Monthly Archives: November 2003

The Millers

The Millers


Will be completed soon! 


The Millers

Mary Etta Miller was born December 12, 1878. She was the youngest child of Mikey and Bethena (Pickett) Miller. Mikey Miller was born in 1825, the son of Mary and (__________) Miller. We do not have any information about his father but his mother later married a Vandergriff and had three other sons. Bethena, born in 1830, was the daughter of Edward T. Pickett and Elizabeth (_______). Edward, with his brother John A, Pickett, came to the Sequatchie Valley from Roane County, Tennessee.

The Millers were early settlers of Signal Mountain, being one of the few families who lived there during the Civil War.

Around 1885, when Mary Etta was eight years old, Mikey and Bethena bought land in the New Hope Community of Sequatchie County. It was a part of the 40,000 acres of the original Josiah McNair Anderson tract and included the Old Anderson Mill located on the headwaters of Anderson Creek. The Old John C. Johnston home is located on this property, part of which is still owned by the Johnston family. {A note from Roseanna – this is where I live}

Bethena Pickett Miller practiced medicine as a midwife. Her medical book, The Married Woman’s Private Medical Companion, which was written in 1847 by Dr. A. M. Mauriceau of New York, has been kept by members of her family. It contains many formulas for making your own medicines.

After their children were grown, Mikey and Bethena (Pickett) Miller returned to Signal Mountain where he died around 1919. Bethena’s death date isn’t known to us, but she died after her husband. They are buried at Fairmont Cemetery on Signal Mountain.

They had a least six known children:
* Indicates marriage to one of our Johnston Family

1. William Monroe Miller (1851 – ??)
m. July 10, 1879 Mary Evans
* A. Monroe Thomas Miller “Dick” (1880 – 1927)
m. Laura Caldonia Johnston
Roy Elbert, Saloma, Ella, Thelma, Elsie, Vernie, and Ulas Miller
B. Robert Miller
m. Katherine (_________)
C. James Andrew Miller
m. Daisy Griffith
D. Lillie Bell Miller (1884-1950)
m. King Griffith (1878 – 1959)
* E. Maggie Amanda Miller (1885-1920)
m. James Devine Johnston
Ollie, Lottie, W. Allison, James Albert, Mary Juanita, Wenona,
and Icie Lucille Johnston
F. Johnny Miller
m. Ethel Brock
G. Mike Miller
m. Emma Bradford

2. John Miller (1854 on 1860 census)
3. Thomas Jacob Miller (March 1869 – June 1940
m. Sarah (Sally) Jane Dent (April 4, 1866 – Aug. 19, 1951)
* A. Joseph Arthur Miller (Jan 1, 1888 – Jan. 13, 1965
m. Ina Lee Johnston
Children: Claytie, Amos Wilburn, Pauline Louise, Argil Lee, and
Arles Arthur Miller
B. Alexander Miller
m. Delmer Ferguson
C. Foster Miller
m. Josie Pickett
D. James Miller
m. (1) ________ Hudson
(2) Maggie Bowman
E. George Miller
m. (1) Stella Ferguson
(2) Pearl Camp
F. Chester Miller
m. Bertha Hudson
G. Ethel Miller
m. Jerry Brown
H. Roy Alton Miller
m. Sally Young
I. Estile Miller
m. Bob White

4. James Mike Miller
m. Mandy Rayburn
no children

5. Delilah Miller
m. Lorenza McIntire
A. Raymond McIntire
m. Eve Ratlief
B. Paul McIntire
m. Lena Evans
C. Allie McIntire
m. Oscar Pickett
D. Siotha McIntire
m. ___________ Archer

{Note from Roseanna – This is my direct line. Ira is my grandfather.}
*6. Mary Etta Miller (1878 – 1940)
m. John Calvin Johnston
A. Amy Bethena Johnston (Oct. 21, 1895 – Sept. 2, 1978)
m. Lester Blaine Shell
B. William McKinley Johnston (June 11, 1898 – Oct. 10, 1984)
m. Tressie Audra Brown
C. Maloy Calvin Johnston (Feb. 21, 1901 – April 19, 1956)
m. Elizabeth Mae King
D. Ira Bastil Johnston (March 7, 1903 – May 15, 1980)
m. Nancy Cleo Tollett
E. Horace Almer Johnston (Oct. 18, 1905 – Oct. 2, 1983)
m. (1) Mae (Black) Brown
(2) Fannie Phillips
(3) Pearl Hatfield
F. Carl Andy Johnston (March 23, 1910 – Jan. 18, 1977)
m. (1) Alice Smith
(2) Jessie Conaster Fox
G. Octa Johnston (Feb. 4, 1920 – 1924)

FYI: Mary Etta Miller married John C. Johnston. This is how “The Cove” became Johnston land. The research for this line was done by Maxine Johnston Douglas. I have added a little and taken none away. I did re-word a few things for flow.

The Picketts

The Picketts

The Picketts

Our Pickett family came to Tennessee from North Carolina. They first settled in Roane County where John A. Pickett enlisted in Capt. R. C. Dunlap’s regiment for the first Seminole Indian War of 1818. The family moved to Marion County, Tennessee around 1827 and settled on the east side of the Sequatchie Valley between New Hope Community and Powell’s Crossroads.

A bill of sale from a slave from Edward T. Pickett and others to John A. Pickett, dated October 26, 1837, listed the Pickett brothers and sisters:

John A. Pickett (1792 N.C. – Jan. 18, 1868 Marion County)
m. (1) Pernina Sneed c. 1820, probably in Roane County, TN

(2) Ruth Griffith on Feb 1, 1843

John and Ruth are buried at a private family cemetery on the farm where they lived. There are fifteen to twenty family slaves also buried in this cemetery.

A. Rebecca Pickett (c. 1842 – )

m. Louis Powell

They became the parents of George H. Powell who married out Minnie Texanna Johnston.

2. Edward T. Pickett (c. 1800 N.C. – c. 1838 Marion County)

m. c. 1820, probably in Roane County, TN – Elizabeth _____________

They are said to be buried at the Pickett Family cemetery also. They were the parents of eight known children.

A. Calvin Pickett (c. 1823

Buried at Red Hill Cemetery, Marion County, TN

m. Mary (Cowan??)

B. George Washington Pickett (Dec. 29, 1825 – June 10, 1902)

m. Angelina Ross (Feb 27, 1825 – June 23, 1902)

They are buried at the family cemetery were they lived in Marion County.The cemetery is now called the Brock Cemetery. Angelina is said to be related to Chief John Ross of the Cherokee Nation. George W. served as a U.S. soldier in the Co., 6th TN Mounted Infantry during the Civil War.

C. Vesti Pickett

m. Pleasant Carroll Grayson

D. Allen Pickett (1830-1920)

Died in Hamilton County, TN

E. Bethena Picket (1835 – after 1920)

m. c. 1850

Michael “Mikey” Miller

Members of their family married into our Johnston family. See the Millers for details.

F. Elizabeth Pickett (1837 – )

G. Jane Pickett ( 1838 – )

3. Elizabeth Pickett (c. 1810 – )

m. John Rainbolt

The 1830 census shows them with one female and three males.

4. Katharine Pickett (c. 1810 – )

m. John Johnston

This John Johnston is unknown to us and we have been unable to locate any descendants. The 1830 census lists him as 20 to 30 years old with one male and one female under age 5. He and Katharine probably married in Roane County, TN.

5. William Pickett

Married by 1830 with no children.

6. Anderson Pickett

7. Pearson Pickett

8. James Pickett

9. Nancy Pickett

m. 1823 in Roane County, TN

Fredrick Earls, went to Texas in 1896.

FYI: The research for this line was done by Maxine Johnston Douglas. I have neither added anything nor taken any away. I did correct some typos from the original manuscript.

Our Gentle Johnstons

Our Gentle Johnstons
Our Gentle Johnstons

The Johnstons, along with many other families of Scottish heritage, include in their history legends of their forefathers and their associations with royalty. One such legend reveals that Sir William Wallace, one of Scotland’s first popular heroes was brought up in the home of a Johnston.

The seat of the Johnston Clan is Lockerby, near the center of the district of Annandale, in Scotland, and family honors include the Marquisate of Annandale; Earldoms of Annandale, Hartfell and Beth; Viscounts of Annandale; Baronies of Lockwood, Lochben, Maffatdale, Evandale, Bath and Derrvent; and the Baroneteties of Caskieben, Hackness and Gilford.

The Johnstons, as vassals of the Bruces (The first Lords of Annandale) wore for their arms, a silver shield with a black saltire and a red chief. The next Lords of Annandale were the Randolphs, and the Johnstons, in order to show their allegiance to their new masters, put three gold cushions on the red chief of their shields. When they were raised to peerage, their arms were confirmed and were officially described as “Argent (silver colored) with a Saltire Sable (black diagonal cross) on a Chief Gules (red).”

A legend explaining the way the Johnston crest was awarded cites that when the King of England tried to make the King of Scotland acknowledge Scotland to be a tributary of England, Robert Bruce, then Earl of Carick, opposed the scheme. The King of England, learning of Bruce’s opposition, laid a plot to kill him. Then the King of Scotland sent the chief of the Johnstons to Bruce with a warning. He did not wish to write to Bruce, so he sent a spur with a bird’s wing tied to it. Bruce understood the message and fled into hiding. When he became King of Scotland, he conferred the Crest of the “Winged Spur” upon the Johnston messenger.

The Johnston motto is “Nunguam Non Parratus” (never unready). This motto is appropriate; as yet another legend cites that when the Chief of the Clan called his men together, he would ask, “Men of Annandale, are you ready?” The answer was always, “Aye, ready.”

The Johnston in Scotland were often referred to as the “Gentle Johnstons” and in a border ballad, entitled “The Lads of Wamphray”, we find the Gallird, after stealing Sim Critchton’s “Wisdon dun”, calling an invitation:

Now Simmy, Simmy of the side,

Come out and see a Johnston ride.

Here’s to the bonniest horse in a nith side,

And a Gentle Johnston aboon his hide.

Annadale, the part of Scotland from which the Johnstons came, and the Johnston name, were memorialized by Sir Walter Scott in his “Fair Maid of Perth”, when he introduces chapter 8, page 64, Volume II, of the Waverly Novels with lines from an old ballad, reading as follows:

Within the bounds of Annandale,

The gentle Johnstons ride,

They have been there a thousand years,

And a thousand more they’ll bide.

Johnstons have also had a place in American history. Governors of North Carolina with the name Johnston, all immigrants from Scotland were” Gov. Gabriel Johnston, born about 1700 in Scotland and governor of North Carolina from 1734-1752; Governor Samuel Johnston born near Dundee, Scotland in 1733, was governor of North Carolina in 1787, (he signed many of the Land Grants of the first Tennessee settlers). Governor Joseph Forney Johnston, governor of Alabama from 1896 – 1900 was from the North Carolina branch of the Johnstons.

Many Johnstons served in the Revolutionary War and in the War Between the States. There were four Johnston generals in the Confederate Army, all of them spelled with a “t” – Brigadier General George D. Johnston, Lieutenant General Albert Sidney Johnston, Lieutenant General Joseph Eggleston Johnston and Brigadier General Robert D. Johnston, the brother of Governor Joseph Forney Johnston.

Our particular family was well represented in the causes fro freedom in America. Sixteen found in the Revolution, five were killed. Seventeen known members of our family were Civil War, seven of which lost their lives. During the Revolution, our family provided three colonels and several lesser offices. At least one served with General George Washington; one was awarded a sword by Lafayette for outstanding service. Two are said to have fought at King’s Mountain – one from Tennessee and one from South Carolina. At least three were in the Battle of Cowpens; two were killed by Tories the next day. One was hung by order of the English Tarleton after the Battle of Blackstocks. Two fought with General Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812; one died from injuries in the war. One was raised in the home of Andrew Jackson, after the war.

The war efforts and/or political services of at least nine have been memorialized in the history of the states from which they served.

Our family has provided two state senators; one was a delegate of the North Carolina State Convention to ratify the United States Constitution in 1788.

(Written by Maxine Johnston Douglas in 1994. I only corrected typos and a couple of grammatical errors. Hey… what can else can you expect from an English major… 🙂

Ira Bastil Johnston

Ira Bastil Johnston

Incomplete. Will be updated in the very near future.


Ira Bastil Johnston

Ira Bastil Johnston, fourth child of John Calvin and Mary Etta (Miller) Johnston, was born March 7, 1903 in Sequatchie County, TN. He married Nancy Cleo Tollett on August 1, 1933. She was born January 19, 1918, the daughter of James Lafayette and Mary Magdalene (Britton) Tollett. She was the granddaughter of John Sake and Sarah Jane (Peters) Britton. The Britton and Peters families were natives of Hawkins County, TN. According to the family tradition, they were among the many that lost everything during the Civil War. In an effort to start anew, they left Hawkins County and migrated to the Sequatchie Valley where they settled in the Daus Community of Sequatchie County. {Note from Roseanna – more information on the Brittons, Peters, etc. is available}

Nancy Cleo (Tollett) Johnston died August 4, 1944 at the age of 26. She is buried at Chapel Hill Cemetery in Sequatchie County, TN. Ira B. Johnston died May 15, 1980 at age 77. He is buried beside his wife. They were the parents of five children.

1. Audrey Pauline Johnston (twin) (June 17, 1934 – )
m. John A. Easterly
They had 10 children.

2. Alice Maxine Johnston (twin) (June 17, 1934 – )
m. Willie Lewis Douglas
They have one son.

3. Ira Bervin Johnston (April 12, 1936 – June 3, 1936)
Buried at Chapel Hill Cemetery in Sequatchie Co., TN

4. Horace Darrell (Ted) Johnston (January 16, 1938 – )
m. (1) Ruby Juanita Keener
Sheila Kay Johnston (January 21, 1959 – )
m. Randy Swafford
Betheny Leona Johnston
(Sheila was unmarried when Beth was born. Randy is not her father.)
(2) Linda Sue Bell (December 2, 1949 – )
A. Rose Anna Johnston (December 6, 1970)
m. January 17, 1990 Standifer Burt Kilgore (June 16, 1971)
a. Sarah Lorraine Kilgore (August 7, 1991)
b. Rebekkah Diane Kilgore (October 3, 1992)
c. Miranda Jade Kilgore (July 6, 1995)
B. Alice Paulette Johnston (January 17, 1981)
m. August 9, 2003 Andrew Stone

C. Roger Darrell Johnston (October 20, 1983)

5. Mary Fairy Johnston (September 25, 1943)
m. (1) Willie Lee Easterly
(2) David Lester Lewis
Mary had three children with Willie Easterly. As an interesting note, one of her granddaughters, Lindsey, was married to a grandson of Johnny and June (Carter) Cash.

{Note from Roseanna – I only expanded on my own lineage. I am working on my generation now. Maxine has two grandchildren. Mary has four grandchildren. Ted has four and Pauline has more than I can count off the top of my head, including several great-grandchildren!}