William Johnson the Elder

The first William Johnson was born in 1777 and baptised at the “crooked spire” in Chesterfield – however, his maternal grandparents were Quakers which must have made for interesting family discussions.

William shared his home in Calow not only with his parents and three brothers, but with his father’s apprentices. William’s father was a cordwainer, maker of quality shoes, and would probably have had a workshop in or near the house. It must have been a busy, male-dominated and work-oriented household.

As far as we can see, none of the brothers followed their father’s trade. At his death William was living at Newbold Moor, where the potteries were situated, and his son and grandson would both be involved in that industry. We might assume that he also was in the pottery line.

William married the daughter of a local clergyman. I have found records of the birth of two children: our ancestor Joseph in 1801 and his sister Linney in 1804. After this date I can find no trace of Linney: neither a marriage nor a burial record.

Nor can I find any record of Betty’s death, though I suspect she may not have survived long after the birth of her daughter. Unfortunately in the days before the Census information is sketchy and much is left to the imagination. And using our imagination there is an alternative version of William’s life which you can find here.

Father of Joseph Johnson Snr and son of John and Elizabeth Johnson

Born at Calow and baptised William Johnson on 5 November 1777 in Chesterfield, Derbyshire

Married Elizabeth (Betty) Holt on 10 August 1797

Buried 12 March 1812

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