Petition by heirs of Jacob Johnson of Craven County, 1808

by | Apr 7, 2014 | 2 comments

Jacob JOHNSON (sometimes spelled Johnston) and his wife, Sarah “Sallie” PEARCE produced a staggering number of descendants. Settling early in the Swift Creek (now Vanceboro) community, they had nine children, all of whom married other prominent families in the area, so much so that one would be hard-pressed to have ancestors from that part of Craven and not find them connected to this family somehow.

Below is a petition by the heirs (children and grandchildren) of Jacob JOHNSON to partition a tract of his land that was not devised nor disposed of in his will.

Jacob JOHNSON’s children were:

Living at the time of this document:

  • Frederick JOHNSON “the elder” (m. Hannah Fonvielle)
  • Mary JOHNSON (m. Stephen HARRIS)
  • Sarah JOHNSON (m. Arthur BUTLER)
  • Elizabeth JOHNSON (m. Ambrose BULL?)
  • Hannah JOHNSON (m. Henry SMITH)
  • Winnifred JOHNSON (m. Edward NELSON)
  • Ann JOHNSON (m. Charles ROACH, Jr.)

Deceased at the time of this document:

Rachel JOHNSON (married George BRYAN)
Children were (grandchildren of Jacob JOHNSON, Sr.): 

  • Malsey BRYAN
  • Sarah (m. James HOLLOWAY)
  • John BRYAN
  • Johnston BRYAN
  • Nancy (m. Ezekiel CLIFTON)

Jacob JOHNSON, Jr.
Children were (grandchildren of Jacob JOHNSON, Sr.): 

  • Mary JOHNSON
  • Frederick JOHNSON, Jr.

Frederick Johnston & others vs. Charles Roach and Ann his wife
March Term 1808

To the Worshipfull the Justices of the County Court of Craven

The petition of Frederick Johnston the elder, Stephen Harris and Mary his wife, Arthur Butler and Sarah his wife, Elizabeth Bull, Henry Smith & Hannah his wife, Edward Nelson and Winnifred his wife, Malsey Bryan, James Holloway and Sarah his wife, John Bryan, Johnston Bryan, Ezekiel Clifton and Nancy his wife, and Mary Johnston and Frederick Johnston Junior, children of Jacob Johnston Junior decd. and minors by their next friend the aforesaid Frederick Johnston the elder. Humbly complaining shewith That Jacob Johnston the elder late of Craven County been seiryd? in fee of a certain tract of land lying in said county on a branch of Swifts creek called Palmetto containing two hundred acres more or less more particularly described and bounded in a patent thereof granted the said Jacob Johnston bearing date [blank] which your petitioners have ready to produce departed this life about the month of [blank] 1806 not having devised nor otherwise disposed of the said tract of land whereby the same descended to your petitioners and Ann the wife of Charles Roach Junior as heirs at law in the proportion following that is to say Of the whole into nine parts or shares to be divided. Your petitioners Frederick Johnston the elder, Mary wife of Stephen Harris, Sarah wife of Arthur Butler, Elizabeth Bull, Hannah wife of Henry Smith & Winnifred wife of Edward Nelson became entitled to one share or part each being the sons & daughters of the said Jacob decd. And your petitioners Malsey Bryan, Sarah wife of James Halloway, John Bryan, Johnston Bryan, and Nancy wife of Ezekiel Clifton being the children of Rachel wife of George Bryan who was one of the daughters of the deceased became entitled to one share, your petitioners Mary Johnston and Frederick Johnston Junior being children of Jacob Johnston Junr. who was son of the deceased became entitled to one share and the said Ann wife of Charles Roach Junior became entitled to one share.

And your petitioners further state that they have been informed that the said Charles Roach Junior and Ann his wife have sold and conveyed the share of the said Ann to Thomas Bowen? and your petitioners are desirous of having partition made between them and teh said Thomas Bowen or Ann Roach.

May it please your wordships therefore to appoint fit & meet persons commissioners to make partition agreeably to the directions of the act of assembly in such case made and provided & your petitioners [end of document — appears page is missing]

Petition by heirs of Jacob Johnson of Craven County - p1 Petition by heirs of Jacob Johnson of Craven County - p2


  1. Alan

    How was this Jacob Johnson/Johnston related to a Garrett Johnston in Onslow County? They show up in documents on several occasions.

    • Sara Whitford

      First of all, let me apologize for the delayed response, but I’ve not been getting some of my comment notifications. As such, I hadn’t seen this until today.

      As a descendant of Jacob Johnson, I’m also familiar with seeing Garrett Johnson’s name in some documents. I’m not positive what their relationship is, but I had thought they might be brothers. Please let me know if you find anything solid proving their kinship.


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