Generation No. 4
4. JOHN4 JOHNSON , JR. (JOHN3, GEOFFREY MORRICE2, MAURICE1) was born 1590 inWillminton, Kent Co., England, and died September 30, 1659 in Roxbury, Sufolk Co., Massachusets. He married (1) MARY HEATH September 21, 1613 in Ware, Hertfordshire, England, daughter of WILLIAM HEATH and . He married (2) MARGARET SCUDDER Unknown, daughter of WILLIAM SCUDDER. He married (3) GRACE NEGUS Unknown.
Notes for JOHN JOHNSON , JR.:
This "Puritan" immigrant ancestor and the first member of the family in
America came from Wilmington Parish, county Kent, England with his wife
Margery and five children with the "Winthrop Fleet." (All of his
brothers immigrated to America with the exception of Abraham who
remained in England.)
They loaded on March 29, 1630 and sailed from the Isle of Wight (South
Hampton) on the April 8th on the ship "Arbella;" Master of the ship was
Peter Milburn. This ship was one of four in the advance group under
Governor Winthrop. The others were the "Ambrose," the "Jewell," and the
"Talbot." Over one thousand immigrants arrived in eleven ships in a
short period and settled in seven different Massachusetts towns nearly
The "Arbella" originally called the Eagle, was renamed for Lady Arbella
Johnson, the daughter of the Earl of Lincoln. Lady Arbella was married
to Isaac Johnson, a cousin of John Johnson.
"History of Salem," page 360: "ARBELLA. Ship. 350 tons burthen. For
its figurehead it had the effigy of an eagle, and it was originally
called the Eagle. The name was changed to Arbella, probably because the
funds of Lady Arbella Johnson who came to Salem in her, undoubtedly
purchased the vessel. She sailed from Southhampton, England with Peter
Milbourne, Master, March 22, 1630 and arrived in Salem on Monday, June
14th. It carried 300 passengers. She was manned by a crew of fifty-two
seamen and carried twenty-two pieces of ordnance. Governor Winthrop and
Major William Hathorne came in this vessel at this time. The ship sailed
from Salem to Charleston about two months later." The manifests of the
Arbella show that she carried 10,000 gallons of wine, and 14 tuns (casks)
The ship entered Naumkeag (Salem Harbor) on June 12, 1630, Governor John
Winthrop moved on to Shawmut (now Boston). John Johnson and his family
settled in a spot called Roxbury. He was chosen by the General Court as
Constable of Roxbury on October 19, 1630 and was admitted as a "Freeman"
(property holding voter) on May 18, 1631; Deputy to the General Court,
1634-1638, 1641-1642, 1645-1653, 1656-1659, thirty sessions distributed
through twenty years of service to the Colony;the first Clerk and Captain
of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, 1638-1640; Surveyor
General of Arms for the Colony 1641-1659. He was also one of the
founders of the First Church of Roxbury. He received a Colonial Grant of
300 acres of land for his public services. Historian James Savage
depicts his as a "man of estate and distinction."
He also kept a tavern in Roxbury street and was a man of esteem and
influence. He was one of the embryo parliament of 1632-"for every town
to chose two men to be at the next Court to advise the Governor and
He was appointed with one Woodward, September 6, 1638, "if he could spare
the time, or another to be got in (his) room, to lay out the Southmost
part of the Charles River and to have five shillings a day a piece." Mr.
Edward Johnson of Woburn, a local official and colonial author of the
time says: "To write the history of John Johnson would fill a volume,
and his worth as one of the founders of the government of Massachusetts
is too well known to be recorded here."
When the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony authorized the
minting of the now famous "Pine Tree Shilling," Edward Johnson, Thomas
Clark, and John Johnson as members were charged with selecting the mint
master, John Hull, and supervising the operation to insure the fineness
of the silver content.
Regarding the previously mentioned Colonial land grant is found the
following Court order of May 6, 1657 which decreed: "That Mr. John
Johnson having bin long serviceable in the place of Surveyor-Gen'll, for
which he hath never had any satisfaction, which this Court considering
of, thinkes meet to grant him 300 acors in any place he can find it
according to law."
BOSTON DOCUMENTS, Vol. 6, pages 16-17 CITY DOCUMENT NO. 114, "ROXBURY
LAND RECORDS:" (30) 8. " John Johnson his house, barne, and hous lott on
the back side of his orchyard and buildings lying together with liberty
to inclose the swamp and brooke before the same, not anoying any highway;
conteining in all eight accres more ore lesse, upon Thomas Lambs heires
towards the West, and upon William Denison towards the South, and three
accres of marsh betweene the home lott and the marsh of the heirs of
Samuell Hagborne, upon Thomas Lamb towards the North, and West and
William Denison East, and twenty accres more or lesse of mowing ground
upon the marsh of Mr. Thomas Weld, and the land of Thomas Lamb on the
East and so compassed with Muddy riuer and Stoney riuer, and ten accres
of woodland more or lesse lying betweene the great lotts and the lands of
the heires of Samuell Hagborne, and so turning up betweene the lott
lately bought of George Bowers and a way leading to Rocky swamp Northwest
and upon the schoole land upon the South and East; and in the last
deuission, in the first and third alottments of that deuission being the
fourth lott their one hundred ten* accres and one quarter, and one and
fifty accres and a halfe bought of Edward Porter and John Pettit lying in
the thousand accres at Deddam, and six acres more ore lesse bought of
James Morgan, upon Stoney riuer West, and upon the land of Edward Bridges
East, and an accre and a quarter more or lesse, lately the land of Thomas
Lamb, upon the home lott and Meadow of John Johnson Northwest, upon the
highway leading to the watermill Southeast, and upon the home lott of the
heires of Thomas Lamb North, and three accres of woodland more or lesse
lately the land of John Stebbins, lying at Rocky swamp. And fower accres
of fresh meadow more or lesse lately bought of John Parepoynt lying in
the great meades between the lands of Isaack Morrill and William Cheiney;
and thirteene accres and twenty rod of land, wood and pasture bought of
Thomas Gardner in the nookes next Dorchester, betweene the lands of Henry
Farnham and the lands of the heires of Thomas Stannard."
"*the nearest half of this hundred and ten accres is sold by John Johnson
to Griffin Craft."
As a property holder and voter in the affairs of the Massachusetts Bay
Coloy, the following oath of allegiance was required: "I being of Gods
providence, and Inhabitant, and Freeman, within the Jurisdiction of this
Commonwealth; do freely acknowledge myself to be subject to the
Government thereof: And therefore do here swear by the great and
dreadful Name of the Ever-living God, that I will be true and faithful to
the same, and will accordingly yield assistance & support thereunto, with
my person and estate, as in equity I am bound; a will also truly
endeavour to maintain and preserve all the liberties an priviledges
thereof, submitting myself to the whole some Lawes & orders made and
established by the same. And further, that I will not plot or practice
any evil against it, or consent to any that shall so do; but will timely
discover and reveal the same to lawfull Authority now here established,
for speedy preventing thereof. Moreover, I doe solomnly bind myself in
the sight of God, that when I shal be called to give my voyce touching
any such matter of this State, in which Freemen are to deal, I will give
my vote and suffrage as I shall judge in mine own conscience my best
conduce and tend to the public weal of the body, without respect of
persons, or favour of any man. So help me God in the Lord Jesus Christ."
As early as 1631 it appears that the General Court recognized the
necessity of an office of surveyor of ordnance or arms for the protection
of the Colony. From the records one would infer that until 1642, the
business of the office was mainly transacted through committtees.
In 1642, owing to fear of an Indian attack and the desire that the Colony
might be well supplied with powder, John Johnson was appointed
Surveyor-General of Arms. From that time until the downfall of the
colony government, the many references to the office indicate its
The Surveyor-General of Arms was a custodian of the Colony's supply of
ordnance, arms, and ammunition. Under the authority from the General
Court he delivered powder to the towns, and received back from them any
excessive supplies which might have been issued. He could also sell
ammunition. He was empowerd to recover arms belonging to the Colony from
individuals or towns that had them in their possession, to either
preserve them pending an order of the General Court, or to sell them at a
fair price and procure others in their place. Purchases of ammunition
were usually made through the Surveyor-General, though in co-operation
with the treasurer.
Orders of the General Court that he should loan munitions to individuals
are common. When, in 1643, arms and stores were brought from Castle
Island, and invoice of the whole was given to the Surveyor-General, and
the arms were delivered into his custody. Though orders for the delivery
of ordnance to towns for use in forts, and the return of the same, were
issued through the Surveyor-General, it was not the policy of the General
Court to permit him to sell this without special authority. The towns
were ordered by the legislature to make returns to the Surveyor-General
of the amount of powder they had in stock.
In May, 1656, it was ordered that the Surveyor-General should annually
lay before the council an account of the common stock of powder, that the
General Court might be guided by this information in supplying the
Colony's needs. Committees were frequently appointed to examine the
accounts of the office which indicates the early beginning of the
democratic process of checks and balances.
His house and buildings were destroyed by fire on August 2, 1645 causing
the explosion of seventeen barrels of his colony's gunpowder which
destroyed many arms and most of the towns first records. He also had
been acting as town clerk. He signed the inventory of Joseph Weld's
estate in 1646. He was one of the original donors to the first "Free
Schoole." He purchased land from John Pettit and William Dennison on
January 8, 1644. Records indicate that he was the business agent in the
Colony for Mrs. Katharine Sumpner of London in 1653. "He was the person
designated by the General Court as 'Goodman Johnson' to whom the Arms of
the Roxbury adherents of Mrs. Ann Hutchinson were to be delivered."
(Page 66, History of Ancient and Honourable Artillery Company.) In 1655,
he and others were granted permission to "set down" (erect) a grist mill.
As an addenda of possible family interest regarding the official duties
of John Johnson in connection with the historic case of Anne Huchinson,
the religious dissenter of the time, are the following:
She had publicly challenged the Puritan religious and political
principles of the Colony and was subsequently tried, banished and
migrated to Rhode Island.
When Anne Hutchinson was taken into custody, the Court ordered that the
arms of her adherents be delivered to the custody of Captain John Johnson
and the town of Roxbury be required to take orders for their custody and
any charges that might arise be defrayed to her husband.
After her court trial and sentence of banishment by the Massachusetts Bay
Colony, she was restricted from November 1636 to April 1637 to the home
of Joseph Weld. Her stay in Weld's home apparently was not too
oppressive, because she stated "that except for the fact that she must
have a companion when she went for a walk, she would have thought herself
an honored guest in the house." Weld was an important man in the Colony
and the father of Mary (Weld) Harris whose daughter Mary married Isaac
Johnson, Jr., a grandson of John Johnson.
Ann Hutchinson came from Englan on the boat "Griffin" on which was
William Bartholomew, the father of William Bartholomew, Jr. who married
Mary Johnson, daughter of Isaac Johnson, John's oldest son.
THE NEW ENGLAND HISTORICAL AND GENEALOGICAL REGISTER, Vol. 9, page 224
shows John's will probated September 30, 1659. A copy is attached to
More About JOHN JOHNSON , JR.:
Buried: Landed at Salem, Massuchussetts from near London.
John JOHNSON - b. about 1588, England; d. Sep. 30, 1659, Roxbury, MA. It has been suggested that he was the son of John JOHNSON of Co. Kent, England. John's will, dated Sep. 30, 1659 (the day he died) and proved Oct. 15, 1659 names son Isaac as co-executor. Arrived in New England with the Winthrop fleet at Salem, Jun. 22, 1630. He settled at Roxbury, MA and was made Freeman on May 18, 1631. Subsequently served town and colony in many capacities, including Constable (first on Oct. 19, 1630), Surveyor General, Town Clerk, Deputy to the House of Deputies, and Clerk of the Military Company of Massachusetts. The position as Surveyor General of Arms and Ammunitions of the Colonies made Capt. Johnson responsible for the acquisition, maintenance and distribution of the primary means of protection. Gov. John Winthrop wrote in his Journal under the date of Feb. 6, 1645:
John Johnson, the Surveyor General of Arms and Ammunition, a very industrious and faithful man in his place, having built a fair house in the midst of the town, with divers barns and outhouses, it fell on fire in the day time, no man knowing by what occasion, and there being in it seventeen barrels of the country's powder, and many arms, all was suddenly burnt and blown up, to the value of four or five hundred pounds, wherein a special providence of God appeared, for, he, being from home, the people came together to help and many were in the house, no man thinking of the powder till one of the company put them in mind of it, whereupon they all withdrew, and soon after the powder took fire and blew up all about it, and shook the houses in Boston and Cambridge, so that men thought it had been an earthquake, and carried great pieces of timber a great way off, and some rags and such light things beyond Boston meeting house, there being then a stiff gale south, it drove the fire from the other houses in the town (for this was the most northerly) otherwise it had endangered the greatest part of the town.
John was one of the founders of the town and church at Roxbury, MA and, together with his sons Isaac and Humphrey, was an original donor to the Free School in Roxbury. His second wife was possibly Margery SCUDDER, daughter of William (d. 1607) and Margery SCUDDER of Darenth, Kent. The will of William SCUDDER was dated July 27,1607, and probated November 4, 1607, naming John JOHNSON, Sr., John JOHNSON, Jr. and daughter Margaret. Married first 21 Sep 1613, Ware, Hertfordshire, England, second by 1633 Margery (b. England; bur. 9 Jun 1655, Roxbury, MA), and third 1655 or later Grace NEGUS (d. Dec. 19, 1671), widow of Barnabas FAWER, and sister of Jonathan and Benjamin NEGUS.
Mary HEATH - d. May 1629, Hertfordshire, England; bur. May 15, 1629, Ware, Hertfordshire, England. Daughter of William HEATH and Agnes CHENEY.
John JOHNSON (c.1590 - 30 September 1659)
He resided in England about twelve miles from London on the River Lee. He
brought his family to New England with the first fleet of Governor John
Winthrop, arriving at Salem on 22 June 1630. Settled in Roxbury and was
appointed Constable on 19 Oct 1630. He was made Freeman on 18 May 1631. He
owned and operated a tavern or "ordinary" in Roxbury.
During the "Antinomianism Controversy" in 1636, he was responsible for
collecting the arms and ammunition of the followers of Anne Hutchinson. He
was one of the most respected social and civic leaders of the Massachusetts
Bay Colony. Among his many and diverse public offices the most important was
that of "Surveyor General of the Arms". He was a charter member of "The
Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company" of Boston; and, he was its first
Clerk. It is the oldest military organization in the US, founded 13 Mar
1638. Twelve Presidents of the United States number among his descendants.
The list of names of his other descendants who held prominent military,
civic, social, literary, and educational offices in service of this country
would number in the thousands.
"Genealogy of Captain John Johnson of Roxbury, Massachusetts", Paul Franklin
"History of The Military Company of the Massachusetts...", Vol. I, pp.47-51,
66-67, Oliver Ayers Roberts, 1895.
"Brief Histories of The London Company", The Artillery Company of Mass-
achusetts, National Society of Women Descendants; p. 186, Annual Rendevous,
"Life and Letters of John Winthrop...", pp.4-7, Robert C. Winthrop, 1867.
"Vital Records of Roxbury, Massachusetts", Vol. I, Births, pp.194-195.
ibid, Vol. II, Marriages and Deaths, pp.223-24, 563, Salem, MA, 1925.
A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, Vol. 2, James
Savage, 1860-1862, Automated Archives CD-ROM disk #40, 1992.
NEHGR, Vol. VI, 1852, pp.248-249, 344-345, "Early Settlers of Essex and Old
ibid, Vol. IX, 1855, pp.224-225, "Abstracts of Early Wills."
Genealogical research notes of Charles Munat, Bainbridge Island, WA.
The Order of The Founders and Patriots of America; Register, Lineages of
Associates, 1896-1993, Vol.2, pp.1662-1663, 1747-1748.
Three Hundred Colonial Ancestors and War Service, p.180, Elizabeth M. Leach
Rixford, Rutland, VT., 1934. 1991.
The Winthrop Fleet of 1630, p.77, Charles Edward Banks, Boston, MA., 1930.
More About MARY HEATH:
Notes for GRACE NEGUS:
Children of JOHN JOHNSON and MARY HEATH are:
|5.||i.||MARY5 JOHNSON, b. July 31, 1614, England; d. January 27, 1677/78, Rehobeth, Massachusetts.|
|6.||ii.||ISAAC JOHNSON, b. December 15, 1615, Herne Hill, Kent Co., England; d. December 19, 1675, North Kingston, Rhode Island.|
|iii.||JOHN JOHNSON, b. April 05, 1618; d. Unknown.|
|7.||iv.||ELIZABETH JOHNSON, b. August 22, 1619; d. January 05, 1684/85, Roxbury, Suffolk Co., Massachussetts.|
|8.||v.||HUMPHREY JOHNSON, b. 1621, England; d. July 24, 1692, Hingham, Massachusetts.|
|vi.||MARTHA JOHNSON, b. 1622; d. August 25, 1708; m. WILLIAM PARKE.|
|9.||vii.||SARAH JOHNSON, b. 1627; d. January 05, 1682/83.|