JOHNSON, Richard

JOHNSON, Richard

Born c. 1827/28, England – Died 8 October 1904, Vryheid.

Tailor

1827.00.00 Born. Calculated from age given on  Portia  passenger list. (Portia  pass. list LHM, Dbn). Came from Leicester. (V.L.)

1828.00.00 b. Calculated from age given on gravestone. (Tomb VGC)

1856.02.16 Female named Portia b. [On board the Portia]. (J. Barron. Portia  pass. list LHM, Dbn).  Portia Barron b. (VL)

1856.04.00 Richard, 28, and Margaret, 24, arrived with son John Thomas, 1yr, on the Portia which sailed from London, Capt. James Barron. They were both English. Richard was a farm- labourer, they travelled steerage. (Portia pass. list, LHM, Dbn). With  Richard was  Mary Ann (sic) and John . (Portia pass. list, NW 25.04.1856)

1856.04.13 Start of the great flood of 1856 which was accompanied  by a raging sea-gale. (P B).  The Portia and the Breeze, full of emigrants, were lying at anchor when the Great Flood of 1856 struck – both disappeared from Durban and four days later news was received that they were safe further down the coast. When they returned, the Portia first, there was an extra passenger. Miss Johnson was b. on the night they slipped away (sic). (A. A.)

1856.04.25 Portia outside the bar. (NW 25.04.1856)

1856.05.00 Johnston (sic), Portia Barron, dau. of Richard and Margaret, bap. Father a labourer. She was b. February 1856 on the Portia. (R. St P’s, Dbn)

1859.11.00 A son b. to Richard and Margaret Johnson. (Ibid) .

1860.03.00 Son William bap. Father a tailor. (Ibid)

1862.05.00 Dau. Mary Jane b. (Tomb St Thos., Dbn)

1862.05.14 Dau. Mary Jane b. (Burial  R., St Thos., Dbn)

1867.01.00 Mary Jane d. (Tomb St Thos, Dbn)

1867.01.25 Mary Jane bur. (Burial R., St Thos., Dbn)

1869.08.10 Richard Johnson, West Hill, tailor, owner, on Jury List for Dbn Co. (NGG 10.08.69)

1876.10.03 Tailor, West Hill, owner, 0n Dbn Co. Voters Roll. (NGG 03.10.76)

1878 end Tailor, West Hill, Dbn. (DNA 1879)

1881.03.08 Was he the R. Johnson who owned  Sub E (4 acres) of Springfield, Dbn Co., worth £45? (NGG 08.03.81)

1881end – Tailor, Rooi Kopjes, Sydenham (DNA 1882 – 1888)

1887end

1883.07.12 Dau. Portia Barron, 27, Brickfields, m. James Barbour, 42, mechanic, Berea, Witnesses included William Johnson and John T. Johnson. (R. Cong., Dbn) A newspaper report of the marriage included that the wedding took place in her father’s residence The Dales, his name is spelt Johnstone (sic). (NM 17.07.83)

1893.09.00 Wife Margaret d. aged 61. (Tomb, St Thomas, Dbn)

1894end Farmer, Rooi Kopjes, Sydenham (DNA 1895)

1896.00.00 Richard Johnson and Annette Pulford**, née Cheesbrough (Cheesebrough, John*), widow of William Pulford*, m. at Durban. (MSC 20/148)

1904.02.10 Wife Annette b. Australia, d. aged 64, of Rooi Kopjes, Umlazi Division. (Ibid)

1904.06.00 Of Vryheid made his will. Children – John Thomas of Dundee, William of Mayville and Portia Barron, wife of James Barron of Vryheid. (MSC 235/1904)

1904.10.08 Died at Vryheid aged 77, tailor. (Ibid). Died aged  77. (Vryheid General Cemetery)

CHILDREN

John Thomas (00.04.1854, ?Laisre*** England  – 22.12.1906, Dundee, South

Africa)

1854.04.00 Date of birth calculated from Death Notice. Place of  b. ?Laisre. (MSC 28/177)

1856.04.25 Came to Natal on the Portia with parents. (NW 25.04.56)

1883.07.12 Witnessed sister’s marriage. (R. Cong., Dbn)

1906.12.00 Of Dewar’s Nek, Dundee Division, made his will. (MSC 6/1907)

1906.12.22 Died in Dundee aged 52. (Ibid). Died at Dundee aged 52yrs 8mths, unmarried, farmer. Born in ?Laisre, son of Richard and Margaret Johnson of The Dales, Sydenham (both deceased). He lived at Dewar’s Nek. Death Notice filled in by his sister Portia Barron Barbour of Vryheid. Another notice filled in by W. Thorold , agent, Dundee, states that Johnson was born in London and that his siblings were Portia Barron Barbour of  Vryheid and William of Ivy Lodge, Mayville, Dbn. (MSC 28/177)

Portia Barron (16.02.1856  On the high seas aboard the Portia  – 31.05.1952, Dbn)    

1856.02.16 Female named Portia b. 16.02.1856. (J. Barron. Portia  pass. List, LHM, Dbn). Portia Barron b. (V. L.)

1856.05.00 Johnston (sic), Portia Barron, dau. of Richard and Margaret, bap. Father a labourer. (R. St P’s, Dbn)

1883.07.12 Dau. Portia Barron, 27, Brickfields, m. James Barbour, 42, mechanic, Berea, Witnesses included William Johnson and John T. Johnson. (R. Cong., Dbn) A newspaper report of the marriage included that the wedding took place in her father’s residence The Dales, his name is spelt Johnstone (sic). (NM 17.07.83)

1906.12.22 Filled in Death Notice of her elder brother John Thomas. Stated that he was b. in ?Laisrc. (MSC 28/177)

1925c.   Husband James Barbour d. He came to Natal on same boat as the Prince Imperial. The Barbours were living in Vryheid at the time of the Boer War. They farmed at Hattingspruit where they had  moved  from Durban because of Portia’s health. Her father gave her a piece of  land  near today’s 45th Cutting service station at today’s Sherwood and she let her two brothers have it. Her parents’ property at Sherwood was called The Dales. Her mother’s names were Margaret ?Mary. Her parents came for Leicester. (V.L.)

1952.05.31 d. Dbn. (Ibid)

 

William (00.11.1859, Dbn  ––––– )

1859.11.00 A son b. to Richard and Margaret Johnson. (R. St P’s, Dbn)

1860.03.00 Son William bap. Father a tailor. (Ibid)

1904.06.00 Mentioned in father’s will as being of Mayville [suburb of Dbn]. (MSC 235/1904)

1906.12.22 Mentioned in Death Notice of brother John that was filled in by W.Thorold. Stated to be of Ivy Lodge, Mayville. (MSC 28/177)

Mary Jane (14.05.1862, Dbn – 27.01.1867, Dbn)

1862.05.00 Dau. Mary Jane b. (Tomb St Thos., Dbn)

1862.05.14 Dau. Mary Jane b. (Burial R., St Thos., Dbn)

1867.01.00 Mary Jane d. (Tomb St Thos, Dbn)

1867.01.27 Mary Jane bur. (Burial R., St Thos., Dbn)

 

NOTES

*After a name indicates that person as the head of a family and therefore qualified for an

entry in Shelagh Spencer’s biographical register.

**Strictly speaking when Annette Pulford married Richard Johnson she should have been

noted as Pulford née Bryan as Cheesebrough was her stepfather. Annette’s mother, Ann, was

married three times. Her first husband, Jabez  Bushby, d. in Sydney, Australia, in 1842. It

would seem that she married her second  husband, a Mr Bryan,  in Australia and  returned to

Britain sometime after his death. It was in Britain that she married Cheesebrough.

*** Shelagh Spencer is very experienced at reading longhand, but could not fathom the

‘Laisrc’ noted as her brother’s place of birth by his sister Portia. It can only be an assumption

that it is Leics, abbreviation of Leicester. It is not known on what authority Valerie Low

twice uses Leicester as a Johnson place of origin.

SOURCES

Articles

PB – Barnes, Pam. The great flood of 1856  in Natalia No 14. Pietermaritzburg: Natal

Society, Dec. 1984.

Books  & Directories

DNA – Natal almanac and yearly register. Pietermaritzburg: P. Davis, 1879, 1882-88,1895.

Cemeteries

Tomb St T, Dbn – Gravestone St Thomas’, Durban.. Anglican

Tomb VGC – Vryheid General Cemetery

Church Registers

R Cong, Dbn – Register Congregational church, Dbn.

  1. St P’s, Dbn – Register St Paul’s, Durban. Anglican
  2. St T, Dbn – Register St Thomas’, Durban. Anglican

Mnuscripts

AA – Anderson, Alexander. Paper No.1 in Eyre papers, Don Africana Library

Newspapers & Periodicals

NM –  Natal Mercury

NW – Natal  Witness

 

Passenger Lists

Portia pass. list, Local History Museum, Durban

Personal Communication

VL – Mrs Valerie Low

Unpublished Official Papers

MSC – Master of the Supreme Court

NGG – Natal Government Gazette