Downey Family History
Downey Name Meaning
Irish: shortened Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Dúnadhaigh ‘descendant of Dúnadhach’ a personal name meaning ‘fortress-holder’ (from dún ‘fortress fortified hill’). Irish: shortened Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Maol Dhomhnaigh or of Mac Giolla Dhomnaigh (see Maloney ). Scottish: habitational name from the Scottish barony of Downie or Duny in the parish of Monikie in Angus (on Tayside) named from Gaelic dùn ‘hill’ + the locative suffix -ach. English: habitational name from any of several places in Devon called Downhayne or Downhays particularly Downhayne in Colyton. The placename derives from singular and plural forms of Old English (ge)haeg ‘enclosure’ (in later Devon usage ‘farm’) situated on a hill (Old English dūn). English: topographic name denoting someone who lived either ‘(at the) hilly island’ Middle English doun(e) dun(e) ‘hill elevation’ + ei ‘island’ (Old English dūn + īeg) or someone who lived ‘(at the) dark island’ Middle English don dun(ne) ‘dark’ + ei ‘island’ (Old English dunn + īeg). However it is not certain that this name survived as a hereditary surname. Americanized form of French Danis .
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press