You are correct that Elizabeth Johnson was not the widow of John Carrell (d. ca. 1762) of Johnston County, NC. She was appointed guardian of the Carrell children in place of her husband, Sill Johnson (ca. 1696/1701-1763). However, it is very likely that she was a Carrell herself. She was very likely the younger sister or elder daughter of John Carrell (d. ca. 1762).
Sill Johnson originated in Essex County, VA, the son of Henry Johnson and Elizabeth Muffett. His family removed to Lancaster County, VA, where his father Henry died intestate in 1722. By 1733, Sill had moved back to Essex County, where he acquired land which he subsequently sold in 1738. By 1739, he was residing in Amelia County, VA in that part which later became Prince Edward County, VA. Between 1750 and 1755, he had relocated to Johnston County, NC settling on Swift Creek on land adjoining neighbor John Carrell. John Carrell sold Sill Johnson land in 1755.
Sill Johnson had a previous marriage, which produced sons William, Henry, Richard, and Sill Johnson, Jr. These sons appear to have been born in the 1730s period. His widow, Elizabeth Johnson (d. 1765), was almost certainly Sill's second wife, by whom he had two young sons named Absalom and Benjamin Johnson. Only Elizabeth's two young sons are mentioned in Sill's will. Court records would suggest that these sons were born about 1753 or so. They may possibly have been twins. Both sons were placed under the guardianship of their older half-brother Henry Johnson on April 17, 1765. Both Benjamin and Absalom were old enough to convey land by 1774, suggesting they may have been of age at that time. On April 2, 1774, Absalom Johnson sold his brother Henry Johnson 40 acres on the South side of Swift Creek. On November 22, 1774, Benjamin Johnson and his wife Mary conveyed 40 acres on the South side of Swift Creek to Richard Apperson.
Both Absalom and Benjamin were names used by the family of John Carrell. Benjamin Carrell (b. about 1756) was one of the orphans of John Carrell placed under the guardianship of Elizabeth Johnson. He was bound apprentice to William Jones in 1764, and to his brother William Carrell in 1772. He served in the Revolutionary War, and was deceased by March 7, 1778, when his brother John Carrell conveyed his former land to brother William Carrell. Absalom Carrell (b. May/November, 1762) was a posthumous child (called "base born" in court records) who was brought into court by his mother Standley Carrell, widow of John Carrell (d. ca. 1762), to be bound apprentice to David Lee. He was bound to Leven Cole in 1778, and to his brother John Carrell in 1780.
The identity of Elizabeth Johnson (d. 1765), widow of Sill Johnson, as a Carrell is further suggested by a July 21, 1814 affidavit by Benjamin Johnson of Cumberland (Harnett) County, NC (son of Sill and Elizabeth Johnson) stating that Benjamin Carrell had served in the Revolutionary War, and that John Carrell (ca. 1754-1816) of Johnston County, NC was his only known heir [Secretary of State Revolutionary War Military Papers, Folder 51, State Archives of North Carolina]. This affidavit would suggest a probable familial relationship, perhaps cousins.
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