Origin of the Downey Clan Name


The name Downey originates from the irish spelling O’Dunadhaigh. Dun meaning fort, keeper of the fort. The name Downey with different spellings, Downie and Duny. It was two possible origins, the first being from the old irish O Dunaghaigh, the O meaning male descendant of.The other comes from O Maoldhomhraigh, which means descendant of the servant of the church. This was anglicised Muldowney but later when on the become Downey.

Downey Clan, Downey Sept

The leading sept belonged to ancient territories of Ui Maine which is today Counties Galway and Roscommon. The other chief sept were Lords of Luachair which was located on the boarders of Counties Cork and Kerry.

The first recording of the name  is that of O’Dunaghaigh, dating back to c 1050 in “The Annals of the Four Masters”  during the reign of the High Kings of Ireland between the years of 1022 to 1166. James Downey settled in the United States in 1711 when he arrived in Pennsylvania.

Variations of the name include Downie, Downy, Macldowney, Maclldownie, MacDowney, MacDownie, O’Downey, Duny and many more.