History of your Surname
Get access to Johnson family records.Start a free trial

Johnson Family History

Johnson Name Meaning

English and Scottish: patronymic from the Middle English and Older Scots personal name Johan Jo(h)n (see John ) + -son. It was often interchanged with Jenson and Janson . In North America this surname has absorbed cognates from other languages e.g. Norwegian Danish or North German Johnsen Johannesen Johannsen Johansen Jansen Jantzen and Jensen Swedish Johnsson (see below) Johansson Jonsson and Jansson Dutch Janssen German Janz Czech Jansa 1 and Slovenian Janša (see Jansa ) and Janežič (see Janezic ). Johnson (including in the sense 2 below) is the second most frequent surname in the US. It is also the second most common surname among Native Americans and a very common surname among African Americans. Americanized form (and a less common Swedish variant) of Swedish Johnsson: patronymic from the personal name John a variant of Jon (see John ). Compare 1 above.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022

Similar surnames: Johnston, Johnsen, Jonson, Jackson, Janson, Johansen, Jonsson, Ohlson

Search for a relative to learn more about your family history.

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

Black & white image of a young woman scientist

Where is the Johnson family from?

You can see how Johnson families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Johnson family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Johnson families were found in USA in 1880. In 1891 there were 17,173 Johnson families living in Lancashire. This was about 16% of all the recorded Johnson's in United Kingdom. Lancashire had the highest population of Johnson families in 1891.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Johnson surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Johnson ancestors do for a living?

In 1939, General Labourer and Unpaid Domestic Duties were the top reported jobs for men and women in the United Kingdom named Johnson. 6% of Johnson men worked as a General Labourer and 63% of Johnson women worked as an Unpaid Domestic Duties. Some less common occupations for Americans named Johnson were Bricklayer and Incapacitated. .

View Census Data for Johnson | Data not to scale

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations In 1939

  • General Labourer
  • Builders Labourer
  • Incapacitated
  • Bricklayer

Top Female Occupations In 1939

  • Unpaid Domestic Duties
  • Unpaid Domestic
  • Housewife
  • Incapacitated
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Johnson family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 8 million census records available for the last name Johnson. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Johnson census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Australian census records for Johnson

Passenger Lists

There are 949,000 immigration records available for the last name Johnson. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in Australia, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Johnson immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 1 million military records available for the last name Johnson. For the veterans among your Johnson ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Johnson military records

You've only scratched the surface of Johnson family history

Discover More

What is the average Johnson lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Johnson life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1945, and highest in 2004. The average life expectancy for Johnson in 1940 was 37, and 73 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Johnson

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Johnson family tree

Explore Your Tree

Browse profiles of historical people with the Johnson last name

Search for another surname
Enter last name/surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial