Family Group






Johnson-Matteer Mystery



Do you have?


  • A photo of Mary Macklin  (daughter of Louisiana & James Badgley)
  • A photo of Lemuel Franklin McCracken (oldest son of Lemuel and Louisanna



No records have been found for Louisiana with the Johnson name or any similar name.  The only reference to Johnson in the family is Andrew’s middle name.  However, it is likely that he was named after President Andrew Johnson, who had taken office the year before his birth. Also, the family lived next to a Johnson family in Crawford County, Kansas.




Matteer appears to be Louisiana's actual maiden name.  You will see this in the records below for her marriage to James Badgley (her first husband) and it is also demonstrated through Matthias/Mathias Matteer's records, particularly that he moved to Lee County, Iowa, which is where Louisiana married Lemuel McCracken. DNA data also shows that the woman who married James Badgley is our Louisiana.


Key Locations: Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania

Cemeteries (All):Bazaar, Farlington, Fort Scott national, Hiattville, Mattfield Green, Memory Gardens, Morris

McCracken Report; Family Cards; Fan Chart; Unidentified Photos



  • Why did the family say that Louisiana's maiden name was Johnson when it was Matteer?
  • Were the Johnson/Johnston family that lived near the McCracken family in Crawford county somehow related?
  • Does the Johnson name fit in some other way?


Click the headers below to see the details of the various aspects of the investigation.

Louisiana's First Marriage

Some years ago another researcher insisted to me that Louisiana’s surname was Mattser.  He had gotten the name from someone that he felt was a good researcher and who had performed research in the local area.  However, no records for a family named Mattser anywhere close to that area have been found with the exception of Louisiana's marriage record to James Badgley, which does appear to be Mattser at least in the main text.


However, there is a second marriage record because Louisiana was under age.  The surname isn't completely clear; however, her father’s name is clearly Matthias.

A search of the name Matthias in the local area (Washington Co, Ohio) at that time led me to Matthias Matteer, who lived close to where Louisiana married.  However, Louisiana married prior to 1850; thus, she is not listed by name in a census with her parents as only the head of the household was listed in federal censuses prior to 1850.  Thus, I had to turn to other records to find evidence that this was her family.

Evidence from Washington County, Ohio

In 1850, Louisanna was living with her husband James, his father Isaac, and their two children (Mary A. and Louis) in Watertown Towhship of Washington County, Ohio.

At that time, Mathias Matteer was living  on 28 acres of improved land with his children Lucette B, Margaret, Hannah, William, Francis, Charles, Melissa, and Sarah C. in Union Township of Washington County, Ohio.  Mathias' wife Mary is listed in the 1850 Mortality Schedule, meaning that she had died in the past 12 months.  The record indicates that she had died in September of liver complications and her headstone shows September 21, 1850 as her date of death.  The death year must have been 1849 since she was listed in the mortality schedule and given Matthias remarried in September 1850.

In 1851, Matthias and his family moved to Lee County, Iowa.  There is no evidence that Louisiana and James moved with them.  Neither are listed in the 1854 or 1856 Iowa census.


There are claims that James died as early as 1850 or 1851, but I have yet to find evidence of a death date for James.


I have seen references to the sale of properties by James and Louisiana as late as 1857. However, these records do not appear to be online and I have not been able to confirm them.


The only thing that is known is that Louisiana is single and in Lee County by 1859.  She did not appear to have any children after 1850.  If she did, they do not appear with her in 1860.

Evidence from Lee County, Iowa

Louisianna is first recorded as being in Lee County Iowa, when she marries Lemuel (transcribed as Leonard) in Lee County, Iowa in January 1859.





The obvious questions are:  How & when did Louisiana lose or part ways with James Badgley? When did Louisiana arrive in Lee County, Iowa?  Why did she come to Lee County?


It was reasonable to assume that something happened to Louisiana's husband by 1858 at the latest so that she had time to travel to Lee County, Iowa, meet Lemuel, and decide to marry.


The "why," however, was answered by recognizing that Mathias Matteer was her father as he arrived in Lee County prior to 1854 as he is listed in the state census for that year in Jefferson Township with 4 males and 2 females in the household.




"Iowa Marriages, 1809-1992," database, FamilySearch ( : 3 December 2014), Leonard Mccracken and Louisianna Bagley, 15 Jan 1859; citing Lee, Iowa, reference 2:3P3MBJH; FHL microfilm 959,168. (No image is available)




In 1860, Lemuel, Louisiana (written in the record as Rosannah), his son Delarma, her daughter Mary, her son Louis, and their oldest son Lemuel are living in Jefferson Township, Lee County, Iowa.  Matthias Matteer was also living in Jefferson Township.  Lemuel & Louisianna were family number 446 and Matthias was family number 438.   Side note: The father of Lemuel's first wife was family number 451.

In 1870,  Lemuel and Louisiana have moved westward to Van Buren Township, Lee County, Iowa.  (Shown right) At this point, Lemuel's son with his first wife has moved out of the home and is living with another family.  Likewise, Louisiana's children are no longer in the household.  Mary had married John Macklin and was living in Adams County, Illinois. No record of Louis has been found and it is possible that he died prior to 1870.  About 1871 (or possibly slightly later), Lemuel and Louisiana moved to Kansas.  Lemuel's son with his first wife remained in Iowa.


In 1870, Matthias Matteer had also moved westward although not as far.  He is living with his wife and youngest child in Charleston Township. (Shown below)  His son Francis is also living close by.

Matthias remained in Charleston Township for the remainder of his life. Although Matthias had a will and lengthy probate records,  they provide no additional evidence as he left his property to his wife for the remainder of her life.  After she died, his two living children Lucette and Sarah were to divide the property.  He did not mention any of his other children in his will.

Mathias Matteer's Biography

A biography of Mathias Matteer was included in "The History of Lee County, Iowa," which was published in 1879.  It provides the key dates for him and both of his wives. It is important to note that this lists September 24, 1849 as the date of Mary's death, but her headstone says September 21, 1850.  I would tend to agree with the headstone over a biography written nearly thirty years later except that Mary isn't listed with the family in the 1850 census and is listed in the 1850 mortality schedule , which implies that she had died within the twelve months prior to the 1850 census.


Most importantly,  it lists Mathias' children.  First on the list (and I believe the oldest) is Louisianna.  This is critical as it directly states that he had a daughter Louisianna.  The remainder of the children match the children that were living with him in 1850 in Ohio.


Note:  It states that that Mary was born in Perry Co, Tenn.  I believe this is likely an error and should be Perry Co, Penn, as Perry County, Tennessee did not exist in 1812.  It is possible that she was born in the area that was later Perry County, Tennessee.  However, it appears most likely that she was born in Pennsylvania since Perry County is near Dauphin County, where Mathias was born

Other Recorded Surnames for Louisiana



Louisiana's daughter Mary Ann Badgley Macklin's death certificate lists her parents as Louisiania Mattier and Matthew Badgley.  This is only a slight variation on the spelling of Matteer.  The source of the name Matthew is unclear as there are no references to a Matthew.  It is possible that this was confusion between Louisiana's first husband (James) and her father Mathias, as Matthew and Mathias have been found interchanged. The original records of these records are not available on; therefore, the names listed here are someone else's transcription.  It is very possible that Mattier is actually Matteer in the record and was simply misinterpreted.



Louisiana and Lemuel's son Lemuel Franklin/Francis McCracken's death certificate lists his parents as Leousia McKoree and Lemiel L. McCracken.  I suspect that the person providing the information simply didn't know the correct name.



Evidence from Kansas

About 1871, Lemuel and Louisiana moved to the northern part of Crawford County, Kansas.  They are listed in Sherman Township, Crawford County in the 1875 Kansas census.


Another interesting coincidence/piece of evidence is that in 1875 Charles Matteer, who I believe is the son of Matthias Matteer and brother to Louisiana) and his family are living in Scott  Township, Bourbon County, Kansas.  He has a 4 year old child that was born in Kansas with his other children born in Iowa.  Based on the ages of the children, Charles would have moved to Kansas in the interval 1869 to 1871, inclusive.


A reasonable assumption is that Charles moved his family to Kansas and Lemuel & Louisiana followed OR that the two families moved to Kansas at the same time.


Unfortunately, Charles died relatively young or more might have been known about the family.  She is next found near Joplin, Missouri.  Charles' children lived mostly in the Joplin/Galena area.

Clues from Children's Names

Sometimes the names of children provide clues as to the grandparents or aunts and uncles of the children.  Names that can be explained are in blue.


Lemuel's child with Sarah:


Delarma  Lawrence: No origin has been found for the name Delarma (several spellings) in either the Dufer or McCracken records.

                                 Lawrence is from Lemuel's middle name.


Louisiana's children with James Badgley


Mary Ann:                Mary was likely named after Louisiana's mother Mary Rodgers Matteer.


Louis:                       Unknown.  It is possible that it is taken from Louisiana; however, boys weren't often named after their mother except

                                 using the mother's surname.


Lemuel's children with Louisiana:


Lemuel Franklin:      Lemuel is named after Lemuel.

                                 Franklin could possibly be after Louisiana's brother Francis.  At least one record shows his name as Francis.


William Thomas:       William possibly was named after Louisiana's brother William who died in the Civil War.


Andrew Johnson:      Given the time of Andrew's birth, he was likely named for President Andrew Johnson.


Ida Belle:                   Louisiana had a sister with the middle initial B.  It is possible that Belle came from that sister's name.


Joseph (Henry):        Of note is the 1875 Kansas Census that lists Henry as R.H. or B.H.  It is clearly not J.H.  One thing that was

                                  investigated is whether it could have been R.H. with the R standing for Robert since they lived near a Robert

                                  McCracken in Bates Co, Missouri.  However, nothing was found to support it as anything other than an error.  Later

                                  records clearly use J.H., Joseph Henry, or some combination of the names and initials.


Francis E.                 Francis was Minnie's original name.  It changed for unknown reasons after 1880.  Louisiana had a brother Francis.

Minnie Alameda:


None of the non-highlighted names can be traced to Louisiana's family.  None of the boys were named after her father, who lived in Lee County, Iowa and who she must have went west to be near.   There are also very few ties to her sisters.


DNA Analysis

DNA matches appear with individuals who have directly indicated to me that they descend from Mary Ann Badgley Macklin (Louisiana's daughter with James Badgley)  We also share matches with these people and other people that have taken the DNA test.  Additionally, Mary Ann Badgley Macklin's children are listed in Minnie (Lemuel & Louisiana's daughter) McCracken Munroe's probate papers, along with  Lemuel's first son with Sarah Dufer and all of Lemuel and Louisiana's other children (or grandchildren in some cases).


Most DNA matches that appear to be related to Lemuel and Louisiana seem to be related to Louisiana although the exact relationship usually can not be determined.  There are quite a few, however, that are dead ends.  These may be related to Lemuel or Louisiana.



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