The McDowell surname has Scottish and Irish origin. It is also sometimes named as McDougall, McDowall, MacDill and MacDugald. It usually refers to the son of Dowell or Dougall can also mean the dark stranger, foreigner in Gaelic or Irish origin and native of scotland in scottish origin. Lots of people having McDowell and similar surnames migrated to the North America and Canada during the American war of Independence. Many of the ancestors are still living in these countries having McDowell and similar surnames.