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Uncovering the True Id of James William Johnson: Half 2 Evaluating Sibling Timelines Acquire US


When researching the id of an ancestor who might have modified his identify, inspecting the folks he related to can result in necessary connections. Partially 1 of this sequence, we checked out utilizing the FAN methodology (evaluating Pals, Associates, and Neighbors). The timeline clearly confirmed that Patrick Alford modified his identify to James William Johnson between 1879 and 1885 to cover from Texas regulation.

With a transparent understanding of James’s relationship to his spouses and youngsters and a transparent understanding of Patrick’s relationship to his mother and father and siblings, subsequent these particulars might be in contrast with different data. Partially two, we’ll stroll by way of the evaluation of James Johnson and Patrick Alford in including extra data from their FANs– household, associates, and neighbors–to the listing.

Including data from the Alford siblings to the present FANs listing established a timeline that agreed with household lore. I targeted on 4 sibling relationships: George Alford, Becky (Alford) McFadin, Belle (Alford) Newton, and Robert Henry Alford. In doing so, all siblings have been accounted for, together with Tom, Evaline, Charlie, Ida Might, and Minnie Alford. In the long run, the Alford siblings have been FANs of each Patrick and James.

Past private data, although, it was mandatory to research the circumstances and surroundings that precipitated Patrick to vary his identify to James.  I studied surrounding geography, nationwide historic occasions, and native social context to correlate with the FANs listing timeline. What did 1879 Texas appear to be by way of the lenses of every Alford sibling?

Texas Reconstruction Period: The North vs The South

The Alford household faraway from Illinois (Northern U.S.) to Arlington, Texas (Southern U.S.), throughout the post-Civil Warfare period. Texas had been re-admitted to the Union after a quick try to assert independence, and land gross sales helped enhance income for colleges and training. Amid post-war reconstruction, attitudes simmered, and plenty of deep-rooted Texans held a specific dislike for Union veterans. The Alford settlers from the north bought horses and had family members who had fought for the Union. Horse thieves have been plentiful, regulation enforcement was restricted, and most disagreements have been settled with weapons.

George Alford

In August 1879, Tom, George, and Patrick Alford acquired concerned in a single such dispute that resulted in gunfire, the demise of a pal, and the eventual demise of a wounded officer. Patrick was usually mistaken for his older brother, George, who shared a twin-like resemblance. On a mud street between Arlington and Fort Value, an unappointed “deputy marshal” had unlawfully apprehended and sure Tom. Based on 1879 Texas regulation, Patrick and his pal tried to defend themselves–and Tom–inside their authorized rights. Patrick escaped with Tom, who was nonetheless sure to a horse, after which returned to recuperate his wounded pal. Six days later, after the officer died from his wounds, contributors within the gun foray pointed to George because the one who killed the officer, however George was not on the dust street that day; Patrick was. However, George ­was instantly arrested, jailed, tried, and located responsible of a homicide he didn’t commit; in the meantime, Tom and Patrick went into hiding.

A landmark case within the Courtroom of Appeals overturned George’s conviction, and he was launched one 12 months later. Underneath such circumstances, the three Alford brothers seemingly had motive to worry a neighborhood militia. This supported a reputation change and Arkansas relocation for George (aka Richard Joseph Johnson) and Patrick (aka James William Johnson). Tom was finally cleared of any wrongdoing, and after a few years Patrick’s case was dismissed, however names and lives had eternally modified. A full account of the gunfight involving his ancestor will be present in James Wesley Johnson’s e book: A Horse, A Gunfight, And The Law: A Historical Account of Our Alfords in Texas.

Charlie Parks Alford

The Alford household arrived in Texas someday between Ida Might’s beginning in 1875 and Patrick’s brother, Charlie’s demise in 1877. Like Patrick, Charlie’s beginning was too late to be recorded in his father’s 1870 family, and he died earlier than 1880; a Texas headstone chronicles his life. Household interviews revealed Charlie fell right into a snake pit, and Patrick jumped in to rescue him. Sadly, Charlie didn’t survive, and Patrick earned a life-long limp for his bravery. I added Charlie to the FAN listing.

Robert Henry Alford

The timeline confirmed that after 1879, the Alford siblings carried on in an in any other case typical household style; they married, that they had youngsters, they died, and relationships continued. For instance, in 1899, when James married his second spouse, Dempsey, the certificates famous Robert Alford because the preacher, not directly linking the Johnsons to the Alfords. However, was this Robert F. (the Alford father), Robert H. (the Alford sibling), or one other Robert altogether? I wanted extra proof to show a connection. Robert nonetheless made it on the fan listing.

Based on the knowledge given throughout Johnson household interviews, after 1880, the Alford mother and father determined to reside aside, in all probability for security causes. Alcy took the 4 youthful youngsters, together with their son, Robert, and moved again to her hometown in Tennessee. Robert, the daddy, remained on the farm in Texas and in proximity to the older youngsters. Cemetery and marriage data confirmed this story:

  • The 2 youngest Alford youngsters died shortly after eradicating to Tennessee, Minnie Louella in 1881 and Ida Might in 1883.
  • Evaline married in Tennessee in 1884, then moved to Washington; she died there in 1909 of Tuberculosis.
  • Robert F. (the Alford father) died in Texas in 1887.
  • Robert H. additionally married in Tennessee in 1895; he died there in 1946.


Robert F.’s demise in 1887 dominated out the Alford father because the preacher, so Robert H. was seemingly the identical Robert Alford famous on James and Dempsey’s 1899 marriage certificates, however this declare wanted additional analysis. After all, Minnie, Ida, and Evaline have been added to the FAN listing.

Becky McFadin

Becky McFadin, Harry McFadin, Janie Alford, Nora McFadin (standing), circa 1899, Arlington, Texas

In Half 1, we noticed hints of a Johnson connection by way of Becky McFadin, who cared for James’s daughter, Janie, in 1900. Becky had a son, Harry, who was aged two in 1900. It was Harry’s descendants who informed the story of how his mom nursed two infants on the similar time–Harry and one other cousin. Becky’s oldest daughter, who was married in 1900 and never residing within the McFadin family, helped her mom with the 2 infants. This timeline helps the household story. After Becky died in 1927, Harry took care of his aunt, Sarah Elizabeth (Alford) Moore/Murray, who additionally lived in Arlington till she died in 1928. (Sarah was married in 1880 and never listed in her father’s Alford family.) Harry’s relationship along with his aunt Sarah and cousin Janie–by way of his mom, Becky–additional helps a sibling connection to James Johnson. Deaths and names went on the FAN listing.

James William Johnson

When James died in 1934, his obituary named 9 surviving youngsters and 4 siblings. All names have been added to a different column on the fan listing. My purchasers had beforehand verified the Johnson youngsters, and of their transcription of James’ obituary beneath, the daughter’s given names are proven in parentheses. In addition they researched the Alford siblings in-depth, together with spouses and youngsters.

Determine 2-1. James William Johnson Obituary, Transcribed by J.J.

I observed in 1934, James’s three surviving brothers have been recognized by the Johnson surname, but it surely was his one surviving sister, Belle Newton, that instantly related him to the Alfords. This proof validated the story of the Alford siblings’ pact to guard their two brothers’ modified identities. I in contrast these names to identified Patrick Alford siblings:

  1. Robert Johnson of Kingston, Tennessee             = Robert Alford
  2. Belle Newton of Dallas, Texas                              = Susan Isabelle Alford
  3. R. J. Johnson of De Queen [, Arkansas]               = George M. Alford
  4. J. W. Johnson of De Queen [, Arkansas]              = Unidentified Alford cousin or potential misprint


 Belle Newton

Belle Newton of Dallas was named as a surviving sibling in three earlier Alford obituaries. To strengthen the Johnson/Alford connection by way of Belle, I used information from every Alford sibling’s obituary to check in a desk (see additionally Desk 1 in Half 1 for the complete listing of siblings).


Many Johnson descendants who interviewed with my purchasers’ thought Belle Newton was a Johnson, and evaluating the chronology of the sibling deaths above introduced readability to why. I observed the Texas Alford siblings all died earlier than the Arkansas Johnson siblings, so I seemed extra intently on the location. Dallas is about three and a half hours by automobile from DeQueen; Arlington is one other half-hour west between Dallas and Fort Value (see map beneath). This put Belle’s location in between her Alford and Johnson siblings. The Johnson household may simply go to Aunt Belle in Dallas with out getting too near their previous in Fort Value.


Determine 2-2. Google Map of DeQueen, Arkansas, to Dallas and Fort Value, Texas.

Newspapers are wonderful sources for household relationships, however the particulars have to be mixed with different sources for verification. One key doc instantly confirmed a number of relationships and supplied oblique proof for different sources used on this undertaking; the 1942 delayed beginning certificates of James’s daughter, Elsie Jane Johnson. The certificates recorded Belle Newton as Elsie Jane’s aunt and the “solely residing sister to the kid’s father.” Elsie Jane declared her father to be James William Johnson of DeQueen, Arkansas. I in contrast Belle’s tackle–5410 Mercedes–to the tackle printed in her obituary; they matched. These particulars validated the sibling relationship with Belle Newton acknowledged in James’ obituary.

Three key relationships acknowledged within the report not directly proved that James William Johnson was born Patrick Alford: Elsie Jane’s relationship to James, Elsie Jane’s relationship to Belle, and Belle’s relationship to James. If Belle Newton was the one residing sister of James William Johnson, and Belle Newton was born an Alford, then James William Johnson was an Alford earlier than he grew to become a Johnson. The FAN listing and timeline agreed; earlier than 1879, James Johnson was not named in any Alford report, and after 1879, Patrick was not named in any Alford report.

FAN Outcomes

After all of the FANs had been gathered, I in contrast factors of similarity between Patrick and James in a desk. The proof was convincing.

Lastly, throughout the listing of FANs, I observed a naming sample between the Johnson youngsters and the Alford siblings:

  • First son, Charles Parker          = sibling, Charlie Parks
  • First daughter, Ida Pearl          = sibling, Ida Might, who died after the transfer to Tennessee
  • Daughter, Elsie Jane                 = mom, variation of Alcy/Alsa/Elsa; and Jane after Sarah Jane
  • Son, Robert Henry                    = father, and sibling, Robert
  • Daughter, Lois                           = sibling, Minnie Louella, additionally died after the transfer to Tennessee
  • Daughter, Allie Might                  = sibling, Ida Might


The correlated particulars from a number of data and plenty of relationships not directly confirmed that James William Johnson was born Patrick Alford. Might DNA assist? Half three will evaluate the genealogical proof above with my consumer’s DNA outcomes.

ANONYMIZED James William Johnson Mission

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