Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Hartwell Johnson and DNA

As one might imagine with a name like Johnson, unless one has all documents in order for every person in the line, a family like this might be very difficult to trace with any accuracy.

We (meaning I and some other Johnson researchers) have been able to accurately trace back to Hartwell Johnson.  Hartwell did leave a trail....he left a trail of eleven kids, then they left a ton of kids, and it went on and on and on.....

Hartwell Johnson was my 4th Great Grandfather.  He was born in Virginia about 1782.  There was some speculation that he was born in Surry, Virginia and was the son of Hartwell Johnson Sr. who resided there, but there is no concrete proof of that.

There was a Hartwell Johnson found on the tax records along with Coleman Johnson and William Johnson.

Hartwell was recorded under several different names....Hardey, Hardaway, Hardin.  The people recording the taxes seemed to have a very difficult time spelling his name.

Since Hartwell was listed with a Coleman and William had been listed alone for a few years, it is somewhat easy to surmise that William might possibly be the father of Hartwell and Coleman. However, I have not been able to prove that yet. 

Hartwell's military records indicate that he was from Halifax, VA.

Hartwell married Liddie Shaw in North Carolina on January 6, 1807 according to his Military documentation.

About 1835, Hartwell moved his family to Missouri.  This was a Historical and Descriptive Sketch of Polk County Missouri prepared for the Centennial Celebration on the Fourth of July, 1876 by A.C. Lemmon....about 3 years after Hartwell had passed away.

LOONEY TOWNSHIP Looney Township, named in honor of Benj. Looney, who settled there in
1833 and died in 1875, is bounded on the south by Marion on the east by
Mooney, west, Jackson, and on the south by the Greene county line, is 8 miles
square and contains 64 square miles; population in 1860- 1750, estimated at
present at 2,000; the soil upon the prairies and uplands has a red clay
foundation and produces well; the valleys and bottoms are quite rich. Wheat is
extensively grown. The principal streams are Dry and Little Sacs, Slagle and
Asher creeks; the growth of timber on these streams is white and shell-bak
hickory, black and white walnut, hackberry, linn, pawpaw, elm, red-bud, maple,
sycamore, ash and many species of oak. This township was about the first
settled part of the county. Among the earliest may be mentioned John Mooney
who settled near the present town of Brighton, Richard Saye, Samuel Asher,
John and David Ross; Aaron, Gideon and Nelson Ruyle, J. N. Sloan, John and
Benj. Looney, Jacob, Thomas and Smith Lemmon, Joseph Tuck, Pittman and Thomas
Woolard, W. W. McNight, James Faulkner, Charner DeGraffenreid, Nathaniel
Herndon, Daniel and Martin Harpool, Wm. Maxey, William Daly, Hartwell Johnson,
Wm. Winton, Hugh Boyd, Robert E. Acock, Abram and John Slagle and Abram Sears.
This township is well timbered and has many fine springs located in
Pleasant Prairie in a rich and healthful portion of the county. A more
extended description is given in another part of this sketch.
Brighton, on the Bolivar and Springfield road. twelve miles from the
former place, is a small town but has a considerable trade, and contains one
dry goods store, one drug store, post office, blacksmith shop, and one stream
saw mill.
West Bend, on Little Sac, has one dry goods store and one water mill.
Slagle Creek has one store and post office.
The second entry of land made in the county was located in this township
in the year 1837.
There were several settlers here before the Indians retired. They
required rent of the whites and soon became quite troublesome, and made
threats which alarmed the settlers. The danger became so alarming that the
whites assembled together and selected one of the number, J. N. Sloan to visit
and petition the Governor for relief. He immediately mounted his horse and
rode to St. Louis, consulted with His Excellency, and returned with gratifying
assurances of protection. After this the Indians became more quiet, and
remained friendly until their removal. These early pioneers were remarkable
for generosity and hospitality, and were always ready and willing to lend
assistance to a neighbor when he needed it. When a newcomers house was to be
built, or, his land to be cleared, or a friends corn to be husked, his
neighbors for miles around gathered to assist him and soon made quick work of
Mrs. Marth Smith, near Brighton, widow of the late J. H. M. Smith, is
said to have woven the first piece of cloth in the county in 1830.

MILITARY Of the veterans of 1812, but few are now living in our midst. They have
nearly all passed away. Of the living, we are able to name the following, all
of whom have attained to advanced ages, to-wit: John Burns, Evan Stewart, John
Jump, Allen Bridges, Rev. Jas. Kennon, Phillip Watkins, Mattias Chilton and
Samuel Sherwood--numbering in all 8 pensioners. One of them, Hartwell Johnson died near Morrisville a few years since, in the 91st year of his age. For
several years previous to his death his strength, memory and sight were greatly impaired.
Alexander Blair and David Hunter died in 1874, which Henry
Potts lived to witness the dawn of the Centennial year.

In order to trace our Johnson line more accurately and in an effort to trace it further back, my first cousin, John Johnson donated his Y-dna to the Johnson surname project.  John matched up with a small group of other Johnsons that also had paper trails that led to Virginia.  It is very possible that we all descend from Henry Johnson who was born in
Old Rappahannock County, Virginia about 1664-70.  We are hoping other Johnson men participate in the project and end up in our group with documentation that will help to tie up loose ends.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Proud To Be An Okie

I believe I mentioned in an earlier post, that both of my parents migrated from Oklahoma in about 1941 when they were about six years old.  

They were both the youngest out of their families with their oldest sibling being about ten years older than them.  My Father had three brothers and one sister.  My Mother had two sisters and three brothers.  Both of my parents were working in the fields at the age of six.

The photo below is of my Father at the age of three, and his sister at the age of five.  They were still living in Anadarko, Caddo County, Oklahoma on their Grandfather, Virgil Johnson's farm.
Lawrence Gerald Johnson, aka Johnny and Ellen Jane Johnson

The photo below is of my Aunt Thelma, my Mother Rosie, and her other sister, Bernice.  My Mom looks like she was about five in this photo so the family may have still been in Oklahoma.

Thelma Irene, Rosie Mae, and Helen Bernice
Neither one of my parents had an easy life.  I remember hearing stories about how their parents loaded up the car with mattresses, pots and pans, all the kids, and would sleep on the side of the road on their way to California.  Oftentimes, there wouldn't be enough food to eat.  My Mom told me that her family lived in a chicken coop for a while.

They were not treated well by many people in California and were oftentimes discriminated against because they were Arkies and Okies.  They were considered to be dirty, dumb, ignorant, and mean.  Well, some of them might have been, but the majority were not.

I am what is now called a 2nd generation Okie.  I was born in Camp Chaffee, Arkansas because my Father was in the army.  I was brought to California when I was a few week old.  I was raised around Okies that had emmigrated from Oklahoma, etc., and their children.  I grew up in an environment that was economically just a step above what my parents grew up in.

We Okie's have much to be proud of.  I will be posting articles from newspapers that people wrote and letters that people sent into the newspapers regarding the Okies.  Please see the first one below.

This is a letter published in:

The Fresno Bee The Republican (Fresno, California) Thu, Mar 23, 1944

Fighting "Okies"
     Editor of The Bee--Sir:  I read in the want ad section that Emory L Cauble had a six room home to rent, but specified he did not want to rent to "Okies."
     Well, I do not get what he means by that.  Does he think he is better than an "Okie"?  After all, the boys they call "Okies" are fighting right next to the boys from California and doing a hell of a good job.        A SOLDIER.
     Fresno Air Base.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Uncle Mart and Holland Family

Martin Holland and Rosille Rosetta King
Martin Holland was my 2nd Great Grandfather, but was generally known to most people as Uncle Mart.  He was married to my 2nd Great Grandmother, Rosille Rosetta King.

Grandpa Mart was quite a character, and was always entertaining someone with his antics.  There are many stories about him

The story below tells a little bit about the Holland family history as well as Grandpa/Uncle Mart.

The following "Wagon Train" story was provided via the research of Cora Burton, and was written by an unknown author in 1984: 
"In either 1875 or 1876 about five families of Hollands who were all farming in Kentucky decided to join a wagon train headed for California. It is known that at one time before the Civil War the Hollands owned two-thirds of Wolfe County, Kentucky. 

Uncle Mart, his wife and children, Wesley, Harrison, and Lou Alice then three years old, were about to eat their breakfast when the wagon train pulled up. Rossille later recalled to her granddaughter, Bertha, how Mart didn't give them time to eat. He said to get the kids and go. She picked up Lou and left a new pair of shoes sitting on the stair step and Mart left a fine breed mare standing in the stable. 

Also known to be on the same wagon train with them were Mart's father and mother, several brothers including Elisha and wife, Sarah, and probably one sister. It is unknown how many families or different families were on it but it is estimated the Hollands were maybe two years on the road before eventually settling in Arkansas.

It is passed down that Lou Alice remembers her dad telling her in 1930 when he (Uncle Mart) was 104 years old and visited Texas, the wagon train stopped close to Dallas and camped in the Trinity River bottom and the river was dry. While they were camped there they were robbed by white masked men. The robbers took all the men's money including Uncle Mart's. Some of the women had money hidden on themselves and he remembered Sarah and Elisha's money.

Some of the familes that didn't have any money to continue to California stayed there and founded a part of what is now Dallas. Although one of the Holland families must have stayed, the others decided to return to Kentucky. When this small wagon train reached Washington County, Arkansas, Mart's father, Jack and family decided to remain there. Mart and Lish and their families continued on to Mountain Home, Baxter County, Arkansas. Lish and Sarah's last known child, Mollie, was born in 1879 in Arkansas. Soon thereafter Lish, Sarah, and all their children except the oldest son, Taylor Holland, went back to Kentucky. Taylor married Sallie Faut on December 17, 1891, and moved before or after that to Oklahoma to settle and raise his family there. Mart and Rossille also had a child born in 1879. William Franklin was born on the fifteenth of November in Mountain Home. They also had twin boys (or girls Arminnnie & Armannie?) born in Baxter County and both died when they were small. They are buied at the Hort Cemetery on the Old Highway 5 - southeast of Mt. Home on the James Baker place. A son Floyd Lonzo born in February, 1888, and their last child a daughter, Julia Ann born on January 24, 1891, concluded their family of six children.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Rosie and Johnny-Lordy How They Could Love

The Beautiful Rosie Mae Smith Johnson
The Tall, Dark, and Handsome Lawrence Gerald Johnson, aka John or Johnny

My Dad's Aunt Ola and Uncle Wesley Meek lived across the street from my Grandmother and Grandfather Smith, and my Mom. My Dad used to visit his Aunt and Uncle.  That is how Rosie and Johnny met.  After they met, he was a more frequent visitor.

My Dad used to tell the story of how he saw this beautiful girl with golden hair across the street.  When he saw her up close, he also saw that she had the most beautiful green eyes.  He said that he decided right then and there, that he was going to marry her someday.  They were 17 years old when they met.

They had a very fiery, passionate love with all of the ups and downs.  There would be times that they would fight like cats and dogs, and at other times they were all lovey, and couldn't get enough of each other.

Rosie and Johnny married at the age of 19. I was born 9 months later.  My Dad had been drafted to join the Army and had to leave shortly after they were married for boot camp.  My Mom was upset because she didn't get the big wedding she had always dreamed of.  The wedding was rushed because of my Dad being drafted. 

They were very much like Frankie and Johnny in the Elvis Presley movie by the same name.  They couldn't live with each other and they couldn't live without one another.  

Rosie And Johnny"

  Rosie and me we were lovers
Oh lordy how we could love
Swore we'd be true to each other
Just as true as stars above
I was her man, she caught me doing her wrong

They were soooo beautiful....

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Joke was on Us-Grandma Pulled a Fast One!

As a child growing up, my maternal grandmother took care of my sister and me while our parents worked.

I loved my Grandma and Grandpa Smith so much.  I probably spent more time with them than I did with my own parents.  I would follow my grandmother everywhere she went.  I must have listened to them more when they were talking than I knew at the time.  I say this because I can remember quite a bit of family history that I could only have picked up from them. 

My Grandparents and their kids, as well as, other family members immigrated to California from Oklahoma about 1940 or 1941.  They eventually settled in a little town called Poplar in Tulare County.  Before settling in Poplar, they lived in various labor camps staying in places for short periods of time.  They went where the work took them.  Yeah, they were Okies. 

Our parents worked very hard in the fields, hoeing cotton, picking cotton, picking fruit, and whatever  kind of work they could scrounge up.  We were very poor.

Anyway, Grandma always told us that her name was Stella Marie.  I don't know how many times I heard her say that her name was Stella Marie.  Her maiden name was Holland. 

Grandma and Grandpa had six kids, and 30 grand-kids.  I was really close to both of them because they took care of me for so long.  The other grand-kids lived much further away.  

When the grand-kids started having kids, some of them started giving their daughters the name of Marie for their second name.  You can imagine how many great grand-kids they had with 30 grand-kids!  So there are all of these little girls running around who are descended from Fred and Stella Smith with the middle name of Marie.

When my turn came around, of course, I named my daughter Lauren Marie!  My Grandma was in the hospital because the doctors thought she had suffered a stroke.  I was in the hospital because I had given birth.  I spoke to my Grandma several times while we were both in the hospital.  I told her that I had named the baby after her.

I didn't realize how sick my Grandma was.  She never went home from the hospital.  She passed away on February 14th, 1985.  My daughter was 11 days old.  I was devastated.  My beloved Grandmother would never meet my daughter.  What was I going to do without my Grandma?  I was almost 30 years old, and didn't know what I was going to do without my Grandma....

It was after Grandma passed away, and I was reading her obituary that I was even more shocked than I was already from her passing.  In her obituary, it said that her name was Stella Ethel Smith.  I am thinking, Ethel? Ethel?  Where did this Ethel come from?  I called my Aunt Thelma who was responsible for including the Ethel in Grandma's obituary.  She confirmed that Ethel, was indeed,  Grandma's name.

On the SS death index, it has Grandma's name as Stella Ethel Smith.  There was no mention of Marie on the index.  I am not sure if Grandma gave herself the name of Marie and ignored the name of Ethel because she didn't like it, or what happened with Grandma's name.  All I know is that when Grandma said her name was Stella Marie in front of Grandpa, in front of God, in front of her kids, and anyone else who would listen, not one soul spoke up.  Nobody asked her if she wasn't forgetting that she had another name of Ethel. 

I bet when Aunt Thelma got to Heaven, she got a good butt whuppin' for adding that Ethel in there!  She may still be getting them. 

At least we didn't name a bunch of her great granddaughters Ethel!....I'm sure Grandma is happy about that, since she went to such great lengths to never mention the name.

Friday, October 30, 2015

I Met a New Cousin at

The world sure does work in mysterious ways.  Call it serendipity, or is it help from beyond the grave?  Sometimes, I am convinced that I am getting a helping hand that is not of this world.

When I was researching my Jump line, I was looking on the web for information on Sylvester Jump.  I was led to
It was there that I found the contact information for my fairly newfound cousin, Tammie.  I sent her an email not holding out much hope that she would get back to me.

Tammie responded within a couple of hours and has been quite helpful with the Oklahoma part of the Jump line.  She and I have become pretty good friends considering I live in California, and she is in Oklahoma.  We are Facebook friends and have talked on the telephone, have exchanged family information, and photos.

Tammie provided some of the more pertinent information that I needed to complete my DAR application.  I joined under our 4th great grandfather William Jump who was the son of John Jump.  5th Great Grandfather John Jump was the patriot, but I was the first person to apply and to be accepted under William.  It was a lot of work, but once I proved everything, it was very satisfying. 

There is nothing like the feeling of knowing that your Ancestors helped to win the freedom of this Country. 

Our Ancestors that fought in the Revolutionary War had to have some Hell Raiser in them, don't you think?

On the 4th of July, please remember our Patriots who have fought for the freedom of our country and raise a glass to them!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


My family has been in this country for a long time.  Many of my lines have been here since the early to mid 1700s.  I have been able to trace some to the mid 1600s.  I have decided that the best way for me to group the numerous surnames is to put them under each of my Grandparent's surname. 
That will show whether it is my maternal side or paternal side of the family.

                                                        Me- Helen J Johnson

Lawrence G Johnson                                                       Rosie M Smith

Lawrence E Johnson          Cora L Meek                Fred B Smith      Stella E M Holland

My Dad's Side
Johnson Surname Group

Areas Family Lived in

Virginia, Missouri, Oklahoma, California

Beard/Baird Virginia


Virginia, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee

Maryland, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma
Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri


Pascal, Paschal, Paschall

Virginia, Missouri
North Carolina, etc.

Perryman Maryland, North Carolina, Missouri

Robertson Scotland, Virginia, Missouri, Tennessee

Virginia, Tennessee

Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee

Illinois, Oklahoma

My Dad's Side

Meek Surname Group
Areas Family Lived

Kentucky, Texas, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma

England, Virginia, Georgia
Virginia, Missiouri, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma
Virginia, Georgia
New Jersey, North Carolina
South Carolina, Arkansas
Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas
South Carolina
England, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Jersey, Tennessee
Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee

My Mom's Side

Smith Surname Group
Areas Family Lived 

Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, California

Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas
Virginia, Texas
England, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina
Ireland, Tennessee
England, Virginia

My Mom's Side

Holland Surname Group
Areas Family Lived

Virginia, Kentucky, Arkansas, California

England, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky
Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina
England, Virginia, North Carolina,
England, Virginia, Kentucky, Arkansas
South Carolina, Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, Missiouri, Arkansas
North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky
England, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas
England, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee
Maryland, Indiana