AN OLD LETTER

I received the following letter, dated 2 April 1965, in reply to one I had written requesting JOHNS data.
From: A. Gordon Stephenson, 1310 Bay Shore Drive, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451
Dear Mrs. Armstrong,
Neither Mr. or Mrs. Johns was interested in genealogy and there are no Johns family records available to me. Mr. Johns full name was WASHINGTON STUART JOHNS. He had two brothers VAN DYKE JOHNS, who died a young man without marrying, and KENSEY JOHNS, who never married. There was one sister, CORNELIA JOHNS, who married Dr. JOSEPH GRICE of Portsmouth, Virginia. Both of them have been dead for several years and there were no children.

These were the children of DR. KENSEY JOHNS and LAURA STUART and, I believe, were all born at the Family Home at Sudley, Anne Arundel County, Maryland. I understand that DR. JOHNS was the son of BISHOP JOHN JOHNS of Newcastle Delaware, and that he was the son of KENSEY JOHNS and ANNE VAN DYKE, who were married at Amstel House, Newcastle, Delaware on 30 April 1784. It is said that GEORGE WASHINGTON and GENERAL LAFAYETTE attended the wedding.

There is a house in Newcastle known as the Johns House and it is across the street from the Van Dyke House. ANNE VAN DYKE was the daughter of GOV. NICHOLAS VAN DYKE of Delaware.

The Johns family settled in Maryland about the middle of the seventeeth century. They had a land grant from the King at a place called Sudley, on the West River, in what is now Anne Arundel County. It was, I believe, know as Anne Arundel at that time. A CAPTAIN KINSEY JOHNS was appointed sheriff of Anne Arundel in 1668. The Sudley farm remained in the Johns family until Mrs. Grice sold it about 1940.

There is a biography of BISHOP JOHN JOHNS, called "THE VIRGINA BISHOP" It was written by MR. JOHN SUMNER WOOD of Rockville, Maryland and published by Garrett & Massie, Inc. of Richmond, Virginia, in 1961. As far as I know, Mr. Wood is living.

Just which member of the Johns clan first moved to Newcastle, or when, I do not know, but there must have been some moving back and forth between Sudley and Newcastle.

I have never heard mention of your ancestor, CHARLES CICERO JOHNS and it may be that his was an entirely different family.

(Note: a PS was added "My aunt, Mrs. W. S. JOHNS, is 92 and doing well.")

A Further Note: According to Rob Johns, another Johns researcher, the Johns families mentioned in this letter are all descendants of RICHARD and ELIZABETH KINSEY SPARROW JOHNS of Calvert Co the Cliffs, Maryland around 1678. RICHARD JOHNS migrated to Maryland from Bristol, England.

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