Frederick Henry Johnson (1845-1931)
Agnes Jane West (1853-1925)

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Frederick Henry Johnson was the fourth of the 13 children that William Jonathan Johnson & Eliza Harris Tompson had. He was born on 09 Jan 1845 at Pitt St Sydney. He married Agnes Jane West in 1873 at Bathurst, NSW. Agnes’s oldest brother, Edward Major West, had in 1866 married Annie Maria Louisa Stewart Johnson, one of Frederick’s younger sisters.

Frederick and Agnes

Frederick started out in the Bank of New South Wales, and from newspaper announcements of the birth of some of their children we can track them across NSW with the bank. NSW birth records show eight children:

Click here for a list of births from NSW birth records:

At West Maitland:
From the Australian Town and Country Journal, Sat 10 Apr 1875 :

On March 27 at her residence, Bulwer-street, West Maitland, Mrs. Frederick Henry Johnson, of a daughter.

At her parents home at Macquarie Plains near Bathurst; from The Sydney Morning Herald, Fri 20 Oct 1876 :

JOHNSON – Oct. 3, Macquarie Plains, Mrs. F. H. Johnson, son. (Fri 20 October 1876)

At Crookwell:
From The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 03 Aug 1878:

JOHNSON. – July 26, at Bank New South Wales, Crookwell, Mrs. Frederick H. Johnson, of a son.

From The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 28 Feb 1880:

JOHNSON. – January 26, at her residence, the Bank New South Wales, Crookwell, Mrs. Frederick H. Johnson, of a son.

The birth of three of their children from 1882 suggests that Frederick had already moved jobs back to Sydney by 1882. The death notice for their daughter Florence indicates that that the family were living in Ellersleigh, John St Stanmore: from The Sydney Morning Herald, Wed 19 Oct 1887:

JOHNSON.—October 18, at her parents’ residence, Ellersleigh, John-street, Stanmore, Florence Isabel West, eldest daughter of F. H. Johnson, in her 13th year.

It would appear that Frederick moved to be manager of the New South Wales Assurance Corporation (Limited); from the Freeman’s Journal, Sat 18 May 1889:

Frederick & Agnes’s family:

01. Frederick George Arthur (b. 19 Dec 1873, d. 19 Nov 1874, aged 11 months)

02. Florence Isabel West (b. 27 Mar 1875 in West Maitland, d. 18 Oct 1887 in Petersham, Sydney)

03. William Saunders (b. 03 Oct 1876 in Macquarie Plains near Bathurst, d. 20 Nov 1944 in St. Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney)

04. Milton Forbes Major (b. 26 Jul 1878 in Crookwell, NSW, d. 19 Oct 1951 in Rose Bay, Sydney)

05. Frederick Hills (b. 26 Jan 1880 in Crookwell, NSW, d. 24 May 1966 in New Zealand)

06. Ella May (b. 1882 in Petersham, Sydney, d. 1962 in Chatswood, Sydney)

07. Reginald Murray (b. 13 May 1883 in Petersham, Sydney, d. 02 Aug 1965 in Mona Vale, Sydney)

08. Mary Lisle (b. 1887 in Petersham, Sydney, d. 07 Apr 1979 in Killara, Sydney)

A family portrait, taken in about 1890

The Sydney Morning Herald reported the death of Agnes on Tue 01 Sep1925:


The death occurred recently at Roseville of Mrs. A. J. Johnson, who was the wife of Mr. F. H. Johnson, of Roseville, and daughter of the late Major West, of Willow Grange, Macquarie Plains, near Bathurst, whose father, Mr. John West, settled on the Macquarie Plains with his brother, Mr. Thomas West, in 1819. They obtained grants of land from Governor Macquarie, and were among the first Settlers in the Bathurst district.

Mrs. Johnson is survived by her husband, and sons – Messrs. W. S. Johnson (of Armidale), M. F. Johnson (of Sydney), F. H. Johnson Jun. (of Wellington, N.Z.), and R. M. Johnson (of Leeton) – and two daughters – Miss Ella Johnson and Mrs. H. H. Wheeler, both of Roseville.

The Coroner found her death caused by “the effects of burns accidentally incurred owing to her clothing catching fire from the flames of a candle” (Registers of Coroners´ Inquests and Magisterial Inquiries, 1921-1927).

Frederick died on 19 Apr 1931 at his daughter Mary’s place, Rosemorran, Warrawee. His obituary was published in The Sydney Morning Herald on Tue 21 Apr 1931:


Mr. Frederick Henry Johnson, who died at Wahroonga on Sunday in his 87th year, belonged to a pioneer family. His father, Mr. William Jonathan Johnson, came to Australia in 1830, and was later organist at Christ Church St. Laurence for many years, but his grandfather, Charles Tompson, came out in 1798, and obtained a grant of land at Windsor in 1803, and erected thereon in 1804, with convict labour, a homestead which he called Clydesdale, and which is still standing. The Rev. Richard Johnson, who came out in 1788 with Governor Phillip and built the first church, was deceased’s great grand-uncle.

Mr. Johnson, whose remains were interred in the Church of England portion of the Northern Suburbs Cemetery yesterday, was born at Newtown. He was for many years in the service of the Bank of New South Wales, and later, with the Australian Mutual Fire Insurance Society. He is survived by four sons and two daughters – Messrs. W. S. Johnson (Hay), F. H. Johnson (Wellington, N.Z.), R. M. Johnson (Griffith), and M. F. Johnson (Sydney), Mrs. H. H. Wheeler and Miss Johnson (Wahroonga). The burial service was conducted by Revs. Leicester Johnson and S. Fielding.

Generation 2

01. web Frederick Georger Arthur Johnson headstoneFrederick George Arthur Johnson. We are indebted to a distant cousin Adele Whitmore (née Tompson) who found various newspaper notices of Frederick’s birth and death. Frederick’s NSW birth record is 13196/1874 (1874 being the year his birth was registered).  Adele discovered a family notice in Sydney’s Evening News on Thu 01 Jan 1874, indicating his birth to have been two weeks earlier, on 19 Dec 1873. She also found two family notices of his death: one in The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 Nov 1874, Page 8, last column, and the other on page 1 of the Maitland Mercury on Sat 21  Nov 1874. She also advises that “Frederick was buried in the Campbell’s Hill Cemetery, South Street, Telarah, (West Maitland) in the Church of England (now Anglican) Portion, Row A8, Plot 12. Also buried with Frederick is ETHEL MAY JOHNSON who died May 2nd 1894, aged 8 years. Daughter of  William Charles and Alice  Henrietta Johnson.”  The image of their headstone is courtesy of Adele.

02. Florence Isabel West Johnson. Family records indicate that Florence died as a result of being dropped by a nurse.

03. William Saunders Johnson, known as Billy  married Florence Edith McDonald, known as Nellie, in Glebe in 1908. Billy was a civil servant, appointed first on 11 Nov 1900. He was appointed to the Local Land Board office at Armidale, NSW, between 1914 and 1918. The Glen Innes Examiner published one of his appointments on Thu 11 Jun 1914:

The appointment of Mr. William Saunders Johnson, as a C-P. Inspector in the Local Land Board Office, Armidale, has been confirmed…

However the notice of probate in The Sydney Morning Herald on Wed 18 Apr 1945 shows he also worked in Hay, NSW before moving to Manly in Sydney;  Public Service Lists show him in Hay between 1933 and 1938. In the notice of probate his wife is referred to as Nellie Florence Johnson:

RE Will of WILLIAM SAUNDERS JOHNSON formerly of Hay but late of Manly in the State of New South wales. Retired Civil Servant, deceased. Probate granted by Supreme Court of New South Wales on 26th February 194 … Nellie Florence Johnson and Milton Forbes Major Johnson the Executors of the Will of the said William Saunders Johnson, who died on 20th November 1944 …

The Sydney Morning Herald carried the following notices of William’s death in its edition on Tue 21 Nov 1944:

JOHNSON.—November 20, at St. Vincent’s Hospital, William Saunders Johnson, beloved husband of Nellie Johnson.
JOHNSON.—November 20, at St. Vincent’s Hospital, William Saunders Johnson, beloved father of Noel and Stephen.

Florence passed away in 1962 in Rockdale.

Their daughter Noel Johnson never married. In the 1933 and 1934 electoral rolls she was listed as a nurse at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Camperdown. In the 1936 rolls she was nursing and living at 64 Wolfram St Broken Hill. The following year she was a Red Cross nurse at Hay. Between 1943 and 1963 she had moved to 65 Wood St Waverton, still listed as a nurse. She would often visit her gran at Linwood Ave Killara. She passed away in 2007.

Their son Stephen Frederick Johnson married Constance Garland Sewell in Casino in 1949 (record 20175). In the electoral rolls in the 1940s she was described as a stenographer, living at 16 Keen St Lismore. After their marriage they lived initially at 12 North St, then 2 Wade St and finally 135 Wyrallah St, Lismore. Stephen was described as a clerk in the public service. He passed away in 1983 (record 106226).

04. Milton Forbes Major Johnson married Alice Wood Younger at St Leonards Sydney in 1913. There was an Alice W Younger born 1877 in St Leonards, Sydney, one of 8 children of Lawrence Dawkins Younger & Mary Anne or Marian Peterson (record 6492/1877). Alice was a well known musician (see for example the Evening News on 02 Sep 1898 or 16 Jan 1904). The announcement of their engagement indicated she would cease being a professional musician after she married; from the Sunday Times on Sun 19 Oct 1913:

Miss Alice Younger, well known in musical circles, is to be married in a few weeks’ time to Mr. Milton Johnson, of Mosman. Miss Younger is giving up her professional work.

Milton lived in Illilawa, 11 George St Manly in 1908 (Sands Directory 1908), Yattendon, 34 Wolseley Rd Mosman between 1909 and 1914 (Sands Directory 1909) and the couple then lived in Swinton, 74 Rangers Rd Neutral Bay from 1915 to at least 1930. They had moved to Rose Bay by 1940.

Milton was described in the Sands Directories as follows:

Johnson, Milton F. A.S.I.A. accountant, auditor and trade assignee. Challis House, Martin Place

The Sunday Times reported on Sun 07 Oct 1917 that he was a signatory in the formation of Penfold’s Wines Ltd:

Penfold’s Wines, Limited. — Registered September 29, 1917, with a capital of £300,000 in £1 shares. Objects: To acquire an take over as a going concern the trade and business of vignerons, distillers, arid merchants, now carried on at Sydney and elsewhere in the Commonwealth by Frank Astor Penfold Hyland and Herbt. Leslie Penfold Hyland, under the style of Penfold and Company, etc. The signatories to the memorandum are: Frank Astor Penfold Hyland, Herbt. Leslie Penfold Hyland, Chester Althelstan Clarke, Wm. Henry Davies, Milton Forbes Johnson, Alfred Edward Barnes and Wm. Percy McElhone. The first directors are: Frank A. P. Hyland and Herbt. L P. Hyland. Registered office: Sydney.

He appeared in newspaper articles as a chartered accountant, an auditor or the person winding up a business. Originally he was a partner in the firm Perry and Johnson, but that partnership was disbanded in 1931, Milton carrying on the business on his own (The Sydney Morning Herald, 03 Nov 1931). Milton has an entry in Who’s Who in Australia, 1921-1950:

Milton passed away in Rose Bay on 19 Oct 1951. Alice died on 30 Aug 1963 at Paddington, New South Wales.

The couple had one daughter: Barbara May (b. 28 Oct 1914 in Neutral Bay). Her engagement to “Ronald Stephen Samuel Henderson, youngest son of the late Mr. S. B. Henderson, and of Mrs. M. K. Henderson, of Point Piper” was announced in The Sydney Morning Herald on Thu 22 Feb 1940.

05. Frederick Hills Johnson married Lillian Hannah on 02 Feb 1915 at St John’s Church, Wellington, New Zealand. Lillian, born on 24 Dec 1886, was the daughter of Robert Hannah and Hannah Ferguson, of Wellington, New Zealand. The wedding was announced in The Sydney Morning Herald on Sat 21 Aug 1915, immediately below the announcement of his younger brother Reginald’s wedding announcement:

JOHNSON-HANNAH – February 2 1915, at St John’s Church, Wellington, New Zealand, by the Rev. J. Paterson, Frederick Hills, third son of Mr. and Mrs. F. H. Johnson, of Mosman, to Lillian, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hannah, of Wellington, New Zealand.

Frederick died on 24 May 1966 in Eastborne, Wellington, New Zealand, aged of 86. He and Hannah had been married 51 years. Lillian died on 02, 1984, aged 97 and is buried in Wellington, in New Zealand.

A granddaughter of Mary Lisle Johnson, Mary Allerdice , sent a photo of Hannah’s tombstone with this reflection:

“Granny’s brother Frederick Hills Johnson (known as Todd) married Lilian Hannah in New Zealand. I always remember them living in Wellington in my lifetime. Lillian and Granny wrote regularly, despite the fact that they never met. I met Aunty Lilian when I went with Mum and Dad to New Zealand in 1979. Todd would send money to Granny as she looked after their sister Ella. The Hannah’s had a chain of shoe shops – the chain still exists Hannahs. Todd worked in the family business which was very successful.

I found it very interesting that the tomb stone does not mention Frederick Hills Johnson as being Lilian’s husband. However it does include their son’s (Neal’s) wife Audrey as well as Neal! I remember Neal and Audrey’s daughter Diana visiting Granny.”

Todd and Lilian had just the son in Wellington, NZ, Neal Grenville Johnson (b. 28 Feb 1920, d. 11 Apr 2010). Neal entered the family business; he appears in military ballot lists in 1941 and is listed as a “boot-manufacturer’s employee” living at 9 Upland Rd Kelburn Wellington”. He and his wife Audrey had two children. Diana and Richard Grenville Johnson. In various electoral rolls from 1946 to 1972 the family were living at 51 Messines Rd, Karori, Wellington. Neil was a company director of the family shoe stores between 15 Jan 1992 and 25 Mar 1996, and Richard between 15 Jan 1992 and 06 Dec 1995 (R Hannah & Co Limited).

07. Reginald Murray Johnson married Alice Deacon Garrard at Mosman in 1915. Alice (known as Lalla) was born in 1889 in Bungendore, New South Wales. Her parents were Charles Augustus Garrard (b. 08 Dec 1855 in Lismore, d. 24 Jun 1900 in Camden). Again from The Sydney Morning Herald on Sat 21 Aug 1915:

JOHNSON-GARRARD – July 7, at St Augustine’s Church, Shell Cove road Neutral Bay, by the Rev. E. N. Wilton, Precentor, St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney, Reginald Murray, youngest son of Mr and Mrs. F. H. Johnson, Mosman, to Alice Deacon (Lalla), second daughter of the late C. A. Garrard, and Mrs Garrard, Clan Lovat, Neutral Bay.

Alice’s older sister Thelma Edith Garrard married Harold Charles T. Fearon Wheeler, Christine’s great-uncle.

In the 1930 electoral roll Reginald was described as an accountant and (and until 1934) the couple lived at 15 Barellan St Griffith, NSW. In the 1943 rolls they lived at 33 Palm Ave Leeton, NSW, about 60 km south west of Griffith. By 1949 they had moved to 11 Seaview Pde Collaroy in Sydney’s northern beaches, moving to Kangaroo Rd Colloroy Plateau in the 1954 and 1958 rolls (no occupation given).

The couple had one daughter, Margaret Murray Johnson (b. 13 Apr 1916 in Leeton). On 26 Mar 1949 Mary married Geoffrey Charles Stuart Foxall in St. Faith’s Church of England, Narrabeen, described in The Murrumbidgee Irrigator on Fri 22 Apr 1949:


A very pretty wedding was celebrated at St. Faith’s Church of England, Narrabeen, by the Rev. Ronald Walker, on March 26, 1949, when Margaret, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Murray Johnson, of Collaroy and late of Leeton, was married to Geoffrey Foxall, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. H. G. Foxall, of Chatswood. The bride wore a frock of white moss crepe, cut on classical lines, with flared train and appliqued in white velvet. The fingertip veil was held in place with orange blossoms, and she carried a bouquet of gardenias and tuber roses.

Mrs. Sheila Young, also late of Leeton, acted as Matron of Honour and wore a frock of pale aqua green, taffeta with matching hat and carried a bouquet of talisman roses.

Mr. Ian Foxall, brother of the bridegroom, was best man.

The church was beautifully decorated by friends of the bride. After the ceremony, Mr. and Mrs. Murray Johnson entertained about 100 guests at their residence ‘Weabra,’ Seaview Pde, Collaroy. The bridal couple left by car for spend their honeymoon before sailing for New Guinea in the S.S. ‘Bulolo’ about April 20th. where they expect to spend several months and will eventually make their home in Sydney.

Geoffrey was a surveyor and the 1968 electoral rolls show the couple living at 80 Macquarie St Chatswood.

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