William J Douton

  • Thread starter Emily DeFilipps (Emily)
  • Start date

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Emily DeFilipps (Emily)

Guest
Does anyone know why William Douton's name is sometimes spelled "Downton" (as it is on this site). He was a stone cutter from Holley and I have done a lot of research on the Doutons. I have looked at property deeds, and there is even a Douton child buried in our local cemetary and
I have never seen the Downton spelling except possibly in a book or two.
 
Dec 13, 1998
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Dear Emily, in the 1912 passenger lists and newspaper reports from the Channel islands, his name was invariably spelt Downton. In the White Star Line list, revised June 6 1912, this is the way his name was written as well. The 'Douton' variety has come forth recently.

Best regards,

Peter
 
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Emily DeFilipps (Emily)

Guest
Dear Peter, Thanks for the info! I'm pretty new at this computer stuff and it's very encouraging to know there are people out there to help with answers. Thanks again- Emily
 

Lindsay Parry

Member
Aug 29, 2012
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For Emily DeFilipps and anyone else researching William Joseph Douton:
The spelling "Downton" may have started at the time the Titanic ticket was purchased.
DOWNTON was used on the Titanic's Outward Passenger List.
And then DOWNTON was used on the death records - taken from the ticket records I assume.
But prior to the Titanic records - William Joseph Douton was always a Douton.
Albeit that transcriptions and 'hearing' him say his surname, didnt always end up with the written record saying DOUTON.
But William Joseph Douton was definitely his birth name, and William J Douton is the name on his USA Naturalization record.
Even when he arrived at Southampton on the St Paul - 26 November 1911 - the Arrivals record could be read as either William Douton or William Donton - but certainly not Downton.
Subsequent newspaper reports etc have his surname as Downton and Doughton.
Even the memorial headstone erected by his Lodge, has the incorrect spelling of Doughton.

The first Titanic death register had his name as Wm J Downton. That was subsequently altered to read Wm Jos Downton. But the JOS could also be read as JAS, and the next death record turns him into William James Downton.

So whilst there have been a variety of names for him relating to the Titanic event, I hope that we all remember him under his correct name - William Joseph Douton.

I have done a little research into William Joseph Douton and his family prior to 1912.
Please get in touch if you are interested.

Cheers : Lindsay
 

A DLM

Member
Feb 27, 2021
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W. J Douton is my 3 x great uncle through his wife, who married the sister of my great great grandmother.

Douton is the correct spelling of the name.

He was on the Titanic travelling back to America after visiting family in Guernsey.
 

ali fowler

Member
Oct 15, 2017
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Hi, I have always wondered if this man was part of my family, as far as I knew the original spelling of my family name was ‘Downton’ but over the years the name has had many misspellings, Dounton, Doughton, Dounting, Dowding,Downting, I know family members with the last three spellings yet I have birth certificates of great grandparents with the name spelt Downton. Even searching on census records the spellings change over the years, searching my ancestors has been a nightmare! I wonder if maybe ‘Douton is another. After seeing William spelt ‘Downton’ on the list I’d love to know if he was connected to me somewhere.

Alison
 

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