Johnstone, William 1a 2

Birth Name Johnstone, William
Gender male
Age at Death 74 years, 4 months, 8 days


Event Date Place Description Notes Sources
Birth August 20, 1784 Annan, Dumfries, Scotland  
Baptism April 20, 1785 Kirkpatrick-Fleming, Dumfries, Scotland  
Death December 28, 1858 Long River, Queens, Prince Edward Island age 72; a Johnstone family source says 29 December


Relation to main person Name Relation within this family (if not by birth)
Father Johnstone, William
Mother Smith, Isabel
    Sister     Johnstone, Jean
    Sister     Johnstone, Grisel
    Brother     Johnstone, John
    Sister     Johnston, Isabella Isobel
         Johnstone, William
    Brother     Johnstone, David
    Brother     Johnstone, Robert
    Brother     Johnstone, James
    Brother     Johnstone, James


    Family of Johnstone, William and Lytle Little, Mary
Married Wife Lytle Little, Mary
Event Date Place Description Notes Sources
Marriage about 1816    
  1. Johnstone, John
  2. Johnstone, James
  3. Johnstone, William
  4. Johnstone, Isabel
  5. Johnstone, Jannet
  6. Johnstone, Mary
  7. Johnstone, Robert
  8. Johnstone, Andrew
  9. Johnstone, Margaret



William Johnstone was born in Dumfries, Scotland around 1785. His baptismal record said his parents were from Branteth.

Name William Johnston
Gender Male
Christening Date 20 Apr 1785
Father's Name William Johnston
Mother's Name Isabell Smith
Citing this Record "Scotland Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950," database, FamilySearch ( : 10 February 2018), William Johnston in entry for William Johnston, ; citing Kirkpatrick Fleming, Dumfries, Scotland, reference 2:162VZ07, index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 1,067,965.

He married Mary Lytle (or Little) around 1816. Although I wasn't able to find a marriage record for them, their son John was baptized in July 1816 as the "lawful son of William Johnston and Mary Little". John was born in Gallhills. William and Mary's first three sons, John, William, and James were baptized in Kirkpatrick-Fleming, Dumfries between 1816-1823. Mary, Robert, Andrew and Margaret were baptized in Annan from 1826-1834. No baptismal records were found for Isabel or Jannet.

The Johnstones were living in Annan, Dumfriesshire, Scotland when they emigrated in 1836. At that time they had five sons and four daughters. William's brother David had emigrated to Prince Edward Island 16 years earlier.

The following story was related in the History of New Annan:

In conversation concerning early days with Mr. William Johnstone of Kensington, a short time ago, he told me an interesting story about his ancestors which I must pass along. The William Johnstone family of Long River arrived at Greens' Shore (Summerside) in 1836 from Annan, Dumfriesshire, Scotland}. His brother David had come out sixteen years earlier, he met them with a cart, which could only accommodate the women, young children and luggage, which would be in boxes. The other folk had to walk.
While going through New Annan, they became thirsty so William (son) called at Jamiesons' Mills and asked for a drink of water. A maid answered the knock at the door and on seeing William, now 16, she threw her apron over her face and commenced to cry, he asked, "What is the trouble?" She said, "You are William Johnstone, I was a maid in your father's house when you were a boy". A home-sick girl in a new country, her name was Carrie!

William wrote his will on December 16 1858 when he was "very sick but of perfect mind" . He left his farm to Mary, his beloved wife. His son Robert Johnstone would inherit the farm on the death of his mother, and Robert was instructed at that time to pay 200 pounds, to be equally divided among his surviving brothers and sisters. His sons William and John Johnstone were his executors. The will was proved in 1863. Probate was granted to William Johnston 27 February 1867.

After William's death, Mary lived with her youngest daughter Margaret in New London.





On July 28, 1970 in The Guardian of Charlottown, P.E.I, the history of Janet Johnstone's family was printed:

'DAVID AND WILLIAM Johnstone Family Founded By Landing 150 Years Ago

'KENSINGTON - One hundred and fifty years ago, David Johnstone [1787- 1870] landed in Prince Edward Island, and along with his brother William, [1785-1858] eventually founded a family which has had a profound influence on the life of Canada's smallest province, and whose members have scattered to make their mark in many parts of North America.

'David immigrated from Dunfriesshire, Scotland, in 1820, and settled in Long River where he built a mill which served the public for 16 years. 'Shortly after arriving here, he married Janet MacMurdo [1806-1890] of a nearby district called New Dumfies, now Kelvin Grove. David brought a carding mill and machinery for making flour and oatmeal from Scotland.

'The mill he set up and operated is now "ye olde mill museum". David Johnstone, Sr., David Johnstone, Jr., and Donald M. Johnstone were the three millers who operated the mill. 'In their memory a cairn has been erected on the site, and all the Johnstone descendants who could possibly come were at Long River on Saturday for the unveiling.

'There were 500 in attendance, including 135 from off the Island. Greetings were received during the day from Premier Alex Campbell, David and Mrs. Johnstone of Scotland, Duncan Forbes MacKay of Australia, and other messages from relatives in Canada and the United States.

'Above the names on the cairn is the Johnstone crest. The spur and wings and the motto: Nunguam Non Paratus (never unprepared). Names inscribed were David Johnstone Sr., 1787-1870, David Johnstone Jr. 1840- 1884, and Donald M. Johnstone 1867-1930.

'The entire clan were guests at olde mill museum - conceived, executed and operated by the Dunning family. Ernest Dunning died earlier this year, too soon to see the results of his suggestion that "a cairn should be erected to the three Johnstone millers who served the community faithfully for 106 years." Mrs. Dunning and their son, Robert, now operate the museum and were hosts for the occasion.

'William Johnstone, a farmer, and his family, came to Long River in 1836. Among his descendants are Col. E. W. Johnstone and his son, Archie Johnstone, [founders and] owners of the Woodleigh Replicas, who with their wives, welcomed the guests on a tour of the replicas; also, William E. Johnstone, promoter of the reunion, and the two who first suggested a reunion of the clan, the Hon. Thane A. Campbell and Bert MacKay.

'The erection of the cairn was made possible by the donation of two millstones by Mr. and Mrs. Keir Marchbank, and a generous donation by the Ross family. 'The cairn was unveiled by David C. Johnstone of Kelowna, B.C. Hon. Thane Campbell was master of ceremonies, while Lex Pate of Summerside was the official piper for the ceremony.'

The Johnstones came from Annan, Dumfriesshire. William with his wife Mary Lytle, five sons and four daughters came to P.E .I. in 1836.




  1. Johnstone, William
    1. Smith, Isabel
      1. Johnstone, James
      2. Johnstone, Jean
      3. Johnstone, Grisel
      4. Johnstone, James
      5. Johnstone, John
      6. Johnston, Isabella Isobel
      7. Johnstone, William
        1. Lytle Little, Mary
          1. Johnstone, John
          2. Johnstone, Isabel
          3. Johnstone, William
          4. Johnstone, Jannet
          5. Johnstone, James
          6. Johnstone, Mary
          7. Johnstone, Robert
          8. Johnstone, Andrew
          9. Johnstone, Margaret
      8. Johnstone, David
      9. Johnstone, Robert

Source References

  1. Dyment, Jane: Ancestry Family Trees
      • Page: Ancestry Family Trees
  2. Geddie Memorial Church Records