Thanks for reading and commenting about my blog postings. My goal is to accurately document the genealogy of my family and allied families living in Chesterfield County, SC and Anson County, NC. If you have a Chesterfield County surname you are interested in please send me an e-mail.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Surname Saturday~Johns, Bone and Toler

After 37 years there are many unanswered question about my 2nd great grandparents Shadrach and Mary Johns and their family.

While we work backward in genealogy; for the purpose of this article we will moved forward. This is what is known after 37 years of research.

Shadrach, aka Shade, JOHN or JOHNS was born about 1800. His parents are unknown.

A Shade JOHN found in the 1830 Darlington County, South Carolina population census[1] may or may not be the same Shade or Shadrach JOHN/JOHNS that I know as my 2nd Great grandfather. The Shade JOHN listed is between 20-29 years of age; his wife is also between 20-29 and they have a son and a daughter less than 5 years of age.  Nothing more is known of this family.

Moving forward 20 years and we find Shadrach and his family in the 1850 Population census for Chesterfield County, South Carolina.[2]

The Family composition is:

Shadrach John had married Mary Bone/Boan about 1842 and by 1850 they had three (3) children. Joseph JOHN listed as age 1 is my great grandfather. Shadrach’s occupation is listed as a laborer.  

Sometime between 1850 and 1860 Shadrach and Mary decided that a westward movement might improve their lot in life and we find then living in Seals Station, Russell County, Alabama in the 1860 population schedule.[3]


At this point another child has been added to the family, daughter, Anna W. JOHNS. Note at this point an “S” has been added to the surname.  The 1860 Census shows Anna birthplace as South Carolina so we can adjust the movement from South Carolina to Alabama to between 1854 and 1860.

We all know that in 1861 we had the firing on Fort Sumter and the start of the Civil War. You would think that at his age an old man like Shadrach JOHNS, age 60, would have been exempted from the war; but, that is not the case. 

Fold3 shows that Shadrick/Shadrach JOHNS served with Co. H, 24th Alabama Infantry during in the Civil War.[4]


Not only did he serve in the 24th Alabama Infantry but he was also in the Capt. Parson's[5] Company of the Florida Home Guard. On 27 September 1864, Shadrach JOHN was captured by Union forces under the leadership of Gen. Alexander Asboth at Hard Labor Creek, during the Battle for Vernon, Florida and was imprisoned at Elmira, New York. Also captured was his kinsman Enoch JOHNS who died 27 December 1864 while imprisoned at Elmira.[6]

Local historian and blogger, Dale Cox, has written a detail article on The West Florida War, A New Look at the 1864 Raid on Marianna.[7] Look under the section entitle – The Battle for Vernon. While Enoch didn't return from the War, Shadrach Johns signed an oath of allegiance and returned home to his family.

J Confederate Fla.  Shadrack John
Pvt. Capt. Jones Co. Fla. Mil
Appears on a Roll of Prisoners of War At Elmira, New York desirous to take the Oath of Allegiance to the United States Roll dated Headquarters Prison Camp, Elmira N. Y. Dec. 16, 1864
Join Station : - Nov. 20, 186x.
Where Captured: - near Vernon, Fla
When Captured :-- Sept 28, 1864
Remarks: - Was ordered out by the Governor to resist an Union raiding party. Is a Union man and is over 60 years of age, and was captured same day that he was ordered out Desires to go to Pensacola, Fla.
Shadrach JOHN was released from Elmira on 29 May 1865.

When captured, it’s look as if Shadrach and his family had moved from Russell County, Alabama to Washington County, Florida. A Land Deed on file at the Chesterfield Courthouse, chesterfield, South Carolina provided proof that they in fact were living in Washington County on December 3, 1866.

Land deed between Jas. Eddings & Others to W. T. Goodwin Deed dated 3 December 1866 states:[9]

Know all men by these presents, that we, SHADRACH JOHNS and MARY JOHNS of the county of Washington and State of Florida, and JAMES EDDINGS, ANN EDDINGS, and REBECCA BONE of the District of Chesterfield, and State of South Carolina, have in consequence of ninety dollars to us in hand the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged paid by WILLIAM T. GOODWIN of the District of Chesterfield and State of South Carolina, have granted, bargained, sold, and released, and by these presents do grant, bargain, sell and release unto the said WILLIAM T. GOODWIN all that parcel or tract of land, containing eight acres, more or less, being a part of a tract of land purchased by MARY BONE deceased of A. P. LaCOSTE deceased...

We see in this land deed that both Shadrach and Mary JOHNS are named as partied to the deed and three of their four children signed the deed.


Children names are Anner [Anna] JOHNS; A. C. TOLER and my great grandfather H. J. [Henry Joseph] JOHNS. Not named is  son, Thomas H. Johns.

The fate of Thomas H. Johns is not known but is suspected to have died in the Civil War. Alice Catherine Johns wasn’t really A. C. Toler in December 1866. She wouldn't become A. C. TOLER until 3 years later. Alice Catherine JOHNS married Joel S. TOLER, who served in Company A, 29th Regiment Alabama, on 30 September 1869 in Bullock County, Alabama. [10]


Our last glimpse of Shadrach Johns is the 1880 Population Census for Marlboro County, South Carolina.[11] In this census we find Shadrach, his son Joseph Henry and two grandchildren Mary & William TOLAR. Great Great Grandpa Shadrach is now eighty years old.



We know that Shadrach and Mary’s son, Thomas H. JOHNS, b. abt 1847 in SC is missing and presumed dead by December 1866 when the Land Deed was transacted in Chesterfield, SC and Thomas was not mentioned.

Now, 14 years later and no information has been found to determine what happened to Mary Bone JOHNS wife of Shadrach, Joel S. TOLER/TOLAR, son-in-law; Alice Catherine Johns TOLER daughter or Anna W. JOHNS,  Daughter. 

We do know that whatever happened the two children of Joel & Catherine, Mary and William Shadrac, did survived along with their Uncle Joseph Henry and their Grandfather Shadrach Johns. 
When Shadrach Johns died and his exact place of burial is not known; but, he most likely died in Marlboro County.
The struggles that my great grandparents faced must have seem so unbearable at times. This has been a difficult story to document and still many gaps exist. 

What happen to Thomas H. Johns? Did he die in the Civil War?
Where were Mary & Shadrach in 1870? I haven’t found them in the 1870 census? They were in Washington County, Florida in Dec. 1866.
What happen to Mary and Anna Johns, Joel and Catherine Toler between December 1866 and June 1880?

Your thoughts and suggestions greatly welcome on how to proceed with this mystery.


[1] 1830 U. S. Census, Darlington County, South Carolina, population schedule, Darlington County, South Carolina, Page 219 Line 6, Household of Shade JOHN; digital images, ( : viewed 20 January 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm M19_173.
[2] 1850 U. S. Census, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, population schedule, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, enumeration district (ED) No ED, page 109A, Line 11, Dwelling 161, Family/161, Household of Shadrach JOHN; digital images, ( : viewed July 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm M432 Roll 851.
[3] 1860 U. S. Census, Russell County, Alabama, population schedule, Seals Station, Russell County, Alabama, enumeration district (ED) No ED, page 893, Line 7, dwelling 238, family 227, Household of Shadrick Johns; digital images, ( : viewed July 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm M653_22.
[4] Ancestry, "Civil War Service Records" database, Military Service Records ( : accessed 23 January 2013), entry for Shadrack JOHN, Private; Co. H, 24th Alabama Infantry; Confederate.
[5] Ancestry, "Civil War Service Records" database, Military Service Records ( : accessed 23 January 2013), entry for Shadrick Johns, Private; Capt. Parson's Company; Confederate.
[6] Find A Grave,, Accessed on 2 January 2012; Headstone for Enoch Johns; Memorial # 66434473.
[9] Land Deed - Jas. Eddings & Others to W. T. Goodwin Deed; 3 December 1866; Deed Book #5; Page(s) 598 & 599; Register of Deeds; Chesterfield, Chesterfield County, South Carolina; 1999.
[10] Bullock County, Alabama, marriage (30 September 1869), Joel S. Toler to Catherine Johns; Montgomery, Alabama, USA, State of Alabama Center for Health Statistics, Record Services Division.
[11] 1880 U. S. Census, Marlboro County, South Carolina, population schedule, Marlboro County, South Carolina, enumeration district (ED) #108, page 460A, Line 22, Dwelling # 43, Family #43, Household of Shade JOHN; digital images, ( : viewed July 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm T9_1235.

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