The Clan History
Whenever there has been a Borders battle, the Johnstons have never been far away.
The first person recorded with this name was John Johnston, who, in 1174, gave his name to the land in Annandale, Dumfries-shire which he had been granted. He had a son Gilbert, whose name appears in records from 1194. Gilberts grandson was Sir John of Johnston, a knight of the county of Dumfries. When the Ragman Roll was drawn up to carry the names of those swearing fealty to Englands Edward I in 1296, Sir John signed.
However, Perth was at that time known as St Johnston, and Johnstonburn in East Lothian was then called Jonystoun. From these areas too records began to show families taking the Johnston name as their own. Thirdly, from Strathspey in the Highlands, Stephen the Clerk and Margaret, heiress of Sir Andrew Garioch, would marry and start a family which would eventually be known as Johnston.
But it was the fighting Johnstons of the Western Borders who would proliferate and develop their power greatest. Sir Johns great-great-grandson, Adam, was Laird of Johnston around 1413, and in 1448 fought in the Battle of Sark.
Adams son supported James II in putting down the Douglases, and won their lands of Buittle and Sannoch near Threave Castle as reward.
John, eldest son of Adam, was progenitor of the Annandale branch and his brother Matthew, marrying the daughter of the Earl of Angus, was progenitor of the Westerhall branch. Johns offspring would become the main Johnston family.
On 7th December 1593 was the Battle of Dryfe Sands near Lockerbie after a long-time feud between the Johnstons and the Maxwells. The Maxwells fared badly that day and Lord Maxwell, most powerful man in southern Scotland, was slain. A meeting of reconciliation in 1608 was where the ninth Lord Maxwell avenged his father with Johnstons life. In 1614 he was brought to book and hanged.
By the start of the 1700s the chief of the Johnstons had been raised to rank of Marquess of Annandale and Secretary of State and John, 2nd of Westerhall, was a baronet of Nova Scotia.
Motto: Nunquam non paratus - "Never unprepared".
Badge: A winged spur.
Names associated with the clan: JOHNESTOWNE JOHNSTONE JONESTON JOHNSTOUNNE JOHNESTOUN JONISTON JOHNGSTON JOHNSTOUN JOHNNESTOUN JOHNNSTOUNE JOHNSTON JONSTOUN JOHANSTOUN LOCKERBY LOCKERBIE ROME
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