The McDowell Family

McDowell family crest

(Crest No. 138. Plate 11.)

THE McDowell family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of his son Heremon. The founder of the family was Colla Meann, son of Eocha Dubhlein, or Doivlen, brother of Fiacha Straivetine, first King of Connaught of the race of Heremon, and son of Carbre Liffeachair, King of Ireland, A. D. 264.

The ancient name was Doill, which signifies “Blind.” The possessions of the sept were located in the present County of Donegal. Many of them also were settled in Antrim. The McDowells were among the most notable descendants of the royal branch of the Clan Colla.

Many of these Ulster McDowells were among the Irish who, in the early part of the last century—about the year 1710—settled along the Blue Ridge in Virginia, in the territory now embraced by the Counties of Patrick and Rockbridge. The name has since been prominent in the United States. Patrick McDowell, R. A., born in Belfast in 1799, attained the highest eminence as a sculptor. Among his most notable works are “Virginius and His Daughter,” “Eve,” and “Psyche,” and the group typical of Europe in the Albert Memorial, Hyde Park, London. He died in 1870.