Johnston, John D.

Born: 1810-05-10 Kentucky

Died: 1854-04-01 Coles County, Illinois

John D. Johnston's widowed mother Sarah Bush Johnston married Abraham Lincoln's father Thomas Lincoln on December 2, 1819. John and Abraham, along with Lincoln's sister Sarah Lincoln and John's sisters Elizabeth Johnston and Matilda Johnston, grew up together in Spencer County, Indiana. In 1830, Johnston moved to Macon County, Illinois with Thomas, Sarah, and his stepbrother. In the spring of 1831, Johnston traveled on a flatboat to New Orleans with Abraham Lincoln, John Hanks, and Denton Offutt. Johnston married Mary Barker in October 1834; and the couple had seven children. She died in September 1850. He farmed with his stepfather in Coles County, Illinois. In March 1851, Johnston married Nancy Jane Williams with whom he had another child. Despite advice from Abraham Lincoln to stay in Illinois and work the farm of the then deceased Thomas Lincoln, Johnston moved west with his new wife in 1852. After a failed attempt to start a new farm in Marion County, Arkansas, they moved back to Coles County, Illinois, where Johnston died in 1854 at the age of forty-three.

The History of Coles County, Illinois(Chicago: Wm. Le Baron Jr., 1879), 423; David Herbert Donald, Lincoln(New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995), 24-28, 36; Kenneth J. Winkle, The Young Eagle: The Rise of Abraham Lincoln(Dallas: Taylor Trade, 2001), 42, 43, 147; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Coles County, 16 October 1834; Clark County, 5 March 1851, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Coles County, IL, 82; Family Record Written by Abraham Lincoln; Abraham Lincoln to John D. Johnston and Sarah Lincoln.