Descendants of Rockbridge County’s first settler are gathering this weekend in the Lexington area to mark a moment that marks not just family history but that of the county as well. John McDowell moved there in 1742, part of the great migration southward through the Shenandoah Valley and eventually to Cumberland Gap. Life was anything but easy then for the settlers — including John McDowell, who did not live long after coming to Virginia. More from WLNI’s Evan Jones:

08-06 McDowell Reunion Wrap-WLNI-WEB