Yes, Johnny Appleseed was a real guy; however, that wasn't his real name.
Johnny was born John Chapman on September 26th, 1774 in Leominster, Massachusetts. His father was a farmer and fought in the Revolutionary War and his mother died of Tuberculosis when he was young. His father got Johnny started as an apprentice at a local orchard, which sparked his interest in the apples. He left Massachusetts at age 18, possibly with his younger half brother Nathaniel.