HARDY & REBECCA JOHNSON
This is taken from the MOORE BOOK by PAUL E. DAUGHERTY. It is through
his research and writing that we owe a big "Thank You." We had their names but he
has made them come alive for us.
Submitted by Henry & Betty Moore
Posted February 26th, 2000 by Myrtle Bridges.
HARDY JOHNSON (son of HARDY JOHNSON, SR.)
The son, HARDY JOHNSON (JOHNSTON), was born about 1740 when Southampton County was part of Isle of
Wight County, Virginia, and he probably had the typical rearing of a moderately well-to-do plantation
owner of the day. Doubtless he had long hours in the cotton and tobacco fields, since his father had only
a few slaves. His father conveyed 150 acres to him in December, 1761; so that is a reasonable guess that
he was about twenty-one years of age when he received the land.
On January 1,1778, for 199 pounds current money, HARDY purchased 225 acres in the same Nottoway Parish of
Southampton County, the deed from Matthew Johnson reciting:
"being the plantation whereon said MATTHEW JOHNSON now lives which was given to him by
STEPHEN JOHNSON, his father, who purchased the same from JOSHUA THOMAS by indenture
Recorded in the Isle of Wight November 26, 1744, containing 125; and also the plantation
Which descended to MATTHEW JOHNSON by the death of his brother, HENRY, to whom it was
given by the father, STEPHEN JOHNSON, who purchased from JOHN O'BERRY; also
on east side of Nottoway Swamp, and on the main road that leads to Southampton County
Courthouse, including all houses, outhouses, buildings, gardens."
The witnesses to the deed (5-302) were J.DENSON, ABSOLOM JOYNER and JACOB JENKINS; and MATTHEW'S wife,
MARY, joined in executing the deed.
Soon thereafter, on February 12, 1778, HARDY JOHNSON on and wife, REBECCA, sold the original "150 acres
plantation where HARDY JOHNSON now lives" to his brother, COUNCIL JOHNSON the consideration being 80 pounds.
On the same day, COUNCIL sold his 125 acres next to the HARDY JOHNSON place"to ROBERT WESTROY for 40 pounds.
(Each brother improving himself!)
At this juncture, since the Revolutionary War was in progress HARDY must have been concerned as to whether the
struggle would continue until his young sons, WILLIAM and SILAS, would have to be involved.
In 1782, HARDY and REBECCA sold 85 acres to MOSES JOYNER (6-28); and 1788, they conveyed 145 acres to
MATTHEW VICK, JR. (7-140). In 1792, HARDY and REBECCA sold 50 acres on Cypress Swamp "next to AMOS
COUNCIL"to ETHELRED DRAKE. A witness to the deed was JOHNSON BARNES.(7-613)
The conveyance in 1799 of "70 acres plantation on Cypress Swamp" from HARDY and REBECCA JOHNSON to WILLIAM
JOHNSON was very likely a gift to their eldest son. A witness to the deed was AMOS COUNCIL. (9-124).
Finally, on October 17, 1803, HARDY and REBECCA appear to be disposing of the remainder of their plantation,
when they convey to JOSHUA CORBETT "the 164 acres whereon HARDY JOHNSON now lives", on Cypress survey and
adjacent to JOHN BOWERS, AMOS COUNCIL, ETHELRED DRAKE, B. WILLIAMS and WILLIAM JOHNSON
Commencing near the turn of the century , there was a migration of some JOHNSON families from Southampton
County, Virginia to the burgeoning Averasboro area of Cumberland County, North Carolina.
One JOSEPH VICK, neighbor of HARDY JOHNSON, seems to have been an instigator of trades and movement to
the south. On December 15,1797, he purchased 600 acres from ISRAEL FOLSOM (my ancestor in another line);
the land being on both sides of Horsepen Branch, north of Averasboro, N. C. Two years later, December 7,
1799, Joshua Vick bought and additional 1414 acres from ISRAEL FOLSOM same being a part of the former estate
of COLONEL EBENEZER FOLSOM, ISRAEL'S father, and the subject of a later sketch in this story. VICK then sold
the 1444 acres to BENJAMIN JOHNSON) of Southampton County, Virginia, January 27, 1803.
The HARDY JOHNSON family got into the movement, and on January 16, 1804, HARDY paid 400 pounds for 718 acres on
Juniper Swamp, east of Averasboro, east of the Black River. The seller JAMES WATSON, had owned the plantation
since 1774. The deed refers to adjacent owners JOSHUA GIST and JOHN RAY, and was witnessed by JAMES PRITCHETT
and WILLIAM WATSON. (20-880)
On the same date, and with the same witnesses to deed, HARDY AND REBECCA conveyed "to son, WILLIAM JOHNSON"
300 acres of the 718 acres purchased from WATSON.(20-89)
During the following year, August 15,1805, HARDY JOHNSON conveyed "to son, SILAS JOHNSON" 200 acres of the
original 718 acres; the deed witnesses being JOHN R. MOORE AND WILLIAM KILLEN (22-60) SILAS JOHNSON enjoyed
his place less than a year; the records reciting that in 1806 SHADRACH JONES was appointed administrator of
the "estate of SILAS JOHNSON, deceased"; and ISRAEL FOLSOM was appointed Commissioner to lay off allowance
for the widow, POLLY JOHNSON.
The 1810 census for HARDY JOHNSON household has one male "over 45", one female "over 45", one male "16 / 26",
and one female"16 / 26". The young male and female were the son, AMOS JOHNSON and his wife, the former
PATSY MURPHY, whom AMOS had married in 1809. The identity of the older female will be discussed later, under
the piece on REBECCA.
It was now time for the elderly father, HARDY JOHNSON to take a back seat and permit AMOS to run the plantation.
In 1820, the census taker listed AMOS JOHNSON the head of the household at age "26 /45", wife also "26 / 45",
with a daughter "under 10"; and the father, HARDY is listed "over 45", as is a female of the same age
classification. On November 1, 1822 before the onset of another winter, HARDY JOHNSON made it legal
"For love and affection", HARDY conveyed to son, AMOS, the 270 acres on which he now reside, being the
residue of the land originally by JOHN WATSON to HARDY JOHNSON, including all household and kitchen
furniture.. all horse, bridle, saddle and pair of cartwheels,
The stock of cattle, sheep and hogs.." The deed is witnessed by MORRIS SMITH and ROBERT NORRIS. It seems
likely that HARDY'S wife, reflected in 1820 census, had passed on.
In the tax list for 1824 through 1828, AMOS JOHNSON continued to render the residue 270 acres jointly as
"HARDY JOHNSON-AMOS JOHNSON",and AMOS also rendered "AMOS JOHNSON for SILAS
JOHNSON ESTATE 200 acres on Stoney Run."
By the time we reach the 1830 census, the AMOS JOHNSON household includes a "male over ", which was HARDY
JOHNSON; but I think the census taker checked the wrong column; since HARDY should have been in the 90-100
age bracket. In any event, old HARDY was still around in 1835, when the following certificate was submitted
by friends regarding HARDY'S application for benefits under a recent enactment:
"The undersigned having been for a number of years personally acquainted with HARDY JOHNSON, who immigrated
to the State of North Carolina about thirty years ago from the State of Virginia, since which time he has
been a resident of Cumberland County. Said JOHNSON having set up claim authorized by an Act of Congress
for services rendered in the war of revolution to which, with others, he considers himself entitled from
the exemplary life of MR. JOHNSON since he has resided in our County and his undoubted veracity, we have
no hesitation in saying that we believe his claim to be just, and confidently hope he may receive that reward
which his country holds forth to those who participated in the perils for independence.
March 2, 1835
HECTOR STEWART JOEL WILLIAMS
DUSHEE SHAW H, GODWIN
FARQD CAMPBELL V. SMITH"
The application was not acted upon. The last entry in the Pension Office was in 1834 to the effect that there
was not sufficient proof; which doubtless prompted the above certification by HARDY JOHNSON friends and neighbors.
The assumption is that HARDY JOHNSON died soon after the above paper was sent in, making the question moot.
The parties signing the above statement were leading citizens of the Averasboro area; so perhaps this original,
of which I have a photostatic copy, was not altogether in vain. In a sense, it is a valedictory of friends to
our aged ancestor.
REBECCA (REBECKAH) JOHNSON, wife of HARDY JOHNSON,
MOTHER OF PENELOPE
REBECCA joined her husband in the execution of at least conveyances of land commencing in 1778 back in
Southampton County, Virginia, and extending down to 1804 when they conveyed a portion of their newly
acquired land in Cumberland County, North Carolina to son, WILLIAM. In no instance did HARY act
without her joinder during such 26 years period; however, on August 15, 1805, HARDY conveyed 200 acres to
son, SILAS, and REBECCA did not join in the deed.
The Cumberland County records show a marital bond for HARDY JOHNSON to SARAH JONES, February 4,1807, with
JOHN SPENCE as surety. I find no other HARDY JOHNSON in the county, so I presume that REBECCA died between
the dates January 16,1804, when she signed deed to son, WILLIAM, and August 15, 1805 when she failed to sign
the deed to son, SILAS. HARDY JOHNSON was only 65 years of age in 1805, and he could very well have become
lonely. The new wife, SARAH JONES, may have had some connection with the neighbor SHADDRAH JONES, who was
Admimistrator for the estate of SILAS JOHNSON, son of HARDY, in 1806.
HARDY JOHNSON may have also had a wife back in Southampton County, Virginia, prior to his marriage to
REBECCA, and when was given the 150 acres by his father, REBECCA does not show in the records until 1778;
and the youngest child, AMOS, appears from census records to have been born in 1792. Penelope was born in 1789.
I doubt that REBECCA, who gave birth to Amos in 1792, would have been a bride in 1761.
Probably wife number 3, SARAH JONES JOHNSON, appears in the 1820 census household, but is not present in the
1830 census with old HARDY in the AMOS JOHNSON household. Wives were expendable in the early days.
REBECCA, being our ancestor, deserves closer research in Southampton County, Virginia. Perhaps she can be
found in some church record. In any event, I hope someday to get a mental picture of her as of about the
time of her marriage to HARDY.
Doubtless, she was a lovely young Virginia woman who underwent the usual restrictions; but later when the
chips were down as a wife, she could shoulder responsibilities. Thinking of "restrictions", I read the
following from a 1773 diary of a Virginian:
"The stays are produced upward so high that can have scarce any view of the Ladies" Snowy Bosoms; and
on the contrary, they are extended downward so low that walking causes a disagreeable friction on the
body against the lower edge of the stays which is hard and unyielding. Stays were worn by old and young.
Little girls of 10 were forced to girdle their bodies".
Back to the sober side, REBECCA'S consistent participation with her husband in the land transactions tells
something of the lady. She joined in the big move by wagon to the strange new country in 1804 in the dead
of winter. It may have been too much for her, and it appears that she did not live to see her daughter,
PENELOPE, married to JOHN MOORE.
Read the John Moore Marriage Bond
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