Jonston History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The surname Jonston was first used by the descendants of a Boernician family of ancient Scotland. They lived in any of several place names in Scotland. Most instances of the name are thought to come from the barony of John's Town in Annandale, Dumfriesshire. The place name comes from the personal name John, and the Middle English tone or toun, meaning "a town." Other places so named in Scotland include St. John's Toun (now the city of Perth).

Early Origins of the Jonston family

The surname Jonston was first found in Dumfries (now part of the region of Galloway) where they held the barony of John's Town. There is a heraldic similarity with the Kirkpatrick family coat of arms, leading to the belief that John was a descendant of Gospatrick, Earl of Northumberland. Gilbert, son of John received a parcel of land in southern Annandale from William Bruce, Lord of Annandale, some time between 1195 and 1214.

"Shortly after 1174 John the founder of the family of Johnstone, gave his name to his lands in Annandale, Dumfriesshire, whence his son Gilbert took his surname. 'Who John, the father of Gilbert, was it is now perhaps impossible to determine. He may have been a native settler who, when the Bruces were made lords of Annandale, elected to hold his lands from them, or, as seems most likely, he followed his overlords from their Yorkshire, or more southern, estates, and was gifted with the lands to which he gave his name, and which, later, formed the parish and barony of Johnstone.'" [1]

Important Dates for the Jonston family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jonston research. Another 239 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1611, 1663, 1625, 1672, 1664, 1721, 1701, 1602, 1653, 1687, 1730, 1697, 1772, 1743, 1754, 1711, 1700 and are included under the topic Early Jonston History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jonston Spelling Variations

A lack of rules and the tendency of scribes to spell according to the sound of the word plagued medieval spelling. Not surprisingly, an enormous number of spelling variations appeared. Jonston has been written Jonsoom, Jonstoombe, Johnson, Johnstome, Jonstoom, Jonstoomb, Johnstolm, Jonsome, Johnstume, Jonstolm, Jonsolm, Jonstum, Jonstome, Jonsom, Jonsum, Jonstume, Jonsomb, Jonsombe, Jonsoombe, Jonsoomb and many more.

Early Notables of the Jonston family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name during their early history was Archibald Johnston, Lord Warriston (1611-1663), a Scottish judge and statesman; James Johnstone (1625-1672), 1st Earl of Annandale and Hartfell; his son William Johnstone (1664-1721), 2nd Earl of Annandale and Hartfell, who was made 1st Marquess of Annandale in 1701; James Johnstone, 1st...
Another 51 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Jonston Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Jonston family to Ireland

Some of the Jonston family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 73 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jonston migration to the United States

Many Scots crossed the Atlantic for North America hoping to escape poverty, as well as persecution. Much of their heritage was lost along the way and overtime. This century, however, Clan societies and highland games have allowed many ancestral Scots to recover their birthright. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Jonston arrived in North America very early:

Jonston Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hendry Jonston, who arrived in North Carolina in 1748 [2]

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  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
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