Downay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the first family to use the name Downay lived among the Dalriadan people of ancient Scotland. The name Downay was given to 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 Downay family

The surname Downay 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 Downay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Downay 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 Downay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Downay Spelling Variations

Spelling variations are a very common occurrence in records of early Scottish names. They result from the repeated and inaccurate translations that many names went through in the course of various English occupations of Scotland. Downay has been spelled Downey, Downie, Downy, MacIldowney, MacIldownie, MacDowney, MacDownie, O'Downey and many more.

Early Notables of the Downay 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 Downay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Downay family to Ireland

Some of the Downay 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 Downay family

These settlers arrived in North America at a time when the east was burgeoning with prosperous colonies and the expanses of the west were just being opened up. The American War of Independence was also imminent. Some Scots stayed to fight for a new country, while others who remained loyal went north as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of them went on to rediscover their heritage in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic Scottish events. The Downay were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: 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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