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Biography: David Johnston born January 21, 1847

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(1847-aft. 1910)

Macon & Montgomery, Alabama

David Johnston, of Montgomery, Alabama was born in Tuskegee, Macon County, Alabama on Jan. 21, 1847. He was the son of Dr. John Gerdine and Mary J. (Low) Johnston. His father was a native of Georgia and his mother was a native of Alabama. David’ s great-grandfather, Dr. Lancelot Johnston was a surgeon in the Revolutionary war. The family has a pair of knee buckles that was presented to him by General George Washington.The family is of Scotch-Irish descent and they owned large estates.

Dr. Lancelot Johnston was educated in Dublin, Ireland, but came to America and settled in Caswell County, N. C. There were three brothers, Dr. Lancelot Johnston, David Johnston and John Johnston, who came over together. The Johnston family is a family of physicians. from the great-grandfather to David’s generation, there were about ten doctors.

The paternal grandfather, David Johnston, was also a physician, and moved from North Carolina to Georgia and settled first in Walton county, and then at Tuskegee, Macon County, Alabama about 1843. The father of David Johnston was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania medical department in 1839 when he was but nineteen years of age. He practiced in Tuskegee till the war broke out and he was sent to Richmond, Virginia by Governor John G. Shorter to look after the wounded. He later went to Pensacola, Florida on the same mission. He was subsequently appointed surgeon to look after the camps. In December 1865, he located in Montgomery and practiced his profession until his death in 1868. His wife died February 1879. They had a family of six children. David Johnston, Lancelot Johnston, and John Gerdine Johnston were the only children living in ca. 1910.

David Johnston was reared in Tuskegee and attended the schools there. He took the collegiate course at Tuskegee Collegiate Institute. He left school when only sixteen years of age when the War Between the States started and became a sergeant in Company A, Sixty-third Alabama. He was promoted to sergeant major of the Sixty-third Alabama. He was captured at Blakeley, Alabama, and sent to Ship Island and then carried to Vicksburg where he was exchanged to be paroled at Meridian, Mississippi in May 1865. He returned to his home at Tuskegee.  After straightening up matters, he moved to Montgomery, Alabama in February 1866 and clerked in a store and farmed until 1896.

In February 1896, he was appointed by Governor Gates to fill an unexpired term as circuit clerk, and in 1898 he was re-elected to the same office and carried every precinct in the county. It was a heated campaign and he had several popular opponents. He was a good and efficient officer.

He was also ex-officio deputy clerk of the city court, criminal division and a member of the National Union. In 1896, he married Alice Judkins, daughter of William T. and Sallie Judkins. Alice was a native of Alabama.

They had three known children:

  1. Allie May Johnston (b. 1878-1904)
  2. Nettie D. Johnston
  3. Sarah T. Johnston

David Johnston died may 28, 1908.  Alice (Judkins) Johnston (b. Sep 9, 1854 -May 23, 1900) and David Johnston are buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Montgomery, Alabama.



  1. Notable men of Alabama: personal and genealogical, Volume 1 edited by Joel Campbell DuBose 1904
  2. Find A Grave Memorial# 81505066 # 81505057 # 81505031

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Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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