Johnston Family of Benson

This is NOT intended to be a COMPLETE record. It is however, a study of this family taken primarily from sources available online on various free and fee sites. Everything in this compilation should be checked against primary sources, where available, for the best accuracy.

The focus of this piece is Robert Johnston, Civil War Veteran, who lived for several years in Benson, Hamilton County, New York. Other family members are included only to show Robert in a more complete family unit. Lines other than his were not researched thoroughly and children other than those listed here most likely exist.

Thomas Johnston was born about 1804 in Scotland and died after 1880. He married Ann Wallace. She was born about 1809 in Scotland and died after 1880.

  Thomas and Ann (Wallace) Johnston had at least these children:
    1.  Peter Johnston, born about 1830 in Scotland. Married Catharine.
    2.  John Johnston, born about July 1835 in New York
    3.  Alexander Johnston, born 30 December 1836 in Chester, Warren Co., 
          NY. Married Eliza A.
    4.  Susan Minerva Johnston, born about December 1840 in New York
    5.  Robert Johnston, born 3 September 1843 in Chester, Warren Co., 
          NY and died January 1929. He married Edna M. "Eda" 9 January 
          1868. She was born May 1847 At Sea and died after 1930.
    6.  Christiann Johnston, born about June 1845 in New York
    7.  Andrew Johnston, born about 1847 in New York. Married Ella. She 
          was born about 1854 in New York.

Thomas and Ann probably emigrated from Scotland with their first child about 1832 and had settled in Chester, Warren County, New York by 1836 when their third son was born. The family continued to reside in Chester where Thomas operated a farm. Their son John, who doesn't seem to have married, took over the farm after 1880 and he lived there with his two sisters, Susan Minerva and Christiann, also unmarried, until at least 1910. Susan Minerva taught school in the area in the 1870 and 1880's.

1.  Peter Johnston was born to Thomas and Ann (Wallace) Johnston about 1830 in Scotland and came to this country with his parents as a very young child. At the time of the 1870 enumeration he was living in Chester, Warren County, NY with his wife Catharine and three children. He was a farmer.

Peter and Catharine had at least these three children:
  1.1.  Elmer E. Johnston, born abt 1866 in New York (twin)
  1.2.  Ella J. Johnston, born about 1866 in New York (twin)
  1.3.  Carrie Johnston, born about 1868 in New York

3.  Alexander Johnston was born to Thomas and Ann (Wallace) Johnston 30 December 1836 in Chester, Warren County, New York. He enlisted on 28 September 1861 at Minerva, NY at the age of 24 for service in the Civil War. He was mustered in as Corporal in Company C, 93rd NY Infantry on 20 November 1861. He was discharged for disability six months later on 21 May 1862 at Newport News, Virginia.

In 1870, he was living in Schroon, Essex County, New York with his wife Eliza and their daughter. They resided in the area of South Schroon where Alexander was a farmer. By 1880 they had moved to Chester, Warren County. Alexander's occupation was still that of farmer and they had four children at that time. On 6 October 1886 Alexander applied for a pension for his military service.

  Alexander and Eliza A. had at least these four children:
    3.1.  Anna L. Johnston, born about 1868 in New York
    3.2.  Jessie E. Johnston, born about 1871 in New York (a son)
    3.3.  Eda E. Johnston, born about 1876 in New York
    3.4.  Joseph C. Johnston, born about 1878 in New York. In 1910 Joseph, 
            single and aged 32, was living in Benson, Hamilton County, New 
            York with his uncle, Robert. He was a public school teacher there.

5.  Robert Johnston was born to Thomas and Ann (Wallace) Johnston 3 September 1843 in Chester, Warren County, New York. His brother, Alexander, had enlisted for military service at the end of September 1861 and the following February Robert enlisted with the same company and regiment. Robert enlisted 1 February 1862 at Chester, NY at the age of 18. He was mustered in as Private, Company C, 93rd NY Infantry on 21 March 1862. He was discharged for disability on Christmas day, 25 December 1862 at New York, NY.

Six years later, on 9 January 1868, Robert married Eda. Her parents had been born in Lybeck, Germany, and she had apparently been born at sea on their voyage to America in the spring of 1847. After their marriage, Robert and Eda lived in Chester with Robert's family for a while. By 1880 they had moved to Benson, Hamilton County, New York where Robert was employed as a laborer. They had only one child, a daughter, born to them in March 1878.

The family remained in Benson for many years where Robert began farming and from where, on 18 October 1897, he applied for an invalid pension for his military service. Their only child, Katie, married but doesn't seem to have had a successful marriage. She and her children spent much of their time living with Robert and Eda.

In 1913, their daughter passed away at the age of 35 and it was around that time that Robert and Eda moved from Benson to Northampton, Fulton County, New York. Robert died there in January 1929. The following obituary appeared in the paper: 10 Jan 1929

"NORTHVILLE - Robert Johnston, 86 years of age, died at his home on Fifth Street Monday evening about 10 o'clock, following a short illness. Mr. Johnston was a veteran of the Civil War and belonged to the ninety-third Regiment, Company C. After a year of service he was discharged on account of illness. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Northville. On January 9, he had been married 61 years. His survivors are his wife: two grandchildren, Clarence Leslie of Broadalbin and Mrs. Ruth Hoyt of Gloversville; one grandchild, and several nieces and nephews. His funeral will be held from the Presbyterian Church on Thursday at 2 p.m., the Rev. George K. Fr---- officiating, and internment will be made in the family plot in the Prospect Hill Cemetery."

On 16 February 1929, Eda applied for a widow's pension and then moved in with her granddaughter in Gloversville, Fulton County, New York, where she was living at the time of the 1930 enumeration.

  Robert and Eda M. Johnston had one child:
    5.1.  Katie M. Johnston was born March 1878 in New York and died 
            September 1913 in Northville, Fulton County, New York. She 
            married Clinton Leslie about 1895. He was born 4 December 
            1875 in Bleecker, Fulton County, New York to Walter C. and 
            Catherine G. Leslie.

Katie married the tall, blue eyed, brown haired, Clinton about 1895. His father Walter had died at age 43 when Clinton was only about ten years old. The year following their marriage, a son was born to the couple. In 1900, they were living in Gloversville, Fulton County, New York where Clinton was employed as a leather finisher. The same year, Katie and her son were listed on the census as living with Katie's parents in Benson, Hamilton County, New York. Two years later, the couple had a baby girl and then seem to have separated. The following year, Clinton had a son born to he and Esther, whom he later married. In 1910, Katie's two children were living with their grand parents, Robert and Eda, in Benson.

Three years later, in September 1913, Katie died at the age of 35. The following obituary appeared in the paper: 25 September 1913

"Mrs. Katie Johnston Leslie
The funeral of Mrs. Katie Johnston, wife of Clinton Leslie, was privately held this morning at 10:30 o'clock at the late home, 13 Franklin Street, Rev. Albert Daniel Angell, Pastor of the North Main Street Methodist Church, officiating. Burial was made at Northville this afternoon."

Clinton registered for the draft 12 September 1918 in Fulton County. He married Esther E. who had been born about 1873 in Sweden and immigrated in 1892. In 1920 they lived in Gloversville, Fulton County, New York where Clinton was employed as a carpenter and Esther was a glove worker at home. Living with them was their son, Robert D., born about 1904 who worked in a glove factory as well as Katie's two children, Clarence and Ruth. In 1930, Clinton and Esther were still living in Gloversville where Robert was employed as a carpenter in a casket factory.

  Clinton and Katie (Johnston) Leslie had two children:
    5.1.1.  Clarence J. Leslie was born 23 June 1896 in Palmer Falls, New
              York and died August 1975. He married Catherine E. in 1920. 
              She was born about 1901 in New York.

As stated before, Clarence and his sister seem to have been primarily raised by their mother's parents, Robert and Eda Johnston, in Benson, Hamilton County, New York. He was just 17 when his mother passed away.

When Clarence registered for the draft on 5 June 1918 in Fulton County, he was 21 years old with blue eyes and black hair. He was a self-employed farmer living in Northville. He served in WW I. In 1920, the year he married Catherine, he was listed as living in his father's home in Gloversville where he was employed as a bookkeeper for the Express Company. In 1930, He and Catherine still lived in Gloversville where Clarence was employed as an automobile salesman and Catherine as a bookkeeper at a garage. They had an 8-year-old son named Stanley. Clarence died in 1975 and his last residence was given as Schenectady, Schenectady Co., New York.

    5.1.2.  Ruth E. Leslie was born about 1902 in New York. She married 
              Arthur J. Hoyt in 1928. He was born about 1904 in New York.

Ruth was only 11 years old when her mother passed away. In 1920 she was living with her father in Gloversville where she was employed as a sales lady in a 25-cent store. Ruth married Arthur in 1928 and in 1930 they resided on Prospect Place in Gloversville, Fulton County, New York where Arthur was employed as a printer with Eaton Press. Ruth's 81-year-old widowed grandmother, Eda, lived with them. They may have moved to Wells, Hamilton County, New York at some point, as Arthur's name is found on a list of Red Cross members (published in December 1941) of that place.

7.  Andrew Johnston, youngest child of Thomas and Ann (Wallace) Johnston, was born about 1847 in New York. He was married to Ella and in 1880 they resided in Olmsteadville, Essex County, New York where Andrew was a general country merchant. At that time, their nephew, Charles Barnes, aged 4, lived with them.

Sources:
1.  Federal and State census 1850 - 1930. Contact submitter for specifics
2.  Warren Co., NY GenWeb - Enrollment lists at County Clerk's Office
3.  New York. Legislature. Report of the Adjutant-General. 43 vols. Albany: Argus, 1895-1906.
4.  New York. Legislature. New York in the War of the Rebellion. 6 vols. 3rd ed. Albany: Lyon, 1912.
5.  United States. National Archives. Pension Index. Microfilm Series T288.
6.  Obit generously sent by Gail Cramer, Northampton/Northville Historian. She can be contacted through the Fulton Co., NY GenWeb site. Leslie, Katie Mrs. (Johnston); pg. 24, Duncan Scrapbook.
7.  Obit generously sent by Gail Cramer, Northampton/Northville Historian. She can be contacted through the Fulton Co., NY GenWeb site. Johnston, Robert; pg. 35, Duncan Scrapbook.
8.  Upper Bleecker Cemetery, AKA Grant Cemetery. Fulton Co. GenWeb (C) 2000 Marcia Buffet / Jeanette Shiel. [Leslie, Walter C., d. 5 Feb 1885, age 43]
9.  WW I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-18. Online at Ancestry.com. Leslie, Clinton
10. WW I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-18. Online at Ancestry.com. Leslie, Clarence J.
11. Social Security Death Index: Online Listing. Leslie, Clarence
12. Red Cross Roll Call, 1941 - Indian Lake and Wells Hamilton County. Source: Extracted from the "Hamilton County Record," through interlibrary loan of microfilm records from the NYS Public Library Newspaper Project [call # NY52 Wells 93-32419]. Copyright 2001: Lisa Slaski.

 

Last Updated: Wednesday, 14-May-2008 13:18:17 PDT
Copyright © 2004:  Joanne Murray