24 November 2014

Johnstons From Peterborough

John Johnston, son of William and Catherine (Reynolds) Johnston was my great-grandmother's (Anna Cameron) first husband.  He and Anna were married in Roscommon County, Michigan, but moved to Arenac County where John Johnston died.

Death Record, Arenac Co., MI, Book 2 - Rec. #622 - d. May 16, 1896, John H. Johnston, m/w/married, age 46y 27d; Place of Death:  Deep River Twp.; Inflammation of the Lungs; b. Canada; farming; Parents:  William and Catherine Johnston, both of Canada.  Date of Record: 21 May 1897.

My great-aunt, Blanche (Johnston) Stout (1895 - 1990), was the youngest child of John and Anna (Cameron) Johnston.


Many of the Johnston siblings moved to Michigan and settled in the rural Roscommon County, Michigan.  Their vital records provided pieces of the puzzle determining where the Johnston children were born [Smith Township, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada) and their mother's (Catherine's) maiden name [Reynolds].  Probably all of the Johnston children were born in Peterborough county, but not necessarily in Smith Township.

Additional (and corroborating) information was found perusing the Roscommon newspapers.  For example:

8 December 1893
John Johnston, of Sterling [Arenac County], was in the village [of Roscommon] during the week and while here purchased a fine mare from his brother Alex.

An historical publication also helped:

The father [William Johnston] of our subject [also William Johnston Clerk of Roscommon County]...was born near Peterborough, Canada, in 1841, being a son of William Johnston, a native of Ireland, who in early life emigrated to Canada, and, settling on a farm near Peterborough, continued to make his home there until his death.

Census Year: 1851
Surname: Johnson
Province: Canada West (Ontario)
District Name: Peterborough (county)
Sub-District Name: Otonabee

Source [1851 Canadian Census]

William Johnson, Farmer, b. Ireland, 35 years old
Mrs. Johnson, b. Ireland, 34 years old
Martha Johnson, b. Canada, 15 years old
William Johnson, b. Canada, 13 years old
Margaret Johnson, b. Canada, 5 years old
John Johnson, b. Canada, 1 year old

Source [1861 Canadian Census]
1861 Census
Township of Smith, Peterborough, Ontario [Canada West]

William Johnson, farmer, b. Ireland, E. Church, 50 years old
Catherine Johnston, b. Ireland, E. Church, 45 years old
William Johnston, Laborer, b. W. Canada, E. Church, 23 years old
James Johnston, Laborer " ", 16 years old
Margaret Johnston, 14 years old
Alex Johnston, 12 years old
John Johnston, b. W. Canada, 10 years old
Elizabeth Johnston, 8 years old
Sarah Johnston, 3 years old
Harriet Johnston, 1 years old

1861 Census (Agricultural)
Township of Smith
Ontario [Canada West]
#26: William Johnson
Concession or Range: 4
Lot or Part of Lot: 3
200 acres

Catherine (Reynolds) Johnston died 4 Feb 1869, in Harvey Township, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada.  Her husband, William Johnston, died 12 February 1873.  They are both buried in Lakefield Cemetery (see map).

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