When Zachariah Taylor Johnston was born on 25 May 1816, in Mercer, Mercer, Pennsylvania, United States, his father, Zachariah Johnston, was 33 and his mother, Jane Grace Todd, was 31. He married Mary Mecham on 4 April 1839, in Greenville, Mercer, Pennsylvania, United States. They were the parents of at least 8 sons and 4 daughters. He lived in Cambridge Township, Lenawee, Michigan, United States in 1850 and Lincoln Township, Nodaway, Missouri, United States in 1870. He died on 3 July 1890, in Blanchard, Page, Iowa, United States, at the age of 74, and was buried in Blanchard, Page, Iowa, United States.
Scottish: habitational name, deriving in most cases from the place so called in Annandale, in Dumfriesshire. This is derived from the genitive case of the personal name John + + Middle English ton ‘town, village, settlement’ (Old English tūn). There are other places in Scotland so called, including the city of Perth, which used to be known as Saint John's Toun, and some of these may also be sources of the surname.
English: habitational name from Johnson Hall (Staffordshire), recorded as Johannestonc. 1233 and Joneston in 1314. The placename means ‘John's settlement’, from the genitive case of the Middle English personal name Johan, Jon (see John ) + Middle English ton ‘town, village, settlement’.
History: As far as can be ascertained, most Scottish bearers of this surname are descendants of John, probably a Norman baron from England, who held lands at Johnstone in Annandale from the Bruce family in the late 12th century. His son Gilbert was the first to take the surname Johnstone and their descendants later held the earldom of Annandale.