Johnny Appleseed (September 26, 1774 – March 18, 1845), born John Chapman, was an American pioneer nurseryman who introduced apple trees to large parts of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. He became an American legend while still alive, largely because of his kind and generous ways, his great leadership in conservation, and the symbolic importance he attributed to apples.
He was also a missionary for the New Church, or Swedenborgian Church, so named because it teaches the theological doctrines contained in the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.
John Chapman was the second child of Nathaniel Chapman and Elizabeth (née Simonds, married February 8, 1770) of Leominster, Massachusetts. Tradition holds that Nathaniel lost two good farms during the American Revolution, but in fact Johnny's father was a farmer of little means, and there is no deed record of either property. Nathaniel started John Chapman on a career as an orchardist by apprenticing him to a Mr. Crawford, who had apple orchards.