Botetourt County may have been named for the English home of Norborne Berkeley, 4th Baron Botetourt, a very popular governor of the Colony of Virginia, who died just before the tensions of the impending American Revolution made the job much more difficult. John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore and Viscount of Fincastle, succeeded Lord Botetourt. Fincastle County may have been named in his honor, or for his son Lord Fincastle. If so, the decision to change the name in 1776 is very logical. At that time, Lord Dunmore was leading the military opposition to the "rebels" in Virginia, and had already issued Dunmore's Proclamation offering to free any slaves who fled their Virginia masters and joined the royal British forces.
The name remains represented on Virginia maps by the town of Fincastle, the county seat of the original Botetourt County.