Skip to content
  • Start free trial

Origins of the Johnston surname

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

What does the name Johnston mean?

The Johnston surname most often originates in Scotland. It is a habitational name and although can sometimes be found in England, mainly comes from the town of Johnston in Dumfriesshire (a derivation of the Middle English for 'John's Town'). Even in the modern era, the name is most often found in Scotland and the North of England.

Alternative variations of the name Johnston

Johnston, Johnstone, Jonston, Jonstone, Johnstan

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.

SS
Stuart
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 Johnstons.

Sign up to get started

Delve deeper into the Johnston family's history

Where do most Johnstons live?

In 1921, most Johnstons 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 Johnstons

How common is your surname?

176th most common surname in the UK

We have 198,000 records for the Johnston surname. The oldest one dates back to 1264.

Who were Johnstons most likely to marry?

Smiths

&

Browns

Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Johnstons.

What are the most common Johnston first names?

  • John
  • William
  • Mary
  • Margaret

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

Common jobs for Johnstons

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

Common Female occupations for Johnstons in 1921
Dressmaker

1,087

Domestic Servant

796

Housekeeper

614

F S

564

House Keeper

486

Common Male occupations for Johnstons in 1921
Coal Miner

1,051

Farmer

838

Joiner

768

Tailor

728

Fisherman

715

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 1,200,000 family trees with the Johnston surname

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

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