The Goochland Descendants of Daniel Johnson
By Bonnie Flythe
Feb. 8, 2004
The purpose of this article is to describe two of Daniel Johnson’s children, his son John Johnson and his daughter Usely Johnson Wood. John lived in Goochland County, married there and left many children. The daughter Usely seems to have lived in Louisa County with her husband William Wood. Several descendants of Daniel and James Johnson have participated in DNA testing and the results show that they all had the same paternal ancestor. This ancestor was Michael Johnson.
Daniel Johnson, son of Michael Johnson and Sarah Watson, was baptized May 16, 1698/9 in New Kent County (Chamberlayne, 372). He was the only son of Michael to have his birth recorded and the record survive. No doubt he grew up in Henrico County and may have lived on some of Michael’s land.
In 1733, he joined with his brother Joseph Johnson and John Hicks to patent 300a in Goochland:
June 20, 1733. Daniel Johnson, Joseph Johnson, John Hicks... Goochland Co. Pat. 300 a on the North side of James Riv., adj land of Michael Johnson: lines of Robert and Benjamin Woodson; on north side of Mill Creek and the s side of e. branch of Jinetoe Cr. & on the N. Side of Mill Cr. Patent Book 15, pg. 37 (Hudgins, 8)
This Daniel could not have been the same Daniel Johnson mentioned in the will of John Sanders, Sr. dated 1736 in Goochland. That Daniel had two sons named John and Daniel, Jr. and these children appear more than once in the records of Cumberland County. Sanders gifts of land were on the south side of the James River which is an area not mentioned at all in Daniel Johnson’s 1754 will. The Daniel Johnson of Cumberland could be a relative of Michael Johnson, but this is not proven at this time.
Then Daniel Johnson of Goochland individually patented a much larger tract of land in 1737:
Aug. 15, 1737. Daniel Johnson... 800a. Goochland Co. On Lickinghole Creek adjoining David Mims; Henry Webb, Ballow & Dean. Patent Book#17, p.401. (Hudgins, 143)
This land was sold a few years before Daniel died and his wife Agnes relinquished her dower right:
Dec. 27, 1752. Daniel Johnson to William Swanson for 80 pounds, 800 acres on Lickinghole Creek. Bounded by David Mims, Henry Webb. Wit: James George, John Mims, William Webb. Rec: Mar. 20, 1753 Agnes Johnson wife of Daniel relinq dower. (DB#6, pg. 268)
Daniel died before May 21, 1754 in Goochland County, Virginia when his will was probated:
Jan. 25, 1754. Will of Daniel Johnson. To my son William, 100a part of the tract whereon I now live including the south side of Mill Creek, one horse named Shaver, one cow and one heifer, two sows with pigs and twenty pounds cash. To my son John Johnson 100a including the plantation whereon I now live on the north side of Mill Creek, 39 pounds by a bond of William Swanson, a horse named Cannon & a year old colt named Smoaker, 2 young cows and 2 sows with pigs.
To my daughter Usly Wood 20 pounds, 8 shillings, one horse named Jack, 2 cows and 2 sows with pigs. I lend to my wife Agnes the rest of my estate during her natural life or widowhood & if she should marry my whole estate to be equally divided between my wife & children or after her decease to be divided between my children. I appoint my brother James Johnson and my son William Johnson & my son John Johnson executors. Wit: James Johnson, Moses Brumfield, Joseph Johnson. Rec. May 21, 1754. (DB#6, pg. 369)
He was about 55 years old.
One of Daniel’s two sons, William, along with his uncles Joseph and Isaac Johnson moved to Lunenburg County, Virginia and their descendants have been described in several very well researched articles by Mr. Harold Johnson.
The identity of Agnes Johnson, Daniel’s wife, is not known. Previous to the 1752 deed, Agnes Johnson’s name does not appear in any records of Henrico or Goochland Counties associated with Daniel. Perhaps she was a member of the Hix family, but that is not known. Agnes died after 1770 in Goochland County. The Agnes Johnson of the 1744 Court Order Book was clearly married to Benjamin Johnson.
Children of Daniel and Agnes Johnson
I. William (bef. 1730- 1767 Lunenburg County, Virginia)
He married Elizabeth Hutchinson before 1749 in Goochland Co. (Jones, 228). Elizabeth’s father wrote his will in 1749:
Mar. 13, 1749. Will of Matthew Hutcheson. To son, Matthew Hutchason, 300 acres land in Henrico Co. To sons, William & David, all land on Broad Branch in Goochland Co. After decease of their mother. To wife Ellinner Hutchason, balance of estate and at her decease to my five children: Matthew, William, David, Elizabeth and Hannah. If my wife should die before my youngest child comes of age, then my son-in-law William Johnson to care for children until they come of age. Ex. Wife Ellineer Hutcheson and Wm Johnson. Wit: William Miller, Mary Miller, Martha Dodd. Prob. June 19, 1750. DB#6, pg. 75. (Henley, 34)
A year later, William was instrumental in arranging for the apprenticeship of Elizabeth’s brother:
Dec. 18, 1750. William Johnson Exec. & Matthew Hutcheson, Jr. Son of Matthew Hutcheson, dec. & James Hughes place and bind Matthew Hutcheson, Jr. As apprentice to James Hughes to learn the trade & mystery of a carpenter till he attains.... 21. (Specific conditions outlined- FGF) Failure to fulfill- 20 pounds shall be forfeit... Wit: (none). Signed: William Johnson, James Hughes. Rec: Dec. 18, 1750 (DB#6, 114)
II. John Johnson (bef. 1733-1796 Gooch.Co.)
In 1754, John inherited 100 acres on the north side of Mill Creek from his father Daniel. John was made executor of his father’s will along with his uncle James and his brother William.
John Johnston married Helen Thompson, daughter of George Thompson on Sept. 23, 1755 (Jones, 29). In Sept. 19, 1757, the birth of their daughter Winnifred was recorded in the Douglas Register. On April 14, 1759, their daughter Hellender was born. Hellender Thompson Johnson may have died in childbirth or soon after. In various records she was called Helen, Hellender and Eleanor.
In 1756, he purchased from his uncle Isaac Johnson and his wife Mary what appears to be Isaac’s inheritance from Michael Johnson:
Jan. 19, 1756. Isaac Johnson of Looningburg Co. To John Johnson of Goochland Co. For 100 pounds, 150 acres south side of Tockahoe Creek. Bounded by Benj. Johnson Decd., Daniel Johnson, Decd. & John Johnson, Decd. And Moses Brumfield on Tockahoe Creek “except the graveyard where Michael Johnson, his wife and child is buried...” Wit: William Miller, Daniel Johnson , Wilmanton (his H mark) Harris. Rec. Jan. 20, 1756. Mary wife of Isaac Johnson, relinq. Dower right (DB#7, pg. 59).
John married secondly Martha Perry on Feb. 20, 1760 (Jones, 29). According to the Register, John and Patty Perrie had a daughter Mary born June 19, 1760. Then George Thompson signed a deed of gift of a slave to John Johnson for his two young granddaughters, Winefred & Eleanor.
Oct. 13, 1760. George Thompson to John Johnson “for diverse good causes but more especially for the good will & affection toward.... John Johnson as marrying the daughter of him the sd George Thompson” lend 1 negro woman Lucey after George Thompson’s decease to Winefred & Eleanor, granddaughters of sd. George Thompson. Wit: Wm Miller, Stephen (X) Hix, John Miller. Signed: George Thompson. Rec: May 19, 1761 (DB#8, pg.146).
Since his daughter was deceased, Thompson seems to have been particularly concerned that his granddaughters be provided for. In 1766, Thompson again signed a deed of gift for one slave to John Johnson
Oct. 6, 1766. George Thompson for the “good will & affection which I bear.... toward my granddaughter Eleanor Johnson, dau of Eleanor Johnson, decd. Give one negro boy named James. Wit: Robert Burton, Keziah (X) Fein, John Woodson, Absolom Howles. Signed: George Thomson. Rec. May 19, 1767 (DB#9, pg. 78).
In quick succession, John and Martha had a large family. According to the Douglas Register, after Mary’s birth the following children were born to them: Margaret, Jan. 4, 1762, Violette Oct. 15, 1763, William Sept. 16, 1765, John May 11, 1767, Daniel Jan. 18, 1769 and Sally Nov. 26, 1770 (Jones, 226).
John also continued to expand his property. In 1762, he purchased 100 acres on Genetoe Creek from Daniel Johnson.
Oct. 21, 1762. Daniel Johnson to John Johnson for 40 pounds, 100 acres Geneto Creek. Bounded by Henry Gray, John Turner, & Samuel Richardson. Wit: Isum Johnson, Joseph Johnson, David Johnson, Bartholomew (X) Turner. Signed: Daniel Johnson, Hannah (H) Johnson. Rec. Nov. 16, 1762. Relinq dower. May 17, 1763 (DB#8, pg. 304)
In 1767, he bought 71 acres on branches of the Genetoe Creek from John Watkins.
Dec. 18, 1767. John Watkins sells to John Johnson for 50 pounds, 71 acres of land on branches of Genetoe Creek. Bounded by John LaPrade, Stephen Sampson, Henry Grey, John Johnson, Thomas Watkins, Stephen Sampson. Wit: Joseph Watkins, William Hodges, William (X) Woodall, Henery (X) Gray. Signed: John Watkins. Rec. May 17, 1768 (DB#9, pg. 146)
George Thompson wrote his will on Oct. 6, 1765. In it, he referred to his daughter Hannah Johnson and son-in-law Charles Johnson. This line of Johnsons is not known to be related to the John Johnson described here. Thompson repeated his gift to his granddaughters Winnefred and Eleanor, but added a provision that funded two years of education for his granddaughter Eleanor. The complete text of the will has been provided in the article on Charles Johnson.
In 1770, John and his wife Martha sold to John Guerrant two tracts of land totaling 250 acres:
Oct. 13, 1770. John Johnson & wife Martha to John Guerrant - two tracts in whole 250 acres for 210 pounds “excepting fifteen yard square tract being the burying place on the sd lands”. 1st. Tract, 150 acres, John Johnson purchased from Isaac Johnson. 2nd tract given to Johnson Johnson by his father Daniel Johnson deceased, containing 100 acres on which Agness Johnson, widow of Daniel Johnson now lives. Wit: Stephen Sampson, Charles Sampson, Agness Sampson (DB#10, pg. 120)
The “burying place” was probably Michael Johnson’s graveyard. The second tract that was included in this sale was land that Agnes Johnson, John’s mother and widow of Daniel Johnson, was living on it at the time & it is assumed that she was aging and moved in with John after the sale.
The land purchases continued. In 1772, John bought 100 acres:
Feb. 18, 1772. John Turner & Pleasant Turner of Halifax Co. to John Johnson, for 112 pounds, 100 acres. Bounded by John Guerrant, Henry Gray, Bartholomew Turner & John Johnson & Benjamin Watkins on Dover Mill Creek. Wit: Stephen Sampson, Henry Gray, John Guerrant, John Layne. Signed: John (X) Turner, Pleasants P. Turner. Rec: April 20, 1772 (DB#10, 202)
According to John’s will, he owned land in Louisa County. This deed shows one land purchase, but the others have not been found:
Mar. 9, 1778 Richard Johnson and Ann his wife of Louisa Co. to John Johnson of Goochland Co. lb. 250; 200 acres in Louisa co. on branches of Roundabout Cr. ...corner of Richard Johnson, Jos. Farrar and William Price...Love Sateman...land Marks of John Gath and Humphrey Parish. land marks of Roderick Perry, Stephen Crouch (Louisa DBE, ?)
John is not known to be related to this Richard Johnson at all. The Johnsons of Louisa trace back to Richard, Benjamin or John of the New Kent County area.
Then in 1779, he bought another 100 acres in Goochland adjoining land he already owned.
Jan. 8, 1779. Joseph Woodson sells to John Johnson for 60 pounds, _________, 100 acres. Bounded by William Tarver, Jordon, John Evans, Edward Millers, John Johnson, Matthew Woodson. Wit: Jonah Woodson, Elliott Lacy, Samuel Woodson, John Lewis. Signed: Joseph Woodson. Rec: Jan. 8, 1778 (DB#12, pg. 229)
John appears on most of the county’s personal property tax lists in the Lower District, but it is impossible at this time to identify his son William on the lists. He may be among the several Williams there. The sons John and Daniel do seem to be there. In 1794 & 1795, the word “Brandy” was bracketed next to John’s name. Producing peach Brandy was very popular then & perhaps John was in the peach brandy business or it may refer to Brandy Branch. By 1794, he owned seven slaves.
On May 12, 1795, John Johnson wrote his will when he was at least 62 years old:
DB#17, pg. 39. May 12, 1795. Will of John Johnson. Son John, tract of land in Louisa Co., negro Charles. Daughter Mary Johnson… (various items)…tract of land purchased of John Watkins lying on the east side of Jenetoe Creek and negros Jem and little Suckey daughter of Winnefred. It daughter Mary have lawful issue then the aforesaid to her. If not, then to daughters Violetta Watkins and Sally Perry Watkins. Daughter Violetta Watkins negro girl named Judah, man named Sam, boy named Jim, etc. Daughter Sally Perry Watkins negro girl named Milley, man named Lanier, woman named Winifred also “a small parcel of land lying on the west side of Jeneto Branch it being a small part of a tract I bought of my son-in-law Joseph Watkins”. Daughter Margaret Johnson one negro girl named Amey…..negro boy Sam now living with my son John Johnson. Two daughters Winefred Isbel and Eleanor Wood all negros I possess by means of intermarriage with their mother Thompson and which I have…. From the estate of George Thompson, dec. but my meaning herein is not to abrogate but confirm the contract made between myself and Christopher Isbel and Thomas Wood respecting two negros Frank and Jacob the former of whom has been put into the possession of the said Christopher Isbel and the latter into the possession of the said Thomas Wood for certain considerations paid by the said Isbel and Wood respectively to me. Son Daniel Johnson all the land I now live on…purchased of Daniel Johnson also the parcel of land which I purchased of Stephen Sampson and Bartholomew Turner…two hundred acres…(various items)….Residue of estate equally divided among…. Four daughters Mary, Margaret, Violetta, and Sally Perry. Execs: loving friends Joseph Watkins (son of Benjamin), Daniel Guerrant, John Guerrant, Jr. Wit: Mary ---- Masse, Martin (X) Strong, John Guerrant, jr., John Guerrant. Signed: John Johnson
April 3, 1796 -Codicil. Be it known that my will and desire respecting the negroes bequeathed herein to my two daughters Winefred Isbel and Eleanor Wood which negroes I held by virtue of a deed of gift from George Thompson deceased to my said two daughters with a reservation of a loan for life to me is that pursuant to the intention and meaning of that deed they my aforesaid two daughters shall have and enjoy the use ____ between them the negroes aforesaid and their increase and in deed to prevent any possible dispute between my two daughters aforesaid or their heirs… and considered part of my last will and testament… Wit: John Guerrant, Jr., D. Guerrant, John Guerrant, Wm. Hale. Prob. Dec. 19, 1796 (DB#17, 39)
William does not appear in his father’s will. This does not necessarily mean that William was deceased. He may have been aided financially previous to the date of the will. Or William and John may have had some sort of disagreement. Martha Perry Johnson was also missing from the will and it is assumed that she was deceased.
Children of John Johnson and Eleanor Thompson Johnson
v 1. Winefred (Sept. 19,1757- )
She married Christopher Isbel, Oct. 12, 1780 (Jones, 28). Christopher Isbel (b. Mar. 5, 1757- ) was the son of William Isbel and Ann Dillard (Jones, 222)
v 2. Eleanor/Helender/Helen. (April 14, 1759- )
Eleanor married her cousin Thomas Wood, son of William Wood and Usley Johnson on March 19, 1781. Some of their children were registered by the Rev. Douglas. Their son Thomas was born in 1793 in Goochland County and Thomas Wood’s will was probated on Dec. 12, 1825 in Goochland.
Children of John Johnson and Martha Perry Johnson
v 3. Mary. (June 19, 1760- )
She is untraced here.
v 4. Margaret (Jan. 4, 1762- )
Margaret married Benjamin Johnson (son of Charles Johnson), Oct. 21, 1779. (Jones, 28). This couple has been described in the article about Charles Johnson of Goochland.
v 5. Violette (Oct. 15, 1763- )
She married Thomas Watkins, Oct. 27, 1791 (Williams, 104). Thomas may have been a son of Thomas Watkins. This Thomas Watkins died in Goochland in 1776 and left sons William, John, Thomas, George, Cheasman, Joseph, Benjamin and Peter. Further research would perhaps clarify the Johnson-Watkins relationship.
v 6. William (Sept. 16, 1765- )
This may be the William Johnson who married Mary Watkins, daughter of Benjamin Watkins in 1795. Further research would probably verify or refute this.
v 7. John. (May 11, 1767- )
John married Jane Eldridge on Dec. 9, 1791. Daniel Johnson was surety for the marriage. Jane was a daughter of Thomas Eldridge, a resident of Goochland County.
In 1802, William Webber and John Guerrant, Jr., commissioners appointed by the Goochland County court reported that John Johnson’s mental condition did not permit him to manage his affairs and they assumed that responsibility. The next year they sold 635 and ½ acres of land belonging to the estate of John Johnson, decd. It is not certain that this John is the same as John son of John Johnson, but it probably is. More research would hopefully confirm or refute this.
v 8. Daniel (Jan. 18, 1769- )
Daniel Johnson married Jenny Riddle, dau. of Thomas Riddle on Aug. 28, 1794 (Williams, 47). In 1798, they signed the following instrument:
July 3, 1798. Daniel Johnson & wife Jane sell to Thomas B. Watkins for 100 pounds, 25 acres of land on waters of Dover Creek....”being part of a larger tract of land devised by the last will & testament of John Johnson, Decd. To sd. Daniel Johnson. Bounded by Thomas Pleasants line, ridge between the waters of Jeneto & Dover creek, Benjamin Watkins, Decd., Daniel Johnson. Wit: D. Riddle, Elijah Johnson. Signed: Danl Johnson, Jane Johnson. Rec. July 16, 1798 (DB#17, p253).
In 1801, Daniel Johnson and Jane joined with Jane’s relatives to sell some of their deceased father’s land:
May 18, 1801. Lucy Riddle, John Riddle, Archer Riddle, David Riddle & Elizabeth his wife, William Riddle & Rachel his wife, Peyton Riddle & Patsey his wife, Joseph Watkins Riddle, Daniel Johnson & Jane his wife, Mary Riddle & Thomas Miller her guardian & John Underwood sell to Jacob Gilliam for 266 pounds, 15 shillings, & 1 p., land on Lickinghole Creek, 86 & 3/4 acres. Bounded by Layne, Miller, Lickinghole Creek & land lately purchased by Mims & Underwoods land (the words John Underwood interlined three times before signed) Wit: Edward Bolling, James Satterwhite, & William James. Rec: Sept. 21, 1801 (DB#18, pg. 247)
In 1807, Daniel purchased more land:
Jan. 6, 1807. Daniel Johnson and William Henry Pleasants executor of Thomas Pleasants decd sell to James Pleasants and Daniel Couch for 5 shillings and to secure bonds due to William Henry Pleasants in the amount of 411 pounds and 15 shillings due Jan. 1, 1809. 128 acres on Jenito Creek. Bounded by Joseph Watkins, decd. Thomas Watkins, Junr., Daniel Johnson, Joseph Watkins, & Thomas Watkins. Wit: J.W. Pleasants, Arch. Pleasants, Francis W. Royster for Daniel Johnson & William H. Pleasants. Signed: Daniel Johnson, William Henry Pleasants, James Pleasants. Rec: Feb. 16, 1807 (DB#19, pg. 626-7)
The land was on Genito Creek and it had been purchased from Bartholomew Turner in the past. Bartholomew Turner’s wife was a daughter of James Johnson, the Elder brother of Daniel Johnson d.ca. 1754 . Thomas & Joseph Watkins had married sisters of Daniel Johnson.
In 1817, Daniel Johnson was appointed constable for the lower district of Goochland County:
June 16, 1817. Daniel Johnson, Hezekiah Puryear, Thos. Taurman, Thomas B. Watkins bond for (amount unreadable). Condition- Daniel Johnson has been appt constable in the lower district of the county of Goochland. Signed: Daniel Johnson, H. Puyear, Thos Thurman, Thos. B. Watkins, & Wm Taurman (DB#22, pg. 429)
v 9. Sally Perry (Nov. 26, 1770- )
Sally married Joseph Watkins, 1789.
III. Usly Johnson Wood (ca. 1733- )
Daniel Johnson’s will mentioned a daughter Usly Wood in 1754, but did not name her husband. Other records of her are very scarce. She is mentioned with a William Wood in the records of the September Court of Henrico County in 1767:
Will of Dasey Southall. Presented by Turner Southall, the Executor and proved by William Wood and Ursley Wood: Thomas Prosser and John Price, Sec.
This William Wood was a son of Thomas Wood and Martha Burton of Henrico County.
Her next appearance in any court record was in 1791:
Feb. 12, 1791. Will of William Wood, Trinity Parish. Wife Ursuly. Son John Wood all my land. Daus: Mary Hall, Susanna Giddens, Agnes Thompson. Granddaughter: Nancy Thompson. Exors: Sons Thomas Wood, William Wood & John Wood. Wit: John Lashley, Nathaniel Harris, Martha Dunn. Signed: William Wood. Prob. May 9, 1791
According to descendants of William and Usly Wood, several of the children moved away from Goochland and Louisa Counties.
Children of Usly Johnson and William Wood
v 1.Thomas Wood (ca. 1760- )
He married Helender Johnson on March 19, 1781 (Jones, 51). Helender was the niece of Usley Johnson Wood and daughter of John Johnson & Eleanor Thompson.
v 2. Susannah Wood (ca. 1760- )
Susannah married William Giddens on Nov. 16, 1780 in Goochland (Williams, Louisa, 40) and later moved with her husband to Wilkes County, Georgia.
v 3. Agnes (ca. 1762- )
She married Charles Thomson before Feb. 11, 1783 in Louisa County and was the mother of the Nancy Thomson mentioned by William Wood in his will (Jones, 306).
v 4. Mary Wood (ca. 1764- )
Mary married Nathan Hall on Oct. 11, 1784 in Goochland County & they moved to Amherst County, Virginia (Jones, 24).
v 5. William (May 26, 1765- )
William married Sarah Hall on Oct 11, 1784 in Goochland County (Williams, Louisa, 115)
v 6. John Wood (ca. 1771- )
He married Susannah Ricks on Feb. 21, 1793 (Williams, 108) and they moved to Nicholas County, Kentucky by 1800.