Johnstan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought the Johnstan family name to the British Isles. Johnstan 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.
Early Origins of the Johnstan family
The surname Johnstan was first found in Lincolnshire, where many of the ancient and leading houses of the family name claim descent originally from the house of FitzJohn in Normandy, particularly that of one of the leading branches and oldest, the Johnsons of Ayscough-Fee. 
Later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list many of the name: Willelmus Joneson; Willelmus Johnson, 1379; Robertus Johanson; Juliana Jonesson; Ricardus Joneson; and Robertas Jonson. 
Early History of the Johnstan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Johnstan research. Another 82 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1375, 1503, 1572, 1637, 1629, 1675, 1644, 1713, 1680, 1689, 1659, 1719, 1689, 1719, 1688, 1775, 1682, 1735, 1717, 1719, 1797 and are included under the topic Early Johnstan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Johnstan Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Johnson, Joneson, Jonson, Joynson and others.
Early Notables of the Johnstan family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Benjamin Jonson (1572-1637), an English playwright, poet, actor, and literary critic; Daniel Johnson (1629-1675), an English buccaneer born in Bristol, who sailed against the Spanish during the late 17th century becoming known among the Spanish as "Johnson the Terror"; Sir Nathaniel Johnson (1644-1713), an English soldier and a Member of Parliament for Newcastle-upon-Tyne (1680-1689); Sir Henry Johnson...
Another 64 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Johnstan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Johnstan family to Ireland
Some of the Johnstan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 76 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Johnstan family
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Johnstan or a variant listed above: Alice Johnson, who settled in Virginia in 1635; as did Abraham Johnson in 1648; Benjamin Johnson, who immigrated to Barbados in 1660; Thomas Johnson, who sailed to St. John's, Newfoundland in 1666.
Related Stories +
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)