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JoLee Gregory Spears


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Johnson Notes

Submitted by Harold Johnson    

on Michael Johnson, his known sons, and his possible ancestors
Written by Harold Johnson
Edited by Bonnie Flythe and Neil Johnson

Contributing researchers;  Faith G. Flythe,   Professor of Anthropology at 
Northern Essex      (Bonnie)      Community College in 
Haverhill, Mass.  Graduate of Randolph-Macon Woman's College and U. of Arizona

      Dr. L. Neil Johnson, Educator/ Superintendent of Schools, retired.
(Neil)	      Glenville State College, Miami University & Ball State 
University. Currently employed as  Director of Educational Services for 
the Cleveland Public Television station
Last update; February 9, 1999

Background Information from Harold Johnson: About five years ago I had no idea 
that searching my Johnson line would lead me to Virginia! At that time I was 
researching in Rutherford County, NC for a Daniel Johnson believed to be my 
gggrandfather! This research was complicated by the fact that there were two 
Daniel Johnsons there at the same time and only after extensive effort and 
with some very good luck I was able to recognize one as my Daniel Johnson! The 
Daniel Johnson not connected to my Johnson line turned out to be a land 
surveyor from Connecticut! My Daniel Johnson (Jr) was born in Rutherford Co, 
NC b 20 May 1797 and his father was Daniel Johnson (Sr) the father of fourteen 
children of which Daniel (Jr) was the thirteenth! The third child of Daniel 
(Sr) was Elizabeth Johnson b 10 Oct 1780 married to Joseph Carpenter. I 
mention her at this point because it seems that Elizabeth somehow wound up 
with all the family papers, both Johnson and Carpenter, and passed them down 
in her family! The first notice that I had regarding these papers was found in 
a book CARPENTERS A PLENTY by Robert C. Carpenter. In his book he noted his 
visit to a Miss Vennia Carpenter, a spinster, where he was shown a trunk of 
papers! He also noted in his book that another visit had been made to this 
trunk of papers in the year 1939 by the author of a book COUNTING KINDRED, by 
E. E. and M. L. Deppen (Sinking Springs, PA 1940) page 267! I have not read 
this book but I have seen transcripts taken from the book. Now, further 
research found a transcript of some of the papers in the trunk published in a 
newsletter called the Bulletin by  the Genealogical Society of Old Tryon 
County of NC, Vol XXI, Feb. 1993, page 38/39 with the following note: This 
family record and associated notes were abstracted from the original documents 
at the home of the owner, now deceased, several years ago.....The documents 
noted are not currently available for examination!! Listed below are some 
important transcripts from the trunk and their connection to this Virginia 

"I, William Johnson, hath been out at Expence on the account of Matthew 
Hutchason Estate"

"David Hutcheson, admr. of Wm Johnson, deceased, Charlotte Co., Virginia"

"I ..(?).....Johnson of Goochland County.....bound to John Whittenton"

I have been unable to find any record of this bond of ...(?).... Johnson!   
Furthermore, in the  book COUNTING KINDRED, I am told, is a transcription of 
this same bond that reads as follows: Bound to Jno. Wittenton in the county of 
Ticenton for 100 (pds) on May 20, 1700 from the County of Goochland, VA.  
Notice there is a big difference between the two sources! The "county 
Ticenton" mentioned in the second source is a complete mystery at this point! 
And notice the date "May 20, 1700" .....this is the earliest date I have found 
regarding our Johnson line. Goochland County was not formed until 1728! Having 
this associated with the second source raises some doubt about the date! 
Obviously, there's conflict here! Now, the existence  of the bond is 
undisputed in that it was recorded in two unrelated sources at two different 
times, but the contents of the second source, if true, could lead to another 
chapter in this ever intriguing family history saga!!! ...Harold Johnson

In the Vestry Book of St Peter's Parish, New Kent County can be found; Michael 
Johnson with children, Daniel, Anne, Agnes, & Sarah. This seems to indicate 
that this Michael Johnson could very well be the Michael that died in Henrico 
Co. in 1719! We have not researched to the fullest this period in Michael's 
life as most of our effort has been directed to the Goochland Co group of 
Johnsons. Another thing, the given names Daniel, William, John & James appear 
often in this family for many generations forward and one could reasonably 
expect to find them in the past. With that in mind, we have uncovered some 
records that ought to be noted here in order to invite comments from others! 
First, there is in Nugent, 23 April 1646, bk 2, p91, a patent,  to Richard 
Moore & William Welton, Upper Nofork Co, 250a, trans of 5 persons: Wm Johnson, 
Danll Johnson, Richard Moore, James Daley, & Thomas Moore! This is the 
earliest recording that I have found regarding a Daniel Johnson! And, because 
they were listed together there is a good chance that the William Johnson is a 
relative, possible a brother. Now, again in Nugent, 1653 a patent in issued to 
Oliver Segar, Lancaster County. Upon the head of Coxes Cr. running & c. To 
land of William Johnson, thence to Daniel Johnson. Trans. of 5 persons. Book 
3, pg 221. I have found no land granted to the above William Johnson or Daniel 
Johnson. This indicates that they purchased the above land from someone. Once 
more in Nugent, 1653, March 12.  William Johnson.....Pat. 550a... Henrico 
County. On the North side of the river by the name of Harrahadocks; adj Captn 
Edloe. Book 3 pg 11. I mention this patent of William Johnson here because 
this is the earliest land grant that I have found giving to a Johnson in 
Henrico County and also the name William fits in well with naming pattern of 
this family. The name of the river Harrahadocks can be found spelled 
Harrahtocks, Harristocks and Harrow Attocks! The exact location remained a 
mystery until I found a land patent to Thomas Taylor for 631a, Henrico Co., on 
the North side of the James River commonly called or known by the name of 
Harrahadockes ! ( bk 6, pg 52). Now the description of the above patent of 
William Johnson places the land just South and East of present day Richmond, 
VA.! This definitely brings this William Johnson under our umbrella of 

Is there an early Woodson connection? Possibly!  Consider this: 1660/61, Jan 
17. Sarah Johnson... inventory and nuncupative Will .... Henrico County. 
Miscellaneous Court Records. Vol # 1, pgs 13-14. ( Facsimile in the Va. 
Genealogist, Vol # 20, pgs  6-7). This is a very interesting and warrants 
further investigation! There is a John Woodson, Deborah Woodson, Robert 
Woodson and Elizabeth Dunwell mention as  recipients in this document It is 
considered in this VA Genealogist publication that the above Sarah Johnson 
could be Sarah Woodson the wife of the late John Woodson who came to America 
in 1619! Their sons were John and Robert! It is also reported that Sarah 
married a second time and then a third marriage to an unknown Johnson. Another 
early Woodson /Johnson connection can be found in Henrico County, Virginia 
wills and Deeds, 1677-1705 Compiled by Benjamin B Weisinger III p.363 - 4 Jan. 
1685 Edward Hatcher of Varina Parish, planter, to John Field of same, 
carpenter, for 1060 lbs tobacco, 300 acres in same parish on north side of 
James River, next to land sold by said Hatcher to Robert Burton,
being part of a grant to said Hatcher 6 Oct. 1675. Wit: Jno. Woodson, Will 
Johnson Signed: Edward (EH) Hatcher Recorded 1 April 1686. Mary, wife of 
Edward, relinquished her dower right. I find it very interesting that there is 
a John Woodson that is an adjoining land owner to Michael and John Johnson in 
Henrico Co in 1717!

Continuing with early research. In Nugent, 1689, April 20.  Daniel 
Johnson...Pat. 391a...Henrico County, Parish of Varina. North side of James 
River, adjoing land of Joshua Stapp: crossing br of Shacko Cr. And Peynoucky 
Path: to Robert Green's Path. Trans 8 persons. book 7 pg 713. Now, could this 
Daniel Johnson be a brother to Michael Johnson?  There are court records of 
Henrico County (1683-4) that mention Daniel Johnson and also a John Johnson. 
Both Daniel and John deposed that they witnessed a man pour three gourds of 
water over a hogshead of tobacco because he said it was too dry! Other names 
mentioned are the neighbors (land owners) of the above Daniel Johnson. The 
burning of the Henrico CO. courthouse records by Benedick Arnold during the 
Revolution makes sorting all of this out extremely difficult. Important recent 
research has shown that this land patent of Daniel Johnson is mentioned in a 
land patent to John Gun!1736, June 5.... John Gun...Pat 717 acres....Henrico 
County, on the north side of James River and the Branches of Shoccoe Creek... 
North side of the main road, crossing Johnson's Branch and a branch of Gilly's 
Creek.... including 391 acres part formerly granted to Daniel Johnson, Pat Bk 
7, pg 713 and by mesne conveyance the right and title is vested in said John 
Gun.....Pat Bk # 17 Page 116/117. This "find" helps clear up the reason I 
could not find any record of what happened to this 391 acre farm of Daniel 
Johnson! He lost the title to the land! Now, how could this have happened? 
Notice that  the term mesne (in Law) could mean intermediate or intervening! 
But intervening what?....or intermediate ownership?  Obviously, more research 
is needed here! Why? Because, there is a will of John Gun recorded in 
Goochland County, May 20 1735, naming wife Mary, granddaughter Ruth Harris and 
mention of John Harris and sister Mary Harris, deceased. Now, notice that the 
date of the John Gun patent of 1736 is after the date of John Gun's will! The 
surname Harris is found linked in later years to other Johnsons of Goochland 

Two other Daniel Johnsons found in early Virginia records are: In 1710, Jan 
24.  A letter from the secretary of the Admiralty to Capt. Charles Smith of 
the H.M.S. OXFORD to discharge Daniel Johnson in order that he may come home 
to Virginia, said to be a servant to Mr. Voss  a pilot in Virginia...... 
Colonial records project # 08129 & 02938. There is a Capt. Israel Voss living 
in Norfork Co in 1713 (Land patent bk 10, pg 79)! This places another Daniel 
Johnson in our research field! I have not been able to place this Daniel with 
any of our data, however this Daniel does fit the time line of the Daniel 
Johnson died 1749 that married Mary Saunders, daughter of John Saunders! See 
John Saunder's will of 1736.This Daniel Johnson has sons John and Daniel and 
records can be found in Powhaton & Cumberland Counties. To date, I have not 
seen a connection to our Johnsons of Goochland County.

At this point, I think it's important to take note of Charles Johnson of 
Goochland Co! The earliest record we have of Charles is a land patent in 1731. 
This Charles has three sons, Charles Jr., James and William! Note the given 
names! This family of Johnsons are neighbors of Michael's children, sometimes 
owning adjoining land! However, with all this closeness we have found no 
interconnection with Michael's children! In other words, if there was a 
connection one would expect to find that they at least would have witnessed 
each others instruments of record! Not so, I found none! We have collected 
considerable documentation of Charles and his family, but know nothing of his 

Now the rest of this report will deal with Michael Johnson and presenting what 
we believe to be reasonable evidence that identifies six of his sons! At this 
point we have been unable to place them in a correct birth order, however the 
list as presented here is an attempt to do so. Bear in mind that this order is 
subject to change! Daniel(1), John(2), James(3), Isaac(4), Joseph(5), and 
Stephen Benjamin(6)

The first record we see of Michael Johnson in Henrico Co is 1714, 25 Dec! 
Thomas Mims.....500a.. (N L)...Henrico Co; on the south side of the main 
branch of the Tuccahoe (Cr); adj. Wm Burton; Benja Woodson; Michael 
Johnson...Pat bk 10, page 217, paid 50 S. The reader is asked to look ahead at 
the year 1717, Jan 22 where Michael Johnson records a land patent of 500a! (N 
L) Henrico Co; on the S. side of the main br. of the Tuckahoe Cr; adj. Benja. 
Harrison's survey; John Woodson's Mill Cr; and Thomas Mim's land. Paid 50 
shill. Book 10 pg 345.  This area is now in Goochland County. Now, the 
question is, how could the above Thomas Mims patent be described as joining 
Michael Johnson land when Michael did not patent his land until 1717? The 
answer may well be that Michael Johnson, after applying for a land patent and 
while waiting for a survey to be completed, decided to proceed to settle the 
land prior to the issuance of the actual patent!. Now, the rule was that a 
settler must clear at least three acres of land and be living on the land in 
some sort of shelter at the end of three years. Clearly, three years has 
passed from the above mentioning of Michael Johnson's land to the date of the 
Land Patent dated 22 Jan 1717! Less than six months later two of Michael's 
sons patent land adjoining him! 1718, July 12.  John Johnson(2)...400a (N L) 
Henrico Co; on the N. side of James Riv. adj. Cha. Eavens; on the N. side and 
near head of Tuckahoe Cr; his own, James Johnson; and Michael Johnson. Paid 40 
shill. Book 10  pg 380.! And then 1718, July 12.  James Johnson(3)....400a (N 
L) Henrico Co., on the N. side of James Riv. adj. Cha. Eavens; John Johnson; 
Joseph Woodson; and Benja. Woodson. Paid 40 shill. book 10 pg 380. Notice how 
these three tracts are adjoining! This will be important later! Thirteen 
months later, John(2) and James(3) were in court proving  an inventory their 
father's estate! 1719, Aug, 22.... Michael Johnson...Inventory..of Estate.. 
ARecorded in a court held for Henrico County the fifth day of October 1719, 
John(2) and James(3) Johnson presented this Inventory upon oath which was 
thereupon written to record...Test..Henry Wood, Dep .There is record that 
Michael left a will as noted in son John's(2) will, but we have not been able 
to find one. 

Taking the children in order: Daniel Johnson(1) married Agnes (?). He died 
before 21 May 1754 with a will naming wife Agnes, son William, son John, 
daughter Ulsy Wood. He appointed his brother James Johnson(3) and his son 
William Johnson and his son John Johnson executors . Wit: James Johnson(3), 
Moses Brumfield, Joseph Johnson(5). Recorded Goochland Co. May 21, 1754. Book 
6 page 369. Take note here that Daniel(1) names his brother James(3), also 
witnesses James(3) and Joseph(5)! The proof that Daniel(1) is Michael's son 
will be found in James's(3) profile! William son of Daniel(1) married 
Elizabeth Hutcheson c 1747 and in 1761 sold his inheritance in Goochland 
County and moved to Lunenburg County. John son of Daniel(1) remained in 
Goochland County. I have been unable to identify what became of Ulsy that 
married a Mr. Wood! Now, in Daniel's will he leaves the rest of his land to 
his wife Agnes, and after documenting and accounting for all of his land named 
in the will we find that there was a significant amount of land left over! 
This we believe was land that Michael left to his sons as stated in John's(2) 

John Johnson(2) married Mary Pledge an seen in her father's will of 1720, Nov 
22, John Pledge, Henrico Co. VA. to daughters Agnes Pledge, Martha Pledge, 
Judith, Ann Pledge, and Mary now wife of John Johnson(2), Abstracted by 
Benjamin B. Weisiger III, Colonial Wills of Henrico. John(2) died 1750 in 
Goochland Co. with a will naming wife Mary, sons Daniel, John, Joseph, and 
James! John(2) also names his brother Isaac and Stephen Benjamin Johnson! This 
naming of two of John's(2) brothers here is significant as evidence is 
gathered to prove Michael as father of John(2)! We find that sons Daniel and 
Joseph and perhaps James stayed in Goochland and surrounding counties. Son 
John is a mystery, for two years after his father's death he sells his 
inheritance and that's the last record we have of him!  John(2) in his will 
left the rest of his land to his wife Mary, and after documenting and 
accounting for all of his land named in the will, just as with his brother 
Daniel(1), a significant amount of land was left over which we believe was 
land that Michael left to his sons as stated before! 

The wife of James(3) the elder is not known. However, his known children are, 
Agnes, d c1802, Drury md Hannah Clark, Sarah md Stephen Sampson, James, the 
younger, md Mildred Mims, Mary md Bartholomew Turner, David md Lucy Ellis, 
Isham d before 1798, and Benjamin md Martha Hughes. Records show that James(3) 
the elder died after 1787 indicating that he lived longer that any of his 
brothers! In tracing the land records of James(3) the elder we find that he 
also had land that was handed down to him by his father Michael! This is noted 
in a deed 1757, Jan 4.....Deed...200a.. James Johnson and Mildred his wife to 
William Harves (Harris) and Tabitha his wife of Hanover Co for 11 pounds 
"being part of a tract of land taken up by Michael Johnson, grandfather of 
said James Johnson" bounded by Tuckahoe Creek. Wit; Isaac Sheppard, Wm 
Miller, John Hughes, James Tompkins, William Graves. Mildred relinq. her dower 
right. Deed bk 7, pg 140.[From the files of Bonnie Flythe]. Notice the 
acreage, 200a! And notice the amount paid to William Harves, 11 pounds! This 
would indicate perhaps James' brothers and sisters may also be a part of this 
transaction! But the most important bit of information here is the naming of 
Michael Johnson as a grandfather! Now other records and the land description 
here places this 200a plainly in the area of Michael's land grant of 1717!  
So, we now have James(3) the elder identified as son of Michael! And because 
in Daniel's(1) will he names James(3) as his brother, Daniel(1) is also 

Moving on to Isaac(4)! In 1747 we find a land patent issued in Brunswick 
County to Isaac Johnson(4) and Joseph Johnson(5) of 400 acres on both sides of 
the Middle Fork of the Meherrin River! As it turns out, the Joseph Johnson 
mentioned here is Isaac's(4) brother! In 1755 Joseph(5) patents an additional 
400a adjoining their first tract! Meanwhile, after the first patent and before 
the second patent Lunenburg County has been formed from Brunswick County and 
now both tracts lie in Lunenburg! We have not researched Isaac's(4) family in 
Lunenburg. But records show in Goochland that he came back to sell the land 
that his father (Michael) left him. 
1756, Jan 19....Deed...Isaac Johnson(4) of Looningburg Co, for 100 pounds 150a 
to John Johnson  of Goochland Co, being on the south side of Tuckhoe Creek 
bounded by Benj. Johnson(6) decd, Daniel Johnson(1) decd, and John Johnson(2) 
decd and Moses Brumfield on Tuckahoe Creek. Except the graveyard where Michael 
Johnson, his wife and child is buried...Mary, wife of Isaac Johnson relinq. 
her Dower right. .Deed book 7, pg 59 wit: William Miller, Daniel Johnson(12) 
and Wilmanton Harris. Recorded 20 Jan 1756.. This is convincing evidence that 
Isaac(4) is the son of Michael! Now remember, in John's(2) of 1750 he names 
Isaac(4) and Stephen Benjamin(6) as brothers!

Now to Joseph(5)! We have indicated above that Joseph(5) moved away to 
Lunenburg by 1747. He also returns to Goochland to sell his inheritance. 1759, 
Oct 13, Deed.....200a.....Joseph Johnson(5).. of Lunenburg County to John 
Laprade of Goochland County for seventy one pounds five shillings; lying in 
Goochland County upon Dover Mill Creek adjoining the lands of Robert Burton, 
John Barnett, Daniel Johnson and corners on Richerson, having been willed to 
the said Joseph Johnson(5) by his father Michael Johnson Wit: William Wodlow, 
John Watkins, Stephen Sampson and Miller Doged. Rec. Book 8, pgs 62-63-64. Feb 
19, 1960. . This deed speaks for its self! Joseph(5) died before 3 Mar 1761 
for we find his will in Lunenburg County recorded on that date, leaving wife 
Mary, son Mical, son Isaac, dau Sarah, dau Mary Winningham, son David, dau Ann 
md Stephen Wood, son Joseph, Susannah md -?- Hudson, dau Elizabeth, dau Isley 
and dau Charity. Bk 2 pg 28.

Of all of Michael's sons Stephen Benjamin(6) is the more difficult to figure 
out. If we go back to Isaac's(4) profile we see that the deed description here 
names a Benj Johnson dec'd. We also find in 1744, Aug 21.   Benjamin 
Johnson(6)...Inv. & Appr.....Goochland Co. Deed book 4 pg. 405. Apparently he 
died before selling the land he inherited from his father Michael! To support 
this there is in 1763, Jan 15........Deed...150a..Benjamin Johnson, John 
Barnett and Agness Barnett to Elisah Leek...Goochland CO...For 120 pounds VA 
money on Tuckerhoe Creek joining the lands of Benjamin Woodson, William 
Webber, John Laprade and the lands of Moses Brumfield. Wit: Benj. Woodson Jr., 
William Hodges, Joseph Johnson and John Johnson rec. 19 April 1763. Now, note 
here the land adjoins Moses Brumfield and then turn to Isaac's(4) profile 
where his land also joined Moses Brunfield! Researching the other adjoing land 
owners also confirm this fact! Now, the Benjamin Johnson named in the deed 
above is apparently the son of Stephen Benjamin(6), and Agness could be his 

In conclusion, the way things look to me is that Michael gave each of his sons 
200 acres except Isaac(4) & Stephen Benjamin(6) who received 150 acres each! 
That totals out to be 1100 acres! That's a lot of land! We know he patented 
500 acres but that leaves 600 acres undocumented! The reader is urged to go 
back and read John's(2) where additional land is referred to as a >first 
tract". Perhaps future research will solve this puzzle!