This is a work in progress. Much of my direct line is documented, but some may not be. If there is a question, I usually include words like "seems likely" or "possibly" in hopes that it may help someone else or eventually get me closer to documentation. Also, I do make errors when transferring info to my files or to the site. If you find errors that you can correct, please e-mail me and I'll gladly make the changes or if you have more information on anyone mentioned here and can share it, I would be really appreciative.


Charles Randall Johnson
My 3rd Great-grandfather, 1802-1864

Charles Randall Johnson was born about 1803 somewhere in North Carolina. By the 1830 US Census he had moved to Haywood County, TN (specifically in an area that would later become Alamo, TN and Crockett County), and married Margaret Louisa Wood. Louisa was the daughter of Frances M. Wood and Elizabeth Milburn.

In 1830, the household of Charles and Louisa included:

One male 20 – 30 (himself)
One female 20 – 30 (his wife, Louisa)
One female under five (his oldest daughter, Ann Elizabeth)
One male slave 10 – 24
One female slave 10 – 24

In 1830, Charles was 28, Louisa was 22 and their youngest daughter, Anna Elizabeth had just been born.

Because families often lived on farms either connected or very close, it’s helpful to note the other Johnsons living around Charles and Louisa in 1830. Living right around them were several other heads of households with the last name of Johnson. It’s possible any of these were relatives of Charles, however, I have been unable to connect them yet.

Photo/Otis Lindy

Charles R. Johnson’s wife, Margaret Louisa Wood, was the daughter of Frances M. Wood and Elizabeth Milburn.

Frances was born in 1777 in or around Edgecombe County, North Carolina and married Elizabeth Milburn in 1806. Joseph was likely the son of Joseph and Ann Wood. He moved to Haywood County, TN in 1824 at the age of 47 and became one of the earliest settlers of the area.

In addition to Louisa, the children of Frances and Elizabeth Milburn Wood are thought to have been Elizabeth Ann, Nancy Arsena, Polly Horn and William M.

Frances died 27 April 1843 in Haywood County at the age of 66.

Check out my blog entry with lots more about the Wood family including photos of Frances Wood’s Bible.

Johnson Neighbors

Stephen Johnson
One researcher believes Stephen and Charles were possibly brothers. Stephen was born about 1787 in North Carolina. In the 1830 census, Stephen Johnson who was 30 – 40, his wife who was 30 – 40, four males who were 20 or younger, four females who were 20 or younger and no slaves for a total of 10 in the household.

Ten years later, in the 1840 census, Stephen’s household consists of one male 15 -20, one male, 20 – 25, one male, 50 – 60, one female 5 – 10, one female 15 – 20, one female 20 – 30, one female 40 – 50 and no slaves for a total of 7 in the household.

The last census in which he appears was in 1850 when he was 63 and he living alone with 20-year-old Martha who could possibly be his daughter. By then, he was farming land with a value of $1,000.

William Johnson
There was only one farm between Charles and William Johnson. In William’s household there were two males ages 20 to 30, one male 50 – 60, one female 15 – 20, one female 50 – 60 and no slaves for a total of five in the household. From other research, it can be determined that William was born in 1777 in England and by 1798 had migrated with his parents to Rutherford, TN where he married Jeanett “Jenny” Miller.

William’s father was William Johnson Sr. who was born abt. 1720 in England and died Jan. 1816 in Rutherford Co., TN. William’s mother was Mariah Rebecca Larkin.
William Jr.’s siblings are thought to have been:
Edward Johnson, b. 1770, NC, d. 1852, Rutherford County, TN.
Mary Frances Johnson, d. date unknown.
John Johnson, b. Abt. 1763, d. date unknown.
Nancy Johnson, b. July 10, 1765, d. date unknown.
Mildred Johnson, b. August 04, 1775, d. date unknown.
James Johnson, b. Abt. 1776, d. date unknown.
Larkin Johnson, b. February 12, 1783, d. December 24, 1856, Rutherford County, TN.
Matthew Johnson, b. Abt. 1785, d. 1816, Rutherford County, TN.

William had moved to this area and helped settle it in 1823. One of his sons was Isaac Miller Johnson who became known as “The Father of Crockett County.” William died in Haywood County in 1837. Isaac M. Johnson and Lycurus Cage were founders of the town of Alamo (which was originally named Cageville after Lycurus) and together they established what would become T.G. Johnson and Brother’s Drug and Grocery Story in Alamo.

John Johnson
Five farms over was John Johnson. In his household lived one male 15 – 20, one male 50 – 60, two females 15 – 20, one female 24 – 30 and no slaves for a total of five.

William Johnson
Next door to John and six farms from Charles is another William Johnson. Charles named his first son William so that is an additional connection to this neighbor. Could this be his brother?

In William’s household there was one male 5 – 10, one male 30 – 40, one female 5 – 10, one female 10 – 15, one female 30 – 40, and no slaves for a total of five.


Details about another interesting document regarding the Johnsons and the settlement of the Haywood/Crockett county area can be found here.

Thanks to Sister Mary Frances Cates for transcribing the article which was originally included in the Crockett Times on Thursday, July 7, 1977. It includes the name of those who wanted to “divide the district” in order to avoid having to cross a swamp to drill and practice military maneuvers. Originally, Tennessee counties were divided according to military districts, with the captains of each militia functioning like a county magistrate. If you were a male resident from 16 to 45 you were required to cross the swamp and show up for the military drill.

To the Honourable Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Tennessee Your petitioners humbly represent that they reside on the north side of the south fork of the Forked Deer River in Haywood Co., that the people on that side of the river have had a battalion ever since the organization of the County and they compose the second Battalion of the Eighty Sixth Regiment, that they have heretofore had to cross the swamp of the aforesaid river to attend all regimental musters, that the swamp is something like three miles wide and that it is often times wholly impassable. They therefore pray your honourable body to relieve them in the premises by dividing the regiment, giving to them a separate regiment on the north side of said river.”

Those who signed the petition sometime between 1828 and 1834 included:

Charles R. Johnson
William Johnson
William Johnson Jr.
Isaac M. Johnson
Jno. (John) A. Johnson
James Johnson
Stephen Johnson

Frances M. Wood (Father of Charles’ wife, Louisa)
William M. Wood

By 1840, there were 14 people living in Charles Randell Johnson’s home. There were eight white free persons and six slaves.

In the 1850 census, the family was living in district 12 in Haywood County and were very prosperous, farming 1,500 acres.

Included in the household with 47-year-old Charles and his 42-year-old wife was: Ann (age 19), William R. (age: 18), Richard (age: 14), Margaret Wood (age: 14) Sallie H. (age: 12), Dicey (age: 12), Charles Randall Jr. (age: 10), Adeline (age: 8), Nancy Miranda (age 6) and Zachariah F. (age 1).

10 years later in the census of 1860, the oldest child at home was 21-year-old Sallie so Anna, William, Richard and Margaret had moved to farms of their own. Adeline, Nancy and Zach were all still living with their parents and the family had added another child, Louisa who was now nine.

Also living with the family was a 20-year-old “laborer” named Jason Purvis and William Newland who was a 25-year-old teacher from Pennsylvania.



Headstones of Charles Randell Johnson and Margaret Louisa Wood Johnson in the Castellaw Family Cemetery in the Johnson Grove area of Crockett County.

Louisa died on March 28, 1862 at age 53 leaving Charles with several children still at home. She was buried in the Castellaw Cemetery in Crockett County, south of the Johnsons Grove area, on the west side of Castellaw Rd.

Charles was a widower only a couple of years because on April 14, 1864, at age 61, he also died leaving his youngest two children, Zach and Louisa, with no guardian.

His daughter Ann’s husband, David Whitaker was the administrator of his will while his son William became the guardian for Zach and Louisa.

Charles died without leaving a will, which resulted in his estate having to be settled by the Haywood County Court.

Listed in the court case were nine heirs:

Charles R. Johnson Jr.
Nancy Johnson (husband Tom Castellaw)
Sarah “Sally” Sanders
Louisa Johnson
Zach. T. Johnson
Milton B. Midyett (wife Adeline Johnson)
John E. Castellaw
L. D. Whitaker (husband David)
William. R. Johnson – became the guardian of Lousia Johnson but J. F. Wortham became the temporary guardian for the legal stuff around the court case.

The settlement also included which of his slaves went to which of his children and their “value:”

Lot #1–C. R. Johnson, Jr. received negro woman Martha and boy Jerry valued at $925.00
Lot #2–Nancy Johnson received negro woman Manda & Cherry valued at $675.00
Lot #3–Sarah Sanders received negro woman Margaret and child Georgianna valued at $75.00
Lot #4–Louisa Johnson received negro woman Mary and her child Willie, also a boy John valued at $975.00
Lot #5–Z. T. Johnson received negro woman Priscilla & boy Silvester valued at $950.00
Lot #6–W. R. Johnson received negro man Nelson valued at $700.00
Lot #7–M. B. Midyett received negro man Peter valued at $700.00
Lot #8–John E. Castellaw received negro girl Amanda & negro man Matthew valued at $807.00
Lot #9–L. D. Whitaker received negro girl _______ and boy Joe valued at $825.00

From a deed written by Charles Johnson, we know that he donated the land for the Johnson Grove Church near Alamo in Crockett County, TN.

Number 711 C.R. Johnson To Deed Baptist Church Haywood County Tennessee Know all men by these ? that I Charles R. Johnson of the state and county above ? have this day ? unto the Baptist Church of ? called Johnsons Grove and worshiping in Haywood County Tennessee may right and title to one acre and nine poles of the land upon which this house of worship now stands. The title to be fully and entirely vested in through long as thoz shall use the house and land to worship as a Baptist church having the privilage to extend the house to other denominations as a matter of ? which ? in this ? beginning at a… 1851 C. R. Johnson


Interestingly, although Charles Johnson was clearly a slave owner, he shows up nearly 20 years after his death in a book from the 47th Congress of 1882 in which he was included in an act that provided his estate with payment of $250.

Charles was one of the “the several persons in this act named” who were being paid “under the provisions of the act of July fourth, eighteen hundred and sixty-four.” This referred to the Southern Claims Commission.

The purpose of the SCC was to allow Union sympathizers who had lived in the Southern states during the Civil War to apply for reimbursements for property losses due to U.S. Army confiscations during the war. Following the closing of the offices of the SCC, several claims were still pending or had not yet been submitted. To clear up these loose ends, a bill was introduced to make the necessary payments and settle any remaining claims.

Was it possible Charles Johnson was a slave owner who was loyal to the Union army during the Civil War?

Those who applied for funds from the Southern Claims Commission had to prove they were loyal to the “United States” during the Civil War and had supplies officially taken by or furnished to the U.S. Army in the war. The burden of proof on the applicants was quite stringent and, of the 22,298 claims, only 32% were approved for any compensation.

The payment to Charles’ heirs was made when the Southern Claims Commission offices were closing and all final cases were being settled.

The children of Charles Randell and Margaret Louisa Wood Johnson were:

Johnson Anna Elizabeth 1830 Haywood County, TN (in an area later changed to Crockett Co.) 1883
Age: 53
Crockett Co., Johnsons Grove Community
Burried: Castellaw Family Cemetery
Leonidas David Whitaker
b. 1827
d. 1889
Age: 62
Burried: Castellaw Cemetery
The children of David and Anna Johnson Whitaker were Mary Louis, William, Charles R. Sarah C. Columbus Sidney, and Leona Adaline.

David Whitaker was the administrator of the will of Charles Randall Johnson.

Johnson William R. 10 Dec 1834 Haywood County, TN (in an area later changed to Crockett Co.) 23 June 1887
Age: 52
Crockett Co., Johnsons Grove Community Mariah J.
b. 1831
d. 22 Apr 1919
Although it appears they did not have children of their own, after William’s father died, he became the legal guardian of his youngest siblings, Zach and Louisa.

Headstones of William and Mariah Johnson, sitting alone, VERY close to the road in the Johnson Grove area of Crockett County, TN.

Johnson Margaret Wood 1 Feb 1836 Haywood County, TN (in an area later changed to Crockett Co.) 18 April 1870
Age: 34
Crockett Co., Johnsons Grove Community John Edward Castellaw
b. 1 Mar 1833
m. 1854
d.16 Nov 1896
Age: 60
Burried: Castellaw Family Cemetery
Margaret’s husband John Edward Castellaw was one of the sons of my third great grandfather, Thomas Jefferson Castellaw Sr., and his first wife, Mary Elisa.

They were among the original settlers of Haywood County who came from Bertie Co., NC. After his first wife died, T.J. married Mary Cole. Their first son together was my second great grandfather, Thomas Jefferson Castellaw Jr. People called him “Tom.” Therefore, John Edward and Tom were half brothers.

Margaret Johnson married John Edward Castellaw in 1854 when she was 18.

Before she died 18 Apr 1879 at age 34, she had four children: Mary L., William R., Dicy A. and Joseph Dawson.

Her widower, John, who was 37, then married 19-year-old Mattie Coleman and together, they had four children: James Ebenezer, John Edward, Benjamin Wesley and Margaret. Mattie died 12 Jun 1886 at age 35.

On 25 Oct 1888 55-year-old John married 44-year-old Nancy Mariana Johnson, (my second great grandmother) the widow of his half brother Tom Castellaw and the sister of his first wife, Margaret Woods Johnson.

John Edward Castellaw died 16 Nov 1896 in Haywood County and is burried in the Castellaw Family Cemetery in Crockett County.

Headstones of Benjamin Wesley Castellaw, John Edward Castellaw, Mary Castellaw, Margaret Johnson Castellaw and John Edward Castellaw in the Castellaw Cemetery in Crockett County.

Johnson Dicey 1838 Haywood County, TN (in an area later changed to Crockett Co.)
Johnson Sallie H. 1838 Haywood County, TN (in an area later changed to Crockett Co.) John B. Sanders
m. 15 Nov 1862
Johnson Charles Randall Jr. 1840 Haywood County, TN (in an area later changed to Crockett Co.) Ida Elizabeth McCalpin
m. 25 Dec 1895
Johnson Adaline 1843 Haywood County, TN (in an area later changed to Crockett Co.) Milton B. Midyett
The children of Milton B. and Adaline Johnson Midyett were Zachariah M., Erasmus A., and John E.
Johnson Nancy Miranda 20 July 1844 Haywood County, TN (in an area later changed to Crockett Co.) 8 Jan 1921
Age: 76
Haywood Co., TN
Burried: Castellaw Family Cemetery on Poplar Corner Rd.
Thomas Castellaw
b. 1 Jun 1841
m. 16 Aug 1865
d. 4 Mar 1879
Age: 37
Burried: Castellaw Family Cemetery on Poplar Corner Rd.

John Edward Castellaw
b. 1 Mar 1833
m.25 Oct 1888
16 Nov 1896

Johnson Zachariah T. 1842 Haywood County, TN (in an area later changed to Crockett Co.)
Johnson Louisa 1851 Haywood County, TN (in an area later changed to Crockett Co.)

Nancy Mariana/Miranda Johnson
My 2nd Great-grandmother, 1844-1921

Thomas Jefferson Castellaw and Nancy Miranda Johnson
Nancy Miranda Johnson

Nancy Miranda Johnson was born 20 Jul 1844 in Haywood County, TN in an area that would later become Crockett County.

She grew up on the farm of her parents, Charles Randall and Louisa Wood Johnson.

Their household included a large number of siblings and many slaves.

At the age of 16, the 1860 US Census shows that she was living with her family which included two older sisters: Adaline who was 17 and Sallie who was 21 and their two youngest siblings Zach who was 11 and Louisa who was nine. Living on the farm next door was Nancy’s brother William R. Johnson and his wife Mariah and just a few farms over was another brother John, his wife Martha and their four children.

Her mother died 28 Mar 1862 when Nancy was just 18.

Nancy’s father, Charles died on April 14, 1864, when she was 20.

At the age of 21, Nancy married Tom Castellaw Jr. who was part of a Civil War regiment that surrendered and received parole in May 1865. He made it back to Haywood County by August 16, 1865 and married Nancy.

He likely farmed in the areas of the Holly Grove and Johnson County communities and he and Nancy had nine children. One died at birth, two died as infants while the others lived into adulthood. Tom died just three months after his father on March 5, 1879 at the age of 37.

According to the book Nicolas Cobb Descendants, on April, 12, 1879, Nancy Castellaw and her minor children were assigned a year’s support from the effects of T.J. Castellaw, and according to Lura Cobb, she had “two of them Castellaw men.

Marriage records show a J. E. Castellaw, likely Tom’s half brother John Edward and an N. M. Castellaw marrying in 1888 so it can be assumed Nancy married him when she was 44 and he was 55.

John Edward’s first wife, Margaret A. Wood Johnson had died in 1870 at which point he married Mattie A.E. Coleman who died in 1886.

Therefore Nancy had seven stepchildren from John’s previous marriages and nine of her own. John himself died in 1896.

In the early 1880s, Nancy donated one acre of land at the corner of Poplar Corner Rd. and Dr. Hess Rd. to be used for the first school in The Holly Grove community. Her daughter, Jennie, was the school’s first teacher.

In the census of 1900, Nancy was a 55 year-old widow living with her daughter, Nora Hilman, who had been married for three years and Mattie Mitchel who is a 50 year-old single female from Mississippi who worked for the family. Nancy could read and write and owned her home without a mortgage.

Nancy lived next door to her son Jack F. and his wife Ida and two of their children: a son, Be M who is three and Ida P. who is one.

Next door to Jack is another of Nancy’s son’s, Bob and his wife Zula (my great grandparents) along with their children: Isaac who is four, Daniel who is one and their 4-month old daughter, Zera. Both Jack and Bob Castellaw farm and both rent their homes, likely from Nancy.

Castellaw Family Cemetery with the headstone of Thomas Jefferson Castellaw Jr. and Nancy Miranda Johnson Castellaw. Additional family members known to be burried there include children who died at birth or as infants: Charles Randell (named after his grandfather), Dora (twin of Nora), Marianna Pink, Pinky Zera, Sylvia and an unnamed infant who was the twin of Nancy and Thomas’ son, Issac. According to a WPA cemetery survey taken 20 Apr 1939, the cemetery was established by the Castellaws about 1860 and, in 1839, contained 25-50 graves on a quarter acre.

The fence was erected by Dr. Mark Castellaw.

Nancy died on January 8, 1921 and is buried next to Tom in a small family cemetery that is off Poplar Corner Rd.