The Bowles of Canada and their Roots in Ireland and England 


The Thomas Carrington Bowles of Maryland Mystery

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A strong case has been made for there being an additional child, Thomas Carrington Bowles, who is first heard of in 1758 when he emigrated from England to Maryland and established a Bowles family there which would bear the name Carrington in many subsequent generations to current date. 

It has been proposed that he was a son of John Bowles and Mary Carrington.  In the odd case that a child may have been born to them but was then removed from the family and was not acknowledged by either his father or either of his grandfathers in their Wills there would be only one point that such a child could fit in, around 1728.  However the Maryland gives their ancestor a birth date of between 1739 and 1743 which would have been after Mary Carington's death so this is not an acceptable solution.  A second theory is that Thomas was the son of John's brother Thomas II' son Thomas III (ca. 1712-1762) (and wife Margaret) who are not on record as having had any children.  Thomas III pre-deceased his father in 1762 without providing for any children in his Will.  Thomas II died in 1767 and named his daughter Bethia as the principle benefator of his estate.  He made no mention of any legitimate heir of his son Thomas III who under English law would have had a better claim to the estate than his daughter Bethia would have unless he was specifically excluded in the Will, which he wasn't.  The Will received probate without any delay which makes it clear that Thomas III could not have had a known male heir so this theory is also difficult to accept.  The only other possibility for a male Bowles in the Carrington line would be Carington Bowles (1724-1793) who married in 1752, had a daughter Mary in 1753 and whose eldest son and heir, Henry Carington Bowles, was born in 1763.  His having a son Thomas Carrington around 1739 to 1743 as a young man in a first but unrecorded marriage or as an illegitimate child is certainly technically possible but if so such an indication has not yet been found.

See Henry Carrington's Will of 1757 and Thomas Bolles II Will of 1766

There is one possible reference in 1743 for a son Thomas baptized at St Giles Cripplegate, London to parents Thomas Bolas and wife Catherine on May 31, 1743.

Bolas is certainly an acceptable spelling for Bowles but his occupation of Cheesmonger is less likely.  A cheese-monger, was a street vendor just above the level of poverty.  He would receive a slab of cheese from a store, sell off bits all day in the street, pay the store owner back and keep whatever extra he could make.  Not the occupation that we would expect for a son of the prosperous Bowles printers family.

One public family tree on ancestry.com has 'Thomas Bowles b. May 31, 1743 at St Giles in London to parents John Bowles and Mary Carrington'.  Apparently this is in reference to the above entry on that exact date and in that same church with a convenient alteration to the parent's names.  As Mary Carrington had died in 1730 and John Bowles had not yet remarried to another Mary (Field) in 1745 this family tree entry is an example of the worst kind of family tree 'creativity' which is found online more and more now.

Fortunately, there are also some authentic family historians working on this mystery who are determined to find the real and documented solution.  Hopefully that will be forthcoming.

 

See The Bowles of Canada

See  The Bowles of Ireland

See The Bowles of Great Britain

This page was last updated 10/18/18