Landed Estates
NUI Galway

Bowen

Description

The Bowen family were located in county Mayo from the late 16th century. In the latter part of the 18th century Christopher Bowen held property from a number of landlords in the Hollymount area, barony of Kilmaine and had 2 daughters, who married into the Elwood and Blake families. Christopher Bowen's nephew, another Christopher, married Eliza Miller of Milford, parish of Kilmainemore. Their second son Croasdaile Bowen took the additional surname of Miller and inherited the Milford estate. Croasdaile's brothers included the Reverend Christopher Bowen, Charles Bowen whose descendants went to New Zealand and Robert Bowen of Greaghans.


Estate(s)

Name Description
Cromie At the time of Griffith's Valuation Reverend William Cromie, nephew of the 2nd Baron Kilmaine, occupied the Neale House and held part of the estate of his uncle in the parishes of Ballinchalla, Kilmolara and Moorgagagh, barony of Kilmaine, county Mayo, and also some lands in the parish of Kilmainebeg. In 1876 the Reverend Cromie of Doughlas, Isle of Man, owned 640 acres in county Mayo. His brother Charles Cromie lived in a number of houses in the locality and was agent to the Bowen Elwoods of Hollymount, the Blakes of Merlin Park, the Lindseys of Hollymount, the Kirwans of Dalgan and to his uncle Lord Kilmaine. The Ordnance Survey Field Name Books for county Galway show that Charles Cromie was also agent to James Clarke, Graig Abbey and Michael Browne of Moyne for lands held by them in the barony of Clare. Charles Cromie was married to Emily Fynn of Ballymacgibbon, parish of Cong.
Bowen (Hollymount) In the early 17th century a branch of the Bowens of Ballyadams, county Laois, was settled in the Castlecarra area of the barony of Kilmaine, county Mayo. By the mid 18th century the Bowens were located in Hollymount. At the time of Griffith's Valuation Reverend Christopher Bowen held townlands in the parishes of Kilcommon, Kilmainemore and Ballinrobe, some of them from the Marquess of Sligo. William E.Ruttledge of Carra Villa was agent to this estate of approximately 600 acres in the early 20th century. It was vested in the Land Commission in May 1931. Robert Bowen, a brother of Reverend Christopher, had a lease (1 Nov 1837) of 168 acres of Greaghans from Patrick Kirwan of Dalgan.
Bowen (Annefield) The Bowens of county Mayo appear to be descended from the Bowens of Ballyadams, Queen's county [county Laois]. At the end of the 16th century a branch of the Bowens of Ballyadams was settled at Castlecarra, parish of Burriscarra and later at Liskilleen in the parish of Ballinrobe. By the late 18th century Christopher Bowen of Hollymount, a lawyer, held the properties known as Annefield and The Heath. He had daughters who married Anthony Elwood, a younger son of Thomas Elwood of Strandhill, Cong, and John Blake of Windfield, county Galway. By his will Christopher Bowen left Annefield and The Heath to two of his grandsons respectively, Anthony Elwood, who assumed the name of Bowen, and Henry Blake. Anthony Bowen Elwood had no children and Annefield also passed to the Blake family. Anthony Bowen Elwood held lands in the parishes of Kilcommon, barony of Kilmaine, and in Kilcolman, barony of Clanmorris. He was recorded as an absentee landlord in 1802 and the estate was run by his agent, Charles Cromie, who also resided at Annefield.
Fair (Fortville) In 1788 Robert Fair of Ballyjennings, parish of Kilmainemore, county Mayo, was leasing lands from a number of landlords including the farm of Toocananagh, near the village of Bohola, barony of Gallen, from Denis Daly; Ballyjennings and adjacent lands from Christopher Bowen of Hollymount and Ellistronbeg or Fortville from the Brownes of Glencorrib. He also had a share in a lease of the lands of Island, parish of Bekan, barony of Costello, from Francis Knox of Rappa. By 1809 he was able to buy the lands of Creggagh near Foxford from James Daly of Dunsandle, county Galway. It is likely that the Elizabeth Fair, who married Thomas Ruttledge of Bloomfield and Bushfield, was his sister. Two of his sons, John of Creggagh and Robert of Bushfield, married daughters of David Ruttledge of Tawnaghmore, parish of Kilbelfad, barony of Tirawley. Robert died in 1837 and left all his freehold property to his third son, Thomas of Fortville and later of Millmount, county Galway. His second son, Robert Fair of Carravilla and Bushfield, prospered and by the time of Griffith's Valuation had land in the parishes of Kilcommon, Kilmainemore and Robeen, barony of Kilmaine, Crossboyne and Mayo, barony of Clanmorris, county Mayo and barony of Ross, county Galway. He purchased in the Encumbered Estates' Court, parts of the estates of the Dillon-Brownes of Glencorrib, Marquess of Sligo, Henry Martin Blake of The Heath and Lord Oranmore and Browne. He had an only daughter, Jane, who married Thomas Ruttledge of Bloomfield. In 1876 Mrs Ruttledge Fair owned 2765 acres in county Mayo and 2799 acres in county Galway. Most of the Fair's estate was vested in the Congested Districts' Board on 29 May 1913.
Miller (Milford) A family of Cromwellian settlers who were granted over 1,000 acres in the parishes of Kilmainemore and Kilcommon, barony of Kilmaine, county Mayo in 1667. Originally established at Ballycusheen they settled at Milford, parish of Kilmainemore, in the early 18th century. They also held lands along the shore of Killary harbour in the 18th century from the Blakes of Renvyle and inherited part of the Cloghastookeen estate, parish of Kilconickny, barony of Dunkellin, county Galway, through marriage with a Croasdaile heiress. Croasdaile Bowen Miller is recorded as one of the principal lessors in the parish of Kilconickny, barony of Dunkellin, in 1855. In 1876 the Milford estate was comprised of 1404 acres in county Mayo and 651 acres in county Galway. It was reduced in size by sales to the Congested Districts' Board and the Land Commission but the Ormsby family, who inherited the property from the Millers early in the 20th century, still farm 300+ acres. This is one of the few county Mayo estates still in the possession of the descendants of the original grantees.
Blake (Windfield) This family was transplanted to Mullaghmore, parish of Moylough, barony of Tiaquin, county Galway under the Cromwellian settlement. Burke's 'Landed Gentry of Ireland' (1904) records that they purchased Windfield in 1703. Under the will of John Blake 27 Feb 1786 the estate passed to his cousin John Blake of The Heath, county Mayo, a younger son of the Blakes of Renvyle. This John Blake had married a daughter of Christopher Bowen of Hollymount and the Bowen property, known as The Heath, passed to the Blakes. Over 1200 acres of the estate of Henry Martyn Blake (1796-1857) in the baronies of Kilmaine and Clanmorris were advertised for sale in 1853 and the Kilmaine portion again in 1855. The remainder of the estate in the baronies of Clanmorris (The Heath)and Costello (Kilnock) and Tiaquin, county Galway (Brierfield) was sold by John Henry Blake in 1863. The county Galway estate of Windfield appears to have been sold to the Jameson family in the 1820s. The Annefield estate was vested in the Congested Districts' Board in 1905.