The name Downstant belongs to the early history of Britain, it's origins lie with the Anglo-Saxons
. It is a product of their having lived near a stony hill. Downstant is derived from two Old English elements: dun
and stan. Dun
was a word for hill, and stan
meant "stony." The translation of the name is therefore "stony hill." It is also possible that the name is patronymic; that is, derived from the name of a parent. Dunstan was a popular given name in England
in the Middle Ages.
Early Origins of the Downstant family
The surname Downstant was first found in Cornwall
where they held a family seat
from very ancient times. The earliest reference of the name was of Dunstan (c.909 - 988,) who was an Abbot of Glastonbury, a Bishop of Worcester, a Bishop of London, and an Archbishop of Canterbury. He was later canonized as a saint. Durston is a village and civil parish in Somerset
that dates back to the Domesday Books where it lists Roger Arundel as originally holding the land but later passed to William de Arlegh who founded the priory of Buckland Sororum (also known as Buckland Priory) in about 1167. The market-town and parish of Shiffnall in Shropshire
was home to another branch of the family. "This place, formerly called Idsall, appears to have been of greater note than it is at present. It belonged to Earl Morcar prior to the Conquest, and at a period considerably later was the property of the family of Dunstanville, one of whom, Walter de Dunstanville, by the special command of Henry III., resided in the Marches, to protect them against the ravaging incursions of the Welsh
. The estate afterwards came into the possession of the Badlesmeres, who obtained from Edward I
. a market for two days in the week, and two yearly fairs." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Downstant family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Downstant research.Another 142 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1202 and 1291 are included under the topic Early Downstant History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Downstant Spelling Variations
Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred
years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations
in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon
and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Downstant include Dunstan, Dunston, Dunstone, Dunstane, Donston, Dunstavill and many more.
Early Notables of the Downstant family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Downstant Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Downstant family to the New World and Oceana
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England
at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Downstant were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Andrew Dunston who settled in Virginia with his wife Cicely in 1653; William Dunston settled in Virginia in 1654; Anne Dunstan settled in Maryland in 1741.
Downstant Family Crest Products
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.