Bowles DNA Project
The Bowles of county Cork
The largest and earliest Bowles family in co. Cork seem to have been a branch which I believe had a significant enough impact to be uniquely identified on this site as The Boles of Cork. This family of three brothers, possibly four, and at least one sister arrived in the early 1600's and over time and several generations became major land owners in co. Cork and spread the family name across southern Ireland.
Contemporary with them was a Roger Bole of Saltash, Cornwall (right on the border with Devon as it faces Plymouth across the Tamar River) who already had interests in both England and Ireland by August 1613. So far we only know that about him as in that month he made his Will just prior to leaving home for a trip to Ireland and the Will is on record in both England and in the Diocese of Cork and Ross where his Will received probate in March 1614. It gives his wife's name as Alice and his son's name as William.
The only other Bowles documented in Cork in the 1600's was a Simon Bowles mentioned in the 1659 census as being at Mogoalla in Inishskarra parish, Barony of Barreth. This is likely an old spelling for Magooly which is a couple miles west of Inniscarra village in the old Barony of Barretts and about 15 miles straight west of Cork city. There was a Simon Bowles of Southwark, Kent, England mentioned in a 1618 Chancery Court document regarding the ownership of a castle in South Limerick near the Cork border who is likely the same person but I don't have any further references for Simon.
There are also a lot of Bowles and Boles records at Youghal who are most likely an undocumented branch of the Boles of Cork. See The Bowles of Youghal for a discussion of that possibility.
In the late 1700's we also find many records of Bowles families living well spread out in an area of North Cork which included the communities of Liscarroll, Kanturk, Shandrum and Charleville. One of the branches of The Boles of Cork had settled at Moyge near Liscarroll in the 1600's and another had settled at Kanturk so this is possibly a branch which we have not connected up yet, although a Catholic branch. There is probably quite a story to figure out here yet. See The Catholic Bowles of Cloyne
There was another Catholic Bowles family living in Cork city, co. Cork in the early 1800's. This family also may be connected to the others somehow but we don't know for sure yet. A branch of my own Bowles of co. Laois also settled in this city. See The Bowles of Cork city.
Another likely descendant of The Boles of Cork, John Boles Gaggin of Cork, played a role in the West Coast of Canada's Gold Rush days of the mid-1800's.