Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Continuing G.W.Johnson's article from the The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 33, January 1879 on our mutual ancestor William Johnson, in which more of his florid prose is displayd. This first  part has his fanciful description of the physical appearance of William Johnson's six sons, based on the appearance of their descendants some two centuries later.(one of whom was himself):

William had but one wife, whose first name was Elizabeth, though a recent genealogist generously but erroneously gives him another. I have not Elizabeth's maiden name,
nor her birth-date, nor the date of their marriage, which must have taken place before
they left England. By this sole wife William had six sons—John. Joseph, Jonathan,
Nathaniel, Zachariah and Isaac; and two daughters—Ruhamah and Elizabeth ; all of whom, except the oldest, were born in Charlestown. The daughters resided there and married young and well—Ruhamah, John Knight, Jr., and Elizabeth (" bro. Johnson's daughter," as the record designates her), Edward Wier or Weare, and both left issue. 

In his six sons the colony had, in emergencies, six soldiers to defend it against the 
savage foe, by whose hands John, in his old age, his last wife and a granddaughter-in-law, and a son of Joseph, fell. They were all thrifty and well-to-do, all except Isaac church members, all married, all left issue, most of them numerous issue, and all except Nathaniel executed wills, which are of record. On a careful examination of the unsparing church and court records down to the fourth generation of their descendants, the writer found not therein a blot on the good name of the race. (p83)

....These six sons were large-limbed, tall and muscular, but not corpulent, if their size 
may be inferred from that of most of their descendants. William lived to see all his eight children well married and settled, and to be the grandfather of over forty grandchildren, and a great-grandfather. His sons and daughters, before and after his death, had in all sixty-four children; "a certaine sign," to use the words of an early writer, "of the Lord's intent to people this vaste wildernesse." (p84)

In this section, I had to delete a sentence at the end of the paragraph about the fate of
the missing gravestones that was anti-Semitic in nature:

His wife survived him nearly seven years, and died Oct. 6, 1684. She married again if
she was the "Elizabeth Johnson, widow," who, Oct. 24, 1679, married Thomas Carter,
of which there is some doubt, as our Elizabeth in subsequent conveyances, and in the settlement of William's estate, signs her name Elizabeth Johnson. William and his wife
must have been buried in the old Charlestown cemetery; but in 1862, after diligent
search, their gravestones could not be found. Doubtless they were near his son Isaac's,
which remain.

He then gives a list of the children of William Johnson:
Children of William and Elizabeth Johnson:
2. i. John, b. 1633.
3. ii. Ruhamah, bapt. Feb. 21. 1634-5.
4. iii. Joseph, bapt. Feb. 12, 1636-7.
5. iv. Elizabeth, bapt. March 17, 1639-40.
6. v. Jonathan, bapt. Aug. 14, 1641.
7. vi. Nathaniel, b. about 1643.
8. vii. Zachariah, b. about 1646.
9. viii. Isaac, b. 1649.

I'm descended from Jonathan Johnson who married Mary Newton at Marlboro, Ma. on
14Oct 1663.


Jacqui Server-Garcia said...

I see we both come down the line from Jonathan Johnson. May I as who your grandmother is? I have never used Blogg before today so I am not sure of what is accepted as far as questions

Bill West said...

Cora Bertha Barker, from Maine, descended from the Barkers of Methuen and Andover in Essex County, Ma.