In 1710 William Johnson (c. 1686-1731) was a soldier in an English regiment under the command of Colonel Francis Nicholson, who was sent from the English colonies in America to England to promote an expedition for the conquest of Acadia from the French. William Johnson came to the fort at what is now Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, and was listed as having served under David Pigeon's company sailing from Boston to Port Royal, Acadia on the New England transport Devonshire. He was part of an English Regiment (North Regiment of Essex) sent to take the fort. The recruits from England, along with those from the New England colonies, reached the fort at Port Royal on September 24, 1710. After some minor skirmishes and firing of muskets and cannon, the French surrendered on October 6, 1710. After the capture of Port Royal, William "Billy" Johnson remained and became an officer in General Phillips' 40th Regiment on Foot, which was organized at Fort Anne, Annapolis Royal (formerly Port Royal), renamed in honor of Queen Anne. 

While at the fort he met and married Elizabeth (Isabelle) Corporon, a local girl of French origin. References to William "Billy" Johnson list him as coming from Scotland. His family may have originally come from the area of Aberdeen, Scotland, but could have come via England or even Massachusetts. He is reported to have been a tall man with blue eyes and flaming red hair. The William Johnsons lived across the Annapolis River opposite the fort, at a place called Johnson's (now Granville) Ferry. The name could have come from the position William Johnson held with the garrison. He was listed as an English Protestant. 

Elizabeth Corporan (c. 1680) appears to have been of the Catholic faith, but could have possibly had a French Huguenot background. Eventually the family would have become affiliated with the Catholic religion, since only Catholic missionaries were available to minister to the people before Port Royal fell to the English. Elizabeth (sometimes called Isabelle) Corporan was the daughter of Jehan Corporon and Francoise Savoye. Jehan arrived in Acadia in 1668 and was listed as a plowman or farmer. Francoise was the daughter of Francois Savoye and Catherine Lejeune, and one of seventeen children. Francois Savoye, originally from Martaize, Department of La Vienne, France, was born in 1621, arrived in Acadia about 1643, and married Catherine Lejeune in 1652.

The marriage of William and Elizabeth took place in 1712. There were at least five children that we are aware of: Marie (9 Sep 1713-1761) m. John Davis about 1731; Jean-Baptiste (Joseph) (1 Nov 1715-1784) m. Marie Josephe Laure (1718-1796) 11 Feb 1743; Thomas (15 Jun 1719-1797) m. (first) Marie Josephe Girouard (1716) 8 Jan 1742 and after her death, m. (second) Marie-Josephe Granger (1714) 3 Oct 1768; William II (called Guillame "Billy") (Aug 1722-1806) m. Marie-Josephe (Josette) Aucoin (b. 1720) in 1743; and Charles (b. 10 Jul 1725) m. Marie Aucoin 1744. 

Site last updated 16 April,  2011
Copyright 2011 Leonard A Hale