Family History and Genealogy Resources by Surname
McDowell Surname Origin
(origin Gaelic) The son of Dowell or Dougall, the dark stranger. From dhu, black, and gall, a native of the low country of Scotland; any one ignorant of the Gaelic language; a foreigner, a stranger. The same as McDougall.
Source: An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names With an Essay on their Derivation and Import; Arthur, William, M.A.; New York, NY: Sheldon, Blake, Bleeker & CO., 1857.
McDowell Surname Meaning and Family Facts
There is more to McDowell family history than the origin of your surname:
A McDowell Family History Thought:
'If you would not be forgotten,
As soon as you are dead and rotten,
Either write things worthy of reading,
Or do things worthy of writing.' --Benjamin Franklin, May 1738