Search just our sites by using our customised search engine

Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Johnson / Johnston / Johnstone

This research is to identify the "Origins", "Evolution" and "Adoption" of the Johnson/Johnston/Johnstone Surname, not individuals that may have "Relocated" or "Changed" Surnames.

  I have read many examples of how the name "Originated" as “A Fathers Son" Johns Son, but I have never read of a specific Individual Johnson Family Surname "Originating" as a Johns Son. You must read very carefully when the “example” “A Johns Son” is used, it is always how the name “may have” (Imagination) began. When this example is used, it always states “A Son of John", then the example is immediately reversed, “A Fathers Son" Johns Son ?, two different Cultures, Languages and Customs. A common man, Serf, lived in the same area, everyone knowing his Family for Generations, the need to identify himself as his "Fathers Son" would be pointless. Titles and Individual Identification "Originated" by and for Nobles, Land Owners; Royalty; Knights; Tribe Leaders etc. with the Common Man, Serf, "Adopting" a Name. Serfdom did not end in England until the 1600s.

  It is important to know the Race of the Inhabitants in Britain, Ireland and Scotland, their Languages and Customs when the Johnson / Johnston / Johnstone Surname "Originated" and identify its "Evolution" thru Cultures, Languages and Time

  Johnson / Johnston / Johnstone DNA Project: all J/J/Js are classified into DNA Haplogroups, Races, predominately R1b Celts (70%) and I Vikings (20%). Each divided into Family Groups, many Family Groups contain all 3 of the Johnson / Johnston / Johnstone Surname spelling.

  The history of Britain has been marked by a series of Cultural transitions, Influencing and Evolving our Modern English Language.

The English Language, Originated by the Anglo Saxons and influenced by Celtic, Viking (Norse) and Latin (Priest), underwent a Major and Dramatic Transition with the Invasion of The Norman/French in 1066. It continued to evolve from Anglo Saxon Old English 450-1100, Middle English 1100-1500, Early Modern (Renaissance) 1500-1650 to Present Modern (Present Day). The transitions did not occur overnight, French was spoken as late as the 1300s and Gaelic still spoken today in Scotland and Ireland. Many Cultures and Language Transitions resulted in the "Evolvement" of Surnames over Time and in different Countries.

Celts: (800BC ). The Strathclyde Celts (A) occupied Dumfries, Home of the Johnstones after 1066, and remained a Celtic Tribe until becoming part of the Kingdom of Scotland in 1018 / Roman Occupation, (43BC-400AD), came as Conquerors and Rulers to extract the Countries Wealth, not as Colonists, naming the Island Britannia & the Celtic Tribes Britons / Anglo/Saxon 400-1066AD) from which Anglo-Anglis –English/England Name and Language is derived. The Anglos occupied Southern England and the Saxons occupied the East Coast as far as Edinburgh, called Northumbria (A)

 / Vikings (800-1066AD), (B) well known as Sea Raiders but were also Colonists and Traders, established a large Colony of Farmers and Families in the area of the Scottish Border from Wales into The Strahclyde Celts region. / Norman Conquest, (1066AD), introduced a new form of Government and the Norman Practice of inserting De (Of), between the name of the Lord or Nobles Name and the Lands he Governed, he was then known by his Land/Estate. Serfs "Adopted" the Surname of his Land (Lord) Owner, Noble or Knight he Served or depended on for Protection. Robert De Bruc gave a parcel of land to his Daughter Lady Marjorie in 1315, it was then known as "Land Of Majoribanks". It was acquired by the Family of Charles Johnstone in 1630, they "Adopted" the  Surname Majoribanks / Charles Majoribanks.  



  Cultures: Surnames were not in use before the Norman Invasion in 1066. Individuals used Identification as Members of a   Chieftain and/or Tribe; utilizing "A Fathers Son" or Traits:1) Celts utilized "Son Of" Clan/Children of a Chieftain or Tribe 2) Vikings identified "A Fathers Son" and Traits 3) Anglo/Saxon: after 1066 used "A Fathers Son".

The Norman/French Practice of Nobles Identified with Land or Town (Tun or Ville/Settlement) and with 1),2) and 3) "Adopted" as Surnames" after 1066 Note; 1066 is a Reference Point, Surnames did not become established until the 1100s.

  Patronymics: Celtic: The Highlanders and Irish use "Son Of" in the form of O' and Mac, the purpose to be identified as a member of a Tribe Chieftain's Clan (Children), after 1066 "Adopted" as a Surname, as "Son Of". In Irish names O' is more prevalent, as in the Irish O' Neils and Scotlands use of Mac as in MacNeils.

   Norse/Viking: One of the first, and most common use of "A Fathers Son", occurred in Scandinavia with the use of "sson" added to the Son’s Fathers 1st name, such as Erik the Red (985 AD) and his Son Leif Eriksson, in use before the Normans. This use is to be Associated with a Famous Father and did not necessarily create a Surname, until after The Norman Invasion in 1066, as the Vikings were mostly known by Traits, such as Erik the Red and Leif the Lucky.

    Anglo/Saxon: after the Norman Invasion, added "ing" to a Fathers Name such as: Browning; Jenkings; Pershing; Dowling; Cushing; Cummings; Fleming. Note: Brown is a Scottish Surname, Browning is "Anglicized"

 Norman /French: De is from the Latin word meaning "of", Gilbert De Joinville translated Gilbert of Join (John) ville (town/settlement) and "Originated" on the Scottish / English Border after the invasion of the Normans in 1066, and was spelled many ways: Jonesville; Jeanville; with the De (of) dropped and "Evolving" to the use of Celtic tun (farm) Johnstun; Johnstoun; Johnston and with the T often dropped on the Scottish Border and the use of Johnson, with the "e" added later.

  Gilbert De JoinVille, when inheriting the Lands of his Father, John, did not refer to himself as Johns Son, but as Gilbert De (Of) Join (John) Ville (town/settlement).

  The different spelling is due to Literacy of Speller and /or Individual and Pronunciation due to Nationally of Individual, Johnstone/Johnston/Johnson is pronounced by Scots as Jawnson. Frequently in Ulster the "e" was dropped, "e" was pronounced aye, and Johnstons were known as the “aye less Johnstones”. Spelling is not a factor, as many variations exist of all Surnames, such as: Donald; Donaldson and MacDonald all reconignized by Clan Donald as the same Surname, also Forester; Forest and Foster and MacIntyre; MacAntuer; MacKantare. In America, as late as 1915, only 13% of Americans had a High School Diploma, with Surnames "Originating" as early as the 12th Century, some one other than your Ancestor determined the Spelling on Immigration and other Documents, and in some cases your Surname.

  Ts deleted, Johnston to Johnson, often on the Scottish Border and in Ulster. Beginning in the 1700s – 1800, Immigration Records list Johnsons as Irish, beginning in the 1800s the T remained most of the time in Irish Johnston immigrants and almost always in Canada. In the 1800s, Scottish Immigrants often retained the t and e, more Literate and Family Name conscious? Ts are often Removed and Reappear on different Documents, of the same Individual, written by different Individuals as late as the 1860s in America.

  In Britain the Majority of Johnson, Johnston & Johnstones, reside in the 2 Northern Border Counties of Lancashshire and Yorkshire, occupied by Celts since 800BC, a large Colony of Vikings (900AD) and Saxons after 1066. It probably "Originated" by Celts in the same manner as their near Neighbors in Scotland as Johns Tun (Farm) "Evolving" to Johnston/Johnson and Johnstone. The Vikings may have began as a Johansson, "Evolving" to Johnson, "Adopted" by Saxons and many J/J/J Scotts "Relocating" across the Border. All 3 Spellings occur in all 4 Races.

  Other Johnston/es and Johnsons : Kasibeian Johnstons "Originated" on the Scottish Border and also have Johnsons, most notable Dr. Lorand V. Johnson, FSA Scott, many Immigrating to the New World / Clan Gunn of Northern Scotland: less than 5% of Johnsons and Johnstons are of this Heritage, a few Claim Border Heritage, the Name did not appear until after 1478 / Clan Donald states that "less than 2% of Johnsons claim their Heritage". / Perths original name was St. Johns, named after a Monk, "Originating"as St Johnstoun (Johns Land / Farm), " Evolving" to St Johnstone and A few adopting the Surname and not uncommon for the T to be dropped to include Johnson.

  The Surname Johnson, Johnston & Johnstone "Originated" on the Scottish Border and was exported to Ulster beginning in 1606 as James 1st brought Law & Order to the Borders and revived the Colonizing of Ulster. For all practical purposes all of the Johnston/es and Johnsons of Dumfries were deported / immigrated. With Death Warrants issued, they willingly immigrated as “Ulster Planters” or escaped to England or Europe. The "Planters" were exclusively Scottish, as no English were to be found of prior settlements. The majority (85%) of all American Johnson, Johnston, and Johnstones today are the descendants of the Ulster Planters that began leaving Northern Ireland in 1707 - 1800, more than 250,000 Scot-Irish, leaving for the New World of Australia, Canada and America.

  All Surnames have different variations to spelling, such as Johnstone, Johnston and Johnson, between the "Origin" (1066) of Surnames and your first Documented Ancestor, may be unaccounted time, and in that period any of your Ancestors may have Relocated and Adopted, Assigned and Changed Surnames several times, your Surname was determined when it was Recorded.

  Most Family Historians can not go further than “across the pond” to Europe, rarely to the 11th Century Scottish Border, the present spelling of your Surname, and it's many variations, is your Heritage.

 All Rights Reserved
Billy C. Johnson



This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus