Bowles DNA Project
John Bowles of Whitby township, Ontario county
Whitby township, Ontario countyMap of Whitby township in 1877 Click on the map for a larger version Map of Whitby East township in 1877 Links to higher quality versions of the same maps (will take longer to download) Whitby Whitby East Note: my thanks to Brian Winter, Archivist at the Whitby Public Library for all his help putting this family history together. John Bowles was born in Ireland in 1806 the son of Michael Bowles of Ballickmoyler, co. Laois who was himself born in Manchester, England in 1778 where his father, Michael Bowles Sr of Ballickmoyler, had settled while serving in the British Army. Michael Jr and his siblings returned to Ireland around 1800 possibly in response to events in Ballickmoyler during the United Irish Rebellion of 1798 which had resulted in the Bowles family's homes being burned and members of their family being beseiged when they found themselves and their neighbours on opposite sides of the rebellion. However, According to the 1837 Directory of Home County, John Bowles homesteaded at Whitby township Con. 5 Lot 17 in the 1830's (see the township maps above). The 1869 Connor and Coltson’s Directory of Ontario County lists him at Con. 9 Lot 14 and Con. 5 Lot 15. In that directory, his son William, a laborer, was living at Con. 6 Lot 23 which is in the Town of Brooklin "a village in the Township of West Whitby on the gravel road 5 miles north of Whitby town". full reference
The family’s tradition when we first started to research this line was that John and Elizabeth had emigrated from Ireland directly to Whitby, Ont. in 1825 but we have since found that this is the same John Bowles who emigrated from Carlow, Ireland in 1825, settled first in Quebec City, married there in 1832 and then moved on to settle in Ontario. As a final proof, DNA tests for this branch were identical to those of the Quebec City line.The John Bowles from Quebec City married an Elizabeth Green there in 1832. The birth of their first child in 1833 would fit the idea that they were married in 1832 better than the traditional theory that they married in Ireland before 1825. Signatures for John and Mary’s marriage certificate in Quebec City are also extremely similar to the signature of John Bowles of Whitby on his last will and testament and are almost identical to Mary’s signature on the will’s probate document. Both signatures are slightly different but there are also 40 years between the two signatures. See the Comparison of Their Signatures.
There are some references online to a John Herbert Bowles of Ashburn who drowned in 1864 but on further research this has proven to actually be a Bowler, a son of Daniel Bowler, the postmaster in Ashburn.There was another Bowles family living nearby in Oshawa in the 1891 Census. See John Bowles of Oshawa