On the Scottish west coast, the Downkyn family was born among the ancient Dalriadan clans. 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 Downkyn family
The surname Downkyn 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 Downkyn family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Downkyn research.Another 123 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Downkyn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Downkyn Spelling Variations
In the Middle Ages, the translation between Gaelic and English was not a highly developed process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and so, an enormous number of spelling variations
appear in records of early Scottish names. Downkyn has appeared as Donkin, Downkin, Donking, Donken, Downken and others.
Early Notables of the Downkyn family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Downkyn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Downkyn family to the New World and Oceana
These settlers arrived in North America at a time when the east was burgeoning with prosperous colonies and the expanses of the west were just being opened up. The American War of Independence
was also imminent. Some Scots stayed to fight for a new country, while others who remained loyal went north as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of them went on to rediscover their heritage in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic Scottish events. The Downkyn were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Patrick Donkin arrived in Pennsylvania in 1820.
The Downkyn 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.