Where did your Downing get his name? There is only one Downing in Burke County. This is 1790. There are also interesting people on this census. I dont know if this will help you at all but on same census with Downing is Justice, Robinson, Bradshaw. Those 3 surnames connect to our Martin/Smith/Shell line. We dont know who Henry Martin is on this census.
In general you will find surnames on this 1790 census that are found in the Cherokee Like Blankenship, Eli Littlejohn. There were 2 Eli Littlejohns. I dont know which Eli this is on the census, Preacher Eli or the Eli that cant be traced. Im sure you will know in general more surnames on here so this very early census might mean something.