- Thomas, 1812-1885
- Elizabeth and Martha 1816
- Samuel 1820
- Joseph 1822-1907
- John Michael 1825-1885
- Grace 1831
- Ann 1833
Her father, Samuell Mallett Johnson was born in Coventry, Warwickshire in 1788 to Samuell Johnson (1763-1853) and Ann Mallett (b. 1762). He became a bookseller and had a store in Manchester (Mosley and Fountain Streets) and later added printing to his business. When his eldest son Thomas was old enough he became his father’s assistant.
Samuel Mallett Johnson arrived in the Isle of Man in 1847 with two of his sons Joseph and John, his wife and younger daughters. He came as a bookseller, rather than a printer. He was also a publisher, for example he published “Johnson's Historical, Topographical, & Parochial Illustrated Guide, and Visitor's Companion Through the Isle Of Mann", by James Brotherston Laughton, B. A. Sixth Edition. Douglas. Printed And Published By Samuel Johnson, Duke Street. 1850. More information about Johnson’s book business.
He was a Wesleyan Methodist preacher and early supporter of Methodist Local Preachers’ Mutual Aid Society and attended their inaugural meeting in 1849. He was publicly criticized for forming the Mutual Aid Society and wrote a letter to the Mona Herald
In 1851 (I.of M Census) Samuell is living with his wife Grace and daughters Mary and Grace. His wife Grace died in 1860 and is buried in Braddan New Yard.
In 1861 census shows Samuell living alone at 2 Fort Street, still described as Bookseller. His daughter Martha and son-in-law Simon Howarth live next door. He died 1st May 1686. His executors were Joseph Johnson, his son, and Thomas Richards (a tea merchant). His probate record shows he left under 100 pounds sterling.
- Eldest son, Thomas, 1812-1885 He left his father to set up his own book selling business on Dale St. in Liverpool. He married in 1832. He and his wife Esther had nine children. In 1841 he is living in Liverpool. When the bookselling business, run by Thomas Johnson, became bankrupt his father took him in and by 1851 he is living on Livesey St. in Manchester . He died in 1885. Much of his life is described in his obituary. His death was noted in the Manx Notebook, Feb 3 1883. DEATH OF AN OLD MANCHESTER BOOKSELLER
- Second son Samuel married Elizabeth and became a photographic artist. They had 6 children. He continued living in Lancashire until his death in 1899.
- The next son, Joseph also became
a bookseller and lived in Manchester until he moved to the Isle of Man in the
1860s. He married Elizabeth Haley and they had three children. When he moved to the Isle of Man Joseph Johnson became an auctioneer in Douglas. He died March 7th1907 and again much can be learned from his obituary.
“It will be learned with deep regret throughout the Isle of Man, and particularly in Douglas, that Mr Joseph Johnson died at Waterloo, near Liverpool, on Thursday, March 7th, Mr Johnson, who had reached the great age of 85 years, had for some time suffered from an internal complaint, in connection with which he, on Wednesday, underwent an operation. The operation was a rather severe one, and from the effects of it the subject never recovered, death taking place at half-past one o'clock on Thursday morning.
Mr Joseph Johnson was a Manchester man, and in the
'fifties and early 'sixties he carried on business as a bookseller in Cottonopolis. While still resident in Manchester,he had paid several visits to Douglas and indeed had delivered a course of
lectures in the town, Forty years ago he decided to make the Isle of Man his
home, and came to reside in Douglas, Starting business as an auctioneer and
valuer, he soon secured a large connection, and up to the day of his retirement
from business a few years ago in favour of his only surviving son, Mr Fred D.
Johnson, he held a foremost position among knights of the rostrum and hammer in
the Island, During his Manchester days, Mr Johnson took a deep interest in
religious, political, and social questions. He was a pronounced Liberal and
ardent advocate of reform, and the practical interest he took in public
questions brought him into frequent personal contact with many of the men whose
advocacy of liberty, peace, retrenchment, progress, and temperance made them
famous in the latter days of the first half of the nineteenth century. He was a
keen and able controversialist, and employed both his voice and his pen in his
efforts to bring home his beliefs to others. In Douglas he engaged in both religious
and social and political debate with many doughty opponents, and he inevitably
held his own with remarkable success. Believing in Pope's dictum that the
proper study of Mankind is Man, he earnestly sought to acquaint himself with
human problems, and this search after knowledge secured for him an un-commonly
particular knowledge of the aspirations and of the difficulties of his fellows.
His mind was of a literary turn, and he was the author of several pamphlets and
books, the latter being mainly of a minatory and educational character. The
bulk of these were published by Messrs Thos. Nelson and Sons, of Edinburgh, and
although many years have elapsed since Mr Johnson gave up writing books, his
works are still in demand. He also in the days of his activity contributed
largely to the newspaper Press, and even to the very end his articles
frequently appeared in the "Manchester City News," that most literary
of provincial weekly newspapers. In the early days of the "Isle of Man
Examiner," his pen was often at the service of the editor, and many
powerful pronouncements upon questions of importance to Manxmen emanating from
him appeared in these columns. Mr Johnson had a lively appreciation of the
ridiculous and the humorous, and he was an admirable raconteur. Particularly
did he relish relating a good story when it told in any way against himself,
for he was too considerate to impart sufficient zest to the stories in which
his friends or enemies did not show up very well.
Occasionally — very occasionally — his humour was
caustic in character, but generally it was kindly. Indeed he was a most
companionable man, and there was not a spark of malice in his composition. An
ardent believer in popular education. Mr Johnson was elected as one of the
first members of the School Board of Douglas, after the passing of the
Education Act of 1872. His experience on the board was not an over-pleasant
one, as he was in the minority of advocates of board schools who were opposed
and dominated by the supporters of denominational education. He served but a
term, and then decided not to seek re-election, feeling that upon the education
question he was out of touch with the majority of his townsfolk. Yet was he but
a little in advance of his time, for the educational policy which he as a
member of the School Board advocated is that which now obtains in Douglas, with
the hearty approval of Douglas people. Mr Johnson was an enthusiastic member of
the Douglas Progressive Debating Society; frequently while resident in Douglas
he read papers before the society, and invariably when present at the society
meetings he took part in the debates — the instinct for discussion was strong
in him to the last. Upon retiring from business, Mr Johnson resided for some
time in Douglas, but two years ago he went to live at Waterloo. He was a
widower, and he leaves two children, one of whom is the wife of Mr F. C.
Poulter, The Belvedere, Douglas, while the other is Mr Fred D, Johnson,
auctioneer. His first-born, the late Mr Harry J. Johnson, a man of much
promise, died some years ago.
On March 10th, the funeral of the late Mr Joseph Johnson took place, There was a numerous attendance of relatives and friends following the hearse from the Belvedere Hotel, but the early hour of the funeral — nine o'clock — and the tempestuous weather, prevented great numbers from attending the obsequies, The coffin was covered with beautiful wreaths sent by members of the deceased gentlemans' family and by friends, including the Douglas Progressive Debating Society, the Misses Cartwright, Mr John Spence, Mr W, A. Waid, Mrs Gradwell, Mr Greenburgh, and Mrs Bruce, of Stronvar, Waterloo, where Mr Johnson has chiefly resided of late years. The chief mourners were Mr Fred. Johnson (son), Mr F, C, Poulter (son-in-law), Mr S. J. Poulter (grandson), Mr P, F. Johnson and Mr George Johnson (nephews). The interment was at Braddan Cemetery, Canon Savage read the funeral service in an impressive manner, and the deceased was buried beside his son, Mr Harry Johnson, who died about 15 years ago”
- The youngest son John also moved to the Isle of Man. In 1861 John Johnson is a lodger but by 1871 he is living with his wife Ann and children. He was a shop keeper and toy dealer. He was also a photographer. His son Frederick became a full-time photographer. When he died in 1885 his widow carried on the shop “Importer of Fancy Goods, 68, Strand Street, Douglas”.
“This business, which has been in existence for close upon half a century, continues to receive the cordial support of the residents of and visitors to Douglas. It was founded by the late Mr. John Johnson, who died in 1885, since which year it has been ably carried on by, his widow. The business occupies a large four-storeyed building and basement, with a frontage of twenty-four feet. The spacious shop is set out with a large assortment of goods of a most attractive nature, and the masterly way in which they are displayed greatly adds to their effect. The interior of the shop is also suitably furnished and fitted. The stock on view is of a most extensive character, and represents many of the leading productions of English and foreign fancy goods manufacturers. In. eluded are many exceedingly artistic examples of jewellery, leather goods all kinds of bags, mechanical toys, games and puzzles, ornaments, photographic views, guide-books, medallion and other views, &c. The whole forms a pleasing and miscellaneous selection, affording ample choice for customers in any of the articles named. There are useful and ornamental goods suited for any kind of presentation, or for personal adornment, or household use. The latest and best novelties are being constantly added to the stock as they appear in the market. Visitors and residents alike speak most highly of the courtesy they receive on visiting the establishment, Mrs. Johnson and her assistants sparing no pains to thoroughly satisfy all wants.”
(b. 1816), the eldest daughter married Simon Howarth, in Manchester in 1839. They
are both listed in the 1841 census in Manchester with Martha's youngest
sisters. Simon's occupation is "compositore". By 1861 they too had moved
to the Isle of Man and are living at 4 Fort St. Next door, at #2 Fort St. is her father, Samuell Johnson aged 73. No record of any
children for Martha and Simon. In the 1871 census Martha is a widow and is listed as a small
- Elizabeth (b. 1816) There is no further record of Elizabeth after her birth so it is presumed that she did not survive.
Mary (b. 1827) In 1841 Mary, Grace and Ann Johnson are in Manchester, with their eldest sister Martha and her husband Simon Howarth, but without their parents. There is also a cousin (or uncle) Josh Lockwood (aged 20) at the same address. Their parents are in Ulverstone, Lancashire (now a part of Cumbria).
Mary moved with her parents to the Isle of Man and is living with them in 1851. In 1852 she married James Wilson Birtles and shortly thereafter they set sail for the Australian gold fields. They returned to the Isle of Man in 1860. They had 4 children but only Eliza Ann Johnson Birtles survived childhood. James died in 1868 and in 1871 Mary is living with her sister Martha Howarth and 14 year old daughter Eliza Birtles.
Grace (b. 1831) is with her sisters Martha Howarth, Mary and Ann in 1841 in Manchester and with her parents in the Isle of Man in 1851. Married Charles Henry Young in 1853. She died the following year in 1854. Grace is buried with her mother in Braddan New Yard.
- Ann (1833) was with her sisters in Manchester in 1841 but no further record of her has been found. She may have married before the move to the Isle of Man or she may have died.