I have not spent a lot of time on the Downer side of my tree, mostly because I identify so strongly with the Crabtree side, but, I wanted to begin to post what I have.
On most branches, it only goes back so far and then I hit brick walls, pointing toward Germany, or perhaps farther East, and probably to Northern Italy.
I have to say that as for the “Downer” surname, the current thinking is that this family originated in Germany as the Danner or Tanner family and they were Tanners, BUT I DISAGREE.
My mom always strongly maintained this family was Scots/Irish and I know there are Downers from the Isle of Wight, EN, from the North of Scotland where the surname was originally Downie, and that Downer/Downie has been known to be a “Traveller” name, denoting possibly Romani or Scottish/Irish “Travellers” who were nomadic even up until the 1970’s in the UK.
So I have a lot of research to do, genetic and paper wise, to see where that family really comes from.
I want to post a basic tree, working upward from my grandparents, John Albert Downer, Sr. and Evelyn Kathryn Lorenzen, which I will work on, and post a link to, but for now, I want to post some photos.
The Lorenzen side
Evelyn K. Lorenzen married John Albert Downer in 1920. He had gone into the military in WWI (1917-1919) and fought and was wounded in France. He received a Purple Heart and Silver Star medals.
Evelyn was one of 12 siblings born to Jacob Lorenzen and his wife Annie Barmier. Annie had three siblings, Henry, Emma and Katherine and they were all very close. Jacob was one of seven children (two also named Henry and Emma which makes it confusing). Jacob was a blacksmith and said to have a bad drinking problem.
The Downer family loved to go on extended camping trips, along the river (guessing it was the Mississippi) or down in the “country” to visit the Aunts and Uncles and camp out. They had fun together as a family fishing, swimming and hunting squirrels for dinner! And the ubiquitous card games! This is one of the things that makes me think they have “Scottish Travellers” in the family.