Name: John McDowell
Born: 15 Nov 1759
Place: County Cork, Ireland
Died: 12 Dec 1841
Place: Greenbrier County, Virginia
John and Esther's gravestone in the McDowell Cemetery near Ronceverte, WV.
From the papers of Paul McDowell (-2006). Contributed by Margarette Stout,
They had the following children.
||Born 5 Jan 1785 in Ireland. Died in
Bolivar, Hardeman co TN on 25 Oct 1864. He is found there on the 1860
census (page 190), 75 years old, born in Ireland, living with his 70
year old wife, Isabell [the spelling is uncertain], also born in
||Born 1 Nov 1787 in Ireland. Death record proves his
parentage. We believe he m1 Jane Erwin, 2 Apr 1805 m2 Catherine Scott, 1
Nov 1821 and m3 (Mrs) Elizabeth Erskine, 9 Nov 1841.
||Born 2 Mar 1789 in Ireland and married Elizabeth
Cornwell. His death certificate proves his parentage.
||Born 5 Apr 1791 in Ireland. He died in Elkhart
county, Indiana 30 May 1872. Married to Jane Boyd, 12 Jan 1819, Greenbrier
||1796-1859 ||Born 15
Jan 1796 and married Samuel Harrison, 12 Sep 1820.
||Born 21 Oct 1801 in Greenbrier. He m 27 Feb 1828
Priscilla Wright Wither. William died 9 June 1865 in Huntsville, AL.
||Born 4 Dec 1808. She may be the Nancy who married
The following transcription was sent to me from Margarette Stout in June
History of Greenbrier County
J. R. Cole
Lewisburg, WV 1917
SAMUEL H. McDOWELL.
The old McDowell homestead, two miles southeast of Ronceverte, has been in
possession of that family for five generations. The first occupant was John
McDowell, a Protestant. Who emigrated from Cork, Ireland, in the latter
part of the seventeenth century, and reached the land of his choice on the
American coast in 1784. He was born November 15, 1759, and died after a
residence in Greenbrier County of fifty-seven years. That was December 12,
1841. His wife sailed with him from the Isle of the Emerald Green and died
here January 13, 18??. Their son, SAMUEL, born January 5, 1785, was the
oldest of the children. Following came John, born November 1, 1787; Robert,
March 2, 1789; James, April 5, 1791 ; Polly, January 15, 1796; William,
October 21, 1801; Nancy, December 4, 1808.
The following post comes from the WVPIONEERS-L Archives at
Subject: [WVPioneers] A different line of pioneers
Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2000 15:13:37 -0800
My names of interest are McDowell and Harrison principally in the Greenbrier
County area which extended originally to the Ohio River. My name is George
Harrison. My WVA ancestors are John McDowell and Esther Ann Harrison
McDowell. According to the Greenbrier Centennial Publication, they were
among the first settlers in the Irish Corner district of greenbrier County
in 1778 along with Erwin Williams, David McClure, and James
According to the "History of Greenbrier County" by J.R.Cole, published
in Lewisburg, West Virginia in 1917; the old McDowell homestead was
located two miles southeast of Ronceverte. The original owner was John
McDowell, a Protestant, who emigrated from Cork, Ireland, and reached
America in 1784.
John McDowell was born in Ireland, 15 November,1759, and died
12 December, 1841 after a residence of 57 years in Greenbrier County.
His wife, Esther Ann Harrison McDowell, was born in Ireland 12
March,1760; sailed with him from Ireland and died in Greenbrier County
13 January, 1844.
The date of their entry into America is still in question. However,
Greenbrier County Court records mention John McDowell in proceedings of
Tuesday 28 July, 1789. We also have a xerox copy of the deed of 26
April, 1796 which transfers 200 acres of land from Edward and Esther
Barret to John McDowell.
John and Esther had seven children:
Samuel born 5 January, 1785
John, Jr. born 1 November, 1787
Robert born 2 March, 1789
James born 5 April, 1791
Mary(Polly) born 15 January, 1796
William born 21 October, 1801
Nancy born 4 December, 1808.
There is considerable documentation for this family, which was followed
through the use of Census data in some cases to present time. Care
must be taken, however, since there was another McDowell family living
just south of irish Corner in Monroe County. This as Archibald
McDowell, who married Catherine Davis and had children named John,
William and James. It would seem that McDowell's, although unrelated,
all preferred the same names.
Most of my McDowells stayed in the Greenbrier are and were buried in
the "Old McDowell Cementery" which is still maintained today by a
relative named Sam Rodgers. The stone chimney and fireplace of John
McDowell's original log cabin still exists. The only grave not to be
found is that of Polly McDowell who is my direct ancester. She married
Samuel Harrison, a man who emigrated from Ireland about 1814. Worked on
the farm for John McDowell. Esther Ann Harrison McDowell was his
cousin. Samuel Harrison married Polly McDowell on
12 September, 1820 and moved away. They moved first to Point Pleasant
then to Gallia County, Ohio,and finally to Beaver County, Pennsylvania
where Polly died in 1859. Samuel Harrison moved to Noble County in 1864
to live with his youngest son, James McDowell Harrison . He died on 15
April, 1872 at the age of 80 years and is buried in the Hopewell
Cemetery in Noble County, Indiana.
John and Esther Ann McDowell of Ireland and Irish Corner, Greenbrier
County , West Virginia are my ggggrand parents. Like nearly all
Harrison's, Esther Ann Harrison McDowell is supposed to have been a
cousin to President William Henry Harrison. Also like most Harrison's,
there is no proof of such a relationship.
Apex, N.C. 27502-4808
John and Esther's home near Ronceverte, WV. From the papers of Paul
McDowell (-2006). Contributed by Margarette Stout, Aug 2007.
John McDowell's DNA
The McDowell DNA Project is closed to anyone but testers. However, some
testers have posted their results to ysearch.org, including a descendant of
"Irish John." His ysearch ID is AA5PF.
13 24 14 11 11 14 12 12 12 13 13 29 17 9 10 11 11 25 15 19 29 15 15 17 18 11 11 19 23 15 15 18 17 39 39 12 12
If I'm correct, my John McDowell (1806-1879) is a
grandson. Any Y descendants of his would have a matching Y chromosome to
the tested John descendant. Please contact me
if you are an eligible tester.
All original portions ©
Michael Cooley, OrbitInternet.net -