Although Johnstone in its various spellings is one of the most frequent surnames in Scotland, the history of the Johnstone clan is not well known. The aim of this booklet is to provide a modern, accurate overview of one of the most powerful clans in its proper historical context. This short history is comprehensive, accessible, concise and readable.
As long ago as the sixteenth century the Parliament of Scotland referred to the Johnstones as a clan, along with many others along the border of Scotland and England. However, the distinctive culture and vital role of the Border clans in the mainstream of Scottish history have only recently gained popular recognition. The Borderer is different from the Highlander, but his history is just as thrilling, his heritage just as heroic.
The Johnstones of the Borders are not the only Johnstones. Another distinct group is from the northeast Scottish lowlands, and there are Johnstones from a variety of other locations in Scotland. Today, all Johnstones are considered to be of the same clan.