William was born in Marmora, Canada West, in 1865, the third child of Rev. John Armnstrong Dowler and Mary Williams. Being son of a pastor, William had a number of homes during his youth. In 1871, he appears on the first census with his family in Crosby, Ontario. In 1881, the family was listed in Brock, Ontario.
The following notice appeared in the local newpaper upon his death (1938):
"W. A. Dowler Dies at Kenora. Fort William, June (CP). Twelve days after his retirement from the county court bench at Kenora, Ont., W. A. Dowler, K. C., died suddenly here Sunday from a heart attack. Mr. Dowler returned to Fort William last week to become associated with Cyril V. O'Connor in a law firm. He came here from Tilsonburg, Ont. in 1907 and practised law until his appointment as Kenora district judge. His son, Arthur H. Dowler, was associated with him in the law firm of Dowler and Dowler for a time and this son is now Thunder Bay district judge. Another son, Dr. C. Dowler, lives in Florida. The widow survives here. Mr. Dowler was deeply interested in the agricultural development of this district and Fort William's fine parks were created during his term as chairman of the parks board. The funeral will be Wednesday
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with William by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA.
However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line.
It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with William: