Johnston family crest and coat of arms

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Meaning of the Johnston family crest symbols

Shield - Saltire cross

The saltire cross on the shield is a powerful symbol of the crucifixion of Christ and serves as a reminder of the strong religious beliefs of the early family members. It is a reminder of their faith and a symbol of their commitment to their beliefs.

Shield - Chief

The chief along the top section of the shield represents authority and domination of will. It was given to those as a reward for wisdom, strong-mindedness and success in battle.

Bird - Phoenix

The phoenix, is an ancient symbol of resurrection in heraldry and represents the long standing nature of the family, as it is said to be reborn from its own ashes. It is a symbol of strength and immortality.

Meaning of the Johnston coat of arms colors


The silver or white color on the coat of arms, (known as 'Argent'), signifies sincerity and peacefulness. It is one of the oldest colors known in ancient heraldry.


The black color (known as Sable) symbolizes constancy and the enduring nature of the family. It is a symbol of family longevity through time.


The red color (known as Gules) traditionally symbolized martyrdom and the historic military strength of family members when called upon in times of war.

Johnston name meaning and origin

Johnston is of Scottish origin, meaning "John's town" or "son of John," indicating ancestry from someone named John or a connection to a place named after such a person.

History of family crests like the Johnston coat of arms

Family crests and coats of arms emerged during the Middle Ages, mostly in wider Europe. They were used as a way to identify knights and nobles on the battlefield and in tournaments. The designs were unique to each family and were passed down from generation to generation.

The earliest crests were simple designs, such as a single animal or symbol, but they became more elaborate over time. Coats of arms were also developed, which included a shield with the family crest, as well as other symbols and colors that represented the family's history and achievements.

The use of family crests and coats of arms spread throughout Europe and became a symbol of social status and identity. They were often displayed on clothing, armor, and flags, and were used to mark the family's property and possessions.

Today, family crests and coats of arms are still used as a way to honor and celebrate family heritage.

Johnston name variations and their meaning

The family name Johnston has several variations that have emerged over time. One common variation is Johnson, which is a simplified version of the original name. This variation is often found in English-speaking countries and is widely recognized. Another variation is Johnstone, which is more commonly found in Scotland. This variation adds an extra 'e' to the name, giving it a slightly different pronunciation. Additionally, there are variations such as Jonson and Johnsen, which are less common but still exist. These variations may have originated from different regions or through different branches of the family. It is interesting to see how the name has evolved and adapted over the years, with each variation having its own unique characteristics. Whether it is spelled Johnston, Johnson, Johnstone, Jonson, or Johnsen, the name still represents a family lineage and carries a sense of identity for those who bear it.

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