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Capt. John McDowell (1714-1742), Early Virginia Settler and Land Surveyor

This month, WeRelate looks at the Person Page of Capt. John McDowell, born 1714 in Ireland, the son of Ephraim McDowell (abt. 1672-1770) and his wife Margaret Irvine (1682-abt. 1728). John McDowell married Magdalena Woods (1712-1810) and they had four children together. John McDowell was one of the early settlers in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and his family was among the first party of white settlers in the area in what was then largely unsettled Indian land. On 28 February 1739, John McDowell appeared in Orange County, Virginia Court [the predecessor County of Augusta], and stated that "he imported himself, Magdaline, his wife, and Samuel McDowell, his son, and John Rutter, his servant, at his own charge from Great Britain in the year 1737, to dwell in this colony, and that this is the first time of proving their rights in order to obtain land pursuant to the royal instructions”. He served as a land surveyor, helping land speculator Benjamin Borden, Jr. locate and map his 92,100-acre tract, build a road to his land grant and for his assistance, and was rewarded with over 1,100 acres from Borden. John McDowell was slain by Shawnee Indians just before Christmas of 1742, likely while out surveying land. His wife Magdalena, with four young children to raise after her husband's death, married 2nd, Benjamin Borden III (bef. 1722-1753) in 1744, and later she married Gen. John Bowyer (b. abt. 1726-1806) in abt. 1754. This Person Page, is a good example of the type of Page that you can add to WeRelate for your ancestors. (learn more...)

WeRelate is a free public-service wiki for genealogy sponsored by the Foundation for On-Line Genealogy formerly in partnership with the Allen County Public Library. It has pages for over 3,020,000 people and growing. WeRelate is supported by volunteers and your tax-deductible donations.

Volunteer Opportunities

We have switched over to a new admin structure - in which everyone is encouraged to participate! We'd like to give a big thank you to our previous administrators who have served for many years. It's time for WeRelate to grow. We encourage you to get involved!

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Crowdsourcing Challenge
Volunteer Sought

Would you be interested in re-booting the WeRelate Crowdsourcing Challenge? We are looking for a volunteer. You'll be able to run the challenge the way it was run in the past or take it in a new direction. If you are interested, please leave a message.

July Challenge

In the meantime, the Challenge for July 2021 is to fix as many pages as possible where there is an event before the birth/christening date. Please read the instructions carefully.