Downey Family History

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Downey Name Meaning

Irish: reduced Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Dúnadhaigh ‘descendant of Dúnadhach’, a personal name meaning ‘fortress-holder’ (from dún ‘fortress’, ‘fortified hill’). Irish: reduced 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.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

Similar surnames: Dorney, Torney, Downen, Downes, Looney, Disney, Dolney, Downer

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Downey Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Downey name?

These results combine data from everyone in the AncestryDNA® database with the last name Downey. The Ancestry® ethnicity regions shown are top five most common on average for these people.

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  • England & Wales


  • Ireland & Scotland


  • Germanic Europe


  • Eastern Europe & Russia


  • Norway


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Downey Family Origin

Where is the Downey family from?

Downey Family Occupations

What did your Downey ancestors do for a living?

In 1881, a less common occupation for the Downey family was Coal Miner. The most common Downey occupation in the UK was Labourer. 8% of Downey's were Labourers. Labourer, Bricklayer and Charwoman were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Downey.

View Census data for Downey | Data not to scale

  • Labourer

  • Bricklayer

  • Charwoman

  • Coal Miner


Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your Downey ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

Downey Historical Records

What Downey family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 205,000 census records available for the last name Downey. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Downey census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search 1891 UK census records for Downey

Passenger List

There are 28,000 immigration records available for the last name Downey. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the UK, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Downey immigration records

Draft Card

There are 39,000 military records available for the last name Downey. For the veterans among your Downey ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Downey military records

You've only scratched the surface of Downey family history.

Downey Life Expectancy

What is the average Downey lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Downey life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 1998. The average life expectancy for Downey in 1940 was 41, and 75 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Downey

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Downey ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

Famous Downey Family Ancestors

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