McDowell Family History
The ancient origin of the name McDowell
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives.
Surnames developed a wide number of variants over the centuries. Many different spelling variations of the same name can be traced back to a single original root. Also, when a bearer of a name emigrated from Ireland it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books upon arrival at their new location. Some names have dozens of spelling variations. Some Surnames were also altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically, by their sound, and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another. This was especially so in Ireland where most Gaelic names were 'anglicized' at some stage.
Variants of the name McDowell
include MacDougal and MacDouall. This name in Gaelic is MacDubhghaill, meaning 'dark foreigner'. This name is of Scottish descent and is found in many ancient manuscripts in that country. Examples of such are a Fergus MacDowile who was a juror on an inquest in Berwick in 1296. Sir Dugal MacDouwille, sheriff of Dumfries, is mentioned in the year 1312. Names were recorded in these ancient documents to make it easier for their overlords to collect taxes and to keep records of the population at any given time. When the overlords acquired lands by either force or gifts from their rulers, they created charters of ownership for themselves and their vassals. In Ireland the McDowells arrived as Galloglasses and became well established in County Roscommon where the town of Lismacdowell still exists. The name McDowell is also often found in Ulster Province, settlers having arrived there from Scotland, especially during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.The McDowell
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including McDowell