Stub of a page linking to the Dumfriesshire Downies website
Downie is not a common surname in Dumfriesshire; the surname Downie appears only 27 times in the parish registers of births and baptisms in Dumfriesshire before 1855. The earliest records are in Annan, where Alexander Downie and Janet Gass had children in 1754 and 1756; that line died out with Alexander's grandson, also Alexander, who died in 1885, his two sons having predeceased him. A second line of Downies, who may be related to Alexander senior, had children in the nearby parish of Graitney from 1775 to 1789: Archibald Downie and Jean Jervie. This Archibald may have previously been a merchant in Anderston, Glasgow, where a couple with the same names had a son Alexander in 1770.
Only three cannot definitely be linked to either the Archibald Downie line or the Alexander Downie line. The other three Downies, baptized in Kirkpatrick Juxta and Moffat, are two younger brothers and a sister of the John Downie whose nursery is now the site of Edinburgh Zoo and after whom the crab apple variety Malus John Downie is named. John, the eldest sibling, was born in Torphichen, West Lothian in 1811. Their father Thomas, who was a gardener, was probably born in Leith in 1784, though it is possible that he is the Thomas born in 1785 to Archibald Downie and Jean Jervie.
The Dumfriesshire Downies website, originall the website set up by a descendant, George Downie, concentrates on the descendants of Archibald Downie and Jean Jervie.