When Merlin E. Downing was born on 15 December 1918, in Arnold, Custer, Nebraska, United States, his father, James Wilkie Downing, was 30 and his mother, Gertrude Alta Phifer, was 30. He had at least 1 daughter with Elvie Florella Johnston. He lived in Lincoln, Nebraska, United States in 1920. He died on 6 July 1988, in Middleton, Canyon, Idaho, United States, at the age of 69, and was buried in Middleton, Canyon, Idaho, United States.
Irish (Cork and Kerry): sometimes of English origin, but in County Kerry it is usually an Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Duinnín (see Dineen ).
English: from the Middle English personal name Dun(n)ing, Douning (Old English Dunning, a derivative of Old English Dunna (see Dunn ).
English (Devon): topographic name for someone who lived on the hill, an -ing derivative of Middle English doun ‘hill’, equivalent to Downer . This formation is characteristic of Devon (compare Brooking ).