MacDowny History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Dalriadan kingdom of ancient Scotland was the home of the ancestors of the MacDowny family. Their name indicates that they 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 MacDowny family

The surname MacDowny 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 MacDowny family

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

MacDowny Spelling Variations

Translation in medieval times was an undeveloped science and was often carried out without due care. For this reason, many early Scottish names appeared radically altered when written in English. The spelling variations of MacDowny include Downey, Downie, Downy, MacIldowney, MacIldownie, MacDowney, MacDownie, O'Downey and many more.

Early Notables of the MacDowny family (pre 1700)

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 MacDowny Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the MacDowny family to Ireland

Some of the MacDowny 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.

Migration of the MacDowny family

The descendants of the Dalriadan families who made the great crossing of the Atlantic still dot communities along the east coast of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many of the settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Clan societies and highland games have allowed Canadian and American families of Scottish descent to recover much of their lost heritage. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name MacDowny or a variant listed above include: John Downie who settled in New England in 1685; Daniel Downey settled in New England in 1748; Andrew, James, John, Mary, Michael, Patrick, Peter, Terence, Timothy, and William Downey, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1865..



  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)


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