Katherine Courtenay Johnston was born in 1877 in Botetourt County, Virginia to Charles Johnston (1844-1910) and Nannie (Thornton) Johnston (1852-1911). In the late 19th century, Katherine Courtenay Johnston moved to Los Angeles, California where she attended school and was later employed as a teacher. In the early 20th century she received her law degree and subsequently moved to New York where she worked as an attorney in Manhattan until her death in 1952. Katherine Courtenay Johnston is buried in the Angelus Rosedale Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.
Through her father’s family, Katherine Courtenay Johnston was descended from Peter Johnston, who emigrated to Virginia from Scotland in 1727. In 1765 he moved to Prince Edward County and purchased a large tract of land which he originally named Cherry Hill and later renamed Longwood. Peter Johnston and his wife Martha (Rogers) had four sons: Peter Johnston, Jr., Andrew, Charles, and Edward. Two of those sons, Peter Johnston, Jr. (1763-1831) and Charles Johnston (1769-1833) are represented in this collection.
On both sides of her family, Katherine Courtenay Johnston was related to some of the most influential and important Virginia families. As such, this collection of materials related to her family provides tremendous insight into Virginia history before, during, and after the Civil War.
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