Downies of West Central Fife

A family of Downies appeared in the Parish of Auchterderran, Fife in the first half of the eighteenth century. The parents were Thomas Downie and Ioabel Philp, who had married in Dysart on 23 June 1721; both were parishioners. Five children of this couple appear in the baptism register of Auchterderran, born between 1722 and 1733. On 7 December 1754, David Downie and Janet Greig, parishioners, were contracted to marriage, and they subsequently had eight children baptized at Auchterderran. No record has been found of David's birth but his first son was Thomas and his second daughter Isobel, which suggests that, if the family followed the so-called Scottish naming pattern, his parents were Thomas and Isobel.

Without any other supporting evidence, it is not safe to rely on the naming pattern, and David's parentage remains uncertain. There is no information in any of the records about the occupation of Thomas Downie but it seems reasonable to assume that he was an agricultural labourer (the occupation of his son David in the marriage record of his granddaughter Mady), in which case he could have been feed to a farm in a different parish at the time David was born, and the baptism record lost or never recorded.

This part of the website concentrates on the descendants of David Downie and Janet Greig, who are numerous and widespread across the globe. They include living descendants including some directly descended male Downies.

My work on this family began many years ago when I was contacted by Jill Martin, daughter of Nancy Downie,whose family had emigrated to South Africa at the beginning of the 20th Century. Jill was just starting her research into her family history and I was pleased to be able to point her in the right direction, after which she proceeded to show that she was an avid and skillful researcher. Sadly, just before I was due to visit Jill in Cape Town in 2010, she passed away on the last day of a Mediterranean cruise. I was able to bring back a large pile of certificates to back up the research she had shared with me but unfortunately her computer password had been lost with her and a proportion of her research is gone for ever.

This part of the website is dedicated to Jill.

The story begins with the family group page of David Downie and Janet Greig. Follow the links from there to trace the generations that follow. Not all the lines have been followed to the later generations and some work is still needed to complete the family groups.

You can also start from the list of names of descendants.