Pro Aris Et Focis
Avon Lake, OH
UPDATE (7/12/2008): A recent discovery from the Logan County personal property tax records provides a very strong link between William Cline Johnson and the Peter Cline family.
In southwest Virginia in the 1840's, there were only four (4) William Clines that could have been listed on the Virginia personal property taxes: (1) William "Alum Billy" Cline, born 1791 (son of Peter Cline Senior); William Trigg Cline, born abt. 1827 (son of Jacob Cline, grandson of Peter Cline Senior); William "Billy" Cline, born about 1823 (son of Peter Harper Cline, grandson of Michael Cline, great-grandson of Peter Cline Senior; and (4) William Cline Johnson, born between 1820-1825.
Jacob Cline shows an extra male titheable (son, William Trigg Cline) from 1844 through 1847. This extra male titheable then "drops off" but no additional Cline appears. This makes sense because William Trigg Cline gets married in Pike County, KY in 1847 and moves to Kentucky permanently.
William Alum Billy Cline also shows up in Logan County throughout the 1840's and is the only William Cline from the early 1840's through 1843 and the only William Cline listed from 1848 and through the early 1850's.
William "Billy" Cline appears in the Tazewell County personal property tax records from 1845 through 1858, when McDowell County is formed.
There is an "extra" William Cline listed in the Logan County personal property tax records beginning at least from 1845, 1846 and 1847. In 1848, this William Cline "disappears" but a second William Cline "appears" in Tazewell County. This Tazewell County William Cline is definitely our William Cline Johnson because of the time, place and placement on the tax rolls. This indicates that our William Cline Johnson left the Logan County area and relocated in Tazewell County in 1848.
In 1844, an "extra" William Cline also appears in the Logan County personal property tax records, but it is unclear whether this William is William "Billy" Cline or William Cline Johnson. Around 1845, Tazewell County "expanded" into Logan County. Therefore, some prior residents of Logan County automatically became Tazewell County residents around 1845.
Virginia assessed "personal property tax records" annually. These records provide a kind of "annual census" record for those "chargeable" with the tax. A person was "chargeable," and therefore listed, for all males aged 21 and over. While males aged 16 and over were taxed as well, they were listed simply as a "white titheable" and not individually named. It is presumed that a white male living on his own at age 16-21 would be named individually. Sometimes a widow or abandoned wife will be listed as well.
William Johnson (of Nelly)
The Tazewell County personal property tax records list a "William Johnson (of Nelly)" from 1840 to 1844. He appears between Polly Johnson, who is Squire Johnson's widow (Squire was the son of Isaac and Sarah "Sally" Johnson), and John Johnson, son of Isaac and Sarah "Sally" Johnson.
These entries may prove that William Johnson (of Nelly) is in fact William Cline Johnson. First, it is important to note how the personal property taxes were assessed. A tax collector went from house to house and recorded the names and assessments of those chargeable with the tax. He accomplished this by using several small booklets, probably one for each letter of the alphabet. For example, when the tax collector came to a household where the resident's last name began with a "J," he pulled out the "J" booklet, recorded the name of the person chargeable with the tax and recorded the tax assessment. If a person chargeable with the tax is listed next to another, that person was the next person with the same first letter of the last name to be assessed.
Therefore, the "William Johnson (of Nelly)" recorded in the tax records lived somewhere between Polly Johnson and Sally Johnson. We know that Isaac's land holdings (about 800 acres or so) were located in the western portion of Tazewell County near Richlands and Raven. While there were a few other Johnsons living in Tazewell County at the time, these Johnsons all appear to be living in "Poor Valley" which is some distance from Raven/Richlands. We also know from the 1850 Federal Census that William Cline Johnson is living only a few houses from Polly Johnson and several descendants of Isaac Johnston. Also, Isaac Johnston had a daughter, Eleanor "Nelly" Johnson. She married Asa Harper in the 1820's. In the 1850 Tazewell County census, William and Sophia Cline Johnson have a "James Harper" 6 years old living with them. A "George Harper" is listed very close to William and Sophia. This George appears to be Nelly Johnson Harper's son. When taken together, it is possible that the William Johnson (of Nelly) and William Cline Johnson are one and the same man.
This William Johnson (of Nelly) is no longer listed in the personal property tax records after 1844.
William Cline (William "Billy" Cline)
A William Cline appears in the Tazewell County personal property tax records in 1845. This William Cline is most likely William Billy Cline of the Peter Cline family who lived in what would later become McDowell County, VA/WV. This William Cline often appears in the tax list next to, or very close to, a James Cline, a Henry Cline and a Michael Cline "of Henry." He is sometimes listed close, or next to Herndon Cline, Alexander Cline, Peter Cline and John Cline. This William Cline appears in the personal property taxes from 1845 through 1853, and the years 1855, 1856 and 1858. He "disappears" after 1858 because McDowell County was formed that year and had their own personal property tax lists.
William Cline Johnson
William Cline Johnson appears as "William Cline," "William J. Cline," "William Johnson" and William C. Johnson" on the Tazewell County personal property tax records from 1848 through 1867. William Cline Johnson does not appear in the tax years of 1849-1850, 1852 and 1856. Interestingly, we know that William Cline Johnson was living in Tazewell County in 1849 and 1850 from marriage, court and census records (Both the 1849 court record and the marriage record list William as "William C. Johnson"; the 1850 census lists William as "William Cline").
William Cline Johnson's specific listing in the personal property taxes from 1848 through 1867 are as follows:
1848 "William Cline"
1851 Either "William Johnson" or "William Cline" - either could be him but probably the Cline
1853 "William J. Cline"
1854 "William J. Cline"
1855 "William J. Cline"
1857 "William Johnson" next to Elizabeth C. Johnson and two down from Andrew Johnson (Andrew Jackson Johns(t)on, Isaac Johnston's son)
1858 "William Johnson" between Andrew J. Johnson and Elisha Johnson (son of Squire)
1859 "William Johnson" between Andrew J. Johnson and Elisha Johnson
1860 "William Johnson" between Andrew J. Johnson and Elisha Johnson
1861 "William Johnson" between Andrew J. Johnson and Elisha Johnson
1862 "William Johnson" between Harrison Johnson (son of Isaac Johnston) and Elisha
1863 "William Johnson" between Harrison Johnson and Elisha Johnson
1864 NO TAX ASSESSED THIS YEAR
1865 "William C. Johnson" between Harrison Johnson and Elisha Johnson
1866 "William Johnson" between Harrison Johnson and Elisha Johnson
1867 "William Cline"
A review of the personal property tax records of Wythe County, VA from 1840 through 1849 reveals no "William Cline." There are William "Johnstons" but these Johnstons are in Wythe County when our William is in Tazewell County. This means that, under the theory, "Johnsons raised by Clines," it is less likely that William was raised by a Cline in Wythe County. If he was, one would expect to see him there until his move to Tazewell County at least by 1848.
A review of the Russell County personal property tax records reveals no Clines at all from 1834 through the mid 1840's. Under the "Johnson raised by Clines" theory, William Cline Johnson could not have been raised in Russell County, Virginia during this period.
The Logan County personal property tax records provide a strong connection between William Cline Johnson and the Clines of the Peter Cline family. In the 1840's there were only four William Clines that could have been listed in the personal property tax records in southwest Virginia: William "Alum Billy" Cline (b. 1791 and son of Peter Cline Senior); William Trigg Cline (b. abt 1827 and son of Jacob "Rich Jake" Cline (Jacob was the brother of William Alum Billy Cline), William "Billy" Cline (b. abt 1823 and son of Peter Harper Cline - Peter Harper Cline was the son of Michael Cline and grandson of Peter Cline Senior); and William Cline Johnson (b. abt 1820).
In the 1843 Logan County personal property tax records, Peter's son, William "Alum Billy" Cline is the only William Cline listed. Other Clines are also listed in 1843 in Logan County, including William Alum Billy Cline's brother, Jacob "Rich Jake" Cline. Jacob Cline lists one male titheable. In 1844, a second William Cline appears. Also, Jacob Cline lists a second male titheable. In 1845, William "Alum Billy" Cline and the second William Cline are listed. Jacob Cline again lists two male titheables. 1845 is also the year that William "Billy" Cline is listed in the Tazewell County personal property tax records. Two William Clines are listed in Logan County in 1846 and 1847. Jacob Cline also lists two titheables in 1846 and 1847. William Billy Cline is also listed in the Tazewell County records for 1846 and 1847.
In 1848, the second William Cline of Logan County "disappears." Also, Jacob Cline goes down to one titheable. Importantly, a second William Cline, OUR William Cline Johnson, appears in the Tazewell County personal property tax records. What does all of this mean?
The second male titheable listed with Jacob Cline from 1844 through 1847 is most likely his son, William Trigg Cline. This second titheable is dropped in 1848 because William Trigg Cline gets married in Pike County, Kentucky and remains there through at least the 1860's. We know this because he has a child born in Kentucky in 1848 and another in 1850 and is listed in the Pike County censuses for 1850 and 1860. We also know that the William Cline listed in the Tazewell County personal property tax records from 1845 through 1858 is William Billy Cline because of the other Clines listed very close to William Billy Cline in these records.
Thus, if William Alum Billy Cline, William Trigg Cline and William Billy Cline are all accounted for in the years 1845, 1846 and 1847, and none of these men is the second William Cline listed in Logan County from 1845 through 1847 (and possibly 1844 - see below), this second William Cline must be William Cline Johnson.
Now, the William Johnson of Nelly listed in the Tazewell County records from 1840 through 1844 may be the same man listed in the Logan County tax records as William Cline from 1845 through 1847. However, they cannot be the same man in 1844 because a William Johnson of Nelly is listed in Tazewell in 1844 and a second William Cline is listed in Logan in 1844. It is possible that William Billy Cline is the second William Cline in 1844, then, when Tazewell County expanded and took some of Logan County in 1845, William Billy Cline became the William Cline listed in Tazewell and the second William in Logan in 1845 was simply our William Cline Johnson moving from Tazewell County to Logan County for a period of three years.
Avon Lake, OH