Thomas McDowell of Quilly was working as a young groom in Belfast in April 1888 when he married a girl from his hometown, Banbridge. His parents were Thomas McDowell, labourer and Isabella Allen. His wife Lizzie Bickerstaff of Banbridge was a winder. Their marriage took place in at the Holy Trinity Church of Ireland, witnessed by Robert Boyd and Maggie Adamson.

> Daniel Radcliffe, best known for his role in Harry Potter is their great-grandson. (Pictured above)  

The couple settled in Banbridge and had ten children, eight of whom survived infancy.  The Census shows the family living at Kenlis Street, Banbridge in 1901.  Thomas was a car driver and his wife was keeping a houseful of children: James, Thomas, Joseph, Edwin, Sarah, Ernest, and Annie. Their youngest, Flo McDowell b. 1903 is the paternal grandmother of Daniel Radcliffe. She was also born at Kenlis Street. 

Shortly after this, the family moved. By 1911 they lived at Newry Street. Here, Thomas Sr. is recorded as a labourer. Tom Jr., age 21, was by then a Linen Weaver and his sister, Sarah (age 15) a Pearn Winder.  

In World War I, their sons Jimmy, Joe, Ernie and Edmund served in the Royal Irish Rifles. Ernest McDowell did not survive. He was killed along with two other men from Belfast when a shell exploded the trenches. He is listed on a Roll of Honor plaque in the local church in Banbridge. Upon their return, Jim McDowell settled in Belfast, and Joseph Hawthorne McDowell and Edmund McDowell returned to Banbridge, both marrying in 1920. 

"Who Do You Think You Are UK"

In 2019, Daniel Radcliff returned to Northern Ireland  to discover more about his Irish heritage (WDYTYA Season 16 Episode 1) 

WATCH: WDYTYA Daniel Radcliffe visits Northern Ireland

IRISH TIMES: Daniel Radcliffe on being Irish



Additional Information
Date of Birth 23rd Dec 1868 (circa) VIEW SOURCE
Associated Building (s) Holy Trinity Church of Ireland BANBRIDGE  


  • I knew that Daniel Radcliffe from Harry Potter fame! I know he came from where my great-grandparents were from and particular Seapatrick but the resemblance on this photo is uncanny. I hadn't realised that Daniel has red hair and blue eyes until I watched a programme about his ancestors. I have red hair and blue eyes too but still trying to locate family from County Down, Banbridge and Seapatrick 


    Wednesday 30th September 2020 10:45AM
  • Do you know anything more about the McDowells? I am seeking to find McDowells that were in or near drumgooland. Esther McDowell married John Armstrong and lived in Legananny, which is in Drumgooland. They're a bit further back than your family. Esther about 1798-1864 and John who likely died prior to the Griffith Valuation Maps, because Esther is the property owner listed in the first Griffith Evaluation Map.


    Friday 13th November 2020 07:53PM
  • Have you tried our dedicated volunteer message board for Drumgooland?

    Post a query here...


    Friday 13th November 2020 11:34PM
  • Yes, Elwyn has been a wonderful resource. Still, no leads on the McDowell's or Scott's. They go too far back for Irish records to be available through traditional sources. Thanks!


    Saturday 14th November 2020 01:15PM

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