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Ursula Johnson (Allen)

Also Known As: "Ursula Johnston", "Macon", "Johnson"
Birthplace: Amelia County, Virginia, United States
Death: September 15, 1805 (77)
Edgefield, Edgefield County, South Carolina, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of William Hunt Allen and Mary Ann Allen
Wife of Capt. Gideon Johnson
Mother of Nancy Deatherage; William Allen Johnson; Naomi Johnson; Mary Ursula Pillow; Gideon Johnston Jr and 5 others
Sister of Sarah Walker; Susanna Allen; Mary Allen; Elizabeth Morgan; Nancy Ursula Melton and 2 others
Half sister of Ann Howard; Mary "Polly" Bounds; Isabella Owen; Frances Hurt; Hannah Howard and 5 others

Managed by: Russell Ray
Last Updated:

About Ursula Johnson

Gideon and Ursula Allin Johnson were married in 1747 in Henrico, Va.

Gideon Johnson is shown as a witness in Quaker records by 1739, adding credibility to his assigned birth in 1717 in the portion of New Kent Co. that became Hanover four years later.

Some researchers speculate that he first married about 1742 a Goodloe, a descendant of George Goodloe of Middlesex Co., VA, who died young.

In the mid-1740s, at about age 30, Gideon Johnson married the mother of all his children, (Nancy) Ursula Allen/Allin (Feb. 16, 1728-c. 1807), the daughter of his Hanover Co. neighbors William and Mary Ann Owen Allin and granddaughter of Thomas Owen of Williamsburg, the colonial capital. Allen became a longstanding family given name.

Among children of record born to Gideon Johnson and his wife Ursula were: William Allen (1749), Gideon Jr. (1754), Abner (1757/9); Mordecai; Peter Benjamin (1766); (Mary) Ursula; Elizabeth; Nancy; Judith; and Naomi.

Most of the children were born in Nottoway Parish of Amelia or in neighboring Prince Edward and Lunenberg counties where Gideon owned properties that, like his father, exceeded 1,000 acres.

Gideon lived in Nottoway Parish on May 23, 1752 when he bought from Samuel Goode 449 acres along Osborn’s Branch on the “lower side” of Saylor’s Creek – the future site of a Civil War battle – that included a Massie cousin among its neighbors. The witnesses were William and Warren Walker, cousins of Gideon’s wife Ursula, and Charles Johnson, Gideon’s cousin.

On Sept. 10, 1755, he added a grant of 604 acres on the north side of Meherrin River in Lunenberg Co. to the south.

On April 9, 1757, Gideon for 24 pounds sold his brother-in-law John Morgan of Cumberland Co. – who married Ursula’s sister Elizabeth – 200 acres of the original Samuel Goode purchase. The land then lay partly in Amelia and partly in Prince Edward Co., which had been created out of Amelia in 1753. This deed places Gideon’s home site 20 miles due east of Farmville, VA near where Saylor’s Creek crosses the Amelia-Prince Edward boundary.

Gideon Sr. witnessed the will of John Watkins April 20, 1762 in Prince Edward Co.,1 but he soon prepared to move south. He was expelled from the Quaker meeting before the family left for NC.

Land records indicate the move occurred by 1764 because Gideon is shown as a resident of Rowan Co., NC on Nov. 3 when he sold his home place of 249 acres on Saylor’s Creek to Col. Thomas Tabb of Amelia with his cousins Ashley Johnson and John Johnson Jr. as witnesses. (A deed disposing of the Lunenberg Co. land has not been located.)

Gideon and his family quickly established themselves in their Dan River Valley home, which was in Rowan Co. at the time, but became part of Guilford Co. in 1771 and eventually Rockingham Co., NC.

In Rowan Co. in 1765, Gideon received an original land grant six miles due west of Wentworth, NC on the south side of the Dan River. That year, daughter Elizabeth married James Wray. And on March 19, 1765, he bought 250 acres on the south side of the Dan River from Peter and Agnes Wilson Perkins of Pittsylvania Co., VA for 120 pounds of English money.

Rowan Co., NC records show Gideon witnessed a land deed from Perkins to Joel Warren, a distant relative of Ursula, for 125 pounds VA money to sell 250 acres on the south side of the Dan River on the same day that Gideon bought his farm. Gideon's neighbors were James Gates and James Presnell of Orange Co., NC, who also bought land from Peter and Agnes Perkins in 1768.

All five sons of Gideon served the colonial cause in the Revolutionary War.

Gideon was a small-scale slaveholder. In the 1790 Rockingham census, he appears to have been living with son Gideon Jr., and that household had two slaves while son William lived nearby with a single slave. In 1793, the records of Granville Co., NC show Gideon – either Sr. or Jr. – bought a slave boy named Nelson from Richard Whitehead of Mecklenburg Co., VA for 39 pounds.

Gideon’s properties lined the south side of Dan River and Moses Creek.

By 1790, daughter Elizabeth Wray and her family also lived adjacent to Gideon and Ursula, but both son Abner and daughter Ursula Pillow had moved west to Nashville, TN. The neighborhood was dominated by the numerous family of Joel and Sarah Allen Walker – Ursula’s sister and her husband, who was also Ursula’s first cousin. Also living adjacent to Gideon was Susannah Scurry, Ursula’s sister and the widow of John Butler and Eli Scurry.

Gideon died in October 1807 in Rockingham at age 90; his will was proven at the November court. Children of Gideon and Ursula Allin Johnson

• Elizabeth, likely the eldest child of Gideon and Ursula, married James Ray or Wray in 1765 in Rowan Co. with her father Gideon giving consent. Wray likely had been related to the family of the same name associated with the Johnsons in Amelia and Prince Edward Cos. The Wrays lived near her father and brothers in Guilford Co., NC in the late 1700s.

Wray died in 1806.

The Wrays had seven children: Sarah (m. Jean or John Bellanfant), Ursula, Jane, Parson, Payton, Pleasant and William Johnson.

Sarah or Sally married Bellanfant, a Frenchman who reputedly came to America with the Marquis Lafayette’s troops during the Revolution, just after his first wife Louisa “Lucy” Yeoman died while giving birth at sea on the way home from visiting his parents in France, according to a longstanding, but possibly far-fetched family story. Bellanfant lived in the Dan River valley and had real estate transactions with the Johnsons in the 1790s.

Sally became the stepmother of seven children, including twins, all under age 12, and Jean almost immediately died -- before May 1802 -- while fighting a fire in a foundry or blacksmith shop. The eldest child, twin Mary Jessaline Bellanfant, married Alexander Johnson, the son of William Johnson and Sally’s cousin.

• William Allen Johnson (Dec. 27, 1749-Feb. 8, 1830) married on March 4, 1773 to Sarah McLaren, the daughter of Daniel McLaren of Dan River, Guilford, Rockingham and later Bedford Co., TN. Sarah (Jan. 25, 1756-Sept. 2, 1835) served as a principal witness for her brother-in-law Abner when he applied for his Revolutionary War pension.

William and his family moved to Middle Tennessee around 1810, after his father’s death, to join his brother Abner and sister Ursula Pillow. They likely settled first in Rutherford Co. before moving south to the Fountain Creek neighborhood of Maury Co. by about 1812.

Like his father, William was a small-scale slaveholder. On the 1823 tax rolls, he listed three slaves to help him farm 272 acres on Fountain Creek. His eldest known son Alexander also listed three slaves for a smaller farm of 93.5 acres.

Alexander (April 14, 1782, Rockingham-Feb. 7, 1857, Maury) married Mary Jessaline "Polly" Ballanfant, the daughter of Frenchman Jean and Louisa “Lucy” Yeoman Ballanfant, on Aug. 6, 1805 in Rockingham Co. Alexander served several terms on the Maury Co. administrative court. With the Pillows, Alexander Johnson was among the leading Democrats in Maury County in the 1840s and often chaired political meetings in support of James Knox Polk, a neighbor, governor and finally the U.S. President.

Son John Johnson (1783-after 1850, Maury Co., TN) married first Elizabeth Arnold and fathered nine children over at least 30 years before the couple divorced. He then remarried to Mary Beaver on Jan. 18, 1843 in Maury Co.

Son William Allen Johnson Jr. (1789-1852, McNairy Co., TN), a Maury Co. constable and military officer, married Mary Griffin. His campaign against Nimrod Porter for Maury Co. sheriff is included elsewhere in this manuscript.

The eldest known child, Celia (Oct. 25, 1776, Guilford, NC), married neighbor John Sanders2 before 1796 in Rockingham Co. They had eight children who came to Maury Co.: Mary “Polly” (m. James P. Kennedy), Alexander McClaren, William Johnson, Duke, Sarah McClaren, James and likely Joseph. John’s brother William Sanders married another of the Bellanfant daughters, Elizabeth, and moved to neighboring Giles Co., TN.

The final known child of William and Sarah -- Mary (March 31, 1784, Rockingham-March 25, 1859, Maury) -- married Benjamin Davis (July 28, 1778, VA-Nov. 22,1845, Maury) and had at least nine children who came to Maury. Three married children of Isham and Martha “Patsy” Allen Mangrum, originally from Greensville Co., VA – who were cousins, too, even though the branches of the family had been separated for more than two decades.

Ursula Allin, the wife of Gideon Johnson Sr., had a sister Mary who married a possible relation named William Allen and moved to Brunswick and Greensville Co. in southern Virginia. A professional Maury Co. genealogist said those Allens 3 were the parents of Patsy Allen Mangrum; an Allen son, Hamlin, moved to Maury Co., and his daughter Eliza married yet a fourth child of Benjamin and Mary Johnson Davis. A fourth Mangrum child married still another of the grandsons of William Allen Johnson.

William Allen and Sarah McClaren Johnson are buried in Johnson-Amis Cemetery in front of the Culleoka, TN post office in Maury Co. Among the 11 children of son Alexander was Louisa Yeoman Johnson who married Lewis Amis on July 15, 1830. The Amis couple and five of their seven children lie in the same cemetery.

• (Mary) Ursula Johnson (c. 1752, Nottoway Parish, Amelia Co., VA- 1822 or after 1830, Maury Co.) married John Pillow, also of Amelia Co., around 1770 when the Dan River valley was still part of Rowan Co.

The Pillows decided to move to Nashville in 1788.

Gideon Sr. had entered 250 acres of new land on the north side of Dan River – across the water from his original holdings -- in May 1780. In January 1787, he “sold” the property for a mere five pounds to son-in-law John Pillow. On Oct. 8, 1788 – after holding the property less than two years – Pillow sold the land to his brother-in-law William Allen Johnson for an unspecified sum.

Also on Oct. 8, 1788, Pillow sold another 640 acres that he had originally patented, also on the north side of Dan River, to William Johnson for 100 pounds.

An October start to the trip to Nashville corresponded to the norm for these early western moves. Families typically raised and harvested a crop, which was sold to provide the money for farm rental and supplies when they arrived at their new homes. Spring moves were avoided because they occupied precious weeks that prevented spring planting. An October trip to Nashville would have placed the Pillows and Johnsons past the mountains well before the passes closed with winter snow.

The Avery or Old North Carolina Trace opened Sept. 25, 1788 to allow more convenient transport for Revolutionary War veterans coming west to claim their bounty lands. The trace, however, was only 10-feet wide and too rugged for wagons, so settlers had to arrange for sending their household goods by water.

The Pillows and Abner Johnson’s family located on Brown’s Creek or near Brown’s Station southwest of Nashville, where John Pillow bought a 50-acre tract from Samuel Barton on July 14, 1791. No record of his Revolutionary War grant has been found.

John Pillow Sr. was killed by Indians near Nashville in May or June 1793, and his wife declined to administer the estate on July 9; that task fell to son William.

The Pillow family migrated into northern Williamson Co. at the turn of the century, but by 1808, most were relocating to Maury Co. with a few working south to Giles.

Among the Pillow children were:

Col. William (1772-1868, Maury Co., TN) who married second Portia Thomas of Williamson Co., TN in 1812; Gideon Pillow Sr. (Sept. 31, 1774-Feb. 26, 1830, Maury) who married Annie Payne (Feb. 20, 1777-April 10, 1864); John (March 25, 1781-July 20, 1854) who married Mary Fitzpatrick and moved to Giles Co., TN; Mordecai (1775-1828, Logan Co., KY) married Mary Baker Johnson, his cousin; Abner (Jan. 23, 1784-Oct. 25, 1860) who married Mary S. Thomas, Portia’s sister; Ursula (1780-after 1836, Nashville) married Capt. William Rains; Elizabeth Ann (1778-after 1860, Maury) married William Murray and Thomas Latchin Due; Mary (Feb. 19, 1777-Jan. 13, 1867, Rutherford Co.) married Hartwell Miles; and Barbary (a) (possibly married a Johnson).

Col. William gained a reputation as an Indian fighter, killing Chief Big Foot, serving under Gen. Andrew Jackson, and eventually settling in Columbia, Maury Co., TN. Abner Pillow surveyed, owned and developed land across Middle and West Tennessee after serving as a major in the War of 1812.

Not only did they become wealthy, but Gideon and Anne Payne Pillow, who are buried in Rose Hill Cemetery, Columbia, TN, were parents to one of the most controversial American military commanders of the era -- Gideon Johnson Pillow Jr., who served as a major general in the Mexican-American War and brigadier general for the Confederacy.

Aspersions on Gen. Pillow's competence and courage in the Mexican War led to a major political feud because he was a close friend and political ally of President James Knox Polk.

Gen. Pillow (June 8, 1806-Oct. 8, 1878) married Mary E. Martin in 1831 and, after her death, widow Mary Dickson Trigg

The Pillows married into some of the most prominent families in Tennessee. Gen. Gideon Johnson Pillow's sister Cynthia Holland (1810-Sept. 16, 1892) wed, as a second husband, Tennessee Gov. Aaron V. Brown; sister Narcissa (Jan. 17, 1811-April 28, 1883) married George W. Martin, a Giles Countian nominated for governor before his death in 1854; and sister Amanda married Judge West H. Humphreys.

Ursula Johnson Pillow appeared to be living with her son William in the 1830 Maury census, but other sources report she died in1822.

• Gideon Johnson Jr. (Nov. 7, 1754-Nov. 1, 1843) was married Nov. 18, 1779 to Mary "Polly" Baker de Graffenreid (Sept. 3, 1764-Jan. 7, 1823), a native of Lunenberg Co. Polly was a descendant of a Swiss “count” who earned his title through land development and founded the colonial North Carolina capital of New Bern in 1711.

Before his marriage, though, Gideon Jr. served as a private in July 1776 under Capt. John Armstrong of Surry Co., NC, and Lt. Joseph Tate of Guilford Co., NC. Armstrong's company joined the 2nd Regiment of the Continental Line at Salisbury, NC shortly after Gideon enlisted. He was discharged by then-Col. Alexander Martin, the later governor of North Carolina who appointed Gideon and brother Abner as his bodyguards.

Born to Gideon and Polly, all in Rockingham Co. were: Sarah (Oct. 9, 1780-1857/8, Weakley Co., TN) married William Hubbard; Mary Baker (Nov. 17, 1782) married cousin Mordecai Pillow; Nancy (July 14, 1784-Sept. 3, 1868, Davidson County, TN) married George Chadwell; Ursula (Dec. 13, 1787-1872, MO) married Charles Powhatan May; Peter Benjamin (April 8, 1790); Jane “Jincy” (Sept. 13, 1795-Oct. 31, 1885, Fannin Co., TX) married David C. Chadwell; Elizabeth (Oct. 13, 1797) married Valentine Chadwell; Elinor "Elsie" (Dec. 4, 1800) married Nathaniel Bell; Tabitha Allen (June 26, 1803-July 15, 1878, Yalobusha Co., MS) married Robert Booker May; and William Weakley (Oct. 10, 1807-March 3, 1874, Williamson Co., TN) married Sarah Kearney Alston.

They were surrounded by family on both sides in the Dan River valley, including deGraffenreids and Vasses from Polly’s lines.

With her brother Vincent, Gideon and Polly moved to Davidson Co., TN near Nashville in 1819 where she died in 1823, and Gideon later continued to neighboring Williamson Co., where he died Nov. 1, 1843.

• Peter Benjamin Johnson (1766-1855, Old Springville, Henry Co., TN) fought in the Revolution and married Nancy Hubbard, daughter of William Hubbard. Peter is found in Stewart County, TN in 1820 with his wife, sons Abner and William Hubbard and five daughters. He had migrated north of Nashville with his Hubbard in-laws.

Peter was a veterinarian or “horse doctor,” and on a frontier that had few physicians, Nancy earned a reputation as an “herb doctor.”

Peter and Nancy eventually had 10 children: Abner; Joicey (m. John Leland Hagler); William Hubbard; Milbury or “Millie” (m. Horatio Nelson Marberry); Mary (m. William Kinkead); Charlotte (m. Kenneth Buchanan); Caroline (m. Willis Murphy Watson); Minerva (m. William J. Conyers); Ursula; and Thomas (m. Mary Dudgeon).

Peter and Nancy are buried at Poplar Grove Cemetery in Henry Co.

• Mordecai Morgan was named for John Morgan who married mother Ursula Allen Johnson’s sister Elizabeth. This brother is not believed to have moved from Rockingham Co., according to reports about the relocation of the other brothers. Descendants of the Johnson family still live in Rockingham County, including Robert W. Carter Jr., publications chairman of the local historical society and authority on the Johnson and other local families in the 1990s.

Mordecai and his unnamed wife (possibly Jane), however, had landholdings in 1811 in Stewart Co., TN near his brother Peter.

• Nancy married Revolutionary War veteran James Cotton (October 1765-Feb. 18, 1838) on Dec. 20, 1786 in Rockingham. The couple had settled in Maury Co. with many of the Pillows by 1808. James Cotton died in McNairy Co., TN, and his widow then moved to Jackson Co., AL where she died after 1848.

They had five children: Peter Johnson (m. Lavinia Tucker); Mary (m. John McCartney); Martha (m. John C. Ashworth and Samuel Boulds Barron); Tabitha Allin (m. William Henry Lewis); and Charles K. (m. Ruth Elizabeth Mahan). One of the Barron children fought in the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, just a couple of miles from his cousins’ Missouri homes.

In 1845, Nancy’s brother Abner – then almost 90 – prepared an affidavit on James Cotton’s service and Nancy’s life to qualify her for a widow’s pension.

• Judith married a Condon by 1807.4

• Naomi is listed as a daughter in.her father’s will. No other trace of her has been found.

Abner Johnson (1758-Oct. 22, 1850)

Abner was born in Prince Edward Co., VA, shortly after his father had purchased the farm along Saylor’s Creek. No family or religious reason has been found for the naming of Abner or his brother Mordecai or sister Naomi.

Abner is said to have been wounded at the tide-turning battle of Guilford (N.C.) Courthouse although he made no such claim when he applied for a war pension.

In October 1777, while living in the Dan River valley, Abner volunteered for militia service under his neighbor, Capt. John Nelson; if not enough volunteered, then able-bodied men were drafted to fill out the unit. Capt. Nelson's company was organized under Col. Paseley's regiment with Charles Hughes as lieutenant, Allen Walker as sergeant and George Parks and Abner as ensigns. Col. Paseley's regiment from Guilford Co. was joined with Col. Saunders' regiment from Granville County under the command of Gen. Rutherford.

The troops reported to Guilford Court House and then marched to SC through Salisbury and Charlotte, NC and Camden, SC. The destination was Smoky Camp near the town of Purrysburgh, according to Abner's pension papers. The troops ranged across the Black Swamp and as far as Augusta and Savannah in Georgia.

Around May 10, 1778, Abner was discharged, and he made his way back to the Dan River settlement with his neighbor, Capt. Nelson.

In a second stint of duty, Abner was called up for three months as a bodyguard against British and Tory attacks for "Governor Martin," who lived in the same county and was traveling to Nutbush for a meeting of the state legislature. However, a quorum of legislators failed to attend.

Finally, he again was called to accompany Alexander Martin to "Marcurian Tavern" for another session of the legislature, but again sufficient members failed to gather.

(The royal governor of North Carolina at the time was Josiah Martin. Abner, however, accompanied Alexander Martin of Guilford Co., who was only a member of the NC legislature. Alexander later became governor of North Carolina after statehood, and Abner referred to him as governor out of habit and respect in the pension papers.)

Abner's pension affidavit lists no other action except in "scouting parties" when the neighbors "were engaged against the Tories," probably simply other neighbors or small troop units sympathetic to the British.

He produced the testimony of David Dobbins, his brother Gideon and sister-in-law Sarah (Mrs. William) Johnson, but only that of Sarah has survived. In general she confirmed that the entire family lived in households on the Dan River and Abner was absent for long periods to fight in the Revolution.

Stories of service in the Revolution were often subject to embellishment, and the tale persists that Abner fought and was wounded at the Battle of Guilford Court House on March 15, 1781 despite no references in his pension papers. It is difficult to imagine that one of the bloodiest encounters of the Revolution occurred almost in his back yard and he didn't participate despite three tours of duty. Then again, the NC militia embarrassed itself at Guilford Court House, and he may have omitted the service from his official papers.

On March 15, 1781 about 2,000 men of British Gen. Cornwallis bore down on the Guilford Co. Courthouse near New Garden (NC) and the American forces under Gen. Nathanael Greene. The NC militia, the first line of defense, fired prematurely, panicked and then fled into nearby woods, exposing the VA militia. The reasons for the hasty retreat are unknown: no one from the North Carolina troops was wounded or killed in the initial action.

Like many military incidents, the British victory at Guilford Court House, however, really became a defeat, thanks to the heavy losses.

When the gunsmoke cleared, the Americans had withdrawn to the north — survivors of "one of the bloodiest (battles) of the war," says Page Smith, a historian of the Revolution and author of A New Era Now Begins. While the British took the courthouse area (now the site of Greensboro), their casualties came to 554, or one than one fourth of Cornwallis' troops. "It was a devastating setback," says Smith, and demonstrated that the American Continental Line (not the militia) could hold its own against British regulars.

Former British Prime Minister William Pitt later described the Battle of Guilford Court House as "the precursor of ruin to British supremacy in the South." The conflict would surge north over the next two years before Cornwallis surrendered to the Americans at Yorktown, VA.

Abner's wounds would have occurred in the disarray after the militia retreat. The Continental Line regulars suffered 144 dead or wounded while the militia men posted 83 wounded. The Americans, however, listed 1,084 missing or deserted, with 552 from the North Carolina militia.

He and Nancy Brackett were married on March 14, 1783. No traces have been found on the ancestry of Nancy; she does not appear to have been the Nancy Brackett who was born around 1761 (the same age) to Thomas and Judith Brackett of Amelia Co.5 However, she may have been the daughter of Thomas’ son Benjamin, who moved to that part of NC.

Abner and Nancy’s eldest children William Allen, Gideon, Elizabeth and Mary were born in Rockingham Co. before the family moved west.

Abner and his family likely came to Nashville in November 1788, with his sister Mary Ursula Pillow and her family. Abner is mentioned in Rockingham land records in 1786 and 1787, but no later; his son Abner Jr. told census takers he was born in TN in 1792; and Davidson Co. court records of the early 1790s refer to Abner Sr. In that era, little of the state was settled except for the eastern mountain counties and the Red River communities around Nashville, also known as Nashboro or French Lick.

Abner does not appear in the 1790 North Carolina census although his father and brothers William and Gideon were still located in Rockingham. Virtually all Tennessee censuses were destroyed before 1820, when Abner was in Maury Co.

He may have moved back to NC briefly because one census shows his daughter Sarah Ann (Ginger) was born there in 1804. That likely was a census taker’s error or a family member’s mistaken memory because Abner’s daughter Elizabeth was married in Davidson Co., TN in April 1804, Abner appears on the Davidson Co. tax rolls in 1805.6

The available records strongly suggest that Abner was a skilled tradesman or laborer, not a farmer. No evidence exists that – unlike his heavily landed ancestors –he ever owned real estate. Unlike most pioneer settlers who came to Middle Tennessee, Abner did not exercise his Revolutionary War land bounty rights. Instead, Abner in 1818 was among 20,485 soldiers who began drawing pensions for his Revolutionary War service under an 1816 law that allowed him $96 a year – or half pay – for five years in lieu of his land rights. He then qualified for lesser income under an 1820 congressional act for veterans who were indigent. Under laws that became effective in 1832, most veterans lost their pensions, and Abner had difficulties qualifying. But in1838 he regained his rights and back pay to 1832.

This lack of land ownership also applies to his sons and most of his sons-in-law, except for William Kenamore. The 1823 Maury tax rolls show they only paid poll tax and held no real estate. But in southern Maury Co., numerous large plantations – especially those owned by Pillow cousins -- would have provided steady work for trades plied by Abner and his sons.

Despite their lack of land – or disdain for farming – the Johnsons were considered influential by contemporaries because of their family connections in southern Maury.

When Abner first came to Maury from Davidson Co. is uncertain. An “A. Johnson” witnessed the deed for the sale of 183 acres in Bedford Co. from Joseph Rosborough7 to Joseph B. Porter for $350 on Sept. 4, 1810. Both Porter and Rosborough were residents of the Giles-Maury border area, and the deed was filed in Maury.8 In a more closely related act, an “A. Johnston” witnessed a September 29, 1812 deed involving land near his cousin Gideon Pillow’s plantation that also involved Peter Booker, whose family married into the Pillow clan. 9

Local histories suggest Abner moved his family first from Nashville to Culleoka or the Fountain Creek area in southeast Maury Co. where his brother William settled. Abner then shifted south of the county seat, Columbia, near the villages of Bigbyville and Southport. Abner and Nancy were firmly established in southern Maury Co., TN by 1820. They were close neighbors to their nephews and large plantation owners William and Gideon Pillow.

The 1820 census shows Abner and Nancy living with only sons Gideon and Mordecai and daughter Sarah Ann still in the home; the other children had married, but all lived nearby except William Allen, who died in 1819.

In 1850, Abner and Nancy were living in a household headed by their granddaughter, widow Matilda Kenamore McCaslin and her three children, with William and Mary Johnson Kenamore, Abner’s granddaughter Sarah Ann Johnson and grandson William C. Duke.

Abner died on Oct. 22, 1850, and Nancy is believed to have died in 1853. She was still alive in late 1852 when she transferred the pension benefits from Abner to herself. Their graves are unmarked, although his name is on a monument in Columbia, TN that honors Revolutionary veterans buried in Maury Co.


... this reference (for Nathan) lists only one child with Nathan and Nancy Allen, and 6 children of Nathan and Susannah McKinney Carter.

Noting conflicting information:

... this reference lists parents as Robert Allen III b. 1735 and Elizabeth West b. 1740, and list 7 children of Nancy & Nathan (2nd marriage for Nancy). The reference also has Nathan twice (as marriages 2 & 3) and confused names, and thus seems far less reliable.

view all 13

Ursula Johnson's Timeline

February 16, 1728
Amelia County, Virginia, United States
Age 19
Province of North Carolina
December 27, 1749
Age 21
Amelia CO., VA
Age 21
Henrico, Virginia, United States
Age 22
Amelia, Virginia, United States
November 1, 1754
Age 26
Amelia County, Virginia, Colonial America
Age 29
Henrico, Virginia, United States
Age 30
Amelia County, Virginia, United States
Age 37
Rockingham, North Carolina, United States