The age-old Hebrides
islands and the west coast of Scotland
are the ancestral home of the Downkin family. Their name comes 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 Downkin family
The surname Downkin 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 Downkin family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Downkin research.Another 123 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Downkin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Downkin Spelling Variations
Medieval spelling was at best an intuitive process, and translation between Gaelic and English was no more effective. These factors caused an enormous number of spelling variations
in Dalriadan names. In fact, it was not uncommon to see a father and son who spelled their name differently. Over the years, Downkin has been spelled Donkin, Downkin, Donking, Donken, Downken and others.
Early Notables of the Downkin family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Downkin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Downkin family to the New World and Oceana
Scottish settlers arrived in many of the communities that became the backbones of the United States and Canada. Many stayed, but some headed west for the endless open country of the prairies. In the American War of Independence
, many Scots who remained loyal to England
re-settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots across North America were able to recover much of their lost heritage in the 20th century as Clan
societies and highland games sprang up across North America. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Downkins to arrive on North American shores: Patrick Donkin arrived in Pennsylvania in 1820.
The Downkin 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.