Facts and Events
Zachariah Johnston was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
Early Land Acquisition in Augusta County, VA
Zachariah Johnston's land (Beverley Manor NE, 400 acres purchased from Robert & Agnes Thompson and James & Rebecca Thompson on 16 March, 1773. This tract had been originally granted to John Seawright in 1740.) 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.
- Note that this land is adjoining one of the nearby tracts (156 acres) acquired by William Johnston, Zachariah's father, in 1749. Zachariah received both tracts of William Johnston after his death, as eldest surviving son.
Acquisition of Land from Chalkley's:
- Page 156.--16th March, 1773. Robert Thompson and Agness, James Thompson and Rebecca ( ), to Zachariah Johnston, 400 acres in Beverley Manor, conveyed by Beverley to John Seawright, and by him to John Thompson, 24th November, 1743; John Thompson dying intestate, land descended to his son Thomas, his heir-at-law, who conveyed 200 acres to his brother Robert, and devised 200 acres by his will, 25th March, 1760, to said James Thompson.
Disposition of Land from Chalkley's:
- 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.
- Page 505.--20th May, 1777. Zechoriah Johnston and Ann to Thomas Galbraith. Delivered: William Galbraith, 26th June, 1794.
- Page 327.--19th September, 1786. Zachariah Johnston and Ann to Samuel Guyler, tract conveyed by Beverley to Thomas Thompson, deceased, 15th May, 1754, and was left by him to his only daughter Margaret, now wife of Isaiah Vinzent, and by them conveyed to Zachariah, 18th August, 1784.
- Page 307.--19th June, 1792. Zacheriah Johnston and Ann, of Rockbridge, to Rev. Jno. McCue.
Records of Zachariah Johnston in Augusta County, VA
- Will Book No. 3 - (Note at top of page 109.-- Zachariah Johnston's wife was Ann Robinson, sister of Alex. and James Robinson; Jane Robinson. Ann's sister, married John Blair. Both James and Alex. went to Kentucky, Jessamine County? from Geo. Armentrout.) Note: this Chalkley's reference refers to Zachariah's wife, Ann Robertson, sister of Alexander, James and Jane Robertson (who married John Blair), all children of Matthew Robertson and Martha Givens.
- Vol. 2 - Supernumeraries collected by John Smith for 1774: Peter Black, Charles Erwin, John Frame, Archable Kilkison, James Lock, Andrew Marten, Wm. Ralston, Moses Samples, Joseph Wright, John Collens, Wm. Mathers, Wm. Craige, Archable Cunningham, Robert Moday, John Allen, Joseph Colter, Joseph Bell, Able Griffa, John Yancy, Dan O'Neel, Adam Wall, Hugh Campbell, Jr.; Wm. Frame, Sr.; David Williams, George Bowsell, Joseph Campbell, John Patterson, Seath Rogers, Thomas Armstrong, Edward Beard, Hennery Harlis, Zachariah Smith, Sam'l Frazier, Edward Hall, Jesse Jackson, Zachariah Johnston, James Lansbee, Dan'l Mackoneer, Adam Reaburn, Henry Reaburn, David Bosang, Sam'l Wright.
- 1786--December 19, James Johnston and Esther Turk, daughter of Thomas Turk, Senior; surety, Wm. Robertson. James is son of Zachariah Johnston.
- APRIL, 1797 (A to K). Zachariah Johnston vs. James Caruthers--Slander. Rockbridge. Defendant said plaintiff had forged a record from Virginia and had Christian Lookenbill arrested in Pennsylvania.
- Brown vs. Johnston (undated, approx. 1801-1805)--O. S. 94; N. S. 32--Orator, John Brown. John Brown, grandfather of orator, on 17th January, 1752, made entry in Augusta on Middle River, then died with will recorded in Augusta, devising the entry to his oldest son, Thomas Brown. Thomas died in 1773 intestate, leaving orator an infant, his heir-at-law. Zechariah Johnston made a conflicting survey and died testate, and devised same to sons Zachariah and Alexander Johnston. James Philips, father of John, made an entry on the land 23d November, 1769, and on 5th July, 1774, patent issued to John Philips, heir-at-law of James. John Philips in 1806 is living in Kentucky.
Processioning List of 1767/8
- Processioning was the periodic process of reviewing and agreeing upon property lines between settlers. Processioning lists can be useful to show the general area a settler was located, as well as his neighbors during that time period:
- Page 448.--1767-68: Processioned by John Gillespie and Andw. McClure: For William Tease, Saml. Steele, John and Wm. Finley, John Ramsey, John Black, John Patrick, Charles Tease, Andw. Russell, Wm. Russell, Wm. Skillren, James Alexander, Andw. McClure, Francis Alexander, Wm. Logan, Zachariah Johnston, James Thompson, James Galespie, John Williams, Hugh McClure, Samuel McClure, Saml. Frazier, Andw. Russell, John Graham, John Hutchison, Wm. Hutchison, Saml. Pilson, Zachariah Smith, John Gray.
Information on Zachariah Johnston
More information on this family is available in the following publication: Biography. "Zachariah Johnston of Augusta and Rockbridge and His Times", n.d. Booklet, 26 p. (26 prints), typescript)
From Annals of Augusta County, Virginia, pg. 200:
Zachariah Johnston was born in Augusta about the year 1743, near the present village of Fishersville. He is described as a man of a religious temper, of great simplicity of manners, and utterly void of hypocrisy. As we have seen, he was a member of the House of Delegates during the Revolution. He was also a member in 1785, and warmly supported the act for establishing religious freedom. While that act was pending, he is said to have delivered an effective speech in favor of it, declaring that he would leave his own church if it should become a State church. Near the close of the convention of 1788, he delivered quite a long speech in favor of the adoption of the Constitution of the United States, which may be found in the volume of Virginia Debates, page 460. We copy one paragraph. Mr. Johnston said:
" It is my lot to be among the poor people. The most that I can claim, or flatter myself with, is to be of the middle rank. I wish no more, for I am content. But I shall give my opinion unbiased and uninfluenced—without erudition or eloquence, but with firmness and candor. And in so doing I will satisfy my conscience. If this Constitution be bad, it will bear equally as hard on me as on any member of society. It will bear hard on my children, who are as dear to me as any man's children can be to him. Having their happiness at heart, the vote I shall give in its favor, can only be imputed to a conviction of its utility and propriety."
Mr. Johnston removed to Rockbridge in 1793, and died there in 1800.
His children were:
- 1. James, who was born in 1763, and had a large family, among them Thomas, Zachariah, Polly, Mrs. Turk, &c., &c.
- 2. Dr. John, of Roanoke county, born in 1764, whose wife was a sister of the late James Bell of Augusta. He left five sons and three daughters.
- 3. William, born in 1766.
- 4. Elizabeth, born in 1768, wife of Robert McChesney. She had seven children, among them Zachariah J., Adam, James (killed by a lunatic,) Ann, wife of Colonel Isaiah McBride; Mary, wife of Matthew White of Lexington; Eve line, wife of George Moffett; and Betsy, wife of Daniel Brown.
- 5. Zachariah, born in 1770, and lived near Brownsburg. His descendants are Blakeys, Grays and Cultons.
- 6. Thomas, born in 1772. He had eight children, one of whom was the mother of Dr. Z. J. Walker of Rockbridge. Others of his descendants are Lewises, Armentrouts, &c
- 7. Ann, born in 1774, wife of Joseph White, a merchant of Brownsburg, and brother of Robert and Matthew White. She had seven children, of whom William White of Lexington is the only sur vivor. One of her daughters married the Rev. Thomas Caldwell.
- 8. George, born in 1777, and drowned while young in Jackson's river.
- 9. Alexander, born in 1779. Had one son and two daughters. One of the latter married Thomas Wilson, and the other a Mr. McClung.
- 10. Margaret, born in 1781, wife of Captain Robert White of Lexington, She had nine children, of whom George, Robert, Joseph and Mrs. McDowell survive, u. Jane, born in 1783, and married James Sharpe of Tennessee.
Zachariah Johnston's home is listed on a nomination form for historic monuments, filed with the U.S. Dept. of the Interior:
Located on the ' outskirts".of' Lexington: in. Rockbridge County, the Zachariah Johnston House is a handsome yet-preserved example of early stone architecture in the Shenandoah Valley. Built for politically successful Zachariah Johnston in 1797, the house reflects the prosperity of its first owner and talents of its builder, John Spear.
The land on which the house stands was once part of the Benjamin Borden tract of 1739 which consisted of 92,100 acres, "on the north-southeast branches of the James Riverbetween the Blue Ridge and the North Mountain". It was later acquired by Joseph Lapsley, Sr., i n 1742 and sold by his heirs to Zachariah Johnston i n 1795.
Born in Augusta County i n 1742, Johnston was the son of William Johnston, a pioneer settler of the Valley. He was raised in the Presbyterian religion by his Scotch-Irish parents, who had left Northern Ireland seeking religious freedom. Johnston's vocation was farming, but he served as an officer in the Revolution and was a member of the Virginia convention to ratify the Federal Constitution. A presidential elector i n 1789, Johnston cast his vote for General Washington. Johnston served as a member of the House of Delegates, representing Augusta County for fourteen years and Rockbridge County for one term. His finest hour as a legislator came i n 1785, when as chairman of the standing committee on religion, he spoke strongly for the bill to establish freedom of religion . The b i l l was passed on December 17, 1785. Johnston moved to Rockbridge County i n 1790 and died there in 1800.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Wilson, Howard McKnight. The Tinkling Spring, Headwater of Freedom. (Privatetly published by The Tinkiling Spring and Hermitage Presbyterian Churches, pub. Fishersville, Virginia), pg. 476.