Known Descendents of Jane McDowell and John Aitken

Descendants of James McDowell & Elizabeth Loughead

I have moved the outline of John Aitken and Jane McDowell descendants to another page.

Surnames include: McDowell, Aitken (sometimes spelled Aitkin), Alison, Ankrim (sometimes Ankrum), Dixon, Eves, Evans, Fondersmith, Sheiner, Slaymaker, and Strunk

Jane McDowell, the fifth child and fourth-eldest daughter of James McDowell and Elizabeth Loughead, was born on March 13, 1774 in Chester County, PA (probably New London or Oxford township). On November 13, 1796, she married John Aitken in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

John Aitken was born in Scotland and died in Chester County (either New London or Upper Oxford township). John lived in Philadelphia prior to his marriage and he and Jane lived in the city until about 1815 when they purchased 325 acres of the Ruston/McDowell farm from the estate of Jane's father, Captain James McDowell. Jane's mother, Elizabeth Loughead, may have continued living in the house until her death in granted rights to live out her days in the home. Jane's brother, John McDowell, his wife and their nine children lived across the road (now Penna. Route 896) at 'Buttonwoods'.

The last name is occasionally spelled 'Aitkin' during the mid 19th-century. There are no known living descendants of John and Jane Aitken but there are a couple of descendants whose fates are unknown; hopefully some of them have produced offspring who are still alive.

John and Jane (McDowell) Aitken had six children. They are:
  1. James McDowell Aitken: born November 26, 1797 probably in Philadelphia and died in the same place February 9, 1798 about 10 weeks old.
  2. Marshall William Aitken: born December, 7, 1798 probably in Philadelphia. At the age of 17, Marshall moved back to Chester county when his father purchased the bulk of the his father-in-law's farm from his estate. Marshall remained on that farm until his death in 1865, having inherited it from his father. Marshall married Margaretta Lightner Ankrim and their line died out before the middle of the 20th century.
  3. David Ankrem Aitken: born May 8, 1801, probably in Philadelphia. He died on April 21, 1802, just before his first birthday.
  4. Henry Lightner Aitken: born June 27, 1803 probably in Philadelphia and died November 7, 1875. Henry was a Chester county physician and married Margaret Ann Eves. There may be a few living descendants of Henry and Margaret.
  5. James McDowell Aitken: born October 27, 1805, James married a cousin, Martha M. Ankrim in 1835. James built a two story brick house just up the road from the McDowell/Ruston manor house where he had grown up from the age of ten. James and Martha had five children but apparently Martha and all children died while James was off to California as part of the gold rush. He returned from California but stopped in Missouri where he lived with his second wife, Camille, until her death about 1881. He then returned home to Chester county to live out his remaining days in the house he had built for his young family so many years before (then owned by cousin, Andrew Henderson McDowell). James died February 13, 1886 and that was the end of his iine.
  6. Elizabeth J. Aitken: born November 27, 1807, probably in Philadelphia. Elizabeth married Robert Alison, a grandson of Rev. Francis Alison (yes, that one). Robert, like his father before him, was a physician in Chester county. The widow Elizabeth died on May 28, 1859 in Wilmington, Delaware. Robert and Elizabeth had three children, one of whom married and gave them grandchildren. There may be some living descendants in this line.


Note: I have moved the outline of John Aitken and Jane McDowell descendants to another page.

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