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DOWNS Family HistoryThis name, with variant spellings Down, Downe and Downes, derives from the Old English pre 7th Century 'dun' meaning a sloping declivity or tract of low hills, and was originally given as a topographic name to one who lived by either of these natural features. The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 12th Century, (see below). Variant forms of the name 'de la Donne', 'de la Don' and 'atte Doune' appear in the Hundred Rolls of Devon and Somerset, dated 1273. A Reginald del Downes appears in the records of East Cheshire under the date 1407.
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