Dawnay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Early Origins of the Dawnay family
The surname Dawnay was first found in Cornwall where the family held at one time fifteen manors and were descended by an heiress to the house of Courtenay Earl of Devon about the reign of Edward II. 
It is known to be a "Norman family by reputation, and said to be traced to the Conquest, descended from Sir William Downay, who was in the wars in the Holy Land with Richard I. in 1192, at which time that King gave him, in memory of his acts of valour, a ring from his finger, which is still in possession of the family." 
The actual spelling of Sir William is under dispute as another reference claims William D'Aunay accompanied Richard I. to Palestine. 
This latter reference digs further to their earlier life in Normandy where the name was also known as "De Alneto, a branch of the baronial house of Bassett, deriving from Fulco or Fulcelin de Alneto, brother of Osmond Bassett, Baron of Normanville in 1050." 
"The manors of East and West Antony, [Cornwall] though separated for several ages, were originally in the family of Dawney or Danny; and after passing through many changes, they are again re-united in the possession of the Right Hon. Reginald Pole Carew. East Antony was carried by an heiress from the Dawneys to the Archdeknes. This transfer must have taken place so early as the fourteenth century, since Sir Waren Archdekne, or Erchdeken, left three daughters, one of whom was married to Sir Thomas Arundell, died possessed of this manor in the year 1420." 
"The manor of West Antony, which, as we have already noted was originally in the family of Dawney, passed by a daughter from Sir John Dawney, her father, to Sir Edward Courtenay, her husband, and was for several generations possessed by the Earls of Devonshire of that name. The manor of Tregantle, like East and West Antony, was originally in the family of Dawney, from whom it passed to the Courtenays." 
"The church of Sheviock was founded and endowed by those knightly gentlemen, lords of the barton and manor of Sheviock, surnamed Daunye, or Dawnye; so called from the manor of Stanacomb Dawney in Devonshire, whereof they were lords; heretofore privileged with the jurisdiction of life and member." 
Early History of the Dawnay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dawnay research. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600, 1394, 1415, 1420, 1487, 1455, 1487, 1625, 1695, 1660, 1661, 1661, 1690, 1664, 1741, 1690, 1707, 1708 and 1727 are included under the topic Early Dawnay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dawnay Spelling Variations
Spelling variations of this family name include: Dawney, Dawny, Dawn, Dawnie, Dawne, Dawnay, Dawnsey, Daun, Dorn, Dorne and many more.
Early Notables of the Dawnay family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family at this time was John Dawnay of Womersley, Yorkshire; and his son, John Dawnay, 1st Viscount Downe (c 1625-1695), an English politician, Member of Parliament for Yorkshire (1660-1661) and Pontefract (1661-1690.)...
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dawnay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Dawnay family
Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Bryan Dawney, who settled in Virginia in 1722; Mary Dawney, who settled in America in 1745; and Francis Dawney, who arrived in Jamaica in 1785.
- Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
- The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
- Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print