Bowles DNA Project
The Bowles of Ballickmoyler in CanadaSeveral Bowles from Ballickmoyler, co. Laois emigrated to Canada, initially settled in Quebec City and over time spread out across Canada and also into the U.S. in Virginia, Michigan, New Orleans and California. See also My Bowles Line in the U.S.
In the early 1800's there were two first cousins named John Bowles, the sons of brothers Michael and Joseph Bowles of Ballickmoyler. Both followed the family trade as shoemakers.
One lived in Ballickmoyler, married an Elizabeth and had 5 children baptized at the nearby Castletown Killabban church. The second married Ann Mills and settled down in Dunleckney, co. Carlow where they had 7 children (or at least the latter 4, I haven't found the birth records for their first 3 children). The Dunleckney branch emigrated to Canada in 1819 and opened a shoemaker shop in Quebec City. This John's brother Joseph, a shoemaker in Carlow, followed them to Quebec City with his family in 1831 and another brother Michael emigrated to Ontario in 1842. The story of these three brothers is told below.
His cousin John back in Ballickmoyler did not join them as he had died in 1818 leaving Elizabeth a widow with 5 children. Elizabeth married their neighbour Thomas Taylor (the farm next to the Bowles farm was owned by the Taylor family, Thomas was their eldest son) in 1822. By 1825 Thomas and Elizabeth Taylor with their 5 Bowles children had also arrived in Quebec City. Elizabeth's eldest child, Thomas, died in 1825 shortly after arriving in Quebec City. Three of the others, Joseph, Robert and Jane, decided to move on to New Orleans in 1835. Joseph later moved on to California. The 5th Bowles sibling, Elizabeth, may also have gone on to New Orleans but I haven't found any trace of her yet. It seems that none of this particular line remained in Canada.
But back to the three brothers, John, Joseph and Michael Jr., the sons of Michael Bowles of Ballickmoyler. According to Canadian records these three were born in Ireland between 1770 and 1778 but we know that Michael was living in England during that period serving with the British Army from 1770 to 1797 and we have found their baptismal records in Manchester where we also found the record of Michael's two marriages. John and Joseph both settled in Quebec City with their families but Michael Jr. settled in Whitby and Reach townships in Southern Ontario with his children.
Michael Bowles Jr. was baptized in Manchester in 1778 (see the discussion in Michael Bowles of Ballickmoyler). He married in Ireland twice, first within his Protestant faith, one son John was born in about 1806 and a daughter born in 1807 with his wife apparently dying soon afterwards. Around 1818 he married a Catholic woman, Rebecca Quinn, probably in the nearby Catholic community of Arles. By 1827 he was raising a second family of Catholic children in Queen's county most likely still at Ballickmoyler as the 1824 Tithe Applotment list for Ballickmoyler includes a Michael Bowles. In about 1825 his Protestant son John, at age 19, possibly unhappy with the growth of his father's Catholic family, left for Canada and settled with his Uncle John in Quebec City. Soon after he faced a child support suit ref. John married Elizabeth Green on June 13,1832 at the Metropolitan Church in Quebec City and moved to settle near Whitby in southern Ontario. Possibly Michael's second wife also died as he emigrated to Canada with his three sons and a daughter, all Catholics, in about 1846 and settled in Reach township just a couple of miles away from his son John at Whitby.
And now back to Michael Sr.'s eldest two sons, John and Joseph, the two Bowles brothers from Ballickmoyler who emigrated to Quebec City, Canada.
John Bowles born July 11, 1773 in Manchester, England while his father served there with the British Army. John married Ann Mills in about 1799, probably in Ireland, and they had seven children born in Ireland. The first record that I have actually found for John in Ireland is the baptism of their fourth child, Thomas, in 1808 in Dunleckney, co. Carlow. Records in Canada for their first three children indicate they were all born in Ireland but I don't yet know where the family lived prior to Dunleckney. From 1808 to 1817 they baptised four children in Dunleckney in total. John and his family, a party of 9, are listed in the Return of Protestant Families Preparing to Emigrate From the Counties of Carlow and Wexford in the Ensuing Spring which was prepared in Ireland in November 1817 for the Canadian Government. They would likely have sailed from New Ross, co. Wexford in the spring of 1818.
The first record for John Bowles in Canada is in April 1820 when he signed a lease on a house on St. John Street in Quebec City where he would soon open a shoemaker shop which his family would operate there for the next 25 years. See The Bowles Family of Quebec City
Joseph Bowles was born in Ireland in about 1782 or he may have been the Joseph Bowles baptized in Manchester in 1777 as mentioned above. He married Jane Feltus in Carlow, co. Carlow in 1808. He then ran a shoemaker shop on Burrin Street in Carlow. See Joseph Bowles of Carlow In 1829 he made a trip to Canada and signed as a witness at the baptism of one of John Bowles' grandsons in Quebec City that year. He must have been assessing his own prospects in Canada as he auctioned off all his property in Carlow in 1831 and emigrated to Canada with his family. They also settled in Quebec City where Joseph was in business operating his own shoe store by 1834. See The Bowles Family of Quebec City