Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Allen line; Robert Johnson died 1661, Immigrant

There are a lot of stories about Robert Johnson on line, but not a lot of good, documented information.  I'm not sure but I think it's possible that two Robert Johnson's have been combined and confused, and that makes it hard to determine which Robert Johnson is ours.

The esteemed genealogist Donald Lines Jacobus in his "Families of Ancient New Haven" gives the idea that three brothers came from Hull, Yorkshire, England, and from that others have apparently jumped at the conclusion that Robert is the son of Abraham who was the son of Robert Johnson son of Maurice Johnson, who was an alderman of Stanford in Lincolnshire.  I'm not sure this holds up under scrutiny, but it's possible.

I'll start with what I believe to be correct.  Robert Johnson was in New Haven, Connecticut as early as 1641.  At least two more generations of Johnsons lived in New Haven, and their records seem to be a little more easily traced.  So that's helpful, to show that Robert was an early resident there 

William Richard Cutter says that Robert came to Boston in 1637 from Kingston on Hull, Yorkshire, England, where he was in business.  He brought his wife "Adlin" and four sons, Robert, Thomas, John, and William.  There is some belief that Aldin may have been a second wife, but so far no records have been produced to indicate whether this is so or not.

The first I can really find about Robert is that he was in New Haven, Connecticut in 1641, and that this is where he spent the remainder of his days.  He is believed to have been born sometime between 1603 and 1612, but again, there is no known documentation.  It makes sense based on the ages of his known children to think that it would be closer to 1603, since some of his children are believed to have been born in the early to mid 1620's.

We see him in 1641 in New Haven in a dispute with his brother, John.  He had loaned money to John back in England, and John apparently did not pay him back. the house had been pledged as security, or so Robert thought. In the 1640's he was several times appointed to committees to resolve disputes about crops damaged by cattle and hogs, and to determine how much corn each farmer was growing, that the town would be responsible to buy.  He bought 91/2 acres of land "in the Necke" and also had recorded 62 acres of "upland" he had purchased from Thomas Yale, both in 1646.  He apparently also owned a dwelling or land in "Yorkshire quarter", which was disposed of in his will.

That is pretty much what is known of Robert Johnson.  If he was descended from Maurice Johnson then there is likely more material to be found regarding his ancestry, and hopefully more clues to his occupation, religion, and other mundane matters that bring our ancestors to life.

For now, we will leave him at the end of his life, in 1661, in New Haven.  He chose to live there and had been there at least 20 years, watching his family grow and settle in to the new land they had come to.  I am thankful that men like Robert Johnson were willing to come to America and build this new land!

The line of descent is:

Robert Johnson-Adeline
John Johnson-Hannah Parmalee
Samuel Johnson-unknown
Mary Johnson-Matthew Bellamy
Hannah Bellamy-John Royse
Elizabeth Royse-William McCoy
James McCoy-Nancy Ann Lane
Vincent McCoy-Eleanor Jackson
Nancy McCoy-George Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants