Bowles DNA Project
The Bowles of Dunleckney, co. Carlow
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Today Dunleckney is the site of the 16th to 19th century Dunleckney Manor 2.5 km. to the NE of Bagenalstown in co. Carlow. Dunleckney was a small village from the 1100's until 1585 when the Bagenals first built their home there. Successive additions greatly enlarged it to be the present Dunleckney Manor in 1845. Near the manor is a mound dating back to about 500BC and on which the Normans built a castle in the 12th to 13th century. They also built a church and graveyard behind the castle. Sometime in the 1500's two new churches were built back to back beside the old cemetery which they continued to use. By the 18th century one had become the Roman Catholic church and the other became the Church of Ireland. This church served the C of I parish of Dunleckney which included the towns of Dunleckney, Bagenalstown (now Muine Bheag), Newtown, Ballywilliamroe, Lorum, Upton and several other small townlands until about 1800 when an increased C of I population in the area resulted in the opening of a church at Lorum (Balinkillen) in the 1830's and St. Mary Dunleckney in Bagenalstown in 1844. For some maps of this area see: Dunleckney about 1830, Modern Archeological Map of Dunleckney and Aerial view of Dunleckney Today
One of the last remaining signs of the village is the overgrown graveyard and the ruins of the two churches. In the picture, the vine covered ruins to the left were the Catholic Church and the ruin at the back was the Church of Ireland. The graveyard served both parishes. See also Another photo and Dunleckney Cemetery InscriptionsMy direct ancestor, Robert Bowles, was baptized in the C of I church shown in that picture on Sept. 27, 1813. His father, John Bowles from Ballickmoyler, Queen's county, lived in the Dunleckney parish from before 1808 until they left to emigrate to Quebec City, Canada in 1818. note Also See The Bowles of Quebec
I don't know yet just where they lived in Dunleckney parish. They may have lived right at the Dunleckney townland and worked for the Bagenals, they may have lived in the larger Bagenalstown or at Newtown where their landlords in Queens county, the Cooper family, had lived prior to moving to Queen's co.
John Bowles was not the only Bowles from Ballickmoyler, Queen's county to live at Dunleckney though. The Castletown Church registry records a William Bowles, aged 51, who died at Dunleckney and was then buried at Castletown on Dec. 16, 1816. The Castletown Church was the parish church for the Bowles of Ballickmoyler, Queen's co. See The Bowles of Ballickmoyler and the Church at Castletown. The Dunleckney parish registry records that a Jane Bowles was baptized there on Jan. 23, 1817 the daughter of William Bowles and Susan his wife. This would likely be William Bowles Jr., son of the William who had died two months before. I have no further trace of this family after that. I can speculate that this is the same William who then lived in Carlow and who died at Carlow town in 1886 at age 86. If his age at death is accurate though he would have only been 16 or 17 when his daughter was born here. See William Bowles of Carlow.
John Bowles' brother, Joseph Bowles of Carlow town, married a Jane Feltus at St. Mary's Carlow on Feb. 27, 1808. Feltus is a very rare name in Ireland but the Dunleckney parish register is full of Feltus entries. I believe Joseph must have also had a connection to Dunleckney which led to his marriage to Jane. See The Feltus Family of Carlow
The Bowles were at Ballickmoyler, county Queens from the early 1700's and first appear in Dunleckney records in 1808. However, it's possible that their connection to this area actually precedes their time in Ballickmoyler. Dunleckney is only about 2.5 miles from Newtown, co. Carlow which was where the Cooper family lived prior to acquiring the land at Ballickmoyler where the Bowles became their tenants. It's likely that the Bowles were already connected to the Coopers in this area of co. Carlow in the early 1700's prior to accompanying them to Ballickmoyler. There may be more Bowles records to discover in this area yet.