Kentucky Kinfolks

By J. Emerson Miller

Editor's Note: In the mid-1930's The Louisville Herald-Post conducted a genealogy column featuring materials sent in by its readers. We thought our readers would find the column interesting. We will reprint parts from this column each month. Because they were printed some sixty years ago, we do not have any other facts except those given below. We hope our readers enjoy the new Kentucky Kinfolks column.


The genealogy of the Johnston family is too extensive to treat here at length, but a rather full account will be found in the Virginia Historical Magazine for July 1930, page 245.

William Johnston settled in Spottsylvania County, Virginia, about 1720, and in later years was living in Caroline County, where he probably died. The destruction of the deed and will books of that county makes it difficult to learn much about him or his family, or to determine with certainty whether he was, indeed, the first of his family in Virginia. Many Spottsylvania County families came originally from the adjoining counties of Caroline, New Kent, and King and Queen, whose records have been almost entirely destroyed, and there is a possibility that the Johnston family came earlier to Virginia than has been supposed.

William Johnston was married firstly to Ann Chew, October 12, 1723, and secondly, on July 6, 1744, to Betty Taylor, widow of James Taylor of Spottsylvania, son of William Taylor of Caroline County, and the mother of two small daughters. Betty Taylor was before her first marriage Betty Wyatt. William Johnston and his wife, Ann Chew, are said to have had five sons and two daughters: William, Robert, James, Richard, Benjamin, Elizabeth, and Hannah; Philip and Catherine Johnston are said to have been children of his second marriage to Betty Wyatt Taylor. According to another account, Capt. Wm. Johnston and his wife Betty Taylor had two other children: Frances, who married a Major Forsythe; and Ann, who married Henry Beverley Winslow, of Spottsylvania; both left issue.

Philip Johnston married Elizabeth Taylor in Goochland County, Virginia, November 7, 1771. With their children they moved from Caroline County, Virginia to Lexington, Kentucky. Their children were: 1. Thomas Wyatt Johnston, who married Sarah Smith and had Thos. W.; Philip; Geo. W.; Albert G.; Joseph Smith; Elizabeth Ann, who married Benj. R. Pollard, of Louisville; Mary, who married her cousin, Edmund Pendleton Thomas; and Lucinda, who married Dr. L. D. Owens; 2. Philip Johnston; 3. Catherine, who married first, Richard Payne of Goochland County, Virginia, married second her cousin, Rowland Thomas (father of Edmund P. Thomas, above), by her second marriage she had 11 children, but I only have the names of six: Rowland, born 1798, married February 19, 1819, Mary Smith Johnston, daughter of Thomas Wyatt Johnston (above), and had eight children: James; Lucy Ann, who married a Mr. Dupuy; Harriett, who married a Mr. Long; Betsy, who married Herndon Allen; and Catherine Thomas, who married Warner Brashear; 4. Elizabeth Johnston, who married Joseph Morton Payne; and 5. Frances Johnston, who married Jesse Payne.

Benjamin Johnston, son of William and Ann (Chew) Johnston, married Dorothy Jones, and settled at Louisville, Kentucky. Their children were: William; Gabriel Jones, who married Enfield Fowke, August 25, 1788; Benjamin, who married Elizabeth Meuse, February 24, 1790; General Washington; Susan Jones, who married George W. Lewis, December 7, 1791; Mary Ann, who married Major John Harrison, May 24, 1787 (and had Sophia Jones Harrison, married Robert A. New; Benjamin L. Harrison; Col. Charles L. Harrison, married Amelia Oldham, Mary 15, 1817; Dr. John P. Harrison; and James Harrison, who married first, Mary P. Overstreet, second, Susan Howard, widow of Lee White, and third, Virginia Carlett); and Ann Chew Johnston, who married John T. Gray.

William Johnston, son of William and Ann Chew Johnston, and brother of Dr. Benjamin, also settled at Louisville, where he married Elizabeth (Betsy) Winn, daughter of James Winn of Fauquier County, Virginia, November 11, 1784. He died at his home "Cave Hill," February 1793. William and Betsy Winn Johnston had issue: Maria, who died young; and Dr. James Chew Johnston, born July 31, 1787, died December 4, 1864, married firstly Maria, daughter of Col. Wm. Booth, and had a son Wm., who died young, married secondly, April 3, 1828, Sophia H. Zane, and had Zane, died young. William Johnston married Emily, daughter of Robert J. Ward; James Chew Johnston, married Julia Nicholas; and Mary E. Johnston, married Col. Robert W. Wooley of Louisville, and had a daughter, Mary Johnston Wooley, who married as his second wife, Oscar Fenley, and had a daughter, Mary Johnston Fenley, who married Lewis G. Kaye of Louisville.


Mildred Neville, the daughter of John Neville, married George Frederick in Shelby County, Kentucky, in 1809. Isaac Pomeroy, born in Pennsylvania in 1781, died in Shelbyville, Kentucky in 1854, married in Shelby County, Elizabeth Clayton, daughter of David Clayton, in 1808 or 1809.


I have a note that states that Kate G. White was the executrix of D. P. White, Jr., and that she was appointed guardian of Charles A. White, James C. White, and D. P. White, who were evidently her children. The D. P. White, Jr., mentioned here, was possibly the son of Dr. W. D. White, born in Greensburg, Green County, Kentucky, 1845, son of Dr. Daniel P. White, born Green County, Kentucky, 1813, and his wife, Nancy F. Clark of Burkesville. Dr. Daniel P. White was the son of William P. White, who married Judith Taylor, daughter of Mrs. Judith Taylor Gaines, who was born in 1793. This, I admit, seems more or less confusing. I do not know the parents of William P. White, Nancy F. Clark, and Judith Taylor. In an old letter Mrs. Judith T. Gaines refers to her "son-in-law, Dr. D. P. White." Judith T. Gaines was possibly Judith Taylor.