Skip to content
  • Start free trial

Origins of the Johnson surname

A collage of historical images including two family portraits and a postcard of people boarding a ship

What does the name Johnson mean?

The Johnson surname is primarly English and Scottish, and has a patronymic origin. It's the 154th most common around the world, and the second most common name in the United States. In the most basic form the surname Johnson is given to 'son of John/Johannes', which means that variants are prevalent everywhere that these forenames are found (e.g. in Scandinavia, as 'Janssen/Jonsson'), particularly in the Christian world.

Alternative variations of the name Johnson

Johnson, Joneson, Joynson, Jonson, Johnsons

I’ve managed to trace back to the mid-1500s! I can’t believe it! Utterly engrossing and I have uncovered some quite moving and heartbreaking stories attached to various ancestors. You don’t need any qualifications to start - just time patience, and some information.

TrustPilot review
1 of 3

Start your family tree

Trace your family back in time. Make new discoveries and see what other Findmypast family historians in our genealogy community have discovered about the Johnsons.

Sign up to get started

Delve deeper into the Johnson family's history

Where do most Johnsons live?

In 1921, most Johnsons lived in London.

Census records trace your ancestors through each generation, so you can follow where your relatives lived through each decade.

Interesting facts about Johnsons

How common is your surname?

8th most common surname in the UK

We have 1,070,000 records for the Johnson surname. The oldest one dates back to 1220.

Who were Johnsons most likely to marry?




Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Johnsons.

What are the most common Johnson first names?

  • John
  • William
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth

Our birth record sets tell us the names of Johnson family members

Common jobs for Johnsons

Men and women often performed different types of jobs, so these are displayed by gender to maintain their historical accuracy.

Common Female occupations for Johnsons in 1921




Domestic Servant


General Servant Domestic


House Servant


Common Male occupations for Johnsons in 1921
Agricultural Labourer


Coal Miner


Farm Hands


General Labourer


Semiskilled Chauffeurs And Drivers


An image of a census transcript and a picture of a dairy farmer holding two milk jugs

Census records provide incredible detail on names, ages, marital statuses, occupations and more.

We found over 1,400,000 family trees with the Johnson surname

Trace your family back in time and see what other Findmypast family historians in our genealogy community have discovered about the Johnsons.

Search for a relative in our family trees

Share your discoveries

Find out more about your family in our records

or try an advanced search

Start your family history journey

Start free trial

Start free trial