Show ContentsDownard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Downard 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, Scotland.

Early Origins of the Downard family

The surname Downard 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 [1] as 'Sire d'Alnai.' [2]

Early History of the Downard family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Downard research. Another 278 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1246, 1296, 1500, 1577, 1648 and 1663 are included under the topic Early Downard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Downard Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Downard has undergone many spelling variations, including Dunnett, Dunnet, Donnatt, Donnat, Downett, Downatt, Dunett, Dunet, Donnett and many more.

Early Notables of the Downard family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Downard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Downard Ranking

In the United States, the name Downard is the 14,648th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

New Zealand Downard migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Downard Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Robert Downard, Australian settler travelling from Hobart, Tasmania, Australia aboard the ship "Bee" arriving in New Zealand in 1832 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Downard (post 1700) +

  • Patrick Kelly Downard, American politician, Republican Councilman for the 16th District of Louisville Metro in Kentucky
  • Patrick Kelly Downard (b. 1946), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kentucky, 2004; Candidate for Mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, 2006 [5]
  • John W. Downard, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kentucky, 1904 [5]
  • Kevin Downard, Australian academic scientist, Associate Professor in the School of Molecular Bioscience at the University of Sydney

  1. Wace, Robert, Roman de Brut England: 1155. Digital
  2. 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)
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 25) . Retrieved from on Facebook