Isaac Johnson was born in the state of Delaware in the 1700s. He is believed to have been of Welsh extraction, and was a veteran of the American Revolution and a pioneer settler of Greene County, PA.
Lyda Miller, Isaac's wife, is shrouded in the misty haze of the past, with little more known than the fact of her marriage and the lives of her children.
As a young man, Isaac migrated from Delaware to Chester County, PA. His residence there was near where the famed Battle of Brandywine later would be fought during the Revolutionary War. The battle, near Chadds Ford, pitted George Washington's American Army against General Sir William Howe on Sept. 11, 1777, a victory for the British.
While in Chester County, Isaac married Lyda Miller. In an 1854 article about the Brandywine battlefield, Gleason's Pictorial Drawing-Room Companion said:
[It] is in the centre of a beautiful district, about twenty miles southwest from Philadelphia. The stream, from which the battle took its name, is a wild, romantic river, that alternates between green meadows and wooded banks, presenting new charms at every turn. The vicinity of West Chester, near which the conflict occurred, is especially picturesque, its sides being broken and steep, with a few fords at scattered intervals.
When the war broke out, Isaac and Caleb Johnson, presumed to be a brother, both joined the Chester County Militia. They served in a company commanded by Captain William Newman, assigned to the Eighth Battalion.
After the war, Isaac and Lyda pulled up their proverbial stakes and migrated westward into the wilderness of southwestern Pennsylvania. He and Caleb Johnson patented land along Dunkard Creek, and apparently remained for the remainder of their lives.
Isaac and Lyda produced 11 children -- Jonathan Johnson, Rewell "Ruel" Johnson, Imry Johnson, Isaac Johnson Jr., Hadley Johnson, William Johnson, Phoebe Hupp, Lyda Ramsey, Joanna Garrison, Zillah Bailey and Catherine Kirby Gregg.
Isaac passed away in or near Dunkard Creek in the early 1820s. His will -- in which he named some but not all of his offspring -- was probated on May 4, 1825 in the county courthouse in Waynesburg. The final estate settlement was filed in court some nine years later in September 1834. These documents furnish a substantial amount of information about the children.
Lyda's fate is unknown.
The family is outlined in Howard L. Leckey's 1950 book The Tenmile Country and Its Pioneer Families.
~ Son Jonathan Johnson ~
Son Jonathan Johnson ( ? - ? ) was named in his father's will, and also in a History of Monongalia County, WV.
~ Son Rewell "Ruel" Johnson ~
Son Rewell "Ruel" Johnson ( ? - ? ) inherited his parents' farms on Dunkard Creek upon their deaths.
According to Leckie's book, he is named in the father's will circa May 1825 but not in the final Greene County Orphan's Court settlement file in September 1834.
~ Son Imry Johnson ~
Son Imry Johnson ( ? - ? ) was named in both his father's will and the Orphan's Court papers.
Nephew Imry Hupp and grand-nephew Imry J. Hupp were named in his honor.
~ Son Isaac Johnson Jr. ~
Son Isaac Johnson Jr. ( ? - ? ) also was named in both his father's will and the Greene County probate papers.
~ Son Hadley Johnson ~
Son Hadley Johnson (1780-1863), sometimes spelled "Hadley," was born in 1780.
He married Rachel Ramsey (1788- ? ). Their known children were Sebra Johnson, Heel Johnson, Hadley Johnson Jr., Omer B. Johnson and Mary Johnson. Over the years they apparently shifted their residence between Pennsylvania and Virginia, as children were born in both locations at different intervals.
When the federal census was taken in 1850, Hadley and Rachel made their home as farmers in the eastern district of Monongalia County, VA (later West Virginia). That year, son Heel was a merchant, and son Hadley a miller.
In 1860, the Johnsons lived in Clinton, Monongalia County where Hadley was a farmer and son Omer a merchant.
Hadley died on July 31, 1863 at the age of 89 (actually 83), according to Monongalia County records, with the year confirmed by the Leckey history. He was residing at the time at Clinton Mills, and had been stricken with neuralgia. The Monongalia listing gives his parents' names as "Johnson, Hadley & Lydia." Son Omer was the informant for the official state death certificate.
Granddaughter Sebra Johnson (1812- ? ) was born in about 1812 in Virginia.
Grandson Heel Johnson (1819- ? ) was born in 1819 in Pennsylvania. At age 31, unmarried, he lived at home and made a living as a merchant.
Grandson Hadley Johnson Jr. (1825- ? ) was born in 1825 in Pennsylvania. He worked as a flour miller at the age of 25.
Grandson Omer B. Johnson (1827-1891) was born in 1827 in Pennsylvania. He labored with his father as a farmer circa 1850. Omer married Mary Jane Courtney ( ? - ? ), daughter of Michael Courtney, on Nov. 1, 1855. They had at least one son, O.C. Johnson. Omer was a longtime merchant, residing in the Clinton District of Monongalia County. He died there at the age of 66 on Oct. 19, 1891, of "miscellaneous" causes. On his West Virginia death record, his parents' names are given as "Hadley & Rachel Johnson."
~ Son William Johnson ~
Son William Johnson ( ? - ? ) was not named in his father's will but appears in the later Orphan's Court accounting of the estate.
~ Daughter Lyda (Johnson) Ramsey ~
Daughter Lyda Johnson ( ? - ? ) married John Ramsey ( ? - ? ). Nothing more is known.
~ Daughter Joanna (Johnson) Garrison ~
Daughter Joanna Johnson (1796- ? ) is believed to have been born in 1796 in Pennsylvania.
If so, she wed Jacob Garrison (1791- ? ). They migrated to Ritchie County, VA (later West Virginia) where they were farmers. Their known children were Reuben Garrison, Drusilla "Silla" Garrison, Leonard Garrison, Emra S. (or "Imre") Garrison, Phoebe A. Garrison and Elma A. Garrison. In 1850, they were enumerated on the federal census of Ritchie County. That year, 44-year-old Priscilla Bennett dwelled in their residence.
The Garrisons pushed forward to a new home in Wirt County, WV and were there when the 1860 census was taken. That year, Joanna, apparently now widowed, lived with her 39-year-old son Reuben in a household including her younger children.
All of this needs to be confirmed.
~ Daughter Zillah (Johnson) Bailey ~
Daughter Zilla Johnson (1787- ? ) was born in 1787 in Pennsylvania.
She married William Baily (or "Bailey") (1779- ? ). They resided in Cumberland Township, Greene County, and were farmers.
When the federal census was taken in 1850, Zilla (age 63) and William (71) were enumerated in Cumberland Township, with William retired and having no occupation. That year, 14-year-old Rebecca Stewart lived under their roof.
In 1860, William was age 80 and Zillah 74. The census-taker marked him as a farmer even at that advanced age.
~ Daughter Catherine (Johnson) Kirby Gregg ~
Daughter Catherine Johnson ( ? - ? ) was married twice. Her first husband was (?) Kirby ( ? - ? ). Her second spouse was (?) Gregg ( ? - ? ).
Copyright © 2014, 2017 Mark A. Miner