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DOWNES Family History

This is an English topographical surname, meaning 'one who lives by the downs'. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th century word 'dun' which meant 'down hill, or mountain' and in place names usually signified anything from a hill to a slight rise in the ground. The word 'dun' is of Celtic origin. The name development has included, John atte Doune (1296 Sussex), William Bythedoune (1327 Somerset), and Reginald del Downes (1407 Cheshire), this last being the first recording of 'Downes' as a surname. There is some possibility that a proportion of name bearers descend from holders of the Old English personal name 'Dun' the form Downes meaning 'son of Dun'...

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