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Fayette County, Alabama
~ Thomas Johnson Family History ~

Generously contributed by
Monica Johnson Phillips

1. Thomas JOHNSON was born between 1800 and 1810 (location unknown); died in Fayette Co., AL, in 1838.  I do not know where he is buried.  He married Sarah R. [--?--] in an unknown place.  She was born in 1812 and, according to census data, she listed Georgia as her birthplace.  She died in 1876 in Hardin Co., TN.

Thomas JOHNSON had the following known children:
11. James M. JOHNSON, b. 1824 in AL; md. (Unknown) and had the following known children: William JOHNSON, Rufus JOHNSON, and Mary JOHNSON.
12. Mary Ann (Polly) JOHNSON, b. 1825 in AL; md. Joseph S. PHILLIPS and had the following known children: John M. PHILLIPS, Thomas PHILLIPS, James Rufus PHILLIPS, Foster L. PHILLIPS, Sarah C. PHILLIPS, Mary J. PHILLIPS, and William H. PHILLIPS.
Frederick JOHNSON, b. 1828 in AL; md. Caroline BERRY (who d. in 1915).
Thomas Howard JOHNSON, 1830–1881; md. Frances COTTON, 1856.
Matilda Jane JOHNSON, b. 1832 in Fayette Co., AL; last known to be residing in Jefferson Co., AR, in 1876; md. Manuel P. BERRY (son? of William S. BERRY & Sarah NELSON).  They moved to Arkansas before 1850.
George Washington JOHNSON, b. 1834 in Fayette Co., AL; d. 1865; md. Millie BLANKENSHIP.
Sarah JOHNSON, b. 1836 in Fayette Co., AL; md. Sylvester BERRY (son of William S. BERRY & Sarah NELSON).  They moved from Fayette County to Texas.
Nancy C. JOHNSON, b. 1843 in Fayette Co., AL; md. a Mr. HALL and moved to Hardin Co., TN, before 1870.

Thomas JOHNSON was recorded in Fayette County on the 1830 U.S. Census.  Grief, Matthew, William, George, and Frederick JOHNSON (likely relatives) lived nearby.  In 1831, Thomas and a Hezekiah JOHNSON received a joint land patent for 79 acres in Fayette County, described as the east half of the southeast quarter (E½SE) of Section 17, Township 15 South, Range 10 West.  Thomas received a land patent for 39 acres (SWSE S20-T15S-R10W) in 1834 for a total of 118 acres.  Both of these tracts were located about two miles west of what is now Pea Ridge, AL (see map).  Thomas died in 1838, probably on the home place.  His wife and children were not on the 1840 Census, but in 1850 Sarah and the children were listed.

Thomas had only one known wife — Sarah R. (nee REDMAN?) — but she may not have been his first.  His wife on the 1830 Census was born between 1800 and 1810.  Yet Sarah was born in 1812 according to the 1850 Census, and even later on subsequent censuses.  More research is needed to determine if she were the mother of all of Thomas' children.  Sarah received a land patent for 79 acres in her own name in 1858; it was located in Section 19, less than a mile west of her husband's 1834 patent.  She was recorded as a farmer in the East District of Fayette County in 1860 with $1,800 of real and personal property.  She and her daughter Nancy later moved to Hardin Co., TN, where they appear on the 1870 Census. 

Upon Sarah's death in 1876, Thomas JOHNSON's estate was admitted to probate in Fayette County (see below).  His real property included the 1834 patent, as well as 80 acres in Section 19 (adjoining his wife's property) that had been patented to a George JOHNSTON (sic) in 1824.  The estate records list Sarah as Sarah R. ROSS, which suggests that she remarried in Tennessee in the early 1870s.

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14. Thomas Howard JOHNSON was born on April 28, 1830, probably in Fayette Co., AL; died on May 1, 1881, in Fayette County and is buried in Zion Methodist Church Cemetery.  He married Frances COTTON in 1856 in neighboring Tuscaloosa Co., AL.  She was born in 1838 or 1840 (conflicting dates in census data) in Alabama; died on January 15, 1925, and is buried in Center Point Cemetery, Wilburton, Latimer Co., OK.

Thomas JOHNSON and Frances COTTON had the following known children:
Foster Columbus JOHNSON Photo, b. 1858 in Fayette Co., AL; d. March 29, 1939, in Booneville, Prentiss Co., MS; md. Rebecca J. HISAW and had the following children: James Thomas JOHNSON, Joseph JOHNSON, and Samuel JOHNSON.
H. Marion JOHNSON, b. 1859 in Fayette Co., AL.
William JOHNSON, b. 1860 in Fayette Co., AL.
Emily JOHNSON, b. Mar 1863 in Fayette Co., AL.
Rufus T. (Tall) JOHNSON, b. 1870 in Fayette Co., AL; d. 1926 in Wilburton, OK.
James Mack JOHNSON, 1871–1950; md. Ida Leona MARKHAM, 1901.
George JOHNSON, b. 1876 in Fayette Co., AL; md. Ella RISENER and had one son: Urel (?) JOHNSON.
Royal Bascumb (Bass) JOHNSON, b. 1877 in Fayette Co., AL.
Susan JOHNSON, b. 1880 in Fayette Co., AL; md. Jack RIDER and had the following children: Robert RIDER, Dexter RIDER, Buster RIDER, and Annabelle RIDER.

Thomas H. JOHNSON received two land patents for 120 acres in Fayette County in 1858 and 1860.  The property was located in S35-T15S-R11W, just north of the Cleveland community.  On May 29, 1862, at the age of 32, Thomas enlisted in the Confederate army, Co. I, 41st Alabama Infantry.  Also in that regiment were his brother Frederick (Co. F) and two brothers-in-law, Sylvester BERRY and Cicero GREGORY.

On October 26, 1884, just three years after Thomas H. JOHNSON's death, Frances married James EADS in Fayette County.  There is a gap in the family history from 1884 to 1900.  I do not know where they were living during these years.  The next official record of the family is the 1900 census of Polk Co., AR.  They were living near Mena, AR.  In this census, Frances is listed as Frances MEADOWS, and she is head of household.  In her home were: Rufus, James M., George, Susan, Emily, and Roy B. JOHNSON.  Foster was living in Booneville, MS.

The family moved to Oklahoma around 1910.  On the 1920 Census of Sequoyah Co., OK, Frances was living in the home of her daughter, Susan RIDER, in the McKey community.

Frances later moved to the home of her son Rufus T. near Wilburton, Latimer Co., OK.  She died of pneumonia on January 15, 1925, and was buried at the Center Point Cemetery in Wilburton.  Her son Rufus was the informant for the death certificate.  He listed her father as John COTTON, and maiden name of mother as “unknown.”  I have not been able to find any evidence of this John COTTON.  The information on the death certificate is incorrect as well because it lists Frances' date of birth as 1828.

Rufus died one year later in 1926.  He worked in the coal mines and died in his sleep of a heart attack at the age of 56.  He is also buried in the Center Point Cemetery in Wilburton, OK.  He was first married to Arlie COLE and may have later been married to Helen [--?--].  I have searched for their headstones, but could not find them.  The cemetery was damaged by a tornado in the 1930s, so their headstones may have been ruined.

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James M. Johnson

146. James Mack JOHNSON (pictured above) was born 1871 in Fayette Co., AL; died on September 15, 1950, in Bunch, Adair Co., OK, and is buried in Bunch Cemetery.  He married Ida Leona MARKHAM, daughter of Carter MARKHAM and Tennessee GREEN, on November 7, 1901, in Mena, Polk Co., AR.  She was born on September 1, 1882, in Norman, AR; died on March 29, 1969, in Bunch, OK, and is buried in Bunch Cemetery. 

James JOHNSON and Ida MARKHAM had the following children:
1461. James Rex JOHNSON, b. May 25, 1902, in Norman, AR.
1462. William Fredrick JOHNSON, b. 1906 in AR.
1463. Ruby JOHNSON, b. 1908 in AR.
1464. John E. JOHNSON, b. 1912 near Marble City, Sequoyah Co., OK.
1465. Roscoe JOHNSON, b. 1917 near Marble City, OK.
1466. Raymond JOHNSON, b. 1920 near Marble City, OK.
1467. Quincy Leroy JOHNSON, b. 1922 near Marble City, OK.

It is believed that Ida's brother Carter was a friend of James Mack, and that is how they met.  The family left Arkansas and moved to the McKey community in Sequoyah Co., OK, in 1910 and later to Marble City in Sequoyah County.  They then moved to Adair County and made a permanent home in Bunch, OK.  James Mack and Ida JOHNSON, along with all of their children, are buried in the Bunch Cemetery.

This document is a work in progress to be added to as time allows and as new information is found.

Please send comments, corrections, additions to
Monica Johnson Phillips

~ Thomas Johnson Estate Records ~

Fayette County, Alabama
Probate Record
Vol. 2, Pg. 178

Petition for Letters of Administration – Thomas JOHNSON Estate
July 29, 1876

“... The petition of Thomas [H.] JOHNSON respectfully represents that his mother Sarah R. ROSS departed this life intestate in Hardin County, Tennessee, leaving in this County a tract of land hereinafter described worth perhaps four or five hundred dollars.  Said Land was the Estate of Thomas JOHNSON, petitioner’s Father, who died in this County thirty-eight years since and has never been sold or assigned.  As dower and the heirs of said Thomas JOHNSON are as follows: James M. JOHNSON, last heard from he resided in Talahatchie [sic] County, Miss., Mary A. PHILLIPS resides with her husband in this County, Frederick JOHNSON resides in this County and Petitioner he resides in this county, Matilda J. BERRY resides last heard from in Jefferson County, Arkansas, G.W. JOHNSON, a son is dead leaving the following children, viz., Syndey [sic], George W. and Caroline JOHNSON.  They reside in Franklin County in this State are all minors.  Sarah BERRY, wife of Sylvester BERRY, they reside in Texas.  Nancy HALL she lives in Hardin County, Tennessee, all of full age except the children of G.W. JOHNSON, deceased.  They alone are the heirs of deceased as petitioner understands.”

~ Thomas / his (X) mark / JOHNSON

Order for appraisal of land

Bill for appraisal of land

Petition to sell land
[This is a division of 120 acres,
located SWSE and NWSE S19-T15S-R10W and SWSE S20-T15S-R10W,
which could not be divided equally so had to be sold]

Notice to heirs: Frederick JOHNSON, Mary Ann PHILLIPS and her husband Joseph S. PHILLIPS.

­Notice to Guardian ad litem (attorney for minor children):  “John B. SANFORD, Esq., be and he is appointed Guardian ad litem for Sydney, George W. and Caroline JOHNSON, minor children of said George W. JOHNSON, deceased, and grandchildren of said deceased Thomas JOHNSON, deceased, and heirs of their deceased Father’s portion of said Estate.”

~ August 22, 1876

[from the men who surveyed the land]

Interrogatory 1st: [list of heirs:] “Polly A. PHILLIPS, James and Frederick JOHNSON, Mrs. Jane BERRY, T.J. [sic] JOHNSON, Mrs. Sarah BERRY, George JOHNSON, Nancy HALL.  Frederick & Thomas JOHNSON, and Mrs. Polly A. PHILLIPS are living in this County [Fayette] / the rest unknown except the heirs of George JOHNSON who is in this state.”

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Fayette County, Alabama
Probate Minutes
Vol. 4, Pg. 308
March 25, 1886

The letters of administration to Thomas JOHNSON, deceased, are changed to Thos. D. ENIS:  “... and it appearing from the allegations contained in said petition and from other good and sufficient evidence that Thos. H. JOHNSON, who was the administrator in chief of said estate died leaving his said administration unfinished ... assets worth about two hundred dollars.”

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Fayette County, Alabama
Probate Minutes
Vol. 5, Pg. 512
March 16, 1888

Final Settlement

[Notice published in the Fayette Sentinel for three successive weeks – I have never looked for this – jch]

R.F. PETERS be and he is hereby appointed Guardian ad litem for and to represent the interest of Maxy JOHNSON, Bass JOHNSON, and Susan JOHNSON, the only minors interested in this Settlement.”

Settlement of $359.13.

“... And said account being full and correct:  It is decreed by the Court that said accounts be and the same are hereby in all things passed and allowed as above stated.  And it further appearing to the Court that such decedent left him surviving seven [sic] children, some of whom have since died, leaving children who are grandchildren & heirs of said decedent, to-wit – first children:  Fred JOHNSON, Sarah BERRY wife of Sil BERRY, Nancy HALL, wife of [     ] HALL, James JOHNSON.  Grandchildren – 1st children of Polly A. PHILLIPS, dec’d – J.R. PHILLIPS, F.L. PHILLIPS, W.H. PHILLIPS, Sarah SOCKWELL, wife of E.W. SOCKWELL and Mary McCOLLUM, wife of [     ] McCOLLUM, (2) children of George JOHNSON, dec’d, Sidney JOHNSON, George JOHNSON, and Caroline JOHNSON, and (3) only child of Jane BERRY, dec’d, George W. BERRY, and (4) children of Thos. H. JOHNSON, dec’d, to-wit Foster C. JOHNSON, Lolly JOHNSON, Sissey JOHNSON, Maxey JOHNSON, Bas JOHNSON and Susan JOHNSON, all of said over 21 years of age except 3 last.”

“It further appearing to the court that Thos. H. JOHNSON was indebted to the said estate of Thos. JOHNSON, dec’d, in an amount greater than his distribution share in this settlement would be, it is therefore considered by this Court that his said share be offset by his said indebtedness and that the said balance be distributed among the other heirs.”

“And it further appearing that certain of the said heirs had heretofore received a portion of their share of said estate, it is therefore considered by this court that Fred JOHNSON, James JOHNSON, and the children of George JOHNSON received each out of said balance for distribution thirty-five & 44/100 dollars first and then an equal share with others of the balance making the distributive shares of all of those entitled to share in this distribution as follows, to-wit:

Fred JOHNSON — $71.53
Sarah BERRY — $36.00
Nancy HALL — $36.00
Jas JOHNSON — $71.53
G.W. BERRY — $36.00
Sidney JOHNSON — $23.85
George JOHNSON — $23.85
Caroline JOHNSON — $23.85
J.R. PHILLIPS — $7.22
F.L. PHILLIPS — $7.22
W.H. PHILLIPS — $7.22
Sarah SOCKWELL and Mary McCOLLUM — $7.22

The land belonging to the JOHNSON estate was sold to E.A. HAMNER and W.R. ENIS.

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12 Jun 2008  |  02 Jun 2012