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The Bowles of Canada and their Roots in Ireland and Great Britain

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The Bowles of Yorkshire

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While The Bolles of Swineshead, Lincolnshire are widely believed to have been the earliest ancestor of many of the Bowles lines in England.  I believe they were certainly significant ancestors of ours but a line that originated in Normandy which settled in Yorkshire was a much earlier and more important root of the Bowles name.

In the late 1800's several historians actively searched for a Norman origin for the Bolles of Swineshead.  They were able to find scattered references for names like Bowles, possibly Boels or Booles, in various locations throughout England, but no incontestible proof was ever found.  That didn't stop the assumption from appearing in many published family histories which are repeated to this day throughout the internet.  Only one family historian I've found, who I believe would have dearly loved to have proven his family's Norman origin, was more practical about the available evidence.  W. H. Bowles in his ‘Records of the Bowles Family’ (privately published in 1918) assesses and then rather dismisses the possibility when he wrote “I have seen several ingenious theories of the origin if the Bowles family in England.  Among these is the inevitable formula that ‘we came over with the Conqueror’ ...... of positive evidence there is none, and without wasting space on conjecture I will pass on to the post-Conquest history of the family”.

Roger de Busli of Tickhill, Yorkshire


This site was last updated 10/19/18