Orkney Image Library

<< back
John Johnston
The Orkney Image Library

Help us get organised! If we haven't correctly identified which area this picture is best listed under, please select it below and click Done!

view a random pic
John Johnston

John Johnston ... picture taken abt 1910

John was a sailor in the war (WW1) worked as a baker. He emigrated to Canada abt 1919. Lived there till his death in the 1970's

I know very little of him otherwise.

son of Donald and Ann Johnston of Longhope
Large Version View Large Version
Picture added on 24 January 2010 at 12:44
Comments:
was it not John who lived a reclusive lifestyle?
Added by Audrey Cameron on 26 January 2010
Audrey,Is it Jock o' Doon Troo, your refering to,if he was the same Johnston family, then Isobella McKinnon from Boathouse, was a sister of his.. Jock was a good accordion player... not too sure about being the same Johnston's tho...
Added by Jimmy Hamilton on 28 January 2010
Oh Jimmy I think yir aff on anither tack all tigither,this might go on forever!!.
Noo Audrey, I mind having this story told to me by your dad Dennis, he told me how one of the brothers had gone away to the hills and did not wish to see any one. I think some of the family tried to meet up but were turned away.
The reason I remember was that just before our father died one of his cousins was trying to get into a rather large claim from the estate of one of my Grandads' brothers who had lived a similar lifestyle in Canada, Must have been the cabin fever that got to them!!.
By the way none of the wealth came my way so begging letters please!!.

Added by John Budge on 28 January 2010
Jock O' DownThroo certainly didn't have a reclusive lifestyle, but I do not think that he was the same family as Sammy, Bob etc. Might have been a relative though. Jock was the postman for the area from the North Ness to Brims, in the days when it was all done on push bikes. At New Year time you would get the mail about four days afterwards, but Jock was popular and had to stop for a dram in every house. There were a lot of houses on his beat in those days, so it added up to a lot of drams. Danny Rich took over the patch later and he was equally as popular as Jock and had a similar constitution and capacity for the water of life. As Jimmy points out Jock was an excellent box player and played in the Haybrake Band with Mrs Miller. Sometimes on the way home from a dance at the Ore hall or at Lyness, we would drop in at Down Throo for a few tunes. Great days, never to be forgotten.
Added by Fred Johnston. on 29 January 2010
To add to the discusion (regarding his later years), John did live a reclusive lifestyle in Canada. He had a home next to my grandfathers and it was covered in plant life..to the point you couldn't see it at all and it was only about 20 feet away.

I think I only saw uncle John once or twice before his death. He was known to be the family hermit...so if the early years were any indication. When we went in his home after he died, it was packed to the rafters with papers and supplies. I will always remember seeing a ketchup bottle on a large pile of papers almost touching the ceiling.

Added by Richard Johnston on 02 February 2010
Lets get onto Jock- o "Doonthrough". Danny Ritch told of meeting Jock makan furr home aboot five in the morning on the Ore brae, dreagan his accordian ahint him( no case). Danny discribed it like he had a horses blinds in his hand. This after a heavy night at no2 mess Lyness.

Cant you just picture the scene!!. I think we must have had more than our share of "caricters" here on Hoy over the years!!.
Added by John Budge on 02 February 2010
Just been speaking to Donny McKinnon, Jock O Doonthroo's nephew. He told me that Jock died in Glasgow many years ago. He moved to Greenock when Lyness shut down in 1957. Donny was saying that Jimmy Hamilton left him a message, but no phone number, so he could not get back to him.
Added by Fred Johnston. on 14 February 2010
Can anyone tell me about Jock O Doonthroo's family...I don't gather that Jock O Doonthroo was his actual name...where was he from...parents, siblings etc..I might have some information on him , if I can figure out where he possibly fits into our tree.

thanks

Richard
Added by Richard Johnston on 14 February 2010
I don't think Jock would be a relative of yours Richard and if he was, I think it would be a distant one. His name was John Johnston and he took his by name from the house he lived in for most of his life. The locals called it "Downthroo", but the real name was actually "Downtown" or something similar.
Added by Fred Johnston. on 15 February 2010
Thanks Fred,
Actually, I am interested in seeing where Jock fits in nonetheless, as I've been working to fit all the Hoy/Walls Johnstons into a big family tree...

I am also hoping if you might be able to assist me with some of it Fred?

please email me if you can

Richard J.
Added by Richard Johnston on 14 March 2010
For some reason I cannot answer you on your e.mail sddress Richard, as I am informed by this confounded machine, that I do not have the programme installed to enable me to do this. I will have to wait for one of my sons to come and sort it out, but that will not be be at least a month. I have some history on the family, but to what branch of it, do you belong?.
Fred J.

Added by Fred Johnston. on 14 March 2010
Fred,

I have sent a reply to you...hopefully it makes it

Is the man on the right side of picture #14083 (with the part hat on) the one we have been speaking of?..says his name is Jock Johnston?


Richard
Added by Richard Johnston on 17 March 2010
No Richard,I do not think that this is the famous Jock.
Added by Fred Johnston. on 19 March 2010
Richard,
I have just had another look at this photograph. I have been looking at the wrong one previously and although I am not at all certain, the man in the hat could well be Jock "O" Doontroo. I cannot remember another Jock Johnston on the Island at that time, but I never heard of Jock being called by anything but his nickname.
Added by Fred Johnston. on 20 March 2010
Richard, I think the man in the second row far right in picture #14083 is John Johnston (Jock-O-Doonthroo), not the man in the party hat.
Jimmy Hamilton can you confirm this or otherwise?.
Added by John Budge on 21 March 2010
Yes John , would agree wi' it being Jock Johnston, he left Orkney shortly after this pic.. Probably to another base after Lyness closed..seem to think it was Greenock, but not sure..He would have been in the band at that doo, see other band members there too..
Added by Jimmy Hamilton on 22 March 2010
Agreed John and Jimmy, I think that this is indeed Jock.
Added by Fred Johnston. on 22 March 2010
<< back

Hoy

North Walls School?North Walls SchoolNorth Walls School day outSammy and Hugh Johnston, BraesideJohnstons at Braeside, LonghopeFree pass to HoutonDeath notice of Sandy SinclairJim and Alex Sinclair from LonghopeMystery gentleman on a motorbikeLizzie Ann Thomson Smith (nee Wilson)