Mr Andrew Emslie Johnston was born in Bodham, New Machar, Aberdeenshire, Scotland on 14 May 1876.
He was the son of William Johnston (b. 1843), a meal miller, and Catherine Emslie (b. 1844), both Aberdeenshire natives who were married in Old Machar on 18 June 1869. He had six known siblings: William (b. 1869), William Charles (b. 1871), Catherine (b. 1874), Helen (b. 1879), James Tytler (b. 1881) and Peter (b. 1883).
Andrew appears on the 1881 census living at Mills of Bodham in New Machar and on the 1891 census in Mill of Pinkie, also in New Machar. He was educated at the local New Machar school along with his siblings and upon his leaving was apprenticed as a plumber, in time becoming a master plumber.
William was married in the United Free Presbyterian Church, Alexandria, Glasgow on 24 December 1902 to Elizabeth "Eliza" Watson (b. 1876), a native of Bracadale on the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides, Scotland who worked as a table maid. The couple settled in Croydon, Surrey, England and had two children: William Andrew (b. 1903) and Catherine Nellie (b. 1905). The family appear on the 1911 census living at 21 Luna Road, Thornton Heath, Croydon.
Also living in England, but in the county of Sussex, was his wife's elder sister Margaret Ann Ford. Margaret's daughter Frances, was already in the United States working as a domestic servant, and so impressed the family with tales of a better life that both families decided to leave for America. Travelling with them was a friend of the Watsons, Alice Harknett. The Johnstons originally intended sailing in October 1911 but decided to wait for the Fords. Their passage was originally booked on the Philadelphia, but owing to the coal strike a further postponement had to be made, and the party ultimately sailed on the Titanic which boarded at Southampton as third class passengers (ticket number W./C. 6607 which cost £23, 9s).
The entire party of ten were lost in the sinking. Their bodies, if recovered, were never identified.