Rev. Jacob Johnson

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Jacob Johnson

Birthdate: (83)
Birthplace: Wallingford, New Haven, Connecticut
Death: March 15, 1797 (83)
Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne, Pennsylvania
Immediate Family:

Son of Sgt. Jacob Johnson and Abigail Johnson (Hitchcock)
Husband of Mary Johnson
Father of Lydia Butler; Jehoiada Johnson; Jacob Williamson Johnson; Abigail Johnson; Christiana Olive Russell and 2 others
Brother of Reuben Johnson; Enos Johnson; Sarah Bartholomew; Caleb Johnson; Capt. Abner Johnson and 5 others

Managed by: Hatte Blejer
Last Updated:

About Rev. Jacob Johnson


Rev. Jacob Johnson, the pioneer preacher of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., was born April 7, 1713, at Wallingford, Conn., of which place his great-grandfather, Thomas Johnson, the emigrant, and his grandfather, William Johnson, were founders in 1670. He was a son of Jacob and Abigail (Hitchcock) Johnson. Of his early life we have little information. It was his father's desire that he be educated for the ministry of the Congregational Church and he was accordingly sent to Yale College, from which he graduated in 1740 with twenty others as Bachelor of Arts, one-third of them becoming clergymen. The college in 1763 conferred on him the degree of Master of Arts.

His father, also named Jacob, was born at Wallingford. September 25, 1674, and died July 17, 1749.* He was a deputy to the General Assembly in 1763 and is mentioned in some of the Wallingford records as "Sergeant" Jacob Johnson. The mother of Rev. Jacob Johnson was Abigail, daughter of John and Abigail Hitchcock. Abigail, born 1654, was the daughter of Lieut. Nathaniel Merriman, one of the original proprietors of Wallingford, founded in 1670.

The elder Jacob was a well-to-do farmer, who at his death in 1749 left an estate valued at about £14,000. The inventory of the estate and its distribution to the heirs, recorded at New Haven, shows that Jacob received as his share a piece of land valued at i 1,351 and two slaves, "the negro man Dick and the negro woman Deft," valued at £800. With the land was "1-3 part of the mines and minerals in the Hanging Hill woods farm." It is likely that these values were in the inflated currency of that time. In 1768 Rev. Jacob was so poor that it was difficult for him to clothe his family, then resident at Groton, Conn.

The grandfather of Rev. Jacob was William, sometimes mentioned in the ancient records as "Wingle" Johnson. He was a prominent New Haven man and was a deputy to the General Assembly several times. William was one of the original proprietors of Wallingford, and died in 17 16. His wife was Sarah, daughter of John and Jane (Wollen) Hall. Her father, John Hall, lived in Boston in 1639, but resided m Wallingford in 1671 and was chosen selectman in 1675. He died in 1676, aged 71 years. William was one of the sons of Thomas Johnson of New Haven, who emigrated to Connecticut from Kingston-upon-HuIl, England, and met his death by drowning in New Haven Harbor in 1640.

Of Rev. Jacob Johnson, Dexter's "Graduates of Yale College" says : "He was elected to a Berkeley Scholarship at graduation, but if he resided at all on this foundation left soon to complete his theological studies with the Rev. Jedediah Mills (Yale 1722), of Ripton Parish, now Huntfield East Association, April 29, 1742." It is also recorded of him in "Contributions to Ecclesiastical History of Connecticut," pp. 300 and 415 : "He sympathized strongly with the New Lights or Revival party, and early in 1743 preached to the seceders from the First Church in Milford, Connecticut, and was invited to become their pastor. He accepted the call and in April the Presbytery of New Brunswick, New Jersey, met to examine him, with a view to ordination. The Presbytery, however, advised instead a reconciliation with the First Church ; and the attempt to settle Mr. Johnson was abandoned."


Mr. Johnson, though he lived long a bachelor, had married before he left Connecticut, a lady of much personal beauty and highly accomplished. Miss Mary Giddings of Preston, Connecticut. She was of one of the old aristocratic families of that State. I have heard the elderly ladies speak of her intelligence, her grace of manner, and with some slight envy of the beautiful gold locket which she displayed pendant to the chain of gold beads which she wore round her neck; and also of the more than common richly suit of curtains, gaily flowered by the needle on fine cambric, which decorated her bed. Their eldest daughter, Lydia, was married, soon after the commencement of the war, to Col. Zebulon Butler, who commanded the American forces in the Wyoming battle. As it was distinctly avowed by the enemy that they would make no terms with any Contitnental troops. Col. Butler with the 15 soldiers, the whole of that description left and retired through the wilderness to Connecticut. He threw a bed on his horse instead of a saddle, and took Mrs. Butler behind him. It was all they saved...

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Rev. Jacob Johnson's Timeline

April 7, 1713
Wallingford, New Haven, Connecticut
Age 42
Groton, Connecticut
Age 51
Groton, Connecticut
Age 53
March 15, 1797
Age 83
Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne, Pennsylvania
January 5, 1897
Age 83
April 7, 1931
Age 83
December 10, 1976
Age 83