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

William Bowles of Carlow

William seems to have been the only one of the Bowles of Ballickmoyler, Queen's county line to have remained in Ireland when all the rest moved away, most of them emigrating to Canada.  Perhaps he stayed because he was the only Catholic in this otherwise Protestant family.  His life did not go well and he ended up penniless in the Carlow Workhouse where he died at age 86 in 1886.  He had two sons Richard and James.  Richard had only daughters and there is no record of James having any children and so the Bowles line in Queen's county and Carlow ended.

For William's family see William Bowles of Carlow's Family Tree

It's not documented where William fits into the Bowles of Ballickmoyler family tree but for his father we would look for a Catholic Bowles born about 20 to 30 years before William's birth in 1800.  All the Bowles at that time were Protestants except for one line.  There is a record of a Robert Bowles being first baptized at St. Mary's Carlow (Church of Ireland) on June 20, 1774 and then again at the Carlow Roman Catholic Cathedral on June 25, 1774 to parents William Bowles and Sarah Moore in both cases.  William was from a Protestant family so it's assumed that Sarah was Catholic.  Their son Robert would be of an appropriate age, have a connection to the Catholic church and would be likely to name a son William after his own father.  He would be the most likely candidate for being our William's father.  Also Robert was a shoemaker and although William wasn't, his son Richard was also a shoemaker. See The Bowles of Ballickmoyler's Family Tree. Robert is at 1.7.1 in the tree.

The first record for William in Carlow that I have found is his signed Affidavit of Oath while registering to vote on April 4, 1835.  He states his address as Dublin Road and his occupation as Huxter.  Huxter implies a peddler or shop keeper of small goods.  ref.

When his first child was baptized in 1837, the church register lists William Bowles and Anne Byrne as living on Barnard's Lane which crosses Dublin Road between lots 81 and 82. 

William owned four lots on Dublin Road including Lot 81 when the Griffiths Valuation was taken in 1851:

 Note: Click on any image to see it full size.







Other References for William Bowles:

Voter's registration forms signed by William show him as a resident of Dublin Road in 1842 and 1849 and in both instances give his occupation as Dealer.

As shown above William owned property on Dublin Road in 1851.  Other than William, the Bowles who had lived at Ballickmoyler since the early 1700's were all gone from this area.

The 1850 Griffiths Valuation of Queen's county shows William Bowles still holding 6 lots on the Bowles family property in Ballickmoyler which is now occupied by tenants. 

See The Bowles of Ballickmoyler

William married Anne Byrne in about 1836 and they baptized their first child, Anne, at the Carlow Cathedral (RC) on July 8, 1837 followed by Richard in 1838, James in 1841 and William Jr. in 1844.  See William Bowles of Carlow's Family Tree.
Richard also left little trace in Carlow.  In 1863 he married Mary Donnelly and had three daughters.  Two died unmarried and the third married William Ellis and raised a large family with descendants in Carlow today.  He followed the family trade as a shoemaker and raised his family on Dublin Road, probably in his father's house.  Richard died in 1869 at age 31 seemingly bringing an end to the Bowles line in Carlow.  His brother, James, registered his death with civic authorities and would have been 28 at the time but I have not been able to learn any more about him.  William Sr. died in the Carlow Workhouse in 1886.  His passing marked the last Bowles in Carlow although Richard's widow, Mary Donnelly, is listed in the 1901 Carlow Census as Mary Bowles and is living with her daughter Mary Ellis and family.

Richard Bowles of Carlow and the Donnellys

Richard Bowles married Mary Donnelly in 1863.  Her father is John on their marriage registration and we can see from the following that her mother was Margaret. 
The Carlow Old Graves Cemetery includes one stone marked:
John Donnelly 13th August 1849 aged 39 years
Patrick Donnelly 11th July 1871 aged 36
Harriet Bowles 11th October 1886 aged 22
Margaret Donnelly 6th January 1889 aged 84 years
Mary Bowles 15 Nov 1906 aged 68 years
This is John Donnelly with son Patrick and daughter Mary (Richard Bowles' wife) and Mary's daughter Harriet.  Margaret would likely be John's wife but could also be his sister. 
We know that Richard Bowles was a shoemaker.  There was a John Donnelly, shoemaker, who married an Elizabeth Costigan at Ballinakill RC Church, Queen's county in 1826 and then ran a shoemaker shop in Carlow from about 1830 to 1848 .  Joseph Bowles sold his shoe shop in Carlow in 1831.  While there may have been several shoe shops in Carlow probably not too many changed hands so close to that time.  Perhaps Joseph Bowles sold his shop to Donnelly.  They were both shoemakers from fairly close together in Queen's county so they probably did know each other. 
Another indication of a connection is John Donnelly wife Elizabeth Costigan.  A Costigan line in New York trace their ancestry through Canada and back to a John Costigan married to an Eliza Bowles, both born in Ireland.  Both Costigan and Bowles appear elsewhere in Ireland but neither are common surnames so paired together it would be quite likely they are from this Queen's county/Carlow line.
This is all conjecture and is far from proven but is worthy of further research.

This site was last updated 04/24/16