The Dounit surname is a habitational name, taken on from Downhead in Somerset
, or Donhead in Wiltshire
. These place names both derived from the Old English words "dun," meaning "hill," and "he-afod," meaning the geographic "head" of land. There was also a place so named in Caithness
Early Origins of the Dounit family
The surname Dounit was first found in Wiltshire
. Originally from Normandy
, the name was originally spelt Dannet, for De Anet or D'Alneto. D'Alnai is mentioned at the Battle of Hastings (Wace) as 'Sire d'Alnai.' CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
Early History of the Dounit family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dounit research.Another 345 words (25 lines of text) covering the years 1246, 1296, 1500, 1577, 1648 and 1663 are included under the topic Early Dounit History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Dounit Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred
years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon
surnames like Dounit are characterized by many spelling variations
. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Dounit include: Dunnett, Dunnet, Donnatt, Donnat, Downett, Downatt, Dunett, Dunet, Donnett and many more.
Early Notables of the Dounit family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Dounit Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Dounit family to Ireland
Some of the Dounit family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 78 words (6 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 Dounit family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Dounit or a variant listed above: John Dunnet who settled in America in 1772. By the mid-1800's, the Dunnetts were among the many who traveled across the mid-west to the coast of California to make their home in San Francisco..