Friday, June 23, 2017

Genealogy Pockets - Carter Co., TN

Whenever I really dive in and research a family...especially one that has been in the same region for a long time, I spend a little extra time on allied families.  More times than not, these allied families have showed up in interesting ways.  There are good reasons that I spend extra time on these families.  Of late, I have been spending some time on Carter Co., TN and the Johnson family.

My 3rd great grandfather was Moses Johnson b. abt 1788 in NC possibly Randolph Co., NC.  He married Nancy Mayfield on 6 May 1816 in Granville Co., NC.  They had 5 children:

Henderson William Johnson b. 2 May 1817 Greensboro, Guilford Co., NC d. 29 Dec 1883, Valeria, Jasper Co., IA m. 12 Dec 1844 to Jane Carmeline Humphreys

Washington Abraham Johnson b. 25 Oct 1819 Greensboro, Guilford Co., NC d. 14 Feb 1917 in Kirkman, Shelby Co., IA m. 20 Aug 1855 Jefferson Co., TN to Mary Ann Smith

Martha Ann Johnson b. abt 1823 Guilford Co., NC d. abt 1862 Carter Co., TN m. 1 Jun 1839 Guilford Co., NC to Grenville C Walker

Nancy Jane Emily Johnson b. 27 Aug 1827 Guilford Co., NC d. 1 Oct 1908 Elwood, Madison Co., IL m. 23 Feb 1836 Guilford Co., NC to James Franklin Ballard

Nicholas Moses Johnson b. abt 1828 d. Unknown m. 14 Nov 1854 Carter Co., TN to Mary Ann Jenkins

At some time between the census record in 1840 where Moses Johnson was recorded in Guilford Co., NC and 1844 when Henderson Johnson marries Jane Humphreys, the Johnson family moved from North Carolina to Carter Co., TN.  I have my own theories about why they left North Carolina.  I know that one of Moses Johnson's nephews was actually hung for murder and he had other family members who were in legal trouble.  Having said that, I can only guess because I know of no documentation to tell me otherwise.  When I first started piecing the family together, I spent a lot time looking at the family of Nicholas Johnson and I spent a lot time piecing information together on his descendants because they stayed in the Carter Co., TN area.  At the time, I thought he was the only one whose family stayed there.  Nicholas dissappears after the Civil War and no one knows exactly what happened to him.  ( See Nicholas Johnson - Man of Mystery. )  However, his family stayed in Carter Co., TN and after my visit there in 2003, my interest was piqued.  I met one of the descendants of Nicholas Moses Johnson and learned something about a lot of things that I had never heard.  There was nothing neat and tidy about the Nicholas Johnson family and there were ties to local families like:  Peters, Campbells, Olivers, Potters and Goodwins.  So, I spent time adding information gleaned from cemetery records, census records, marriage records and other peoples research about the families.  I made a few family contacts and learned a lot of information.  However, my focus was drawn to other families.

Since that time I have added info about Henderson and Nancy's descendants, but the Martha Johnson branch remained stubbornly elusive.  The only twig that I had some success with was Martha's son, Nicholas Walker who married his first cousin Laura Mayfield Johnson.  (See Nicholas Walker and Laura Mayfield Johnson) However, thanks to another researcher and descendant Brock McIntosh the floodgates have opened.

It turns out that part of Martha Johnson Walker's family stayed in Carter Co., TN.  It also turns out that many of the families that I had researched while pursuing Nicholas Moses Johnson's descendants showed up in Martha Johnson's descendants as well and perhaps a bit too closely.  Martha had a great grandson named John Alexander Potter b. 3 Jan 1882 Carter Co., TN d. 21 Jan 1973 Sullivan Co., TN who was married to Bonnie Johnson b. 26 Aug 1891 Hampton, Carter Co., TN d. 25 Aug 1939.  John was the son of Hester McIntosh (granddaughter of Martha) and William Potter.  Hester's father and William's mother were siblings.  Bonnie was the daughter of Daniel Oliver Johnson and Nancy Elizabeth Campbell and therefore the granddaughter of Nicholas Moses Johnson.

So...Bonnie married her 1st cousin, once removed and John Alexander Potter and Bonnie Johnson's children have in their lines many of the most well known families of Carter Co., TN.  Of course, I am a bit partial to the Johnson name (I am descended from Washington Abraham Johnson).  On that branch you will find Campbell, Goodwin, Jenkins, and Bradley.  On the Potter branch you will find McIntosh, Johnson, Walker, and Justice.

Now, you can't define a "genealogy pocket" group without a lot of research.  In my case, this doesn't only involve the Johnson/Walker line, but also involves multiple other family groups.  You only find these groups when you find the parents and siblings and multiple connections.  It takes a lot of time and research to figure out who these families are and where they have connections.  The families who are in my Carter Co., TN "genealogy pocket" are: Johnson, Walker, Campbell, Goodwin, Carden, Oliver, Potter, Peters, & McIntosh.  This means when I add a name and spouse - if they have a familiar last name, it is time to figure out where they fit in the Carter Co., puzzle!