An American Family History

Rebecca Bonham Johnson

Lawrenceville, Mercer County, New Jersey was founded as Maidenhead in 1697, as part of Burlington County in the colony of West Jersey. In 1714, the village became a part of Hunterdon County.

Rebecca Bonham Johnson was born in Maidenhead, Hunterdon County, (now Lawrence, Mercer County), New Jersey about 1738. Her father was Amariah Bonham.

She married Abraham Johnson (Johnston or Jonson) in 1763 in New Jersey. Abraham was born in 1737 New Jersey. He may have been the son of Coart Johnson and Charity Lane.

Rebecca and Abraham's children included:
John Johnson (1766),
Samuel Johnson (1772, married Elizabeth Huntsman),
Mary Johnson (1774),
Sarah Johnson (1778)
Uriah Johnson (1779, married Zeruiah VanGilder),
Ameriah Johnson (1780) and
Jeriah Johnson (1781).

Abraham died in 1798 in Strabane Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania. His will was dated June 28, 1789 and proved August 17, 1798.

In 1800 Rebecca was living in Strabane Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania. She died in 1803.
Children of Amariah Bonham
  • Christian Bonham Fox
  • Rebecca Bonham Johnson
  • Jeriah Bonham
  • Peter Bonham
  • Sarah Bonham Batey
  • Jacob Bonham
  • Hunterdon County was originally part of Burlington County, West Jersey. It was set off from Burlington County on March 11, 1714. It included Amwell, Hopewell, and Maidenhead Townships.

    The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) was between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the 13 colonies which became the newly formed United States.




    from Abstracts of Wills of Washington County

    Abraham Johnston or Jonson of Washington County, dated June 28, 1789, proved August 17, 1798; wife Rebekah; children, John, Samuel, Uriah, Jeriah, Sarah, and Mary; grandson Amariah Paramore Johnston; daughter in law Elieonor Johnston to hold said grandson’s share in trust until he is 14 years of age; executors, wife Rebekah and son Samuel witnesses, Jonathan Casebeer and Jeriah Bonham

    Washington County, Pennsylvania, was created from Westmoreland and Fayette Counties in 1781. Originally it was a part of Virginia. Washington County split into Allegheny, Greene and Beaver Counties.

    Information from Mary Lou Hazelrigg's notes about Jeriah Johnson and his sons in Ohio and Putnam County, Indiana:

    In 1803

    At a meeting of the subscribers, trustees of the twp. of Steubenville on the 11th of Oct., 1803, ordered that the aforesaid twp. be divided in the following manner: Beginning at the Ohio River at the mouth of Wills Creek; thence up said creek to the head gate of Josiah Johnston's saw-mill: thence north to the township line: thence with said line to the river allotted to George Friend. (from History of Steubenville and Jefferson County Ohio, Chapter 22 "The River Townships")

    According to early Ohio Gazetteers, from 1806 to 1808, Jeriah and a John Johnston were near Steubenville, Jefferson County, Ohio. They had land for sale including a sawmill. They were also listed as receiving mail in Steubenville. (Note spelling of as Johnston). Again there was a John Johnston receiving mail.

    At the time of the 1820 census, the Jeriah Johnson family was in Green Township, Harrison County (which borders Jefferson County). The household consisted 3 boys under 10, 1 man between 26-44, a girl under 5, and a woman between 26-44. They were involved in manufacturing.

    Jeriah did not appear in Wayne County tax records for 1825. Other Johnstons appear as does Jonathan Casebeer who was the witness to Abraham Johnston's will.

    The household appeared in the 1830 Lake Township, Wayne County (northwest of Harrison County), Ohio census with a boy between 5 and 10, a boy between 15 and 20, a man between 50 and 60, a girl between 5 and 10, a girl between 10 and 15, and a woman between 40 and 50. (p. 9)

    On August 6, 1834 Jeriah Johnson bought 80 acres in Holmes County, Ohio for $350 from George Metcalf (his son, Levi's, wife's maiden name). Holmes County was formed from Wayne County in 1825.

    In 1834 son Levi married Rachel Metcalf in Holmes County. On June 05, 1835 Henry Johnson married Elizabeth Stough in Holmes County.

    On February 25, 1836 Henry bought 40 acres from Moses Stough (his wife's maiden name).

    In 1839 both Jeriah and son Henry sold land in Holmes County.

    In 1840 both Henry and Levi Johnson were in Washington Township, Putnam County, Indiana. Jeriah, Henry and Levi were listed in the 1841 Washington Township tax list.

    1. Mary Johnson                        
    2. Eliza Johnson                        
    3. Oliver Johnson d: Abt. 1855 in Putnam  County, Indiana  m. Rachel Grable December 15, 1839            
    4. John Johnson                        
    5. Levi M. Johnson  b. 1807 m. Rachel Metcalf (1818) November 09, 1834 in Holmes County, Ohio d. in Putnam Co., Indiana Burial: Reelsville Cemetery, Reelsville, Putnam Co., Indiana
    6. Henry Johnson b.: December 23, 1811 near Finley, Ohio d, October 04, 1872 in Putnam County, Indiana  Burial: Athey Cemetery, Wash.Twp., Putnam Co., Indiana m. Elizabeth Stough June 05, 1835 in Holmes County, Ohio, Elizabeth b.: October 18, 1818 in Ohio d. October 19, 1878 in Putnam County, Indiana  Burial: Athey Cemetery, Wash. Twp., Putnam Co., Indiana

    Indiana became a state in 1819. The north was settled by people from New England and New York, the center by people from the Mid-Atlantic states and Ohio, and the south by people from Southern states, particularly Kentucky and Tennessee.

    The Dutch were the first Europeans claim land in New Jersey. The region became a territory of England in 1664 when an English fleet sailed into New York Harbor and took control of Fort Amsterdam.


    Seals were used to authenticate documents and men were expected to have a personal die. Records in deed books are copies and signatures are usually in the clerk’s handwriting. The clerk drew a circle around the word “seal” to indicate that the original document was sealed.

    Putnam County, Indiana
    Will Records, Book 1, Page 95
    Will of Jeriah Johnson

    I, Jeriah Johnson of Washington Township, Putnam County, State of Indiana, do make and publish this my last will and testament hereby revoking and making void all former wills by me at anytime heretofore made.

    First, I direct that my body be decently intered and that my funeral be conducted in a manner corresponding with my estate and situation in life and as to such worldly estate as it has pleased God to intrust me with. 

    I dispose of the same in the following manner to wit. I direct first that all of my just debts and funeral expenses be paid as soon after my decease as possible out of the first moneys that shall come to the hands of my executors from any portion of my estate. 

    Second, that all the real estate that shall be seized(?) or possessed at my death shall be for the use and support of my beloved wife Sarah if she survives me and at her death to be equally divided, share and share a like, between my two sons Levi Johnson and Henry Johnson for their use and benefit during their lifetime and then for the use of their children which the have and may have by their present wives. 

    Third, that all my personal property except one horse, one cow and calf, and household and kitchen furniture, cooking utensils, beds, beddings, cupboard ware, clothing etc. at my death be equally divided between Levi and Henry aforesaid which shall be for the use benefit and support of my wife Sarah if she survives me during her lifetime and at her death the one horse, cow and calf to be equally divided between the said Levi and Henry aforesaid, and at her death all the household and kitchen furniture, cooking utensils, beds, bedding, clothing, cupboard ware etc., to be equally divided between my two daughters Mary and Eliza share and share alike and if the said Eliza should decease without an heir before the death of my wife Sarah her said proportion to be for the said Mary aforesaid. 

    Fourth, that I bequeth to my beloved son John Johnson one dollar. 

    Fifth, that the division of the property be made and proportioned out between the said Levi and Henry by three disinterested neighbors mutually chosen by them for that purpose. And I hereby make and ordain my esteemed friend Lemuel (?) Wright Executor and my wife Sarah Johnson Executrix of my last will and testament. 

    In witness (?) whereof I Jeriah Johnson the testator have hereunto set my hand and seal this fifteenth day of November in the year Eighteen hundred and forty.
    Jeriah Johnson (seal) X (Signed) Sealed published and delivered by the said Jeriah Johnson on this sheet as his last will and testament in the presence of us who have hereunto subscribed our name as witnesses, thereto and in the presences of each other.
    Abraham Jackson,
    Isom S. Wright,
    Reuben Wright

    Cattle were vital to a household and an important legacy.
    Unweaned cattle are calves.
    Female cattle are heifers and cows (had a calf).
    Male cattle are steers (castrated) and bulls.
    are trained draft animals and are often castrated adult male cattle.

    Personal property can be called personalty (personality), goods, chattels, articles, or movable property. It includes both animate or inanimate property.
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    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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