Info from Howard LAWLESS, Arnold, MD.


6. WILLIAM 'MALLORY' 'PORTUGUE'5 JOHNS (ROBERT4, WILLIAM3, RICHARD2, ROGER1) (Source: (1) Houck, Peter W., M.D., Indian Island in Amherst County, (Progress Printing Co., Inc., 1984, Lynchburg, VA), 55, Evidence points to the fact that William Johns' mother, Mary was an Indian. His nickname was Mallory, but he was sometimes called Portugue because of his broken English. His broken English probably came from his mother being Monacan and his father White., (2) Sherrie S. McLeRoy, William R. McLeRoy, Strangers in Their Midst, (Heritage Books, Inc.), 162, COURT ORDER BOOK: March 1802: Mallory Johns vs Caleb Watts in a case for slander. William Thurmond was summoned to show cause why he should not be fined for failing to appear as a witness for Johns. Case continued until May Court.   COURT ORDER BOOK: May 1802: Re above case. Johns failed to appear in court. The Court ruled that Watts recover 5 shillings damaged plus costs from Johns.    PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX: 1821: l horse, $0.14 tax; 1823: 1 free mulatto, 1 horse, $0.12 tax; 1828: 1 free mulatto, 1 horse, $0.12 tax; 1829: 1 free mulatto, 1 horse, $0.10 tax; 1831: 1 free mulatto, 1 horse, $0.06 tax.See notes for more.) was born Abt. 1765 in Virginia, and died Bef. April 20, 1863 in Amherst Co., VA.
He married MOLLY EVANS (Source: (1) Houck, Peter W., M.D., Indian Island in Amherst County, (Progress Printing Co., Inc., 1984, Lynchburg, VA)., (2) Sherrie S. McLeRoy, William R. McLeRoy, Strangers in Their Midst, (Heritage Books, Inc.), 145, CENSUS: 1810: 2 free coloreds     NOTE: Molly was the wife of Will Johns and the daughter of William Evan and an Indian woman.) Abt. 1790 in Probably near Bethel VA, daughter of WILLIAM EVANS and UNKNOWN WOMAN.
Notes for WILLIAM 'MALLORY' 'PORTUGUE' JOHNS: From Strangers in Their Midst, pages 167, 168 DEED: November 19, 1807: Caleb Wilsher sold William Johns 57 acres on Tobacco Row Mountain for L18. Deed Book L, page 348 DEED OF TRUST: December 13, 1897, William Johns conveyed 57 acres on Tobacco Row Mountain to Isaac Tinsley, Jr. To secure payment for a debt he owed Richard Burks. Deed Book L, page 89   DEED: October 15, 1810: William Johns sold Richard Burks 57 acres on Tobacco Row Mountain for $100. Deed Book L, page 402.    CENSUS 1810: 8 free coloreds.    DEED OF TRUST: March 20, 1815: To secure payment of a bond due to J&R Ellis, William Johns conveyed to Thos. N. Eubank various livestock, household furnishings, etc. Deed Book M, page 622    CENSUS 1820: 4 male negroes uner 14 yrs, 1 male free negro 14-25 yrs, 1 male free negro 26-44 yrs, 1 female free negro under 14 yrs, 1 female free negro 14-25 yrs, 1 female free negro 26-44 yrs.     PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX: 1821 2 horses $0.27 pd, 1822 1 free mulatto 3 horses $0.41 pd, 1823 1 free mulatto 2 horses $0.24 pd, 1824 ditto, 1825 ditto, 1826 ditto, 1827 ditto, 1828 ditto, 1829 1 free mulatto 3 horses $0.30 pd, 1831 1 free mulatto 3 horses $0.18 pd, 1840 2 horses $0.16 pd, 1850 1 male free negro over 16 yrs. CENSUS 1830: 4 free colored males 10-24 years, 1 free colored male 55-100yrs, 1 free colored female 10-24 yrs, 2 free colored females 55-100 yrs. CENSUS 1840: 1 free colored male 10-24 yrs, 1 free colored male 55-100 yrs, 1 free colored female 55-100 yrs, 1 free colored female 100 yrs plus, 1 male slave under 10 yrs, 1 female slave 24-36 yrs, 4 engaged in agriculture. CENSUS 1850: William Johns, aged 73, mulatto, farmer, Wm. Johns, Jr. aged 21, mulatto laborer.   CENSUS AGRICULTURAL 1850: 30 improved acres, 48 unimproved acres, total value $150; total value of machinery owned was $3; 1 horse, l milk cow, 2 other cattle, 13 swine, total value $40; 40 bushels wheat, 150 bushels Indian corn, 400 pounds tobacco, 30 bushels Irish potatoes, 50 pounds of butter.   CENSUS AGRICULTURAL 1850: 25 improved acres, 40 unimproved acres, total value $150; total value of machinery owned $4; 2 milk cows, 1 other cattle, 5 swine, total value $100; 70 bushel wheat, 100 bushels Indian corn, 20 bushels oats, 700 pounds tobacco. DEED: December 31, 1856: William Johns conveyed all his property on Bear Mountain to his children, reserving the right to collect $20 annually from each of them as rent for support during his lifetime. The portions were as follows: Richard Johns 95 acres, Thos. B. Johns 109 acres, Tarleton Johns 96 acres including a house, Edith Johns, widow of Joshua 75 acres, Edmund Branham 92 1/4 acres. Deed Book DD, pages 334-341.   CENSUS 1860: Wm. Johns, aged 88, mulatto, farmer, $200 real estate, $50 personal estate, Chas. T Johns, aged 28, mulatto, farm laborer. WILL: Written February 7, 1861, Probated April 20 1863: After all his just debts were paid, his granddaughter Judith Branham was to receive 1 bay mare, 1 cow, all his household furnishings, and all of his estate left after payment of his debts. Edmund Branham was appointed executor. Will Book 16, page 307. More About WILLIAM 'MALLORY' 'PORTUGUE' JOHNS: Fact 1: 1833, Purchased over 400 acres on Bear Mountain from Landon Cabell,

Dear Bob,

Thanks very much for your thoughtful msg re Willaim Mallory Johns of Amherst Co VA. I'm going to paste your entire msg to me below for reference. It is cumbersome to do it but saves a lot of switching back and forth between documents.

Subj: William "Mallory" Johns of Amherst
Date: 98-05-13 01:19:41 EDT
From: Jrn2217
To: RJohns24

Hi Rob,

I believe an error was made in the genealogy of William "Mallory" Johns of Amherst, as presented in Dr. Peter W. Houck's book Indian Island. I don't want to fuel the fires about the Monacan Johnses of Amherst, but I don't believe that William "Mallory" Johns was the son of Robert and Mary Johns of Amherst.

Dr. Houck states that William "Mallory" Johns was 91 years old at the time of his death in 1861. This makes his date of birth about 1770. As you know, a suit was brought by the children of Robert and Mary Johns to settle the estate of Robert Johns who died intestate. This document, filed in Amherst Co. in November 1779, names the children of Robert and Mary Johns. The names of minor children are given with their guardians. Their son William is not among the children listed with a guardian, suggesting that he was of age in 1779. William "Mallory" Johns would have been about 9 years old in 1779. It would seem doubtful that William Johns, son of Robert and Mary, and William "Mallory" Johns are one and the same.

It is interesting to note that a Mallory Johns, listed as mulatto, can be found in the Buckingham Co. Tithe List of 1773. He is listed as a resident of Tillotson Parish in Buckingham. His name also appears in the Virginia Land Grants and Patents. In Grant Book 23 (1790-91), p. 116 Mallory Johns of Buckingham Co. received a patent for 220 acres on the main branch of Ireland Creek, a branch of the Fluvanna River. He was living in a different part of Buckingham Co. from my Johnses and I don't know much more about him.

I suspect that Mallory Johns of Buckingham may have been the father of William "Mallory" Johns of Amherst.

Houcks' book is an important sociological work, but should not be trusted as a definitive source on the genealogy of William "Mallory" Johns of Amherst.

Continuing: I have Dr. Houck's "Indian Island" open before me. I did not discover the item you mentioned, where Dr. Houck stated that William Mallory Johns was 91 years of age at his death in 1861. Chapter VI pertains to William Johns. He states that Will Johns and Molly Evans were married in 1790. (pg 55) On the same page he states John Redcross died 1861. At the bottom of that page he says that "evidence points to the fact that William Johns' mother Mary, was an Indian" The only documentation offered for any of these items was a reference to a newspaper article dateted 1896 for the death of John Redcross. Houck further says referring to William Johns, "His nickname was Mallory, but he was "sometimes called Portugue because of his broken English" ( reference for this was, Josiah R. Ellis, "A bit of History About the American Indians," Amherst New Era Progress, 1930, on file St. Paul's Church, Bear Mountain) Houck also gives the date of birth for William Mallory Johns as 1765, with no documentation. I have a copy of the 1850 census of Amherst Co. In this enumeration William (M) Johns age is given as 73 (presumably by William himself to the enumerator) placing his dob at 1777. If this were true he would have been only two years of age at the date of the 1779 lawsuit over the probate of Robert Sr's will. I think you have indeed found convincing proof that the William Johns of the lawsuit is a white son of Robert Sr and his non-Indian wife Mary. Further proof, if necessary, is found in the "Personal Property Tax Lists for the Year 1787, Amherst County", compiled by Netti Schreiner-Yantis, and Florence Love, Genealogical Books in Print, Springfield, Virginia, 1987. In this book William Johns of Amherst appears as "white male tithables over the age of 21". He is also listed as having two blacks and one horse. Since William (M) Johns would have been only ten years of age at that time, there would seem to be no question that the William Johns, son of Robert Sr. and Mary was indeed white and not the broken English speaking, Portugue appearing William Mallory Johns of the "Indian Island" and "Strangers in Our Midsts" books.

I truly hope we can put this subject to rest in a scholarly and amicable manner. If there is something wrong with the reasoning and documentation herewith submitted I will be open to correction. The people most concerned about the true story, in this matter, are the Monacan Indians, and the descendants of Robert Johns Sr. and His wife Mary. I am sure the Monacans won't be happy with this conclusion, however logical it may sound to us and some others. I think their best course in finding their identity might be to pursue the antecedents of Mallory Johns of Buckingham county. There must be some Johns connection there or he would not be using that name. Robert and Mary are by no means the only Johns in ca 1700 Virginia.

Sincerely, Rob

Children of WILLIAM JOHNS and MOLLY EVANS are:
i.THOMAS B.6 JOHNS, b. 1790, Amherst Co., VA; m. CATHERINE ?. 11.
ii.MARY LOUISE JOHNS, b. Abt. 1791, Amherst Co., VA.
iii.RICHARD JOHNS, b. 1814. 12.
iv.JOSHUA JOHNS, b. Abt. 1795, Amherst Co., VA; d. Bef. 1856, Amherst Co., VA. 13.
v.WILLIAM B. JOHNS, b. February 19, 1799, Amherst Co., VA. 14
vi.TARLETON JOHNS, b. 1810, Amherst Co., VA; d. Bef. August 17, 1863, Amherst Co., VA.
Notes for Molly EVANS: She was a Monacan Indian.

Subj: Re: Read the whole thing (Just Read This)
Date: 04/30/98

Dear Karen,

I have corresponded with Ted Stout, off and on, for several years. I don't know how he came up with Paul Heinigg, author of "Free Blacks of North Carolina and Virginia". I shotguned this msg because I wanted to get a reaction from everyone in hope that we would discover more about this situation. Needless to say I knew I'd hear from you. I still don't know a thing about Heinigg or his credability. I didn't like the rather flip tone of his reply to Ted, but he does have some interesting points. From his letter to Ted below.

> John(1) Johns born perhaps 1730, married Lucy Mallory on 24 January > 1761 > >[Jones, The Douglas Register, p.109].


> He was taxable on a horse in > >Amherst County in 1787 [Schreiner-Yantis, 1787 Census, p.186].

I have often wondered why William Mallory Johns (mulatto} had this middle name. The only place I have seen it used was by Houck and you. If it is true that a John Johns, "Of Amherst" m. a Lucy Mallory, as above then this would seem to verify Heinigg. He states that this John Johns and a James Johns were of mixed race, living in VA about 1750. No explanation of this. However, I happen to have a copy of the Yantis 1787 Tax Census, to which he referred. Indeed on page 186 there is a John Johns who was taxed on himself and one horse, or mule. He is listed at the bottom of the page near; William, self, 2 blacks und 16, 1 horse: Mary, self, 1 white male above 16 under 21, 3 blacks above 16, 5 blacks under 16, 4 horses, 19 cattle, notes say "Not tithable": Robert, self, 1 horse, 4 cattle: Joseph, self, 1 black above 16, 1 horse, 2 cattle: and John, self, 1 horse.

One other interesting feature of this tax census was that it contained a relisting of all of the taxpayers by the day on which they were called upon thereby allowing you to locate neighbors. In this re-grouping, William 4/14, Joseph 4/17, Mary 4/18, Robert 4/18, John Tyler 4/19, John Redcross 6/12, John Johns 7/02.

This seems to tell us that all of the white Johnses lived close to each other, and John Johns, a possible mulatto, lived some distance away near John Redcoss, thought to be a Cherokee Indian by Houck. I only mention John Tyler because I know he and his wife Elizabeth, were very close friends of John Alexander Johns. In fact they bought land together 1n 1792 and presumably lived on it together until they sold it together in 1800. It looks as if they may have been living together when this census was taken. Tyler was taxed for self and 2 horses.

I know this doesn't prove anything in a positive way but may lend some credence to at least a part of Heinigg's story. Incidentally have you included Joseph as one of Robert's children. I Believe he may be the Josph Barksdale Johns of Edythe Johns Rucker Whitley's Rutherford Co, TN Johns line?

Subj: Re: William "Mallory" Johns of Amherst
Date: 98-05-23 11:55:29 EDT From: RJohns24
To: Jrn2217, CC:, Aor7capt, HJohns3
CC: JPayne5744,, Bebenjohn CC:,

Dear Bob,

Thanks for your msg. I have sent my "Indian Island" book to Michael Pollock for his temporary use. I was sure you had seen the reference to William Mallory Johns being 91 years of age at his death in 1861, I just didn't know where. Regardless of this I put more trust in the validity of the 1850 census giving his age as 73. This would make him 84 at the time of his death and establishes his dob as 1777. Dr. Houck didn't provide much primary documentation for his statements.

The reason that the Monacans may be unhappy at finding themselves related to Mallory Johns rather than Robert and Mary his wife: well they have published a tribal roster listing Robert and Mary as the first known members of their tribe. They have claimed that Mary was a Monacan Indian and that all of the descendants of Robert and Mary are part Indian and therefor elligible to be members of their tribe. They have built this legend into a living reality in their minds and those of many descendants of William Mallory Johns. They also have suffered many indignities in the past from the government of Virginia. You apparently have "Indian Island" and are aware of their past problems. I pursued this matter, not because I wanted to hurt the Monacans,and I certainly hope I haven't, but because I felt there was something that didn't ring true in all of the children of Robert and Mary being 50% Indian. It didn't seem possible that only the descendants of William Mallory Johns would continue to live at Bear Mountain and be called mullatos by the State of Virginia. The clues were available to disprove the connection to Robert and Mary, but I didn't realize I was dealing with two different William Johns. You gave me the key to the puzzle in your msg about Mallory Johns and the ages of the children at the lawsuit in 1779. William Mallory would have been two years old at that time and if he had appeared he would have required a guardian, as did the other "infant children" at that lawsuit. He did not appear. This was enough for me to take another look at the 1787 tax census of Amherst, which was a census of the tithable white male population over the age of 21. Indians and white women were exempt but, white males between the ages of 16 and 21 were subject to a county parish tithe, but not to the state poll tax.

In this census William Johns, white, over 21 years of age was marked as tithable for himself and having two blacks and one horse; Mary Johns was marked not-tithable (exempt as a woman) with one white male over 16 and under 21, (girls didn't count) three blacks above 16 and five blacks under 16, four horses and 19 cattle; Robert Johns, white over 21, tithable, with one horse and four cattle; Joseph Johns, white over 21, tithable, one black above 16, one horse and two cattle; John Johns, white over 21, tithable, with one horse. There are probably some who may not be "convinced" by this documentation. Everyone is free to make his own decision in that regard. This should go without saying, but I didn't think it should this time.

I don't know whether this should be considered "completed" genealogical work or not. I am going to send it only to those whom I feel are most directly affected. Thanks for your thoughtful help in further documenting this analysis by sending your shotgun of 5-17-98 with the tithe lists of 1773 and 1774 of Buckingham County. The list of 1773 clearly shows that Mallory Johns (mulatto) resided in Buckingham at that time. One wonders, since he did not appear in the list of 1774, if he might not have migrated to Amherst County after 1773, with his family.

Submitted, with much help from Bob Newsome, by, Rob Johns

Subj: Re: William "Mallory" Johns of Amherst
Date: 98-05-25 02:12:34 EDT
From: RJohns24
To: mpollock@mindspring.comMichael,

Re: your most recent msg with this caption; I can understand how there might be a distant possibility that William Mallory Johns is related to Robert Johns Sr. of Amherst. I do not see any possibility that he is related to Mary, wife of Robert. The Tax commissioner for the 1787 tax census was charged by law to personally visit every person subject to taxation, make lists of every person visited and chargable with a tax or levy and particularly insert names of all free white males subject to tax. Indians were exempt. The information that had to be collected was, Names of white male tithables over 21, Number of white males above 16 and under 21, Blacks above 16, Blacks under 16, Horses, mares, colts, mules, Cattle. I believe you would have to stretch your imagination hard to believe that Mary, if she were indeed a Monacan Indian, would have the following male children enumerated as white: William Johns, Robert Johns, Joseph Johns, John Johns, and one white male child in her house hold over 16 and under 21.

The court case in the earlier msg, where some of the children of Robert and Mary appeared in chancery court to insure that Mary the administratrix and Thomas the principal heir, would promptly take care of their administrative duties, was reported in 1779. A copy of this document has been widely circulated in the group by both Karen, who discovered it, and also by our shotgun distribution. If you don't have a copy let me know, and I will be sure you do.

I believe it is now quite clear that William Mallory Johns is descended from a different Johns lineage than that of Robert and Mary of Amherst. If you or, anyone, can offer some convincing proof to the contrary, I am certainly open to rethink ny position.

I want everyone to understand that there has never been any intention on my part, now or before, to harm, malign or degrade the Monacan Indians in any way. I am entirely sympathetic to their past problems and their current effort to re-acquire their original tribal properties on Bear Mountain. Their past treatment by the govrnment of Virginia and some of the local non-Indians has been abominable. They deserve our consideration and help. I have already donated money to their cause and I have in my hand a letter from Karenne Wood, Director of Social and Economic development, indicating that they have just received a grant from the "Norcross Wildlife Foundation" which will put them within $ 20,000 of being able to pay off the mortgage on their 110 acre parcel of Sacred Bear Mountain land. All donation are solicited, payable to the Monacan Indian Nation, P. O. Box 1136, Madison Heights, VA 24572. To all of you Johns folks out there that want to help these Indian folks get their Mountain back, send what you can along with a little note of encouragement. Do it you'll feel better.

Sincerely, Rob Johns

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