Aged 21 by the time of the 1881 census, Johnston - the eldest in the family - was a pastry baker at his father's bakehouse, while 15-year-old brother George was a junior baker there. Following the death of George senior, early in 1887 at Sugar House Close off the Royal Mile, Johnston and George junior took over the family business interests between them. Johnston married Mary Brown Wright later the same year, in Dumfries. In 1891, the pair and their two daughters (Janet and Mary) were living in East Adam Street.
They ran the Victoria Boarding House in Lundin Links from circa 1923. At that time it incorporated a bake house. Then around 1928 they purchased Bellville on Emsdorf Street and soon set up the shop in the front of this house. It would seem that the bakery element of their Lundin Links business interests shifted from Victoria Road to Emsdorf Street and the boarding house was styled more as a hotel. The hospitality at Swan's Victoria Hotel must have been quite something - with a baker/confectioner/cook/restaurateur at the helm. And his talents did not end there, for Mr Swan was also a musician. The article below from the 4 Feb 1928 Courier tells of him entertaining as a one-man band!
By 1935 Mr and Mrs Swan had moved back to Edinburgh and he had presumably retired. Johnston Wright Swan died on 2 Dec 1943 at Spring Gardens, Abbeyhill, Edinburgh at the age of 84. The registration of his death shows the informant as Hugh Percival - his son-in-law and also the registrar of Largo Parish (then residing at Crawford Cottage in Lundin Links).