Transferred use of the surname, which is derived from a Breton personal name composed of haer ‘battle’ + vy ‘worthy’. It was introduced to Britain by Bretons who settled in East Anglia and elsewhere in the wake of the Norman Conquest.
English and Scottish: patronymic from the personal name John. As an American family name, Johnson has absorbed patronymics and many other derivatives of this name in continental European languages. (For forms, see Hanks and Hodges 1988.)