Table of Contents User's Guide Descendants of Samuel Johnston Johnston Slaves SEARCH




Johnston: Generation 2

The Children of Samuel Johnston & Elizabeth Ballenger




  Any information is only as reliable as its source.  Evaluate the following sources accordingly. 




Martha Johnston & Fleming Hodges


Martha was born, presumably in Henry County, VA, c. 1778.

A birth date of 1792 in Warren County, GA for Fleming Hodges has been claimed by several researchers.  That would make him too young to have married Patsy c. 1800, not to mention very young to have served as a Colonel in 1812-1815 or a Legislator in 1819-1821.  A birth year closer to 1778 would seem likely.

The information available on the Hodges family is extremely muddled and contradictory.  Various researchers have apparently confused individuals and generations.  What appears below must therefore be considered tentative; although where the material was too confusing or contradictory, it was not included.

Fleming's parents were supposedly William Hodges (c. 1754, Halifax County, VA 1843) and Elizabeth Kearby.  Fleming's younger brother was Col. William Hodges, who was a member of the Alabama House of Representatives in 1828-1829.  [Saunders, Early Settlers of Alabama, p. 116]

28 Feb 1799: Samuel and Betsy Johnson [Martha's parents] deeded 300 acres on Redlick Creek in Warren County to Flemen Hodges for $400.  The deed was witnessed by J. J. Kennedy.  [Book A, p. 530] 

1805 Tax List, Warren County, GA (Capt. T. Mullin's District): Fleming Hodge was listed with 1 poll, 4 slaves, and 300 acres on Red Lick adjoining Johnstone.  [Blair, Some Early Tax Digests of Georgia, p. 196]  James Baily [married to Martha's younger sister Sarah] was listed just before Fleming and Samuel Johnstone.   Also in the same district was Andrew Hodge.

22 Sep 1808: Fleming Hodges served on a jury in Madison County, the area then being part of Mississippi [later Alabama] Territory.  [Sue Sullivan, from Gandrud, Alabama Records, v. 80, p. 34]    He also served on 2 Oct 1810.

7 Sep 1809: Fleming received a patent for 160 acres, identified as NW S25 T3S R2W.  [Sue Sullivan]  

1810: Fleming appeared on the Territorial Census in Madison County, MS Territory.  [Gandrud, Alabama Records, v. 149]

22 Dec 1810: He received a patent for 160 acres, SW S24, T3S R2W.  [Sue Sullivan]  

24 Dec 1810: He was appointed a Justice of the Peace in Madison County.  [Sue Sullivan, from Valley Leaves, Dec 1969] 

The 1811 MS Territorial Census listed Fleming Hodges.  Also on the list are [brother-in-law] David Bailey and Samuel Johnson.

The 1812 MS Territorial Census listed Fleming Hodge.  Also on the list were James Baily and Samuel Johnson.

Jesse Hodges, Samuel Johnston, and David Bailey served in Capt. Fleman Hodges Company, Maj. William Russell's Separate Battalion, TN Volunteer Mounted Gunmen in the War of 1812.  [Muster Card, copy provided by Cleone Hodges]    This must have been our "Fleman", who reportedly reached the rank of Colonel; but there was also a Pvt. Fleman Hodges serving in Perkins Battalion, 7th Regimant, MS Militia.  [ALGenWeb/Madison County/War of 1812 Soldiers, from Old Huntsville Magazine] 

16 Nov 1812: Fleming Hodges, Samuel Johnston, Adam Hope, and William Edminson were appointed appraisers of the Anthony Chambliss estate.  [Sue Sullivan, from Madison County Orphans Court Minutes 1810-1817, p. 8] 

November 1814: Fleming Hodges versus Joseph Titus.  [Sue Sullivan]   

17 Jan 1815: Jonathan B. Robinson versus William Howson and Fleming Hodges.  [Sue Sullivan, from Alabama Records , v. 80, p. 15] 

17 Feb 1815: Fleming was appointed one of the executors of the will of Jesse Hodges and was later referred to as administrator of that estate in Madison County, AL.  His fellow executors were Ruth Hodges, James Baily, and Shelton Standifer.  Jesse Hodges was the first husband of Marthas sister Ruth.  Letters Testamentary were issued to the executors in May 1815.  [Johnson, Madison County, Alabama Orphans Court Minutes 1810-1817, p. 20, from original p. 101]

March 1815: Green Roper versus Fleming Hodges concerned a note endorsed by Flemon Hodges and given to Thomas Lovell on 9 Apr 1814.

17 Jun 1815: A judgment of $391.56 against Alexander Gilbreath was awarded to Fleming Hodges; the proceeds derived from the auction of town lot #11 in Huntsville.  [Sue Sullivan, from Alabama Records, v. 159, p. 59, and Johnson, Madison County, Alabama Deed Books A F: 1810 - 1819, p. 14]

10 Oct 1815: He sold 62 acres, NW  S25 T3S R2W, to Samuel Johnston Senior for $160.  The parcel was described as land "on which Samuel Johnston now lives, except reserving free pass-way to, and equal interest in, spring from house I now live in".  Witnesses: Skelton Standifer, Asa Hodges, and a third illegible witness.  [Sue Sullivan, from Alabama Records, v. 115, p. 57 and Johnson, Madison County, Alabama Deed Books A F: 1810 - 1819, p. 12] 

19 Jan 1816:  Fleming purchased slaves from William Howson.  The sale was witnessed by [Martha's younger brother] James Johnston and [Fleming's younger brother] William Hodges. This may have actually been a trust deed [mortgage] as William Howson was recorded mortgaging slaves to Fleming on 7 Jul 1820 in Lawrence County.  This apparently resulted in a court case filed 10 Apr 1823 which saw Fleming Hodges "of Lawrence County but then of Madison", suing William Howson concerning these slaves.  [Sue Sullivan, from Alabama Records, v. 149, p. 62, v. 138, p. 37]

Flemin Hodge was listed on the 1816 MS Territorial Census.  Also listed were James Hodge, Jesse and Johnson Hodges, David and James Bailey, and Samuel Johnson.  [Alabama Records, v. 1, n. 4, p. 188, Dec 1959] 

6 Feb 1818: He took out a patent for 160 acres, SE S34 T4S R3W.  [Sue Sullivan]   This area was or would become Limestone County.

7 Feb 1818: He received two patents, each for 162 acres, the first described as SW S10 T5S R3W; the second as SE S10 T5S R3W.  [Sue Sullivan]

14 Feb 1818: Fleming Hodges, Justice of the Peace, performed a marriage.  [Alabama Records, v. 127, p. 2] 

6 Apr 1818: He received a patent of 82.83 acres, W SE S6 T4S R2W. [Sue Sullivan] 

5 Aug 1818: He received another patent of 160 acres, NE S34 T4S R3W.  [Sue Sullivan] 

5 Oct 1818: The sale of two parcels (160 acres, SW S24 T3 R2W, and 62 acres, the north end of NW S25) from Fleman Hodges to Addison Binford was recorded.  Witnesses: A. D. Davie, Thomas Bass, and William Leslie.   Addison was a "free man of color".  [Sue Sullivan, from Alabama Records, v. 149, p. 46, and Johnson, Madison County, Alabama Deed Books A F: 1810 - 1819, p. 86] 

1819-1821: Fleming was a member of the Alabama General Assembly.  [Saunders, p. 116]

1820 Census, Lawrence County, AL: 1 white male over 21, 2 under; 1 white female over 21, 4 under; 26 slaves.    Lawrence County lies southwest  from Limestone and Madison Counties across the Tennessee River.

Patsy was still alive when enumerated on the 1820 Census.  She apparently died immediately or not long after the birth of Dorothy in 1822.

14 Apr 1823: Fleming married Martha Looney in Morgan County, AL; although in Howson versus Martha Hodges Pruitt, Martha testified that she married Fleming in 1822.  The marriage date may have been April 4.

Fleming reportedly died in 1828, but his executors were "qualified" on 26 Dec 1827.



Children of Martha Johnston and Fleming Hodges: [Sue Sullivan]


Elizabeth Hodges (c. 1800 16 Apr 1868; m. Benjamin Cooper 10 May 1817)   

Benjamin supposedly served in the War of 1812 from Madison County, AL.

He appeared on the 1813 Madison County Tax List, but like Martha's parents, had moved to Lawrence County by 1820.  He became a partner in Cooper & Price there before 1842.  [Lois Preuit Turner]

Benjamin Cooper was the guardian of [Elizabeth's brother] Fleming Hodges Junior.  [Gandrud, Alabama Records, v. 66, p. 69]

By 1846 the family had moved to Cass County, TX, where Benjamin died in 1847.  [Lois Preuit Turner]

8 Nov 1850 Census, Cass County, TX (Precinct 7): Farmer Elizabeth Cooper 50, born GA, with property valued at $1,500; Mary [illegible initial] 17, born AL; Matilda W. 14, born AL; laborer C. C. Galloway 16, born AL; overseer Edward Ferrell 28, born KY.  [p. 7]

Asa Hodges (1801 1846; m. Martha Ann Stovall 2 Jan 1826)

25 Apr 1831: The executors of the will of Fleming Hodges and Martha Hodges, widow of Fleming Hodges brought suit against William and Asa Hodges.  [Gandrud, Alabama Records, v. 66, p. 68, from Chancery Book H, p. 125]

Asa may have been an Attorney or Deputy Sheriff, both, or neither, due to the confusion between Asas.  [Saunders, Early Settlers of Alabama, p. 116, 70]

He may have moved to AR.  [Saunders, p. 116]

The marriage of Asa Hodges to Martha Hodges, daughter of Daniel Hodges, on 27 Oct 1857 in Lawrence Co is another Asa entirely. Our Asa was already dead.

Eliza Hodges (2 Apr 1803 20 Aug 1840; m. 1st  Lewis Boalt 9 Aug 1822, m. 2nd Daniel Merrit Hodges 23 Dec 1831)

Eliza's marriage to Lewis Boalt ended in divorce.  [Sue Sullivan]

Second husband Daniel Merritt Hodges was the son of Colonel John and Sarah Frances Merrit Hodges.  [Josephine Bass; Sue Sullivan; Phil W. Neilson]

After Eliza's death, Daniel Hodges married twice more, to Nancy Ann Preuitt and Martha Preuitt.  [Gandrud, v. 69, p. 70]

Sarah Hodges (c. 1807     ; m. Edmund P. Waddell 2 Jan 1827)

John Hodges (b. 10 Mar 1810 13 Jan 1839; m. Nancy Ann Pruitt 23 Dec 1829)

John was living in Lawrence County, AL in 1831.  [Gandrud,  v. 66, p. 69]

Maria Hodges (c. 1812      ; m. Richard Pruitt 3 Jun 1828)

Maria was living in Morgan County, AL in 1831.  [Gandrud, v. 66, p. 69]

Fleming Hodges (1820      ; m. Margaret Crayton 15 Nov 1838)

Fleming must have been born after 1811 but before 1823 since brother-in-law Benjamin Cooper was appointed his guardian after father Fleming's death.  On 31 Oct 1831 a list of the heirs of Fleming Hodges included Fleming Hodges, "infant son", so he was still a minor that year.  Several sources, however, have identified him as the eldest son. [Gandrud, , v. 66, p. 69; Saunders, p. 116]

20 Apr 1843: "Applications for Bankruptcy" published in the Huntsville Democrat listed a Fleming Hodges of Lawrence County, perhaps the man listed below.    [Gandrud, v. 15, p. 64]

The Fleming Hodges listed with wife Margaret in Lawrence County in 1850, was not this Fleming.  According to Josephine Bass, he was the son of William, brother of Fleming Senior.  Enumerated on either side of them were the households of lawyer Asa Hodges, 26, and farmer Daniel Hodges, 42, with wife Martha and children.

Dorothy Hodges (1822      )


Fleming had three children by Martha Looney Hodges: William Pope Hodges (died 11 Jan 1847), Martha Hodges (m. T. B. Simmons), and Frances Hodges (died unmarried in 1846).  All his other children were Patsy's.  Widow Martha Looney Hodges, who was named guardian of her three children, married William Madison Pruitt.





 Sarah Johnston & James F. Bailey


17 Oct 1779: James F. Bailey was born.  [Mrs. J. D. Simmons in Gandrud, Alabama Records, v. 21, p. 68; Johnson, Cemeteries of Madison County, Alabama, p. 232]   Sarah's sister Millie Johnston married David Bailey, the son of David and Jean Johnston Bailey of Charlotte County, VA, David thus being Millie's first cousin.  There was also a David Bailey in Amherst County, VA in 1802. 

24 Apr 1780: Sarah F. Johnston was born in Henry County, VA.  [Cemeteries of Madison County, Alabama, p. 232]

6 Dec 1803: Sarah Johnson married James Bailey in Warren County, GA.  [Lucas, Some Georgia County Records, Vol. 1, p. 190] 

There was another James Bailey, a relative of Pierce Bailey, who died in GA in 1830.  He must not be confused with our James.  The connection to Pierce Bailey, who died in Warren County, GA by 1 Nov 1813, does seem promising, however, since a Joseph Johnston was security for the widow Jennie Bailey.  [Lucas, p. 314, from  Administrators Bonds, Book A, p. 15]   To muddy the waters still further, there was a James and Sarah Bailey, both 51, living in Madison County, AL in 1850.  He was born in SC, she in VA.  By the age of their son, Addison, we can tell that they lived in SC until at least 1828.

1805 Tax List, Warren Co GA (Capt. T. Mullin's District): James Baily was listed with 1 poll; enumerated next to [Sarah's brother-in-law] Fleming Hodge and [father-in-law] Samuel Johnstone.  [Blair, Some Early Tax Digests of Georgia, p. 196]

The couple must have moved, if only briefly, to TN, as son Samuel was born there on 14 Jan 1809.

1812 MS Territorial Census: James Baily was listed, along with Fleming Hodge, Samuel Johnson. 

17 Feb 1813: He purchased land in Madison County, MS Territory.  [Alabama Records, v. 21, p. 91]   This area would become Madison County, AL.

May 1815: James Baily was named as one of the executors of the will of [Sarah's brother-in-law] Jesse Hodges.  Others named were [Jesses widow, Sarahs sister] Ruth Hodges, Shelton Standifer, and Fleming Hodges.  During the same session he was appointed one of the appraisers of that estate, along with William East, David Parker, William Bird, and James Titus.  [Johnson, Madison County, Alabama Orphan's Court Minutes 1810-1817, p. 20, 21, from original p. 101] 

1816 MS Territorial Census:  James Bailey was listed, as were David Bailey, Flemin Hodge, and Samuel Johnson.  [Alabama State Department of Archives and History, Alabama Historical Quarterly, v. 1, n. 4, p. 186, Dec 1959] 

6 Mar 1816: He was involved in deed with Samuel Johnson and David Bailey.  [Alabama Records, v. 136, p. 52]  The reference offered no details.

9 Mar 1816: Along with J. Walton and Skelton Standifer, James witnessed a deed from David Bailey to deacons Samuel Johnston and William Bell on Funnel Creek.  [Alabama Records, v. 136, p. 52]

May 1816: James Baily was appointed to appraise the William Irwin estate along with John Owens, Andrew Elders, James Cunningham, and James Burlesson.  [Madison County, Alabama Orphan's Court Minutes 1810-1817, p. 27, from original  p. 148] 

12 Sep 1818: He purchased land in S24 TE R2W, Madison County, from Samuel Johnston.  [Deed Index, original located in Book E, p. 148 and Book H, p. 362]  Why two source citations?  Were there actually two deeds?

1830 Census, Madison County, AL: 1 male 5-10, 1 50-60, 3 females 10-15, 1 15-20, 1 50-60.    Where is James Junior, who should only be age 12?  Who is the 5-10 year old male - David or William, born later than realized?  Also, a daughter seems to be missing.  Since all other daughters can be accounted for by later marriages, is the missing girl Nancy T. Bailey and did she die before 1830?

2 Jan 1832: He was appointed commissioner of Thomas Murphy estate.  [Alabama Records, v. 48, p. 61, from Orphan's Court] 

At an unspecified date, James was "Overseer of the Poor".  He also served as a Justice of the Peace.  [Alabama Records, v. 175; v. 143] 

11 Feb 1833: Along with Stephen D. Johnston [son of Sarah's brother Joseph Johnston] and [son-in-law of Joseph Johnston] John K. Wilburn, James witnessed the will of Samuel Johnston.  [Will Book 4, p. 139]  Stephen D. Johnston was the son of Sarah's brother Joseph Johnston, and  John K. Wilburn was Joseph Johnston's son-in-law.

16 Mar 1833: James purchased slave Abram from the estate of Samuel Johnston for $366, to be paid 12 months hence.  [Will Book 4, p. 149] 

24 Dec 1835: James and Sarah sold land on Limestone Creek to James Mitchell.  [Alabama Records, v. 135, p. 52, from Book R, p. 61] 

1840 Census, Madison County, AL:  James Bailey was enumerated with 1 male 60-70; 1 female 15-20, 1 60-70.  They were listed close to the households of [son] James Bailey and [son-in-law] David Blackburn.

24 Mar 1842:  James and Sarah, sold NW S7 T__ R2W to the heirs of Nancy Goulden.  [Alabama Records, v. 136, p. 52, from Book T, p. 176] 

The family resided in Bailey Springs, 1/2 mile from the Madison-Limestone county line. Their home was a two story, four room log house [since weather-boarded] that was reported to be in "good condition" as late as 1934 and still standing in 1978.  [Mrs. J. D. Simmons in Alabama Records, v. 21, p. 68; Axford, The Lure and Lore of Limestone County, Alabama, p. 61] 

24 Jan 1843: James signed his will in Madison County.  [Alabama Records, v. 100, p. 17; the original is located in Probate Record 10, p. 264] 

5 May 1843: James died, "in the 63rd year of his age".  [Cemeteries of Madison County, Alabama, p. 232]  

4 Jan 1844: His slaves were divided between [son-in-law] Charles Word, [son] Samuel Bailey, [son-in-law] Moses Smith, [son] J. F. Bailey, [son-in-law] David Blackburn, and [son-in-law] Tuberville Looney.  [Alabama Records, v. 137, p.14, from Probate Record 12, p. 26] 

11 Nov 1850 Census, Madison County, AL  (36th District): Sarah F. Bayley, age 70, born VA, with real estate valued at $1,000.   She was enumerated next to [son] James F. Bayley.  [Limestone County Historical Society, Limestone County 1850 Census, p. 179,from original p. 442] 

5 Apr 1854:  Our Sarah may have been the "Sarah A. Bailey" who was a buyer at the estate sale of William J. Bailey in Madison County.  [Alabama Records, v. 97, p. 35]  Her brother James Johnston was both administrator and purchaser; another buyer was [nephew] William R. Johnston.

12 Oct 1857: Sarah Johnston Bailey "died intestate" in Madison County.  Surviving children were Samuel, who resided "out of state", three daughters, and James, who petitioned for letters of administration, granted 26 Oct 1857, with sureties James A. Sheffield, James H. Bibb, and Elisha F. Betts.  Later, however, the administrator was [Sarah's son-in-law] Reuben Crutcher.  The final settlement occurred July 1859.  [Alabama Records, v. 137, p. 14-16, from Probate Record 21, p. 571; Probate Minute Book 5, p. 208; Probate Records 22, p. 164; Probate Record 24, p. 132]

Both Sarah and James are buried in Bailey Cemetery, located in Sec 18, T4S, R2W, approximately 2 miles west of the town of Madison, AL and mile from the Limestone County line.   On Sarah's tombstone, In addition to dates, is "Aged 77 years, 5 months and 18 days".  Sherry Norton, who visited the site of the grave, reported in October 2001 that the graveyard was now a cow pasture surrounded by an electric fence, thus making it inaccessible.



Children of Sarah Johnston and James Bailey:


Jane Bailey (15 Feb 1807 - 14 Sep 1880; m. Charles Word 20 Feb 1828)

Samuel Bailey (14 Jan 1809 5 Mar 1861; m. Eliza Anson Dillard 15 Jan 1829)

David Bailey (     1843; m. Elizabeth Bledsoe 9 Jan 1827)

Mary Bailey (3 Aug 1813 25 Nov 1848; m. Reuben William Crutcher 30 Sep 1833)

Elizabeth Bailey (1815/20      ; m. Moses Smith 18 Aug 1831)

There was an Elizabeth Smith, age 40, born TN, with farmer James 18, Sarah, Elizabeth, and Mary enumerated in the 1850 Census in Madison County, AL.  Is this our Elizabeth Bailey Smith?  According to at least one researcher, the family moved to Winston County, AL.

In 1858, the three youngest sons of Tuberville and Martha Bailey Looney were said to be residing with Elizabeth Smith in Madison County.  Moses was in "parts unknown".  [Alabama Records, v. 137, p. 16, from Probate Record 22, p. 164; ibid, v. 137, p. 15, from Probate Record 22, p. 164]

Martha Anne Bailey (1815/20 1850; m. Turberville Looney 4 Nov 1841)

Nancy T. Bailey (1815/20      )

William C. Bailey (1815/20      )

James Johnston was appointed administrator of a William J. Bailey estate on 30 Jan 1854, with Nicholas McKensie and William Johnston as his sureties.  Was the deceased William Bailey the son of David and Elizabeth Bledsoe Bailey, the son of James and Sarah Johnston Bailey, or another William Bailey entirely?  [Alabama Records, v. 97, p. 20]

Sarah Bailey (c. 1816 1871; m. 1st Jesse Frank Abernathy 5 Dec 1832, m. 2nd David Blackburn 3 Jan 1839)

James F. Bailey (15 Aug 1818      ; m. Cornelia Bibb 30 Jul 1839)  





William H. Johnston & Elizabeth Forrester


c. 1785: William was born in Henry County, VA.  His middle name may have been Hensley as his maternal grandmother was born Sarah Hensley.  His nickname was apparently  "Buck".  There was a tradition among some Johnston descendants in Limestone County that William "Buck" Johnston was born in Belfast, Ireland, shortly before the family embarked for America.  As we've seen in Generations 1 and 2, this tradition cant be correct.  There's also a misconception that William Johnston, married to Elizabeth Forrester, was the son of James Johnston and Elizabeth Copley.  I've attempted to discover where or why this claim originated.  Purported father James Johnston (c. 1752, Culpeper County, VA - 1817, Giles County, VA) was supposedly the son of David Johnston and Nancy Ann Abbott.  James married Rachel Copley (1765, Montgomery County, VA - 1818, Dearborn, IN)  on 28 Jan 1786 in Montgomery County, VA.    No source listing their children includes a William Johnston.

c. 1790: Elizabeth Forrester was born in NC.

Our William Johnston, son of Samuel and Elizabeth Ballenger Johnston, can easily be confused with other William Johns[t]ons.  Our William was not the man who lived on Long Creek in Warren County, GA.  Nor was he the William Johnston, born in North Carolina c. 1795 and married to Catherine, who was enumerated in Madison County, AL in 1850.    

William's four eldest children were born in TN, the last through 1819.  William's sister Sarah Johnston Bailey also had a son born there in 1809.  But William and Elizabeth weren't married until 1813.  It's thus probable that Elizabeth was his second wife.  More problematic are the references to a William Johns[t]on in Madison County, AL before son John Forrester Johnston was born there on 25 Oct 1825.  Any mention of a William Johnston before that 1825 date should therefore be considered with care.

1814: The 7th Regiment, Perkins Battalion, MS Militia had a Captain William Johnston and a Private William Johnson.  Also serving in the unit were [William's brothers-in-law] David Baily and Fleman Hodges.  [ALGenWeb/Madison County/War of 1812 Soldiers, from Old Huntsville Magazine]   But was either man our William?

22 Feb 1813: William married Elizabeth Forrester.

1816 Mississippi Territorial Census: There were two William Johnsons residing in Madison County, as well as two Samuels and two James Johnsons.  Again, William should be in Tennessee.    [Alabama State Department of Archives and History, v. 1, n. 4, p. 189, Dec 1959]

12 Feb 1818: William Johnston sued John E. Ervine and James C. Moore for a debt of $179.37 but actually recovered $194.81.  The case was recorded during the August Term.  [Limestone County Historical Society, Limestone Legacy, v. 12, n. 1, p. 26, Autumn 1989, from p. 10-12]

11 May 1826: William H. Johnston sold Lot #55 in Brownsborough, Madison County, to William Harris for $425.  [Deed Index, original located in Book K, p. 253] 

15 Oct 1827: He purchased W NW Sec 24 T3 R2W in Madison County from [father] Samuel Johnston.  The deed was witnessed by [brother] James F. Johnston, Obediah Gerault, and William East.  [Gandrud, Alabama Records, v. 130, p. 40, from Book L, p. 350]

16 Oct 1827: Along with Obediah Gerault and William East, he witnessed a deed from Samuel Johnston "of Limestone" to James F. Johnston of Madison".  [Alabama Records, v. 130, p. 40, from Book L, p. 351] 

17 Dec 1839: William and wife Elizabeth sold W NW T3 R2W in Madison County, "where the said William Johnston lived" to James Nichols.  Witnesses: David Bradford and John Sadler.  [Alabama Records, v. 130, p. 41, from Book S, p. 25]   This is 1/2 the land bought from father Samuel on 15 Oct 1827.

5 Nov 1850 Census, Madison County, AL (36th District): Farmer, age 65, born in VA with real estate valued at $3,000; wife Elizabeth age 60, born NC; Milly 31, born TN; farmer William R. age 19, born AL; Andrew J. age 17; grandson and farmer Andrew Phillips 21.  [Limestone County Historical Society, Limestone County 1850 Census, p. 173, from original p. 438]

23 Nov 1853: He signed his will in Madison County. In it, he named sons James, John, along with William Bailey as executors.  The witnesses were John Mills, Obediah Cravett, J. K. Teague, and William Powers.  Two of William's sisters had both married Baileys.

30 Jan 1854: William Johnston and Nicholas McKensie were sureties for James Johnston as administrator of the William J. Bailey estate.  This might have instead been son William R. Johnston as the latter was a buyer at the estate sale on 5 Apr 1854.  [Alabama Records, v. 97, p. 20, 35, from Probate Minute Book 2, p. 303; Probate Record 31, p. 232]    

4 Jun 1860 Census, Madison County, AL (Northwestern Division, Madison Station P.O.): Farmer William Johnston 75, born VA, with real and personal property valued at $1,000 and $15,495; Elizabeth 71, born NC; Elizabeth Phillips 48, born TN; Mary F. Phillips 18, born AL.  They were listed only three doors away from the household of son-in-law and daughter, William A. and Jane Pike.  [p. 6]  Why would a farmer's personal property be worth so much more than his land?

1864: William Johnston died in Madison County.

4 Sep 1865: A petition to probate the will named Elizabeth Wharton along with William's other heirs.    Robert Sayers was appointed guardian of granddaughters Belzorah and Narcissa Walker, Elizabeth Cosby, James [the name should be Joseph] A. Johnston, Crucy, John, and James Johnston.  [Alabama Records, v. 130, p. 75, 79-80, from Book 1, p. 335]  Who was Elizabeth Wharton?  The will was finally proved on 13 Aug 1866. 

7 Sep 1869:  An announcement of probate proceedings in the William Johnston estate appeared in the Huntsville Advocate.  It named the executor, James Johnston, along with the heirs now resident in AL: John T. Smith and wife Mary, William F. Standifer, John Newman and wife Duanna, Leonidas F., Quintera, Cecil, Cyclious, and Jerome Standifer, Perry Eazle and wife Crucy, John Johnston, and James Johnston.  There was also a petition to divide the land that month.  John Smith was the son-in-law of Letty Johnston Walker, although his wife's name was supposedly Mary rather than Elizabeth.   The Standifers were the children of Frances Johnston Standifer, as was Duanna Newman.  Crucy Johnston Eazle was the daughter of William's youngest son Joseph. 



Children of William and Elizabeth Forrester Johnston:


Lettice "Letty" Johnston (c. 1810      ; m. Joshua Reaves Walker 20 Dec 1829)

Elizabeth Johnston (c. 1812        ; m. _______ Phillips)

Frances Johnston (16 Jan 1814 30 Jan 1867; m. William Standifer 5 Jan 1835)

Mildred "Milly" W. Johnston (c. 1815      ; m. John H. Miller 12 Nov 1855)

8 Jun 1860 Census, Huntsville, Madison County, AL: Farmer John H. Miller 60, born NC, with real property valued at $3,000' Mildred 42, born TN; William Geroge 25, a laborer born GA; Elizabeth George 24, born AL.  [p. 23/205]   

Joseph Johnston (c. 1820 -     )

He wasn't mentioned with children and siblings as one of the heirs of William Johnston, his father, in the petition to probate William's will on 4 Sep 1865.  [Alabama Records, v. 130, p. 79, from Probate Minute Book 10, p. 35]

John Forrester Johnston (26 Oct 1825 - 1870; m. 1st Crucy Ann Cannon 22 Oct 1851, m. 2nd Mary E. Pritchard 17 Sep 1873)

Eliza Jane Johnston (c. 1827 - c. 1879; m. William Pike 26 Nov 1846)

William R. Johnston (c. 1831  10 Jul 1877)

5 Apr 1854: William was listed as a buyer at the William J. Bailey estate sale in Madison County.  [Alabama Records, v. 97, p. 35]

He resided in Tunica, MS on 4 Sep 1864 when he and brothers James and John filled a petition to probate the will of father William Johnston. He was still living there when the heirs petitioned for the sale of William's land in Sep 1869.  [Alabama Records, v. 130, p. 79, 80, from Probate Minute Book 10, p. 35]

13 Apr 1868: He was appointed "administrator debonis" for the Nathaniel Davis estate in Limestone County, AL.  His security was [cousin] Lemuel Johnston.  Yet in Sep 1869 when the heirs petitioned for the sale of land held by the estate of William H. Johnston, he was apparently still living in Tunica. [Limestone Legacy, v. 16, n. 2,p. 38, Winter 1993, from Probate Court Bond Book 1865-1875, p. 144; Probate Minute Book 12, p. 372]  Lemuel was the son of James Franklin Johnston, and thus the first cousin of William R.

12 Jul 1877: The Huntsville Democrat announced that William R. Johnston, age 48, died of pneumonia at his residence in Madison County on 10 Jul 1877.  Could this be our William, returned from Tunica? A birth year of 1829 would not be far.  [Alabama Records, v. 165, p. 24, from the Huntsville Democrat, 12 Jul 1877]

Andrew James Johnston (c. 1833      )

James resided in Madison County on 4 Sep 1864 when he and brothers John and William filed a petition to probate the will of father William Johnston. By Sep of 1869, however, he resided "out of state"[Alabama Records, v. 130, p. 79, 80, from Probate Minute Book 10, p. 35; Probate Minute Book 12, p. 372]

 He may have been the man who married Mary E. Pettus on 24 Dec 1866 in Madison County.  Mary Ann was born 17 Aug 1837 and died 20 Oct 1919.





Mildred Johnston & David Bailey


David Bailey could have been the son of David and Jean Bailey of Charlotte County, VA, as researchers have claimed David and Jean's son married a woman named Mildred.  I'm assuming that David was related to James F. Bailey, the husband of Millie's sister Sarah Johnston, but the exact relationship is speculative.

5 Mar 1807: Milly and David married in Warren County, GA.  [Warren County Marriage Book A, p. 23]

1811: David was granted a patent in MS Territory, in what later became Madison County, AL.  [Gandrud, Alabama Records, v. 53, p. 60] 

David Bailey was listed on the 1811 Mississippi Territorial Census.  Also listed was [Milly's brother-in-law] Fleming Hodges.

1815, David Bailey appeared on the Muster Roll of Capt. Flemen Hodges Company, William Russell's Separate Battalion, TN Volunteer Mounted Gunmen.  Also listed were [brother- or father-in-law] Samuel Johnson and [husband of Ruth Johnston] Jesse Hodges.  There was also, however a Corporal David Baily serving in the Perkins Battalion, 7th Regiment, MS Militia.  [ALGenWeb/Madison County/War of 1812 Soldiers, from Old Huntsville Magazine  I'm beginning to think that these two units were actually one and the same, a unit that might have changed its name at some point in the war.

David was mentioned in Superior Court notes in Madison County in 1815.  [Alabama Records, v. 80, p. 12, 30]  

9 Mar 1816: He deeded land on Funnel Creek to the Deacons of the Salem Meeting House (Baptist), one of whom was Samuel Johnston.  [Alabama Records, v. 136, p. 52, from Book M, p. 288]

1816 Mississippi Territorial Census: David was listed, as were James Bailey, Flemin Hodge, and Samuel Johnson.

1817 Mississippi Territorial Census listed David Bailey.

17 Oct 1817: David and Mildred (x) Bailey sold 88 acres to John Martin for $1,500.  The parcel was described as part of NE S24 T3 R2W in Madison County, "all of my plantation or land whereon I now live".  [Johnson, Madison County Deed Books A, B, C, D, E 1810-1819, Item 631, from original p. 322, 326]

12 Dec 1817: David was co-defendant with Samuel Johnston in a suit filed by John Echols in 1810 in Madison County, AL.  The basis of the suit was a debt owed by John Echols to Samuel Johnston.  David stated he had purchased the note  from his "father-in-law" Samuel.  [Alabama Records, v. 97, p. 98; v. 138, p. 41, from Chancery Record, Case #249, p. 370]

5 Nov 1818: David and Milley Bailey sold 72 acres on Funnel Fork of Indian Creek, part of NE S24 T3 R2W in Madison County, to Nathaniel Lewis for $1,200  [Johnson, Item 627, from original, p. 317]   Are David and Milly leaving Madison County?

15 Feb 1819: John and Elizabeth Martin sold 88 acres, "all that plantation whereon David Bailey of late did live. . . bounded by William Lindsay "up to the Salem Meeting House land", to William Lindsay.

The following entries may not refer to this David Bailey.  The wording of the above deeds implies that David and Milly may have moved in 1817 or 1819 after selling their land.  The next entries may refer to David Bailey the son of James and Sarah Johnston Bailey - or another David Bailey entirely.

12 Dec 1826: David Bailey was one of the buyers at estate sale in Limestone County, AL.  [Alabama Records, v. 88, p. 4]

1830 Census, Madison County, AL: 1 male under 5, 3  5-10, 1  40-50; 1 female under 5, 1  5-10, 2  10-15, 2  15-20, 1  30-40.  This man would indeed  seem too old to be the son of James and Sarah Johnston Bailey, so is this couple our David and Millie?

12 Dec 1842: James F. Johnston was appointed administrator of the "Daniel Bailey" estate, along with "S. Bailey".  [Alabama Records, v. 114, p. 51]  Could Daniel be a typo, with the name actually being David?  "S. Bailey" could have been Samuel Bailey, son of James and Sarah Johnston Bailey, but then, it's likely that David and Millie would have also named a son Samuel.

The names of any Bailey children are unknown at this time.





Joseph Johnston & Mary Darden


14 Aug 1786: Joseph was born in Henry County, VA.  [S. D. Johnston Family Bible, transcribed in Desoto County Genealogical Society, Desoto Descendants, v. 20, n. 4, Nov 2002]  Joseph's middle initial was consistently given as "M" by Newton Jasper Darden, but "F" in a transcript of cemetery inscriptions from the Johnston Cemetery provided by Elizabeth Hogue.

17 Apr 1790: Mary ("Polly") Darden was born at Williams Creek, Warren County, GA, the daughter of Stephen Darden of William's Creek.  [S. D. Johnston Family Bible, transcribed in Desoto Descendants, v. 20, n. 4, Nov 2002]   Mary's mothers identity is uncertain.  Many researchers have claimed that her mother was Nancy Ellington, but this researcher has seen many conflicting dates and no documentation.  One researcher has claimed that the marriage between Nancy's parents occurred in 1779, but that Nancy was born c. 1775 in Amelia County, VA.  Welden Scales Jelks, on the other hand, believed that Stephen and "Ann Ellington" were married as early as 1775.  In that case, she could possibly have been Mary's mother. 

6 Jun 1809: Joseph and Polly were married in Warren County, GA.  [Book A, p. 32]

1 Nov 1813: Joseph was suretie for Jenny Bailey, widow of Pierce Bailey in Warren County GA'  [Lucas, Some Georgia County Records, Vol. 1, p. 314, from Administrators Bonds, Book A, p. 15]  Whether this Pierce Bailey was a relative of David or James Bailey, both of whom married Joseph's sisters, isn't known, but it's quite likely.

4 Jan 1816: Along with Obedience Ray and Hartwell Battle, he witnessed the will of William Goynne in Warren County.  [Lucas, p. 344]

1816: One transcript of the MS Territorial Census has a Joseph Johnson listed along with [brothers-in-law] James and David Bailey, Flemin Hodge, and [father] Samuel Johnson; but another lists the name as Joshua Johnson.  The latter is probably correct, as Joseph and Polly seem to have resided in Warren County, GA until 1819.

1818 Tax List, Warren County, GA (Capt. Rogers' District): 1) Joseph Johnson as trustee for Zachariah Darden Junior [Polly's brother] with 1 poll, 1 slave, 210 acres on Redlick Creek; 2) Joseph Johnson as trustee for Jethro Darden Junior [Polly's brother] with 1 poll, 5 slaves, 159 acres on William's Creek adjoining Bailey; 3) Joseph Johnson with 1 poll, 7 slaves, 265 acres on Redlick Creek.  [Darden, Darden Family History, p. 171-172; Boddie, Historical Southern Families, p. 181]

1818: Joseph Johnson purchased land known as "Dogwood Flat" at the Huntsville Land Sales, AL.  [Axford, The Lure and Lore of Limestone County, Alabama, p. 182; Limestone County Historical Society, Limestone Legacy, v. 17, n. 1, p. 13, from Limestone Democrat, 5 May 1910]  These public lands, which were opened for sale in 1819, had been virgin timber that was thereafter then cleared.  One result was malarial epidemics by the 1820s.  Many residents moved during the hot summer months to avoid both discomfort and contagion.

1819: In his will signed 30 Oct 1832, Samuel Johnston made reference to money paid to him in 1819 by Joseph, when Samuel had been "distressedly from the hurricane".  Sam then made two gifts to Joseph.  The first, of his "ball horse", bed, and furniture, was to provide compensation for this 1819 assistance.

Oct 1819: Joseph Johnson was a member of a Limestone County jury hearing the case of Jonathan Cribbs.  [Limestone Legacy, v. 15, n. 2, p. 39, Winter 1993]

1820 Census, Limestone County, AL: Joseph Johnson was listed with 1 white male over 21, 3 under, 1 white female over 21, 3 under; 8 colored, 5 slaves, 3 hands; 300 bales of cotton, 0 gins, saws, or mills.  [Alabama State Department  of Archives and History, p. 424, Fall 1944]  This could be another Joseph since "Joseph Johnson" was also listed in the MS Territorial Census in 1816 when our Joseph was still in Warren County, GA.  Still, number, age, and gender of children is correct.  Also appearing were 2 Samuel and 2 William Johnsons. 

12 Dec 1821: Joseph bought an 18 year old slave named Kinard from Joseph W. Ellis for $500 in Limestone County.  The sale was witnessed by George Woodward. In 1845 Kenard was still listed among the slaves owned by Joseph's estate.  [Book 1, p. 222; Desoto County Probate Record, p. 567]   For additional slave information see Slaves Mentioned by Name in Johnston Records.

7 Jan 1824: Justice of the Peace Joseph Johnson, along with Samuel Johnston and Uriah York, appraised a bay mare "taken up" by Samuel Rentfro in Limestone County.  [Animal Take Up Book 1824-1853, p. 603, copy provided by Jackie Leonard]

17 Jan 1824: He purchased NE NW S3 T4 R4W in Limestone County from Isaac and William Jones for $500.  Witnesses: R. W. Rafer and Samuel Johnston.  [Book 1, p. 301]

19 May 1826: He was a purchaser at the estate sale of Noah Dutart, buying 1 horse cart for $7.12, 4 "casketts" for $1, 1 hand vice for $1.03, and "plain belts" for $ .37.  [Will Book 3, p. 1-4]  The name is listed as "Joseph Johnson" for the first 3 items, and "Joseph Johnston" for the fourth.

16 Aug 1826: Joseph and Polly Johnson sold 80 acres, W NE S22 T3 R4W, to George and Washington Keyes for $125.  [Book 3, p. 64]  When had they obtained this tract?

12 Dec 1826: Samuel and Sarah Johnston [Josephs brother and sister-in-law] sold a small part of W SW S34 T3 R4W, being the ground whereon Joseph Johnston's mill dam and pond were located and "where the canal is cut", to Joseph for $100.  They then sold the rest of the parcel to Thomas H. Malone, that deed being proven before Justices of the Peace Joseph Johnston and Francis Epps.  On that same day Joseph put up a bond for $500 to Thomas Malone for possible future damages resulting from excavation.  [Book 3, p. 338, 339, 340]

Whatever else Joseph did, he was also a Justice of the Peace in Limestone County from at least 7 Jan 1824 through at least 17 Oct 1831.    He appeared on the Civil Register of County Officials as Justice of the Peace on 10 Mar 1829.  [Deed Book 4, p. 130; Will Book 3, p. 348; Alabama Records, v. 88, p. 34; Tennessee Valley Genealogical Society, Valley Leaves, v. 6, n. 1, p. 89, Dec 1971, from original Vol. 1, p. 168, State Archives]

21 Jan 1827: Along with William Fletcher, Thomas Linard [future father-in-law of son Sam], and John Nichols, Joseph turned in the division of personal property in the estate of William Driver.  [Will Book 3, p. 76]

29 Mar 1828: He was purchaser at estate sale of Samuel Renfro in Limestone County, buying one book for $ .37.  [Will Book 3, p. 76]

27 May 1828: As commissioner of the Thomas Lawrence estate, he and his co-commissioners, Stephen Flinn and Thomas Lucard, were required to evaluate and report on all claims against the estate.  [Valley Leaves, v. 19, n. 1, p. 33, Sep 1984]  "Lucard" was undoubtedly Leonard.

1 Jul 1828: In accounts inventoried for an estate: "$17.03 . . . . This amt due Joseph Johnson".  [Will Book 3, p. 315]

1829: Apparently Joseph helped his father out financially again in 1829, as he had in 1819 after the "hurricane".  [Book 4, p. 139]  In return Samuel left slave Abram to Joseph in his will dated 30 Oct 1832.  On 16 Mar 1833 slave Abram was in the "possession of [brother-in-law] William Ham when Joseph sold him to [brother-in-law] James Bailey.

19 Oct 1829: Accounts filed for the estate of Noah Dutart listed under the credits: "Amount paid Joseph Johnson per Acct with Int . . . $48.50".  [Will Book 3, p. 405]

5 Jan 1830: Joseph purchased 79 acres, described as SW NW S__ T4 R4W, from Joseph and Susannah Jones for $250.  The grantors appeared before Justices of the Peace John G. Lauderdale and Joseph Johnston on 9 Jan 1830 to prove the deed[Book 4, p. 130]  John G. Lauderdale was the brother of Sarah Lauderdale, wife of Thomas Leonard and mother of Minerva Leonard Johnston.

28 Jun 1830: Joseph Johnston signed the inventory of the James G. Wright estate prepared by himself, Elijah Hogan, and Joseph Hardwick.  [Will Book 3, p. 384]

1830 Census, Limestone County, AL: 1 male 5-10, 1  10-15, 2  15-20, 1  30-40, 1  40-50, 1  70-80; 1 female under 5, 1  5-10, 1  10-15, 1  40-50; 25 slaves.  [p. 1]  Who is the 30-40 year old male?

26 Aug 1830: He and Stephen Flinn were securities for Thomas Leonard, administrator of the James Denton estate in Limestone County.  [Alabama Records, v. 237, p. 114, from original p. 290]  These three men, Joseph, Thomas, and Stephen were obviously close associates.  As mentioned, Thomas Leonards daughter married Josephs son Samuel, and Stephen Flinns daughter married Josephs son Stephen Darden Johnston.  Stephen Flinn moved to Desoto County, MS at approximately the same time as the Johnstons.  Thomas Leonard, however, moved to TX.

Joseph Johnson, along with George W. Lane and William Saunders, was a State Representative for Limestone County in 1831-1832, and with John Wynne and Joshua P. Coman in 1835-1836.  [Walker, History of Limestone County, Alabama, p. 191]  This is almost certainly our Joseph, who later served in the Mississippi Legislature, as did his son Stephen.

28 Jun 1831: Joseph Johnston, administrator of the William Malone estate, sold a town lot and 40 acres to Lauderdale & Nichols for $150.  He provided a full account of this sale on 13 Aug 1831.  [Will Book 4, p. 35]

23 Aug 1831: Along with [son-in-law] John K. Wilburn and Calvin Hine, he witnessed the will of Benjamin Allen,.  This will was proved in court on 27 Oct 1831 with John K. Wilburn.  [Will Book 3, p. 382]

17 Oct 1831: He bought 2 acres for $25 from Thomas H. and Eliza T. Malone, part of SW S30 T3 R4W and 20 acres, 1/8 of the E NE S2 T4 R4W, from Thomas and Mary Malone for $150.  The Malones then appeared before Justices of the Peace Joseph Johnston and John G. Lauderdale to prove the deed.  And finally that day, Joseph and Polly sold 40 acres, E W NE S2 T4 R4W, to Lawrence Page for $150.  That deed was proved before John G. Lauderdale and R. Joyner.  [Book 4, p. 128, 129, 142]

28 Oct 1831: Joseph turned in the final account of the estate sale of Frederick Rottenberry.  [Will Book 3, p. 504]

27 Mar 1832: Joseph and Polly sold several parcels to Wade H. Vining for $2,500.  These included: 1) 159 6/10 acres described as NW T4 R4W; 2) as much "as is used as a mill dam and pond and the ground where the canal is cut to the Township Road"; 3) 2 acres in SW portion of SW S34 T3 R4W.  This deed was proven before Justices of the Peace John G. Lauderdale and John K. Wilburn.  [Book 4, p. 235]  The 156 6/10 acres were probably in Sec 34.

30 Jul 1832: He served as administrator of the Hannah Malone estate in Limestone County, with the appraisers being Stephen Flinn and J. G. Lauderdale.  Joseph turned in the accounts from the estate sale on 1 Oct 1832 with the final settlement occurring 15 Oct 1833.  [Alabama Records, v. 98, p. 26; Will Book 4, p. 118]

3 Jan 1833: James M. Brundidge signed a trust deed to Joseph for a loan from Joseph for $130.54.  Brundidge's collateral was slave Amy.  The loan would fall due on 1 Jan 1834.  Witnesses: James Johnston and Samuel Johnston.  [Book 4, p. 381]  These witnesses were probably Josephs sons rather than his brothers.

11 Feb 1833: He produced his father's will in court with Stephen D. Johnston and John K. Wilburn as his securities on a bond of $1,000.  He filed what was apparently intended to be his last account on Samuel's estate on 30 Jun 1834.  [Cash Fee Book 1826-1846, copy provided by Jackie Leonard; Will Book 4, p. 141, 149]

13 Mar 1833: He appeared on list of claims against the Jonas Denton estate prepared by administrator Thomas Linard.  The amount listed was $1.09 "for note and interest".  [Will Book 4, p. 201]

16 Mar 1833: He sold slave Abram, who had belonged to father Samuel, to James Bailey for $366 in the form of a 12 month note.  [Will Book 4, p. 149]

15 Apr 1833: As administrator, Joseph turned in his accounts in the final settlement of the William Malone estate.  [Will Book 4, p. 204] 

3 Mar 1834: In debt to Joseph for $184.45, James Hunt signed a trust deed for 80 acres to John K. Wilburn for the amount of the loan plus $1.00.  This collateral, described as S NW S15 T3 R4W, included a light blue frame house and a wagon.  Payment would fall due on 1 Jan 1835.  [Book 4, p. 500]

14 Mar 1834: Accounts of the Benjamin Peete estate listed: "To cash paid Joseph Johnston . . . . $8.50" on that date.  [Book 4, p. 589]

31 Mar 1834: The accounts of the Andrew Foster estate listed: "This amt due Joseph Johnston on afc & Int . . . $37.70".  [Will Book 4, p. 317]

7 Apr 1834: Administrator John G. Lauderdale listed Joseph in his accounts of the Peter Dunlap estate with $5.59 due Joseph ($5.15 + .46 interest) on 5 Jan 1833.  [Will Book 4, p. 319] 

1 May 1834: Joseph purchased S S NW S15 T3 R4W from Mildred Hunt for $300.  The deed was proved before Justices of the Peace John K. Wilburn and Randolph Mitchell.  [Book 4, p. 551]

16 Jul 1834: He sold property at public auction held on 7 Jun 1834 to Nathaniel Terry for $1,000 to recoup a debt of Amos Vincent and Fleming Douglas that had fallen due on 29 Dec 1833.  The parcel was described as Lot #15 in Mooresville.  [Book 4, p. 657]

24 Jul 1834: He bought W of Lot #200 (1 acres, 3 poles) from George W. Lane for $300.  [Book 4, p. 554]

31 Jul 1834: Joseph Johnston and Samuel Tanner sold land as trustees of James H. Gamble in Limestone County.  The purchaser was John Jackson[Book 4, p. 569]

11 Aug 1834: Joseph filed his last word on his father's estate.  [Will Book 4, p. 348-349]

24 Sep 1834: Joseph Johnson was buyer at the estate sale of John Humphreys, purchasing 1 harrow for $ .25, 1 bench screw for $ .74, and 3 wagon boxes for $ .25.  [Will Book 4, p. 429]

15 Dec 1834: In debt to Joseph for $1,540, Jacob Lamb and Solomon York put up collateral on a mortgage held by John K. Wilburn consisting of: 79 acres, W NW S3 T__ R4W and as much of N SW S34 T3 R4W as is used as mill dam and pond and ground where the canal is cut; 2) 2 acres in SW SW S34 T3 R4W and title bond from Andrew McCombs for 5 acres in SE SE S33 T3 R4W, including saw mill and grist mills and other equipment named.  [Book 4, p. 608]  Because of the "mill dam and pond" and the canal, this would seem to have been a portion of the parcels already sold. 

2 Jan 1835: The accounts filed for a final settlement of the James Gray estate listed Joseph Johnson for $4.60, then again as Joseph Johnston for $4 with interest of $1.68.  [Will Book 4, p. 427-428]

6 Jan 1835: Joseph Johnston purchased book entitled Presidents' Messages for $ .50 at the estate sale of Benjamin Peete.  [Will Book 4, p. 452]

16 Jan 1835: John F. Scroggins granted power of attorney to Joseph to sell land in Limestone, Joseph selling the parcel on 14 Jan 1837.  [Book 7, p. 207, 208]

10 Apr 1835: "Amt of Joseph Johnston . . . $1.50" appeared in the schedule of debts in the Richard Brickell estate.  [Will Book 4, p. 479]

6 May 1835: In a list of claims against the estate of Charles King appeared: "This amount due Joseph Johnston . . . $29.16".  [Will Book 4, p. 492]

11 Jul 1835: Joseph Johnston and William Mason were securities on a check drawn on the New Orleans Bank for $2,000.  Archelus M. Bradley sold 2 parcels of land to George S. Houston as collateral on a loan.  If Bradley defaulted to Houston, both Joseph and Mason were to be re-imbursed from the sale.  [Book 4, p. 713]

11 Sep 1835: Accounts for the estate of Thomas Mathews listed: "To cash paid Jos Johnston, Admns of F. Rottenberry . . . $50.62".  (The debt dated from 12 Jan 1833.)  Also on 11 Sep Joseph was listed under credits in the final return on the Nancy McGeehee estate: "By amt paid Joseph Johnston on Afc and Interest . . . . $15.50".  [Will Book 4, p. 513, 524]

15 Jan 1836: Joseph purchased 40 acres (S E NE S2 T4 R4W) from Thomas and Mary Malone for $200.  [Book 5, P. 59]

16 Feb 1836: Notes due the estate of Calvin Hine in Limestone County included: "One on Joseph Johnson due 1st January 1834 for $5.43".  [Will Book 4, p. 576]

17 Feb 1836: Joseph and Polly sold west of Lot #200 in Athens (1 acres, 3 poles) to John Jackson for $300.  [Book 5, p. 85]

13 May 1836: Joseph Johnston of Limestone County, AL purchased 640 acres (S34 T2 R7W) in Desoto County, MS for $2,000 from John D. Bradford of Pontotoc County, MS.  Witness: James J. Wilson.  [Book A, p. 31; Scott, Nineteenth Century Hernando, p. 1-2]  In a biography of Joseph Samuel Johnston, son of Stephen Darden Johnston, we find that said Joseph was "born on the old Stephen D. Johnston home place, which has been in possession of the Johnston family since it was occupied by the Indians, the father of Stephen D. Johnston having purchased it at that time - May 13, 1936".  [Typed account by unknown author, copy provided by Ozelle Scott]   Desoto County had only been organized on 9 Feb 1836, the earliest deed recorded there was dated April of 1836, and on 27 Apr 1836 its white population was only "140 souls".  Joseph must have therefore been one of the earliest buyers of land in the area.

31 Oct 1836: For $833.33 each, Joseph sold [sons] Stephen D. and Samuel Johnston each 1/3 of S34 T2 R7W in Desoto County.  Stephen received the western 1/3 and  Samuel the middle 1/3.  Once again, Joseph was described as being "of Limestone County, AL".  [Book A, p. 204]

24 Dec 1836: He purchased S35 T2 R7W in Desoto from Ruffin Coleman for $3,250.  Witnesses: William R. Cox and William Fildins.  On 31 Jan 1837 Coleman proved the deed in front of Ebenezer Titus and Stephen D. Johnston.  [Book B, p. 244]

23 Jan 1837: Joseph was security in Orphan's Court in Limestone County, AL.  [Alabama Records, v. 98, p.36, from original p. 141]

6 Feb 1837: Joseph and wife Polly sold S NW S15 T3 R4W in Limestone County to John H. Elliot for $200.  [Book 5, p. 234]

23 Feb 1837: He sold 1/3 of S34 T2 R7W in Desoto County to [son-in-law] Jacob M. Pruitt of Lawrence County, AL for $833.33.  A note at the bottom read: "$933.89 due 1st January 1838".  [Book A, p. 283]  The first section purchased by Joseph in Desoto County was therefore divided between sons Stephen and Samuel, and son-in-law Jacob, husband of Nancy P. Johnston, leaving Joseph and Polly the 640 acres of Section 35 to Joseph and Polly.

24 Nov 1837: Joseph and Polly Johnson sold various parcels in Limestone County totaling 500 acres to James M. Lane for $10,000: 1) 320 acres, S S35 T3 R4W; 2) 80 acres, W NW S1 T4 R4W; 3) 40 acres, S E NE S2 T4 R4W; 4) 20 acres, E N E NE S2 T4 R4W; 5) 40 acres, W W NE S2 T4 R4W.  Listed as an exception in this last parcel was that part of the enclosed land and houses lying south of Township Road and east of Mooresville Road.  This exception was to remain in the possession of Nancy Gibson for her lifetime.  [Book 5, p. 295]  (Who was Nancy Gibson?  She does not appear in the 1850 Census in Limestone, nor in Madison County in 1830 or 1840.)  The very handsome price paid by James M. Lane would indicate the existence of a house (and probably other improvements) and in fact the present-day Lane-Gamble House, located on that portion of the 500 acres known as "Dogwood Flat", is full of architectural details of the early 1830s.  (The cornice "is probably unexcelled in Alabama as a statement of the brickmason's art".)   It was undoubtedly built by Joseph.  The surname is given as "Johnson" in Axford, The Lure and Lore of Limestone County, but is very plainly "Johnston" in the deed itself.  No reference is made in the deed, however, to the name "Dogwood Flat", it only appears in Axford.  [Axford, p. 182; photos on p. 181, xv, xix]

1 Dec 1837: The last deed recorded for Joseph in Limestone County saw he and Polly selling W NW S25 T3 R6W to Hamilton Jones for $700.  [Book 5, p. 389]

7 Mar 1838: Joseph Johnston, now described as of Desoto County, MS, purchased E S36 T2 R7W in Desoto County from Ruffin Coleman of Limestone County, AL for $474.  [Book D, p. 19]

9 Jul 1838: Joseph attested a will in Limestone County.  [Alabama Records, v. 98, p. 62, from original p. 234]  If he did travel to Limestone County, he was certainly back rather quickly, see below.  Was there a typo on the date?

13 Jul 1838: Joseph Johnson purchased 640 acres in Desoto County, S2 T3 R7W, from Wyatt C. Mitchel, Thomas and Ann Petus of Marshall County, MS for $3,000.  [Book E, p. 44]

September 1838: Joseph Johnson brought suit against Murray & Coleman in Desoto County.  Joseph won the case in March of 1839.  [Circuit Court Minutes 1836-39, copy provided by J. P. Bell]

March 1839: He filed suit against Asa Jarnigan for a $100 debt.  Once again, the court upheld Josephs suit.  [Circuit Court Minutes 1836-39, copy provided by J. P. Bell]

c. 1839: He was appointed to a jury of view to alter the Chulahoma Road through Sections 21 and 28 in Desoto County.  Shortly thereafter, his hands were assigned to work on the Germantown Road from Samuel Johnston's house to the Mount Pleasant Road under Samuel Johnston, overseer.  [Board of Police Minutes 1838-1843, p. 37, 44, copies provided by J. P. Bell]

20 Jun 1839: Joseph and Polly sold 80 acres, N NE S36 T2 R7W to William Mitchell for $160.50.  Witness: B. Perryman.  [Book D, p. 89]

16 Sep 1839: He purchased Hernando Lots #279, 281, 283, and 284 from the Sheriff at public auction for $254.50.  [Book H, p. 112]

20 Jan 1840: He purchased the southern half of Lots 12 and 13, S18 T3 R7W, at public probate sale (Davis S. James estate) for $150.  [Book D, p. 263]

28 Mar 1840: He received a written agreement from James W. Dupuy to remove all conditions on the bill of sale for "one negro woman Fanny" to Joseph.  [Book D, p. 260]

15 Apr 1840: Joseph and Polly sold NE S19 T2 R7W (except for 40 acres in the western portion conveyed to David Thompson) to Susan Huddleston for $1,000.  Witnesses: S. D. Johnston and R. T. Sanders.  [Book G, p. 296]

17 Apr 1840: He bought 320 acres described as N S19 T2 R7W from Ruffin Coleman of Lawrence County, AL for $1,700.  Witnesses: William F. Stearns and William B. Fant.  [Book D, p. 273]

28 Apr 1840: He purchased SW S25 T2 R7W from Andrew and Mary Ann Edmondson of Pontotoc County, MS for $470.  [Book D, p. 277]

1840: That spring Joseph was member of a jury of view to lay out the best route for a road from Hernando to intersect the Holly Springs and Germantown Road.  Other members included Jacob Prewitt, Samuel and Stephen Johnston.  [Board of Police Minutes 1838-1843, p. 87, copy provided by J. P. Bell]

1840 Census, Desoto County, MS: 1 male under 5, 1 10-15, 1 40-50; 1 female 10-15, 1 40-50; 32 slaves.  [p. 2]  The under 5 male couldn't be grandson Alfred Dockery.  Joseph didn't become his guardian until 1844.  Who is it?  Could it be Robert J. Humphries?  Joseph was also his guardian in 1844. There seem to be discrepancies on this census, Joseph's age for instance.  Yet this family is living cheek by jowl with the Stephen and Samuel Johnston families.  It must be our Joseph.

July 1840: He was a member of jury of view to lay out a public road from Horn Lake to Milton Blockley's.  In August his hands were ordered to work under overseer Samuel Johnston on the Germantown Road from the latter's house to the 11 mile post.  Sam Johnston and Jacob Prewit were others who contributed hands.  [Board of Police Minutes 1838-1842, p. 94, 96, copies provided by J. P. Bell]

August 1840: Joseph and Mary were baptized the day after the Hernando Baptist Church was organized.  In April 1841, he was one of four men appointed to attend a meeting in Chulahoma [neighboring Marshall County] to form a Baptist Association.  [Desoto Genealogical Society, Desoto Descendants, v. 15, n. 3, p. 10-11, Aug 1997]

1840 Tax List, Desoto County, MS:  The amount loaned at interest or invested by Joseph was estimated at $150.  This, along with 20 slaves aged 5-60, resulted in an amount of tax due of $12.87.  Apparently any slaves aged 5-60 were deemed to be of working age.

20 Nov 1840: He sold Lot #279 ( acre) in Hernando to Samuel Crenshaw of Limestone County, AL for $100.  Polly also signed the deed.  [Book F, p. 54]

December 1840: The Police Board ordered that Joseph be allowed $20 "for his services as Commissioner of Buildings".  [Board of Police Minutes 1838-1842, p. 116, copy provided by J. P. Bell]  The last word is difficult to read.

22 Mar 1841: Joseph purchased "negro woman Jane", about 16 years old, from John Green for $500.  [Book F, p. 111]

1841 Tax List, Desoto County, MS: 640 acres valued at $3,000, 1 town lot at $100, 27 slaves aged 5-60, clocks worth $20, resulting in a  tax of $28.10.

February 1842: Joseph was ordered to contribute hands to work on the road from William Solomon's to the Camp Creek Bridge.  Among others contributing were "John Denty [son-in-law] & hands, William Denty [Johns brother], Jacob Prewit & hands . . . [son] Jesse Johnston".  [Board of Police Minutes 1838-1842, p. 198, copy provided by J. P. Bell]

July 1842: He was appointed to another jury of view to mark out a "neighborhood road" from the corner of Section 26 and 35 T2 R7W to Beal's and Mann's Mill. In that same session the Police Board also ordered that Joseph's portion of S36 T2 R7W be changed from "the 4th to the 5th class".  [Board of Police Minutes 1838-1843, p. 227, 230, copies provided by J. P. Bell]

1842 Tax List, Desoto County, MS: The amount loaned at interest or invested was estimated to be $515, clocks to be $10, 15 cattle (only those over 20 head were counted, thus the total owned must actually have been 35), 27 slaves ages 5-60, resulting in a tax $21.74.

August 1842: He served on a jury of view marking a road from the Steam Mill to Chulahoma Road in the direction to Memphis.  Also serving on the jury were Samuel and Stephen D. Johnston.  [Board of Police Minutes 1838-1843, p. 233, copy provided by J. P. Bell]

 Joseph Johnson served as State Representative from Desoto County, MS.  [Desoto Descendants, v. 14, n. 1, p. 12, Feb 1996]

29 Dec 1842: In his will written on that date, Joseph requested that all his lands be sold upon his death except S35 T2 R7W, "being the house and plantation whereon I now live".

30 Jan 1843: He witnessed a sale and agreement from J. Dupuy to [son-in-law] John R. Denty for 2 slaves, Jacob and Jane.

8 May 1843: Along with Stephen D. Johnston, Joseph bought 320 acres described as W S8 T2 R8W from Henry and Sarah Wright of Hickman County, KY for $1,000.  [Book G, p. 42]

1843 Tax List, Desoto County, MS: The amount loaned at interest or invested was valued at $1,200, 1 pleasure carriage worth $150, clocks $5, 7 cattle (over 20 head, thus 27 total), 22 slaves aged 5-60, thus taxes of $20.__ were assessed.

15 Oct 1843: A Joseph C. Johnson witnessed the will of Clement Wynne, brother-in-law of James F. Johnston in Warren County, GA; along with George Darden and David Green. The will contained a behest to "sister Mary Johnson".  [Lucas, p. 365, from original p. 143-144]  Is this our Joseph? 

8 Mar 1844: He loaned $250 to Obid Nicholson with slave Easter, age 11, as collateral.  The due date was 1 Jan 1845.  [Book G, p. 281]

30 Mar 1844: Joseph witnessed a trust deed from Mark Hobdy to Samuel Johnston for a loan of $600.  Hobdy's slave Isaac, age 20, was the collateral.  [Book G, p. 281]

15 Apr 1844: Joseph and Polly sold NW plus 40 acres of NE in S19 T2 R7W to David Thompson for $2,000.  Witnesses: R. T. Sanders and S. D. Johnston.  [Book G, p. 305]

1844 Tax List, Desoto County, MS: The amount loaned at interest or invested was estimated at $500, 1 pleasure carriage at $100, clocks $10, 8 cattle (only counted over 20 head, thus 28 total), 2 polls, 29 slaves over 5 years, 9 under, resulting in taxes of $26.28 to the state, $6.57 to the county.  Joseph has not been counted as poll heretofore.  Thus the 2 polls must be sons Jesse and James.

26 Dec 1844: He was granted power of attorney by John C. Whitsell of Sumpter County, AL to sell certain of Whitsell's lands in Desoto County, with Joseph to retaining a 2% commission.  Witnesses: A. Perryman and Robert Humphreys.  [Book G, p. 528]

1 Jan 1845: He witnessed a sale from O. Nichols to [son] Jesse Johnston, along with Victor Cole and Stephen Johnston.

July 1844: As administrator of the P. B. Stubblefield estate of, Joseph presented a "proven note" against the estate of James W. Putnam for $11.  Also that court term he made his annual settlement as guardian of Robert L. Humphreys.  [Desoto Descendants, v. 12, n. 2, p. 65, from Probate Record 1843-1845, p. 166; ibid, v. 12, n. 2, p. 67, from Probate Record, p. 176] 

25 Oct 1844: Daughter Sarah Johnston Dockery died.  Although Sarah's husband Benjamin was alive, Joseph became the guardian of young Alfred Dockery.

December 1844: Joseph presented a note for $30 as administrator of the S. M. King estate.  [Desoto Descendants, v. 12, n. 4, p. 183, Nov 1994, from Probate Record 1843-1845, p. 301]

1 Feb 1845: Joseph and Mary Johnston sold SW S25 T2 R7W to William H. Denty for $700.  [Book H, p. 60]

In his history of the Leonard family written in 1884, Thomas Dunlap Leonard described Josephs son Samuel Johnston as being: "of wealthy parents, who were of good standing.  All their family were good old-fashioned people".  ["Biography of the Leonards", p. 17]

9 May 1845:  A notice in The Phenix on 10 May 1845 announced that "Joseph Johnston Esq. died at his residence yesterday morning".  [Wiltshire, Marriages and Deaths from Mississippi Newspapers, Vol. 1, 1837-1863, p. 150 ]  The Huntsville Southern Advocate, on 23 May 1845, carried the news that "Joseph Johnston, formerly of Limestone County, died on May 9 in Desoto County, MS, age 59".  [Wellden, Death Notices from Limestone County, Alabama Newspapers 1828-1891, p. 162]  Emmye Simmons claimed death date of 7 May 1845, "58 yr 8 m 2 d".  She apparently had access to the Stephen D. Johnston Family Bible.


The State of Mississippi, Desoto County Probate Court, June Term 1845.

This day the foregoing last Will and Testament of Joseph Johnston deceased was presented in open court and being proven in due form of law was examined, allowed and probated and ordered to be recorded as the law directs.  Given under my hand and seal this June 2, 1845.

                                                   T. Moseley  John (Seal)

                                                   Judge of Probate


Will of Joseph Johnston

  [Desoto County, Mississippi, Probate Record, June 1845 , p. 476-480]


        In the name of God Amen.  I Joseph Johnston of the County of Desoto and State of Mississippi being mindful of my mortality do this 29th day of December in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and forty two make and constitute this my last will and testament in manner following:

        1st I desire when I die to be decently buried and all my just debts paid.   2nd  If my wife Polly Johnston should outlive me I desire that she have my whole Improvement with their appurtenances in Section Thirty five of Township Two Range Seven West, being the houses and plantation whereon I now live and the use and benefit of the whole section except a part of the North East quarter of said section which I conditionally promised or sold to William Denty and a child's part of all the balance of my estate forever, and one year's provisions.   3rd  I desire that my son Stephen D. Johnston be my Executor and that he shall take out letters of Executorship and take orders to sell, that no doubt may exist in Title to any lands that I may own except Sec 35; if my wife outlives me or not it is not excepted and also to sell anything else that cannot be divided, but I wish my negroes particular divided as near equal as it can be done and any other property or all other property may be divided that can be divided without a sale, the division to be equal and in accordance with what follows.   4th  As all my children have had some portion of my estate I desire that those that have received less be made equal to those that have more and then share equal afterward and in valueing the negroes hereafter for a division I desire that the valuation shall be made in accordance or proportion to the valuation of those that have been given away heretofore & which the following Items will more fully show.

                                                                           Witness my hand and seal.

Joseph Johnston            (Seal)

Samuel Johnston

Stephen D. Johnston

B. H. Dockery

Jesse Johnston

        1st  My eldest child a daughter Elizabeth by name married John K. Wilburn June 1825.  Shortly after I gave a negro girl to them, Caroline five years old not smart at $175.00 & at sundry times up to the 2nd of January 1839 I gave to them including the negro girl sixteen hundred and seventy two dollars $1672.  1844 March 9th then gave to John K. Wilburn five hundred dollars through Jesse Johnston.

        2nd  A son Stephen D. Johnston  1833 October 1 then gave to my son Stephen D. Johnston one thousand dollars and at sundry times up to the 26th day of January 1838 including in the whole sixteen hundred and fifty one Dollars $1600.00  1844 March 30 then gave my son Stephen D. Johnston five hundred dollars partly in notes.

        3rd  Son Samuel  November 27 1834 one thousand dollars and at sundry times including in the whole up to January 26, 1838 six hundred & fifty dollars.  1844 March 30 then gave my son Samuel Johnston five hundred dollars partly in notes $500.

        4th  A son James H. [sic] Johnston September 1838 then added up several sums of money which had been given to my son John [sic] F. Johnston which amounted to eighteen hundred dollars $1800.  December 26th 1843 & in June 1844 then gave F. five hundred Dollars $500.  $2300.

        5th  A Daughter Nancy who was married to Jacob M. Prewitt January 28th 1836.  Feb 10, 1836 then gave to them my negro woman Lucy an able bodied negro woman but not smart about 30 years old and 2 children Reuben and Lavina, Reuben 4 years old and Lavina 28 months old likely at nine hundred dollars for the three and at sundry times up till January 26th 1838 amounting in the whole to sixteen hundred and forty dollars $1640.  August 24, 1840 then gave Jacob M. Prewitt in a note for Thompson & Frey Saunders & Cash.

        6th  A Daughter Matilda who married John R. Denty  September 1st 1836.  October 19, 1836 then gave to them a small negro woman Biddy, lazy but honest, about 32 years old, Brister a small boy 10 years old, Milly & Elbert small children not likely, the four at one thousand dollars and at sundry times up to January 1st 1839 amounting in the whole to six hundred and thirty eight dollars $1638 January 1st 1842 then permitted John R. Denty to settle on the North West quarter of Section Thirty Six in Township Two of Range Seven West whereon he now lives and I do by these presents give the said quarter section of land to my daughter Matilda and her children forever as seven hundred dollars to be deducted from her share on a final division of my estate.  January 1st 1845 then received back the above named quarter section & paid John R. Denty six hundred dollars for his Improvement on the same, a short time before the arrangement was made I then gave J. R. Denty five hundred dollars & took a bill of sale to his negro woman Lizzie and I made a deed of gift of Lizzie to Matilda & Denty not being willing to have property belonging to his wife and not him, he proposed to pay therefore Lizzy and I took his note for thirty Dollars a year hire if I called for it which I do not intend to do but intend that Matilda shall have Lizzy forever & that John R. Denty shall have no power to sell or otherwise dispose of  Lizzy making the amount given to Matilda first $1638 & five hundred dollars which is $2038.

        7th  A Son Jesse.  December 1842 then gave to my son Jesse Johnston who is now about nineteen years old sixty dollars in cash and a saddle worth thirty five dollars making ninety five dollars, also in May 1843 twenty dollars sent to Tennessee, also August 8th 1840 sent to Tennessee by request fifty dollars in all amounting to one hundred and sixty five dollars $165.  November 9th 1843 then gave fifty dollars $50.00.  January 2nd 1845 then gave to my son Jesse Johnston my negro man Angus at six hundred dollars & my bay filly at one hundred dollars $700.  And in notes and cash eleven hundred & eighty nine dollars 86 cts $2004.86   A cent is interlined. [sic]

        8th  A Daughter Sarah who married Benjamin H. Dockery in February 1842.  March 25th 1842 then gave them two hundred and fifty dollars and at sundry times till December 1842 in the whole including the two hundred and fifty the sum of five hundred dollars $500.00.  1843 January the 1st then gave Washington a negro boy, honest and well disposed, about fifteen in June next at five hundred and fifty dollars & Jane a negro girl thirteen in April next likely and honest at four hundred fifty dollars.




1845 March 14 then gave in a Bed & Covering             30

a Saddle and Bridle                                     20

4 Barrels Corn $7 & 593 lbs Fodder                      11.44

509 lbs of Bacon @ 5 Cents                            33.49

55 lbs of Lard @6                                        3.90

Cash thirty dollars                                     30.00   128.84


1843 May 1 young Cow & Calf                             12.00


        October 25, 1844 then my daughter Sarah Dockery died, leaving a son named Alfred who was born December 26th 1843.  Benjamin H. Dockery then gave me his son Alfred to raise & educate and gave back to me again Washington & Jane and all the property that I had given to him except the five hundred dollars given to him.  I have adopted Alfred as one of my own children & just and equal heir except the above named five hundred dollars & I promise to educate Alfred while I live and give Benjamin H. Dockery the preference in becoming Alfred's Guardian when I die.


The gifts to his children recorded in the above will totaled $16,045.70.

A bond of $32,000 signed by Stephen D. Johnston, Samuel Johnston, B. H. Dockery, Jacob M. Prewitt, and Jesse Johnston, and Letters of Administration were recorded along with the will.  [Desoto County, Mississippi, Probate Record, June 1845 , p. 480-482]

4 Aug 1845: The inventory of the estate filed by appraisers Lemuel Banks, James M. Tait, and William Gray totaled $16,459.38.  This lengthy document listed, among many other tools, equipment and furniture: 7 mules, 2 horses, 1 jack, 1 stock of hogs, 1 stock of sheep, 34 cattle, 2 wagons, 1 cart, 1 barouche, 1 sidesaddle, 7 beds, 2 bureaus, 1 sideboard, 5 tables, 1 writing desk, 28 regular chairs, 7 Windsor chairs, carpet, books, valuable glass and tableware, and 42 slaves.  The estate included cash on hand of $475 and notes due Joseph totaling $3,426.75.  Robert Edward Johnston claims that Joseph owned 63 slaves when he died.  Inventory indicates only 42.

The 1845 Desoto County Tax Roll listed Joseph's estate as follows: The amount loaned at interest or invested estimated at $530, 1 pleasure carriage valued at $175, clocks worth $10, 13 cattle (over 20 head, thus total 33), 30 slaves over 5, 10 or 11 under, resulting in a tax of $28.59.

5 Aug 1845: S. D. Johnston made his final settlement in the matter of the guardianship of Robert J. Humphries, showing a balance of $65.73.

1845: Daughter Matilda Johnston Denty died between May and November.  Husband John was made guardian of their two children.  The son died, but daughter Mary Denty had moved into the Stephen Johnston household by 1850.  That household included Polly.

27-28 Nov 1845: Stephen also reported the sale of personal property not divided by commissioners amounting to $2,053.26.  Buyers included Jesse Johnston, John R. and William H. Denty, F. Johnston, S. D. Johnston, Sam and the Widow Johnston, Patrick Riley, Yancy Ham, and  J. M. Pruit.

10 Dec 1845: Commissioners William and Thomas Gray and Lemuel Banks were instructed to divide the estate, especially the 43 slaves.  It had apparently already been done by late November, regardless of the date in the court record.  They reported in Jan 1846 that the estate had been apportioned as follows:  In lieu of amount advanced by decedent to other legatees in his lifetime, they allotted certain slaves to Polly Johnston (Bradford, Bird, Jenny, Mourning, Millry, and invalid Palina) and $500 plus notes from Samuel Johnston for $674.74 and C. Christopher for $570.35 to Alfred Dockery.  And then, of the remaining slaves: Lot 1 to Nancy P. Pruit; Lot 2 to James F. Johnston; Lot 3 to Alfred Dockery; Lot 4 to the heirs of Matilda C. Denty, deceased  (Kiniard, Seaborn, Violet, Anna, Octavia, Martha); Lot 5, Jesse Johnston; Lot 6, Stephen D. Johnston; Lot 7, Polly Johnston; Lot 8, Elizabeth Wilborne; Lot 9, Samuel Johnston (Washington, Truman, Irin).   See Slaves Mentioned by Name in Johnston Records.

5 Jan 1846: Lands sold by Stephen Johnston as executor of the Joseph Johnston estate were confirmed in court: 1) NW S NE S36 T2 R7W to James F. Johnston for $900; 2) S  S36 T2 R7W to Humphrey Cobb; 3) 160 acres, SE S2 T3 R7W to Edwin Slaughter [Book H, p. 233]; 4) 160 acres, SW S2 T3 R7W to Jacob M. Prewitt [Book H, p. 235]; 5) 160 acres, NW S2 T3 R7W to William M. Stilwell or Jacob M. Prewit; 6)  320 acres, W S8 T2 R8W to Jesse Johnston; 7) S  S2 T3 R7W to Edwin F. Slaughter; 8) Lots #283, #281, and #284 in Hernando to Robert Temple.  [Book H, p. 237  Desoto Descendants, v. 15, n. 1, p. 3 does not completely agree with Deed Book H, but the original must, of course, be definitive.  ]

3 Aug 1846: The annual settlement of estate by Stephen D. Johnston was entered.  [Desoto Descendants, v. 16, n. 1, p. 12, Feb 1998, from Probate Court Final Record, p. 70-73]

1846 Tax List, Desoto County, MS:  Mary Johnston was listed with one pleasure carriage worth $100, clocks valued at $5, and 9 slaves, resulting in taxes of $6.45.

18 Sep 1850 Census, Desoto County, MS (Dwelling #256): Mary Johnston, age 60, is residing in household of son Stephen D. Johnston.

1860 Census, Desoto County, MS: The widowed Mary, age 70, was enumerated in household of son Stephen D. Johnston.  [p. 92]  In the 1860 Slave Schedule Mary Johnston is shown owning 2 slaves, but had named 3 slaves in her will dated 13 Dec 1854.

13 Dec 1854: Mary signed her will . . . .


Will of Mary Darden Johnston

[Desoto County, Mississippi, Will Book 1, p. 299-30]


I Mary Johnston of the County of Desoto and State of Mississippi being well assured from advanced age of my liability to die and having formed in my mind the manner in which I wish my Estate divided when I am gone do make and publish the following as my last will and testament. 

1st. As the last tribute of respect to my body, I wish a tombstone erected on my grave similar to the one that has recently been placed on my late husband's.

2nd. In the event of my death before that of my negro woman Mourning* I wish Five Hundred Dollars of my Estate in money left in the hands of my son Stephen D. Johnston to support her during her lifetime and at her death I wish said sum, or whatever part of the same may be left, equally divided between my children now living or their lawful heirs and my Grand Daughter Mary S. Denty.

3rd. I wish all of my children at some convenient time after my death that can conveniently do so to meet together in the spirit of friendship and divide my Estate in the following manner: I wish my son James F. Johnston to have my negro man Bird and my son Stephen D. Johnston to have my negro woman Marshall at a valuation by disinterested persons (and in valuation of Marshall I wish that no extra qualification which she may have over common servants be considered in pricing her) and the respective sums paid by each of them for said negros, together with all the balance of my Estate not disposed of as above named, I wish equally divided among my children now living or their legal heirs and my Grand Daughter Mary S. Denty.

4th. I have let each of my children now living have property or money to the amount of Eight-Hundred Dollars for which I hold their notes and at different times I have given Mary S. Denty small sums of money or goods which amount in all to Forty-Two Dollars.  Now in the division of my estate I wish said notes estimated but without interest and the same rule carried out with regard to the sum that I have let Mary S. Denty have or to any amount which I may hereafter let her have.

5th. Should I die before the marriage of my Grand Daughter Mary S. Denty I desire the property hereby willed to her to be kept and managed by my son Stephen D. Johnston for her until her marriage, and should she die without a living child I desire all the property hereby given her be equally divided between my children now living or their legal heirs.     Given under my hand and seal this December 13, 1854.

Mary Johnston


J.G. Lauderdale

John Cup

Andrew Crossett


I have this day given to my Grand Daughter - Mary S. Denty - a gold watch and chain worth One Hundred Dollars with which I wish her charged in the division of my Estate.

April 25, 1855                                                                                       

Mary Johnston


The State of Mississippi, Desoto County                                                         

January Term 1862, Probate Court

An instrument of writing purporting to be the last Will and Testament of Mary Johnston deceased was this day produced in open court and J. G. Lauderdale, John Cup and A. Crossett witnesses thereto appearing on their several oaths declared that the same was signed, sealed and published and declared by said Testatrix on the day the same bears date as and for her last will and testament  before them and at her request by them in her presence and in the presence of each of each other was duly attested by them that said Testatrix was more  than twenty-one years of age and of sound disposing mind and memory at the time and a resident of said County.


 Sworn to and subscribed                           J. G. Lauderdale

before me, January 25, 1862                        John Cup

    J. M. Biggs, CLK                               A. Crossett


                In the inventory of Joseph's estate dated 4 Aug 1845 only 2 slaves are valued below the childrens' lowest price of $150: man Isham at $100 and woman Mourning at $5.00.  Isham was probably old;  Mourning was listed in the Johnston Family Bible under "Births of Negroes".  Her birth date was 17 Aug 1787.  Her death date was not recorded, but she lived until at least 13 Dec 1854 when Mary wrote her will.  [Probate Record 1843-46, p. 556; Will Book 1, p. 299; Johnston Family Bible:  Desoto Descendants, v. 20, n. 4, p.2, Nov 2002]  See Slaves Mentioned by Name in Johnston Records.

Robert Edward Johnston reports that Joseph's grave is in the family graveyard, but not Polly's.  Neither was recorded by Bell and Scott in Desoto Cemetery Inscriptions, but descendant Reby Johnston Johnson has provided photographs of the graveyard, Joseph's tombstone included. 



Children of Joseph and Mary Darden Johnston: 

Elizabeth "Betsy" Johnston (22 Apr 1810 31 Oct 1862; m. John King Wilburn Jun 1825)

Stephen Darden Johnston (6 Feb 1812 21 Aug 1863; m. Rebecca Elizabeth Flinn 12 Aug 1835)

Samuel Johnston (8 Dec 1813 4 Mar 1887; m. Minerva D. Leonard 27 Aug 1835)

James F. Johnston (21 Dec 1815 30 Oct 1882; m. Eliza M. Sanders, 23 Jun 1839)

Nancy P. Johnston (11 Feb 1818 6 Nov 1883; m. Jacob Madison Pruitt 28 Jan 1836)

Matilda C. Johnston (10 Apr 1820 1845; m. John Ramsey Denty 1 Sep 1836)

Jesse Johnston (26 Jan 1863      ; m. 1st Mollie E. Lawrason, 3 Mar 1859; m. 2nd Miss C.)

Sarah Johnston (26 Apr 1826 - 25 Oct 1844; m. Benjamin H. Dockery Feb 1842)


Reby Johnston Johnson believes that the Joseph Johnston (25 Mar 1836 7 Mar 1841) buried close to Joseph in the family graveyard is the son of Joseph and Polly.  Polly  would have been about 46 years old in 1836, and young Joseph certainly could have been her last child.





Samuel (III) and Sarah Johnston


1790-1800: Based upon the 1830 Census, which is slim evidence indeed, Samuel was born between 1790 and 1800. 

1815: Sgt. Samuel Johnson appeared on the Muster Roll of Capt. Flemen Hodges' [husband of sister Patsy] Company, William Russell's Separate Battalion, TN Volunteer Mounted Gunmen. Also listed were David Bailey [husband of sister Milly] and Jesse Hodges [husband of sister Ruth][Copy provided by Cleone Hodges]  Surely Sam Senior was much too old for active service; this Samuel must have been Junior, age 15-25?

12 Dec 1826: Samuel and Sarah Johnston sold W SW S34 T3 R4W on Swan Creek in LImestone County to Thomas Malone, "except so much of the land as has been conveyed to Joseph Johnston . . . and right title, interest, claim, and demand, both at law and in equity" in a small part of W SW S34 T3 R4W,  "being the ground whereon [brother] Joseph Johnston's mill dam and pond" was located.  This deed was proved before Joseph Johnston and Francis Epps, as Justices of the Peace.  [Book 3, p. 338-339]

11 Sep 1827: Samuel Johnston Senior bequeathed his grandchildren Elizabeth and Jesse Johnston, "the son and daughter of Samuel Johnston Junior", 1 brown mare, 9 sheep, 10 hogs, 8 cattle, 1 cart, 1 yoke of steers, all household and kitchen furniture "now in possession of Samuel Johnston Junior", 1 set of blacksmith's tools, and 1 set of wagon maker's tools.  Not leaving these items to Samuel himself would seem to support the idea that father and son had had a dispute over property that resulted in Samuel Senior bringing "several judgments and executions against him in the office of John N. Beard" before 1832.  In his will, Samuel Senior desired that Samuel Junior not "be pushed" on these.  [Book 3, p. 157; Gandrud, Alabama Records, v. 21, p. 59-60]   

1830 Census, Limestone County, AL: Samuel was enumerated with 1 male 5-10, 1 30-40; 1 female 10-15, 1 20-30, 1 40-50.  [p. 40]  Who is 40-50 year old female?  Sarah's mother?

3 Jan 1833: Samuel Johnston, along with [brother] James F. Johnston, witnessed a bill of sale from James Brundidge to Joseph Johnston in Limestone County[Book 4, p. 381]  Sam Senior was still alive but had written his will the previous October.  I'm therefore assuming that the witness was Sam Junior.

23 May 1833: At the estate sale of Philander Tisdale, Samuel bought 1 hogshead for $ .50 and 100 pounds of bacon for $8.18.  [Book 4, p. 243]

6 May 1835: Listed in the claims against the Charles King estate was . . . "This amount due Samuel Johnson on account + interest . . . $22.61".  [Will Book 4, p. 492]

3 Dec 1836: Accounts from the estate of Benjamin Peete listed: "To cash paid Samuel Johnston . . . $15.62 " on 3 Dec 1834.  [Will Book 4, p. 588]

In the 1840 Census there's a 30-40 year old Samuel Johnston in Desoto County, MS.  He's not Samuel P. Johnston, the Desoto County constable who isn't related to this line; but he would seem to have too many children to be our Samuel.  In 1860 the Samuel Johnston indexed for Limestone County is actually Lemuel Johnston, the son of James F. Johnston.  Samuel Johnston can't be found in the 1850 Census in Limestone County.



Children of Samuel and Sarah Johnston: 


Elizabeth Johnston (1815/20      )

11 Sep 1827: Grandfather Samuel Johnston made a deed of gift to grandchildren Elizabeth and Jesse Johnston. [Limestone Deed Book 3, p. 157]

 Jesse Johnston (1820/25      )

11 Sep 1827: Grandfather Samuel Johnston made a deed of gift to grandchildren Elizabeth and Jesse Johnston. [Limestone Deed Book 3, p. 157] 


                Samuel's brother Joseph also had a son named Jesse, born 26 Jan 1823.  As the name had not been used by the Johnston family before the third generation, could these two Jesses actually be the same individual? 



Ruth Johnston and 1) Jesse Hodges  2) C. William Ham


14 Nov 1796: C. William Ham was born in Amherst County, VA, the son of James Ham and Nancy Crews and the grandson of Stephen Ham (1738-1810) and Mildred "Milley" Rucker (1738-1814).  Amherst County was the home of the Ballengers, Franklins, and a David Bailey.  [Bell and Scott, Desoto Cemetery Inscriptions, p. 186; Desoto County Genealogical Society, Desoto County, Mississippi History and Families, p. 107; Phil W. Neilson]  

Ruth was born on 30 Jul 1795She would later claim that her birth place was SC rather than VA, and there is no reason to doubt her.  [Louise Ryan; although Emmye Simmons claimed a birth month of June]  She was usually referred to as "Ruthy", and may have had a middle initial of "B" or "R", so her full name may've been Ruth Ballenger Johnston.  [Bell and Scott, p. 187]

4 Nov 1812: Ruthy Johnstone married Jesse Hodges in Madison County, AL.  [Alabama Records, v. 147, p. 1 and v. 4, p. 8, from Book 1, p. 85.]  Jesses parents arent known but he may have been related to Fleming Hodges, Ruths brother-in-law.

Some descendants believe that Ruth taught Latin.  On the contrary, like so many other frontier people, she couldn't sign her own name.

1814-1815: Jesse Hodges served in Capt. Fleman Hodges Company, Maj. William Russell's Separate Battalion, TN Voluntary Mounted Gunmen from 28 Sep 1814 until his death on 23 Feb 1815.  [Copies of original muster cards provided by Cleone Hodges]

17 Feb 1815: Jesse signed his will in Madison County. 

Will of Jesse Hodges

[Gladys Torea-Brandstoettner]


In the name of God, Amen.  I Jesse Hodges of Madison County, Mississippi Territory, being low in health, but thanks to God of sound mind and perfect memory, do constitute and ordain this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all other wills by me heretofore made.  In the first place, I resign my body to the grave and soul to God who gave it.  Item, After the payment of all my just debts, my will is that my beloved wife Ruth Hodges shall have the use and benefit of all my estate to support upon during her widowhood, or until my son Joseph Hodges shall come of age -- and further my will is that whenever my wife shall marry that she only have the use of one half of my estate and that my executors shall take charge of the other half for the use of my son -- also if my wife should not marry until my son shall arrive to the age of twenty one years, then my will is that my son shall receive into his own possession the one half of my estate -- and further my will is that after the decease of my wife, that my son Joseph Hodges shall have and be heir to all my estate -- and I do hereby constitute and appoint my beloved wife Ruth Hodges, James Bailey, Skelton Standefer, and Flemming Hodges my soul executors -- and further my will is that my executors shall have power to sell my land at any time that they may think it to be the advancement of my estate and not otherwise -- in ratification of this my last will and testament I hereunto set my hand and seal this seventeenth day of February in the year of our Lord 1815.

Jesse (x) Hodges

James Wyatt

John Canterbury

Nancy (x) Wyatt


   His Muster Cards list his date of death as 23 Feb 1815, but there is some indication that he died on 17 Feb, shortly after signing his will.  [Copies of original muster cards provided by Cleone Hodges]

 May 1815: Along with [brother-in-law] Fleming Hodges, [brother-in-law] James Baily, and Shelton Standifer, Ruth was appointed one of the executors of the estate of late husband Jesse Hodges in Madison County.  [Madison County, Alabama Orphans Court Minutes 1810-1817, p. 20, from original p. 101]

1816 MS Territorial Census:  Jesse Hodges was listed, along with Flemin Hodge, Johnson Hodges, and James Hodge.  [Alabama Historical Quarterly, v. 1, n. 4, p. 188, Dec 1959]  This entry presumably refers to his estate.

9 Nov 1816: Ruthie Hodges married William Ham.  [Alabama Records, v. 147, p. 4, from Book 1, p. 283]   An unnamed genealogy provided by Elizabeth Hogue claims a date of 14 Jan 1816.  The earlier date may have been when the license was obtained.

23 Jan 1817: William Ham witnessed the appointment of [father-in-law] Samuel Johnston as guardian of step-son Joseph Hodges in Madison County, AL.  [Alabama Records, v. 4, p. 42]

26 Feb 1826: Ruth received W NW S25 T3 R6W in Limestone County, AL in a deed of gift from father Samuel Johnston for her use "during my life and my wife's".  Witnesses: John and J. P. Wofford[Book 3, p. 215]

I've not been able to find the Hams in the 1830, 1840, or 1850 Censuses.  They reportedly resided in Lauderdale County, AL.

29 Nov 1837: Sheriff Redus of Limestone County seized the lands of William Ham for debt.  These lands, S E SW  S20 T3 R6W and W NW S25 T3 R6W totaling 120 acres, were purchased by Hamilton Jones for $201.  [Deed Book 5, p. 390]

4 Aug 1845: In inventory of the estate of Joseph Johnston filed in Desoto County, MS, William's name is listed under "Notes Thought to be Due Doubtful".  He owed $52.31, due 1 Mar 1845[Desoto County Probate Record 1843-1846, p. 468]

1860 Census, Desoto County, MS (Olive Branch P.O.): Farmer William Ham, 63, born VA, with real and personal property valued at $1,200 and $600 respectively; Ruth 65, born SC; 26 year old farm laborer G. M. H. 26, born AL; farm laborer Stephen 21, born AL; farm laborer George W. 20, born AL; Mary 22, born AL  [p. 186]  Who was G. M. H. Ham?  Was he perhaps G. Mansfield Ham, thought to have been William and Ruth's son or nephew?  Was he the Gabe Ham who supposedly served in Company C, 42nd MS Infantry with Stephen Ham and Thomas Henley?

27 Jul 1870 Census, Desoto County, MS (Township 2 Range 6, Olive Branch P.O.):  Farmer William Ham 73, born VA, with real and personal property valued at $1,000 and $500 respectively; Ruth 74, born SC; 26 year old "farm laborer George", born AL; 22 year old housekeeper A. E., born NC.  The latter couple, [son George and daughter-in-law Allie Evelyn] had been married the previous December.  The family was enumerated next to [daughter] Jane Henley 39, and family.  [p. 20]

10 Jul 1867

Will of Ruth Johnston Ham

[Desoto County Will Book 2, p. 141]


Being sensible of my mortality and the justice of my making a will, I therefore make the following as my last will and testament.  I desire that my husband William Ham shall have a certain tract of land I own [for] his lifetime, with the understanding that my daughter Jane Henley is to have a home on it during that time.  The land above alluded to is known in the Survey of the Chickasaw Cessions as one hundred and ten acres of the east side of the north west quarter of Section twenty-one Township two Range six west of the basis meridian in Desoto Cty.   Mifs I do not wish said land subject to any debts during William Ham's lifetime.  At the death of my husband William Ham, I desire that my son G. W. Ham shall execute my will, and shall have two hundred dollars of the value of the land above described, that my daughter Mary Ham shall have three hundred dollars of it's value, and I want the balance of what it sells for to be equally divided among all my heirs except Madison Clark or his children, who are my grandchildren, and James Humphries or his heirs, who are my grandchildren, and finally I do not want my daughter Mary to be compelled to leave the land and home above described while she remains single without her consent.  I give to Mary and George W. Ham more than the rest of my children because they have done a great deal of labor for me in nursing and supporting me, in sickness and in old age.  In testimony of what is here written I hereunto affix my mark of the date above.

Ruth (x) Ham

A. C. Stewart

S. P. H. Kelsey

W. W. Kelsey


24 Jan 1872: Ruth died, cause unknown, in Olive Branch, Desoto County, MS.  She was buried in Lebanon Cemetery.  [Louise Ryan; Elizabeth Hogue; Bell and Scott, p. 187]    Gandrud claimed that Ruth "Died 1870, age 74"; but if so, her death had to occur after the family was enumerated on the census on 27 Jul 1870[Alabama Records, v. 114, p. ___

1 Jan 1879: Ruth's will was proved by the testimony of W. W. Kelsey.   A. C. Stewart had died and witness S. P. H. Kelsey had "removed to TX.  Why did it take so long to prove the will if she'd died in 1872?

18 Mar 1878: William Ham died in Desoto County, MS.  [Bell and Scott, p. 186]


Children of Ruth Johnston and Jesse Hodges:


Joseph Hodges (c. 1813 -     )


Children of Ruth Johnston and C. William Ham: The Hams can be very confusing because of so many cousins with the same first names.  The identities of the following Ham children should therefore be verified.      


Nancy Ham (c. 1818 1865/67; m. James Madison Clark 13 Jan 1835)

Elizabeth Ham (m. James Humphries 5 Sep 1836)

James was the son of John and Elizabeth Fitzgerald Humphries.  [Phil W. Neilson]

31 Oct 1850 Census, Desoto County, MS (Northern Division): Overseer James Humphreys 35, born in AL; Elizabeth 30, born AL; females E. aged 12 and M. aged 2; males A. aged 6 and unnamed aged 4.  [p. 414]

Elizabeth had apparently died between 1850 and 1860 since James had already married by the latter year.

When Ruthy wrote her will in 1867 she disinherited both "Madison Clark" and his children.  [Will Book 2, p. 141]

James Rucker Ham (14 May 1826 - 16 Feb 1888; m. Mary Jane Bettis on 19 Jul 1850)

William Ham's brother Russell had a son named James Russell Ham, (30 Nov 1821, Madison County, AL - 29 Dec 1898, Tate County, MS; m. Isabella Emiline Robinson) who resided in Desoto County.  Predictably, the records usually refer only to J. R. Ham, making it difficult to distinguish between the cousins.  And there were probably more in the next generation.  For instance, whose son was farmer James R. Ham, age 33,  enumerated next to Matilda Ham Humphreys Merritt on 8 Jun 1880, with "wife" Sarah [nee Humphreys]  31, and children Asa L. 3 and Mary 6 months?  [p. 14] 

Letitia Jane Ham (c. 1820  c. 1870; m. 1st William A. Goodwin; m. 2nd Thomas F. Henley 11 Aug 1858) 

Sarah Franklin Ham (Jan 1828 3 Jul 1907; m. William M. Lewis 2 Sep 1846)

Matilda 'Tilley" Ham (9 Aug 1830 10 Jun 1910; m. 1st  John S. Humphreys 26 Dec 1854; m. 2nd H. G. Merritt 7 Jan 1869)

Mary Ham (c. 1838      ; m. W. H. Howell 10 Dec 1869)

Stephen "Steve" Ham (c. 1839 1 Jul 1863, Gettysburg, PA)

The Stephen H. Ham who married Elizabeth Williams on 19 Dec 1857 in Desoto, MS was the son of William's brother Russell Ham.  That Stephen was born 21 Jul 1831 in Lauderdale County, AL, died 6 Aug 1913 in Desoto County, and married Elizabeth Williams.  [Phil W. Neilson; Murray, Computer Indexed Marriage Records 1843-1900: Desoto County, Mississippi; Desoto County Genealogical Society, Desoto Descendants, v. 7, n. 2, p. 12, May 1989, from Vol. C, p. 372]

14 May 1862, Grenada, MS: Age 23, Stephen enlisted as a Private in Company C [also known as 3rd Company or Captain Wylie P. Smith's Company] of the 42nd Mississippi Infantry.  He was probably the "brother-in-law" who was given the personal effects of Thomas Henley, deceased, on 14 Nov 1862 in Richmond, VA.  Although Stephen's death date is given as 1 July 1863, he was supposedly killed in Pickett's charge at Gettysburg, which occurred on 3 July.  He was listed among the Desoto County Confederate Casualties as: Private Steve Ham, 42nd MS, 3rd Company.     [Muster Cards, copies provided by Elizabeth Hogue; Desoto Descendants, v. 11, n. 2, p. 77, May 1993, from county newspaper, 21 Jun 1866]

George W. Ham (c. 1841 1 May 1894; m.  Allie Evelyn Merritt 8 Dec 1869)


William and Ruth also had a daughter, name unknown, who married Stephen Trantham.





James Franklin Johnston & Mary J. Wynne


6 Jan 1799: James was probably born in Warren County, GA.  But although he listed GA as his birthplace in the 1850 Census, Louise Ryan claimed that he was born in South Carolina.  His middle name is not documented to my knowledge, but his son James had a middle name of Francis.

18 Jun 1799: Mary J. Wynne was born in GA, the daughter of Clement Wynne and Frances Dewberry.  [Lucas, Some Georgia County Records, Vol. 1, p. 343, 352; Austin, The Georgians: Genealogies of Pioneer Settlers, p. 413; Sherry Norton]  Father Clement Wynne (Apr 1770 - 11 Jan 1829) was the son of Robert Wynne.

20 Feb 1820: James married Polly Wynne, probably in GA.  [Austin, p. 413]  Louise Ryan claims the marriage occurred on 11 Feb 1829, a date at which he already had 4 children.  Emmye Simmons claimed a marriage date of 13 Feb 1820.  The latter date was perhaps the date of the license.

The "James Johnson" listed in Limestone County, AL in 1820 already has 5 children; thus he can't be our James.

15 Oct 1827: James witnessed a deed from [father] Samuel Johnston to [brother] William Johnston for  W NW S24 T3 R2W.  Other witnesses were Obediah Gerault and William East.  [Alabama Records, v.30, p. 40, from Book L, p. 350]

16 Oct 1827: He received E NW S24 T3 R2W in a deed from Samuel Johnston.   Witnesses: William Johnston, Obediah Gerault, and William East.  [Alabama Records, v.130, p. 40, from Book L, p. 351]  The abstract does not make clear whether this was a purchase or deed of gift, although the latter would seem more likely.

3 Jan 1833: James F. Johnston, along with Samuel Johnston, witnessed the sale of slave Amy in Limestone County from James Brundidge to [brother] Joseph Johnston.  [Book 4, p. 381] 

1 Jan 1834: He and wife Polly sold E NW S24 T3 R2W, the land he had been deeded by his father in 1827, to Benjamin Dunkin.  [Deed Index, original located in Book O, p. 624]

12 Dec 1842: Along with S. Bailey, James was appointed co-administrator of the Daniel Bailey estate in Limestone County.  The appointment was acknowledged in Limestone County before [brother-in-law] John K. Wilburn, J. P.  [Alabama Records, v. 114, p. 51]  The estate name is recorded incorrectly, it was actually David Bailey's estate.

1850 Census, Limestone County, AL: Wagon maker age 51, born in GA; Mary age 51, born in GA; wagon maker Lemuel age 22; farmer James F. 21; Mary A. age 19; Sarah A. F. 17; Nancy A. age 14; Joseph 12; Robert 11; Lucinda 7.  [Limestone County Historical Society, Limestone County 1850 Census, p. 138, from original p. 183]  On the Slave Schedule, James F. Johnston was shown as the owner of 8 slaves.

30 Jan 1854: He was probably the James Johnston who was issued letters of administration for the William J. Bailey estate, with William Johnston and Nicholas McKensie acting as sureties. When the estate sale occurred on 5 Apr 1854 James, William R. Johnston, and Sarah A. Bailey were among the buyers.  [Alabama Records, v. 97, p. 20, 35, from Probate Minute Book 2, p. 303; Probate Record 31, p. 232]  William R. Johnston was the son of brother William; Sarah A. Bailey may have been Sarah Johnston Bailey, James' sister; and the deceased William J. Bailey was probably the son of sister Sarah Bailey or sister Millie Bailey.

20 Nov 1855: James F. Johnston was appointed guardian of James Lafayette, Mary, Dock, Eliza, Martha, and Lucy Inman.  [Alabama Records, v. 40, p. 11, from Probate Minute Book D, p. 214]  Im assuming this to be James Senior.  Son Robert Johnston later married Lucy Inmon, presumably this little Lucy.

23 Jun 1858: James signed his will.

3 Mar 1860: James died in Limestone County, "aged 61".  [Wellden, p. 175, from Huntsville Democrat, 14 Mar 1860]

16 Mar 1860: Lemuel Johnston and James C. Baker petitioned to probate the will of James F. Johnston, the will being proved on 23 Apr 1860.  Witnesses to the will were John Turrentine and William F. Hoke.  Administrators: Lemuel and James C. Baker.  Securities: Clement Johnston, J. C. Baker, Elisha French, George R. Anderson, and Alexander L. McKinney[Alabama Records, v. 209, p. 49-50, from Will Book 12, p. 322]   Lemuel and Clement were James' sons; James C. Baker was his son-in-law.

16 Jun 1860 Census, Limestone County, AL:  Mary J. Johnson, age 61, born GA; Robert age 19; Lucinda R. age 16.  [Todd, Limestone County, Alabama 1860, p. 166, from original p. 32]

4 Jun 1870 Census, Limestone County, AL (Township 3 Range 3, Athens P.O.): Farmer Mary Johnson 70, born GA, with real and personal property valued at $5,000 and $1,000; farm laborer Robert 29, born AL; Lucy 19, born AL; Albert 6/12, born AL; white servant Sarah Adams, born AL; black servant Pattie Johnson, born GA.  The were listed next to [son-in-law and daughter] James and Nancy Johnston Goodwin.  [p. 12]

24 Jan 1872: "Mrs. Polly Johnston, widow of James F. Johnston, died Jan 24, aged 72. She and her husband were among the early settlers of Limestone."  [Wellden, p. 34, from original Athens Limestone News, 31 Jan 1872]  Emmye Simmons claims a death date of  23 Jan, as does Thomas Sydney Johnston.



Children of James and Mary Wynne Johnston:


Eliza Johnston (24 Jan 1821  27 Apr 1902; m. John S. French 30 Mar 1837)

Clement "Clem" Wynne Johnston (18 Jun 1822 13 Oct 1901; m. Margaret Harvey 25 Sep 1845)

Samuel Johnston (29 Mar 1824 c. 21 Jul 1835)

Elizabeth D. C. Johnston (8 Feb 1826 27 Jul 1904; m. James C. Baker 21 Dec 1848)

Lemuel Johnston (7 Sep 1827 17 Jul 1906; m. Martha L. French 5 Jan 1852)

James Francis Johnston (20 Feb 1829 1879; m. Martha Jane Clem 11 Oct 1854)

Wife Martha ( 27 Nov 1827 - 14 Jul 1919) was the daughter of Michael and Susanna Seaton Clem and the granddaughter of Adam Clem.  [Axford, p. 62]

19 Jun 1860 Census, Lafayette County, AR (LaGrange Township): Farmer James F. Johnston 30, born AL, with real and personal property valued at $1,400 and $835; Martha J. 32, born AL; Mary E. R. 4, born AR; James M. 2; Martha F. 1; carpenter John Lanbright 57, born SC.  [p. 20]  John S. and Mary Johnston French had also moved to Lafayette County.  James and Martha's daughter Mary Elizabeth (8 Aug 1855, Howard County, AR - 2 Jun 1942, Fannin County, TX) married Robert Alexander Darnell on 7 Jun 1861 in Fannin County.

Mary Ann Johnston (11 Apr 1831      ; m. Jeremiah French 4 Oct 1854)

Jeremiah was the son of Amos and Elizabeth Sanderson French and the brother of John S. French, husband of Eliza Johnston, and Martha French, wife of Lemuel Johnston.  Mary Ann was his second wife, Jeremiah having married Marietta Davis on 14 Aug 1844 in Limestone County.

23 Jun 1860 Census, Limestone County, AL: Grocer Jeremiah French 36, born AL; Mary A. age 28, born AL; Dolly A. age 4; William T. age 3; Jeremiah E. age 6/12. [Todd, Limestone County, Alabama 1860, p. 179, from p. 42-43]

4 Jun 1870 Census, Limestone County, AL (T3 R3, Athens P.O.): Farmer Jere French 47, born AL, with real and personal property valued at $500 and $200; Mary A. 37, born AL; Dolly A. 15; Mary 5; Thomas B. 3; male infant Lemuel 9/12 and female infant Francis 9/12, both born in August. [p. 13/9]

Sarah Ann F. Johnston (14 Dec 1833      ; m. Elijah M. Odom 28 Mar 1855)

Already widowed, she resided in Limestone County in Jun 1868 when her father's will was finally filed.  [Alabama Records, v. 219, p. 83]

Nancy Ann Johnston (1 Jan 1836      ; m. James W. Goodwin 25 Jul 1854)

9 Jun 1860 Census, Limestone County, AL: House carpenter James W. Goodwin 30, born AL; Nancy A. age 26, born AL; William L. age 2; Joseph 3/12.  [Todd, Limestone County, Alabama 1860, p. 147, from p. 18]

4 Jun 1870 Census, Limestone County, AL (Township 3 Range 3, Athens P.O.): Farm laborer James Goodwin 40, born AL; Nancy 20, born AL; Lemuel 12; Larkin 3; Columbus 2; female infant Lou 4/12, born February.  They were listed next to [Nancy's mother] Mary Johnston, who had [Nancy's brother] Robert and Lucy Inmon Johnston in her household.  [p. 12]

17 Jun 1880 Census, Limestone County, AL (Township 3 Range 3): Farmer James Goodwin 50, AL VA AL; Nancy 54, AL GA GA; Columbus 11, AL AL AL; Mary 9; Samuel 5; Alexander 4; Nancy 2; black servant Patsy Johnston 65, GA GA GA.  They were listed very close to [Nancy's nephew] Zebulon Johnston and [her brother] Lemuel Johnston.  [p. 14/412]

Joseph Johnston (12 Dec 1838 21 Aug 1856)

Robert Johnston (25 Mar 1841 16 Jan 1912; m. Lucy Turner Inmon 4 Feb 1868)

Lucinda R. Johnston (17 Oct 1843       ; m. John Brown Forrester 10 Mar 1862) 

The Forrester's son Charles was born in Alabama c. 1867, but they were residing in Arkansas by Jun 1868, and Texas by Aug 1870.  [Alabama Records, v. 219, p. 83]

4 Aug 1870 Census, Gonzales County, TX (Belmont P.O.): Farmer John B. Forrester 47, born TN, with personal property worth $67; Lucinda 27, born AL; Robert 8; Mary E. 5; Phebe L. 4; Charles 3; farmer Thomas Lambert 53, born TN, with real and personal property valued at $11,000 and $3,165.  [p. 11/504]





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Nancy Denty Breidenthal




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