The MCDOWELLs, BOWMANs, and GREENLEEs came from Virginia to Burke County previous to the Revolution [late 1750]. JOSEPH MCDOWELL's grant on Quaker Meadows was dated 1749. They were all related by marriage or consanguinity. JOSEPH MCDOWELL, SR., was of Scotch descent, and emigrated from North Ireland to America. He was born in 1715, and emigrated with his wife at an early age, having offended his wife's relatives, the proud O'NEALs [O'Neills], the descendants of the ancient Irish kings, by his marriage with their sister, MARGARET O'NEAL. Wheeler, in his History of North Carolina writes as if they (Joseph and his wife Mary) only had two sons, Generals CHARLES and JOSEPH MCDOWELL. On the contrary, there were four: HUGH, CHARLES, JOSEPH, and JOHN MCDOWELL. Charles died the owner of Quaker Meadows; Joseph died the owner of the fine plantation on John's River, where the widow of the late Dr. JOHN MCDOWELL now lives . Dr. MCDOWELL was grandson of Major JOSEPH MCDOWELL, of Pleasant Gardens, the son of HUNTING JOHN MCDOWELL*, the brother of JOSEPH MCDOWELL, SR.
HUGH MCDOWELL was the father of MARGARET, who married Capt. JAMES MURPHY, and the only child, JOHN HUGH (MURPHY) was the offspring of this marriage. He married MARGARET STRINGER AVERY, a niece of Col. WAIGHTSTILL AVERY, SR.
(from biographical sketches written by Col. Thomas George Walton, first published in the Morganton Herald in 1894)
*"Hunting John" McDowell (b. 1724) was actually the son of Charles McDowell (b. abt 1697), brother of Joseph McDowell (b. 1715), and therefore the nephew of Joseph, Sr.