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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: Danish, English, Scottish, Swedish

Where did the English Johnson family come from? What is the English Johnson family crest and coat of arms? When did the Johnson family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Johnson family history?

Johnson is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. Johnson is a name that comes from the given name John and the name literally means "son of John." The given name John is derived from the Hebrew name Johanan, which means Jehovah has favored. The name was extremely popular in the Middle Ages as a result of the numerous connections between the name John and the Christian Church.

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Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Johnson, Joneson, Jonson, Joynson and others.

First found in Lincolnshire, where the Johnson family had been granted lands by Duke William on his conquest of England in 1066.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Johnson research. Another 245 words(18 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1375, 1503, 1629, 1675, 1644, 1713, 1680, 1689, 1659, 1719, 1689, 1719, 1688, 1775, 1682, 1735, 1717, 1719, 1797 and are included under the topic Early Johnson History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 219 words(16 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Johnson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Johnson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 139 words(10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Johnson or a variant listed above were:

Johnson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Davy Johnson, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1630
  • Choyce Johnson, who landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Edmond Johnson, aged 23, landed in New England in 1635
  • Eliz Johnson, aged 18, arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Alice Johnson, who settled in Virginia in 1635


Johnson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Catherine Johnson, who landed in Virginia in 1703
  • Arthur Johnson, who arrived in Virginia in 1713
  • Anne Johnson, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Adam Johnson, who landed in New England in 1738
  • Abraham Johnson, who landed in New England in 1760


Johnson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Bryan Johnson, aged 25, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Archibald Johnson, aged 21, arrived in Maryland in 1813
  • Deborah Johnson, who landed in Massachusetts in 1813
  • Michael Johnson, who was living in New York in 1818
  • Ellen Johnson, aged 40, landed in America in 1822


Johnson Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Christ Johnson, who arrived in New York, NY in 1905
  • Alfred Johnson, who arrived in Wisconsin in 1914
  • Arnold Johnson, who landed in Wisconsin in 1917

Johnson Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century


  • Thomas Johnson, who sailed to St. John's, Newfoundland in 1666

Johnson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • James Johnson, who was living in Lower Island Cove, Newfoundland in 1768
  • Mr. John Johnson U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 465 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York
  • Mr. Jonas Johnson U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784
  • Mr. George Johnson U.E. who settled in Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 he was part of the Port Matoon Association
  • Mr. Henry Johnson U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784


Johnson Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Bridget Johnson, who arrived in Quebec in 1825
  • Joseph Johnson, aged 22, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Billow" in 1833

Johnson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John Johnson, English convict from Staffordshire, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • John Johnson, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • John Johnson, English convict from Chester, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Joseph Johnson, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Robert Johnson, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia


Johnson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • James Johnson landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1836 aboard the ship Success
  • Thomas Johnson landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • W Johnson landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Adelaide
  • Dav Johnson landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Bengal Merchant
  • Edward Johnson landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Martha Ridgway


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  • President Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-1973), 36th President of the United States and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Robert Johnson (1911-1938), influential American blues singer and guitarist
  • Michael Johnson (b. 1967), American gold medal winning sprinter
  • Carol Diahann Johnson (b. 1935), original name of Diahann Carroll, an American award-winning actress and singer
  • Caryn Elaine Johnson (b. 1950), original name of Whoopi Goldberg, American actress, comedian, singer-songwriter, activist, and media personality
  • James Price Johnson (1894-1955), African-American pianist and composer
  • Willie Gary "Bunk" Johnson (1879-1949), prominent early New Orleans jazz trumpet player
  • Elizabeth McCardle Johnson (1810-1876), 22nd First Lady of the United States and the wife of President Andrew Johnson
  • Allen Kenneth Johnson (b. 1971), American athlete who Olympic Gold in the 110 meter high hurdles at the 1996 games
  • Merle Johnson Jr. (1936-2001), original name of Troy Donahue, an American actor and teen idol of the late 1950s and early 1960s

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  • The Johnson Family by Ruby Wiedman.
  • Some Johnsons of Southern Maryland by Leona A. Cryer.
  • Those Handy Nordics by Ethel Marie Johnson Taylor.
  • The Descendants of William and John Johnson.
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  1. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  2. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  3. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  4. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  5. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  6. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  7. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  11. ...

The Johnson Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Johnson 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 20 June 2015 at 15:15.

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