This surname is derived from the personal name of John. In Middle English word; tone or toun meant â€˜settlementâ€™. The Old English term was tun. A town in present-day Scotland called Perth had the former name of St. Johnâ€™s Toun.
A varied form of of Johnston is the surname Johnson.
Most Johnston families in the 1880s were farmers and laborers.
The places of origin are England, Scotland and Ireland. In England, the counties of Cumberland and Lancashire have the highest numbers of Johnston. In Scotland the counties of Lanarkshire and Midlothian are heavily populated with the Johnston name.
The states of California, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York have many with the Johnston surname.
Famous: Arthur Johnston (17th century Scottish physician and poet), Bill Johnston (American professional basketball player), Larry Johnston (NHL ice hockey player), Ollie Johnston (American pioneer of motion picture animation), Zoe Johnston (English singer and songwriter), Robbie Johnston (New Zealand long-distance runner), Lynn Johnston (Canadian cartoonist), Darryl Johnston (football player- a fullback, nicknamed "Moose"), Denis Johnston (Irish playwright) and Harry Johnston (British explorer and administrator).