This sounds like my branch of the Downey's also. I have come late to this game so I hope this message reaches you. A Jackson Downey listed in the 1870 census in Rutherford County, N.C., married to Catherine White, would be my great-grandfather's father, on my father's side. My information comes largely from what was gleaned from the LDS (Mormon) church records by my aunt and I am recently trying to fill in the gaps mostly from the same resources, now on-line. I am not a member of the Mormon church. To date our best guess seems to be a Thomas Downey b. ~1789 as Jackson's father but I haven't seen direct evidence, birth record, census, etc. I found 2 Thomases as you mention but the one listed in the 1820 and 1830 Census also living in the Rutherford County area makes more sense to me. The mystery is why Jackson is not mentioned as a member of the earlier Thomas Downey households if this connection is true.
I would like very much to trade notes with you. My record keeping is a bit disorganized because I am new at this.
Salt Lake City, Utah
You have more pre-Jackson information than I have come across so far. I am interested in helping out and certainly learning what you may have found since your last post.
Jackson & Catherine went on to have 11 offspring & apparently his last residence was Jackson County in northern Alabama around 1900. I have a rough family tree that I can save as a jpeg file that I would love to have critiqued/corrected.