Hosted websites will become read-only beginning in early 2024. At that time, all logins will be disabled, but hosted sites will remain on RootsWeb as static content. Website owners wishing to maintain their sites must migrate to a different hosting provider before 2024 (More info)
Descendants of Benjamin J. Johnson

Descendants of Benjamin J. Johnson

Submitted by Jan J. Barnes

© 2006

Benjamin J. Johnson was the son of Richard Johnson and Lucy Hunter. (See Descendants of Richard Johnson and Lucy Hunter.)  He was born in Louisa County, Va. abt. 1791. He died in Sumner County, Tn. on 20 May 1868, buried in the Maple Hill Cemetery in Portland.  He married three times and had 12 children.  He married 1st in Sumner County in abt. 1815 - 1817 to Rebecca Turner b 27 Dec 1795 in Amherst County, Va., d 5 Aug 1847, buried in the Maple Hill Cemetery, dau of John Turner and Elizabeth Bailey.  Milly Turner Cawley (Corley) was living with Benjamin and Rebecca at this time.  Milly wrote her will in July, 1847 leaving gifts of money to some of Benjamin's grandchildren, his two youngest sons, and the 5 daughters of her sister, Elizabeth Phillips. Rebecca is not mentioned in the will. The relationship of Mildred Turner Corley is unknown to this family, but Benjamin was the bondsman for her marriage to Austin Corley on 12 April 1823, and Executor of her will and estate. (Will of Milly Cawley)  (Estate of Milly Cauly)  She is not mentioned as an heir of Rebecca Turner's father, John, when he wrote his will in 1835. (See Will of John Turner, 1835).

Benjamin first purchased land in Bethpage in 1816 from James Weathered, 98 acres on the waters of Bledsoe Creek.  In 1837, he bought 175 acres from his father, Richard, in the same area.  In 1843, he moved to the Fountain Head area, purchasing 340 acres of land from T. E. Douthett and in 1858 he purchased the Alfred McAdams farm located in Fountain Head. His land in Bethpage was sold beginning in 1846, to Benjamin Mabry, Abner Hanner and William Gillespie.  He gave 1 acre of land to be used for the Van Buren School House in 1844. When Benjamin died, he still owned the two tracts of land in Fountain Head.  The tract known as the McAdams farm was left to his 8 children with wife Rebecca Turner.  (Will of Benjamin Johnson)  The McAdams farm was sold in 3 tracts.  One tract was purchased by his son, William, the 2nd parcel by his son Franklin, and the 3rd tract was purchased by William Strother.  Strother was unable to pay for the land, and it was auctioned again and was purchased by Benjamin's son in law, Richard W. Bradley.  The other tract, that began at the L & N RR Crossing, southward was left to his widow, Phebe Jane Northam and her children.  She retained her farm and passed it down to her surviving children and heirs. Portions of this land still remain in the Johnson family today. Benjamin was a farmer, and he also sold wood to the railroad, stacking it at the crossing. That crossing was known as "Johnson's Crossing" and is located just east of Hwy. 109.  He was undoubtedly a faithful member of the Methodist Church and often taught singing classes as evidenced by a letter written by M. G. Walker in 1905, who had fond remembrances of "Uncle Ben", his family, and pleasant visits to the Johnson home.  See news article - Hunting Old Friends of Nearly 50 Years Ago.  Photo of Benjamin Johnson.
Children of Benjamin J. Johnson and Rebecca Turner:

  1. A. Nelson Johnson  b abt. 1815 - 1818, d aft 1880, married Mildred "Minnie" Mabry (dau of John Mabry and Margaret "Peggy" Trigg) in Sumner County, Tn.  The marriage bond was executed on 30 November 1837 by William Barr.  Mildred died between 1858 - 1860.
    Children of A. Nelson Johnson and Mildred Mabry:

    A. Nelson Johnson married 2nd to Matilda Crowder (dau of Harbard Crowder and Nancy Connor) bond executed 24 September 1862 in Sumner County by R. B. Durham, JP.  Matilda was born about 1846 and died in May, 1894.  Children of A. Nelson Johnson and Matilda Crowder:

  2. William Johnson b 2 May 1820, d 30 October 1881, buried in the Maple Hill Cemetery.  William married 1st on 17 April 1845 in Sumner County to Abigail C. Bradley b 28 June 1822, d October, 1855 burial - Maple Hill, dau of Abram Bradley and Zilphia Dorris.  Children of William Johnson and Abigail C. Bradley:

    William Johnson married 2nd to Elizabeth Jane Dorris in 1857.  The marriage listed between William Johnston and E. J. Dorris, 1 January 1857.  Elizabeth Jane Dorris was the dau of Jesse Dorris and Mary Freeland, b 27 October 1829, d 26 July 1907, and she was a first cousin to William's first wife, Abigail C. Bradley.  She was listed as Jane, age 20, in the 1850 census with her parents.  In 1860, "Bettie" is William's wife, age 30.  In later census records with William, she is listed as Eu Jane and Elizabeth Jane and her age is consistent. Her daughter's death certificate has her simply as Jane Johnson.  Jesse and Mary Dorris had two of Nelson Johnson's children living with them in the 1870 census.  Elizabeth Jane says on the 1900 census that she was the mother of 4 children, 1 living.  Known children of William Johnson and Elizabeth Jane Dorris:

  3. James M. Johnson was born abt 1825/1826 in Sumner County, Tn. He married on 15 September 1846 in Sumner Co. to Margaret Beason (bondsman Richard W. Bradley), b 15 June 1827, died 6 May 1881, dau of Jacob Beason and Martha McKendree.  Descendants of James McKendree  James and Margaret moved to Warren County, Ky. after 1870.  They are listed on the 1880 census, along with their children, Edward, Lafayette, and Mattie and granddaughter, Ella Mclellan (McLean).  (Additional information on the Lafayette Johnson family provided by Horace Johnson.) Children of James M. Johnson and Margaret Beason:
  4. Mary Jane Johnson was b 20 September 1827, d 18 April 1898, burial Maple Hill Cemetery.  She married Richard W. Bradley, son of Abram Bradley and Zilphia Dorris, executed 23 December 1846 in Sumner County, by Thomas Buntin, JP. Richard W. Bradley was b 16 December 1825, d 14 April 1908.  (Will of R. W. Bradley)  Children of Mary Jane Johnson and Richard W. Bradley:
  5. Benjamin Franklin Johnson b 4 April 1829 in Sumner County, d 12 October 1899 in Sumner County. Married Elizabeth Northam, dau of Eli Northam and Mary McDowell on 23 March 1854 in Simpson County, Ky.  Elizabeth was born in Simpson Co., Ky on 22 September 1821, d 20 March 1902.  Franklin and Elizabeth are buried in the Maple Hill Cemetery.  Children of Benjamin Franklin Johnson and Elizabeth Northam:

  6. Susan Johnson, b abt 1831, d aft 1880, bef 1900.  In the book, The Descendants of John Garrison of Sumner County, Tennessee, by Lloyd Russell Garrison, Jessie Ola Garrison Summers, states that her grandmother, Susan P. Garrison died at the home of her father, Stephen Pleasant Garrison.  She did not give a death date.  Susan Johnson is sometimes listed as Susan Ann, Susanna and Susan P. (Pleasant).  She was married twice, 1st  after 1850 to an Unknown Allen.  On the 1860 census, she is living with her father, Benjamin, and 4 children with the surname of Allen.  Her daughter, Mary Jane, has on her death certificate that her father's name was John Allen, born in Indiana.  Known children of Susan Johnson and John Allen:

    Susan Johnson married 2nd to Hampton Garrison, son of John Garrison and Rhoda Hampton, in Sumner County, Tn. on 15 January 1863, bondsman James. A. Morris.  Hampton Garrison was born 2 January 1820, d 28 March 1873 in Sumner County.  He was married previously to Martha Parham in Sumner County 18 September 1841 and had 8 children:  Eliza A., James, Martha A., Alexander Wesley, Rhoda Elizabeth, Hampton Burrell, Missouri Vandelia, and Rebecca Alice.  Children of Susan Johnson and Hampton Garrison:

  7. John R. Johnson b abt. 1837, died June, 1869.  John R. Johnson was married twice.  His first wife is unknown.  There is a bond for John R. Johnson and Mary A. Bradley, dated 22 November 1856, executed by G? T. Brown, JP on 29 November 1856.  The bondsman was Jacob F. Covington. John's first child was born 11 months later, so it is very likely that this was his first marriage, but nothing has been found to prove it.  Mary A. Bradley was born abt 1837.  She is found in the 1850 census with her father, Samuel, age 65, mother, Nancy, age 54 and she also had a younger sister named Nancy.  Samuel and Nancy Bradley were not found in the 1860 census for Sumner County. Child of John R. Johnson and Unknown:

    John R. Johnson married 2nd to Emily A. E. Hodges in Sumner County on 19 March 1866 (Original Bond), ceremony performed by M. Hodges, MG (Emily's uncle, Meredith Hodges).  There is confusion for Hodges and Johnson researchers as to how many children John and Emily had together.  In the book, The Family of Isham and Betsy Hodges from Virginia to Tennessee, by Juanita Patton, there is a supplement that shows a family Bible record written by Ezekiel C. Hodges with his birth date, his children's birth date, and his grandchildren's birth date. E. J. Keen supplied copies of these records to Mrs. Patton for her book. (See Ezekiel Hodges Bible) These pages written in Ezekiel's Bible read:  Isadore Lee Johnson born December 14, 1866, Penelope Ann Johnson was born July 19, 1868, and J. W. J. Johnson was born November 29, 1869.  On another page, Ezekiel Hodges wrote the names of nine family members who had departed this life, including J. W. J. Johnson on March 24, 1874.  In records, dated August, 1869 (loose record #12411) and Chancery Court Records, dated September, 1869 it lists the heirs of John R. Johnson as Nancy Johnson, Nettie (Nellie) Johnson, and Dora Johnson.  (William Johnson and R. W. Bradley vs the Heirs of Benjamin Johnson, 1869)   There is no mention of a pregnancy or forthcoming heir.  On 12 March 1870, Guardian ad litem for the minor heirs of John R. Johnson, James W. Blackmore, files an answer to an amended bill.  It states in part:  Wm. Johnson & R. W. Bradley vs. Emily Johnson, et al  The joint and separate answers of Nancy, Dora, and Nellie Johnson by their guardian ad litem, James W. Blackmore to the Amended Bill of Complaint of Wm Johnson & R. W Bradley Admins. etc filed in the Sumner Chancery Court against J. W. Spradlin, Admr. of Jno. R. Johnson, Emily Johnson and themselves as the minor heirs of said Jno R. Johnson, decd.   J. W. J. Johnson may truly have been a child of Jno. R. Johnson and Emily Hodges, but he is never mentioned in any court documents or proceedings as an heir during the years 1869 - 1874. Emily is not found on census records for 1870, which would have been most helpful in determining the existence of J. W. J. Johnson as her son. In 1880, she is living with her widowed mother, Rebecca.  She is 37 years old, her daughter Penelope A., age 11, is also living in this household.  In 1900, Emily is living in District 12 of Sumner County, she is 57 years old, a widow, lists her birthdate as May, 1843, and says she is the mother of 3 children, none living. She also says her parents were both born in Tennessee.  A grandson, Marieda, age 7, born in Tennessee in March of 1893, is living with her.  Emily is not found on the 1910 census.  There is no record of her death.
    Children of John R. Johnson and Emily Hodges:

  8. Stephen J. Johnson b abt. 1838/1839.  Date of death unknown, but he was living in 1880.  Stephen J. Johnson married Sarah Marinda Shaw on 13 October 1860, G. B. Allen, bondsman, John Winn, MG performed the ceremony.  Sarah Marinda Shaw b 22 December 1841, died bef 1889, was the daughter of James Logan Shaw and Marinda Harder. In 1870, Stephen and Sarah were living in Weakley County, Tn. In 1876, Stephen was living in Stoddard Co., Mo. as evidenced by a Power of Attorney he sent to his brother in law, R. W. Bradley.  (See S. J. Johnson Power of Attorney to R. W. Bradley, 1876) Stephen and Sarah were living in Dunklin County, Mo. in 1880.  There are no children living with them on this census.  Loose record # 11379, J. L. Shaw vs. Ann T. Marlin, 1889, tells us that Sarah M. Johnson is deceased and gives the names of her heirs.  They were paid their portion of inheritance money in 1896, but are listed simply as the heirs of Sarah M. Johnson.  There are no papers in this loose record to indicate where the money was sent. There is no mention as to whether Stephen is alive or not.
    Children of Stephen J. Johnson and Sarah Marinda Shaw:

Benjamin J. Johnson was married 2nd to Mary "Polly" C. Payne in Sumner County on 10 September 1850.  Mary was b 13 March 1821, dau of Robert Payne and Sarah Beard.  She died bef 1855.  Oral history says that she had two children who did not survive.

Benjamin J. Johnson was married 3rd to Phebe Jane Northam, dau of Eli Northam and Mary McDowell. (Descendants of Eli Northam) They were married 7 October 1855 in Sumner County.  Phebe was born 23 April 1833, d 16 January 1907 in Sumner County.  She is buried beside Benjamin in the Maple Hill Cemetery.  Photo of Phebe Jane Northam.  Children of Benjamin J. Johnson and Phebe Jane Northam:

  1. Mary "Minnie" L. Johnson b 2 August 1856, d 12 January 1872. Buried in the Maple Hill Cemetery.
  2. M. Elizabeth Johnson, b 26 June 1859, d 10 May 1895. Burial in the Old Brush Cemetery, Sumner County, Tn.  Married James S. Brooks, son of Richard Thompson Brooks and Mahala Hunter, in Sumner County on 23 December 1880.  James married 2nd to Sally Lusk in Sumner County on 18 January 1900.  Sally had been married previously and had a daughter. (Brooks & Crafton reseacher, Ed Stone)  Children of Elizabeth Johnson and James S. Brooks:
  3. Davis Bouregard Johnson b 29 November 1861, d 8 October 1944 in Sumner County.  Buried in the Maple Hill Cemetery. Davis married America Drucilla Short in Sumner County on 20 September 1883.  Photo of Davis and America. America was the dau of Isaac M. Short and Jennetty White.  She was b on 6 October 1865, d 10 February 1960.  She is buried in the Maple Hill Cemetery.  Child of Davis B. Johnson and America D. Short:
  4. Cornelius S. Johnson b  3 March 1865, d 17 July 1897 in Sumner County, buried in the Maple Hill Cemetery.  Cornelius married in Sumner County on 31 December 1885 to Emeline Frances Short, elder sister of America Drucilla Short, dau of Isaac M. Short and Jennetty White.  Frances was b 29 October 1863, d 4 July 1928.  She gave birth to her youngest child as her husband was dying of measles in the same room.  She is buried in the Maple Hill Cemetery.  Photo of Emmeline Frances Short Johnson and Family. Children of Cornelius S. Johnson and Emeline Frances Short:
  5. Lucy L. Johnson b. February 19, 1868 Sumner Co., TN, died May 16, 1903. Buried in the Maple Hill Cemetery. Married 16 Jan 1888 to Harvey H. Smith. They had one child, Annie, b Sept. 1888.  Photo of Lucy Johnson Smith and family.

Sumner County Scrapbook

Genealogist's Companion Main Page