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THE PROTESTANT PERSECUTION                                                                


Colonial Maryland Timeline


1689 - the Protestant Association, a group led by John Coode, seizes control of the colony and demands that England take over the government.  


1691 - the English crown appoints a royal governor.


1715 - The Calvert family regains control of Maryland in 1715 under Benedict Leonard Calvert, the fourth Lord Baltimore, who is a Protestant.


1718 - Roman Catholics in Maryland lose the right to vote. This right is not regained until 1776.


1718. Catholics disenfranchised by Assembly.


1720-1727. Charles Calvert, governor.


1723. School and board of visitors in each county mandated by Assembly.


1729. Baltimore Town established by charter.


1732. Salisbury Town laid out by commissioners.


1732. Establishment of boundary line with three lower counties of Pennsylvania, which later became Delaware.





During the lifetime of John Johnson, son of William Johnson, the colony of Maryland saw much tumult between the Protestants and the Catholics.  This period saw the Protestants in 1694 force the movement of the Capitol from St. Mary’s City to Annapolis, Maryland.  Catholics lost their right to vote and didn’t regain it until after the Revolutionary War.  With Catholicism in disfavor during this time Catholics actually had to disguise their worship.  This went so far as having to disguise their buildings of worship.  St. Francis Xavier Church in New Town (now Compton, Maryland) was just such an example.


St. Francis Xavier Church was built in 1704 and rebuilt in 1766.  The present vestry is the only portion of the church that remains unchanged."  Some early Johnsons worshiped there.  References can be found in the church records to the wedding of Mary  Johnson and John Murrein on December 4, 1769.


This church has an incredible history stretching back to the period when the Protestants were oppressing the Catholics of St. Mary's County, Maryland.   The church was originally constructed to look like a tobacco barn so that the authorities would not know it's actual use.  Only later when religious tolerance became the norm was a brick front added to make room for a vestibule and choir loft.  Later a brick sacristy and small belfry announced that it was a church!



Generation No. 2


2.  JOHN2 JOHNSON (WILLIAM1)4 was born Abt. 1675, and died Bef. April 02, 1745 in St. Mary's Co., Maryland.  He married MARY SMITH Abt. 1707 in St. Mary's Co, Maryland.  She was born Abt. 1690.


Children of JOHN JOHNSON and MARY SMITH are:

              i.   PETER3 JOHNSON, b. 1705; d. Bef. April 08, 1747; m. (1) UNKNOWN; m. (2) GRACE BREWER, Abt. 1745; b. Abt. 1690; d. June 21, 1754, Maryland.

              ii.   THOMAS JOHNSON, b. 1707, St. Mary's Co, Maryland.

3.          iii.   JOHN JOHNSON, b. 1710, St. Mary's Co., Maryland; d. Bef. April 23, 1767, St. Mary's Co., Maryland.

             iv.   LEONARD JOHNSON, b. 1713; d. Bef. February 19, 1775; m. WINIFRED.

             v.   JESSE JOHNSON, b. 1715.

             vi.   MARY JOHNSON, b. 1717; d. Aft. 1760.

            vii.   SUSANNA JOHNSON, b. 1720.






In the Rent Roll information cited above under William and Alice Johnson there is an additional  entry at the bottom of the document.  This indicates a later transaction.  In this case I believe it represents a later payment of rent on behalf of John Johnson to Philip Key.  The entry reads as follows:


      100  0.4.0  Philip Key from John Johnson, March 9, 1737.


This indicates that John Johnson made payment on 100 acres (St. Peters Wells) to Philip Key on March 9, 1737 of the sum of “0.4.0” [which mean 0 pounds, 4 shillings, 0 pence].  This moves the property to the second generation.  As mentioned in the earlier chapter on William and Alice there is also a Rent Roll entry regarding a 104 Acre Addition to St. Peter’s Well which was surveyed for this John Johnson.  It reads:


Addition to Peters Well.  104. 0.4.2. Surveyed Jan 17, 1726

for John Johnson.


 104. 0.4.2. Philip Key from John Johnson, Aug. 4, 1736




We have a will for John Johnson (see below) that indicates that he made his Last Will and Testament on January 14, 1744 and that it was probated on April 2, 1745.  The will does not mention his wife by name but does mention his children Peter, John, Thomas, Leonard and Susannah.  We know that Mary was previously married to a John Medcalf.  We know this from the Administrative Account from 1707 for John & Mary Medcalf.  Mary was the administratrix of the account which ends with this sentence “Then came John Johnson, who married the aministratrix above sd, and made oath to the above acct before me, Wm Aisquisth, Dep Commissary.” Then we have the Will of one Peter Smith probated in 1717 which refers to his daughter “Mary Johnson.”


In existence we also have a Last Will and Testament for one of John’s sons, Leonard who was married to Winifred. That Will was probated on February 19, 1775.  See, Will Book T.A. 1, p. 718 (see below). This was a verbal will that left his estate to his wife Winifred until his children came of age, unless Winifred remarried in which case the children are to take their parts of the estate.  We also have some information regarding Peter Johnson and his wife Grace.  Following the death of her first husband John Mattingly in 1744, Grace married Peter Johnson. Peter's Will, written on 1-2-1747, named the youngest children of John. Grace reportedly died sometime after the date shown.





DATE OF WILL: January 2, 1747

DATE OF PROBATE:  April 8, 1747


GRACE JOHNSON, formerly wife of John Mattingly

(Her) children: James, Joseph, Luke Mattingly

Child: (1st marriage) John, Thomas, Leonard, Jess,

Mary & Susanna  Johnson.


EXECUTOR(S): Wife Grace Johnson and brother,

John Johnson


WITNESSES: John Tyson, William HOWARD,




We also find the following Administrative Account for Peter Johnson:



ADMINSITRATIVE ACCOUNTS for Peter Johnson, son of John



Admin Accts of Mr. Peter Johnson April 8, 1747 and May 19,


Apraisers were: M. Thompson and Richard Cooper,

Next of kin: Thomas and John Johnson

Exec:George Hayden Skinner (Half brother of Grace Hayden)






Drawn -

Probated - April 9, 1745


Page one





Page 2





      Transcription of the Last Will and Testament of John Johnson



The Last Will of )  Maryland. In the name of God Amen I John Johnson, senior

John Johnson      )  being sick and weak of body but sound & perfect memory

And considering the uncertainty of this present life, I do think fitt and (?)

To settle things in order for this (?)  first I bequeath my soul to almighty

God, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by whose (?0 and Death ()

I hope to enjoy Eternal Life and my body to this Earth to be (?) buried

My Executors, hereafter nominated, shall think fit and convenient

And so appoint this to be my last Will and

Testament,  and making void, all other Wills or , beyond                       


And do appoint, this to be my last Will, and Testament.  I give and bequeath

To my beloved Wife the plantation I now Dwell on her natural life , and

Considering the uncertainty of this present life, I do think fitt

After her life to my son Peter Johnson, and to him, his heirs of his body, lawfully

Begotten or to be begotten forever, and in case this said Peter Johnson should

Dy without sons or heirs then the plantation to fall to my son Thomas

Johnson & to him & to his heirs of his body lawfully begotten forever

(?) I give and bequeath to my son John Johnson, the plantation wherein

he now dwells, the natural (?0 of his life, and

fall to my son Leonard Johnson, and to him and the heirs of his body

lawfully begotten forever         Item. I give


and bequeath to my daughter Susana Johnson, one feather bed,


                                                                                                John   x   Johnson   Seal







Drawn –


Probated February 19, 1745





Transcription of Last Will and Testament of Leonard Johnson


This last Will and Testament of Leonard Johnson late of Saint Marty’s County is Declared by him by word of mouth on the nineteenth day of February, one thousand and Seven hundred & seventy five, being thou