Dounhan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Dounhan is an old Anglo-Saxon name. It comes from when a family lived in the parish of Dunham, in the county of Norfolk. The place-name is made up of two old English elements: dun, which is a word for hill; and ham, which means home. The translation of the name is home on the hill.
Early Origins of the Dounhan family
The surname Dounhan was first found in Norfolk at Downham Market, often referred to as Downham, a town and civil parish. The place dates back to c. 1050 and was listed later in 1086 in the Domesday Book as Dunham. However, there are several more listings of the place name including Little Downham in Cambridgeshire, Downham, Lancashire and Downham, Essex.
Wilmslow in Cheshire was an ancient family seat for the family. "The church is a handsome and very ancient structure in the decorated and later English styles, with a square tower; it comprises a nave, chancel, and two aisles, of which the east end of one and the west end of the other are inclosed as sepulchral chapels, for the families of Dunham and Trafford." 
Downham Estate is a housing estate in Downham, south east London named in honour of Lord Downham, who was chairman of the London County Council between 1919-1920.
Downham Hall is an English country house in Downham, Lancashire, but this estate was never held by anyone with the family name.
Early History of the Dounhan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dounhan research. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1190, 1332, 1511, 1577, 1561, 1577, 1579, 1634, 1561, 1585 and 1652 are included under the topic Early Dounhan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dounhan Spelling Variations
Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Dounhan were recorded, including Dunham, Dunnam, Downham, Dounham, Downnam and others.
Early Notables of the Dounhan family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include William Downham (1511-1577) chaplain to Princess Elizabeth, Bishop of Chester (1561-1577.)
William Damon or Daman was one of Queen Elizabeth's musicians and is probably the earliest composer who set the Psalms in the vernacular to part-music. His work appeared first in 1579, printed by John Day. 
George Downham or Downame (d. 1634), was...
Another 58 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dounhan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Dounhan family to Ireland
Some of the Dounhan 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 Dounhan family
To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Dounhan family emigrate to North America: John Dunham of Plymouth who in 1633 purchased land at Dartmouth. Later John Dunham of Barnstable settled in 1655. By 1850 the Dunham name had reached as far west as San Francisco..
Related Stories +
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print