Bowles DNA Project
The Bowles of LeitrimBack to The Bowles of Connaught
The 'Bowles' spelling of the name does not occur commonly in Leitrim until later years. The earliest references are for Bole or the related Boles surname.
There was one Catholic Boles family at Gortnacorkage from the mid 1800's well into the 1900's but by far the most extensive Boles family seems to have arrived from Fermanagh in the late 1700's and settled around Fingreagh. See The Boles of Fingreagh, co. Leitrim
As in the other northern counties, the ancestors arrived there from England or Scotland possibly as early as the plantation of Ulster in the 1600's. Leitrim was not part of the plantation but there was an extensive family of Boles not too far away in Cleenish parish in Fermanagh which was planted. There was an Alexander Boles in Cleenish parish who is recorded in the Fermanagh Poll Book of 1788 as holding land in Fingreagh so there was a connection. However, the Muster Roll of Fermanagh taken in 1630 documents the plantation families there and while many of the families connected to the Boles of Leitrim were plantation families including the Nixon, Jervis, Johnston, Payne, Pearson, Stewart, Taylor and Trotter families, all of which appear in the Boles family tree below, the Boles do not appear. They could mean that they arrived from another Irish county in that same period or from England or Scotland in a later period.
That question has seemingly recently been answered by the Bowles DNA project which has found a DNA match between the Boles of Fingreagh and the Lord Boyles of Kelburn, Ayshire, Scotland. See The Boles of Fingreagh, co. Leitrim and The Boles of Fingreagh Results In The Bowles DNA Project
The Griffith Valuation of Leitrim in 1856 lists a James Boles holding two lots at Gortnacorkoge. The 1901 and 1911 censuses fill in the family a little bit. I have not yet researched the family beyond that.
James Boles (Catholic) (a tailor) 1. Mary Anne Boles b. ca. 1843 (25 in 1868) m.(1) ? (lived Shriff) m.(2) Michael Gilroy of Drumkeel (b. ca. 1842; James) Feb. 25, 1868 Drumlease RC Chapel James Boles (Catholic) m. Catherine Dolan (b. ca. 1815 co. Leitrim) (lived Gortnacorkoge (Belhavel, Leitrim)) 1. James Bowles b. ca. 1846-48 co. Leitrim m. Elizabeth (Eliza) Higgins (b. ca. 1861 co. Leitrim)
1.1 Patrick Boles b. Mar. 7, 1889 Gortnacorkage, Dromahair reg. dist
1.2 John Boles b. Sept. 24, 1890 Gortnacorkage, Dromahair reg. dist
1.3 Francis Boles b. Aug. 25, 1892 Gortnacorkage, Dromahair reg. dist
1.4 Mary Anne Boles b. Oct. 1, 1895 Gortnacorkage, Dromahair reg. dist
1.5 James Boles b. Apr. 9, 1898 Gortnacorkage, Dromahair reg. dist.
1.6 Thomas Boles b. Dec. 28, 1900 Gortnacorkage, Dromahair reg. dist.
1.7 Elizabeth (Lizzie) Boles b. Aug. 7, 1902 Gortnacorkage, Dromahair reg. dist.
1911 Census Mary is listed in the 1911 Census with this household but also as Mary Anne Boles of the same age living in Drumkeeran, co. Leitrim with her Uncle Patrick and Aunt Bridget Higgens 2. Bridget Boles b. Dec. 19, 1864 Dromahair, co. Leitrim m. Patrick Higgins of Kilmore (Patrick Sr. deceased) Feb. 13, 1888 Killargue RC church (Bridget's father James Boles was also stated to be deceased) 2.1 John Higgins b. ca. 1892 co. Leitrim 2.2 Delia Higgins b. ca. 1894 co. Leitrim 2.3 Patrick Higgins b. ca. 1898 co. Leitrim 2.4 Maggie Higgins b. ca. 1901 co. Leitrim 2.5 Lizzie Higgins b. ca. 1902 co. Leitrim (Residents of a house 2 in Kilmore, Drumkeeran, co. Leitrim; Patrick Higgins (70), Bridget Higgins (50), 5 children; RC; 1911 Census) 3. Catharine Boles b. ca. 1856 (of Killargue in 1877) m. James McTernan of Killargue (b. ca. 1847; Far...) Feb. 1, 1877 Killargue RC Chapel Mr. Boles deceased by 1888 (daughter Bridget's marriage) Catherine head-of-household in 1901 1901 Census Although the following marriage was also in the Dromahair registration district this reference only connects to a Boles line in Sligo. Thomas Boles (living) 1. James Boles of the parish of Riverstown and Sooey, co. Sligo m. Elizabeth Hyland of Bohey a minor (Patrick, living) Jan. 23, 1879 Killanummery and Killery RC Chapel in Dromahair Reg. Dist.
There is one early reference for a John Bole at Mohill in South co. Leitrim from 1727 ref. but I could not find any later references in that area.