The Downkan family history stretches back to the clans of the Dalriadan kingdom on the sea-swept Hebrides
islands and mountainous western coast of Scotland
. The name Downkan is derived from the Gaelic personal name
"Donnchad," which means "brown warrior". The personal name Donnchad
is composed of two elements; "donn," which means "brown" and "cath," which means "warrior".
Early Origins of the Downkan family
The surname Downkan was first found in Northumberland
, where they held great estates but were a branch of the distinguished Scottish Clan
of Duncan who were originally of Iona
in the Hebrides
, but changed their name and continued to use the basic Coat of Arms of the Duncan Clan.
Early History of the Downkan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Downkan research.Another 123 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Downkan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Downkan Spelling Variations
Medieval translation of Gaelic names could not be referred to as an accurate process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and names in documents from that era are riddled with spelling variations
. Downkan has been written as Donkin, Downkin, Donking, Donken, Downken and others.
Early Notables of the Downkan family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Downkan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Downkan family to the New World and Oceana
The descendants of the Dalriadan families who made the great crossing of the Atlantic still dot communities along the east coast of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence
, many of the settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Clan
societies and highland games have allowed Canadian and American families of Scottish descent to recover much of their lost heritage. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name Downkan or a variant listed above include: Patrick Donkin arrived in Pennsylvania in 1820.
The Downkan Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Disce pati
Motto Translation: Learn to suffer.