The Downet 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 Downet family
The surname Downet 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 Downet family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Downet research.Another 345 words (25 lines of text) covering the years 1246, 1296, 1500, 1577, 1648 and 1663 are included under the topic Early Downet History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Downet 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 Downet were recorded, including Dunnett, Dunnet, Donnatt, Donnat, Downett, Downatt, Dunett, Dunet, Donnett and many more.
Early Notables of the Downet family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Downet Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Downet family to Ireland
Some of the Downet 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 Downet family to the New World and Oceana
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 Downet family emigrate to North America: 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..