Humanities › History & Culture Johnson: Name Meaning and Origin Share Flipboard Email Print Getty / Ronnie Kaufman / Larry Hirshowitz History & Culture Genealogy Surnames Basics Genealogy Fun Vital Records Around the World American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Kimberly Powell Genealogy Expert Certificate in Genealogical Research, Boston University B.A., Carnegie Mellon University Kimberly Powell is a professional genealogist and the author of The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy. She teaches at the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. our editorial process Kimberly Powell Updated April 08, 2018 Johnson is an English patronymic name meaning "son of John (gift of God)." The name John derives from the Latin Johannes, which is derived from the Hebrew Yohanan meaning "Jehovah has favored." The suffix meaning "son," creates several different variations of the Johnson surname. Examples: English son, Norwegian sen, German sohn, and Swedish sson. Jones is the common Welsh version of this surname. The JOHNSON surname may also be an Anglicisation of the Gaelic surname MacSeain or MacShane. Johnson was a very popular name among Christians, given the many saints named John, including St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist. Surname Origin: English, Scottish Alternate Surname Spellings: Johnston, Jonson, Jonsen, Johanson, Johnstone, Johnsson, Johannsan, Jensen, MacShane, McShane, McSeain Fun Facts About the Johnston Surname Johnston/Johnstone combined was the 10th most frequent surname at the General Register Office of Scotland in 1995. Famous People with the Surname Johnson Andrew Johnson - America's 17th PresidentLyndon B. Johnson - America's 36th PresidentCaryn Elaine Johnson - AKA Whoopie Goldberg, African American ActressShawn Johnson - 2008 Olympics gymnastics gold medalist Genealogy Resources for the Surname Johnson Search Strategies for Common Last NamesUse these strategies for locating ancestors with common names like Johnson to help you research your JOHNSON ancestors online. 100 Most Common U.S. Surnames & Their MeaningsSmith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Brown... Are you one of the millions of Americans sporting one of these top 100 common last names from the 2000 census? Johnson Johnston Johnstone Surname DNA ProjectJohnsons around the world are having their DNA tested in order to learn more about their family origins, and connections to other Johnson and Johnston families. History of the Johnston/Johnstone ClanThere were a number of "John's towns" in Scotland but the earliest record of the surname is a John Johnstone at the end of the 12th century. Johnson Name Meaning & Family HistoryAn overview of the Johnson surname meaning, plus subscription-based access to genealogical records on Johnson families around the world from Ancestry.com. FamilySearch - JOHNSON GenealogyExplore over 37 million historical records and lineage-linked family trees available for the Johnson surname, and variations such as Johnston, on this free website hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Johnson Family Genealogy ForumSearch this forum for the Johnson surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Johnson query. There's also a separate forum for the Johnston surname. DistantCousin.com - JOHNSON Genealogy & Family HistoryFree databases and genealogy links for the last name Johnson. The Johnson Genealogy and Family Tree PageBrowse genealogy records and links to genealogical and historical records for individuals with the Johnson surname from the website of Genealogy Today. -- Can't find your last name listed? Suggest a surname to be added to the Glossary of Surname Meanings & Origins. ----------------------- References: Surname Meanings & Origins Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967. Menk, Lars. A Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames. Avotaynu, 2005. Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia. Avotaynu, 2004. Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989. Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003. Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.