Show ContentsDowny History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The story of the Downy family is rich with Scottish history. It begins in the ancient kingdom of Dalriada where Downy evolved as a name for some who lived in the old barony of Duny or Downy, which was also called Douney in 1331, in the parish of Monikie, Angus. The surname is still commonplace in the district and Downie is one of the oldest names in the parish of Kemnay. 1

Early Origins of the Downy family

The surname Downy was first found in the parish of Monikie in Angus (Gaelic: Aonghas), part of the Tayside region of northeastern Scotland, and present day Council Area of Angus, formerly known as Forfar or Forfarshire.

One of the first records of the name was Duncan de Dunny who witnessed a discussion of boundaries of Tulloes (Tulloch) and Conon in 1254. Alexander Downy or Douny held land of the abbot of Arbroath in 1330, and Mury Dunny, forestaller in Aberdeen, is mentioned in 1402. 1

Early History of the Downy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Downy research. Another 158 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1330, 1402, 1550, 1614, 1620, 1675, 1800, 1823, 1838, 1843 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Downy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Downy Spelling Variations

Historical recordings of the name Downy include many spelling variations. They include They are the result of repeated translations of the name from Gaelic to English and inconsistencies in spelling rules. Downey, Downie, Downy, MacIldowney, MacIldownie, MacDowney, MacDownie, O'Downey and many more.

Early Notables of the Downy family

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was William Dauney, " son of William Dauney of Falmouth, Jamaica, was born at Aberdeen in the year 1800. He commenced his education at Dulwich, and completed it at the University of Edinburgh. On June 13, 1823, he was called to the Scottish bar. He found in the Advocates' Library at Edinburgh a MS. collection of music, written between 1614 and 1620 and known as the Skene Manuscript. It consists of 114 English and Scottish ballad, song, and dance tunes, written in tableture. This manuscript Dauney deciphered and published...
Another 95 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Downy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Downy family to Ireland

Some of the Downy family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 95 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Downy migration to the United States +

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 Downys to arrive on North American shores:

Downy Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Christian Downy, aged 25, who landed in North Carolina in 1774 2
Downy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Downy, aged 46, who arrived in New York in 1812 2
  • Michael Downy, aged 30, who landed in Delaware in 1812 2
  • Patrick Downy, aged 28, who arrived in New York in 1812 2
  • Alexander Downy, aged 36, who arrived in Barnstable, Massachusetts in 1821 2
  • John Downy, who landed in New York in 1832 2

Canada Downy migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Downy Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Downy, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1831
  • Catherine Downy, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1839
  • Catherine Downy, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1840

Australia Downy migration to Australia +

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

Downy Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Finlay Downy, (b. 1796), aged 23, Irish cotton spinner who was convicted in Antrim, Northern Ireland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Castle Forbes" on 3rd October 1819, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 3

  1. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. 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)
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th December 2020). Retrieved from on Facebook