Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Johnson Name
Johnson Origin: England, Scotland, Denmark, Sweden
Origins of Name:
The surname of Johnson has many various spellings and pronunciations that changed based on the time period, location, and derivative. This surname of Johnson comes from the Hebrew personal name “Yochanan” which can be translated to mean “God has blessed me/favored me with a son.” The name John has religious connotations, and swept Europe during the Christian Era, through the Crusades to the Holy Land in the 12th Century. Due to the popularity of this first personal name, the surname became popular through patronymic, hereditary adaptations. The suffix “son” was added to the first, personal name of John, meaning that the bearer was the “son of John.” In other cultures, this was denoted by adding the prefixes of “Mac” or “O.”
More common variations are: Johnsson, Johnsone, Joohnson, Johnsonn, Jjohnson, Johhnson, Johnsoon, Johnsona, Johns, Johnes, Jones, Jonson, Joinson, Joynson
Scotland: Throughout the country of Scotland, there are many people who carry the surname of Johnson. The first recorded spelling of the surname of Johnson within the country of Scotland was found in the “Calendar of Documents.” The aforementioned document is an English document that refers to the governing practices of the country of Scotland. One person by the name of Wautier Jonessone was named in this document, and homage was paid to him and his nationality. The next recorded spelling of the surname of Johnson was one person named William Jonessone, who was recorded as saying that his goods were shipped in a Flemish vessel and then were arrested at Grymesby in the year of 1368. Those who bear the surname of Johnson and are found in the country of Scotland can be seen to live in large concentrations in the areas of Glasgow and Aberdeenshire.
England: The first recorded spelling of the surname of Johnson was found in the register named the “Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient Deeds” for the County Surrey. This person, who was named John Jonessone, was mentioned and named in this document in the year of 1287. This document was ordered, decreed, and recorded under the reign of one King Edward 1st, who ruled from the year of 1272 to the year 1307. The next mention of the surname of Johnson was both William Johnson and Robert Johnson, who were mentioned in the Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 in the County of Yorkshire. Throughout the country of England, those who bear the surname of Johnson can be found in the counties of Cambridge, Cheshire, Derby, Durham, Lancashire, Leicester, as well as Rutland, Lincoln, Norfolk, Northumberland, Notts, Stafford, Warwick, and the county of York.
United States of America:
During the 17th Century, the United States of America was just becoming discovered by European settlers. Many of these settlers became displeased with the living conditions and governmental reach in the countries of their birth. These settlers were so displeased that they began to move to the United States of America from countries all over Europe. This movement was called the European Migration, and was vastly made up of settlers looking to improve their living conditions, escape religious persecution, or acquire land of their own. The first of these people who came to America who bore the surname of Johnson was one Davy Johnson, who arrived in the state of Massachusetts in the year 1630. Five years later in the year of 1635, one Choyce Johnson landed in the state of Virginia. Those with this surname can be found all over the country, because Johnson is the second most popular surname in the United States.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Johnson: United States 1,967,023; Nigeria 456,977; England 123,775; Canada 71,343; Liberia 66,560; South Africa 56,910; Australia 54,396; Ghana 47,767; Sierra Leone 45,804; Togo 36,420
President Andrew Johnson (1808-1875) who was the 17th President of the United States of America from the year 1865 to the year 1869, and who succeeded into the Presidential role following the assassination of former President Abraham Lincoln
Ed Lee Johnson (1945-2016) who was a former professional basketball player from the United States of America
David Stifler Johnson (1945-2016) who was a computer scientist from the United States of America, who specialized in the areas of algorithms and optimization
William Dean “Bill” Johnson (1960-2016) who was a World Cup gold medalist from America who placed in the alpine ski racer during the 1984 Winter Olympics
George Clayton Johnson (1929-2015) who was a science fiction writer, and who was most notably recognized for his episodes of The Twilight Zone, and who also co-wrote the novel Logan’s Run, which was optioned and then produced into a film, and was known for the story that both the 1960 and the 2001 films Ocean’s Eleven were based on
Joseph “Smokey” Johnson (1936-2015) who was a drummer from the United States of America
Johnson Family Gift Ideas
Browse Johnson family gift ideas and products below. If there are multiple coats of arms for this surname, you will see them at the top of this page and can click on the various coat of arms designs to apply them to the gift ideas below.
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Johnson Family Crest Corn Hole Game$224.00Purchase »
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Blazons & Genealogy Notes
1) (New York and Twickenham, co. Middlesex, bart.). ubsequently to this registration, a pedigree of Johnson, Bart., of New York and Twickenham, deducing the family from Thomas O’Neill, called MacShane or Johnson, son of John O'Neill, Esq., of Dungannon, who was grandson of Sir Tiblough O’Neill, was placed on record by Betham, Ulster, in the Office of Arms, Dublin Castle, and the coat of O’Neill was allowed, viz.—Ar. two lions counter-ramp, supporting a dexter hand gu. in chief three estoiles of the last, and in base a salmon n ai ant In water ppr. Crest—An arm gu. encircled with a ducal crown or, the hand grasping a sword ppr. pommel and hilt gold. Motto—Nec aspera terrent. Gu. on a chev. betw. three fleurs-de-lis ar. three escallops of the field. Crest—An arm couped at the elbow erect, holding an arrow ppr. Supporters—Two Indians wreathed about the waist with foliage, quivers over their left shoulders, bows in their exterior hands, and plumes on their heads all ppr. Motto—Deo regique debeo.
2) (Bath, bart.). Mottoes—Above the creat : Vicisti et vivimus: below the shield: Nunquam non paratus. Per pale sa. and az. on a saltire ar. betw. three towers or, fired ppr. one in chief and two in fesse, and two tilting-spears saltirewise in base of the second, five cooks of the first. Crest—A tower ar. on the battlements a cock ppr. Supporters—Dexter, a grenadier habited and accoutred and arma ordered ppr.; sinister, a light-infantry man habited and accoutred and arms trailed ppr. supporting with his exterior hand a flag-staif also ppr. therefrom flowing a banner gu. inscribed “New Ross "in letters of gold.
3) (Milton Bryant, co. Bedford; granted to Nicholas Johnson by St. George, Clarenceux, 1632). Ar. on a pile az. three ounces' heads erased of the first. Crest—On a chapeau gu. turned up erm. an ounce’s head erased ar.
4) (Wytham-on-the-Hill, co. Lincoln; descended from Johnson, of Olney, co. Bucks, a branch of Johnson, of Milton Bryant). Motto—Qui vit content tient assez. Ar. on a pile az. three ounces' heads erased of the field, langued gu., quartering for Robert Johnson, B.D., Archdeacon of Leicester, the founder, in 1548, of the school at Uppingham, and subsequently of that at Oakham: Ar. a chev. sa. betw. three lions’ heads couped gu. langued az. and crowned gold. Crest—On a chapeau gu. turned up erm. an ounce's head, as in the arms.
5) (Goldington, co. Bedford). Az. a chev. or, in chief two eagles volant, in base a sun of the second.
6) (co. Bedford and London). Az. a chev. betw. three eagles rising or.
7) (Beaconsfield, co. Bucks). Per pale az. and gu. a cross flory or, a chief of the last. Crest—A cubit arm habited or, grasping in the hand ppr. a cross flory of the first.
8) (co. Chester). Quarterly, per fesse indented or and az. in the first quarter an eagle, wings expanded sa. Crest—On a ducal coronet or, an eagle, as in the arms.
9) (co. Chester). Ar. nine pheons meeting in point, six in chief and three in base sa. Crest: An arm in armour, holding in the hand all ppr. an arrow ar. with a pheon's head or.
10) (Kittlesworth, co. Durham; granted 20 May, 1569). Per pale sa. and az. on a saltire ar. betw. three towers of the last flammant ppr. and two spears saltireways in base or, five cocks of the field. Crest—A dexter arm embowed in armour firing a pistol all ppr.
11) (Worcester; Benjamin Johnson, Sheriff co. Worcester, 1763). Ar. a fess lozengy betw. three lions’ heads erased gu. Crest—Out of a ducal coronet or, a nag’s head sa.
12) (Hanley Castle, co. Worcester; monument, St. Martin’s Church, Worcester, of William Johnson d. 1711, aged 63). Ar. a cross sa. on a chief gu. three cushions or.
13) (Bowden, co. Wilts; from the hatchment of James Johnson, Bishop of Worcester, 1759-74, grandson of George Johnson, a Welsh Judge). Ar. a bend sa. on a chief of the last three cushions of the first. Crest—A goat’s head ar. erased gu. horned sa.
14) (co. Worcester). Az. on a chev. ar. three pheons gu. in dexter chief the sun in splendour ppr.
15) (Twyzell, co.Durham; the last male heir, Michael Johnson, Esq., d. 1714, leaving three daus. and co-heirs, of whom the eldest, Mary, to. first, John Brockholes, Esq., of Claughton, co. Lancaster, by whom she was mother of Catharine, wife of Charles, tenth Duke of Norfolk; and secondly, Richard Jones, Esq., of Caton, co. Lancaster). Sa. on a bend or, betw. two shackleholts ar. three pheons gu. Crest—A leopard’s face per pale az. and sa. bezantée, from the mouth and ears flames of fire ppr. Another Crest—A tiger’s head couped sa. bezantée.
16) (co. Essex). Ar. on a chev. sa. an estoile of sixteen points or, betw. three lions’ heads erased gu.
17) (co. Hants). Erm. on a chief az. three bezants.
18) (Nethercourt and Margate, co. Kent). Quarterly, per fesse indented sa. and or, in the dexter chief quarter a pelican vulning herself of the second.
19) (co. Kent, 1605). Quarterly, az. and gu. over all a cross patonce or, a chief of the last. Crest—An arm erect habited per pale az. and or, holding in the hand ppr. a cross patonce of the second.
20) (granted to-William Johnson, B.D.). Ar. a chev. az. betw. three pheons gu. on a chief of the second an open book, representing the Holy Bible ppr. edged and scaled or, thereon inscribed “Proverbs, chap. xxii. v. 6,” betw. two crosses flory of the last. Crest—A pheon, as in the arms, surmounted by a star of eight points or.
21) (Warrington, co. Lancaster, 1741). Or, a lion pass. reguard. az. on a chief dovetailed vert three acorns slipped and leaved of the first.
22) (Withcot, co. Leicester; granted 1727). Ar. on a bend gu. three pheons or, a canton erm. Crest—A demi griffin gu. collared erm. holding betw. the claws a pheon or.
23) (Gainsborough, co. Lincoln; granted 7 May, 1579). Ar. on a bend sa. three erm. spots of the first. Crest—A leopard pass. guard. sa. plattee and bezantée.
24) (Stamford, co. Lincoln). Ar. three boars’ heads sa. couped gu.
25) (Thwate, co. Lincoln, Blackwall, co. Middlesex, and co. Norfolk). Or, a water bouget sa. on a chief of the second three bezants. Crest—Out of a ducal coronet ppr pale ar. and az. two wings expanded counterchanged.
26) (Ayscoughfee Hall, Spalding, co. Lincoln). Motto—Onus sub honore. Or, a water bouget sa. on a chief of the last three annulets of the first. Crest—Out of a ducal coronet or, two wings erect sa.
27) (Pinchbeck, co. Lincoln). Ar. a chev. betw. three lions’ heads erased gu. crowned or.
28) (Preston, originally of Walsh Whittle, co. Lancaster). Ar. a lion pass. gu. on a chief or, three acorns slipped vert.
29) (Sarre Court, co. Kent, and Temple Belwood, co. Lincoln; exemplified to John William Denne Johnson, Esq., J.P., son of the Rev. John Denne Hilton, by Elizabeth Frances his wife, sister of Robert Poppewell Johnson, Esq., of Temple Belwood). Quarterly, 1st and 4th, ar. a lion pass. gu. on a chief vert three acorns leaved and slipped or, for Johnson; 2nd and 3rd, erm. two bars az. in chief an annulet betw. two saltires of the last, for Hilton. Crests— 1st, Johnson: On a mount vert a wolf pass. sa. in the mouth a branch of woodbine ppr.; 2nd, Hilton: Moses’ head affrontée betw. two bullrushes ppr.
30) (Tower, London; granted June, 1604). Gu. three spears’ heads ar. a chief erm. Crest—A spear's head ar. betw. two branches of laurel vert, crossing each other over the spear’s head.
31) (London, and co. York, 1634). Az. on a chev. ar. three pheons gu. in the dexter chief quarter a sun or. Crest—A cock ar. combed and wattled or, on the body three guttées de sang.
32) (London; granted to Thomas Johnson, Esq., Lord Mayor of the city 1841). Az. on a chev. ar. three pheons gu. in the dexter chief a sun in splendour ppr. in base two swords, points upwards in saltire, encircled with a double chain all or. Crest—A cock ar. combed and wattled or, standing upon the fasces gold.
33) (London; Her. Coll.). Ar. a pheon az. betw. three mascles gu. Crest—A tiger’s head erminois, maned ar.
34) (London). Erm. on a chev. az. three bezants, a mullet for diff. Crest—Out of a ducal coronet a swan’s neck or.
35) (London). Az. a cross betw. four pheons or.
36) (London). Ar. on a chev. sa. betw. three lions’ heads erased gu. bezantée an estoile of eight points or.
37) (Long Melford, co. Suffolk; granted 1663). Ar. a bend sa. on a chief gu. three woolpacks or. Crest—A spear or, strap gu. betw. two wings gold.
38) (Bury, Saxmundham, and Bildeston, co. Suffolk). Motto—Fortiter in re, suaviter in modo. Sa. on a fesse betw. two double manacles ar. three pheons gu. on a chief or, a demi lion ramp. betw. two lozenges az. Crest—A leopard’s head erased ppr. collared or.
39) (Deanery, co. Durham). Motto—Nil admirari. Gu. on a chev. ar. betw. three savages’ heads ppr. as many pheons sa. Crest—A savage’s head, couped at the shoulders, bearded, and wreathed about the temples all ppr.
40) (cos. Northumberland and Durham). Per chev. gu. and sa. on a chev. engr. ar. betw. three men’s heads affrontée ppr. as many pheons sa. Crest—In front of a man’s head affrontée, couped at the shoulder ppr. wreathed about the temples ar. and gu. two pheons or.
41) (London). Ar. on a pile az. three wolves’ heads erased of the field.
42) (Limehouse, co. Middlesex). Gu. on a chief indented or, four human hearts of the first, over all on a bend of the second three peas, slipped, stalked, and leaved vert, the pea pendent. Crest—A triangular harrow or.
43) (Great Yarmouth, co. Norfolk; granted 10 Sept. 1060). Ar. a fesse embattled counter-embattled betw. three lions' heads erased gu. ducally crowned or. Crest—Out of a ducal coronet or, a leopard’s head and neck gu.
44) (co. Northampton). Az. on a bend raguly betw. two cocks ar. crested and jelloped or, a snake vert.
45) (co. Northumberland). Sa. on a bend betw. two towers ar. three pheons gu. on a chief or, a lion pass. betw. two lozenges az.
46) (Luffenham, co. Rutland; granted 1592). Ar. a chev. betw. three lions’ heads couped gu. ducally crowned or. Crest—A lion’s head couped gu. ducally crowned or betw. two ostrich feathers ar. Another Crest—Out of a ducal coronet ar. a leopard’s head or.
47) (Robert Johnson, B.D., Archdeacon of Leicester, 1591-1625). Same Arms. Crest—A lion's head couped gu. langued az. ducally crowned or, betw. two ostrich feathers ar.
48) (cos. Stafford and Suffolk). Per bend ar. and sa. three trefoils slipped counterchanged. Crest—On a mount vert an ibex sejant erm. ducally gorged, crined, and tufted or, attired ar.
49) (granted to Rev. Croxton Johnson, Rector of Wilmslow, co. Chester). Motto—Fugite fures omnes. Gu. on a saltire ar. betw. three towers or, fired ppr. one in chief and two in the flanks, and two tilting apears saltireways in base of the second, five game cocks of the first. Crest—A dexter arm embowed in armour firing a pistol all ppr.
50) (Tyldesley, co. Lancaster; Lord Mayor of London, 1545; represented by Ormerod, of Tyldesley). Ar. a saltire sa. on a chief gu. three cushions or. Crest—A spur erect, betw. two wings or, straps and buckles gu.
51) (Runcorn, co. Chester; borne by John Johnson, Esq., son of John Johnson, whose father, Richard, son of Peter Johnson, was son of Richard Johnson, who settled at Higher Runcorn, at an early period). Motto—Servabo fidem. Or, a saltire vair betw. two cocks' heads erased in pale sa. combed and wattled gu. and two pheons in fesse of the third. Crest—A crescent or, issuant therefrom a pheon, the whole betw. two wings sa.
52) Az. on a bend embattled ar. betw. two cocks of the second, crested and jelloped or, a snake vert. Crest—On a mount vert a talbot couchant ar. collared and chained or.
53) Erm. on a chev. az. three bezants. Crest—Out of a mural coronet gu. a cubit arm erect, vested or, turned up ar. holding in the hand ppr. a scymitar of the third, hilt of the second.
54) Ar. a lion pass. gu. in chief three oak sprigs fructed all ppr. Crest—A wolf pass. holding in the mouth a sprig of woodbine in full blossom all ppr.
55) Per pale or and az. a fesse counterchanged. Crest—A mermaid, holding in the dexter hand a sceptre, and in the sinister a mirror all ppr.
56) (Yaxham and Welborne, co.Norfolk; borne by the Rev. John Barham Johnson, M.A., Rector of Welborne). Gu. on a saltire ar. five crosses moline of the first. Crest—A wolf's head erased per pale crenellee ar. and gu.
57) (Ulverscroft and Burleigh Field, co. Leicester; George William Lillingston, Esq., of Burleigh Field, only son of Rev. George Lillingston, M.A., Incumbent of Southend, co. Essex, by Barbara Anne, his wife, only dau. of Henry Spooner, Esq., of Gracechurch-street, London, and heiress of her mother, Ann Jane, third dau. of Nathaniel Palmer Johnson, Esq., of Burleigh Field, assumed by royal licence, 22 March, 1859, the surname and arms of Johnson in compliance with the will of his grand-uncle, the Rev. Nathaniel Palmer Johnson, M.A., Rector of Aston-upon-Trent, co. Derby). Ar. two chevronels betw. as many griffins’ heads erased in chief, and a palmer's scrip in base gu. Crest—A griffin's head erased per fesse ar. and gu. holding in the beak a palmer's scrip of the last.
58) (Bowden Park, co. Wilts, 1679). Ar. a bend sa. on a chief of the last three cushions of the first.
59) (Walton House, co. Cumberland). Ar. on a saltire sa. five bezants, on a chief gu. an Eastern crown betw. two woolpacks or. Crest—An estoile within a spur erect betw. two wings elevated or.
60) Sa. on a fesse or, betw. a nag's head and two buglehorns in chief and another in base ar. garnished of the second, a demi lion ramp. betw. two pheons az.
61) Az. a woolpack ar. (another, ar. on a cross raguly betw. four pheons gu. five bezants; another, ar. a chev. gu. betw. three lions pass. sa.; another, per pale az. and gu. on a chev. ar. betw. three fleurs-de-lis or, as many escallops of the second; another, per bend ar. and sa. three cinquefoils pierced all counterchanged; another, gu. three greyhounds courant in pale ar. collared or; another, gu. on a chief indented or, four body hearts of the field, over all a bend vert; another, az. on a saltire ar. five trefoils slipped vert; another, or, three fusils in fesse sa.; another, az. a fesse engr. erm. betw. three escallops or; another, per pale and per bend or and ar.).
62) (Rockenham, co. Cork; confirmed to Noble Johnson, Esq., of that place, son of William Johnson, Esq., of Rockenham, High Sheriff, co. Cork, 1815, and to the other descendants of his grandfather, Noble Johnson, Esq., Mayor of Cork, 1809). Motto—Nunquam non paratus. Ar. a saltire sa. betw. a lymphad in chief of the second and a tower in base gu. on a chief engr. of the last three cushions or. Crest—On a mural crown ppr. a spur erect or, betw. two wings expanded ar. each charged with an annulet gu.
63) (Reg. Ulster’s Office). gu. on a chev. betw. three fleurs-de-lis ar. as many escallops of the field.
64) (granted to Sir William Gilleland Johnson. Knt., Mayor of Belfast, in commemoration of the Queen’s first visit to that town). Motto—Nunquam non paratus. Ar. a saltire sa. betw. in chief a pile chequy or and gu. a chief vair, being part of the arms of Belfast, two sinister hands couped, one in dexter, the other in sinister fess points of the fourth, and in base a cushion of the fourth, thereon the municipal mace of Belfast in fess of the third, on a chief of the fourth a royal crown of England betw. St. George’s and St. Patrick’s ensigns displ. all ppr. Crest—An arm embowed in armour grasping a sword ppr. betw. two wings erect az.
65) (Edinburgh). Motto—Nunquam non paratus. Ar. a saltire sa. betw. an increscent and decrescent in the flanks az. and a palm branch in base vert, on a chief of the second three cushions of the first. Crest—A winged spur ppr.