Among the numerous Johnson families of old Connecticut we have reason to suppose that two, at least, were of Dutch origin. There has been much speculation concerning the antecedents of William Johnson of New Haven and Wallingford, Conn., whose family is given in the REGISTER, Vol. 55, p. 369. Mr. James Shepard surmises that he might have been a son of Thomas Johnson, one of the three brothers from Yorkshire, England, who was drowned in New Haven Harbor in 1640 (REGISTER, Vol. 56, p. 133). This poor Thomas has been of inestimable value to the genealogists, who have bestowed on him as offspring a large number of stray Johnsons. In strict fact, he left two sons, Thomas of Newark, N. J., and Jeremiah of Derby, Conn. (New Haven Proprietors' Records, Vol. 2, pp. 328-330). And there is not a shadow of evidence to prove that William was his son.
Then, who was William Johnson? Perhaps the following facts will throw some light on the question. The death of a certain "Old Richard" Johnson is recorded in New Haven on March 25, 1679. His estate was administered April 1, 1679, when we find him called not Richard but "Derieke Johnson" (Probate Records, Vol. 1, p. 182), and after the payment of debts the court granted the remainder of his estate to William Johnson (County Records, vol. 1, p. 115; and Deeds, Vol. 1, p. 73). No mention is made of the relationship between them, but it is evident that they were not father and son. If, however, we remember that Richard is called Derrick, and that William himself frequently appears on record as Wingle, it is pretty safe to assume that they were of Dutch descent, and very likely stood in the relation of uncle and nephew to each other.
Much more perplexing is the origin of Walter Johnson of Wallingford, Conn., whose immediate family has been carefully