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Update 07 June 2009
I discovered that a Hamilton M Downin was buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Delaware County in 1947. He was from Delaware, Ohio. Age 83. With the help of an expert in ancestry research we now know that Hamilton M (Harry) is indeed the brother of my grandfather David. This is further supported by the fact that my cousin does remember Harry from Delaware visiting the family in Columbus. There is strong evidence that the Downin brother's parents are Amos and Anna M Downin. 1880 census shows both Hamilton (13) and David (5) along with other children. The 1900 census shows that Amos and Anna M had 14 children, 10 still living.
The death certificate of my grandfather has some interesting information. First his father is listed as (Unknown) Downin from Pennsylvania. Second his mother is listed as Almira Metcalfe from Pennsylvania. So the family did not know (or remember) David's father name but knew something of the mother's name. Did the family know the exact name? Harry's death certificate has unknown for mother and father. No clues there.
We now know that the mother's maiden name is Anna Marie Metcalfe. She is always documented as Anna M. Harry had a daughter named Anna M too.
Other news is that the parents of Amos are John and Susan Downin. Susan's maiden name is Johnson. Of the John's children the son John was a well known distiller.
Original Post January 2009
Please help me find the origins and family history of the 'Downin' name. This is my goal for 2009. I would like to collect as much information and put this puzzle together.
I'm originally from Columbus, Ohio and have lived in South Florida for 30 years. It is believed that two Downin brothers separated from the core family that settled in Pennsylvania. They moved to Ohio. One being my grandfather. His name was David Downin (middle name possibly Paul, Norman, or initial A) who married my grandmother Catherine Curry. My grandfather David past away when my father was a baby. So my father did not know his father. There were 6 daughters and 3 sons (I think). One of the sons (David A.) died as a child. The other two sons were Paul and my father Joseph Norman. (Update: I'm leaning toward the middle name Alvin since Greenlawn Cemetery records show the son's name is David Alvin Downin).
One mystery is when did the Downins first arrive in the United States? I see that many fought in the American Revolutionary War and the Civil War. What is the family line of David Downin who moved to Columbus? Why did the two brothers break away from the other Downins? Are the Columbus Downins related to the Downins in Maryland and/or Pennsylvania?
While in the service during WWII my father checked every phone book in every city he past through. Growing up I remember we did this on vacations. Other than the Downins in Columbus, no other Downin could be found.
In the mid 80s my aunt Shirley had an ancestry company research the name. What I remember was only a handful of Downins were found. They estimated that there is less-than 100 Downins worldwide. And that list was somewhat inaccurate since there were multiple listings for the same person.
Each year I see more Downins appearing in Google searches and white page directories. I also see there are others trying to figure out some of the pieces of the Downin puzzle. Many of U.S. Census, Civil War, and other public records are now available online which can be useful.
I'll be setting up a web site the first of year where information can be entered and viewed. Until then please email me any information that you might have pertaining to the Downin name, family history, and family trees.
Steven Norman Downin firstname.lastname@example.org