Bowles DNA Project
The Bowles of Killenaule
Back to The Bowles of TipperaryThe first Boles that we know to have settled in this area, in about 1710, was John Boles of Woodhouse (1661-1732) in the Magorban Civil Parish which is adjacent to the Killenaule Civil parish. The town of Killenaule would have been his closest market town only a couple of miles from Woodhouse.
There are parish records for a Charles Bowles baptizing a child at the RC church in Killenaule in 1748 and an Anna Bowles and husband James Meagher who baptized children at the same church in 1748 and 1751. Although it is tempting to speculate that they may have been descendants of John Boles of Woodhouse that is very unlikely as, thanks to the thoroughness of the records of the Quaker meetings, his line is very well documented. In fact these very early reference for Bowles in this area makes it quite likely that they may even have pre-dated him and that the Protestant Bowles of this area may have been a branch of the Catholic Bowles rather than the other way around as had been thought previously.
The List of Freemen of the Corporation of Fethard lists a George Bowles of Coolquill in 1771. Coolquill is in the civil parish of Killenaule, 2 miles to the West, where the Church of Ireland cemetery has a memorial stone reading "Here Lyeth the Body of George Bowles who Dep. this life Feb. the 9th of 1777 Aged 42 Years". There are no further references to George of Coolquill after that so I'm tentatively assuming they are the same person. Another stone in the Killenaule Cemetery is a memorial to Susana Graham nee Bowles who died in 1792 at age 36. There is also a marriage record in the Fethard church register for an Ann Bowles of Killenaule to George Ryall of Fethard on Jan. 12, 1777. Coolquill is in the Lower Crohane church parish and there is a memorial stone at the Crohane Parish Cemetery about 1 mile from Coolquill for John Bowles who died in 1840 at age 78. See The Bowles of Crohane
These are the first references that we have for the Bowles in the Killenaule area and are grouped very nicely to make up one family. We can suppose that George (b. ~ 1735) was the father of Susana (b. ~ 1756), Ann (b. ~ 1757) and John (b. ~ 1762). As likely as it is, we may never be able to prove it as very few records have survived from that period.
When George was admitted to Freeman Status in the Corporation of Fethard in 1771, John Bowles of Fethard was admitted the same year. John Bowles of Fethard was born in about 1744 which would make him a likely candidate for George's brother. There were two Bowles, Charles and David, who were admitted to Freemen status in Fethard in 1755. Possibly one of them was George and John's father. See The Bowles of Fethard and The Bowles as Freemen in the Corporation of Fethard for more on the events of those times as they may have affected the Bowles.
This is only a possibly theory to be proven or disproven yet but the truth may come from an examination of the minute books of the Corporation of Fethard.
There was another Bowles family in Springhill just outside Killenaule to the west where Joseph Bowles and Ellen Mackey of Springhill raised a Catholic family. One child, John, was baptized in the Killenaule RC Church in 1790. I haven't found where they may have baptized their other children but I have found references for most of them living near John in The Commons and marrying or baptizing children at the Gortnahoe RC Church, the same church where John married and baptized several children.During the Catholic Emancipation Movement of the 1820's many of the Protestants in this area signed an Anti-Catholic Petition which was published in the Tipperary Free Press in May 1827. The list of signers for Crohane parish included: John Bowles Sr., Chas. Bowles, Wm. Bowles, and David Bowles. The publication of their names would have put a lot of pressure on them from their predominately Catholic neighbours. The last Bowles to live in Killenaule was a branch of the Catholic Boles family of Cahir. See Sorting Out the Bowles of Kilcooly, Killenaule and Area for a discussion of the likelihood of these relationships and a proposed family tree which would conform to all the references I currently have.