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Author Topic: Downing & Cornwall  (Read 2872 times)
Jdean
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« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2012, 08:37:32 PM »


The Renatus name is not a common one, even for back then. But when I search for the given name "Renatus" in the Rootsweb search engine, the only place it is found (in Great Britain) is in Cornwall. Could there be a link between the Cornwall Renatus and my Renatus? Are the dates too far apart to indicate a connection? I appreciate any thoughts or ideas on this.

I've seen examples of odd names or naming traditions continuing for 3 or more generations often in British docs. My family however has managed to keep the Christian name Page alive amongst boys (it originated from a maiden name) in every generation to the present day since 1733.
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GoldenHind
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« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2012, 09:02:22 PM »


Yeah, many of these names look familiar to those I find on Rootsweb, and may be the same ones.

Also, my closest match at 37 markers (36/37) is a Brittain. I should ask them to upgrade to 67 markers, but does anyone know about this name in England? Which part of the country is the surname most represented? I am closer to this Brittain fellow than my Downing cousin.

According to the usually reliable Reaney's Oxford Dictionary of English Surnames, the origin of Brittain and variants is actually 'de Bretagne', ie from Brittany.

There is a website where one can look at the frequency of English surnames by region in England in both the 1881 Census and modern day telephone directories. Unfortunately I can't find it. Perhaps someone else can supply a link.
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GoldenHind
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« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2012, 09:05:26 PM »


The Renatus name is not a common one, even for back then. But when I search for the given name "Renatus" in the Rootsweb search engine, the only place it is found (in Great Britain) is in Cornwall. Could there be a link between the Cornwall Renatus and my Renatus? Are the dates too far apart to indicate a connection? I appreciate any thoughts or ideas on this.

I've seen examples of odd names or naming traditions continuing for 3 or more generations often in British docs. My family however has managed to keep the Christian name Page alive amongst boys (it originated from a maiden name) in every generation to the present day since 1733.

Although obviously not an unusual name, nearly every one one of my ancestors in the male line, going back to the mid 17th century, has been named William.
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Jdean
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« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2012, 09:23:01 PM »


The Renatus name is not a common one, even for back then. But when I search for the given name "Renatus" in the Rootsweb search engine, the only place it is found (in Great Britain) is in Cornwall. Could there be a link between the Cornwall Renatus and my Renatus? Are the dates too far apart to indicate a connection? I appreciate any thoughts or ideas on this.

I've seen examples of odd names or naming traditions continuing for 3 or more generations often in British docs. My family however has managed to keep the Christian name Page alive amongst boys (it originated from a maiden name) in every generation to the present day since 1733.

Although obviously not an unusual name, nearly every one one of my ancestors in the male line, going back to the mid 17th century, has been named William.

It certainly helps the paper trail but conversations about family history can get a little confusing, we've given nicknames to all our Page ancestors :)
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razyn
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« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2012, 01:54:04 AM »

There is a website where one can look at the frequency of English surnames by region in England in both the 1881 Census and modern day telephone directories. Unfortunately I can't find it. Perhaps someone else can supply a link.

This one?

http://gbnames.publicprofiler.org/
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jerome72
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« Reply #30 on: February 19, 2012, 06:50:02 AM »

On the other hand if it's a Roman given name, it antedates the Protestant Reformation by many centuries, and could well antedate Christianity.  In Cornwall or elsewhere.
I'd say Renatus is a Latin name.
Latin was (and still is) the language of the Catholic Church
In some parts of France, the priests wrote in the parish records in Latin until the seventeenth century. The names were also Latinized. Renatus must be translated into René in french
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rms2
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« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2012, 07:42:00 AM »


The Renatus name is not a common one, even for back then. But when I search for the given name "Renatus" in the Rootsweb search engine, the only place it is found (in Great Britain) is in Cornwall. Could there be a link between the Cornwall Renatus and my Renatus? Are the dates too far apart to indicate a connection? I appreciate any thoughts or ideas on this.

I've seen examples of odd names or naming traditions continuing for 3 or more generations often in British docs. My family however has managed to keep the Christian name Page alive amongst boys (it originated from a maiden name) in every generation to the present day since 1733.

Although obviously not an unusual name, nearly every one one of my ancestors in the male line, going back to the mid 17th century, has been named William.

In my family, James is the thing. At times, it is difficult to keep all of our Jims sorted, and that includes today.
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GoldenHind
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« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2012, 04:36:06 PM »

There is a website where one can look at the frequency of English surnames by region in England in both the 1881 Census and modern day telephone directories. Unfortunately I can't find it. Perhaps someone else can supply a link.

This one?

http://gbnames.publicprofiler.org/

I don't think that's the one I had in mind, but it provides the same function. It shows that in 1881 the greatest concentration of Downings was in Cornwall, with other hotspots in Dudley and Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire.
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NealtheRed
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« Reply #33 on: February 19, 2012, 11:48:57 PM »

There is a website where one can look at the frequency of English surnames by region in England in both the 1881 Census and modern day telephone directories. Unfortunately I can't find it. Perhaps someone else can supply a link.

This one?

http://gbnames.publicprofiler.org/

I don't think that's the one I had in mind, but it provides the same function. It shows that in 1881 the greatest concentration of Downings was in Cornwall, with other hotspots in Dudley and Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire.

Yes, I noticed the concentration in Cornwall especially. I really hope I am on to something with this possible connection. Seeming that my ancestor was in the United States (or British North America, rather) during the 1700s, were there ports out of Southwest England close to Cornwall that were points of embarkation?

Renatus's son and grandson were William Richard Renatus Downing and Rufus Richard Renatus Downing, respectfully. So, the name was definitely a hit.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 11:49:48 PM by NealtheRed » Logged

Y-DNA: R-Z255 (L159.2+) - Downing (Irish Sea)


MTDNA: HV4a1 - Centrella (Avellino, Italy)


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rms2
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« Reply #34 on: February 20, 2012, 07:01:25 AM »

I think Bristol was the big one for those bound for North America.
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rms2
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« Reply #35 on: February 20, 2012, 08:19:54 AM »

You know, even though my own surname is more common in Cornwall than anywhere else in Britain, thus far I have no Cornish matches. My matches seem to focus on the West Midlands, Wales, and Scotland.

This might seem goofy, but hear me out. A good portion of the West Midlands and neighboring Wales was inhabited in ancient times by a Celtic tribe called the Cornovii. There were also people called by that same name in Cornwall and Scotland, although some scholars think they were unrelated to the West Midlands Cornovii. For what it's worth, I have a haplotype neighbor (12 away at 67 markers) with the surname Chorn.

So, the wild idea has crossed my mind that perhaps the Cornovii are a part of the genetic puzzle in this case, connecting Cornwall, the West Midlands, and Scotland.

Don't get me wrong, I am not prepared to go on Rootsweb and pronounce myself a Cornovian, but I am building a chariot in my backyard and experimenting with woad. ;-)
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razyn
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« Reply #36 on: February 20, 2012, 11:56:30 AM »

I am not prepared to go on Rootsweb and pronounce myself a Cornovian, but I am building a chariot in my backyard and experimenting with woad. ;-)

Seems a reasoned approach, to me.  I have a niece who got into that.  As far as I know she hasn't used it to paint herself for battle with the Romans -- but she went to a woad workshop, and blogged about it, with some informative photos:

http://www.theinteriorevolution.com/archives/4011

And speaking of a seaport that served (or might have served) westbound Cornishmen, at one time the small port of Bideford was very active in that regard.  Quite a few of the late sixteenth century "Lost Colonists" of Roanoke (island) may have been recruited in that area.  There was some Granville/Raleigh connection that made that happen, but my memory about it is pretty fuzzy.  Just another improbable line of research for you, if you get bored.
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