McIldownie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Gaelic, otherwise known as Early Modern Irish, was used in Ireland from around the year 1200 until the 18th century. It is from this language that we found the first references to the name McIldownie as O Dúnadhaigh. The name is essentially derived from the word dún which means fort.

Early Origins of the McIldownie family

The surname McIldownie was first found in the twelfth century.

Early History of the McIldownie family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McIldownie research. Another 189 words (14 lines of text) covering the year 1420 is included under the topic Early McIldownie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McIldownie Spelling Variations

The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period. The following variations for the name McIldownie were encountered in the archives: O'Downey, Dawney, MacDowney, MacEldowney, Muldowney and many more.

Early Notables of the McIldownie family (pre 1700)

Notable among the family name at this time was the O'Dunadhaigh sept found in Luchair, the old name of a region that lay on the borders of...
Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McIldownie Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the McIldownie family

In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the McIldownie family came to North America quite early: James Downey who went to Pennsylvania in 1711; Brian Dawney arrived in Virginia in 1722; Elizabeth Downey went to Philadelphia in 1745; William Downey settled in New York in 1777.



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