Downton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Downton family

The surname Downton was first found in Wiltshire at Downton, a village and civil parish on the River Avon that dates back to Roman times where in 1953 the site of a Roman villa was discovered there. Moving ahead in time, the Saxons held the area c. 672 when it was listed as Duntun. [1]

More than 400 years later, the Domesday Book of 1086 lists the place name as Duntone. [2] The Manor House in Downton is generally thought to be the longest inhabited house in the South of England as it has been in use since c. 850.

There are two other locals named Downton: a civil parish in Herefordshire that contains the village of Downton-on-the-Rock; and a hamlet in Hampshire. Downton literally means "hill settlement" or "farmstead on or by the hill or down." [1]

Early History of the Downton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Downton research. Another 60 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 161 and 1615 are included under the topic Early Downton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Downton Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Downton, Dounton and others.

Early Notables of the Downton family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Downton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Downton Ranking

In Newfoundland, Canada, the name Downton is the 549th most popular surname with an estimated 84 people with that name. [3]


United States Downton migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Downton Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Downton who settled in Virginia in 1655
  • John Downton, who landed in Virginia in 1655 [4]
  • Richard Downton, who settled in Nevis in 1663 along with his brother William
Downton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Nicholas Downton, who landed in Virginia in 1711 [4]
  • Mary Downton, who arrived in America in 1760-1763 [4]
  • George Downton, who settled in New England in 1772
Downton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • H Downton, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [4]

Australia Downton migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Downton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Jane Downton, aged 18, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Fitzjames"

West Indies Downton migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [5]
Downton Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Samuel Downton, who settled in Barbados in 1654

Contemporary Notables of the name Downton (post 1700) +

  • James "Jim" Victor Downton Jr. (b. 1938), American sociologist
  • John Downton (1906-1991), American artist, musician and philosopher
  • Ryan Downton, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Texas State House of Representatives 47th District, 2012 [6]
  • Paul Rupert Downton (b. 1957), former English cricketer who played in thirty Tests
  • Paul F Downton, Australian sustainable city theorist and activist
  • Andrew Graham Downton (b. 1977), Australian cricketer
  • Geoffrey M. Downton, British Columbia Land Surveyor, epoynm of Mount Downton and Downton Lake, BC
  • David Downton (b. 1959), British illustrator, fashion images and famous portraits


  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 22) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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