Dewny History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Dalriada, in ancient Scotland, is where the name Dewny evolved. It was a name for someone who lived in the old barony of Duny or Downy, which was also called Douney in 1331, in the parish of Monikie, Angus. The surname is still commonplace in the district and Downie is one of the oldest names in the parish of Kemnay. [1]

Early Origins of the Dewny family

The surname Dewny was first found in the parish of Monikie in Angus (Gaelic: Aonghas), part of the Tayside region of northeastern Scotland, and present day Council Area of Angus, formerly known as Forfar or Forfarshire.

One of the first records of the name was Duncan de Dunny who witnessed a discussion of boundaries of Tulloes (Tulloch) and Conon in 1254. Alexander Downy or Douny held land of the abbot of Arbroath in 1330, and Mury Dunny, forestaller in Aberdeen, is mentioned in 1402. [1]

Early History of the Dewny family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dewny research. Another 158 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1330, 1402, 1550, 1620, 1675, 1800, 1823, 1614, 1620, 1838, 1838, 1843 and are included under the topic Early Dewny History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dewny Spelling Variations

Medieval translation of Gaelic names could not be referred to as an accurate process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and names in documents from that era are riddled with spelling variations. Dewny has been written as Downey, Downie, Downy, MacIldowney, MacIldownie, MacDowney, MacDownie, O'Downey and many more.

Early Notables of the Dewny family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was William Dauney, " son of William Dauney of Falmouth, Jamaica, was born at Aberdeen in the year 1800. He commenced his education at Dulwich, and completed it at the University of Edinburgh. On June 13, 1823, he was called to the Scottish bar. He found in the Advocates' Library at Edinburgh a MS. collection of music, written between 1614 and 1620 and known as the Skene Manuscript. It consists of 114 English and Scottish ballad, song, and dance tunes, written in tableture. This manuscript Dauney deciphered and published...
Another 95 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dewny Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Dewny family to Ireland

Some of the Dewny family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 95 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Dewny family

Descendents of Dalriadan-Scottish families still populate many communities across North America. They are particularly common in Canada, since many went north as United Empire Loyalists at the time of the American War of Independence. Much later, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the highland games and Clan societies that now dot North America sprang up, allowing many Scots to recover their lost national heritage. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Dewny, or a variant listed above: John Downie who settled in New England in 1685; Daniel Downey settled in New England in 1748; Andrew, James, John, Mary, Michael, Patrick, Peter, Terence, Timothy, and William Downey, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1865..



  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)


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