Thomas T. Johnson, Sr.

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Thomas T. Johnson, Sr.

Also Known As: "Old Billy"
Birthplace: Yadkin River, Rowan County, North Carolina
Death: Died in Long Fork, Pike County, Kentucky, United States
Place of Burial: Turkey Creek, Breathitt County, Kentucky, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Samuel Johnson and Elizabeth Porter Johnson
Husband of Sarah Mary Johnson
Father of Sarah Stapleton (Johnson); Patrick Johnson; Thomas T Johnson, Jr.; William Payne Johnson, Sr.; Robert Johnson and 7 others

Occupation: farmer, Loyalist soldier
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Thomas T. Johnson, Sr.

Thomas T. Johnson, Sr. was born before 1750 near the Yadkin River in Rowan County, North Carolina. He was the son of Samuel Johnson and Elizabeth Porter. Most sources give 1750 as his date of birth, but that would have him marrying at 14 and a father at 15, not common in those days.

Thomas married Sarah Mary Greenfield (also known as Sarah Mary Arnold) about 1764. Sarah Mary was born about 1747 in North Carolina. She was the daughter of Stephen Greenfield.

The Jonhnson family moved from North Carolina to South Carolina, Virgina, and Tennessee and then, finally, to Kentucky. Review the timeline on this profile for details on these moves. Thomas Johnson Sr. died in 1828 in Pike County, Kentucky, on the Long Fork of Shelby Creek. He was buried in the Jesse Johnson Cemetery, Turkey Creek, Breathitt County, Kentucky.

Thomas served on the Loyalist side during the American Revolution. His name can be found in the book Loyalists in the Southern Campaign of The Revolutionary War by Murtie June Clark, page 256, in a list of those serving under Captain William Payne. It must have been very difficult for him, a former Loyalist soldier, with sons-in-law and neighbors fighting for the victorious side. It is believed that this situation caused the migration away from North Carolina for a fresh start in the near wilderness of Appalachian Virginia soon after the close of the Revolutionary War.

One family anecdotes says that Thomas was blind in old age and rode on a bull.

Important Notice

Thomas is NOT the son of English lexicographer, Dr. Samuel Johnson. Dr. Johnson never made it to North Carolina to establish a family there. This legend is based on the similarity of family names. His father's name was Samuel, his mother's name was Elizabeth (same as Dr. Johnson's wife) and his grandfather's name was Micheal (the same as Dr. Johnson's father). Beyond that, it is merely wishful thinking to believe Thomas was son of the famous dictionary-writer.

The name of Thomas' parents and grandparents have yet to be proven but are generally accepted by family researchers.

Children of Thomas Johnson Sr and Sarah Mary Greenfield:

  • Sarah Johnson b about 1770 Rowan Co NC d 24 Oct 1854 Cow Creek, Owsley Co KY m. Jun 1783 Rowan Co NC to Thomas Stapleton b 1759 d 15 Nov 1835 Clay Co KY s/o Thomas Stapleton Sr and Sarah Cook. Children of Sarah Johnson and Thomas Stapleton are (1) Edward Stapleton b 1785, and (2). William Stapleton.
  • Patrick Johnson Sr b about 1771 VA d 1850 Wythe Co VA m. about 1791 to Delilah Carter b 1776 VA d about 1850.
  • Thomas Johnson Jr b about 1771 VA d 1866 Breathitt Co KY m. Feb 1817 to Mary Polly Johnson b about 1778 VA d 15 Sept 1853 Breathitt Co KY, d/o Thomas Johnson and Elizabeth Merriweather. Thomas Johnson Jr m. 10 Sept 1858 to 2nd Rebecca Williams.
  • Amy Anna Johnson b 1776 NC d 9 Dec 1857 Pike Co KY m. Holichucky River, TN to William "Preacher Billy" Tackett Sr b 12 May 1779 Savannah River Rowan Co NC d 22 Sept 1851 Shelby Creek, PIke Co KY, s/o Phillip "Moses" Tackett and Sarah Tackett.
  • Robert Johnson b 30 Nov 1779 VA d 16 Jun 1858 Laurel Co KY m. Rachel Helton b 1784 VA, d/o John Helton.
  • John Johnson b after 1780 m. Grace "Smoky" Hackworth. Their daughter; Margaret "Peggy" Johnson b about 1829 KY m. 28 Dec 1841 Pike Co KY to Cornelius "Neely" Vanover Sr b about 1825, s/o Daniel Vanover and Nancy Collins.
  • Martha Johnson.
  • Pascal Johnson.
  • Samuel Johnson.
  • Jesse Johnson.
  • William Payne "Mander" Johnson Sr b 31 Aug 1781 Hawkins Co TN d 31 Aug 1839 Shelby Valley, Pike Co KY, buried Longfork, Pike Co KY. William Payne Johnson Sr m. about 1805 Hawkins Co TN to Sarah Aley Tackett b 1780 d 1817 age 37 years of age, d/o Phillip Moses Tackett Sr and Sarah Tackett.
  • Benjamin Johnson b 1785 NC m. Nelly Unknown b 1785 NC.

Links to additional material:

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Thomas T. Johnson, Sr.'s Timeline

Yadkin River, Rowan County, North Carolina
Age 14
Rowan, North Carolina
Age 15
Rowan, North Carolina
Age 21
Albemarle, Virginia, United States
Age 23
Virginia, United States
Age 26
North Carolina
- 1780
Age 28
District 96, South Carolina

The only evidence that the family was in South Carolina is the birth information on son Robert's death certificate. District 96 is given as the location due to the unit in which his father served during the Revolutionary War.

Age 30
Age 30
Age 30