James Johnson, son of Michael Johnson (1670-1719), was referred to in all of the records of the late 1700s in Goochland County, Virginia as James Johnson, the Elder. That practice will continue here to help to distinguish him from the other James Johnsons living in the county at that time. The repeated use of certain given names such as James, William, Daniel and Benjamin by the Johnson men of Goochland County makes any discussion of them difficult. Care must be taken to avoid combining them and any additional information, which the reader may wish to contribute, will be very welcome.
James Johnson, the Elder, was probably born before 1697. This is an estimate based on the date of his first known land grant:
July 12, 1718. Patent by James Johnson for 400 acres for 40 shillings, Henrico Co., north side of James River. Bounded by Cha. Evans, John Johnson, Joseph Woodson & Benj. Woodson. (Foley, Vol. I, 55)
Soon after this, James Johnson along with John Johnson presented the inventory of Michael Johnson to the court in Henrico County in 1719.
Aug. 22, 1719. Inventory of Michael Johnson. Value 63/9/6 by George Payne, William Hodges, Robert Adams. Presented by John & James Johnson and recorded 5 Oct. 1719. (WeisigerPI, 166)
James was probably married and beginning a family at least by 1730 and probably earlier, but the identity of his wife is not known. The birthdates of his grandchildren seem to indicate roughly when he and his wife began their own family. The births of their children occurred before the Rev. Douglas began to keep the St. James-Northam Parish Register.
A James Johnson was witness to the will of James Turner in 1731 and also a witness to the 1735 will of Henry Turner (Henley, p.5, 6). It is interesting that the widow of James Turner was a Sarah. James Johnson had a sister Sarah born in New Kent County in 1709. There is no proof that Turner married a daughter of Michael Johnson, but it is possible.
Then on Oct. 4, 1757 according to the Rev. Douglas, a Henry Turner and Susannah Johnson had a son Benjamin. Mary was born to them on May 16, 1758 (Jones, 301). This Susannah was probably related to one of Michael’s sons, but if so, the nature of the relationship is a mystery. A Henry Turner wrote his will on Jan. 6, 1759, but did not mention a wife (Henley, p.46). The witnesses to his will were Daniel Johnson, William Johnson, and Isum (Isham) Johnson. These three men were descendants of Michael Johnson.
In 1739, James obtained another patent recorded for Albemarle County. This was in an area that later became Fluvanna County:
Mar. 26, 1739 James Johnson... 400a Goochland Co., on the branches of the Bird Creek, adj. Abraham Venables, Thomas Banes and Hanover Co. Line Paid 40 shill. (Patent Book #17, 260)
This seems to be James last land acquisition. He owned a total of 800 acres.
An interesting, but unexplained document appears in records in 1747. The will of John Hix mentions, among others, "my grandson, James Johnson Hix"(Henley, 31). Like the Turner wills, this indicates a possible kinship to James Johnson, the Elder, but once again no documents give any solid evidence of this.
In 1754, John Johnson, son of Michael Johnson, wrote his will. In it he appointed his “brother James” an executor. James himself died intestate after 1769 and providing proof for the identities of his children, as described in the Michael Johnson article by Harold Johnson, requires jumping ahead in this chronology. The following document clarifies this:
Nov. 20, 1801. To the representatives of Mary Turner, late wife of Bartholomew Turner & sisterof Isham Johnson, decd. one seventh part of the personal estate (appears by account of the sales produced) 16 pounds 12 shillings and 4 pence farthing. To the representatives of Drury Johnson, decd., James Johnson, decd., David Johnson, Decd. and Sarah Sampson, Decd. late wife of Stephen Sampson and to Benjamin Johnson or his representatives each one seventh part- also to the claimants under the will (acknowledged) of Agnes Johnson decd. who appears to have departed this life since the death of the said Isham Johnson (notwithstanding that she may have died without marriage or issue) one seventh part also to wit the sum first mentioned above. Rec. June 21, 1802 (DB#18, 375)
This confirms the identities of all of James Johnson's sons who survived to adulthood and provides the names of three of his daughters. Isham Johnson was identified as a son of James Johnson in an undated deed of gift:
James Johnson the Elder "for divers good causes & considerations…..for the love & natural affection I bear unto my son Isham Johnson," one tract of land 115 acres, by patent July 12, 1718. Bounded by John Haws, James Cocke, & David Johnson's line. Wit: Matthew Vaughan, William Price, John Wade. Signed: James Johnson. Rec.: April 19, 1768 (DB#9, 140)
Isham’s heirs were his brothers and sisters or, if they were deceased, their heirs. James Johnson, the Elder, had eight children; James, Drury, Agnes, Mary, Sarah, Isham, David, and Benjamin.
The deeds of Albemarle and Fluvanna Counties give further evidence as to the identity of James older sons. In 1767, the following deed appeared in the records of Albemarle Co.:
1767. James Johnson the Elder of St. James Northam & Goochland to Thomas Pleasants of same for 50 pounds, 200 acres in Albemarle on branches of Byrd Creek. ½ of 400 acres granted James Johnson by patent adj. James Johnson, Junr., Christopher Shepherd, Stephen Thomas Banks & the line dividing the counties of Louisa & Albemarle. Signed: James Johnson. Wit: John (x) Shepherd, Alexander Toney, Bishop (x) Toney, James Johnson. Prob. May 12, 1767 (Alb.DB#4,329.)
This deed shows that James had divided his western patent and apparently given ½ of it to his son James Johnson, Jr. Thomas Pleasants was an owner of extensive tracts of land and James the Elder may have been selling his land to him because of financial pressures.
Ten years later, Jacob Johnson, a son of Drury Johnson & grandson of James the Elder, bought this land back, but the neighbor living on the other half was a David Johnson, Jr., son of James Johnson, Jr.:
Oct. 20, 1777. from Thomas Pleasants of the Parish of St. James-Northam and County of Goochland, to Jacob Johnson of same for 81 pd. 12 shillings and 6 pence, one certain tract of land of 200a in F on branches of Byrd Cr., being one half of 400 acres patented to James Johnson the Elder of Goochland County, and by him conveyed to said Thomas Pleasants by deed and adjoining the lands of David Johnson, Jr. (who is in possession of the other 200 acres, Christopher Shepherd, Thomas Banks, and the line dividing the Counties of Louisa and Fluvanna. Signed: Thos; Pleasants. Wit: Isham Johnson, Thomas Oliver, Edward McBride, Abram Parrish (Abraham Parish), David Nowlen (Nowling), Turner Clarke, Clab (X his mark) Johnson Rec: Nov. 4, 1779. (TLC, 26)
No deeds from James the Elder to James Johnson, Jr. or from James Johnson, Jr. to David Johnson, Jr. were recorded in Albemarle or Fluvanna Counties, but the transfer obviously occurred.
Other deeds of gift were recorded in Goochland County and further prove the identities of James the Elder’s other sons:
Oct. 15, 1765. James Johnson the Elder of Goochland, "for divers good causes, but more especially for the love and natural affection I bear unto my son David Johnson", land on branches of Geneto Creek, 115 acres "being one third of 345 acres granted unto me by ….. patent date______ and day ______." Bounded by Joseph Watkins & John Guerrant it being the southerly corner. Wit: Joseph Pleasants Amos + Ladd. Signed: James Johnson. Rec.: Oct. 15, 1765 (DB#9, 8)
The last deed of gift was signed in 1769 when James the Elder was at least 72 years old or older:
June 19, 1769. James Johnson the Elder "for love and natural affection to my son Benjamin Johnson", 115 acres on branches of Genetoe Creek patented July 12, 1718 "adjoining land of son Isham unto whom I have formerly given same, David Johnson, Joseph Watkins, James Cocke." Wit: Isham Johnson, David Johnson, Jacob Johnson, Wm. W. Woodall, Bartholomew (X) Turner. Signed: James Johnson. Rec.: Aug. 21, 1769. (DB#9, 220)
James Johnson the Elder died after the date of the 1769 deed, but when this happened is not known. Nor is the fate of his wife or wives known with certainty. However, the Rev. Douglas recorded the funeral of “old James wife” on Feb. 26, 1775 (Jones, 339). They left many children and a discussion of each of these children follows.
The children of James Johnson the Elder and his wife I. DruryJohnson (b.ca.1725-ca.1784)
Drury appears to be the oldest or among the oldest of the children. He married Hannah Clark on Oct. 15, 1751 (Jones, 28) Her parentage is not known. Their children were: Jacob (b.1752), Jeanie (b. 1754), Elijah (b. 1756), Ann (b.1758), Clayborne (b.1760), Mary (b.1764), Sarah (b.1765), James (b.1768), Benjamin (b.1771), and Isham (b.1773) (Jones, 225).
Drury does not appear in many court records and in particular he does not seem to have purchased or sold any land. However, in The August Court 1771, Alexander McCaul and John Payne sued him in separate suits for debt and David Johnson appeared in court to act as surety for Drury in both cases. (OB#12, 49, 54) Drury was called into court again in Feb. of 1773 on the petition of Nathaniel Bowe, but did not appear.
Hannah Clark Johnson was widowed by 1784, when she married a John
Marriage settlement between John Bradshaw and Hannah Johnson, widow of Drury Johnson, Dec. Wit: Tho. Underwood, William Underwood, John Underwood. Signed: John (X) Bradshaw, Hannah (her H mark) Johnson (DB#13, pg. 363 (acc.index), DB#14, 64)
Children of Drury Johnson and Hannah Clark Johnson Bradshaw
1. Jacob (1752-Nov. 28, 1814)
Jacob married Sarah Knowling on Dec. 25, 1775 (Jones, 28). He then purchased ½ of his grandfather’s patent. This abstract is included in a previous section of this report. Jacob, his wife and brother then sold the 200 acres in 1784:
1784. Jacob Johnson & Sarah and Claiborne Johnson sell to Thomas Pleasants 200 a on branches of Bird Creek ½ of patent adj. David Johnson, Jr. (Fluv. DB#2, 44)
This may be Jacob and Claiborne’s portion of their father’s estate, but no division of Drury’s property has been found. Jacob and Sarah had the following children:
1. Elizabeth (May 13, 1777- Sept. 28, 1837)
Elizabeth married William Nabors in Waynesborough in January of 1804.
2. Stephen (Dec. 8, 1778- )
When Stephen was 22 years old his father sold him what appears to be the land and home where Jacob and Sarah lived.
Nov. 4, 1800. Jacob Johnson sells to Stephen Johnson horse, cattle, hogs, feather bed & furniture, household & kitchen furniture, crop of corn & wheat with the use of my Plantation and plantation utensils and all profits arising, for 150 pounds. Wt: Nathaniel Johnson, Edward (X) Murphy, Betsey Johnson. Signed: Jacob Johnson (DB#18, 179)
Stephen’s brother Elijah refers to Jacob’s moving back to Goochland and then by March 1 of 1801 moved away or at least stopped farming.
He married Martha Carter on August 29, 1807 (Williams, 47). Elijah wrote his autobiography in 1865:
Aug. 6th 1865 Butler Co., Ohio
I was born 29th November 1783 in Goochland County Va. 6 miles east of the courthouse 3 miles east of Beaverdam Church head waters of Buffelow Branch. When I was 3 years & two weeks old father moved to Powhatan County south side of James River 9 miles (of which I well recollect) Father workt for Mr. William Ronalds lived there until 30th of November 1790. I went to school during the last part of the 7th year of my age. Father bought 150 acres of land moved back in one mile north of where I was born, settled in the woods at what was called the Foxhunting Spring. There we lived workt on the farm went to school & until the 1st. day of March 1801.
I then went to work at the carpenters trade ten months for $40 hewe in the woods. The first three months often glad to see breakfast come at 10 or 11 oclock. We that year built Dover Mills, workt that year for Isaac Pleasants and others.
Brother Nathaniel & me left Goochland 27th of February 1802 in company with Father next day (which was Nath birthday 20 years old). We lived 1 year for $50 a pece. Workt for John Everett under Unkle Benjamin Johnson. We was to have 3 weeks harvesting 3 weeks Dec. & January that year we workt for Robt Bowling for Wm Moore & others first of March 1803 unkle Isham (not sure of his first name-the first letter looks like other Js) wanted one of us to work with him in Waynesborough 22 apart from brother. I then 92 miles from where from Goochland. I gave brother choice to stay at unkle Bens or go to Waynesborough this year. I workt at John Ramseys Robt McLarra then Tom Wilsons. Several other small jobs then on the big mill in town, from 8th of March until Christmas we got $100 each went on before to help Fathers harvest then at Christmas.
The may while I workt with Isham. Sister Betsy visited Waynesborough gets married to Wm Nabors January 1804. I want back to Waynesborough after working with Carter at #16 a month. I finished off german Church galary & seats for $100 while there my 21st ended 29 Nov which was on Saturday & very cold. This german church was 9 miles below (or north) of Waynesborough. That Christmas I staid in Waynesborough in the 1st of April 1 bought a horse saddle & bridle for $120 went fathers gone 10 days come back sold my horse & to Mr. William Letcher for the same I gave, then workt in town until 1st of July then went to Staunton workt for Dr. Johnson. Bought a nice gray horse as any horse in the county nick tail roach main & four years (can not make this out) was a natural pacer. $200 kept him 2 months. Sold him for the same.
While working for Johnson a disease commenced 4th of July in Waynesborough called yellow fever. 78 persons had it (I for one) 17 of the 78 died that winter following brothers Stephen and Nath; families (as Nath’ was married 1 year at Christ) (they lived in Albemarl North garden) Several was taken John Burch their brother in law died & in March 1806 I went there helpt plow plant & tend the crop. I only earnt $15 for myself until 1st August this being the well remembered the day summer the 8th of August 1806 I went to Staunton in partnership with Wm. Nabors, a heap of work hired 6 hands. Nabors making bad trades he left me behind on the 12 of August 1807- $800 including the years of 1804 & 1805. On settlement he gave me $3.
I went to Goochland being engaged to be married in & on the 29 of August 1807 was married in Hanover & on the 15th of October went to Richmond in Virginia. Workt there until Christmas at $25 a month. Then embargo law which stopt all vessels going to or from any place trade. Stopt buildings. Stopt no work—in March 1809, I left Richmond moved to Fathers tended a crop for him. Undertook a large mill for Mrs. Watkins. While a boy I often went to the same mill & David Nowlivinger living in Buckingham County Va. 50 from fathers sent for me to be overseer. I got 28th February 1809. Lookt after his business that year 1810 & 1811 workt my trade for him. 1812 workt Bagby—Allen—Scrugs & others. 23 Dec. 1812 move to Middlebrook in Augusta Co. Va. 10 miles from Staunton that winter. I workt at the cabinet business mostly at bureaus & dining tables & in the summer of 1813 I done several jobs in town & country, war being declared the 17 of June 1812 against England by the United States times changed.
Early in the spring of 1813 several companies was calld by drafting & on the 7th of July several of the Middlebrook boys called out for six months. all that went from there returned safe from Norfolk in April 1814. I pailed (can’t make out the word) a garden for Jacob Swope & on the 15 of I started for Norfolk met my Father that evening in Waynesborough on his way to see his five sons & met with four. We parted the next day. He died 28 November while all five sons was in the army. I was corporal a while then sergent then sergent major, 3 days, was sick & sent to the hospital two weeks then came to camp being the 14th of October 1814 was then got in as quartermasters sergent hold that place until 24 of December. We then left for Fort Barbour went to Fort Nelson we staid in Fort Nelson until the 29th of January got my honorable discharge staid 8 days settling my business, came through Hampton, york //Williamsburg & Richmond then to mothers while there on the 17th of Feby I heard a connon firing for the news of pece
I came on home & landed at Middlebrook 23rd February 1815 after being absent from home 7 months & 8 days. I was then in low health tow months about the middle of April 1815 I went to Staunton workt for Isham Johnson for Mr. Tuffenbarger & on courthouse & porch 1 month. Brother William sent for me at Waynesborough middle of May. I went there workt on Guthries house. 12 of June I moved there workt there until the house was done late that fall part of the winter workt for James Burt above town rarly in the spring of 1816 done a good deal of work for Dr. William in town & others and on the 2nd. Of Nov. 1816 I moved to Auglier 1 ½ miles NW of Waynesborough. There Iived three years & one month while there I done much work in town and also for Aughie the year-----read page before this----well the 13 of April 1819 I went down on the long meadow and built a Millhouse 45 by 35 for John Coffman & Abraham Garber. That job was $385. I finished the 13 of August 1819 had a job at home for Augie of a wood of a brick house which come to $320 the sash doors flooring facings I had ready the winter & spring before I built the mill. I finished that job 29 Nov. my birthday 36 years old.
I then moved to Browns house upper no of Waynesborough staid from Dec. 2, 1819 Dec. 2, 1821 during that time I worked Mohler Reynolds & others I then move to Garbers house. 1822 built a house for John Huston, barn for Billy Brooks. 1823 work some in Nelson County for Wm Smith & Lanacraft (can’t tell writing) May 23, 1824 move to Fosters in Nelson that year done the woodwork for John Carter. 1825 worked for (can’t read names) Rodes & others 1826 workt G. Bernard & others. 1827 wood of a house for John Wallace the fall of 1825 I move hills place belong to Gosenberry Bernard.
I workt am’t of $60 for Wm King 1827 in Waynesborough in the summer of 1828 done work for Robt Brooks then went to John Cocks to work. Moved there staid there that Dec. 13 years that fills 1829-1830. 1831 during the three years earnt about $700 for cocks work. I then built a house a Hillsborough. Bought 2 acres live there. 1832 I earnt $99 from James Henderson winter of 1833 that year I done more for Cock also for Brown Oliver then for S.O. Moon (or Moore) in 1834 done his dwelling house. 1835 built Hamners Mill 1836 bult the Baptist Church at Hillsborough.
In May my family moved to Charlottesville. I workt for several as could get work I from 1836 to 1843. I workt at the University in 40 or 41. In July 43 went to bord with Watson at Rockcastle. I boarded at Rockcastle until sometime in January 1844 Ezra M. Wolfe paid my board & while ther I earnt over $70. I then made some doors for Patrick Martin window blinds & then I done more work for Dr. Everett and for William Garner and many small jobs through town out at the poorhouse or near there for John A. Marchant and for Alx’ Duke in 1845. I visited NW Virginia got to J N Johnson the 3 of July.
That summer and fall I helpt John finish off a house for Marshall Lorentz in Oct. 1 went back to Charlottesville fixt to move. Left Charlottesville 17th of Nov. 1845 staid the first night at T.S Cockes next to Christies Creek then Rions then Cooks then Yagers at top of Alegany then top of Cheat Mountain then to Arnolds the Millses at Middle Fork then to Buckhannon on the 25th day of Nov. 1845 & staid 8 years & on the 27 day of May started on a visit to brother Nath got there 1 day of June. staid there 20 days & on the 25th I got back. then 25 of Nov. left for Marietta just 8 years in Buckhannon. I then left Marietta last week in February for Colerain Tollgate after staying in Marietta from the 30th of Nov. 1853 to Feb. 1854. I staid at the gate 4 years collected over eleven thousand dollars. Left there to Delhi Taylorsport from there to Moorshill (Moorehill) then back to Taylorsport from there on t he 10 of March 1861. I landed in Oxford & on the 10 of August we moved to the Oxford cemetery and now on the 15th of August I wrote these lines. (Johnson Database)
6. Frances (Dec. 27, 1785- )
m. Wyatt Thacker, Oct. 17, 1808 (Williams, 97)
7. William (Jan. 18, 1788- Mar. 1837 Gooch. Co.)
According to Dr. Neil Johnson, “William Johnson is noted as a witness for a wedding in Albemarle County, Virginia so it is assumed he lived there. According to his brother Elijah he died of consumption and is buried in Goochland County beside his father. He is listed as being 49 years and 2 months old when he died.”
8. Agnes (July 13, 1791-May 18, 1862 Augusta Co.,Va.)
Agnes married Avery Maynard Stoddard about 1798. They lived in Nelson and Augusta County where Agnes died. This Agnes is, no doubt, the daughter of Jacob Johnson mentioned in the will of Agnes Johnson of Louisa County. According to Susan Shields, Agnes and Avery Stoddard were the parents of:
1. Helen A. (ca. 1824- )
2. Albert Henry (ca. 1827- )
3. Horace Milton (July 19, 1830- )
9. Samuel (Oct. 10, 1793- )
2. Jean (1754- )
James Cocke was mentioned as an heir of Isham Johnson in the 1799 Chancery Case. He had married Jean Johnson on Oct. 30, 1773 (Jones, 16). The Rev. Douglas recorded the birth of one child to them (Jones, 175). There may have been more.
1. Elizabeth (Feb. 3, 1775- )
3. Elijah (1756- ). He is untraced.
4. Ann (1758- ). She is untraced.
5. Clayborne (1760- Howard Co., Mo. )
Claiborne married Ann Johnson on Jan. 14, 1788 (Williams, 47). Ann/Anna was the daughter of David Johnson and Lucy Ellis, his first cousin. She died before 1794 when Claiborne married Elizabeth Sims. No children of Claiborne and Anna have been identified.
Claiborne moved to Howard County, Missouri about 1825.
Children of Claiborne and Elizabeth Sims Johnson
Thomas married Sarah David in Clarksville, Missouri in 1830. He was the first President of the Kansas State Legislature. He was initially a missionary to the Shawnee as was his brother.
6. Mary (1764- ). She is untraced.
7. Sarah (1765- ). She is untraced.
8. James (1768- ). He is untraced.
9. Benjamin (1771-aft. 1803). He is untraced.
10. Isham (1773- )
Isham married Nancy Ricks on April 18, 1798 (Williams, 47). She was the daughter of Nicholas Ricks.
II.James Johnson, Jr. (bef. 1730-1773)
James Johnson married Rachel Hadden on Dec. 15, 1755 (Jones, 28). She was a daughter of Anthony Haden and Margaret Douglas. The Douglas Register described James Johnson as “of St. Paul’s” which was in Hanover County. James may have been working there when he met Rachel.
James and Rachel had the birth of two children recorded in the Douglas Register. Ann was born on Nov.29, 1760 and Mary was born April 19, 1763 (Jones, 226). There may have been more children, but the documentation of their births is not available.
Before 1760, James and Rachel may have moved to the part of Albemarle County that later became Fluvanna. They probably lived on their half of James the Elder’s 1739 Byrd Creek patent. James Johnson the Elder described one half of the patent land as being occupied by James Johnson, Jr. when he sold the other half. In addition, the son may have witnessed the same deed referenced earlier.
In 1760, Anthony Haden signed a deed of gift of slaves to his daughter Rachel Johnson of Albemarle.
Undated. Anthony Haden of Hanover to “well beloved dau. Rachel Johnson wife of James Johnson of Albemarle County, two negro girls Sara & Isabel & their future increase .... for her life...& then to heirs of her body”. Wit: Philip Webber, Jnr. Signed: Anthony Haden. Rec: June 17, 1760 (DB#8, 94)
According to a Chancery Court Case filed in 1799 by David Johnson over the estate of Isham Johnson, a James Johnson died in 1773 and left children: a son David and two daughters (Chancery Case 1799-001). This is confirmed by an entry in the Goochland Co. Order Book#12:
August Court, 1773. Johnson’s Guardian. Isham Johnson comes into court & undertakes the guardianship to the Orphan children of James Johnson, Jr. Dec.Benjamin Johnson entering himself security for same. (OB#12,.336)
In the Chancery Case, David, Jr. stated that he had signed contracts in 1779 & 1780. One was with his sister (unnamed) and the other with another sister’s husband (unnamed). No other heirs were named. For unspecified consideration, the two sisters signed away their right to sue Isham Johnson for mishandling their father’s estate.
Previous research seemed to indicate that James Johnson, son of James the Elder was married to Mildred Mims, but the documentation does not support that belief. James and Mildred sold 200 acres of land in the eastern part of Goochland that was probably left to them by John Johnson and Mary Pledge Johnson. They also had at least nine children, but the guardianship mentioned in the Chancery Case and the 1773 Court order lists only three children. In addition, there is no provable connection between James and Mildred and any land inherited from James Johnson the Elder.
James and Rachel Haden Johnson had a son David as well as daughters Ann and Mary. There may have been other children, but there is no proof of this. These children all seem to have moved to Logan County, Kentucky and are associated there with the Price and Johnson families. The Web site Leaves of the Tree by Kay Haden discusses these families with great care and attention to documentary evidence. I recommend it very highly. The address is: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~katy/price/index.html Children of James Johnson, Jr. and Rachel Haden Johnson
1. David Johnson. (ca. 1756- )
This son is probably the David Johnson, Jr. of the 1777 Fluvanna County deed. On April 13, 1789, David Johnson, Jr. purchased 66 acres from Isham Johnson.
April 13, 1789. Isham Johnson sells to David Johnson, Jr. for 40 pounds, land-66 acres. Bounded by Joseph Watkins, David Johnson, Sr., John Guerrant, & Thomas Watkins “to be laid off to the south end of my land”. Wit: James Turner, Wm. Underwood, William Johnson. Signed: Isham Johnson. Proved & rec.: April 20, 1789 (DB#15, 221)
The David Johnson, Sr. mentioned as a neighbor in this deed was brother of James Johnson, Jr. and uncle of David Johnson, Jr. The Chancery Court Case states that David Johnson, Jr. lived with and worked for Isham Johnson in the eastern part of Goochland until Isham’s death in 1794.
A year later David Johnson, Jr. purchased 180 acres of land "on Beaverdam Creek" from Joseph and Anna Lewis.
Sept. 20, 1790. Joseph Lewis and Anna his wife sell to David Johnson, jr. for 160 pounds, 180 acres on Beaverdam Creek. Bounded by Wm. Ronald, road leading to Goochland courthouse, along the Hanover road, John Lewis, Joseph Pollard’s corner, Meadow Creek, Wm. Hay’s corner, & Wm Gray’s line. Wit: Thomas Royster, Jnr. Guerrant, Wm Royster, jr., Joseph Watkins. Signed: Joseph Lewis, Anne Lewis (DB#15, 460)
He married Nancy Bowles Dec. 16, 1790 when he was at least 30 years old. (Williams, 47). They sold the 66 acres, purchased by David, Jr. in 1789, to a William Johnson.
March 12, 1792. David Johnson, Jr. And wife Nancy to William Johnson for 80 pounds, 66 acres of land purchased from Isham Johnson April 1789 (much of reel unreadable). Bounded by ----- Watkins, David Johnson, Sr., John Guerrant, Thos. Watkins “taken off the south end of a greater dividend of land to the said Isham......” Wit: Reuben Turner, Charles Turner, John Brown (?). Rec: March 18, 1793. Dower relinq: April 15, 1793 (DB#16, 175)
James the Elder’s original Albemarle/Fluvanna patent again figures in the lives of the Johnsons. This time, David Johnson the Younger purchased it:
1797. Thomas Pleasants sells to David Johnson the Younger 200a. on branches of Byrd Creek patent to James Johnson the Elder adj. David Johnson. (Flu.DB#3, 386)
David apparently now owned the entire patent.
At some point, David and Nancy moved to Fluvanna County probably to the land that was the original James Johnson the Elder patent. They sold the Goochland land in 1804.
Jan. 25, 1804. David Johnson & Nancy his wife of Fluvanna County sell to John Guerrant, jr. of Goochland for 250 pounds, land on waters of Beaverdam Creek. Bounded by John Markham, William Ronalds, ________ Road, Jno Guerrant, jr., formerly line of John Lewis, dec., Joseph Pollard, meadow Branch, John Markham’s corner, Meadow Creek, Beaverdam Creek, 2– acres (?torn page). Wit: Robert P. Guerrant, Charles Hopkins, John Guerrant Minor. Signed: David Johnson, Nancy Johnson. Rec: Jan. 25, 1804 (DB#19, 1)
This couple is untraced in Virginia after 1804.
2. Ann (1760- )
The contract signed by David Johnson with his unmarried sister was probably with this Ann. A Nancy Johnson and William Johnson testified at the 1799 Chancery Court Case and this Nancy may have been the sister. In addition, a Nancy Johnson married William Johnson in 1781 (Williams, 48) and Benjamin Johnson was surety. William Johnson was from Louisa County and was a son of William & Elizabeth Johnson of Louisa County. Nancy Johnson was also a witness to the 1798 will of Agnes Johnson in Louisa Co. along with William Johnson.
Ann or Nancy Johnson, daughter of James and Mildred Mims was born on May 6, 1769 & was much too young to be signing a contract in 1779 or 1780.
3. Mary (1763- )
Mary married John Price in 1779.
July 31, 1779. John Price and Mary Johnson, whose guardian is Isham Johnson. Sur. David Johnson, Jr.. Wit: Walthall Burton, James Johnson, Samuel Price, David Johnson and Benjamin Johnson. (Williams, 79)
Her husband was probably the person who signed a contract with her brother David Johnson in 1780. John & Mary Price both testified for the 1799 court case.
She lived with her husband in Louisa County until about 1808. For part of that time, Agnes Johnson, Mary’s aunt, lived with them after the death of Isham Johnson. Agnes had previously lived in Goochland with her brother Isham and nephew David Johnson, Jr. Agnes Johnson left a bequest in her 1798 will to John Price who was also appointed executor.
III. Sarah Johnson (b. ca. 1732-bef. 1801)
Sarah married Stephen Sampson, son of Stephen Sampson and Mary Woodson, on Sept. 20, 1753 in Goochland Co. (Jones, p. 5) Their children were Sarah (b. 1757), Elizabeth (b.1759), Ann (b.1763), Judith (b.1761), William (b.1765), Jean (b. 1768), Stephen (b.1769), James Johnson (1772), and Martha (b.1773).(Jones, 290) They are untraced here.
IV. Isham (bef. 1736-1794)
It seems that Isham never married or possibly that his wife died before him. He died intestate and the division of his estate conformed to intestacy laws in the state of Virginia at that time. This division has been abstracted previously in order to illuminate the life of James the Elder and his children. At any rate, Isham did not have any surviving children.
In 1798, a sale as well as the division of the estate of Isham Johnson was reported to the court.
April 16, 1798. Acct. of sale of Isham Johnson.....by David Johnson, adm.
Purchasers: David Johnson, Sr. , Jacob Johnson, Kit Isbel, Wm. Johnson (son David), Benjamin Russell, Patrick Baughan, Joseph Watkins (of Dolly), Reuben Turner, Agnes Johnson, John Guerrant, Daniel Guerrant, Heath I. Miller, Elisha Leake. Rec: April 16, 1798 (DB#17, 202-4)
Once again we see the close association between some of the children of James Johnson the Elder.
V.Mary Johnson (b.ca. 1742-bef. 1801)
She married Bartholomew Turner in 1763 in Goochland Co. (Jones, p. 47) They were the parents of James (1765), Charles (1766), Reuben (1768), Henry (1770), John (1773), Pleasants (1774) and William (1777) (Jones, 309). They are untraced here.
VI. David Johnson (b.ca. 1742-bef. Dec. 16, 1799)
David married Lucy Ellis of Henrico County in April 13, 1762 in Goochland Co. (Jones, p.28) Lucy Ellis was the daughter of William Ellis and his wife Mary. They were the parents of Sarah (b.1763), Ann (b.1764), William (b.1767), Susannah (b.1769), James (b.1772), Lucy (b.1774), David (b.1777), and Betty Ware (b.1783) (Jones, 224).
It is interesting that David Johnson was visited by the tax enumerator on the same day as Isham and David, Jr. in 1787. This implies that they were neighbors. This David, jr. could not be son of David and Lucy because in 1787 that son was only 10 years old and not a head of household. David Johnson, Jr., son of James Johnson, Jr. was living with his uncle Isham at the time of the tax collectors visit according to the 1799 Chancery Case.
As previously mentioned, David Johnson, Sr. was administrator of his brother Isham's estate, but David himself was dead by Dec. 16, 1799 when the court ordered an appraisal of his estate:
Dec. 16, 1799. Order for appraisal of personal estate of David Johnson, Sr. Decd. Extensive appraisal included negroes Usly, Rachel, Jane, Salley & one man. Appraisal done by James Cocke & Thomas Watkins. Inventory certified as Just by William Johnson, Adm. Rec. April 21, 1800 ((DB#18, 16-18)
Another Johnson dies without a will! In 1802, a "friendly" suit was filed in Chancery Court by the heirs and David's land, 131 acres on the Genetoe, was sold by Daniel Guerrant, Daniel Johnson and Joseph Watkins:
Sept. 20, 1802. Deed from Daniel Guerrant, Daniel Johnson and Joseph Watkins (of Dolly) to Benjamin Cocke, Jr. “Whereas by a decree of the county court of Goochland in chancery made by mutual consent of the parties in a friendly suit in the said court between the distributors of the estate of David Johnson, decd. Commissioners were appointed to make sale of the lands of the said David Johnson decd. Three of which commissioners were the said Daniel Guerrant, Daniel Johnson and Joseph Watkins.... sold the said land to the said Benjamin Cocke, Jr. (the highest bidder) at the price of 243 pounds... the tract David Johnson lived on at the time he died.... on the waters of Jenito Creek containing 131 acres. Bounded by the lands of Joseph Watkins, Thomas Watkins, John Guerrant Sen. & Samuel Cocke. No Witnesses. Signed: D. Guerrant, Daniel Johnson, Joseph Watkins. Rec.: Sept. 20, 1802 (DB#18, 436)
The contents of the actual suit have not been examined and there may be more useful information to be found there. An 1802 court summons required the presence of William, David, James, Lucy, Suckey, and Betty Johnson. It seems that by this date Sarah and Ann may have died. It should be noted that the Rev. Douglas conducted David Johnson's child's funeral on May 29, 1773. (Jones, 339)
Children of David Johnson and Lucy Ellis Johnson
1. Sarah (1763- )
2. Ann (1764- )
Anna married Clayborne Johnson, 1788. Clayborne Johnson then married Elizabeth Sims in 1794 so Ann had died before that date.
William Johnson (1767-bef. 1822)
The son William, born Dec. 11, 1767, married Sarah Toler, daughter of George Toler and Fannie Bourne in Goochland Co. on Dec. 29, 1798. (Williams, 49) In 1797, this son William "leased" a plantation bounded by Toler and also slaves for 10 years from George Hudson, but by 1804 William was selling this land so must have purchased it.
April 13, 1797. George Hudson leases for 10 years to William Johnson for 400 pounds, all the land George Hudson now lives on and slaves to commence on Dec. 25, 1798 (More complicated provisions-FGF) Wit: Wm. Sampson of Geo. Hudson & Wm. Johnson, Stephen Johnson, jr. for Geo. Hidson & William Johnson, John Franks.( DB#17, 211)
The actual purchase was not recorded:
Nov. 21, 1804. William Johnson & Salley his wife sell to Heath Jones Miller for 1044 pounds, 333 & 1/3 acres. Bounded by Toler’s & Smith’s corner, Toler’s line, Holland”s line, Peter Creek, Gert’s (?) line, Anderson’s line, & Smith “being the land lately conveyed by George Hudson & his wife”. Wit: Thos. Miller for Wm. Johnson & Salley his wife, Jos. W. Riddle, Andrew Hosie, Benja. Anderson, James Vaughan, Fredk. Harris. Signed: WilliamJohnson, Salley Johnson. Rec. Feb. 18, 1805 (DB#19, 157)
It should also be noted that this William Johnson is referred to as (C) in some of these documents. The reason for this is not known although it seems to be an indication of either occupation or county of legal residence.
This deed indicates that William and Sally lived near her father George Toler. It is not clear how William acquired the land he was selling to Toler.
Sept. 29, 1801. William Johnson & Salley his wife sell to George Toler for 50 pounds, 68 acres of land. Bounded by N. Holland, Miller, Towler, Johnson (plat attached) Wit: S(?) Pryor, _Payne, Geo.(his X mark) Profit. Signed: William Johnson, Salley Johnson (DB#18, 268)
Beginning in 1806 and continuing to 1808, William repeatedly mortgaged land that he had purchased from Kendall Lee:
April 8, 1806. William Johnson & Salley his wife sell to Warner Lewis, George Woodson Payne & William Morrow for one dollar, 314 & ½ acres. Bounded by Lickinghole Creek, Shadrach Vaughan, Duguid Mims, William Richards, the representatives of Angus McDonald decd. Now occupied by sd. Widow and......... William Morrow, & the representatives of Robert Payne decd. “It being the land conveyed to the said William Johnson by Kendall Lee”. “In trust and upon the express condition that whereas the aforesaid William Johnson stands justly indebted to Kendall Lee of Fluvanna Co. in the sum of 600 pounds.... due annually commencing from the 25th day Dec. 1805. Land can be sold to satisfy debt. Wit: Joseph Pollard, Wm. George, John Miller for Johnson, Lewis & Morrow, Jn. R. Whitlock. Signed: William Johnson, Sally Johnson, Warner Lewis, Wm. Morrow, G. W. Payne. Rec: April 21, 1806 (DB#19, 444-5)
Apparently the debt was paid because when William mortgaged it again, it was free of a claim by Lewis, Payne & Morrow:
Sept. 23, 1806. William Johnson sells to Frederick Harris of Louisa co. and William Miller of Goochland Co. For one dollar, 314 & ½ acres ‘on which the said WilliamJohnson now lives”. Bounded by Shadrach Vaughan decd., Duigud Mims, William Richards, the representatives of Angus McDonald and Robert Payne both deceased, “it being the same land conveyed by deed of record in Goochland county Court from Kendall Lee and Judith B. His wife:... also the following negro slaves Court, Conny, Dilsey & her six children Matt, Bob, Randall, Dick, Isaac & Nancy, Jenny & her three children Tarlton, Alex, & James. Dolly and her two children Jenny & Ben Caesar. One sorrel mare......... justly indebted to John L. Harris & Co. (To secure bonds for 92 pounds 11 shillings due to John L. Harris Dec. 13, 1806 and 49 pounds 13 shillings due to Shelton and son Sept. 1, 1806). Indenture to be void if debt paid by Oct. 1, 1807. Wit: R. Cocke, Henry Gray, John Gray, Henry Gray. Signed: William Johnson Rec.: Jan. 19, 1807 (DB#19, 617-8).
William’s deeds of mortgage have not all been reproduced here. The pattern of regular mortgaging of this property seems to indicate some sort of disability or instability on the part of William Johnson. Apparently he was insolvent or close to it during those years. I have not located any other deeds after 1808. Sometime between 1812 and 1822, William Johnson died without leaving a will or any estate. This fact was mentioned by his son David in an 1849 Goochland County Chancery Court Case. William’s last daughter Jane was born about 1812 according to the US Census.
According to the 1822 will of George Toler, William and Sally were the parents of Fannie, David F., Betsy, George and Jane Johnson. Sally Toler Johnson was a young widow with children, but her father provided her with a plantation for the support of the mother and children.
1. Fannie (b.ca.1803- )
Fannie married Richard Cocke before 1849 according to the Chancery Case filed 1856 and they had at least one child, Johnson Cocke.
2. David F. (b.ca. 1805- )
David married Susan Elizabeth Parrish, daughter of Booker Smith Parrish and Martha T. Gilliam on Dec. 17, 1827. David and Susan moved to Cumberland co. about 1831 and lived there at least until the Civil War began. Their children were William B., George Robert, Marion, Napoleon B., and Littleton Johnson.
Children of David and Susan E. Parrish Johnson
1. William B.
2. George Robert
George Robert, my ancestor, was in the Confederate Cavalry, survived the War, married and became the father of twelve children. My grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Johnson, was one of these children. Her sister Susan Johnson Henshaw wrote the following about their father George Robert Johnson:
Some Events in the Army Life of George Robert Johnson.
In the spring of 1905, I was a student at the Woman’s College, Richmond, Va. At this time our English teacher asked each student to write an autobiography. This was not very much to our liking, but we all brought in one. It was from my Autobiography that in 1946 I was able, without any trouble, to get a certified certificate that I was the daughter of George Robert Johnson who fought under Stonewall Jackson and J.E.B. Stuart, he being in the Fourth Virginia Regiment and also one of the men that made up the Stonewall Brigade that was so famous in the Army of Northern Virginia.
The above is the information my father gave me at that time that I put down, but it was not all. He told me his Company and said that he belonged to the Goochland Dragoons, but over the years I had forgotten all but what I had in my autobiography. I have always liked history and as a child nothing pleased me better than to hear father give an account of his Army life.
In the reminiscences of my father, he told about things like the following: rapid marches (sometimes only sleeping for an hour or two); eluding the enemy; stealing on the wagon trains and getting badly needed supplies for the Army; fighting fierce battles; boxing with his comrades while in Camp and sleeping out on the open ground. Sometimes he would wake up and feel very warm (when the weather was very cold in the winter) then he knew snow had fallen. He said it was nice and warm until he raised the blanket and let in snow then it was very disagreeable.
I think things that impressed my most as a child was that he had had three horses shot from under him and came out fairly well in all three cases. The most serious was when his first horse was shot from under him at the Battle of Bull Run. When the horse was killed my father was thrown to the ground and the horse rolled on him. Being unconscious and under a dead horse, he himself was left for dead on the battle field. But finally he began to regain consciousness and knew something heavy was holding him down. All was dark. He began to think and the last thing he remembered was that his horse had been shot and was falling. While in this dazed condition he was wondering if he had been killed and was in another world. Finally, he found out he could wiggle just a bit and had a pain in his shoulder then he knew he was on this side of the pearly gates.
By moving himself he finally got from under the horse. On looking around he saw the battle was over and the ground was strewn with dead men and dead horses. He soon found aid. Then he returned to his home in Goochland Co. to nurse his broken shoulder.
After his recovery, he returned to the Army and I am sure he was with Jackson in the Valley because the rapid marching and victorious battles he used to describe go well with Jackson’s Valley Campaign. Also the lay of the country where these battles were fought. He spoke of being in and around Culpeper Virginia and was with Stuart when a very fierce Cavalry battle was fought not far from Culpeper. This battle must have been the Battle of Brandy Station.
From his descriptions and comments on the Battle of Gettysburg, I am sure he was there in person. Anyway when Lee crossed the Potomac and decided to defend Richmond at any cost, my father was with him for on one occasion he told me about the fierce fighting that took place during the Battle of the Wilderness and how the cannon balls flew through the woods cutting half grown trees down. These cannon balls penetrated the wood to a great distance.
My father was with Lee in his last stand around Richmond and Petersburg. Lack of food and sickness took tolls from the already thin gray lines, therefore Lee decided it was useless to prolong the suffering and bloodshed any longer and decided to surrender.
It was then that my father returned home and tried to follow the example of his great leader Lee to make the most of what was left in order that a new and greater south would rise from the ashes of “The Old South”
Susan Johnson Henshaw (sent by her son Frederick Henshaw to Bonnie Flythe 1982)
4. Napoleon B.
5. Littleton T.
3. Betsey (b. ca. 1809- )
She married Dabney Glass on or before 1822. They lived in Culpeper County and they were the parents of these children (Chancery Case 1856-007):
m. William Wharton
m. James Cannon
4. George (b.ca. 1811- )
5. Jane (b. ca. 1812- )
Jane married Mason L. Mahanes. The widowed Sally Toler Johnson lived with this daughter & her husband.
1. Sally B. Mahanes (1849- )
4. Susannah (1769- )
Susannah Johnson married Thomas Smith Dec. 20, 1793 (Williams, 93). He was son of George Smith and Caroline Tribue. His brother married Lucy Johnson, Susannah’s sister.
5. James (1772- aft. 1802)
6. Lucy (1774- )
Lucy married Anthony Smith in Dec. 22, 1796 (Williams, 92). They eventually moved to Alabama then Tennessee.
1. Martha Wales (Jan. 19, 1801-Sept. 9, 1839 Shelby, TN)
2. Lucy J.
m. Benj. Maddox, 1823 Madison Co., Ala.
7. David (1777-aft. 1802)
8. Betty Ware (1783- aft. 1802)
VII. Benjamin Johnson, (b. ca. 1745-ca. 1813)
Benjamin son of James the Elder, was alive in 1801 when his brother Isham's property was divided. He had married Martha Hughes in 1766. (Jones, p. 223) They were the parents of Thomas (b.1767), Jean (b.1768), Mary (b.1770), Ffrances Anderson (b. 1772), Benjamin (b.1774), Isham (b.1776), and Charity (b.1782). (Jones, 223-4)
It is interesting that in 1784, Benjamin Johnson and Martha sold land to Joseph Watkins
Feb. 16, 1784. Benjamin Johnson and Martha his wife sell to Joseph Watkins for 210 pounds, land, 131 acres, on the branches of Genito Creek “being the tract of land I now live on” excepting the burying ground. Bounded by Joseph Watkins’ line. Wit: Arch Pleasants, Philip Webber, Jno. Guerrant. Signed: Benjamin Johnson, Martha Johnson.( DB#14, 33)
This is the same amount of land sold in the settling of the "friendly" suit brought by David Johnson’s heirs. This Benjamin may be the Benjamin who died in Goochland Co. in 1813. He was probably James the Elder’s youngest son. His children are untraced at this time.
Children of Benjamin and Martha Hughes Johnson
1. Thomas (1767- )
2. Jean (1768- )
3. Mary (1770- )
4. Frances Anderson (1772- )
5. Benjamin (1774- )
6. Isham (1776- )
7. Charity (1782- )
VIII. Agnes Johnson ( -bef. Jan. 14, 1799 Louisa Co.)
Agnes appears to have died in Louisa County where her will was probated:
Dec. 11, 1798. Will of Agnes Johnson. To Jacob Johnson’s daughter Agnes. To John Price. John Price, Exec. Wit: David Johnson, Wm. Johnson, Nancy Johnson. Prob. Jan. 14, 1799.(Louisa DB#4, 73)
According to the 1799 Chancery Case, Agnes lived with her brother Isham and David Johnson, Jr. She does appear once on the Personal Property Tax list in 1795 a year after Isham’s death. Her nephew Jacob, Drury Johnson's son, had a daughter Agnes, born July 13, 1791 according to the Martha Carter Johnson Bible. In addition, on July 31, 1779, a marriage bond in Goochland Co. records the future marriage of John Price and Mary Johnson. Mary's guardian was Isham Johnson; David Johnson, Jr. was surety and James Johnson, David Johnson and Benjamin Johnson among others were witnesses. (Williams, 79) Agnes Johnson, daughter of James Johnson the Elder, never married nor had children.
Bibliography Albemarle County, Deed Book, Vol.2-4, LDS #30225
Foley, Louise Pledge Heath, Early Virginia Families Along the James River Their Deep Roots and Tangled Branches Henrico County-Goochland County, Vol. I, (Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1983)
Fluvanna Co., Deed Book Vol.1-3 1777-1801, LDS #31467