The roots of the Anglo-Saxon
name Downin come from when the family resided 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 Downin family
The surname Downin 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." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
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.
Early History of the Downin family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Downin research.Another 305 words (22 lines of text) covering the years 1190, 1332, 1511, 1577, 1561 and 1577 are included under the topic Early Downin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Downin Spelling Variations
The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations
are common among early Anglo-Saxon
names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Downin has been recorded under many different variations, including Dunham, Dunnam, Downham, Dounham, Downnam and others.
Early Notables of the Downin family (pre 1700)
Another 16 words (1 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Downin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Downin family to Ireland
Some of the Downin family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 37 words (3 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 Downin family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England
made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Downin or a variant listed above: 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..