Thursday, February 23, 2017

Hit Brick Wall with Hartwell Johnson

Who Were Hartwell's Parents

I know that Hartwell was born in 1782 in the state of Virginia from the census records.  It was assumed until a couple of years ago that he was the son of a Hartwell Johnson Sr. who lived in Surrey County, Virginia.  Hartwell Sr. married Susan/Susanna Emery about the same time Hartwell Jr was born.  There was really no evidence to show that Hartwell Johnson Jr. was Hartwell Johnson Sr.'s son.  It was only assumed because of the names.

A couple of years ago, it was discovered that there was a Hartwell Johnson listed with a Coleman Johnson and a William Johnson starting in April 1805 - March, April, or May 1820 on the Halifax, VA personal tax records.  He was not listed on those tax records for 1807 and 1808.  His military records support the fact that he was in North Carolina during this time.

Hartwell married Lydia Shaw in 1807 in North Carolina and his son Williamson was born in 1808 in North Carolina.  In 1809, he was back on the Halifax, VA personal tax records.  In 1809, Hartwell and Lydia's daughter was born.

He enlisted in the military approximately July 1813 to serve in the war of 1812 and was discharged approximately Jan 1814.  He was stationed in Norfolk, VA during this time.  The Halifax, VA personal tax record dates support that he was there in March 1813 and there in April 1814.

Hartwell and Lydia had over 10 children.  The census is confusing sometimes since they can sometimes show two children born in the same year.  It is possible, I suppose.  I know back in those days people tended to have huge families.

Hartwell and his family left Virginia sometime after 1828.  His son Jasper was born in 1828 in Virginia according to the 1850 census records. 

Hartwell's grandson, Bethel was born in 1830 in Tennessee according to the 1870 census records.  I am assuming that Hartwell, Lydia and family had joined their oldest son, Williamson in Tennessee by then.  Hartwell and Lydia's son, Leonard was born in 1832 in Tennessee.  Their daughter Nancy was born in Tennessee in 1834.

It is believed that Hartwell, Lydia and family moved to the Looney Township area around 1835.  Hartwell was mentioned as an early settler in the book, "History of Hickory, Polk, Cedar, Dade and Barton Counties, Missouri", 1889 Published by Goodspeed.

Hartwell and Lydia's daughter, Lydia Melissa was born in Missouri in 1836.

There is steady documentation showing that Hartwell and Lydia lived in the Polk County, MO area until they died.  There are census records, tax documents, and slave census records that prove this.

I have two main areas of frustration at this time with Hartwell.  I have not found any documentation showing who his parents were. It was thought that William Johnson listed with him in Halifax County, VA might have been his father, but so far, there is no proof.  It was also thought that Coleman Johnson listed with him in Halifax County, Va might have been his brother, but so far there is no proof.  However, Hartwell did name one of his son's Coleman. 

Another area of frustration for me is that I never found out the names of the slaves that he had.  At one time, he owned eight slaves.  I believe all of them were female with the exception of one male child.  On the slave census records, there were no names listed.  I did find where he sold one negro girl, named Suse Johnson in Bolivar on December 11, 1837, but I don't know how old she was. 

I hope what I have written about Hartwell helps someone else.  If anyone has any information regarding this line, please contact me.

Timeline for Hartwell Johnson Jr.

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