Dewney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Gaelic, otherwise known as Early Modern Irish, was used in Ireland from around the year 1200 until the 18th century. It is from this language that we found the first references to the name Dewney as O Dúnadhaigh. The name is essentially derived from the word dún which means fort.

Early Origins of the Dewney family

The surname Dewney was first found in the twelfth century.

Early History of the Dewney family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dewney research. Another 189 words (14 lines of text) covering the year 1420 is included under the topic Early Dewney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dewney Spelling Variations

Just like the English language, the Gaelic language of Ireland was not standardized in the Middle Ages. Therefore, one's name was often recorded under several different spellings during the life of its bearer. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origins of the Dewney family name include O'Downey, Dawney, MacDowney, MacEldowney, Muldowney and many more.

Early Notables of the Dewney family (pre 1700)

Notable among the family name at this time was the O'Dunadhaigh sept found in Luchair, the old name of a region that lay on the borders of...
Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dewney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Dewney family

Ireland became inhospitable for many native Irish families in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North America. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name Dewney to North America: James Downey who went to Pennsylvania in 1711; Brian Dawney arrived in Virginia in 1722; Elizabeth Downey went to Philadelphia in 1745; William Downey settled in New York in 1777.



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