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Bowles DNA Project
The Bowles of Canada and their Roots in Ireland and England

The Bowles of Monmouthshire, Wales

The Bowles were established at Penhow Castle by the early 1400's but were in this area even earlier.  Sir Thomas Bowles, Knight is mentioned as a jurist at an inquisition at Magor in 1382.  He seems to have been of Porth Sgiwed (Portskewett near Caldicot).  The Bowles spelling actually became common only in later years.  In these earlier records Bouliers, Bowlays, Bollys etc. are seen.
This story actually begins with the St. Maur/Seymour family which was in this area from the 1300's.  ref.  While younger lines of the Seymour family had moved on to Wiltshire (there are also definite linkages between these Bowles in Monmouthshire and The Bowles of Wiltshire) the senior line found itself with no male heir and Isabella Seymour married John Bowles (the first Bowles of Penhow) bringing with her a vast increase in the family's fortunes. 
The Bowles of Penhow adopted the arms of the Seymour family (a simple paired wings).  Their fortunes increased again when John's grandson, Thomas Bowles, led a party of men all the way from Penhow to Berwick-upon-Tweed on the Scottish border to assist in a siege in the War of the Roses.  For that service, Thomas was knighted by the Duke of Gloucester (the brother of King Edward IV and later King Richard III) on July 24, 1482 and returned to Penhow with a substantial pension.  He married Maud, daughter of Sir Thomas Morgan of nearby Pencoed Castle.  Their eldest son Thomas was also without male heir and with their daughter Maria's marriage to Sir George Somerset, this grand estate in Wales passed out of the Bowles family. ref.  However, younger male lines continued on in the area until today.
Sir Thomas Bowles, Knight b. ~ 1330 d. aft. 1382
1.        John Bowles, Lord of Porth Sgiwed (Portskewett near Caldicot) b. ~ 1370 d. aft 1423
m. Isabella Seymour (b. ~ 1370; father: Roger Seymour (St. Maur))
1.1  Ralph Bowles (of Monmouthshire) b. ~ 1400 d. aft. 1439
m. Joan
1.1.1  Sir Thomas Bowles, Knight of Pen-hw (Penhow) , Monmouthshire b. ~ 1430 d. 1511
(a Baron of the Exchequer)
m. Mawd Morgan (b. ~ 1470; father:  Sir Thomas ap Morgan of Pen-coed, Llanfarthin)  Jane Bowles b. ~ 1470 d. aft. 1511
m.(1) Edmund Vanne of Glamorganshire, Wales
children: William, Thomas, Jane, Alice, Lewys, John, Mary
m.(2) Lewys ap Thomas
child: Thomas Lewis    Margred Bowles b. ~ 1470
m. John Moore
children: Anne, Richard, Florence    Sir Thomas Bowles, Knight b. ~ 1470 d. aft 1511
m.(1) Alice Wogan of Prendergast, Pembrokeshire, Wales
m.(2) Jane Vaughan of Monmouthshire  Mawd (Maria) Bowles b. ~ 1500 of Pen-hw, Monmouthshire
m. Sir George Somerset, Knight    Joan Bowles b. ~ 1500 d. aft. 1562
m. Sir Edward Aston, Knight of Tixall, Staffordshire  Giles Aston  Sir Walter Aston  Leonard Aston  Anthony Aston  Katherine Aston m. Sir William Gesley  Mary Aston m. Sir Simon Harcourt  Anne Aston  Frances Needham Aston
Joan d. Sept. 22, 1562
Sir Edward d. ~ 1568  Walter Bowles of Matharn, Monmouthshire b. ~ 1500
m. ?  Margred (Margaret) Bowles b. ~ 1526
m. Roger Martin of Long Melford, Suffolk
Roger bur. Apr. 16, 1578 Long Melford
Margred bur. Aug. 7, 1615
Walter d. aft. 1535  Lewys Bowles b. ~ 1500 d. 1552 (Will dated Jan. 18, 1551, Proven May 2, 1552)
(note: his Will refers to a nephew Thomas Bowles but otherwise we have no record of him; possibly that was his brother Walter's son as his eldest brother Sir Thomas was known to have had no male heir))
m.(1) ?
m. (2) Elsbeth Bowen of Fishweir, Sain Hilari, Glamorganshire, Wales  Thomas Bowles of Pen-hw b. ~ 1530 d. 1580
(Will dated Aug. 27, 1580; proven Feb. 1, 1581; no children mentioned)
(also of Middle Temple)  Catrin Bowles b. ~ 1530 d. aft. 1580  Margred Bowles b. ~ 1530 d. aft. 1551  Jane Bowles b. ~ 1530 d. aft. 1580
m. Edmond Maddock
children: Angelina, Catherine, Hester  Alice Bowles b. ~ 1500 unm. in 1551 d. aft. 1552
Primary References:
  1. A History of Monmouthshire from the Coming of the Normans into Wales down to the Present Time; Sir Joseph Alfred Bradney ref.
  2. Heraldic Visitations of Wales and Part of the Marches Between the Years 1586 and 1613 by Lewys Dwnn
  3. Welsh Genealogies AD 1400-1500;  Peter Clement Bartrum
I haven't done any further research on the Bowles in this area yet.
(note for future research)
1851 Wales Census: Monmouthshire, Abergavenny, page 367
Robert Bowles, head, age 38, veterinary surgeon, b. Alburgh, Norfolk, England
Elizabeth Bowles, wife, age 41, Beeston, Norfolk, England
Robert Bowles, son, age 16, dispenser of medicine, b. Norwich, Norfolk, England
Augustus Bowles, son, age 14, b. Blaenavon, Monmouthshire, Wales
Maria Bowles, daughter, age 12, , b. Blaenavon, Monmouthshire, Wales
Elizabeth Bowles, daughter, age 10, b. Blaenavon, Monmouthshire, Wales
William W. Bowles, son, age 2, b. Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales

This site was last updated 04/24/16