Bowles DNA Project
My Bowles Family
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My own branch of the Bowles family has been traced back to a 20 mile long area spanning counties Laois and Carlow in Ireland.
Records indicate that my Bowles family was at Ballickmoyler, co. Laois (formerly Queen's county) since the early 1700's (see The Bowles of Ballickmoyler, co. Laois) and then settled in two towns in co. Carlow for a few years in the early 1800's (see The Bowles of Carlow) just prior to emigrating to Canada
At least three brothers of the Ballickmoyler Bowles family came to Canada with their families. See The Bowles of Ballickmoyler in Canada
My direct ancestor, John Bowles, and family emigrated to Quebec City in 1818. John's brother Joseph Bowles and his family followed them to Quebec City in 1831. See The Bowles Family of Quebec City
A third brother Michael Bowles whose oldest son, John, had emigrated with his Uncle John Bowles and family above, emigrated to Reach twp., Ontario county, Ontario in about 1846. See Michael Bowles of Ontario County
My Direct Line in Canada
My branch originated with John Bowles son, Robert Bowles, who came to Canada from Ireland with his father, married in Quebec City in 1841 and raised a family while struggling to make his grocery business a success.
Finally, in about 1855 Robert left Quebec City to take advantage of the offers of free land available in Upper Canada (now Ontario). They are next on record settling at Fenelon Falls, Victoria co., Ontario where they remained for the next 20 years and where most of Robert's children were married. In my line, Robert's son George Gilley Bowles married Mary Jane Glaspell in Fenelon in 1873. Mary Jane died of consumption in 1881 leaving George with three young children. He married Jane Gilmour in 1883 and moved the family to Lindsay, Ontario in about 1885 where he worked as a carpenter. It's also believed that he opened a grocery store and cartage business in Lindsay where his daughter Georgina told her children she worked for a time. From about 1900, George worked on the construction of the Peterborough Lift Lock until he was hurt in a job related accident in 1902. The family then moved to Midland, Ontario where George's brother Walter and some of his wife's family (Gilmours) lived. George died in 1903 according to the family from his injuries but the official cause of death on his death certificate was stated to be diabetes. See My Great Grandfather George Bowles' Story for more on his family.
The family remained in Midland until 1911 where it's believed the children worked in a grocery business somehow connected to another member of the family (possibly run by the Gilmours). His daughter, Georgina May, married William Lee in 1909 and they moved to Sault Ste. Marie where William worked in the Algoma steel works there. The rest of the family followed them in 1911. It was in Sault Ste. Marie where Alf Bowles first worked in the ship chandelling business. In 1913, Alf moved to Fort William, Ontario and within a year was followed by his brothers Stanley and Clarence, his sister May and her husband and his mother, Jane. Alf and his brothers operated several different grocery stores until the successful establishment of the Marine Grocery in 1918. Alf married Ethel Jackson in Ft. William in 1915 and later my mother, Marion Bowles, was born in 1917.
Our only famous, or at least semi-famous, family member would be Oliver Bowles from Robert's brother William's line.
I have had the following articles published:
"The Strange Military Career of Michael Bowles" published in the 2019 Edition of Carloviana, the Journal of the Carlow Historical and Archaeological Society
"A Carlow Family in Canada" published in the 2009 Edition of Carloviana, the Journal of the Carlow Historical and Archaeological Society
"The Bowles and the Ballickmoyler Connection" published in the Laois Heritage Society Journal for 2008
Hopefully this year an article I've co-written with Dr. Coutts (of Australia) will be published by the Friends (Quakers) Historical Society.