Donnyng History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Donnyng is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from a family once having lived in Downing, Oxfordshire. There is much speculation about the origin of this name as another source notes that the name could be from a "descendant of Dunn (dark brown); dweller at the hill or hill pasture" [1] and another source claims that the name could have been a nickname for someone with a "dark-brown complexion." [2] And another source claims the name is derived from "a location name in Worcestershire." [3]

Early Origins of the Donnyng family

The surname Donnyng was first found in Oxfordshire where Richard Duning was the first record of the family found there in 1197 in the Feet of Fines. Later, Geoffrey Dounyng was listed in 1311. [4]

Early records in Somerset revealed John Dounynne and Tonn Dunnyng, 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [5]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Hervey Dunning, Cambridgeshire and Richard Duning, Oxfordshire. [6]

And in Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Johannes Dunnyng; Alicia Downyng and Johannes Downnyng. [6]

"The Downings of Speckshall in the 17th century were a branch of the very ancient Essex family of the name, a member of which was made a Baronet in 1663, whilst another was founder of Downing College, Cambridge. The Downings have their home now in Ipswich and its neighbourhood. In South Elmham church there is, or was, a monument to Dorcas Downinge, bearing the date of 1638." [7]

The Downing Baronetcy, of East Hatley in the County of Cambridge was created for Sir George Downing, 1st Baronet (c.1625-1684.) Downing Street in London is named after him.

Early History of the Donnyng family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Donnyng research. Another 148 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1400, 1672, 1623, 1684, 1656, 1711, 1685, 1749, 1764, 1606, 1644, 1606, 1623 and 1626 are included under the topic Early Donnyng History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Donnyng Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Donnyng has been recorded under many different variations, including Downing, Doning, Douning, Duning and others.

Early Notables of the Donnyng family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Sir George Downing (1623-1684), 1st Baronet of East Hatley, an Anglo-Irish soldier, statesman, and diplomat, eponym of Downing Street in London; Sir George Downing, (c. 1656-1711), 2nd Baronet of East Hatley, Teller of the Receipt of the Exchequer; and Sir George Downing, (1685-1749), 3rd Baronet of East...
Another 55 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Donnyng Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Donnyng family to Ireland

Some of the Donnyng family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Donnyng family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Donnyng or a variant listed above: Francis Downing, who came to Virginia in 1624; James Downing and Emanuel Downing who both settled in Salem in 1630; Richard Downing, who settled in Virginia in 1653.



  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  6. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.


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