Josiah Downen1

#3942, (circa 1750 - circa 1801)
Relationship3rd great-grandfather of William David Lewis


Mary Elizabeth Smith b. 1747, d. 1835
Children 1.Job Downen Sr+13,14 (bt 1765 - 1768 - 1842)
 2.Hannah Downen+13,14 (c 1770 - )
 3.William N Downen+13,14 (bt 1770 - 1775 - c 1850)
 4.Timothy Downen+13,14 (c 1777 - 1828)
 5.Josiah Downen Jr+13,14 (1780 - 1845)
 6.Patsy "Martha" Downen+15,14 (c 1784 - c 1855)
 7.Elizabeth Downen+16 (c 1784 - )
 8.Polly Downen+16 (c 1784 - )
 9.David Downen+13,14 (1789 - c 1837)
For more on the pioneer Downen family, see Bob Downen's summary at 
Josiah Downen was also known as Joshua. 
Josiah Downen was also known as Downing (variant.)3 
Birth*circa 1750He was born circa 1750 at South Carolina or North CarolinaG; (poss.)1 
Marriage*He married Mary Elizabeth Smith.4,5 
13 February 1765He received a land grant comprising 150 acres near Parke's Creek on 13 February 1765 at Granville (now Abbeville) Co., South CarolinaG.6,7
between May 1780 and April 1782He was between May 1780 and April 1782 at South CarolinaG.8,1 
1790He and Mary Elizabeth Smith appeared on the census of 1790 at Pendleton Co., South CarolinaG.9 
between 1794 and 1799He and Mary Elizabeth Smith removed to Logan (later Christian, now Muhlenberg) Co., KentuckyG, between 1794 and 1799 Kentucky (but see the land survey for their son Job in 1796.)10,11 
1799He received a land grant at Muhlenberg Co., KentuckyG, in 1799 of 200 acres (but no source for this record given.)12 
Death*circa 1801He died circa 1801 at Muhlenberg Co., KentuckyG.1 
Different theories exist as to Josiah Downing's origins. Some researchers have speculated that Josiah was one of the many poor Scots-Irish Protestant immigrants to the Carolina colonies during this period, who were promised free land by the English crown to settle there. Others believe Josiah was part of a Downing family migration southward from Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina in the 1700s; in fact, one source claims that Josiah's oldest son was born in Granville County, North Carolina. There were other Downings in nearby Chester County, South Carolina, who seem to have followed this southward migration. Also, there were Downing families just across the boundary in Georgia, who could have moved northeastward into South Carolina. Some researchers speculate that Josiah may be closely related to Indian Traders John Downing and Patrick Downing who were sent from Virginia to South Carolina in the 1750s to man the new frontier trading post near Abbeville; both were still living in the 1770s, in proximity to Josiah. At this point, nothing can be ruled out, and clear-cut proof remains to be found. However, the southward migration from Pennsylvania through Maryland, Virginia (perhaps Orange County), and North Carolina (perhaps Orange County) seems promising and whould merit further research.

Source: [with this note: "This section is intended only as a general overview of Downen family origins so far as they have been documented. It is based upon personal research, and also summarizes information found in previous publications, including History of the Downen Family 1777-1970 (A.R. Bradley, Carmi, IL. 1974) and Many Branches of the King-Miner Family (Glen Miner, Ridgway, IL. 1984). For additional detail, consult one or both of those books, which can be found in several libraries in Southern Indiana and Illinois."].12 
ChartsAncestors of William D. Lewis


  1. [S2088] Mrs. James Margedant and others, editors, A Roster of Revolutionary Ancestors of the Indiana Daughters of the American Revolution (Evansville, Indiana: Unigraphic, 1976), I:180. No. 542819. Josiah Downen, b. SC (prob.) ca. 1750, d. Muhlenburg Co. KY 1801-1803. Soldier in South Carolina Militia, May 1780 – Apr 1782, under Capt. M Welson and Col. Anderson. Children: Job, b. <1780, marr. Mary Robinson; Josiah Jr., b. 1780-1785, marr. Anne Barton; Timothy, b. 1777, marr. Jane _____; David, marr. Elizabeth (Betsy) Oliver; Patsy, b. --, marr. Thompson Price. Contribution of Matilda Lewis (Mrs. Raymond T.) Cariens.
  2. [S628] Downen Wiki on, online \\. Hereinafter cited as Downen Wiki.
  3. [S627] Blanche Moye Cook, History of the Downen Family, 1777-1970 (Illinois: Alice Roberta Bradley, typist, 1974), p. iii.
  4. [S477] Downen Book, Alexandrian Library, Mount Vernon, online, Josiah Downen marr. Mary Elizabeth Smith before 1780 (no citation given). Hereinafter cited as Downen Book.
  5. [S2089] "Early Downen History, 2nd Edition", 1972, Elizabeth Myers (Carmi, Illinois), to Mrs. Eben F Pinkham (Exater, California), p. 1. About 1763, Josiah Downen marr. "Mary (Smith?)"; Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
  6. [S626] South Carolina Department of Archives and History Online Archives, online, S213184: Colonial Plat Books (Copy Series), Vol. 10, p. 206. Josiah Downing, Plat for 150 acres on Parks Creek, Granville Co. Survey map by Jno. Pickens, certified 16 May 1765, identifying the land as "on Park's Creek, a branch of the N.W. fork of Long Cane Creek."…
  7. [S478] Ancestors and Relatives of Harmon Victor Mills and Carol Joyce Miller Mills James, hereinafter cited as Mills-Miller FT, online "The information in this paragraph specifically and much of this page comes from the Downen genealogy wiki. The earliest documentation on Josiah was a Royal Land Grant in the name of King George III dated 13 February 1768. The grant was made to Josiah Downing, giving him 150 acres of vacant land in Granville County, South Carolina (now Abbeville County, South Carolina). Land grants were also made to James, John and Thomas Downing, who may have been Josiah's brothers."…
  8. [S479] Bobby Gilmer Moss, Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1983, 1994), p. 265. "Josiah Downen served in the South Carolina militia for the Revolutionary War under Capt. Wilson and Col. Anderson from May 1780 to April 1782 alternately. On 8 May 1781, General Pickens sent him out in a detachment under Col. Anderson. The unit was overtaken by the enemy and in the retreat, he was struck from his horse and wounded. A.A.2014; O384." [Audited Accounts of the SC Archives]
  9. [S268] 1790 U.S. Federal Census, image viewed online or Josiah (16+); Mary (F); M (16+) [Job or William]; 3 m (<16) [Josiah, Timothy, David]; 3 f [Elizabeth, Patsy and Hannah or Polly].
  10. [S627] Blanche Moye Cook, History of the Downen Family, p. 3. This account notes that Josiah Downen received a land grant in SC in 1791 and was on the tax lists for Muhlenberg Co. KY in 1799 (as were his sons William and Job).
  11. [S2090] Logan County, Kentucky, Land Surveys 1796-1824, DGS 7838118, FHL Film 2135001, online, Real estate survey for Job Downing (1796), q.v.
  12. [S628] Downen Wiki, online,
  13. [S2089] Elizabeth Myers, "Early Downen History", p. 1.
  14. [S627] Blanche Moye Cook, History of the Downen Family, pp. 9-16b.
  15. [S2089] Elizabeth Myers, "Early Downen History", p. 2. Patsy Downen, "putative," b. ca. 1788. "Compiler finds a marriage in Muhlenberg Co Ky April 1806 for a Patsy Downen to Thompson Price."
  16. [S2089] Elizabeth Myers, "Early Downen History", p. 1. Elizabeth Downen and Polly Downen (putative). "Two marriages occur in Muhlenberg Co Ky in 1803, one concerning Polly Downe to John Lacy and another an Elizabeth Downen to James Colvin (aka Calvin). Compiler merely suggest these are [twin] daughters of Josiah ."