Readers Comments and Queries

I hope you have found this ramble through Bowles history informative and interesting and would invite any comments or queries you may have.

Please email me if you have your own Bowles family history to relate, if you have genealogical inquiries that can be pursued here, or if there are any particular Bowles stories that you would like to pass on. We will post them all here.

Colin Shelley

Comments and Queries

4 October, 2018.  Bowles in Virginia

I have been researching the Bowles surname for about ten years and have hit a solid brick wall. Any help I would truly appreciate. I will give you what I know for sure.

George W. Bowles, born in 1753 in Bedford county, Virginia.  He married Elizabeth Arthur there in 1774 and died there in 1824.

Reuben Bowles, born in 1781 in Bedford county.  He married in 1817 and died in Franklin county in 1845.

George Washington Bowles, born in 1820 in Floyd county.  He married Martha Ann Brown in 1853 and died in Franklin county in 1899.  Both he and his wife are buried in the Waldron-Bowles cemetery at Callaway in Franklin county.

John Franklin Bowles, born in 1860.  He married Sallie Dillard Agee in 1883 and died in 1934.  Both he and his wife are buried in the Waldron-Bowles cemetery at Callaway in Franklin county.

My father has always told us that we were of Indian, Dutch and Irish descent.   Have not connected to that.  All censuses have shown “W” meaning white.  My father also said that his family was from Goochland county, Virginia.  Have not found that either.  Looks like we were dropped from the sky.

Cheryl Moore (

30 September, 2018.  Bowles in West Virginia

My great grandfather was a military man who spent a few years away overseas.  I do not know his name.  His wife was reportedly a full-blooded Cherokee.   My grandfather Jack H. Bowles was born at Hix in Summers county, West Virginia. 

Appreciate any further information on them.
Russell M. Bowles (

28 August, 2018.  Bowles from Granville County, North Carolina

I am from Western Kentucky and trying to research my family history.  Do you know if Samuel and Mary Bowles had a son named Marcus D?  Do you also have information on John and Serlina Roberts?  They were also from Granville county.

Frieda Sellers (


19 May, 2018.  Hannah Bowles from Wiltshire

Greetings from New Zealand.  I enjoyed wandering through your site because I am looking for more details on one Hannah Bowles from Wiltshire.  She had two children with my ancestor Thomas Tuckey of Compton Beauchamp in Wiltshire, but appears to have never married him.  No big deal now.  But then? 

Thomas Tuckey died and left a heap of money and acres of land to his two children by her.  Georgina is the daughter and she married a corn merchant named Long.  Henry Tuckey Bowles was her son.   I find that he died aged 56 or thereabouts and in the census he appears to have been living with his sister and her family.     Nothing more on Hannah. 

I wondered why she never married him and whether she did marry anyone having two illegitimate children.  I understand the Bowles were landed gentry and so on.  It is a family puzzle that probably will never be solved. 

Thomas’s other brother was my direct line.  He was called Richard and also had four children by one Mary Matthews and died supposedly a bachelor.  Yet he left lots of money to Thomas to rear the four children.  These days it doesn’t matter.  But I wonder how they overcame the scandal in those days.    They did live in a very elegant manor house and so on.

Jean Tuckey (

18 January, 2018.  Bowles DNA.

I wanted to post to see if any of you had any DNA that would give more information on our line.  We are in Western Kentucky currently and know that Samuel Bowles and his wife Mary Wooten Bowles traveled to our area in the 1800’s from North Carolina.  We do not have a definite history further back but we did run Dad’s DNA. He came back as a J2-z628 which is a subgroup of J-M172. 

In looking at the other Bowles’ genetic data, it appears about 1/3 of the reported data is J —- a smaller group is I —- but the majority about 2/3 is R.  We definitely have several lines going on here.  

I would be interested too to see if we had any folks that had a definite family tree back to the 1600’s perhaps from England and what those DNA Y haplogroups were coming in as. 

Of course there are a few known stories of possible emigrants in the late 1600’s and early 1700’s over from England, but we do not know which branch we connect to. 

Ronnah Bowles Alexander (

18 July, 2017.  William Bowles of Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Missouri

Searching for the parents and Pennsylvania birthplace of my third great great grandfather William Bowles, born 1803 in Pennsylvania. 

He was in Kentucky by probably 1811 – 1817 when his sister, Falicia Ann was born.  He removed to Missouri by early 1820’s.  He was probably with Coppage/Coppedge family and married Nancy who was probably a Coppage/Coppedge. 

Hit a brick wall years ago so any information would be greatly appreciated. 
Brenda Brockman (

28 May, 2017.  Bowles in Denton, Texas

My grandpa was from Denton, Texas.  He had ten children when he married my grandma.  His name was J.P. Bowles and he married Melissa Kitchens.  He owned a ranch in Denton. 

Some of his children went to California.  One was named John and Tone was another. They had two children, of which my dad was one of them.

There is information from Gribble Springs Cemetery in Denton.  It shows my grandpa James P. Bowles (born June 16, 1846 and died September 1, 1918) and his second wife Mary E. Bowles (born November 22, 1852 and died February 20, 1913).  My next accomplishment would be to find J.P. Bowles' parents name. 

Danny Bowles (

24 October, 2016.  John Bowles of Bedford, Pennsylvania

I have no idea what branch my family may have come from.  I hit a brick wall some time ago and haven't been able to get past it. 

GGGr Father  John Bowles,  DOB -1801  
Died and buried in Bedford, PA 
GGr Father   Scott Bowles,  01/01/1849 - 10/12/1904
            Born in Bedford, PA, died in Pittsburgh, PA 
Gr Father     Harry Wilbert Bowles, 11/26/1887 - 04/1956
            Pittsburgh, PA 

Bedford, Pennsylania is on border of Pennsylvania and Maryland.  Looking at property deeds in Bedford, one of them showed John Bowles from Maryland.  So I'm thinking maybe John came from Maryland, but I can't find him there.  On a page from family Bible that my aunt has, the oldest person is Ann, born in 1777. 

P.S.  My dad's sister took her family to live with my Grampap when Grandma died.  His husband told me that Grampap used to say his family was here with the Indians.  He also said once that we had Indian ancestors.

Maggie Hughes (

20 February, 2015.  Bowles in the Bahamas

My name is Charlestina L. Bowles and I am one of many grandchildren of Austin and Olivia Bowles.  My family hails from Cat Island, Bahamas. The Bowles name is very uncommon in the Bahamas.  Therefore I am eager to find out any information worldwide as it relates to the name.

Charlestina L. Bowles (

24 April, 2014.  The Disappearance of Reginald William Bowles

I am looking for information on the death of Reginald William Bowles.  He was born on August 27th, 1893 in Norfolk.  He arrived in New York in 1908 and resided in Michigan before mysteriously disappearing.  If you know of any information on this person I would greatly appreciate it. 

Adam Tatro (

My family are from Marlow, Buckinghamshire going back at least 250 years.  My son lives in Paraguay and has just discovered that Bowles is a very common surname in Bolivia and very common in Santa Cruz.  Any ideas why?  

John Bowles (

1 September, 2013.  Bole but not Boles or Bowles 

I am Charles A. Bole III from upstate New York.  I was wondering if anybody has found where the Boles spelling started   The rumor in my family was that my grandfather’s uncles without the “w” dropped the "s" and the ones with the “w” kept it.  Not sure of the truth of this. 

Charles A. Bole III (

7 March, 2012.  Bowles in Norfolk


My Bowles link is a Martha Bowles, born about 1778 in Shelfanger, Norfolk.  She married around 1799 to Jonathan Bennett from Winfarthing, the next village.  They had seven children.  I know very little about Martha or her family but would love to have any help in finding out a little more.

Ian Hudson (

2 February, 2012.  Bowles in the Bahamas

My name is Loverne Bowles from the Bahamas.  There are very few Bowles here.  Our family acquired land in Eleuthera in the Bahamas.  My grandfather was Thomas Livingston Bowles and my father Edward George Bowles.  I am the owner of the Bahamas Cabinetry and Interior Design Company in Nassau, Bahamas. 

Thank you
Laverne Bowles (

5 January, 2012.  William Bowles, 1820 South African Settler

William Bowles was my grandfather’s great great grandfather.  He came to South Africa with the 1820 settlers.  He was from Cardiff in Wales but we don’t have any information as to who his parents were.  He married a Mary Blakemore who then died and he went on to marry her sister Harriet.  He unfortunately died early on during the wars in South Africa.  We don’t have much to go on and would be interested should you have any more information.

Michelle de Beer (

24 August, 2011.  Bowles in Fenton, Missouri

I grew up just off Bowles Street and went to Bowles Elementary School in Fenton, Missouri. 

Throughout my childhood I would roam the woods and one day my friends and I stumbled upon a long abandoned cemetery.  As a child, I didn't think much of it, just something cool to show my friends.  But when I grew up and I needed a project to do for becoming an Eagle Scout, I returned to the cemetery with thoughts of cleaning it up.   Little did I know until I started doing research that it was very important in early Fenton history.  Many of the names in the cemetery were the first families to move in the area, Bowles and Vandover being the most prominent.  The cemetery had many broken gravestones and had been vandalized by kids.  Most of the cemetery was taken over by underbrush. 

After finding records of the "Anderson Bowles Cemetery," I removed the brush, put up a fence, and stood up the stones that I could.   We also found many stones that had been buried underground over time. 

Anderson Bowles had the most prominent monument in the cemetery, a four or five foot tall base topped with a 12 foot tall pillar and an acorn on top.  The monument has since fallen over and the acorn has gone missing.  The Bowles family owned the local plantation and had a relationship with the Vandover family (some of their kids married each other and they shared the family cemetery).  I believe one of the families supported the South during the Civil War and the other the North. 

Cory Simonavice (

28 March, 2011.  Bowles in Maryland 

My line may have come from either Kent or Scotland and settled in Calvert county, Maryland about 1690. David (1) and David (2) was born in Maryland in 1701 and went to North Carolina around 1724.   David (3), born in NC, moved onto Indiana and his family then went to Iowa, Kansas, Japan and Hawaii. 

John (

1 September, 2010.  Boles/Fairweather of New Brunswick 

My name is Scott Boles, and I am a direct descendant of the Thomas Boles of New Brunswick line.  I was born in South Boston, as was most of my family who resides there still today.   I have been painstakingly researching a family in the tree with the last name Fairweather.  I am attempting to determine who an Adeline Fairweather was, born in 1844, and her spouse, a male Mcleod, but have no first name for him. We also have a Macleod line which I have been researching and have also submitted DNA to the Macleod DNA project. 

Scott Boles (

17 March, 2010.   Boulds and Bowles from Desford in Leicestershire 

I have traced back to my great, great great grandfather, a Samuel Boulds according to the 1841 census a tailor living in Desford, Leicester - which is where your website came up on Google search!  My research appears to have branched with his sons.  You have followed John Boulds and I have followed the other son Samuel. 

In case you are interested, Samuel had a number of children, including a son called Issac (1834-1918), who had a son also called Isaac (1870-1958).  He in turn had a son called Reginald, my grandfather (1901-1939), who had my father, Neville (1936-1991) as a son and I was born in 1976. 

There are obviously more siblings along the way, and I have noticed a recurring theme that many male names are used over again (Isaac, William, Thomas and Samuel being very common), which can make it confusing.  Also I have noticed a family tradition for the middle name of the first born son to be the same as his father's first name.  This continues to this day - my middle name is Neville for example. 

Stephen Boulds (

10 July, 2013 addendum.  Just to keep you up to date, my recently born son's middle name is called Stephen (Luke Stephen Boulds), a tradition that can be traced back to at least 1776!

21 January, 2010.  Thomas Boles from Ireland to New Brunswick 

I just finished reading your website on the Bowles family.  When reading I came across the following quote: 

"A Catholic group attacked the home of Thomas Boles while he was away.  They killed his entire family with the exception for one young child who had been put in a sack, hung on a peg on the wall, and covered with coats and wraps.  When the father came home, he took his daughter and straight away departed for Canada." 

I am curious on where you obtained this information.   This is the second reference which I have come across on this detail. 

In my genealogical research, it appears that my great, great, great grandfather was Thomas Boles.  He landed at Passamaquoddy, Maine on the 3rd of June 1828.  The passenger list indicated that he came from Ireland.  Thomas Boles was listed as being 33 years old and a laborer.  He was accompanied by: Jane Boles (age 33), Elizabeth Boles (age 8), and James Boles (age 5). 

Shortly after debarking, the travelled across the Passamaquoddy Bay and settled in the small village of St. Andrews New Brunswick.  They are listed in the Greenock Presbyterian Church and stayed with the church until 1837.  Thereafter, Thomas and his family obtained a Land Grant at Pleasant Ridge New Brunswick. Thomas passed away in December 1870 at Pleasant Ridge New Brunswick. 

Family folklore outlines that Elizabeth (Rachel) Boles was the daughter who was hung on the peg. Apparently, Thomas Boles quickly remarried after his first wife was killed.  His second was Jane Gilespie and she passed away in August 1872. 

As you are well aware, the Irish records are somewhat difficult to sort through or locate.  Your source of this information is of great interest to me.  I am trying to make the linkage of Thomas Boles back to Ireland.  As of this date, I have viewed many editions of the Irish newspapers between 1820 and 1829 but have found no reference to the above incident.  Any assistance in this matter would be greatly appreciated. 

Sheldon Boles  Surrey, BC Canada  (

7 December, 2009.  Bowles/Boles of Canada 

Are you aware of all the work Tom LaPorte has done about the Bowles/Boles of Canada:

Kate (

20 July, 2009.  Sir John Boles in Ireland 

I am researching a family in Ireland called Farmar.  According to the information I have a Robert Fermor/Farmar married a Mary Boles.  From a letter from Sir John Boles to Sir Robert Cecil, Robert Farmar is described as his brother-in-law.  Do you have any information about Sir John Boles in Ireland and if he had a sister Mary? 

Looking forward to hearing from you, 
Christopher Thompson

22 May, 2009.  Richard Bowles of Fermanagh


I am a descendant of Richard Bowles (schoolmaster) who married Catherine Kearns in Ballinamallard/Enniskillen around 1820.  Their son Samuel was my great grandfather.  I am interested in the forebears of Richard Bowles and what line of Bowles’ he came from. 

Ralph Bowles (

21 January, 2009.  Boulds from Gloucestershire (Oddington)

Just come across your site.  My 3x great grandmother was Emma Bould born Oddington - she was the daughter of William and Sarah Bould nee Jones.  I think this was William's 2nd wife, the first being Elizabeth Harris.  I have just started to trace this line.  Emma's daughter was called Sarah.  She was my 2x great grandmother and married Jesse Cother.  Emma went on to marry a George Williams, also from Oddington. 

Kind regards 
Debbie Clarke (

5 January, 2009.  Bowles from Ireland to Georgia 

I read with great interest your website on the Bowles family.  This particular branch of my own family has been extremely hard to research.  My ancestor, Timothy Bowles, came to the United States from County Cork, Ireland, during the time of the Famine.  He settled in Augusta, Georgia and established a large farm there as well as a racetrack.  He owned hundreds of acres that extended all the way to the Savannah river and he controlled the road from Augusta to Savannah.  He married Katherine Buckley, also from Ireland. They were both Roman Catholics.  By all accounts, they loved horses and traded frequently with the Irish travelers who would stop on their property to camp. 

There are still members of this branch of the Bowles family living in Augusta today.  My ancestors are all buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Augusta.  I would be happy to send specifics.  This seems to be one branch that has not been well researched.

Kathy Petlewski  (

14 October, 2008.  Edward Booles of Oxfordshire  

I posted a link to a Bowles research group back in Feb but also want to put my own Bowles line out there. 

I descend from Edward Booles, born around 1617, who died on 14 Feb 1643 in Brize Norton, Oxfordshire.  He was my 9G g'father.  He and his wife Agnis/Agnes had at least one son, John Boulds, born 11 May 1643 at Brize Norton and died 6 July 1696 at Brize Norton.  He and his wife Elizabeth Pearson had five children that we know of. 

Jackie Leevers (

20 March 2016.  I am responding to the lady who descended from Edward Boules from Brize Norton.   I am also descended from him.  My father did a family tree dating back that far.  Our current line is from Swindon in Wiltshire (although I now live in Florida).  His father William Bowles was born in Cirencester.

 Katz Barron (

10 August 2008.  Bowles in Dorset

I'm researching my mum's family tree, Edward White Bowles from Wimbourne in Dorset who was a publican, owned a coach house, and had dealings with the mill in Wimbourne.  He was born 11 May 1804 to John and Mary Bowles and christened in Poole.  He moved to Fisherton - Anger in Salisbury and is then registered on his son's marriage certificate as a gentleman in 1868.  Any information regarding my family tree would be greatly appreciated. 

Many thanks,
H Johnson (

1 August 2008.  Bowles Among The 1820 Settlers to South Africa  

I’m researching my husband’s Bowles family that came to South Africa with the 1820 settlers.  Richard Bowles born about 1781 in Dover.  He was married to Elizabeth Amos, they had a daughter Eliza born about 1810.   Richard was my husband’s ggg-grandfather.  Any information would be appreciated. 

Kind regards  
Tasha Stock

18 May, 2008.  Bowles in Yorkshire  

I came across your interesting website on the Bowles name.  I have no Bowles blood but my wife does. Her father's mother was Mary Bowles and her father was a farm manager in Worksop, though before that the family worked for the Cadman family in Handsworth, Sheffield.  On that basis they are a Yorkshire family and wondered whether you had any knowledge of a Bowles line in Yorkshire.  I knew the late Rt. Rev. Cyril Bowles, Bishop of Derby, and also the Rev. Michael Bowles who came from Devon. 

Best wishes
John Palin

12 May, 2008.  John Bowles of Virginia, 1595-1664

What is your source on this my ancestor too?  We have been doing extensive research and other than a land patent in 1622 and John Bowle's 1664 last will and testament, we cannot find anything definite about his life or where he was from in England.  Or even the source of the stories about him and Jamestown, including those of Thomas Farquhar, The History of the Bowles Family, 1907.  He refers to Susan Bowles's History but we have checked with the Lib of Va as well as the genealogical societies in Jamestown and Tidewater Virginia and found nothing.  Anything you can share will be most appreciated.

"Among the members of the Virginia Company in 1620 was Sir George Bowles, the renowned Lord Mayor of London.  The first of the name known to emigrate to America was John Bowles, said to have come from England to Jamestown, Virginia with Sir Thomas Gates and Sir George Somers in 1610.  He returned to England in 1612, sailing on the ship "George."  In 1621, he came over again with Sir Francis Wyatt who arrived in that year with 1200 planters.  This John Bowles owned a plantation on the east shores of Warwick Cove.  His will, probated July 1 1664, showed that he was a man of some landed wealth.  He is believed to have had only one son, John.  John 3rd is said to have married a Welsh woman named Sarah Knight.  Another tradition is to the effect that it was John 1st who married Sarah Knight."

Thank you so much for responding.  Yes, I know the source but wonder where they got it from.  Everyone seems to tell the same story but we have done extensive research on England and America sides and can't validate it.  One source is Thomas Farquhar's History of the Bowles Family, but I have been able to prove that he falsified records from Illingworth his stated source.  Seems Effie Bowles, his patron, wanted to prove that her daughter was FFV for her coming out party.  

Susan Ford Collins (

16 February, 2008.  Boulds/Bowles in Gloucestershire  

I enjoyed your webpage and thought you might find my info on my Bowles line interesting.  The first of the line can be traced through the DNA results submitted in 2005 by Robert Harley Bowles. The Norse Viking haplogroup of 1Ia traces from the cold climates of Iceland and Greenland and makes a good match to the location where our line of Boulds settled. They are found in records as early as 1560 in the village of Oddington (named after Odin the Norse god) in Gloucestershire. 

Our Boulds takes its origin from the land feature known as a bolle, a rounded hill.  One lineage dates from Johnathon Bould, born 1719 in Oddington.   The spelling of the name as found in our family records is primarily Bould/Boulds until the 1800's when Bowls is seen in records and then later Bowles. 

Randi Meetzen (

15 February, 2008.  Bowles Website Group  

I've only just come across your wonderful site and thought I'd get in touch.  I run a one-name Yahoo group for the family name in all its many spellings.  I’m from a branch that was around Oxon and Wilts mostly and we've traced back to Edward Bowles c 1617 who died in Brize Norton. 

Jackie Leevers (

18 January, 2008.  Descendants of Gideon Bowles

My name is John Boudreau of Gloucester, MA. My grandmother was named Thelma Ruth Bowles, she was the daughter of Thomas Jefferson Bowles, and Leah Patsy Tennis. I have traced my lineage back to Goochland County, VA.  Gideon Bowles is in my direct line.  Your site is very informative, and I just wanted to thank you for your efforts on the families behalf. Ours is an interesting heritage, one of which I am proud to be a part. 

J.P. Boudreau (

5 November 2007.  Joseph Bolles and Prester John

I descend from the Osberton line.  On your website you state, "From this line came Joseph Bolles who sailed for America in 1623 on the Prester John and settled in Wells, Maine."

I have searched the internet from beginning to end and cannot find a thing about a ship called the Prester John. I've found everything there is to know about the "fabled" man, Prester John.  Is there anything you can tell me about this ship, or where you got the information?  Anything you can tell me would be very helpful!

Lynn Bowles-Landry (