Col. Samuel McDowell

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Col. Samuel McDowell's Geni Profile

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Samuel McDowell

Also Known As: "Sr."
Birthdate: (81)
Birthplace: Fairfield, Rockbridge, Virginia, United States
Death: September 25, 1817 (81)
Danville, Boyle, Kentucky, United States
Place of Burial: Danville, Boyle, Kentucky, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Capt. John McDowell and Mary Magdalena Bowyer
Husband of Mary Annette 'Mollie' McDowell
Father of Magdalena Reid; Maj. John McDowell; James McDowell, Col.; Col. James 'Old Thunder' McDowell; Judge William McDowell and 9 others
Brother of Col. James McDowell; Sarah Martha Trimble; Sarah Fred; Elizabeth McDowell; John McDowell and 2 others
Half brother of Elizabeth Borden; Martha Woods Harvey; Hannah Borden; Isabella McChesney and Benjamin Borden

Occupation: Col. Revolutionary War, Judge
Managed by: Chelsea Weal Hodge
Last Updated:

About Col. Samuel McDowell

DAR Ancestor #: A076518

Samuel McDowell (October 29, 1735 – September 25, 1817) was a soldier and early political leader in Kentucky.

McDowell participated in three major wars. He served under George Washington in the French and Indian War, served as an aide-de-camp to Isaac Shelby in Lord Dunmore's War, and was part of Nathanael Greene's campaign in the Revolutionary War. Following the Revolutionary War, he relocated to Kentucky and became a surveyor. Later, he was appointed one of the first district court judges in what would become the state of Kentucky. He became a leader of the movement to separate Kentucky from Virginia, presiding over nine of the state's ten constitutional conventions.

Early life

Samuel McDowell was born in Pennsylvania on October 29, 1735.[1] He was the son of Captain John McDowell and grandson of Ephraim McDowell, a Scots-Irish patriot in the English Revolution of 1688.[2] Captain McDowell relocated his family to Virginia in 1737.[3] Samuel McDowell was well-educated in his youth, at one time studying under Archibald Alexander.[3] In 1743, his father died and he inherited the entire estate, according to the tradition of primogeniture, but chose to divide the estate with his brother and sister.

McDowell married Mary McClung on January 17, 1754.[1] They had seven sons and four daughters. Sons Joseph, Samuel, Jr. both served in the Revolutionary War.Joseph also served in the War of 1812, as did the eldest son, John. Samuel, Jr. was also the first United States Marshal in Kentucky. The most famous of McDowell's sons was Dr. Ephraim McDowell, who performed the first ovariotomy. Ephraim McDowell later married the daughter of Isaac Shelby, his father's former commanding officer.

McDowell died near Danville on September 25, 1817 at the home of his son Joseph.

Washington Review and Examiner (Pa.) Nov. 5, 1817; "Another Revolutionary Patriot gone.

Died near Danville (Ken.) on the 25th Sept. last, Col. Samuel McDowell, in the 85th year of his age. He was distinguished as a most active whig during the revolutionary war--was one of the first settlers of Kentucky--a member of the convention which adopted our constitution--was a judge under the district court system, and afterwards a circuit judge. He has left more than one hundred descendants; and was distinguished for his piety, unsullied integrity, practical patriotism and industrious habits. He lived long and usefully, died serene and happy.--Argus" 


  • These dates do not match the stone in the Bellevue Cemetery where he is buried. Check his memorial page on FindAGrave. A pic of the stone is there. I have changed the dates to match the stone.


Revolutionary war Col., one of the first settlers of Kentucky, Whig party, a member of the convention which adopted the constitution, District court judge and Circuit judge.

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Col. Samuel McDowell's Timeline

Rockbridge County, Virginia, United States
October 29, 1735
Fairfield, Rockbridge, Virginia, United States
October 9, 1755
Age 19
Cherry Grove, Rockbridge, Virginia
October 9, 1755
Age 19
Augusta, Virginia, United States
December 7, 1757
Age 22
Augusta County, Virginia, United States
April 29, 1760
Age 24
Virginia, United States
Age 24
Virginia, United States
March 19, 1762
Age 26
Rockbridge County, Virginia, United States