A survey of the papers of Johnston of Hilton was made by the National Register of Archives (Scotland) and is described in NRA(S) list 3213. The bulk of the records described therein comprise papers relating to the ranking of the creditors of Sir William Johnston of Portlethen and to the sale of his lands in Portlethen and Hilton, Aberdeenshire, 1813 - 1826. Much of this comprises correspondence with his representative, Hay Donaldson, WS, Edinburgh, with associated accounts and legal papers; but amongst this there are also some estate papers, including rentals, 1795 - 1818, tacks, 1792 - 1810, plans 1795 - 1814, and factory accounts, 1813 - 1817. An inventory of writs and papers belonging to Sir William Johnston of Portlethen, 1709 - 1813, is accompanied by most of the 109 items described therein, including a printed Report on Port Leithin with suggested improvements, by Thomas Telford, 1810. There is also a separate bundle of miscellaneous printed papers, comprising advertisements, handbills, reports and newspaper cuttings relating to Portlethen harbour and fishings, 1810 - 1815.
In addition to the papers described in NRA(S) list 3213, this collection also contains some later papers, mainly correspondence, relating to the management of the Hilton estate and to family matters, late 19th c - early 20th c.
Other papers relating to the Johnstons of Hilton are deposited in the extensive Davidson and Garden collection, where they are awaiting listing. See related units of description, below, for further details.