Robert Dowling (1730-1794)


VA Spotsylvania Co 1720


VA Orange 1734


VA Augusta 1740


VA Augusta 1760


flag revolution


SC Darlington Dist Cheraws Co 1785



Spotsylvania Co VA was formed on Dec 17 1720 from parts of Essex, King & Queen, and King William Counties.

Robert Dowling1 was born in 1730 in Spotsylvania Co, VA. Most sources say Augusta Co but it wasn't formed until 1738.1

Orange Co VA was formed on Sep 20 1734 from Spotsylvania Co.

Augusta Co VA was formed in 1738 from part of Orange Co and is located in the Shenandoah Valley on the western edge. It was originally a huge area but many parts were carved out to form new counties and several states. It is the 2nd largest county in the state.


Robert married Unknown Wife in 1744 (est) in Virginia. The name of his first wife is unknown. Grandson Dempsey Dowling did remember that she was of VA birth. They had one son, William and his mother died in childbirth.2



Robert married Sarah Guinn in 1754 in Augusta Co, VA.1,2



The family of Robert Dowling moved from Augusta Co, VA to Darlington Co, Cheraws Dist, SC bef 1773. That is the date in SC that King George II's deputy-surveyor, John Bremar, Esquire,'Admeasured and laid out unto Robert Dowling a plantation or tract of land containing 300 acres. It is on Boggy Gully, bounding on all sides on vacant land and hath such shape and marks as the above plat represents.'


Robert's tract was cut through the middle by Bobby Gully branch, a stream that can be seen on present-day Darlington Co SC maps. It is not known where Robert and Sarah's home stood. Dempsey stated that his grandfather's home was on Jeffires Creek, a larger stream two miles east of Boggy Gully. By 1900 the site of Robert's old log house or that of one of his son's was faintly visible.


Robert's move to SC was five years after the first Methodist church was founded in America. His daughter-in-law is known to have joined a Methodist Church twenty-six years after this. With all the Dowling emigrants from Ireland being Catholic, one wonders when and how Robert or his forebear was converted to Methodism. Did Bishop Francis Asbury accomplish the task? If so, the job was done well, for three of the grandsons became Methodist preachers.


Robert had no use of strong drink. The year after he arrived in SC, court records of the district in which he lived mention his complaint to the Grand Jury of a Joseph Gourly's drunkenness.2

In 1776 Robert Dowling. Shortly after the call to arms by America's revolutionists, Robert became a soldier. He chose to fight with the men of his home state. By May of 1777 he was enrolled as a private with Captain William Vause's Company of the 12th Virginia Regiment. Records of the same unit several months later showed his name (Robert Doling) on the invalid list with eight and 24/72nds dollars of pay due him.


Later he was with the 6th Regiment of the NC Continental Infantry with Captain White's outfit. He fought at Musgrove's Mill, Guilford Courthouse, and in two battles that historians mention as America's mightiest blows for freedom: the Battle of the Cowpens and the Battle of King's Mountain. Pay voucher number 1563 in NC records (Vol 16page 1042) shows that Robert's pay for eight years of military service was a total of $186..2,3


Robert Dowling was the Head of Household in the census in 1790 in St Thomas Par, Cheraws Dist, SC. Robert Dowling: males 2>16; females 3. The number of females has been written over and the number cannot be determined. It could be 3.


In America's first census of 1790, Robert was still a backwoods farmer. He owned no slaves. The four youngsters living with him and Sarah were most likely those of his martyred son William. Nearby were the pioneer families of Saoni Boutwell and John Stokes, families whose descendants would later marry Robert's offspring. Sons James and John still lived, with over a score of grandchildren.4


Robert Dowling signed a will in 1793... Robert's last testament, is on record in the courthouse of Darlington Co SC.

'I, Robert Dowling of State of South Carolina, County of Darlington, being very weak of body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given to God calling into the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men to once die do make and ordain this my last will and testament that is to say princepely and first of all I give and recommend my Soul into the hands of Almighty God that gave it, and my body I recommend to the earth to be buried indecent Christian burial at the discrietions of my executors nothing do iutting at the General Resurrection I shall receive the same again by the Mighty power of God and as touching such wordly estate wherein it hath pleased God to bless me in this life. I give demise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form, First I give and bequeath to Sarah Dowling, my dearly belowed wife all my goods and chattels land and tenements to act and to take and dispose as she sees good for her own use and support during her life or widowhood if she be in want. I give and bequeath to my eldest daughter five Shillings--I give to my daughter Mary AN Stewart five Shillings. Also I give to my oldest son James Dowling five Shillings. Also to my son John Dowling one bed and furniture. Also to my daughter Elizabeth Ogelsbee and my daughter Sarah I leave the land I now live upon to be divided between them. Also to Milly Dowling the daughter of Elizabeth one pided cow--Earling and hur name marked with a split in each ear if cow should breed the beaf cattle shall be sold and the money put on interest after the death of the Testator till she cums of age and then to be delivered to hur or hur lawful hairs; (comment: it is unknown why the inheritor of this 'earling' should not have been referred to as Milly Ogelsbee); and also to my youngest daughter I give and bequeath after our deaths all the rest of our goods and chattels land and tenemets to hur and hur hairs forever. I leave my wife Sarah Dowling and James Dowling (both of the state of South Carolina) for and absolute Executors to them my last will and testament and I do hereby utter my disalow revoke and dessavou all and every other former testament wills segours bequeaths and executors by me in any wise before named willed and bequeathed ratifying and confirming these this and no other to be my last will and testament in witnys where of I have hearunto set my hand and seal this 20 day of March in year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-four.' By: Robert Dowling.2

Robert died in 1794 in Darlington Co, Cheraws Dist, SC.1 He was buried in Cheraws Dist, SC.




Unknown Wife and Robert Dowling had the following children:




Sarah Guinn1 and Robert Dowling had the following children:




Sons of the American Revolution Application. Custom Id: 9;


A Dowling Family of the South. Custom Id: 10; Ozark City Library, ,, Ozark, Dale Co, Alabama.

A Dowling Family of the South


U.S. Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783. Custom Id: 758;


1790 United States Federal Census