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The Bowles of Tipperary 

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See also Birth/Marriage/Death References for Bowles in Tipperary

Notes on The Great Emigrations from co. Tipperary to Canada and to Australia

2011 News: My visit to Cahir and Ballydrehid

Bowles in South Tipperary  (see the map below for the locations mentioned)

From the late 1700's to the early 1800's South Tipperary seems to have had the largest number of Bowles in Ireland.  It's hard to know if these were all members of the same family or if they originated from two or possibly more sources.  The fact that they were largely concentrated in one area of South Tipperary indicates that there may be a connection between many of them.  The very earliest Bowles references here go back to the late 1600's.

William Penn's "My Irish Journal" documents that on January 13, 1670 Penn attended a meeting with several Friends (i.e. Quakers), including John Boles of co. Cork and George Baker of Cashel, Tipperary, at John Fennell's house near Clogheen, co. Tipperary.  We know that Fennell's house was at Kilcommonbeg near Cahir, co. Tipperary and adjacent to the present day Swiss Cottage.   It may be significant that there are still Boles in Cahir even today.  The John Boles mentioned was a tenant of William Penn's on land near Youghal, co. Cork; I believe this to have been Thomas Boles of Kilbree, co. Cork's son John (born about 1644), see The Boles of Cork.  See also William Penn's 'My Irish Journal'.

That is the earliest connection I can find between the Boles of Cork and the Baker family of Cashel.  In 1682 George Baker's daughter Sarah (born 1661) was married to a John Boles in Cashel.  I believe this to have been Richard Boles of Ballynalty, co. Cork's son John (born 1661), the cousin of the above John Boles.  John and Sarah had two children at Killoskehan, Tipperary and then moved on to Ballintrane, co. Carlow where five more children were born and where Sarah died in 1699.  John soon remarried and moved his family back to Tipperary sometime after 1704.  They built a Great House called Woodhouse near Magorban about 4 miles northwest of Fethard.  See The Bowles of Woodhouse.  Due to the excellent Quaker records which have survived, John's descendants are very well documented with one exception.  John's eldest son George married out of the faith while they still lived in Carlow.   Most of George's children returned to the Quaker faith and married into such prominent Quaker families as the Watsons (of Carlow), Grubbs (of Clonmel) and the Jessops (of Dublin).  However, little is known about one son John who professed to have returned to the Friends faith but then fell out with his grandfather and was and was cut out of his Will.  John's 'scandalous' actions after that caused his denial by the Friends after which he disappears from family and Friends records.  However, I believe I have discovered John in Dublin where he raised a family two of which may have returned to Tipperary and became the ancestors of several of the Bowles families there.  See 7.1.3 John Boles in The Richard Boles of Cork's Family Tree

Note: the Hearth Records of 1666 list include a Richard Boile (1 2) at Knock Kelly  in the Parishes of Pepperstowne and Crumpe about 3 miles NE of Fethard.  I haven't been able to establish yet whether this is a reference to an early Richard Boles in the area.  This could also be a Boyle reference.
While only fragments of the 1766 Religious Census of Tipperary have survived it only lists 5 Bowles in all of Tipperary.  They are:
Parish of Clonoulty in the Diocese of Cashel
George Boles
He is listed as a Protestant Inhabitant (there are 7 Protestant Heads of Households in Clonoulty and several pages of Catholics).  This is possibly a Boles of the Boles of Woodhouse, Tipperary line but I can't explain their connection to Clonoulty which is about 7 miles NW of Cashel while Woodhouse is about 7 miles to the E of Cashel.
Parish of Doon, Diocese of Tipperary (on the county Limerick side of the diocese)
John Bowles
He is listed as a Protestant Inhabitant (there are 26 Protestant Heads of Households in Doon and several pages of Catholics).  See The Bowles of Oola, Limerick and The Bowles of Doon Parish
Parish of Knockgraffon (Diocese of Cashel, near New Inn)
Another John (8 in family) and a Thomas Bowles (4 in family) (both spelt Bowels)
Both are listed as Protestant Inhabitants (there are 12 Protestant Heads of Households in Knockgraffon and several pages of Catholics). See The Bowles of New Inn
Parish of Newport, Union of Killnerath (this is way west on the border with Limerick)
John Bowls, Papist
This must have been one of the most complete fragments to survive as over 50 Protestant households are listed and many pages of Catholics.

The fragments of the Religious Census of Tipperary which have survived must not be very complete as none of the towns where Bowles were known to be are even included in the trancriptions.  No Fethard, Crohane, Killenaule, New Inn etc.  The List of Freemen of the Corporation of Fethard lists six Bowles in that same period:




Date Admitted

Date Sworn

Date Voted

Sam. Bowles






Charles Bowles






David Bowles






John Bowels






George Bowles






Thomas Bowles







This is a bit deceiving though.  John and George Bowles are the only ones stated to have been locals.  John from Fethard, see The Bowles of Fethard and George from Coolquill which is in Lower Crohane parish just east of Killenaule where another Protestant Bowles family lived.  Thomas and Samuel Bowles are both from co. Cork and probably applied for Freeman status with the Corporation of Fethard in order to carry on trade there.  Charles and David could have been from almost anywhere as their admissions were in years when the Sovereign of the Corporation of Fethard was admitting people from far remote from Fethard as Freemen in a vote loading exercise to hold onto his position.  See The Bowles as Freemen of The Corporation of Fethard

The List of Freeholders of the County of Tipperary in 1776 only includes two Bowles: ref.

Richard Bowles of Youghal, co. Cork with a freehold at Mogirban, Tipperary
John Bowles of Fethard with a freehold at Fethard

Richard Bowles of Youghal is of The Boles of Cork line and his land would be in the Woodhouse area as mentioned above.  John Bowles of Fethard is as mentioned above.

Near Woodhouse is the town of Killenaule where there were Bowles living from the 1700's until the last century.  The Bowles of Killenaule may have been the origins for The Bowles of Springhill and The Bowles of Kilcooly.

Two families who were early settlers in Guysborough county, Nova Scotia, possibly had a common descent from the Boles of Tipperary.  Robert Boles of Boylston, N.S. was the son of John Boles of Fethard who was born about 1744 in Tipperary, married Grace Woods in about 1769 and raised a family in Fethard.  They may have moved to Clonmel later as their son Robert is later described as "of Clonmel" and their son Charles is later described as a "shoemaker at Clonmel".  However, this may only be a reference to Fethard being part of the Diocese of Clonmel.  David Bowles of Intervale, N.S. originally settled near Robert and was probably a close relation.  See The Bowles of Fethard, The Bowles of Clonmel and John Boles of Fethard's Family Tree for more on this family and also The Boles of Guysborough county.

One Bowles branch emigrated from Kilcooly parish (see map) in 1827 and settled in Peel county, Ontario, Canada and has a very extensive line of descendants across Canada and in the U.S.  See The Bowles of Peel County and Their Origins in Ireland for more information on this family.  Also see The Bowles of Kilcooly.

Many of these Bowles lines in the Kilcooly/Fethard/Killenaule area may be related.  See Sorting Out The Bowles of Kilcooly and Killenaule and Area

There are a lot of Bowles references in Oola parish which is just to the West of Tipperary town but which straddles the Tipperary/Limerick border.  I have included the Oola, Tipperary references on the Bowles of Oola, Limerick page.

The Bowles of Oola may also be related to the these other Bowles.  See The Bowles of Kilcooly, co. Tipperary's Connection to the Bowles of Oola, co. Limerick

About 5 miles north of Cahir on the road to Cashel is the town of New Inn.  There are records for Bowels in the New Inn area from the 1700's who may have adopted the Bowles spelling sometime in the 1800's.  See The Bowles of New Inn


There was a George Bowles at Thurles in 1786.  ref.

Two brothers from the Boles of Fingreagh, co. Leitrim settled in Tipperary in the 1890's, James opened a draper's shop in Thurles and Benjamin opened a shop in Roscrea.  See The Boles of Fingreagh in county Tipperary for more on that line.

Bowles in North Tipperary

James Bowles, a shoemaker, and his wife Elizabeth Butler raised a family at Silvermines in the early 1800's.  I believe that Elizabeth's family was from that area but James' line was from one of the Bowles lines in Southeast Tipperary where we find the large number of Bowles/Boles lines which so far have resisted sorting out.  One of James' sons, William, emigrated to Australia in 1840.  See The Bowles of Silvermines.   In the early 1800's there was a Walter Bowles, gardener who we first find for a short period in Wales and then back in Tipperary working as a gardener at Springhouse near Bansha, then working as a gardener at Johnstown near Carlow and finally settling down in Dublin.  He may have been a son of James Bowles of Silvermines.  See The Bowles Gardeners and The Bowles of Silvermines - Any Connection? 

There is one record for an Andrew Boles at Kilebeg (Kylebeg) near Borrisokane in North Tipperary in 1836.  This may be a descendant of the Boles of Cork line as an Andrew Boles is thought to have been the last Boles to own Woodhouse in South Tipperary in the late 1700's.   reference  As there is one potential connection between Walter Bowles and Kylebeg as shown in the Bowles Gardeners/Silvermines discussion above, if Walter was also connected to the Bowles of Silvermines then both lines may connect back to John Boles of Woodhouse.  This is a really big maybe as these hints of a connection may just be pure coincidences but they warrant further research.

Silvermines was quite a small community.  It's closest larger administrative and market centre was Nenagh about 6 miles to the north.  We do find Bowles references in Nenagh but so far they have all been from a Catholic Bowles branch in co. Clare.  No connection has been found to date between a Bowles in Nenagh and the Protestant line of Silvermines.  As there are so few I have included Templemore (15 miles East of Nenagh) with the Nenagh references.  See The Bowles of Nenagh page.



These Bowles seem to have been mostly Protestant (Church of Ireland or Quaker) with the exception of the Boles of Fethard who settled in Guysborough, N.S. who had Protestant and Catholic descendants.  The Bowles of Killenaule were also Catholic and there was also a Catholic Bowles family at Springhill near Killenaule (about 10 miles north of the Fethard Boles above).  Their son, John married at the Gortnahoe Catholic Church in 1814 and emigrated with his family to Canada in 1826 and settled in the province of Quebec.  See The Bowles Family of Springhill.



Map of Tipperary in 1878 showing the areas connected to our Boles/Bowles ancestors:

Click on the map for a full sized image.

This site was last updated 10/12/19