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Origins of the Johnston surname

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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.

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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?




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


Domestic Servant






House Keeper


Common Male occupations for Johnstons in 1921
Coal Miner










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