Scrooge McDuck's mother first appeared in a flashback sequence in the 1970 Uncle Scrooge comic Zio Paperone e l'oro del Klondike ("Uncle Scrooge and the Gold of the Klondike"), drawn by classic Disney artist Romano Scarpa. The story details how Scrooge's young and unmarried parents have moved to the Klondike, where they decide to get married and have their first son, Scrooge. In the original version of this story, Scrooge's mother was called Oretta Paporetta ("oro" meaning "gold" in Italian). The story is the eleventh chapter of the Italian series Storia e gloria della dinastia dei paperi, which shows the history of the McDucks from the ancient Egyptians to the present date.
She was a minor recurring character in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck (Uncle Scrooge #285-296). In these stories, she and her family live a life of poverty in Scotland during Scrooge's childhood. Downy was also featured on Don Rosa's Donald Duck Family Tree (Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #600).
In the episode "The Curse of Castle McDuck", Scrooge mentioned his mother, saying that she always told him the story of the hound of castle McDuck. Even though Scrooge claims that he does not believe the story, and that his mother probably made it up so that Scrooge would keep away from the castle, he is still frightened and hesitant to enter the castle grounds. Scrooge also returns to cottage McDuck, where he and his parents used to live. According to this episode, Scrooge's parents were poor farmers.
Scrooge's parents made their animated debut in the Season 1 episode "Once Upon a Dime", in which Scrooge refers to Downy as McMama. She, Scrooge and Scrooge's father can be seen living in cottage McDuck, as it previously appeared in the series.
Backwoods Beagle briefly mentioned Scrooge's mother in the season three episode "Ducky Mountain High". When he is trying to come up with a reason for Scrooge to leave the room, he says: "Your mother is sick!".
In the episode "The Secret(s) of Castle McDuck!", Downy greets the kids with open arms.
- Both Donald Duck's paternal grandmother (Grandma Duck) and his maternal grandmother (Downy) were voiced by June Foray.