A surname of England, Scotland and Ireland: in the south and west of England from the English place names Johnstone (Devon), Johnston (Pembrookeshire), or Johnson Hall (Staffordshire) in the north of England and Scotland from the Scots place names Johnstone (Dimfrieshire) or St. Johnston (now Perth); in Ireland, also erroneously for MacKeo(w)n. See JOHNSON. (Reaney, Cottle, Spiegelhalter, Black, MacLysaght). Traced by Guppy in Cumberland and Westmorland, as Johnston(e), south of the Forth and Clyde, especially in the Border counties and particularly in Dumfrieshire, and by Spiegelhalter in Devon.



At St. John's: Church of England Baptisms: Sept. 29, 1818 - James of William and Jane Johnson of Capelin Bay - b. Nov. 30, 1816.
  The Courier Newspaper: Dec 16 1846 - James Johnston of Fairyland (sic), blacksmith, and Elizabeth Goffe of Goffe Bridge, Co. Wexford, Ireland were married by Rev. T.F. H. Bridge.
At Caplin Bay: Voter's List for Caplin Bay: 1840, 1841, 1842 - James Johnston; 1847, 1849, 1852, 1855, 1859 - William Johnstone.
  Lovell's 1871 Directory - William Johnston, fisherman.
  McAlpine's 1894 Directory - Peter Johnson - fisherman; William Johnson - fisherman.
  McAlpine's 1898 Directory - Peter Johnson - fisherman; William - fisherman.
  McAlpine's 1904 Directory - Peter Johnson - fisherman; William Johnson - fisherman.
  Southern Shore Death Records: April 11 1907 - Old Age - William Johnson - Ferryland - Aged 92.
At Ferryland: Ferryland District Surrogate Court Records: 1825 - Pitt, Robert: Indenture signed for apprenticeship in blacksmithing with James Johnson and his mother, Jane. Witnesses: William Sask, Thomas Norris.
  Ferryland Church of England Burials: January 22,1843 - Pitt, Robert - Ferryland - 68. Priest: William Bowman.
  Entry in Diary of Robert Carter III: Jan 28 1843 "James Johnson of Caplin Bay has this winter opened up the forge of Mr. Holdsworth for carrying on business on his own account".
  Voter's List for Ferryland: 1844, 1845, 1846, 1847, 1849, 1852, 1855, 1859 - James Johnston, 1855 - Nicholas Johnston.
  Registry Crown Lands: James Johnson granted land at Ferryland - 1847.
  Births, Deaths, Marriages in Newfoundland Newspapers (1810-1890): Mrs. William Johnson died at Ferryland on May 5, 1885, age 100 yrs , there 75 yrs.
  Church of England Burials: October 20 1880 - James Johnson - Ferryland - 63.
  Church of England Burials: December 12 1912 - Nicholas F. Johnson - Ferryland - Fisherman - 91.
  Southern Shore Death Records: Ferryland - December 9 1912 - Old Age - Nicholas Johnston - b. Caplin Bay - 91.
Family History: Research indicates that the Johnston family came to the Ferryland/Caplin Bay area about 1810. In 1818 when James was baptised in St. John's, the baptism record stated that his family was living at Caplin Bay. James Johnston was apprenticed, at the very young age of nine years, to Robert Pitt, a blacksmith who was operating the Holdsworth forge in Ferryland. When Robert Pitt died in January 1843, James Johnston immediately took over the Holdsworth forge and settled in Ferryland. A few years later, in 1846, he married and started a family there. About the same time his brother, William Johnston married and started a family at Caplin Bay. There was also a brother Nicholas, who appears to have lived at Ferryland, however very little is recorded of Nicholas Johnston. He doesn't appear to have married. He was only listed in the Voter's List on one occasion, but he lived to be 91 years old.
Present Status: There is now only one family with the Johnston surname at Calvert and a few families at Ferryland. Like most families from this area, there are descendants of William and Jane Johnston at Calvert and Ferryland, throughout other parts of Newfoundland and the rest of Canada, the U.S.A., and probably worldwide. Some descendants of James, the blacksmith, have gained recognition for their artistic talents. His great granddaughter, Ruby Elaine Johnston went to the U.S.A., became an actress and was the first wife of well-known Hollywood actor Hal Holbrook. In more recent times, Wayne Johnston, the great, great, grandson of James has become a well-known Canadian author of several best selling novels.

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