When Barbara Shacklett was born on 26 April 1794, in Fayette City, Fayette, Pennsylvania, United States, her father, Benjamin Woodbridge Shacklett, was 20 and her mother, Elizabeth Ashcraft, was 20. She married James Board Dowell on 8 February 1813, in Hardin, Kentucky, United States. They were the parents of at least 7 sons and 7 daughters. She lived in Garrett, Meade, Kentucky, United States in 1872. She died on 2 November 1874, in Meade, Kentucky, United States, at the age of 80, and was buried in Guston, Meade, Kentucky, United States.