Friday, August 15, 2008

Clan Johnston from Scotland

I am always looking for where our families came from before they were in America.  I had always thought our Wrights were English until I met cousin Nell and read her work on Joel Wright.

I had traced the Johnson family back to Scotland thru Michael Johnson and Sarah Ford.  I may even have found Michael's parents, Edward and Elizabeth Walker Johnson.  Yesterday I found work by cousin Diane taking the Johnson back into the 1300's.  She has our Johnson actually going back to Clan Johnston in Scotland.  Her work goes like this:

Adam De Johnston born 1311. (my 19th great grandfather)

Stiven De Johnson born 1344 married Margaret Degarviach born 1357.

John De Johnston bron 1377 married Marjorie Leighton born 1365.

Gilbert De Johnston born 1397 married Elizabeth Vaus bor 1384 both in Scotland.

Gilbert De Johnston born 1417 married Elene Lichton born 1414 both in Scotland.

William Johnston bron 1460 married Mararet Meldrum born 1460 both in Scotland.

James Johnston bor 1481 in Saskieben, Aberdeen, Scotland died in 1548.  He married Clara Barclay born in 1492 Fyvie, Aberdeen, Scotland the daughter of Patrick Barclay and Elizabeth Arbuthnot.

Their son William Johnston born 1520 in Caskieben, Aberdeen Scotland married Margaret Hay in 1525 in Scotland.  William died on September 10, 1547.  The reason I know the date of his death is he died at Musselburgh, Lothian, Scotland at the Battle of Pinkie. 

Here I stopped.  I googled the Battle of Pinkie.  I found a lot on Wikipedia. 

  • The Battle of Pinkie was fought between the Scots and the English. The Scots were led by the Earl of Arran and the English by the Duke of Somerset. The Scots numbered between 23 and 36 thousand. The English numbered 17 thousand and had 30 warships. 5,000 of the Scots were killed and 1,500 were taken prisoner. Only 500 of the English were killed.

    The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, along the banks of the River Esk near Musselburgh , Scotland on 10 September 1547 , was part of the War of the Rough Wooing . It was the last battle to be fought between the Scottish and the English Royal armies and the first "modern" battle to be fought in the British Isles. It was a catastrophic defeat for the Scots caused by the use of Naval artillery by the English for the first time in a land battle in Britain. In Scotland it is known as Black Saturday.

    This was historically significant as the first "modern" battle fought in Britain, demonstrating active cooperation between the infantry, artillery and cavalry with a naval bombardment in support of the land forces.

    In the last years of his reign King Henry VIII had tried to secure an alliance with Scotland, and the marriage of the infant Mary Queen of Scots with his young son, the future Edward VI . When persuasion and diplomacy failed, he launched a ruthless war against Scotland, an episode known as the Rough Wooing .

    After Henry died, Edward Seymour , uncle to Edward VI, became Protector with the title of Duke of Somerset and with initially unchallenged power. He too wished to forcibly ally Scotland to England by marrying Mary to Edward, and also to impose an Anglican Reformation on the Scottish church establishment. Early in September 1547 , he led a well-equipped army into Scotland, supported by a large fleet.

    Somerset's army was partly composed of the traditional county levies, summoned by Commissions of Array and armed with longbow and bill as they had been at the Battle of Flodden , thirty years before. However, Somerset also had several hundred German mercenary arquebusiers, a large and well appointed train of artillery , and 6000 horse, including a contingent of Spanish mounted arquebusiers under Don Pedro de Gamboa. The cavalry were commanded by Lord Grey , and the infantry by the Earl of Warwick , Lord Dacre of Gillesland, and Somerset himself.

    Somerset advanced along the east coast of Scotland, to maintain contact with his fleet and thereby keep in supply. Scottish Border Reivers harassed his troops but could impose no major check.

    Meanwhile, the Scottish Regent, the Earl of Arran , had levied a large army, consisting mainly of pikemen with contingents of Highland archers. Arran also had large numbers of guns, but these were apparently not as mobile or as well-served as Somerset's. His horse consisted only of 2000 lightly equipped riders under the Earl of Home , most of whom were potentially unreliable Borderers. His infantry were commanded by the Earl of Angus , the Earl of Huntly and Arran himself.

    Arran occupied the slopes on the west bank of the River Esk to bar Somerset's progress. The Firth of Forth was on his left flank, and a large bog protected his right. Some fortifications were constructed, in which cannon and arquebuses were mounted. Some guns pointed out into the Forth, to keep English warships at a distance.

    On September 9 , part of Somerset's army occupied Falside Hill (then known as Fawside), three miles east of Arran's main position. In an absurdly chivalric gesture, the Earl of Home led 1500 horsemen close to the English encampment and challenged an equal number of English cavalry to fight. With Somerset's approval, Lord Grey accepted the challenge, but engaged the Scots with 1000 heavily armoured men-at-arms, and 500 lighter demi-lances. The Scottish horsemen were badly cut up, and chased west for three miles. This action cost Arran most of his cavalry.

    Later during the day, Somerset sent a detachment with guns to occupy the Inveresk Slopes, which overlooked the Scottish position. During the night, Somerset received two more anachronistic challenges from Arran. One request was for Somerset and Arran to settle the dispute by single combat. Another was for 20 champions from each side to decide the matter. Somerset rejected both proposals.

    On the morning of September 10 , Somerset advanced his army to close up with the detachment at Inveresk. He found that Arran had moved his army across the Esk by a Roman bridge, and was advancing rapidly to meet him. Arran knew himself to be outmatched in artillery, and therefore tried to force close combat before the English artillery could deploy.

    Arran's left wing came under fire from English ships offshore. (Their advance meant that the guns on their former position could no longer protect them.) They were disordered, and pushed into Arran's own division in the centre.

    On the other flank, Somerset threw in his cavalry to delay the Scots' advance. The Scottish pikemen successfully drove them off with the English suffering heavy casualties. Lord Grey himself was wounded by a pike thrust to the face.

    However, the Scottish army was now stalled, and under heavy fire from three sides from ships' cannon, artillery, arquebusiers and archers to which they could not reply. When they broke, the English cavalry rejoined the battle. Many retreating Scots were slaughtered, or drowned as they tried to swim the fast-flowing Esk or cross the bogs.

    Although they had suffered a resounding defeat, the Scottish government refused to come to terms. The infant Queen Mary was smuggled out of the country, and sent to France to be betrothed to the young dauphin Francis . Somerset occupied several Scottish strongholds and large parts of the Lowlands and Borders, but without peace, these garrisons became a useless drain on the Treasury of England.

    A violent Reformation in Scotland was only a few years away, but Scots refused to have Reformation imposed on them by England. During the battle, the Scots taunted the English soldiers as loons [persons of no consequence], tykes and heretics. A thousand monks from various orders formed part of the Earl of Angus's division. Many died in the battle.

    Of the Scottish prisoners, few were nobles or gentlemen. It was claimed that most were dressed much the same as common soldiers, and therefore not recognised as being worth ransom.

    Although the Scots blamed traitors within their own ranks for the defeat, it is probably fair to say that a Renaissance army defeated a Mediaeval army . Henry VIII had taken steps towards creating standing naval and land forces, which formed the nucleus of the fleet and army with which Somerset gained the victory.

    It should be noted that the longbow continued to play key roles in England's battles and Pinkie was no exception. Though the combination of bill and longbow which England used was old, the pike and arquebus tactics used in continental armies did not make it obsolete as the bill and bow could still hold their own against them at this stage in the development of firearms.

    The battle-site is now part of East Lothian .
In these articles it talked about the clans who participated in this battle.  Clan Johnston was listed.  Following their links I found the following.

This is the area of Scotland where the Johnstones lived:

The Tartan of this clan is
People sometimes mistake the Johnston/e tartan for the Gordon tartan. Actually, the only thing they have in common is the green, blue and yellow colors. There are a number of tartans with these colors, but it is the pattern, or sett, which really distingishes one tartan from another. The Johnston/e tartan is fairly simple, and is composed of alternating broad stipes of blue and green. The blue stripe has three narrow black stipes running through the middle. The green stripe also has three narrow stripes in the middle, but the center narrow stripe is yellow. The alternating pattern is woven in both directions (warp and weft), forming a symetrical check. Usually it is made in a twill weave, which means the weaving is done "over two, under two." See the pattern at the bottom of the page.

When the Johnston/e tartan is woven in deep, dark colors, it is termed "modern," which simply means that modern chemical dyes have been used. When woven in soft, muted colors, simulating vegitable dyes, the tartan is termed "ancient." A third version, usually termed "weathered" or "reproduction," has colors which are supposed to look like tartan which has aged a long time.


The motto of the clan which was put on badges that were worn by them on thier clothing was a follows:

Clan Motto: Nunquam non paratus (translation from Latin : Never unprepared).

The crest badge is supposed to be derived from the custom of having the servants of great men wear their masters' crests on their clothing. Similarly, it is claimed that clan chiefs gave representations of their crests to their followers. In any event, the present custom probably dates from the Victorian era.

The Johnston/e Clan crest for Annandale badge consists of the Chief's crest (a winged spur) enclosed in a conventional representation of a "strap and backle," upon which is inscribed the Chief's motto, which is Latin for "Never Unprepared."

The original warcry or slogan of Clan Johnston/e of Annandale was "Light Thieves All," which was a demand to the enemy to dismount and surrender. This slogan was also used as the first motto in the Chief's arms in the early seventeenth century. Later, the Chief adopted the current motto, Nunquam Non Paratus, which means "Never Unprepared." Sometimes the Chief's present motto is translated as "Ready, Aye Ready" or simply "Aye Ready," which is also used as a slogan.

The Johnston/e Clan crest for Caskieben consists of a phoneix in flames enclosed in a "strap and buckle," upon which is inscribed the Caskieben motto, which is Latin for "Live, So That You Will Live in the Future."

I did find pictures of some of the early Johnstones.  Several of them were unmarried and had no children so we know that they were not our direct ancestors.  Some of what I read was that in the Johnstone/Johnson clan the earliest known member of the Clan was John and his son Gilbert who were born in the 1100's which doesn't match with Diane's dates, but at least matches the names and gives me more to work with in my own research to try to put these names and family members in order.  The pictures I found are:
These guys look like English Lords, don't they.  I guess I expected a wilder look rather than the la-de-dah look.  I will keep working on this line and try to figure them out.
Continuing down from William and Margaret, their son was George Johnston bron 1544 in Caskieben, Aberdeen, Scotland.  He died in 1593 in England.  His wife was Chritian Forbes born June 24, 1547 in Caskieben.  She died on January 8, 1621.  George and Christan had at least two daughters.  She married distant (third) cousin Sir Robert Johnston of Caiesmill (Cayesmill) and was the mother of Alderman Robert Johnson, Deputy Treasurer of the Virginia Co. (Sir Robert moved to England during the late years of Queen Elizabeth's reign (1558-1603) which is when he changed the surname spelling to Johnson).   Future generations carried the Johnson name because of Robert' change.

Arthur Johnston wa born in 1587 in Caskieben and died in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England.  He married Mary Kynucke born in 1590.
Edward Johnson was born April 21, 1649 in New Leslie, Aberdeen, Scotland.  He married Elizabeth Walker who was the daughter of Alexander and Ann Keith Walker.  Alexander was born in 1630 in Monkegy, Scotland.  Ann was born in 1635 in New Kent County Viriginia.  It would appear to me that either Elizabeth was actually born in Virginia, or Ann was born in Scotland.  Alexander and Ann came to America. as did Edward and Elizabeth. 
Next is our line is Michael Johnson who was born in Scotland.  His siblings were Penelope, Rebecca, Arthur and Benjamin. Michael, Penelope and Rebecca were shown being born in Scotland.  Arthur and Benjamin were born in Virginia.   Michael is shown as having died in 1731 in Lichfield, England.  His wife, Sarah Ford was born in 1669 in Kings-Norton, Worceter, England and died January 20 1759 in Lichfield.  If this is true, his parents went to America but he stayed in England.  Penelope and Rebecca died in Virginia.
Michael and Sarah's son was Samuel Hurd Johnson.  He was born on September 18, 1709 in Breadmarket, Lichfield, Staffordhire, England.  He married Elizabeth Porther, daughter of Fnu Porter.  She was born about 1709 in England.  They were married on July 9, 1744 at St. Werburgh, Litchfield, Derby, England.
Apparently, Samuel followed his grandfather to America.  Elizabeth died on February 4, 1788 in North Carolina.  Samuel died on December 13, 1784 in Rowan County, North Carolina.
Their son, William Thomas "Old Billy" Johnson was born about 1750 on the Yadkin River in North Carolina.  He married Sarah Greenfield, the daugher of Stephen Greenfield.  She was born about 1755 in North Carolina.  They were married about 1764 in Rowan County, North Carolina.
Old Billy and Sarah had twelve children:  John, Sarah, Patrick, Anna/Amy, Samuel, Robert, Jesse, Martha, Benjamin, William Payne, Thomas, and Pascal.
Anna/Amy Johnson was born about 1774 in North Carolina. 
The family started moving away from North Carolina.  About 1800 Anna married Elder William "Preacher Billy" Tackett in Tennessee.   Billy and Anna had six children:  William "Bucky", Martha "Patsy", George Washington, Sarah, and Rebecca.  They were all born in Tennessee.
Eventually, Old Billy, Sarah, Anna and Preacher Billy were on the move again and ended up in Pike County, Kentucky. Sarah died in 1784 in Shelby Creek.  If this is true, then Anna and Preacher Billy would have come into Pike county after them for her youngest child, Rebecca, was born in Hawkins County, Tennessee in 1805.  Old Billy died between 1828 and 1833 in Pike County.   
Sarah Tackett was born June 10, 1813 at Laurel Mountain, Knox county, Tennessee.  On July 22 1830 she married Richard Hall in Pike County, Kentucky.  Her father died on September 22, 1851 in Long Fork.  Her mother died December 7, 1857 in Pike County.
Sarah and Richard had twelve children.  Their son Enoch Mahlon Hall married Nancy Hampton.  Their son Joseph Leonard Hall married Lettie Craft.  Their daughter Nancy Alice Hall married Otho Bentley. 
And that's how we are related to the Clan Johnston.

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