Sunday, May 10, 2015

Johnstons of Woodvale

My interest in the Johnstons of Woodvale comes from their multiple connections to the Jacksons of Urker. Members of both families were buried side by each in Creggan graveyard, and in the late 1700s their reserved pews were as close together as their reserved grave spaces would be. Other than that, the Johnstons were much more successful in financial terms than the Jacksons were, and this meant that the Jacksons were often beholden to them.

There were likely two contributing factors to this outcome: the inter-generational legacy of heavy drinking amongst many of the Jackson men, coupled with their propensity for dying before their heir had reached the age of majority did not work to their advantage. There is likely a connection between these two realities.
In Creggan Graveyard, the JACKSONs and JOHNSTONS had adjacent walled grave plots. Here, the Johnston's - in the foreground -  is walled in stone, while the Jackson graves are to the left of the Johnston's, and are surrounded by a forged steel gate. It is possible that the three slabs of slate propped upright to the left are the remnants of a Jackson stone that went missing in the late 1900s. I have a transcription for it, made by a relation in the mid-1900s, so not all is lost.
There is more information about the Jacksons of Woodvale on my website. I will update that page when I return home from my travels in Ireland. The most significant aspect of the revised tree seen below is that there is now a clearer connection between  the original 1600s Johnston settlers of Creggan Parish to some of the Johnston families that continue to live in the region today.

Thanks to help from Sean Barden at the Armagh Museum – and his predecessor T.G.F. Paterson – the link between the 17th century Johnstons and the 21st century Johnstons has now clicked into place.

I have highlighted a few names that appear in the family tree beneath. Here is a bit of detail about why they are worthy of more than a second glance:

·         Angel WRAY d: Aft 1775. She was a grand-daughter of Jane JACKSON (1688-1744) who in turn was a daughter of William JACKSON (1628-1688) and Susan BERESFORD (who died after 1715). They were the first of the JACKSON families to settle long-term in Colerain. His family originated from Westmorland. Given some of the later interconnections between JACKSONs and JOHNSTONs, Angel Wray’s marriage to Thomas JOHNSTON is worth more than passing notice.
·         James JOHNSTON b: Abt 1756 d: 1843 + Mary BALL b: 1808. This couple in all likelihood had more children than the one noted, and one of them was likely a daughter named Rose. In the late 1700s and early 1800s, James JOHNSTON was a church elder and was also on the Board of the Creggan Chartered School when George JACKSON jr, the 2nd schoolmaster of the Creggan Parish School, lost his post after charges of immoral conduct involving Rose JACKSON, daughter of James JOHNSTON. It seems that Rose JOHNSTON must have married a JACKSON, but assuming that she did, I do not know which one that might be. After being found guilty of the allegation, George was punted off to Dublin where he seems to have done well working as a solicitor. Rose, on the other hand, remains invisible.
·         Richard JOHNSTON b: Bef 1753 d: Aft 1792 + Anne JACKSON. She was a daughter of George JACKSON sr. (1718-1782), the first schoolmaster of Creggan Charter School. The following deed shows where Richard JOHNSTON farmed: ROD: 459-119-293078. 1792 Feb 21 btw Richard JOHNSTON Shanrue Co Armagh farmer of 1 pt & David JACKSON Liscalgot Co Armagh farmer of other pt. for £84 44 A 3R  39p in Cashel to JACKSON under a lease from Thomas BALL to JOHNSTON. WITNESSES: Thomas SHEA of Dublin attorney;  Thomas SMYTH of Silverbridge farmer. NOTE: David JACKSON of Liscalgot was Richard Johnston’s brother-in-law, and I suspect that Thomas SHEA was another brother-in-law

Family tree of Johnstons of the Fewes.

1 John JOHNSTON d: Bet 1714 and 1719
    2 James JOHNSTON b: Bef 1689 d: Bef 1719
    2 John JOHNSTON b: Bef 1690 d: 1759
      +  UNNAMED
        3 Thomas JOHNSTON d: 1765
          + Angel WRAY d: Aft 1775 NOTE: She descends from JACKSONs
            4 John JOHNSTON
            4 Henry JOHNSTON d: Aft 1775
        3 Graham JOHNSTON d: 25 Nov 1818
            4 Elizabeth JOHNSTON
            4 Anna JOHNSTON b: 1815 d: Apr 1825
        3 Ann JOHNSTON
          + Adam NOBLE d: 29 Nov 1793
            4 Francis NOBLE b: 1759 d: Aft 1788
            4 John NOBLE
            4 Mary NOBLE
            4 Letitia NOBLE
            4 Wingfield NOBLE
            4 Charity NOBLE
              + William Barton TENISON
        3 Charity JOHNSTON
          + Thomas SHEKELTON
            4 Joseph SHEKELTON
            4 John SHEKELTON
        3 John JOHNSTON b: Abt 1729 d: 12 Dec 1816
          + Mary UNNAMED b: Abt 1721 d: 28 Dec 1805
            4 Thomas JOHNSTON d: Abt 1809
              + Charlotte
                5 Sarah JOHNSTON c: 30 Dec 1784
                  + Thomas MCNEIL
                5 Graham JOHNSTON c: 29 Jun 1786
                  + Anne MACAN b: Abt 1784 d: 12 Oct 1852
                    6 Thomas William JOHNSTON c: 28 Jun 1813 d: 13 Jun 1846
                    6 Robert McCan JOHNSTON d: 2 Oct 1856
                    6 Anne Margaret JOHNSTON c: 1 Jan 1818 d: 25 Apr 1825
                    6 Charlotee Dorcas JOHNSTON d: 18 Nov 1876
                    6 Richard Keating JOHNSTON c: 6 Mar 1824 d: 27 Feb 1878
                    6 Mary JOHNSTON c: 21 Dec 1825 d: 26 Oct 1878
                    6 Hannah Elizabeth JOHNSTON
                      + Edward GEOGHEGAN NOTE: He was the Bank Agent at the branch of the Bank of Ireland in Belfast in 1860 at the time that Thomas JACKSON (1841-1915) worked there.
                        7 Anne Margaret GEOGHEGAN b: 2 Aug 1840
                        7 Elizabeth GEOGHEGAN b: 24 Aug 1843
                        7 Mary GEOGHEGAN b: 16 Apr 1845
                        7 Richard GEOGHEGAN b: 20 Oct 1846
                        7 Charlotte GEOGHEGAN b: 24 May 1848
                    6 Louisa Frances JOHNSTON d: 26 Nov 1879
                5 Mary Anne JOHNSTON c: 24 Jul 1788
                  + Richard DARLEY
                5 Charles JOHNSTON c: 17 Feb 1790
                5 Charlotte JOHNSTON c: 16 Jan 1791
                5 Matilda JOHNSTON c: 1 Jan 1793
                5 Elinor JOHNSTON c: 25 May 1794
                5 John JOHNSTON b: Bef 1817 d: Aft 1817
                5 James JOHNSTON b: Bef 1817 d: Aft 1817
            4 John JOHNSTON b: 1752 d: Jun 1839
                5 Mary JOHNSTON
            4 Mary JOHNSTON
              + William FALLON
                5 Louisa FALLON
                5 Anne FALLON
                5 Charlotte FALLON
            4 James JOHNSTON b: Abt 1756 d: 1843 NOTE: I suspect he had a daughter named Rose whose poor treatment by George JACKSON resulted in him being fired.
              + Mary BALL b: 1808
                5 Mary JOHNSTON
                  + John ARMSTRONG
                5 John JOHNSTON b: 1830 d: 29 May 1897
                  + Elizabeth Anne MCBRIDE b: 1847 d: Aug 1912
                    6 Margaret JOHNSTON
                      + James SMITH
                        7 Dorothy H.A. SMITH b: 1902
                    6 Mary Elizabeth I. JOHNSTON b: 1877
                    6 John Thomas Ball JOHNSTON b: 1880
                    6 Richard Norman JOHNSTON b: 1883
                    6 Anna Sophia JOHNSTON
                      + T O'GORMAN
            4 William JOHNSTON b: 1760 d: 16 Oct 1832
              + Eleanor LINDSAY b: Abt 1766 d: 14 Oct 1837
                5 Norman JOHNSTON b: 1805 d: 1890
                5 William Edward JOHNSTON b: Abt 1811 d: Sep 1817
                5 Horatio JOHNSTON
                5 Thomas JOHNSTON
                  + Isabella CRAMPTON
                5 Charlotte JOHNSTON d: 1855
                5 Sophia Noble JOHNSTON
                  + Henry FRANKLIN
            4 Anne JOHNSTON b: Abt 1750
              + George HENRY
                5 John HENRY
            4 Graham JOHNSTON
      + Catherine DARBY
        3 Richard JOHNSTON b: Bef 1753 d: Aft 1792
          + Anne JACKSON b: Bet 1744 and 1747 NOTE: She was a daughter of George JACKSON sr. (1718-1782)
            4 John JOHNSTON b: Abt 1771
    2 William JOHNSTON b: Aft 1691
    2 Sarah JOHNSTON


  1. Hi could I get the author to contact me please re the Johnstons, I believe my relatives ( Johnstons ) and the O'Callaghan's are also in the grave yard.
    Was wondering if we might be able to compare genealogy records?

  2. I just put flowers on that grave today. You can contact me at