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

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Sorting Out The Bowles of Kilcooly and Killenaule and Area

Back to The Bowles of Kilcooly


Note: this page is currently under construction


We have established by DNA testing of their descendants that The Bowles of The Commons and The Bowles of Bawnlea were closely related, that there was a link between the Bowles of the Commons, The Bowles of Springhill near Killenaule and The Bowles of Oola, Limerick and that there was a link between the Bowles of Bawnlea and the Bowles of Crohane who in turn were connected to the Bowles of Killenaule.  Just what those links were is not clear but we can work out some possibilities if we analyze what we know.  This might give us some ideas for further research.

John Bowles and the other Bowles of The Commons can be traced back to Joseph Bowles of Springhill, the parish adjacent to Killenaule to the west.  Joseph and his wife baptized John in the RC church in Killenaule and three of their daughters were married there.

John's baptism gives his parents as Joseph Bowles and Ellen Mackey but it also states that John was illegitimate.  Considering that Joseph and Ellen had eight children together, the most likely explanation for that would be that Joseph and Ellen were not both Catholics so their union was not recognized by the Catholic church. As Mackey (or other Anglicized versions of the Irish MacAodha: McCee, McCay etc.) is an old Irish Catholic name, if one of them was Protestant, it would have been Joseph.

In any case, to consider the possibility that Joseph was also Catholic, there were both Catholic and Protestant branches of the Bowles family in Killenaule going back to the early 1700's. 

The earliest Protestant Bowles reference was a George Bowles who was buried in the Protestant cemetery in Killenaule in 1777 at age 42 (so he was born about 1735). 

The earliest Catholic Bowles reference in Killenaule was an Anna Bowls and husband Jacob (James) Meagher who baptized children there in 1748 and 1751.


So considering what we have for the Bowles at those locations:



In the Protestant cemetery in Killenaule there are two memorial stones one of which is for the eldest Bowles mentioned in the area, George Bowles, who died in 1777 at age 42, so he was born about 1735.

Ann Bowles b. ~ 1757 Killenaule m. George Ryall at Fethard 1777

Joseph Bowles of Springhill, b. bef. 1770, m. Ellen Mackey; sons John (b. 1790,





The 1766 Religious Census of Tipperary lists one, a Protestant named John Bowles, in Doon parish which crossed the Tipperary/Limerick border and included Oola.

That was probably the same person as the John Boles (born ca. 1726) who died in 1802 at age 76 and is buried in the Oola Cemetery.  All the rest of the Bowles that we have buried in that cemetery were Catholic though




John Bowles b. ca. 1744 at Fethard in 1780 holding land under Barton; sons David (b. 1771), Charles (b. 1775 m. Honora Hatcher; shoemaker at Clonmel in 1840), Jonas (b. 1778), William (b. ca. 1778), Robert (b. 1780; emigrated to Canada 1823)




The 1766 Religious Census of Tipperary does not list any Bowles in the Kilcooly/Killenaule area at all.  The Tithe Defaulters List of 1831 has a George Bowles, residence: Bawnlea.  This just means that he had been a resident there the last time that they checked as the tithe collectors were turned away in 1831 on threat of death.  ref.


John Bowles, father of Charles Bowles of Knocknahone (Crohane parish), who died in 1840 at age 78.  So John was born about 1762 and his son Charles would likely be the Charles Sr. of Crohane in the list of signers of the Anti-Catholic Petition of 1827.

The Tithe Defaulters List of 1831 has John Bowles, farmer, of Lower Crohane

The Commons





The following is a possible family tree which fits the above references but has not been confirmed.  This is presently a working hypothesis only.



George Bowles b. ~ 1735 (a Freeman of Fethard in 1771; lived Coolquill)  m. ? ~ 1754
1.  Susana Bowels  b. ~ 1756  m. Mr. Graham  d. Oct. 10, 1792 (age 36) bur. Killenaule 
2.  Anne Bowles b. ~ 1757 m. George Ryall Jan. 12, 1777 Fethard, Tipperary
3.  George Bowles b. ~ 1758
m. Barbara Young of Bawnlea (Note: just a theory that they fit in here really well, no proof of it yet)
(they settled at Bawnlea, Kilcooley parish ~ 1780's; emigrated to Canada in 1830)
3.1  George Bowles b. ~ 1780
(lived at Bawnlea, Kilcooley parish in 1826; may still have been there in 1831 as he is listed in the Tithe Defaulters List of that year for not having paid his tithes)
3.2  Charles Bowles b. ~ 1782 (lived at Bawnlea, Kilcooley parish in 1826; emigrated to Canada in 1827)
See The Bowles of Peel co., Ontario
3.3  Rose Bowles b. ~ 1786 Tipperary
3.4  David Bowles b. ~ 1807 Tipperary
(seems a big age gap but R. P. Bowles writes in his The Tipperary Bowles that David was much younger than his brother Charles and his sister Rose)
(he went to Canada with parents and sister Rose in 1830)
(A David Bowles signed the Anti-Catholic Petition in Crohane in 1827; that could have been this David living with his Uncle and Cousins or there was another David Bowles in that family)
George d. 1830 Peel co., Ontario
4.  John Bowles b. ~ 1762  d. June 16, 1840 age 78
(John has 8 acres at Crohane Lower under Luther in 1830, also there in 1831 (farmer); he signed as John Bowles Sen. of Crohane Parish on the Anti-Catholic Petition of 1827)
4.1  Charles Boles b. ~ 1790
Charles lived at Knocknahone in 1840 has 13.5 acres at Crohane Lower under Luther in 1850
(Charles inherited John's land so he's likely the oldest son; 8 Irish Acres in 1830 is equal to 12.8 English Acres so the .7 acres increase could either be the result of more accurate measuring or the inclusion of unusable land in 1850 which was not counted in 1830)
4.2  William Bowles b. ~ 1801 d. June 22, 1851 age 50
m. Susan ? ~ 1840  (Susan lived at Crohane after 1851; probably with daughter Jane)
William with land and houses at Ballyphillip and Lower Crohane in 1850
4.2.1  Jane Bowles b. ~ 1844  m. James Simpson (Thomas) May 8, 1862 Crohane  William Simpson b. 1865
  m. ?  (Church of Ireland)  James Simpson b. ~ 1889 d. Mar. 9, 1967 Crohane (age 78)
  m.(2) Johana (b. ~ 1864) ~ 1894  (Catholic)  Catharine (Kate) Simpson b. ~ 1895  Thomas (Tom) Simpson b. ~ 1896  John Simpson b. ~ 1897  Mary Simpson b.  1900
(note: James was baptized C of  I, rest were baptized Catholic)
1901 Census
4.2.2  John Bowles b. ~ 1851 d. Oct. 20, 1868 age 17
4.3  (possibly) David Bowles (see note on 3.4 David Bowles above)
4.4  John Bowles (based on 4. John Bowles signing the Anti-Catholic Petition of 1827 as John Bowles Sen.)
George d. Feb. 9, 1777 (age 42) bur. Killenaule 
Possibly a Dr. George Boles b. ~ 1840, son of either Charles or William

Need to check the C of I register for Crohane for more Bowles/Boles and for descendants of Jane Bowles Simpson after 1862.  Need photos of any stones in Crohane graveyard from Jane Simpson's line.  Need to check RC register for Crohane for William Simpson's RC descendants.


This site was last updated 10/19/18