D-77 (60 acres, 8 Mar 1789), D-24 (500 acres, 18 Apr 1788)
Alexander Johnston. Origin: Loyalist.
Alexander Johnston, an ensign in the New York Volunteers in 1779, received two land grants in the Grays settlement near the middle of Long Island. On 18 April 1788, he was granted 500 acres, and then on 8 March 1789, he received an additional 60 acres bounded by John Wood, his own land, and vacant land. His 60-acre grant states his quit rent payments were exempted for ten years. He was referred to as “a planter,” which during the last quarter of the 18th century appears to have been a term only used to describe American Loyalists who were growing cotton, indigo, and other export crops in the Bahamas.
In the 1740 census of the Bahamas, we noted that there was a Johnston, but his first name was Thomas. Alexander Johnston married in 1790 on New Providence; this was most likely our grantee. This grantee is listed on both the Tatnall and Lands & Surveys maps without a “T” in his name, but his deed states his surname was Johnston. Therefore, although it is possible that Alexander Johnston was from an old Bahamian family (which might have actually been “Johnson”), we are reasonably sure that he was in fact an American Loyalist.
References: NYV, DM