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DOWN Family History

This interesting surname is either of Anglo-Saxon or Scottish and Irish origin, and has three possible sources. Firstly, it may be a topographical name from the Olde English pre 7th Century "dun" meaning "down", or "low hill", or a nickname for a man with dark hair or a swarthy complexion, from the Middle English, Olde English pre 7th Century "dunn" meaning "dark-coloured". Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages.
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