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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, German, Scottish

One of the most common classes of Scottish surnames is the patronymic surname, which arose out of the vernacular and religious naming traditions. The vernacular or regional naming tradition is the oldest and most pervasive type of patronymic surname. According to this custom, names were originally composed of vocabulary elements from the local language. Patronymic surnames of this type were usually derived from the personal name of the original bearer's father. The surname Janson is derived from the ancient Scottish given name Ian which itself comes from the Hebrew given name Yocjanan, which means Jehovah has favored me with a son.


Scottish surnames are distinguished by a multitude of spelling variations because, over the centuries, the names were frequently translated into and from Gaelic. Furthermore, the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent because medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules. The different versions of a surname, such as the inclusion of the patronymic prefix "Mac", frequently indicated a religious or Clan affiliation or even a division of the family. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into Scotland, accelerating accentuating the alterations to various surnames. The name Janson has also been spelled Ianson, I'Anson, Janson and others.

First found in Westmorland, where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Janson research. Another 175 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Janson History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Janson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Janson, or a variant listed above:

Janson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Jacob Janson, who arrived in Maryland in 1665
  • Lambert Janson, who landed in Maryland in 1667

Janson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Bernhart Janson, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1742
  • Christoph Janson, who landed in Massachusetts in 1753
  • Georg Wilhelm Janson, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1763
  • Georg Wilhelm Janson, who landed in Philadelphia in 1763

Janson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Anna C Janson, aged 14, landed in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1831
  • George Janson, aged 32, landed in Missouri in 1841
  • George Janson, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1848
  • William Janson, who arrived in St Clair County, Illinois in 1860
  • Johann Janson, who arrived in America in 1872

Janson Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Johan Janson, who landed in Manitoba in 1874
  • Peter Janson, who arrived in Manitoba in 1875


  • Klaus Janson (b. 1952), American comic book artist, he was born in Germany but emigrated to the United States in 1957, well known for his work with Marvel Comics and DC Comics, most notably he has worked on 'Daredevil' and 'Batman', now a teacher at the School of Visual Arts in New York City
  • Sergeant Major Ernest A. Janson (1878-1930), United States Marine awarded the Medal of Honor
  • H W Janson (1913-1982), American art historian
  • Anton Janson (1620-1687), Dutch printer and typographer after whom the font "Janson" is named
  • Paul Janson (1840-1913), Belgian liberal politician
  • Oscar Janson (b. 1975), Swedish athlete
  • David Janson (b. 1950), English actor and father of Ciara Janson
  • Ciara Janson (b. 1987), English actress


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  1. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  2. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  3. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  4. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  5. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  6. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  7. 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).
  8. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  10. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Janson Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Janson Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 11 April 2014 at 09:12.

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