Bowles DNA Project
The Bowles of Peel's Origins in Ireland
In The Tipperary Bowles, the Bowles of Peel's family history written in the 1940's, the Rev. R. P. Bowles wrote "From my Uncle John I first learned that the Bowles were of English stock, one of whom found his way to Ireland with Cromwell's army of subjection....tradition has it that these Bowles, of whom we have no history, had served in the Irish Constabulary by which England made effective her will in the green, rebellious, freedom‑loving island." (Note: the Constabulary reference would actually refer to a county Militia as the Constabulary itself was only formed in 1816.)
This may be a reference to The Boles of Cork, Ireland who trace their origin back to two brothers, Thomas and Richard Boles who settled in Cork in the early 1600's and who later served Cromwell by assisting in his occupation of Cork. See The Boles of Cork for more information on their families. By the late 1700's one line of the Boles of Cork had settled in South Tipperary at Woodhouse near Fethard but no link has yet been found between the John Boles of Woodhouse line and any of the many other Bowles lines in Tipperary. Some of the Boles of Cork did indeed adopt the Bowles spelling but this still may just be a coincidence. Still the family tradition has to be considered. See The Bowles of Tipperary.
In fact the Bowles of Peel came to Canada from the little village of Bawnlea in the Slievardagh Hills of Kilcooly, co. Tipperary. See The Bowles of Bawnlea
Charles Bowles of Bawnlea had married Nancy Barrie, probably somewhere in Kilcooly about 1824. Their daughter Eliza was born there in 1826. Then in May 1827, they left for the Port of Wexford (about 40 miles away) and sailed to Quebec and then went on to "muddy York".
They lived in Toronto for two years (son John born Toronto) where he worked as a stone mason and then bought land and homesteaded in Peel county, Ontario. Charles parents then followed them from Ireland along with his brother, David, and his sister, Rose, but his father, George, died soon after arriving (1830) and was the first person to be buried in the Sandhill Cemetary in Albion twp, Peel co.