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Down Family History
Family spelling variants include Downs, Downes, Downe, Dowen
There are approximately 11,914 Down family members around the world. In general you can double this figure to include those related to the Down names to allow for those connected to the name through maiden name connections
It is estimated that the largest group of Down family members live in England with 5,428 (45.6%) members, USA with 2,307 (19.4%) members, Australia with 2,002 (16.8%) members, Canada with 1,230 (10.3%) members, New Zealand with 323 (2.7%) members, Wales with 314 (2.6%) members, South Africa with 209 (1.8%) members, Scotland with 51 (0.4%) members and Ireland with 50 (0.4%) members.
In 1891 census, the surname was recorded with 3,660 occurrences in England and Wales with a further 49 in Scotland. The surname was frequent in Devon with 1,143 occurrences.
In 1881,the most common Down occupation in the UK was Farmer. Farmer, Agricultural Labourer and Labourer were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Down. A less common occupation was Carpenter.
Early bearers of the surname include: Ricardus filius Dune, 1220 in Curia Regis Rolls (Lincs); John Down, 1552 in IGI (Pitminster, Somerset); Willimi Down, 1561 in IGI (Bishops Castle, Shrops); Thomas Down, 1581 in IGI (Heathfield, Sussex); John Down, 1588 in IGI (Saint Clement Danes, Middx); Robt. Down, 1593 in IGI (Norton, Kent).
This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon or Scottish and Irish origin. Firstly a topographical name from the Olde English pre 7th Century "dun" meaning "down", or "low hill", Middle English dun(e), doun(e).
An English relationship name, possibly in some cases a patronymic from the Old English personal name D?n .
Possibly a nickname for a man with dark hair or a swarthy complexion, from the Middle English, Olde English pre 7th Century "dunn" meaning "dark-coloured".
A Scottish habitational name from Doune in Perthshire.
Edward Down, was an English convict from Kent, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on 23 September 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia.
The noted, John Langdon Haydon Down (1828 – 1896) was a British physician best known for his description of the genetic condition now known as Down syndrome, which he originally classified in 1862.
1881, 1891 Census
1881 Census in Devon
Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003
Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890
The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016
1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain
1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain
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