compensation for a negro slave (belonging to the estate of William Johnson, deceased), who [the slave] died of a long confinement in jail. It might appear from this that Grissell Hay, wife of Dr. Peter Hay, Oriana Littlepage, wife of Richard Littlepage (Hayden, VA Genealogies, p. 398), and Col. Philip Johnson were children of William Johnson of King William County, deceased before 1738.” (Wm & Mary Q. Vol. 1)
Obviously, William died as a relatively young man. He was probably about 54 years old.
Children of William Johnson
1. Oriana (William 2, Richard 1)
It appears that Oriana married Major Richard Littlepage before 1736. She was probably born about 1716 or earlier. In 1703, some Johnson land was bordered by Littlepage as shown here:
 William Winston & John Kimbro 1500 acs King Wm Co. in St. John’s Par in Pamunkey Neck on brs of Mangohick Cr along Littlepage’s & Johnson’s lines 23 Oct 1703 p. 562. Trans 30: (CPv3, 77)
Presumably this was the land of William Johnson, father of Oriana. The St. Peter’s Parish Register shows the birth of one child, a daughter Oriana Littlepage, born on January 20 of 1736. Oriana, daughter of William Johnson is said to have died in 1742, but documentation of that has not been uncovered. If there were other children, they have not been identified. It is not known if the daughter, Oriana Littlepage, survived.
2. Grissel (William 2, Richard 1)
Grissel was probably born before 1718. This daughter married Dr. Peter Hay before 1738. She probably lived in Williamsburg with her husband. She outlived him, but does not seem to have had children:
Will of Peter Hay of the city of Williamsburg, physician. Estate to be subject to my just debts particularly a debt of L825 due by bond or bonds to Coll. Peter Randolph with interest. Wife GressellHay to have use of all my estate…. (rest of page obliterated)…. daughter to my late brother David Hay of New York to be equally divided among them in fee simple. Exec. Friend Philip Whitehead Claiborne. 27 June 1764. Wit. R. Fleming, Will Tunstall, R. Minge. Proved 19 Jan. 1767. James Carter and William Johnson made oath that they were well acquainted with the hand writing of the testator…..(obliterated) (Wright, York Co. …Wills….., 30)
Grissel Hay died in York County before 1778 intestate:
The appraisement of Mrs. Grissil Hays estate. Includes Negro man dick, Negro man Matt, Johnny, Fanny, Barbary, Ned, Phebe, Sara, Rachel and Fanny, Fanny, Linny son Collin. Total: L2310.3.9. Appraised by Robt. Nicholson, Wm. Goodson, Hump. (?) Harwood. Ret: 17 Aug. 1778. (Wright, York Co. …Wills….., 97)
The William Johnson who testified to the hand writing of Peter Hay may have been Grissel Johnson Hay’s first cousin William Johnson, son of Thomas Johnson.
A Philip Johnson does appear in some records for this area in the 1700s. The Philip traced here was probably William Johnson’s son, but definitive proof is lacking.
Col. Philip Johnson was probably born about 1719 or possibly earlier. A record of his children was described as follows:
A record in the Williamsburg Chancery Court saved from the fire, which destroyed three years ago all but the walls of the Courthouse, shows that Col. Philip Johnson (QUARTERLY, XIII., 267) married twice.
I. Elizabeth Bray, daughter of Col. Thomas Bray, of "Littletown," James City County, (Littletown was the estate on the James River next to King's Mill) and had issue: (1) James Bray Johnson, student at William and Mary College from 1760 to 1768, who married Rebecca Cocke and left an only daughter and heiress Elizabeth, who married Chancellor Samuel Tyler; (2) William Johnson (made an affidavit in Richmond City in 1798) ; (3) Elizabeth, who married Hill (made affidavit in Charles City Co., in 1798) ; (4) Thomas, probably died before 798, as he is not mentioned in the records at that time; (5) Rebecca, who married William Norvell, of James City Co. (both living in1798) (6) Martha, who married Samuel Scott (both living in 1798) (7) Anne, probably died before 1798.
He [Philip] married II. ____________ and had issue: (8) Sarah, who married Richard Lester (both living in James City Co., in 1798); (9) James, under age at that time and a student of William and Mary College about 1795. He subsequently removed to Isle of Wight County, and in 1812 was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, and a member of Congress from 1813 to 1820, when he resigned to accept the position of Collector of Customs of the port of Norfolk; died at Norfolk, Virginia, December 7, 1825.
His marriage to Elizabeth Bray occurred shortly before the completion of the Dec. 12, 1743 Hanover County will of Nicholas Meriwether, Gent. That will includes this provision:
Item (This paragraph is crossed out). I do give and bequeath unto my Gr.-Daughter, Elizabeth Bray, two Negro boys, by the name, Tom son of old Tom that I bought of James Blackwell, and Tom son to Tom and Doll his Wife, to be delivered to her at her marriage or when she shall come of age, and if she should die before marriage or before she shall come to Twenty-one years of age then said two Negro boys to my Grand Son Nicholas Lewis.
Oct. 1743- I have delivered these two to Mr. Philip Johnson, her husband. (Glazebrook & Glazebrook, Va. Migrations from Hanover County, vol, II, 69)
This will indicates that Nicholas Meriwether had more than one family connection to Col Richard Johnson’s family. His daughter, Anne Meriwether had married Thomas Johnson, one of the Colonel’s sons.
Apparently, this Philip Johnson lived in Williamsburg or at least owned land there:
1756 James City County, VA –In Dinwiddie's time, also, several additions were made to the city limits. In 1756, there was annexed a considerable parcel of land, belonging to Benjamin Waller, at the east end of the town; and in 1758,another parcel, of seventeen acres and twenty-six poles, formerly belonging to Col. Philip Johnson, adjoining the southern bounds, was added. In 1759, two other tracts were taken in -- one of twelve lots belonging to Matthew Moody, on the west side of the road leading to the capitol landing, and the other piece of land belonging to Benjamin
Waller, on the south side of the road leading to Yorktown. (Williamsburg, The Old Colonial Capital; Wm. & Mary Qrtly; Vol. 16, No.1)
The Date of death of Col. Philip Johnson has not been identified, nor have all of his children been traced here.
Children of Philip Johnson and Elizabeth Bray Johnson
1. James Bray (Philip 3, William 2, Col. Richard 1)
It would appear that this son was born some time in the 1740s & was the eldest son. He also lived in Williamsburg or a neighboring county:
September 11, 1775, gentlemen representing Williamsburg and the counties of Elizabeth City, York, Warwick, James City, Charles City and New Kent, met in the city, and after electing Robert Carter Nicholas, chairman of the meeting, organized a battalion of the companies with the following officers: Champion Travis, of Jamestown, colonel; Hugh Nelson, of Yorktown, lieutenant-colonel; Samuel Harwood, of Charles City County, major; and as captains, Robert Anderson, of Williamsburg; John Cary, of Elizabeth City; Richard Cary, of Warwick; William Sheldon Sclater and William Goosley, of York; John Walker, of James City; Furnea Southall and John Tyler, of Charles City; and Thomas Massie and Andrew Anderson, of New Kent. James Bray Johnson was appointed "commissary of musters" Williamsburg was made, by the committee of safety, the rendezvous for the troops of the colony, and Patrick Henry, the commander-in-chief, who arrived September 20, selected the field back of the college as the camping ground. (27) (Williamsburg, The Old Colonial Capital; Wm. & Mary Qrtly; Vol. 16, No.1)
II.Thomas (Richard 1)
The 1713 birth date for Thomas’ son Nicholas indicates that Thomas himself was most probably born before 1692 & since Susannah Johnson was probably his mother, his birth must have occurred before 1686. He was married about 1712 to Anne Meriwether, daughter of Nicholas Meriwether and Elizabeth Crawford. Her birth is recorded in the New Kent Co. Register for St. Peter’s Parish, but the year was not readable. Nicholas Meriwether mentioned his daughter Ann Johnson and his grandson William Johnson in his will.
According to Harris in Old New Kent County Some Account of The Planters, Plantations, and Places in New Kent County, Vol. II, :
“In his last will made in 1698, Col. Richard Johnson devised to his son, Thomas Johnson, all of his land in King William County, a part of which he had purchased of Samuel Snead, which tract contained 750 acres in Pamunkey Neck. This was called Chericoke and was occupied for a few years by Nicholas Johnson a son of Thomas Johnson.”
Thomas Johnson patented additional land in 1711, probably about the time he married:
Dec 1711 Mr. Thomas JOHNSON 970 acs bet Pamunkey Riv & Gouches alias Ducking Cr in King Wm Co. 19 p48. Beg at the Stairs Landing; to land formerly Chadwick’s to Gabriell Hill; by Henderson’s patent; on Sander’s Sw. 750 acs part granted Mr. Richard Croshaw, 27 Feb 1649 & by several mean conveyances descended to sd Johnson. Imp 5: (CPv3 ,123)
According to the Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia,Vol. III , Thomas continued to acquire property:
April 17, 1713 "Upon the petition of Thomas Johnson setting forth that Collo. John Walker late of King and Queen deceased being indebted to the petitioner in a considerable Sum of money and having a Right to a Grant of 315 acres of land which was to have passed into a patent in the name of John Waller did in his life time promised to make over to the petitioner the said Tract of land as soon as it was patented in part of Satisfaction of his said Debt, and the petitioner since the said Walkers decease having obtained the Consent of all his Children that are yet of age that the patent for the said Tract should pass in his name, upon his setting off so much as the said Land shall amount to at the rate of fourty pounds Sterling for every hundred acres; he therefore prayed that a patent may be granted for the said Tract in his name ... Council is pleased to order that upon the petitioner's giving bond to the Executors of the said John Walker to performe his said Agreement of discharging so much of his debt as the land shall amount to, and producing sufficient testimony of Mr. Wallers consent, a patent be prepared for the said three hundred and fifteen acres of Land in the petitioner's name. (Exec. Journals, III, 334)
It appears that in 1719, Thomas Johnson may have patented some land in New Kent County for his sons Nicholas and Richard. Nicholas would have been six years old at the time and Richard would have been four years old. This would be an unusual thing for the father to do, but no other Nicholas and Richard lived in this area at the time. Perhaps Thomas was trying to ensure the future welfare of these children. This land would eventually be in Louisa County.
11 July 1719 Nicholas Johnson & Richard Johnson 807 acs New Kent Co on both sides the Southanna of Pamunkey Riv p. 432. 4 Lbs 5 shillings (CPv3, 213)
On Feb. 5, 1723, Thomas Johnson was granted another patent near a Meriwether relative:
Thomas Johnson 200 acs on Stony Run, betw Nich. Meriwether & Thomas Bradley. (CPv3, 248).
In 1739, his widow Ann Meriwether Johnson patented more land in the same area:
March 26, 1739: Ann Johnson 400acs both side of the Southanna Riv. Adj. Col. Nicholas Meriwether (CPv4, 186)
Thomas and Anne Meriwether Johnson had six children. Except for Nicholas, they were all under age when Thomas died in 1734. Their mother posted a guardian bond in Hanover County at that time:
6 Feb 1734. Orphans Bond. We Ann Johnson Widow and David Meriwether Gent, and Joseph Fox of Hanover Co. are firmly bound unto Nicholas Meriwether Gent. First Justice in the Commission of the Peace for Hanover Co. in the sum of £1500 Sterling. Condition: if the above bound ANN JOHNSON do pay or cause to be paid unto Richard Johnson, Jane (James?) Johnson, Ann Johnson and Thomas Johnson orphans of Thomas Johnson Decd. all such estate as now is or shall be due as soon as they shall attain to the Lawful Age then obligation to be void.. Signed: Ann Johnson, David Meriwether, J. Fox 6 Feb. 1734 ack. By Ann Johnson, David Meriwether and Joseph Fox (Davis, Hanover Co. …, 189)
6 Feb. 1734. Orphans Bond. We Ann Johnson Widow and David Meriwether and Joseph Fox of Hanover Co. are bound unto Nicholas Meriwether in the sum of £200 Sterling. . Condition: if above bound Ann Johnson shall pay unto William Johnson, orphan of Thomas Johnson Decd. All Estate as soon as he shall attain to lawful age then this obligation to be void. signed: Ann Johnson, David Meriwether, J. Fox 6 Feb. 1734 Ann Johnson widow, David Meriwether and Joseph Fox ack. (Davis, Hanover Co…. , 190)
Ann’s concern for the welfare of her children was obvious in this deed and others:
6 Feb. 1734. Deed of Gift. I Ann Johnson widow and Relict of Thomas Johnson late of King William Co. Dec’d. for motherly love and Affection I bear unto my loving son Nicholas Johnson do Give unto the sd. Nicholas a Boy Slave named Daniel and 3 Negro Girl Slaves. Wit: J. Bowie, Gab. Gillingham, Mary Bowie. Signed: Ann Johnson 6 Feb. 1734 ack. By Ann Johnson (Davis, Hanover Co…191)
After 1739, Ann Meriwether Johnson married John Cosby. They did not have any children & Ann was widowed again by 1762. Her grandmother, Elizabeth Meriwether of Fredericksville Parish, Louisa County remembered her in her will dated March 2, 1753 and probated May 11, 1762.
As Ann Cosby, she & her husband deeded land to her son Thomas Johnson in 1752.
23 June 1752. John Cosby and Ann Cosby, of Fredericksville Par., Louisa Co., and Nicholas Johnson of St. Martin’s Parish, Louisa Co., to Thomas Johnson of Drisdale (Drysdale) Par., Caroline Co., Gent. For diver good causes more especially for the £60 sterling money of Great Britain. 311 acres in Fredericksville Par. On both sides of the South Anna River above the Roundabout (Creek) . . .adjoining Anne Johnson’s, formerly Col. Nicholas Meriwether’s line . . . to the River . . . on the Roundabout Neck ridge; granted unto sd. Ann Cosby (by name of Ann Johnson) by letter patent at With of Williamsburg 26 Mar. 1739; recorded in the Secretaries Office./s/ John Cosby, Ann Cosby, Nicko. Johnson 23 June 1751 acknowledged by John Cosby, Anne his wife, and Nicholas Johnson (Lo. DB A, 465-466)
She continued selling land to her children. The identities of these sons have been established, but these documents provide information about their residences and enable the researcher to trace them in the tithables lists:
26-Apr-1757 Ann Cosby (lately Ann Johnson) of Louisa Co. to Thomas Johnson of Caroline Co. £ sterling and £100 money of Va. for 2 tracts of land, 1 tract of 400 acres and the other of 311 acres. 400 acre tract begins at Col. Nicholas Meriwether, adj. Southanna, the other tract of 311 acres adj. Nicholas Meriwether's now Thomas Johnsons, the river, Roundabout neck Ridge. Sig. Ann Cosby. Wit: Wm. Johnson, Wm. Cruther, Robert Estes, Orlander Jones. (Lo.DB: B, 161)
At this time, her son Thomas was still living in Caroline County. He would later move to Louisa.
26-Apr-1758 Ann Cosby (late Anne Johnson) of Fredericksville Parish, Louisa Co. for natural love and affection to son Richard Johnson of St. Paul Parish Hanover Co. 14 Negroes Stephen, Dick, Toby, Arthur, Moses, Janney, Polley, Bettey, Janey, Margaret, Polley, Sarah, Judy and Milley. Sig. Ann Cosby. Wit: William Johnson, John Freeman, Thomas Perkins (LoDB: B, 284)
In 1762, Ann remembered her daughter Ann who had married John Boswell:
28 Nov. 1762. For Love and Affection unto my son in law John Boswell and Ann Boswell my daughter and to the heirs of the sd. Ann Boswell lawfully begotten, the following slaves which they now have in their possession: one negro Woman, Veot, and all her future increase, one negroe woman named Nan and all her future increase as also four children of her the sd. Nann named Adam, Tom, Billey & Daniel, but if the sd. Ann should die without heirs of her body then I give all the above named Negroes to the sd. John Boswell & Ann his wife and their heirs forever. /s/ Ann Cosby Wit: William Johnson, Rowland Jones, Thomas Johnson 23 Feb. 1762 proved by all the witnesses. (LoDB-C, 109)
She wrote her will Feb. of 1780 and it was probated in 1785 in Louisa County. Her sons Nicholas and Richard were deceased by this time. Ann herself obviously enjoyed exceptional longevity:
Feb. 1780. Will of Ann Cosby. I give my Daughter Ann Boswell my prayer Book ------? Bible & money enough to buy her a mourn---------------I give to my son Thos. Johnson my Great Bible my morning ring.
Item, I give my son William Johnson all the rest of my estate of any kind or sort whatsoever to him and his heirs forever except what is before given & what slaves I may have ------- at my death.
Item. I lend my granddaughter Jane Wily the labour of one Mulatto slave named Milly her Daughter Pat & son Jesse til her Daughters Vizt. Ann Meriwether Wiley, Martha Jones Wiley shall arise to Eighteen Years old provided she nor her husband neither Misuse or abuse the sd. Slaves & if it should be the opinion of my Executors hereafter named that the said slaves are misused or abused it is my will and desire they hire the said slaves for the benefit of my abovesaid Great Granddaughters til the said Ann Meriwether Wily arises to the age of Eighteen years & Equally divide the said slaves between my sd. Great Granddaughters.
Item I give my two Great Granddaughters Ann Meriwether Wily & Martha Jones Wily & their heirs forever Equally to be divided between them Whereas the sd. Ann arises at the age of Eighteen Years Mildred a Mulatto woman Pat a Mulatto Girl & Jess a Mulatto boy to them & their Heirs forever & lastly I appoint my two sons Thos. & William Johnson my Executors to this my last will and Testament in Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this – day of February 1780. Signed: Ann Cosby. Wit: Henry Ashton Johnson, Fanny Garth
Proved & recorded May 9th, 1785 (Lo.WB 3, 82)
It should be noted that the Johnson population of Louisa County was very numerous and the Thomas Johnsons tended to use a variety of titles such as “Sheriff”, “Minor”,”Sr.”, “Jr.” “Major”, & “Mr.”. There were many of them and sorting them out has been particularly difficult, but extensive research has facilitated this process.
III. Richard (William 1)
Richard was obviously born before 1699, probably before 1686. If he ever married, the record has not been located. Richard was a resident of Stratton Major Parish in King and Queen County till about 1733. As such, he was a Vestryman and provided supplies for the church or the Glebe. He was also a processioner. In addition, His rank in the local Militia can also be traced. In 1729, he was a Captain, but that year he was promoted to Major. (Chamberlayne, 1-14)
Stratton Major Parish was established in 1691 when King & Queen separated from New Kent Co. It forms the south-east third of K&Q, bounded on southeast by Poropotank Creek (separating K&Q from Gloucester), on the SW by York River (separating K&Q from NK, and the Mattapony (separating K&Q from King William, on the NE by Dragon Run (K&Q from Middlesex) and NW by the SE line of St. Stephen's Parish.
From: Old New Kent County Some Account of the Planters, Plantations and Places in New Kent County, by Malcolm H. Harris.
The large tract of land lying on the Mattapony River which is known to this day as Pleasant Hill was probably included in an early patent to Story. It is evident that Col. Richard Johnson, who was in King and Queen in 1680 and died in 1698 while a member of the Council of State, purchased the land. It passed to his son Richard Johnson after 1698, and in his will made on December 12, 1733, he devised to his nephew Richard Johnson one thousand acres of land on the mattapony River in King and Queen County, in Stratton Major Parish.
Richard Johnson sold this tract of land to John Robinson in 1744, and this became the nucleus of the immense tract of land which John Robinson had title to at the time of his death. John Robinson died on May 11, 1766.
Richard Johnson, son of the Colonel, left no offspring. He was about 47 years old when he died in 1757.
______________________________________________________________________________________ Descendancy Chart of Colonel Richard Johnson
Richard (ca. 1629-1699K.Wm))
m. Susannah Duncombe (1664-Aug. 8, 1686)
1. Thomas ( -1734 K. Wm.)
m. Ann Meriwether (169_-July 11, 1784Lo.) m.#2 John Cosby
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