Submitted By John Steven Bush
Anyone who wants to try to trace a Johnson line back more than a few generations, especially to the time before detailed censuses were taken, will find himself soon overwhelmed by the duplication of names and scarcity or inaccessibility of information to separate them. The surname "Johnson" is the second most common name in the U.S., only "Smith" being more common. Furthermore, many foreigners have used Johnson to Americanize or replace their original surnames. There are Irish, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, and many other Johnson lineages. The best one can do is keep his eye open for "markers," such as distinctive first names or middle names. In written records, there is often a confusion between "Johnson" and "Johnston," although it would be helpful if the two surnames had been distinguished more carefully and consistently by record-keepers.
David M. Johnson used his middle initial with his first name or initial throughout his life, during a period when most people did not necessarily even have middle names, much less use them.1 He was born on June 19, 1811, in Overton County, Tennessee. The names of his parents have not been definitely confirmed, but they were probably John Johnson and Ingobar Hughes, who married in Greene County, Tennessee, ca. October 31, 1791. Ingobar was apparently only 14 years old.
White settlers first entered the Watauga and Holston valleys of extreme northeast Tennessee in 1769-70. By 1772, seventy families had formed the Watauga association, to govern themselves separately from Virginia, to the annoyance of the Royal Governor, Lord Dunsmore. As no surveys had been completed, they wrongly believed that they were north of the North Carolina-Virginia line. In 1774 Evan Shelby led 50 volunteers north to participate in the disaster of Point Pleasant. There were other fights, and a treaty or two, with the Cherokees. When the Wataugans discovered that their land lay below the Virginia boundary, they applied to North Carolina to be organized as a county. Washington County was the result. Greene County was split off from it in 1783. Shortly thereafter, North Carolina reluctantly ceded its western lands to the national government (then operating under the Articles of Confederation), and the people of Washington, Greene, and Sullivan counties applied, unsuccessfully, for admission to the United States as the State of Franklin.
It is not yet clear when the Johnson family entered this area. The Hughes families, among the original Watauga 70, may have been there earlier than the Johnsons. When the first court of common pleas met in August, 1783, Asahel Rawlings was one of its members. Francis Hughes was appointed county ranger. He had been one of the Hughes family who participated in the Battle of King's Mountain, the turning point of the revolution so far as the war in the south was concerned. James Johnson was appointed constable for the fourth (the southern) district of the county. There was a James Johnson of Lincoln County, North Carolina, at the Battle of King's Mountain, who had an estate on the Catawba River and left 12 children. Perhaps the James Johnson of Greene County was his son, but there is not at present enough information to be able to tell.
Because John and Ingobar appear to have named one of their children "Rawlings," it is natural to speculate that there may have been some tie of kinship, friendship, or simply of respect between John Johnson or his wife and Asahel Rawlings. Perhaps Asahel married a Hughes. Another clue to family identity, and a possible tie to Asahel Rawlings, may be that in 1850 there is an Asa Johnson in Fentress County, adjacent to Overton County. Among his sons are James, Marion, and John, all of which names also appear in John Johnson's line. Indeed, Asa may be one of his nephews, if not a son.
John Johnson was living in Overton County when the first Tennessee census was taken in 1820. Even at that time, Rawlings H. Johnson, born ca. 1798 in Virginia, and presumably one of his elder children, if not the eldest, was not living at home. The statistics read 410001-0001, which means that John, the head of household, was 45 years old or more, his wife 26 or more, but under 45. (Ingobar would have been 43). Four boys and three girls were all under age ten, and one boy and one girl were at least ten but not yet sixteen. (David M. was nine). It was obviously quite a large family. Three more sons were added between 1820 and 1830. It thus appears that David M. Johnson had at least one brother and one sister who were older than he, but younger than Rawlings H. Johnson, and because of the age spread, there may even have been other siblings. John Johnson died about 1833, the year John McDonald, Jr., was serving as his administator, due to the refusal of his sons, James Johnson and "Rolings" Johnson to accept their appointment under the will.
David M. Johnson's first wife may have been Elizabeth Davidson. A person named David M. Johnson married her in Wilson County on September 7, 1830.3 But if she was David M. Johnson's first wife, she most likely died within a few years thereafter, as the mother of his eldest known child and several that followed was Elvira G. Lee. She, and in 1835 their first child, were each born in Smith County. D.M. Johnson and his family lived in nearby De Kalb County, Tennessee, by 1840.4 On May 14, 1842, David gave a deed of trust in his personal property to Rawlings H. Johnson to secure payment of a debt of $59.00 to Young M. Lee, possibly his wife's uncle, and $80.05 owed to one [H]umphrey Williams, for which Young Lee was surety, and which would fall due on December 25, 1842. This property consisted of:
one Bay year old, the one half of one yoke of oxen, nine head of sheep, four [hogs?], about twenty head of geese, one bed and furniture and one bed sted, [illegible word]-six chairs, a passel of Books of different kinds, about twenty [illegible word], all of my shop ware consisting of glass jares, tincture bottles, one ...ble mortar and slab, one pare of small Scales and weights and all utensils belonging to and pertaining to said shop, one man's sadle and one woman's saddle...
It seems that David Johnson ran a small shop, perhaps an apothecary, and owned a small amount of livestock sufficient to meet his family's needs. In 1843 he and Rawlings Johnson acted as trustees for each other's personal property, to secure indebtedness to third parties. At that time David had a cow named Rose in addition to the items above-mentioned.
The relationship of David and Rawlings Johnson is clearly close enough to confirm that they were indeed brothers. Rawlings was the elder, having been born in Virginia about 1798. Admittedly, this is something of an anomaly, because the parents' marriage, and David's birth, each took place in Tennessee. A trip to Virginia sandwiched in there to give birth to Rawlings would not be expected. On the other hand, we know that Daniel Boone and his wife Rebecca returned to North Carolina and to Pennsylvania, on a few occasions, so it was not unheard of to travel back over the mountains. Rawlings purchased 100 acres in Wilson County from Thomas Shepard on Oct. 15, 1826. He bought one acre, apparently a city lot near the Baptist church, from Samuel Yerger on August 6, 1828. This could be a clue to family identity, because Yerger was the brother-in-law of Richard H. Johnson. On January 21, 1829, Rawlings H. Johnson married Catharine Ward. The 1830 census shows him living in Jackson county with a woman 8 to 18 years his senior, a male child age 5-10, and two female children, one under 5, the other 5-10. Obviously, they could not all have been his by Catherine, unless they had children out of wedlock.
As David M. Johnson is not listed as a head of household in the 1830 census, and that is the year he married Elizabeth Davidson, it is hard to know where he was living and counted in that year. He may have have returned to Overton County, because two transactions between he and John McDonald, Jr., his father's administrator, occurred there in 1833. The law does not permit an administrator to purchase property from an estate he is administering, so David M. Johnson participated in a "straw man" transaction. For $250 he sold to McDonald a slave named Rose that actually belonged to his father's estate, and then a month later bought the slave at auction for $205 to make the conveyance legal, pocketing $45 on the deal. As noted above, he was living by 1840 in De Kalb County, which had been formed out of Wilson and two other counties in 1837. He might have used his share of his inheritance to buy his land. If he did not return to Overton County until his father died, there are many families he could have been living with in Wilson County, but only one in Jackson County, where Rawlings Johnson was living in 1830: Absalom Johnson (10121-1011001). This is an intriguing possibility, because Absalom, age 20-30, is too young to be the father of two boys age 15-20. There is also a woman in the household age 50 to 60 who might be their mother. Absalom does not appear in the 1840 or 1850 Tennessee census.
David M. Johnson and his family left Tennessee and moved to Arkansas in 1844. Very likely a brother, Henry J. Johnson, moved with him. What was going on in Arkansas to attract them at that particular time? Mainly, it seems that because the state would be underpopulated for several decades, land was cheap [112,117], but it was a tumultuous time to move. Arkansas, although no longer a territory, was a pretty rough and wild state. Duelling was illegal but rather commonplace. Two rival newspaper editors fought a duel across the state border from Ft. Smith in Indian Territory (although the man wounded survived, and the two duellists became good friends thereafter). Two other newspaper rivals from Van Buren similarly fought a duel the same year. [id] Fraud and mismanagement of the Arkansas State Bank and Real Estate Bank led to their closing in 1844, and the abolition of lending institutions in Arkansas until after the civil war. Little Rock, the largest city, had a population of only 1,500 in 1840 , although it was growing quickly. Planters from other states were bringing in their slaves and extending the plantation system.  But they were few in number, and very few Arkansans owned slaves. [58-59] Many who settled there, especially those who settled in the mountain valleys of Ozarks and Ouachitas, did not come particularly to improve their way of life, but to maintain it, because it was getting "too durn crowded back in Tennessee..." and so thick with preachers that "a feller couldn't say 'heck' without gittin a sermon for it."  Perhaps in disgust, George Washington Baines, a Baptist preacher, having just served a term in the state legislature, left the state for Louisiana, and later moved to Texas.  The following year, 1845, the Arkansas Methodist Conference decided to adhere to the Methodist Church (South), due to differences with the north on the morality of slavery, which Methodism had earlier condemned.  Other denominations split as well, and it was about this time that slavery became the dominant political issue in the country.
The 1850 census showed David M. Johnson in Pope County, Arkansas, married to Elvira G. Johnson, who was born about 1814. By 1860 he had moved west to Scott County, Arkansas, bordering the Indian Territory, but he was without a wife, Elvira having died. Uncle Henry Johnson is said to have gone to Virginia to see about collecting the share of Elvira's land inherited by her children, but "a Jack leg lawyer beat them out of it." David's neighbors were Thomas Palmer and wife Elizabeth, Thomas having married Johnson's daughter, [Elvira] Elizabeth Johnson. David M. Johnson's eldest son, Porter, had gone to California, and he would remain there and in Nevada and Montana until several years after the civil war, when he returned to Pope County, Arkansas. Just as the war was getting under way, on October 1, 1861, David M. Johnson married Martha Jane Brantley. They were both residents of Johnson County at this time. For some reason, perhaps related to the outbreak of hostilities, he had moved deeper into an area with stronger pro-union sentiment. His son-in-law, Thomas Palmer, served in the Confederate army for a few months in 1862, deserted, and then served in the Union army for a few months in 1864, and deserted again. The last census in which David M. Johnson appears, for 1870, shows that he had more children by his last wife. On May 21, 1872, David M. Johnson died at Hagarville, Johnson County, Arkansas.
The problem that remains is to get definite verification, if possible, that John and Ingobar Johnson were David's parents, and then to trace their links back. A possible clue may be David's middle name, which appears to have been McLin. He could have been given his mother's maiden name or a grandparent's surname as a middle name, or he might have been named for a "David McLin." There were several David Johnsons in Tennessee by 1830, but there is no clear evidence he was related to any of them. Furthermore, the use of the surname "Rawlings" or "Rollins" as a first name of an elder child may be another example of the custom of giving a child a mother's or grandmother's maiden name as a first name.
McLin is one of many forms of the Scottish surname, MacClintock. Variants are Maclin and Macklin, and to some degree these variants may appear in records interchangeably. Luckily, it is much less common than Johnson, although there were certainly at least three different branches, maybe more, of the McLin family in Tennessee at the time of David M. Johnson's birth, at least one from Washington County, alone, and others that previously resided in Virginia, North Carolina(?), and South Carolina. If a link can be found among one of these branches and the Johnson family, it may lead to further extension of the Johnson family tree.
I am beginning to think this is an Irish family of Johnsons, perhaps collaterally related to the Henry Johnson of Ireland who is the ancestor of Cave Johnson and progenitor of his American family. I also think that the father of John Johnson, discussed below, is probably someone named James Johnson. There were eight different James Johnsons who served in the revolution from Virginia, and others in North Carolina, who are either of a different family of Johnsons or only collaterally related.
2 Of course, as we shall see, some people preferred to use their middle name, and dropped the use of their first name, particularly when there were two individuals in sequential generations with the same name. The census of 1830 shows a David Johnson and wife, each 20 or older, but not yet 30, living in Overton County in 1830, but their relation, if any, to David M. Johnson is not yet known. There was a David Johnson who married Elizabeth Cochran on August 3, 1784, in Greene County; Henry Willis, surety. There was also a David Johnson who married Elizabeth Walker, on or about January 8, 1810, in Wilson County; James Higdon, surety.
The Goodspeed Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Western Arkansas (Southern Pub. Co. 1891, reprinted by So. Hist. Press, 1978), p. 236. Overton County is not well-known for much, but it formerly covered a larger area, including the birth place of Cordell Hull (1871), F.D.R.'s Secretary of State. The site is now located in Pickett County. More recently, the Bluegrass musician, Lester Flatt, was born in Overton County.
It is not yet known who Ingobar's parents were, but there were several Hughes who were early settlers in Tennessee. Three of them, from the Watauga region, fought at the battle of King's Mountain.
G.F. Burgner, Greene County Tennessee Marriages 1783-1868 (So. Hist. Press 1981), p. 6. This was determined by a process of elimination. There were four Johnsons with a child in David M. Johnson's age and sex bracket in 1820 (under 10): two John Johnsons (one older than the other), Isaac Johnson, and Isham Johnson. The younger John Johnson and Isham Johnson did not have children in the proper age bracket in 1830, however. (16 or over, under 20). A review of the names in the Isaac Johnson line suggest a closer connection to North Carolina than to Virginia, and as there were only two other individuals in Overton County in 1850 that were in David M. Johnson's age group, one named Madison Johnson and the other Isaac Johnson, it is surmised that the younger Isaac is probably a son of the elder Isaac, and that David M. Johnson is thus one of the two sons of the elder John Johnson in that same age group.
"Ingobar" appears to be a corruption of Ingber, Ingeborg, or Ingebrand, German names. See H. Bahlow, Deutches Namen-lexicon, p. 259. If so, it would appear that Ingobar, despite her surname of "Hughes," was of German extraction, probably on her mother's side. It should be noted that Burgner also cites an earlier marriage of William Hixon to Ingabo Hughes, Andrew Hixon, surety, on Sept. 8, 1789. Op. Cit. p. 4. If there was another, older Ingabo, then she was most likely a sister of the younger Ingabo's father, which would move the probable German connection one generation back.
Marriage records show the marriage of David Johnson to Elizabeth Cochran, Aug. 3, 1784; James Johnson to Margaret Dennison on May 31, 1786; and Moses Johnson to Ann Bullard on June 13, 1786, with George Johnson, surety. Joseph Bullard, along with Asahel Rawlings and others, was a delegate to the convention to vote on establishment of the state of Franklin. Although the names Moses and George do not seem to run in our line, David and James do. In the 1820 census, the only David Johnson named as a head of household was living in Wilson County; he is probably the person who had married the widow, Elizabeth Walker, in 1810. One cannot tell if Wilson County's David Johnson was also the man from Greene County. Wilson County's David had left it by 1830, but there are at least seven Davids listed in the index by that time. Note that David M. Johnson and Rawlings Johnson each owned land in Wilson County in the late 1820s.
This James Johnson (or perhaps his son) later lived in Jefferson County, it would seem. A will dated Jan. 7, 1794, identifies his sons as, David, who was grown, and James, still a minor. His widow was named Margaret, who received all the property until James was of age. He had three daughters, all apparently married: Mary Brandon, Elizabeth Smith, Margaret Alley. Each adult child received 5 shillings. It appears the will was probated in Greene County. The wife would appear to be Margaret Dennison, who married a James Johnson in Greene County in 1786. But his eldest children could not already be adults unless Miss Dennison was his second wife. James, Jr., would then likely be much younger than his half-siblings. A Margaret Johnson was on the taxpayer list with 100 acres of land ca. 1810.
It would be interesting to find out if the "H." stands for "Hughes."
Where he was is not known. But he does appear to be an elder son, in view of his later connections to David M. Johnson and Ingobar Johnson. Rawlings Johnson was postmaster for Nettle Carrier, one of the post offices of Overton County, from 1850-1860. E. R. Whitley, Overton County, Tenn., Gen. Records (Gen. Pub. Co. 1979), p. 3. As this was a federal appointive office, long before there was a civil service, and the Democrats were in power during most of that period, it would be fascinating to know how he retained that office during a period in which the Presidency was transferred from the Whig to the Democratic Party. Pres. James K. Polk had been from Tennessee, and he appointed his close friend, Cave Johnson, to be Postmaster General. Polk and Cave Johnson were Democrats, although it appears that Cave Johnson was on good terms with Henry Clay, a Whig. Zachary Taylor, elected in 1848 as a Whig, was succeeded at his death on July 9, 1850, by Millard Fillmore. Fillmore was a proteg‚e of Thurlow Weed and a devoted follower of Henry Clay, who had helped Fillmore get the nomination as Vice-President. Fillmore detested slavery, but enforced the Fugitive Slave Law, which split the Whig party and probably cost him the 1852 election. Fillmore was followed by two rather ineffectual Democrats, Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan. Rawlings apparently held onto his office through both administrations, losing it only in 1860, the year of Lincoln's election, unless it happens that he died or retired that year.
The names of the other brothers and sisters is not known, but some guesses are possible. It appears that many of them left Overton County, because the only persons living there in 1850 who appear to be possibilities include Charles Johnson, born ca. 1824; Hubard Johnson, born ca. 1795; Job Johnson, born ca. 1828 (yes, three children were added to the family after 1820!); perhaps one of the younger John Johnsons (there are four to choose from, with birthdates ranging among 1792, 1801, 1826, and 1827); Joseph Johnson, born ca. 1807; Robert Johnson, born ca. 1817; William Johnson, born ca. 1820; Wilson Johnson, born ca. 1820. Others could be added to this list if there is a North Carolina connection. It does appear that Henry J. Johnson, born ca. 1816, settled in Arkansas about the time that David M. Johnson did (1844), and that he was a younger brother of David. According to C.L. Boyd, Jacob Johnson, born ca. 1805, was another brother. Modie Mosely has suggested a family structure as follows, using statistics from 1820 and what we think we know about members of the family: male born 1804-1810, Jacob, born ca. 1805, probably in Va.; female in same period, unknown; David M., born in 1811, Tenn.; males born 1810-1820: Henry, 1816; Robert, 1817; William or Wilson, 1820; three unknown females born 1810-1820; males born 1820-1830: Charles, 1824; John, 1826-27; Job, 1828. The unknown female born between 1804 and 1810 could be Sarah Johnson, born in Va. in 1805, who married Meredith Webb, and lived in Pope, Scott, and Logan counties of Arkansas. Per letter of 13 Sept. 1971 from Mrs. L.D. Lewis to Modie Mosley.
Modie Mosely reports that C.L. Boyd believed that he had three wives, which is consistent with the theory that Elizabeth Davidson was the first.
3 Bondsman, Robert C. Davis. See Lucas & Sheffield, 2 35,000 Tennessee Marriage Records and Bonds 1783-1870. Robert C. Davis was a son of Merriott Davis, who died in Wilson county in 1828. The Davis family had a close connection with the Caruth family, according to Merriott's will. Wilson County Tennessee Wills, Books 1-13, 1802-1850, p. 86. Robert's relationship with Elizabeth Davidson is unknown, but the role of bondsman suggests some kinship or guardianship responsibility. There were two John Davidsons in Wilson County in the 1820 census.
Her father was probably Guy Lee, Jr., and her grandfather Guy Lee, Sr., of Virginia. They were probably from Buckingham County, Virginia. Lola Johnson of Seattle, Wash., also identified Elvira as a Lee, according to a letter from C.L. Boyd to Modie Mosely dated June 6, 1980 (although she also thought, mistakenly, I believe, that Elvira's family was related to Robert E. Lee).
4 The census statistics match quite well the more detailed 1850 statistics. For 1840, 21001 - 00001.
Lola Johnson reported that Young Lee's son, Finis, was a "cousin" of Elvira Lee. If she meant first cousin, and was not off by a generation, Young Lee would be a really "young" uncle. Letter of June 6, 1980, from C.L. Boyd to Modie Mosely. I had thought that he was probably Elvira's brother.
De Kalb Co., TN, Deed Book B, pp. 184-85.
Id. pp. 281-282, and 316-317. Rawlings owed Nelson M. New $70.00, and New assigned the note to Blakely Allen. James Johnson and Young M. Lee witnessed the deed of trust. David owed Young M. Lee $52.92, and Henry R. Taylor was his surety. E.W. Taylor and David Taylor witnessed the deed of trust.
1850 Census of Tennessee, Overton County.
Partlow, Wilson County Tennessee Deed Books C-M, 1793-1829 (So. Hist. Press 1984), p. 217.
Id., p. 235. Several Yeargins eventually married Johnsons: Susan O.W. Yeargin to James M. Johnson, 11-29-1844; Martha A. Yeargin to Josephus Johnson, 1-12-1853; Clementine N. Yeargin to James M. Johnson, 11-5-1857. B. Sistler, 2 Early Middle Tennessee Marriages-Brides (1988), p. 609. Im 1820 Guy Lee, Sr. and Jr., and Samuel Yergin (as well as a Rebecca Yergin) lived in Smith County, Tennessee. As noted elsewhere, Young M. Lee, probably a young son of Guy Lee, Sr., is closely associated with David M. Johnson in De Kalb County and afterward in Arkansas. The surname "Yeargin" looks like the anglicization of a Germanic surname, something like Jurgen. The 1790 census of Pennsylvania contains the surnames Yergens and Yerger, principally the latter, for the German Jurgens and Jorger. Surnames of the U.S. Census of 1790, (Geneal. Pub. Co. 1971), p. 316. It would appear that the Yeargins were Pennsylvania "Dutch," as Germans were called at that time.
Wilson County Tennessee Wills, Books 1-13, 1802-1850, p. 108. Richard H. Johnson's will was dated July 19, and recorded on November 12, 1835. His wife was Frances Theodore [sic] Johnson, and he mentions (without naming) his brothers and sisters, but no children. The will was witnessed by Robert L. Caruthers and C.W. Cummings. His executors were Samuel Yerger and Jourdin Brown. Jourdin Hill Brown was the surviving son of Jeremiah Brown, the father-in-law of Joseph Johnson, Esq. Id. at 109 or 110. Mary Shelby Johnson was named Joseph's heir, if she survived him, otherwise Richard H[enry] Johnson, a son, and Marsha Hill Johnson, a daughter would inherit. Joseph apparently had two children by a previous marriage to Nancy Thomas. One of his executors was named Joseph Johnson. N.B. Richard H. Johnson and Samuel Yerger had previously witnessed the will of Thomas M. Jeffrey. Id. at 104. There was a Richard H. Johnson who served as bondsman of a marriage in Fauquier County, Virginia. Many of the first names of Johnsons in Fauquier County are similar to names that appear in Sumner County, Tenn., in 1820, but Johnson is such a common name that similar names appear in other counties of Virginia, such as Louisa, which is actually closer to Tennessee.
See Lucas & Sheffield, op. cit., p. 217. The bondsman was Allen W. Vick. The ceremony was performed by G. Donnell, M.G.
If this was Catherine, it indicates she was quite a bit older than he. But Catharine may have died, and some other relative may have been staying with him. The age bracket is off by one decade for Ingobar Johnson, but that might be due to an error of the reporting person or census taker. On the other hand, Ingobar could not be in two places at the same time, and may have been living with the Absalom Johnson household at the same time in the same county. See text at page 9, above.
By 1850, the name of Rawlings Johnson's wife was "Matilda," 41, and some of the children in his household shown in the census that year had the surname "Bates." The eldest sons were John, 21, and James, 18, a female named Marena Bates, daughters Nancy Johnson, 16, and Jane Johnson, 14, a son, Rollins Johnson, 12, William Bates, 11, and a string of young Johnsons: Emaline, 10, Catherine, 3, Thomas, 1, and Matilda, 1/12; plus Ingobar, 73.
She is probably not Ingobar Johnson, as she was not a widow yet.
The census shows the following members of the household, all born in Tennessee: D.M. Johnson, 38, M, farmer, Tenn.; Elvira G., 36, F; Porter M., 15, M; Marion H.?, 13, M; James Y.?, 11, M; Elvira E., 8, F; David M., 6, M; Lucien W., 2, M; Mary Y. Lee, 16, F. The ages of Porter, Marion, and James match the 1840 Tennessee census. See note 4, above. Also living in Pope County at that time was the family of Henry J. Johnson, age 34, a cabinet maker. His wife, Feliciana, was 29. They had children named Andrew C., 10, John B., 7, David McLin, 6, Gracey J.C., 4, and Henry Clay, 2. The last three children were born in Arkansas, the rest of the family in Tennessee. Thus, this family also entered Arkansas about 1844, when David M. Johnson did, and because of the occurence of the name "David McLin" in Henry's family, it is a good bet that he and David M. were brothers. The "M" in Porter's name may stand for Porter McDonald, of whom one lived in Overton County, and was related in some way to Rawlings Johnson. In a letter to Modie Mosely, May 10, 1980, C.L. Boyd related that his grandmother told him that David M. Johnson, Henry J. Johnson, and Jacob Johnson are all brothers. Jacob Johnson also lived in Pope Co. at this time. He was 45, born in Tenn. according to this census (Va. according to later censuses); his wife, Minerva, was 34, and his children, Louisa M.J., 11, Josiah, 9, and Rebecca A., 8, were all born in Arkansas, making his entry in 1839 or earlier prior to that of David and Henry. The name of Jacob's wife in 1870 is Jane.
The children at home with him were Lucian W., 12; Finis F., 10; Granvil R., 12, and Diana, 4. The last three were each born in Arkansas.
Letter from C.L. Boyd to Modie Mosely, June 6, 1980, paraphrasing Lola Johnson.
1860 Census of Arkansas, Scott County.
After the war he would marry Susan M. Langford, according to notes appended to a letter of June 6, 1980, from C.L. Boyd to Modie Mosley.
Johnson County Marriage Book, p. 88. The ceremony was performed by William Overbey, Justice of the Peace.
David M. Johnson, age 59, farmer, personal property worth $150, mark showing that he cannot read crossed out; Martha J., 34, keeps house, born in Tenn., unable to read or write; Granvil [looks more like George] R., 16, at home, unable to write; Diana?, 14; Virginia A., 5; Mary A., 3; Martin G., 1. All children born in Arkansas. Thomas Palmer and family also lived in Johnson County at this time. They were all located in Perry township.
His dates of birth and death appear to have come from Modie Mosely of Clyde, Texas. She obtained them from C.L. Boyd.
This information also came from Modie Mosely. She obtained it from C.L. Boyd.
One each in Carroll, Knox, McNairy, Maury, Overton, Rhea and Williamson counties. Jackson & Teeples, Tennessee 1830 Census Index (1976). The one in Overton County is the one most likely to be a relative.
Alexander McLin, an early settler in Washington County, Tennessee, had two sons, William and James, who fought in the War of 1812 against the Creek Indians. Alexander was a son in law of John Blair, who named him in his will (1795). Ray, Tennessee Cousins (1984), p. 31. William was a captain in Col. Lillard's regiment. He later moved to Blount County. James was a sergeant in Capt. George Keye's company of Col. Lillard's regiment. He graduated from Washington College in 1818, and later taught there. 11 East Tenn. Hist. Soc., Journal of Jacob Hartsell, pp. 93-115. A Robert Maclin, also of Washington County, was executor of the will of Ann Miller dated Mar. 5, 1795. Ray, op. cit., p. 29.
William Maclin, apparently of Virginia, originally, had at least two daughters. Ann B. McLin was the third wife of Dr. Alexander McGhee, and after he died, she married Reynolds A. Ramsey. Sarah Maclin married Col. Elijah Robertson (d. 1797, Davidson County), the brother of General James Robertson. The brothers were from Brunswick County, Virginia. Ray, Op. Cit., p. 339, 669. Ray does not state whether William Maclin also had any sons. He bought 1000 acres in old Tennessee County (near Nashville). Ibid. p. 695.
William Maclin was the first Secretary of State of Tennessee, 1796-1807 (administration of John Sevier). Some of his activities are recounted in 3 East Tenn. Hist. Soc., p. 178; 7 ibid. p. 137 passim, 157; 26 ibid. p. 22. There is obviously room for confusing the various William McLins (Maclins). This one died at Blount County, Tenn., on Sept. 24, 1810. He had a son named John, who lived in Carter, and later Davidson County. 7 ibid. p. 137 n. 21, citing O.L. Bond, Family Chronicle and Kinship Book (Nashville, 1928), pp. 477-79. There is also a John Maclin who was on the tax list for 1805 in Greene County. 33 ibid., p. 104. Another son, named Sackfield, was an assistant Indian agent, who died in Davidson County in 1802. His nephew, also called Sackfield Maclin, was a bachelor and politician in West Tennessee. 3 ibid., p. 178. One of William's sisters, Elizabeth, married Landon Carter, for whom Carter County was named. Joseph McLin, whose connection with Elizabeth, if any, is not stated, was the first trustee of Carter County. 30 ibid., p. 105. Elizabeth Maclin Carter had at least two daughters. Mary (Polly) married James Patton Taylor, daughter of General Nathaniel Taylor, and another, Sarah Stuart Carter, married George Duffield, General Taylor's aide-de-camp. 12 ibid., p. 43.
According to his will, Hugh McLin, Sr., and his wife, Charity, had two sons, Hugh, the elder, and David, the younger. His daughters were named Elizabeth and Mary. He wrote the will on Nov. 15, 1800, but it was not probated until Jan. 2, 1818. His daughters had probably married by that time. If we knew who they had married, we might have a clue to the identity of David McLin Johnson. Thomas, Abbeville South Carolina Genealogical Records (1964), p. 162. To confuse matters, there was also a James Macklin of Rutherford County, Tennessee, whose will was filed in Abbeville County, South Carolina, and reveals that he also had several sons, named John A., David M., Robert, William A., and James S., as well as daughters named Peggy F. Bumpass, Catherine Bam, Jane Overall, and Unice Macklin. His will was dated Nov. 21, 1818, and probated Apr. 18, 1820. With a son named David, and an "unmarried" daughter named Unice, this family is another possibility in support of the working hypothesis that David M. Johnson was named for an uncle. Ibid., p. 193. Interestingly, a William A. McLin married Sally McKnight in Wilson County, Tenn., on Mar. 3, 1833, less than three years after D. M. Johnson married Elizabeth Davidson in the same county.