The Worland Family in America and Beyond

I began my life in the Puget Sound area of Washington State, on an island filled with forests and wild rhododendrons. I was separated from my Worland family there at an early age. Recently, I was reunited with my family and learned of my heritage. And so, this journey to know my ancestors began. The Worlands, Gideons, Newtons, Conards... they were the colonists, the settlers, the pioneers. They fought in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War. This is their story, and the story of a nation. -Deci Worland MacKinnon

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Notes on Surnames

One difficulty I faced almost immediately was the problem of changing surnames. My grandmother's maiden name was Rosella Johnston, but very quickly this surname became Johnson in the databases. Johnston is simply a variant, names often change as we travel back through time.
Johnson is an English patronymic name meaning "son of John (gift of God)." The name John derives from the Latin Johannes, which is derived from the Hebrew Yohanan meaning "Jehovah has favoured."
The suffix meaning "son," creates several different variations of the JOHNSON surname. Examples: English son, Norwegian sen, German sohn, and Swedish sson. JONES is the common Welsh version of this surname. The JOHNSON surname may also be an Anglicisation of the Gaelic surname MacSeain or MacShane. Johnson was a very popular name among Christians, given the many saints named John, including St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist.

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