Monday Madness – Origins of Captain John Johnson

The origins of Captain John JOHNSON, born abt 1585/1595, who married Mary Heath in 1613 in England (father of Captain Isaac Johnson) seem to be in great dispute. For years I have had him listed as the son of John Johnson and Hannah Throckmorton. Do a quick search at the LDS or Rootsweb, and you’ll find numerous different options for his lineage.
Until, once again, Google Books, came to the rescue. Well, that is if you believe the disputes of Gerald Johnson.

I have paraphrased the Theories from his book, The Biography and Genealogy of Captain John Johnson, 2000

Theory #1… Isaac Johnson and Lady Arbella Fiennes of Lincolnshire.
“If Isaac Johnson was born in 1601 and John Johnson was married in 1613, there is NO WAY that Isaac Johnson and Arbella Fiennes were the parents of John Johnson. John Johnson could not have been 12yrs old at the time of his marriage to Mary Heath… Furthermore, both Isaac and Arbella died soon after arriving in New England in 1630. The Will of Isaac Johnson clearly establishes that he and Lady Arbella Fiennes had no living issue”

Theory #2… John Johnson’s father was John Johnson of Wilmington, Kent, England because (a) his wife was Margery Scudder who was named in the will of John Lowers of Darenth, Kent, England and (b) in which is names a John Johnson, the elder and a John Johnson, the younger (Presumably, “our” Captain John Johnson) in the 1650 will.
First, John Johnson did NOT marry Margery Scudder. Margery Scudder, who was actually “Margaret Scudder” was married to Thomas Stacy who outlived her.
Furthermore, study of the county of Kent birth and death records did not reveal any John Johnson being born to a John Johnson. Further, there is no record of a John Johnson birth in Herne or Herne Hill parish, Kent, England.
Captain Edward Johnson of Woburn, Massachusetts WAS from Herne Hill, Kent, England. There is no evidence, however, that Edward Johnson and John Johnson were related.
It is concluded that Captain John Johnson of Roxbury, Mass was not born in either Wilmington, England or Herne Hill, England.

Theory #3… Francis Johnson and Elizabeth Thorogood
“The dates are all wrong for these people to be the parents of Captain John Johnson. The mother of Elizabeth Thorogood was Cecily Baynam. Baynam would have been only four years old when her supposed grandson, John Johnson was born in 1590.

Theory #4… John Johnson born abt 1570 and Hannah Throckmorton.
The birth date of 1588, Langton, Lincolnshire, England submitted by a Richard Miner to the Ancestral Files, is not listed in any of the Lincolnshire parish records…. Mr. Miner, believing that the information researched by his mother was correct, submitted the information to the LDS church.

Theory #5… father was John Johnson, grandparents Geoffrey Johnson and Bridgett Harbottle.
Neither Geoffrey Johnson, son of Maurice, nor Bridgett Harbottle, wife of Geoffrey, are listed in any of the Herne Hill, Kent, England parish records. Geoffrey Johnson, if related, woul dhave been a grandfather of our Captain John Johnson. He died Sept 1585 at age 60 in Leicester England. Ms. Lynda Hotchkiss, genealogist for the county of Lincolnshire Council Genealogical Research Service, extensively researched this connection in November 1998. Ms. Hotchkiss clearly establishes that John Johnson and Isaac Johnson were NOT brothers as all sources clearly show “Abraham, father of Isaac Johnson, had no son John.”
Robert Johnson and grandfather of Abraham Johnson, was married three times with the last marriage being in Rutland. According to Ms. Hotchkiss this suggests other children, but she did not find any definite leads to a John Johnson who could have married in 1613 in Ware, Hertfordshire, England.

Theory #6…. John Johnson and Alice Prior of Ware.
Captain John Johnson is already in America (1630) when this John Johnson was born in Ware, Hertfordshire, England. Thus, he is not our Captain John Johnson.

So…. as of this publishing in 2000, it is not known who the parents of John Johnson were. He is currently without family.

Madness, indeed.


9 thoughts on “Monday Madness – Origins of Captain John Johnson

  1. I,am related to Captain John Johnson and live here in New Hampshire…I would love to find these roots of who is parents are..I believe what is written here because of the fact that my Grandmother Johnson back in 1975 did our family tree with her brother Charlie. She passed away in 2005 and Charlie and I are re-searching all the Johnson Lineage to see if they did put it together right…I have seen to many loop holes in our lineage..and I don,t if other Johnson Ancestors are having this same problem.. Charlie is getting on in his age so hopefully I will accomplish and birth in new creativety with my Ancestors..I have been doing my own research since 2003 and I,am still having problems in the tree line..I love geneology but sometimes it is tough when you have Johnsons and Smiths on both sides..Very frustrating at times..I really want to know who Capt.John Johnsons parents were..and grateful for what you have posted here on your blog..Its a viladation for myself in that I felt hat somthing was messed up and not up in sinc..They have also said that we have Native in our blood as well as Afo-Amercian..Also heard that we aere related to Sir William Johnson..Who knows..maybe someone has the missing link and will share…In Graditude Judi

  2. This is very interesting to read all of the accounts of where John Johnson came from. I have an interesting piece to add to the puzzle.I just got my maternal Grandfather, who is a direct male descendent of John Johnson to get his genes tested at the company 23andMe. One of the pieces of information that comes with this test is known as a Y haplogroup. The Y chromosome is passed down from father to son generation after generation without recombination. Using this information you can actually track paternal ancestries.It turns out that my grandfather has a Y haplogroup of E1b1b1a2* (it used to be called E3b). This haplogroup is extremely rare for anyone from England, there are a few isolated exceptions, but by and large this is not a Northern European haplogroup. If you look at a map of where people who had this haplogroup were distributed around 500 years ago, the highest concentration was in Albania and the surrounding areas and also in Corsica, Italy, Greece and some parts of Spain. It also seems to peak in cities that were shipping ports along the Mediterranean Sea.So, while I am in no way ruling out the possibility that John Johnson came from England, it may seem more likely that he was as we already know, a Sea Captain, and his paternal line was probably not from England at all. Maybe they were a family of merchants that traded with England, or, there could be a whole multitude of other possibilities. John seems like a pretty good name to have if you are trading with the whole Christian world, who knows, maybe what we are really looking for is Giovanni, figlio di Giovanni.

  3. I Love it Aaron! I,am going to do this myself,tracing your DNA..My father is still alive and he said he would provide a sample for me.. I will do my Mother as she passed away and was a Smith..I,am still at loops end with all of this and nothing matches up.I had some research looked up in the Eastern Townships of Quebec and they say I,am related to Sir.William Johnson who is Scotish?? I just keep on with it looking for a missing key to open a door..I agree that our Capt.John Johnson is not from England..Its funny because Sir William Johnson's original name was 'Warren' so maybe Johnson is not our original name in the first place..What say you??

  4. My understanding was that the "Captain" referred to his military service and he was not a sea captain. I'm a Johnson descendant, my grandmother was a Johnson. I've looked at a lot of the research. I'm very interested in what DNA is telling us. I do have many male cousins, direct male descendants of Capt. Johnson.

  5. I am also related to the Smith and the Johnson family.. LOL I probably have several cousins out here in Genealogy land.. There were a lot of immigrants taking the names Johnson or Smith out of admiration for the people who helped them immigrate.. I do believe that there are several Captain John Johnson's on several different levels.. Johnson name was derived from the Irish name of MacShane.. MacShane= Johnson.. most of the people in England were immigrants from Ireland and surrounding countries.. that's why there are so many lines of Johnson's and Smith's.. please feel free to contact me at the same name per Yahoo.. dot com…. No! Sir William Johnson's original name was not Warren.. Warren was Sir William's wife's family.. she was a Warren.. I do believe it was either Mary Warren or Catherine Warren.. please don't quote me on that but I do believe that's where the Warren name came from.. thank you

  6. I also have this book in my collection and am related to the Johnsons who settled in the Adirondacks anyone who would like to contact me i have an ancestry account and also a hotmail account with the same name cypressrain at hotmail dot com thanks in advance!

  7. Just shouting out a THANK YOU to you all for continuing this discussion. I'm still on a plateau of research on this line… I very much appreciate your comments and willingness to share your own research (and frustrations). The more we can share… ~jo

  8. Regarding Abraham Johnson, whom you mentioned above. He was the only child of Rev. Robert Johnson. See “Miscellanea, Genealogica et Heraldica” New Series, Volume1 (1874) page 450-451.

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