Notes on Selected Quaker Families of Hanover County, Virginia

One of the few old colonial churches is Cedar Creek Quaker Church, which was situated in western Hanover County, Virginia, near the village of Montpelier. The church was constructed in 1770, by a man named Kimbrough. Most of the material used to build the church came from England. The church was built of brick and had an old fashioned steep roof covered with shingles. It had large galleries on all sides. The main body of the church was two rooms with a movable partition to convert it into one room. In olden times it the custom of this church for the ladies to sit in one room, and the men in the other room. The church was sixty feet by forty feet, and the windows, blinds, doors, were of solid heart pine plank. The old fashioned woodwork on the interior was of heart pine. This old structure was an interesting landmark, and a model of ancient architecture, which was situated in a forest of pine and cedar and near it ran a stream of clear, sweet water, known as Cedar Creek. At one time the church had a large membership, and at the big meetings thousands would often gather here. Reverend Nathaniel C. Crenshaw and his son John Bacon Crenshaw were two of the prominent old leaders. John Harris was one of the founders of the Cedar Creek Society of Friends of Hanover County. In 1904 a forest fire destroyed the Cedar Creek Meeting House. The Cedar Creek Meeting was established in 1721, and laid down in about 1874.


An excerpt from a research article posted by Jim Hall of Columbus, Ohio at


The river systems of Louisa and Hanover Counties

By 1719, and probably much earlier, the Quakers had established a place of public worship at Cedar Creek in, later, Hanover County.  As families continued moving north west following the James, Pamunkey and other rivers it became difficult to attend the Monthly Meeting (MM) on Cedar Creek.  Several local families, the Moormans, Clarks and Johnsons were Quakers and, about 1744, established a Camp Creek Monthly Meeting (MM) on Camp Creek in Louisa County.

Key parishes in the Louisa County area



CEDAR CREEK MEETING was in Hanover Co., VA, in the region
of Richmond. Cedar Creek was founded by Friends of the Upper
James River by 1722, when Edward MOSBY was directed by
the Henrico Meeting to erect a meeting house close to the creek.
The Friends at Cedar Creek remained under the care of the Henrico
Meeting until 1739, when those attendees at that meeting house
united with the Henrico Friends that were located in Caroline Co., and
formed a meeting separate from Henrico. Cedar Creek was sometimes
also referred to simply as the “Upper Meeting” in the Henrico records.
Cedar Creek experienced a period of immediate rapid growth, and
soon encompassed Friends residing in the present-day counties of
Albemarle, Amelia, Bedford, Campbell, Caroline, part of Charles
City, Goochland, Halifax, Hanover, Henrico, Louisa, Orange and
Culpeper, and also in the independent City of Richmond.
Mt. Pleasant Meeting, in Frederick Co., VA, was [also]
probably referred to as Cedar Creek from time to time.


JOHN JOHNSON, son of JOHN JOHNSON of Hanover County and ELIZABETH ELYSON [ELLISON], dau. of GERERD ROBT. ELYSON of New Kent County, married on 6 day., 8 mo., 1725.

From Rhoda Moorman Coffin, Her Reminiscenses, Addresses, Papers and Ancestry, p. 17.

John III, son of John and Lucinda [Blake] Johnson, married ELIZABETH ELLISON, 8th month 6, 1725. The marriage took place at the New Kent “particular meeting”, and is recorded in the records of Henrico Monthly Meeting, of which the Ellisons are now members.

Marriage Certificate of JOHN JOHNSON and ELIZABETH ELEYSON.

Whereas, JOHN JOHNSON, son of JOHN JOHNSON of Hanover County and ELIZABETH ELLYSON daughter of GERED ROBT ELLYSON of Newkent County have proposed their intentions of Marage before two severall meetings of the peopell caled Quakers who after dew Enquire of their Clearness and it appearing to them that theay weare Cleare from all others on acct. of Mariage and that ye Relations of ye Sd. JOHN & ELIZABETH were consenting to their Mariage Did give Consent that the Sd parties should accomplish their Intentions.

Wee therefore whose names are Under writen doe Certifie all whome it may Concern that the sd JOHN JOHNSON and ELIZABETH ELLYSON did at a publick Meeting held of ye sd peopell in ye Meeting House in New Kente County 2/3 Sixt Day of ye Eight month one thousand Seven Hundred and tweenth and ‘five

Then and their take Each Other for Wife and husband He the Sd JOHN taking; her the sd ELIZABETH by the hand and declaring: that before this Meeting I take ELIZABETH ELLYSON for my weded wife as long as we shall both live and she the sd ELIZABETH then and their Likewise Declaring: that before this meeting I take JOHN JOHNSON for my weeded husband as long as wee shall Live and for Confirmation thereof the sd JOHN JOHNSON and the sd ELIZABETH doth seet their hands.


And wee whose names are under are witnesses:

GERD. ROBT ELLYSON  Danll Willmoee  John Crew  John Elmore  Thos Elmore John Crew Jur  Robert Ellyson  Elizabeth Johnson  Benj Johnson  Mary Elmore Andrew Crew  Agathy Crew  John Scott Jur  Judeth Ellyson  Thomas Stanley  Judeth Scott  Agniss Ellyson  Ciscelly Willmore

Taken from the original records of the Monthly meeting held at Henrico, VA, 1699-1756

FN 22  The Ellisons were conspicuous figures and devoted laborers in the work of St Peter’s parish from the earliest history of the colony. They appear to have grasped the spiritual teachings of the Quakers early in th ecentury. General Ellison owned a number of slaves whose names are on the parish records, 1721 and later.

JOHN JOHNSON now styles himself of Hanover County, which was close on the border of Henrico, and was erected in 1720.

These early Virginia settlers were migratory, and made many changes in their localities of living. The Meetings also were moved from place to place. It is possible that one reason for these changes was the painful experience and unrest into which many were brought because – as was officially stated – “We Can not for Consience sake pay the Priests dews & other Church demands.”

[Note from WHB: Obviously, portions of the text below appear garbled. I did not have access to the original source and have posted another researcher’s transcription of the meeting minutes. I suspect that the out-of-place type characters are a legacy of the time when various word processing software programs had incompatible features (which can still be seen when foreign words with umlauts or other accents are concerned).]

John Johnson appears to have suffered on religious grounds by distress for tythes, having stood against the tything system and been forced by the high Sheriff to yield.

The following minute is taken from the original records.


“At our Monthly Meeting held in Caroline

* In 1748 a new Clergy bill was passed. It was based on and
is essentially the same as that of 1737. The Collectors were now given power to distrain on ” slaves, goods, and chattels of the person or persons chargeable therewith.” There was no provision for any Class of Dissenters.

In a protest to the Governor and Assembly in 1739 against these forced payments the Quakers stated:

“We pay all taxes for support of Government, we transgress
no laws of trade, we keep back no part of the revenue due to the crown, the publick are not charged in the leaste with our poar, and we nevertheless willingly contribute to the publick poar, and endeavor to follow peace with all men.” Quakers continued to suffer under the provisions of the laws on ” Church rates ” and ” Militia fines.” It was reserved for the trying days of the Revolution to snap asunder the bonds of Church and State.— Southern Quakers and Slavery, pp. 152, 153.



County, Y^ 11th 9th mo. 1757, by report from
Ameha meeting of Friends Sufferings, John
Johnson had taken from liim tilings to the value
of seven pounds, ten shillings.”

By the middle of the century — the eighteenth
— the Johnson f amihes had extended their bound-
aries into Hanover, Campbell, Louisa and ad-
jacent counties. John Johnson and his ^^ife
Elizabeth, after li^4ng many years in Hanover
County, left their native state and removed to
Xorth Carolina, taking their grandson, John
Johnson, with them. Remaining there but two
and a half years, we find them again at their
home in Hanover County, Va.

” At our Monthly Meeting held at Cedar Creek 14th
day of 12 mo 1765 John Johnson made application to
this Meeting for a few hnes by way of a certificate for
themselves and families in order to join the Monthly
Meeting of Friends at New Garden Xorth Carolina.


He married 7th m.o.
13, 1754, Lydia Watkins,^^ daughter of Benja-
min and Priscilla Watkins of Goochland County.
The Watkins were probably members of Genito
meeting. Concerning their marriage, and later,
their place of residence, the records of Cedar
Creek JMonthly Meeting show the following:

” At a Monthly Meeting at our usall place in Caro-
line the 8th 6th mo 1754, John Johnson & Ledy Wat-
kins Published their entention of Marringe it being the
first time. Charles Johnson & Garrat Ellison are op-
pointed to Enquire the Clearness of John Johnson &
make report to next Meetg.

At a Monthly Meeting held at Cader Creek the 13th
7 mo 1754 Those Friends Oppolnted to Enquire into
the Clearness of Jo”. Johnson & Ledy Watkins Gives
Clear Account. John Johnson and Ledy Watkins Pub-
lished their Entention of Marriage the Second time
and are Left to their liberty to consumate their Mar-
riage According to the ^ood Rules Used amongst us.”

2T The Watkins Family, like the Ellison’s, are found contem-
porary with the Johnsons on the very early parish records of
St. Peter’s in New Kent county, and belonged to the first
established Quaker meetings of Virginia. Henry Watkins Sen.
subscribed 500 pounds of tobacco in 1699, and Henry Jr. fifteen pounds, to build a meeting house. Lewis Watkins and Margaret Stone were married in St. Peter’s, Jan. ye 6, 1712, and had a family.



9/14/1754i Friends Oppointed to attend the Mar-
riage of John & Ledy Watkins Give a good Account
of the Proceedings of the same.

Whereas John Johnson son of John Johnson of the
Count}^ of xVmelia and Lvdia Daughter of Benjamin
Watkins, Deceased, of the County of Goochland hav-
ing declared their intentions of taking Each other in
MaiTiaore before Several Monthlv IMeetincrs of the Peo-
pie Called Quakers in Hanover County according to the
good order Used amongst them and were Approved of
by the Said Meeting and ha^^ng Concent of Parrents
& Friends Concerned The Sd John Johnson Sz Lydia
Watkins Appearing in a Publick ^Meeting of the afore-
said People held at Ceder Creek in the sd County of
hanover on the IStJi Day of the Seventh Month 1754-
and then and there in the Said assembly the Said John
Johnson did take the Said Lydia Watkins by the hand
and openly declare as follows, You are my Witnesses
that I take Lydia Watkins to be my Wife promising
to be unto her a true Sz Loving Husband L^ntill Death,
or words to the Same Effect, and then immediately
the Said Lydia Watkins having the said John Johnson
by the hand did openly declare as follows You are my
Witnesses that I take John Johnson to be my Hus-
band promising to be unto him a true & Loving wife
untill Death, or words to the same Effect, & the said
Johnson i^’ Lydia Watkins his now wife for a further
Confirmation of the ^Lirriage have hereunto subscribed
their Names the Sd Lydia Watkins yakes upon herself
the title & Siraame of the sd Johnson, and we whose


Rhoda M. Coffin

names are hereunto Subscribed being Present at the
Solemnization of the said Marriage & Subscription
aforesaid Have as Witnesses Set our hands.

John Johnson
Lydia Johnson
Benjamin Harris Benj Watkins Necka Stone
Strangeman Hutchins Jos Newby

To the Monthly Meeting at South River

Dear Friends

John Johnson a
member of our Meeting having removed within your
limits ; and requested our Certificate for himself, his
wife Lydia, & children Susana, John, Thomas & Lidia,
and their affairs being settled to Satisfaction as far as
we find, We do therefore recommend them to your
care and notice and remain your friends,

Signed by order and on behalf of our Meeting held
at Cedar Creek in Hanover County the 9th day of the
5th month 1789.

By Mica j ah Crew Clerk.
Rachel IMoorman Clk.

Eoth John Johnson IV and his wife Lydia,
appear to have been devoted Friends. Their
names frequently occur on the meeting records
as witnesses to marriages of their neighbors and
kinsmen. John Johnson, Sen., died 8th month
31st 1816 at a small settlement called Ivv Creek,



Bedford County, Va., at the age of eighty-four.”®
The death of his nfe is not on record.


8/9/ 1765 Agreeable to an order Made some time
past, John Harris had Enquired Into the life and Con-
versation of John Johnson and Elizabeth his wife, and
John Johnson their grandson, who hath produced cer-
tificates for them which was read approved and signed.


Cedar Creek, Mo. :leeting held 3/12/1768. There
were produced to tliis Meeting Certificates from New
Garden in North Carolina for John Johnson and his
wife Elizabeth, and their grandson John Johnson, bear-
ing date 9/26/1767.-‘^ ”

26 Taken from the original records of Cedar Creek Monthly
meeting, 1754-1803.


Hhoda M. Coffin

Children of John III and Ehzabeth [Ellyson]
Johnson: John, Jessie, James, Gerard, William.

John IV, son of John and Elizabeth [Ellyson]
Johnson, was born 1732.


Children of John Johnson IV and Lydia
[Watkins] Johnson: Judith, Susanna, James,
Samuel, Joseph, John, born 2d mo. 5. 1766,
Thomas, Lydia.


John Johnson IV, the sixth cliild of John,
Sen., and Lydia [Watkins] Johnson, was born
2d month 5th 1766.

Very little is known of his personal liistor\
His name is found in the record of births of
Cedar Creek ]Meeting.

As the years went on and the Johnson families
multiplied, they changed their localities of living,
as we have already stated, and many are found,
in time, in Louisa, Campbell, Bedford and
Amelia Counties. The man-iage of John Jolin-
son, Jun. (V) is recorded on the minutes of
South Biver ^lonthly ^Meeting:


John Johnson of Bedford County, and Rhoda Moor-
man of Campbell County-, married 10th mo. 21, 1789,
at South River Meeting house.

[WHB Notes – This is not the JOHN JOHNSON who is in my ancestral line. I suspect it is my ancestor’s first cousin, who is the son of Benjamin Johnson.]

The marriage certificate was signed by twenty-
seven members of their families and kinspeople
who were witnesses to their marriage.

Bhoda Moorman was the daughter of Micajah

-s South River Monthly Meeting records.
29 Taken from the original reccrrds.


Rhoda M. Coffin

and Susannah ISIoorman, and the seventh child
of a family of thirteen children. She was born
at Lynchburg, Virginia, 8th month loth, 1769.

Here Jolin, Jun. (V) and liis wife lived
till his death, wliich took place January 14,

Rhoda [Moorman] Johnson was left a
widow with seven children. James, the young-
est, was born six weeks after his father died.


Micajah Moorman was one of the most prominent early-
settlers in Campbell Co., Va. He was one of the ” gentleman ”
trustees into whose hands John Lynch vested the ” land to be
laid off in lots and to whom the Genfiral Assembly granted a
charter, October 1786 for ” a town to be known by the name of
Lynchburg. “Lynchburg and its people,” p. 23 and 68. As
long as he lived he was a conspicuous figure in the town and is
still held in honored memory by its people.

He was a Quaker and ceased to hold slaves after the Society declared against the practice. Lynchburg, as late as the year 1800, had upwards of one thousand slaves. Stephen Grelette, a travelling Quaker
minister, says in his journal, “the slaves in that part of the
country are treated with more cruelty than I have seen else-
where.” (“Life of Stephen Grelette.”)

A quaint and interesting instrument is recorded upon the
Campbell Co., Va., records showing that William, James, and
Christopher Johnson, emancipated twenty-four negro slaves in
1782, probably after the conscience of the Quakers had caused
them to take decided steps against their members keeping negroes
in bondage. There are ” disownments ” on record of Thomas
Johnson, Samuel Johnson, Samuel Moorman, and others, as late
as 1795 ” for hiring slaves,” ” for holding a slave,” ” for pur-
chasing a slave,” and like misdemeanors respecting slavery.

Such were the environments of Rhoda [Moorman] Johnson
during her younger years.



The decease of her father, Micajah Moorman, took place 1806. By his will, placed upon record, November 25th, 1800, he left large tracts of land in the State of Ohio to his wife, Susannah, and to his daughter Rhoda and other of his children, and stated in his will that, ” I desire my wife and her children, who care to, to move to the places in Ohio left them by me.”

A great tract of land which was originally of the large military tract set apart by the Government to the State of Ohio, and lay in Warren
County, was purchased from Jacob R. Bro^vn in 1799, by a Quaker named Abijah O’Xeall.

Ohio became a state in 1803, and for many reasons which we cannot here discuss, was an inviting field for the migrating Quakers of Virginia to possess. ” There were no grave obstacles,” says Stephen Weeks, ” in the way of its peaceful conquest, save Indians and distance.”

With irrepressible energy Rhoda [Moorman] Johnson set out on the long journey to Ohio in 1809 with her seven children. Her certificate ^-
of membership addressed to Center Monthly Meeting of Friends, Clinton County, Ohio, dated 11th mo 11th 1809, recommends her and

31 Probate Records, Campbell Co., Va., Xov. 25, 1S06.

32 Taken from ” Certificates of Remoal,” by South River
Monthly Meeting of Friends, Campbell Co., Va.


Rhoda M. Coffin

her children, — the name of each child given, — to
the ” Christian care and oversight ” of Friends in
her new home and surroundings. They were
accompanied by her mother, Susannah Moorman,
and her granddaughter, Molly Moorman, and
other emigrants, all of whom settled in Ohio.
A large number of relatives and friends had pre-
ceded them to ” Miami,” Ohio, in the early spring
of 1806, among these were her brother Charles
Moorman and his family, and eight Johnson
families, together with the Terrells and Butter-

Mrs. Coffin gives an interesting sketch of her
Grandmother Johnson in Chapter I, page 6, of
this book.

The children of John, Jr., (V) and Rhoda
[Moorman] Johnson,^^ Joseph, born 4 mo 7,
1791; Micajah, born 12th mo 28, 1792; John VI,
born 1st mo 3, 1795; Charles, born 1st mo 14,
1797; Polly ,^^ born 1st mo. 14, 1799; Lewis, born
3rd mo 7, 1801; James, born 2d mo. 25, 1803.

John Johnson VI, the third son, and the
father of Mrs. Rhoda M. Coffin, was born near
Lynchburg, Virginia, 1st month 3d, 1795. He
was twelve years of age when the family removed
to Ohio.

33 From the original records of South River Monthly Meeting

34 Afterwards called Mary.



He married Judith Faulkner,-^’ daughter of
David and Judith Faulkner, oth month 22d,

The list of their children will be found on
pages 10 and 11.

“•” The Faulkners were of the northern u-ing of emigrants who
were early settlers in P” rede rick County, Virginia, at Hopewell
Monthly Meeting [or Opequon], and were there as early as 1751.
Some members of the family who came from Culpepper Co. are
found in the more southern settlements in 1766, and others went
to Xorth Carolina in 1754. But this branch of the family lived
in Frederick County.

David Faulkner was born June 25th, 1749. He married, 1770,

Judith Thornburg, daughter of Abel Thornberg and


The Brooks family went from Culpepper C-o., Va., to Han-
over County, Va., the middle of the century. John Brooks pur-
chased land in Louisa County, Va., in 1748.

On March 2^, 1788, Jesse Faulkner conveyed to David Faulkner
a tract of 12S acres of land described in the deed as lying in
the drains of Opequon Creek in Frederick County, Va., and the
following day Thomas Barnett conveyed to David Faulkner six
acres adjoining the first mentioned tract. (Deed book 26, p.
-275-277. Frederick Co. Records Winchester, Va.) On February
5th, 1800, David and Judith Faulkner conveyed this same tract
of land described in the deed — 129 acres — to James Curl. The
Opequon Creek flows through a portion of Apple Pie Ridge.

Again on September 9, 1809, David Faulkner gives a deed
of release to James Curl for the unpaid purchase money on the
same 129 acres, and in the deed he refers to himself as “David
Faulkner of Green County, Ohio, formerly of Frederick Co., Va.”

Children of David and Judith [Thornberg] Faulkner.

Mary died in infancy; Martha, married “William Walker; Jesse,
married Hannah Slieppard; Phoebe, married William Ballard;
Thomas, married Elizabeth McGuire; David; Mary, married
Thomas Johnson; Judith, born April 3d. 1797, married John John-
son; Solomon, married Ruth Beiles; Rachel, married Thomas Ar-
nett. See Chapter I, pages 6-7.




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