Downghan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Downghan is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Downghan family once 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 Downghan family

The surname Downghan 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." [1] 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.

Important Dates for the Downghan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Downghan research. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1190, 1332, 1511, 1577, 1561 and 1577 are included under the topic Early Downghan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Downghan Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Downghan family name include Dunham, Dunnam, Downham, Dounham, Downnam and others.

Early Notables of the Downghan family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Downghan family to Ireland

Some of the Downghan 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 Downghan family

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Downghan surname or a spelling variation of the name include: 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..

Citations

  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
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