Jonston History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Jonston is a name that came to England in the 11th century wave of migration that was set off by the Norman Conquest of 1066. Jonston 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 Jonston family
The surname Jonston 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 Jonston family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jonston 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 Jonston History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Jonston Spelling Variations
Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Jonston include Johnson, Joneson, Jonson, Joynson and others.
Early Notables of the Jonston 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 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 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.
Jonston migration to the United States +
In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Jonstons to arrive on North American shores:
Jonston Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Hendry Jonston, who arrived in North Carolina in 1748 
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)
- ^ 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)