Select Johnson Miscellany

Here are some Johnson/Johnston stories and accounts over the years:

FitzJohns and Johnsons

The FitzJohns were an Anglo-Norman family which had established themselves in England by the 12th century.  The first of the FitzJohn line at Rippingale in Lincolnshire was said to have been Hugh FitzAlan. Later came his great grandson Sir Adam FitzJohn, living there in 1324.

The Johnson family of Ayscoughfee Hall in Lincolnshire claimed descent from these FitzJohns (although records of this family only go back to the early 17th century)

Johnston and Johnstone

The Scottish spelling may be either Johnston or Johnstone.  Presently the clan chief spells his name Johnstone and the head of the house of Caskieben spells his name Johnston. Either spelling may be used by Annandale or Caskieben clansmen, although the "e" is more common among those of Annandale.  The Scottish pronunciation of either name tends to be"Jawnson."

Elsewhere in the U.K. the pronunciation tends to be "Johnston."  But Americans usually pronounce Johnstone as "Johnstoan" and Johnston as "Johnston," suggesting two different names.

Johnston, Johnstone and Johnson in Scotland

Scottish 1911 Census
Numbers (000's)

John Johnson, Ancent Planter

John Johnson earned the title of 'Yeoman and Ancient Planter' by arriving in Virginia from Scotland before 1616, remaining for at least three years, receiving patents of land from the Virginia Company under their rules issued in 1618, and surviving the massacre of 22 March 1622.

He lived on 15 acres on Back River in the northeast portion of Jamestown island and raised crops, probably including tobacco, on 85 acres on Archer's Hope Creek in the area called Jockey's Neck.  

His wife Ann may have been one of the "maids" imported in 1619.  They apparently voyaged back to England in the mid-1630's, since his heirs were granted 450 acres in Surry county in 1638 for re-importing his family of four and bringing five servants.  John died soon after their return.  Ann died around 1653. 

Their children John and Ann inherited the estate of this “ancient planter.”  Ann Johnson left her name to Ann Johnson Lane on Governor’s Land at Two Rivers.

Johnsons in America by Country of Origin

Johnsons in America by Country of Origin

John A. Johnson of Minnesota

John A. Johnson, born in a frontier cabin in St. Peter, Minnesota in 1861, was the eldest child of an impoverished Swedish family that had been abandoned by its alcoholic father.  He left school at 13 to support his mother and siblings. Local Democrats, impressed with this enterprising young store clerk, asked him to join their party and edit the strongly Democratic St. Peter Herald. His journalistic success attracted statewide attention and fostered political aspirations.

He ended up being elected Governor of the state three times and was also touted as a possible Presidential candidate.  He died in office in 1909 during his third term.

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