Person:William Johnston (69)

William Johnston, of Beverley Manor
b.ABT 1712 Prob. Ireland
d.bef. March 1769 Augusta County, Virginia
m. BEF 1738
  1. Jane Johnston1737/38 - 1737/38
  2. Elizabeth JohnstonBEF 1740 - 1742
  3. Margaret JohnstonABT 1740 - 1788
  4. John Johnston1740 -
  5. Mary Johnstonabt 1741 -
  6. Zachariah JohnstonBEF 1742 - 1800
  7. Jennet Johnstonabt 1743 -
  8. Joseph Johnstonabt 1745 - bef 1748
  9. Joseph Johnstonabt 1748 -
Facts and Events
Name William Johnston, of Beverley Manor
Gender Male
Birth? ABT 1712 Prob. Ireland
Marriage BEF 1738 to Ann 'Margaret' Smith
Emigration? 24 JUL 1740 Arrived in Orange (later Augusta) County, Virginia with Ann, Elizabeth and John Johnston, O. Book II, p. 214
Death? bef. March 1769 Augusta County, Virginia[likely]

William Johnston was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia


Welcome to
Old Augusta

Early Settlers
Beverley Manor
Borden's Grant

……………………..The Tapestry
Families Old Chester OldAugusta Germanna
New River SWVP Cumberland Carolina Cradle
The Smokies Old Kentucky


Early Land Acquisition in Augusta County, VA


William Johnston's land (Beverley Manor NE, 100 acres, 1742) as shown on the map meticulously drawn by J.R. Hildebrand, cartographer. This map is copyrighted©, used by permission of John Hildebrand, son of J.R. Hildebrand, April, 2009.


William Johnston's land (Beverley Manor NE, 156 & 269 acres, 1749) as shown on the map meticulously drawn by J.R. Hildebrand, cartographer. This map is copyrighted©, used by permission of John Hildebrand, son of J.R. Hildebrand, April, 2009.

Acquisition of Land from Orange County, Virginia Records:

  • Pages 120-24. [Page 118 (119) blank]. 23-24 March 1741 [1742]. William Beverley, Esq., of Essex County to William Johnston of Orange County. Lease and release; for ₤2 current money. 100 acres in Beverley Mannor... below George Anderson's corner on Cathee's River... cross the Brushey Neck... (signed) William Beverley. Wit: James Cathey, Robt. Ramsey, Charles Campbell. 25 March 1742. Acknowledged by William Beverley, Esq. [Orange County Virginia Deed Book 5, Dorman, pf. 7].

Acquisition of Land from Chalkley's:

  • Page 473.—23rd February, 1749. Same (From William Beverley) to William Johnston. Delivered: Zachariah Johnston, 1st June, 1773. 156 acres and 269 acres in Beverley Manor. Corner to William Wright. Corner John Thompson, Alexander Henderson's line. The Barrens. Platt. Teste: Alexander Wright, Samuel McCune.
  • Page 432.—27th February, 1749. Same (From William Beverley) to William Johnstone, 100 acres in Beverley Manor on Cathey's River. George Anderson's corner. (Note: this seems to be a duplicate of the 100 acres previously patented to William Johnston in 1742, appears to be the same location).

Disposition of Land from Chalkley's:

  • Page 458.--1st November, 1754. William Johnston and Ann to Zachariah Smith, £5, 160 acres in Beverley Manor; Alexander Henderson s line; oaks in the Barrens.
  • Page 336.—20th March, 1769. Zachariah Johnston and Ann to Thomas Calbreath, £5, 241 acres, part of 270 in Beverley Manor on Long Meadow of Middle River of Shanando, formerly belonging to William Johnston, who died intestate; descended to Zechariah as his eldest son and heir, joining Thompson's land. Delivered: Wm. Galbreath, 26th June, 1794.

Record of Importation to Orange County, Virginia

Early Settlers, who transported themselves to the colonies, over the age of 16, were given "headrights" (grants of 50 acres of land per "head"), if they appeared in the Court of Common Pleas in the county in which the land was granted. The following persons appeared in Orange County, Virginia court on in July 1740:

  • Wm. Johnson, Ann, Elizabeth & John Johnston; Samuel Brawford (from Ireland)

Records of William Johnston in Augusta County, VA

From Chalkley’s Augusta County Records:

  • Page 421.—23rd February, 1749. William Beverley to Samuel McCune. 176 acres in Beverley Manor. Said McCune's old plantation. David Edmiston's line. Teste: William Johnston, John Lin, James Frame.
  • Page 372.--27th August, 1751. David Edmondson's appraisement, by Wm. Finley, Wm. Jonston, Samuel McCune.
  • Page 158.--12th August, 1756. John Johnston's appraisement, by Andrew Russell, Wm. Johnson, John Hutchison, Jr. (Note: was John Johnston possibly a brother?)
  • Vol. 2 - Page 209.--17th August, 1758: Orphan Alex. Martin bound to Wm. Johnston.

Information on William Johnston

From USGenWeb query:

CALBREATH, JOHNSTON posted by Glenn Smith on Monday, February 2, 1998

Need more information on William and Ann JOHNSTON, who were early members of the Tinkling Spring Church in Augusta County. They had two known children; Margaret JOHNSTON, b. abt. 1740, who married Thomas CALBREATH, and Zachariah JOHNSTON, b. abt. 1742, who married Ann Robertson. I would like to exchange documented information on these families. William JOHNSTON was born about 1712. He married Margaret SMITH.

Margaret SMITH was born about 1716. She married William JOHNSTON.

They had the following children:

M i Zachariah JOHNSTON was born 1738.
F ii Margaret JOHNSTON was born 26 Oct 1740 and died 17 Jan 178
F iii Jane JOHNSTON was born 1, 2, 3, 4 21 Jan 1737/1738 in Christ Church Parish, Virginia. She died 22 Jan 1737/1738 in Christ Church Parish, Virginia.
  1.   Find A Grave.

    William Johnston
    Birth: unknown
    Death: 1769
    Virginia, USA

    William Johnston's birth date and parents are unknown. By tradition, his children are likely named for them and often his siblings. William married Ann (surname unknown) on date unknown, likely in Northern Ireland. He died prior to 20 Mar 1769 (see below intestate).

    William was of Scottish heritage and he came from Northern Ireland before coming to the Virginia colony. He worked in the linen business there, and likely worked as a linen finisher. Records state he left near Lurgan (County Armagh), Northern Ireland, crossing the pond (Atlantic Ocean), in the 1730's, coming through near Bethlehem (Lehigh or Northampton Co.) Pennsylvania to then Orange County, VA which became Augusta County, VA in 1738, where he settled.

    He was an early settler of Augusta Co., VA (previously in Orange County). Orange Co., VA Importation Oaths, Court Order Book #2, 1735-1739, p 214 (VA Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 17, #4, Oct 1979): 24 Jul 1740, "William Johnston came into court and made oath that he imported himself, Ann, Elizabeth, and John Johnston, and Samuel Brawford from Ireland to and from thence into this colony, at his own charge, and that this the first time of his proving his or their rights in order to obtain land" called "head rights" usually 50 acres in this colony.

    William built the Barrens or Old Stone Fort home in "the 1730's" in current day Fisherville, Augusta County, Virginia. It's a 2 story stone dwelling on about 220 acres. It is believed the Stone Fort walls were built about 2 feet thick for protection from the local Indians. William took part in the local militia during this time to defend their settlement.

    After William died, his son Zachariah inherited it and eventually added on to it. Many renovations here and there, have been made since then. The current owner believes he built onto the east addition, which added 2 rooms to it. The home is in pretty good shape inside from what I saw.

    I witnessed the very thick outer walls that give great insulation, when I toured it in the 1990's. I think the most unusual part is the tapered oversized stone chimney one side. His son Zachariah lived there with his family until he built a new elegant home in Rockbridge on the outskirts of Lexington in "1794," per the builder's sign below the roof. I toured this home also, belonging to my kin in the late 1990's.

    According to the 9 Aug 2012 Virginia Department of Historic Resource PIF Resource Info Sheet, DHR ID#007-1126, William Johnston's "the Barrens" was the first stone building (not log) erected in Augusta County, VA and it's one of the oldest standing buildings there in 2012.

    On the road outside of William's old home is a sign noting his famous son.
    The sign says: "AMERICAN REVOLUTION BICENTENNIAL 1776-1976, OLD STONE FORT, Home of Zachariah Johnston, Built in the 1730's." It was also known as the Barrens. It is located at 994 Long Meadow Road/Route 608 in Fisherville, Augusta Co., Virginia, next to a Daylily and perennial farm. See photo of this sign on his son Zachariah's connecting page.

    1740-48: Seven of their children were baptized by Rev. John Craig of Tinkling Spring Presbyterian Church of which they were members. Date of baptism:
    Margaret and John on 19 Oct 1740;
    Mary on 15 Nov 1741;
    Zachariah on 26 Sep 1742;
    Jennet on 26 Jun 1743;
    Joseph on 21 Apr 1745; (assume 1st Joseph died before) and
    Joseph on 1 May 1748.

    William, a Scottish Presbyterian, was an Elder and a Commissioner (elected in 1741 per sign) at Tinkling Spring Presbyterian Church. There is also a church letter where both William and Ann certified that they had lived for two years in the bounds of Notingham (?) on 1 Jun 1747. I note: that I cannot find the 'Laningham book' to find a statement about William, he "left Exeter, Nottingham Co., NH in 1741." Plus I cannot find an Exeter and a Nottingham in Rockingham County, New Hampshire. There is also a Nottingham in Cecil County, Maryland. Suspect county lines changed. I don't believe it is in England, since the English caused him to flee here.

    1747: "Session about 1747 First Unknown, William Johnston" (plus 4 others) is engraved on the bottom on the memorial stone at Tinkling Spring Presbyterian Church that begins: Sacred to the Memory of the Immigrants to This Valley.

    On 23 Feb 1749, he purchased 2 adjoining lots in Augusta County, VA: 269 acres plus 156 acres in the Beverley Manor. On 27 Feb 1749, he purchased another 100 acres on Cathey's River. On the 27th Feb to William Johnstone, 100 acres on Cathey's River, George Anderson's corner and 23 Feb 1749, same to William Johnston. Delivered to Zachariah Johnston (his son) on 1 Jun 1773, 156 acres and 269 acres in Beverley Manor, including The Barrens platt.

    See the NE section of the 1954 Beverley Patent 1736 map, listing the early grantees by J.R. Hildebrand to see his 3 lots purchased in 1749, containing about 525 acres. The 100 acre lot is near the top center of map surrounded by a cul-de-sac of the Cathey's River. It is beside his son, John Johnston's 65 acres (19 Aug 1766 on a bent of Middle River of Shanandore called Brushey Neck). The other 2 lots are directly below it some distance down (next to Jas Alexander's large lot).

    He died intestate (without a will) most likely in Augusta County, Virginia. For sure our William died PRIOR TO 20 Mar 1769 when he is mentioned as dying intestate. His 241 acres of 270 in the Beverley Manor on Long Meadow, descended to his eldest son and heir, Zechariah. Zechariah sold 241 acres, formerly belonging to Wm Johnston, for 5 pounds to his brother in law Thomas Calbreath. It was delivered to (Thomas's son) William Galbreath (Calbreath) on 26 Jun 1794. Chalkley's Vol. 3, p 482.

    Page 503.--18th May, 1772. William Johnston's estate appraised by George Caldwell, Wm. Palmer, John Caldwell. Chalkley's Vol. 3, p 123.

    After Zachariah's new home in Lexington was ready, he sold it to Rev. John McCue who ministered at Tinkling Spring. It remained in his family until 1900 and in 1926 was sold to the current owner's father.

    His burial place is unknown but it would likely be on his land at this early date. He was connected with Tinkling Spring Presbyterian Church but there is no record of his early burial there.

    The OTHER Wm Johnston in this area died BEFORE 25 May 1756, according to court documents. Appraisal of his estate, recorded on 17 Nov 1756, was appraised by locals Robert Graham and Archibald Armstrong plus William Elliott. This man had a wife Mary who received commission for examination of 19 Aug 1762.

    Which Wm Johnston served in the 1742 Augusta Co. Militia under Capt. James Cathey and under Capt. John Christian? A look at his neighbors serving with him may shed light on which Captain they served under, but I suspect it's Capt. Cathey.

    Researched and written by LSP.

    Family links:
    Ann Johnston

    Zachariah Johnston (1742 - 1800)*