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The DOWNER Family


My DOWNER line is described as the "New Jersey Branch" of the DOWNER Family in David R. DOWNER's "The DOWNER's Of America", the well known genealogical record of the descendants of Robert DOWNER of Wiltshire, England, and his wife, Hannah VINCENT. Their sons, Robert DOWNER and Joseph DOWNER came to Newbury, MA, around 1650.


Samuel DOWNER, Sr., descendant of Joseph DOWNER, was born in 1723 in Norwich, CT and was the son of Samuel DOWNER and Phebe BISHOP. He m. Hannah POTTER, daughter of John POTTER and Jemima THOMPSON. Samuel and Hannah had 6 known children:

Samuel DOWNER Jr., b. 1760,
Jemima (DOWNER) QUIMBY,
Nancy (DOWNER) TREMBLY,
Phebe DOWNER, d. 1808
Rachel Matilde (DOWNER) TREMBLY,
John DOWNER, b. 1771

These children were born in Elizabeth and Westfield,Union Co., NJ. Samuel DOWNER, Sr. served in the New Jersey troops during the Revolutionary War.


Samuel DOWNER,Jr., son of Samuel DOWNER, Sr. and Hannah POTTER was b. 1760, in Elizaeth, Union Co., NJ. Samuel DOWNER, Jr. m1. Sarah ROBINSON, daughter of Daniel ROBINSON and Abigail SAYRE in 1786, Westfield, NJ. He m2. Ruth LAST-NAME-UNKNOWN, the widow of Gideon WATERBURY. Samuel and Sarah had 13 children, all born in Westfield, Union Co., NJ:

Nancy (DOWNER) PIERSON, b. 1787,
Elizabeth (DOWNER) SAYERS, b. 1788,
Hannah (DOWNER) OSBORN, b. 1790,
Samuel DOWNER, b. 1792,
Sarah Wheaton DOWNER, b. 1795,
Mary DOWNER, b. 1796,
Edwin DOWNER, b. 1798,
Silas Potter DOWNER, b. 1801,
Abba DOWNER, b. 1803,
Aaron DOWNER, b. 1805,
David Robinson DOWNER, b. 1806,
David Robinson DOWNER(again), b. 1808,
Lucilla (DOWNER) ROCKWELL, b. 1810

Samuel DOWNER, Jr. served as a drummer boy during the Revolutionary War and later as a Private in the Essex Co., Militia.


Several generations worshiped at the Presbyterian Church in Westfield, including Samuel DOWNER, Jr.'s son, Edwin DOWNER, who served as a minister there. Many DOWNERS are buried in the cemetery at the Presbyterian Church. I am told that the official name of this cemetery is: The Burial Grounds of the Presbyterian Church. This cemetery has also been called: Revolutionary Cemetery, Colonial Cemetery, Old Colonial Cemetery, and the Westfield Presbyterian Church Cemetery.

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This page last updated 31 Jan 2008.