Mothel Rd. Dowley History

My thanks to Johnny Dowley (b. 1927) of the Connawarries farm on the Waterford Road for providing most of the information on the Mothel Road Dowleys. Like many of the other Dowley families in the Carrick-on-Suir area, most of the Mothel Road Dowleys were also involved in agriculture. According to Johnny, there were two families of Dowleys originally occupying small farms on opposite sides of the Mothel Road. Michael Dowley, Johnny’s great grand-father lived in the farm on the left hand side going up from Carrick while the other Dowley farm was on the opposite side of the road. Johnny can remember these houses in his younger days, but they are both now (2013) gone.

The names of Michael’s brothers and sisters are not known but it would appear that that he had at least three brothers. It seems that one of his brothers (b 1798) emigrated to St. Johns, as Michael’s son Denis and his grand-son Michael are all buried in the same grave in Newfoundland.

The following is an outline of the next two generations of Michael Dowley’s descendents.

Descendents of Michael Dowley

Descendents of Michael Dowley

Michael Dowley (abt 1800-????): Michael was a farmer on the Mothel Road. He married Catherine Murray in the 1830’s and they had five children, John, Denis, Bridget, Richard and Catherine. While we don’t have dates of birth for all the children, they would have grown up in Carrick during the Great Famine. This may have influenced the decision of some of these children to emigrate.

Denis Dowley (????-????): Denis emigrated to St. Johns, Newfoundland in the late 1850’s or early 1860’s. He was married and had one son and one daughter. His son Michael married a Miss Fowler and they had three children but these children had no offspring. His daughter married a Mr. Tobin and they had one daughter who still keeps in touch with Johnny Dowley of the Connawarries. This effectively brought to an end the Mothel Road Dowley name in Newfoundland.

Bridget Dowley (????-????): Bridget married John Halpin of Boola, Rathgormack in about 1868. They had five sons and two daughters. The children are scattered around the world with some in, Rathgormack, USA, Australia and England.

Richard Dowley (????-????): Richard was a farmer in Killerguile near Clonea in Co. Waterford. He married Ellen Butler and they had three children. The daughters were Kate (b. 1873) and Ellen (b. 1879). The only son died young. Richard died before the 1901 census. Kate married Patrick Keane about 1912 and they had one daughter Anne (1914-1986). Ellen never married and died in 1932. This brought to an end the Killerguile Dowley line.

Catherine Dowley (????-????): Catherine also emigrated to St. Johns, Newfoundland in the late 1850’s or early 1860’s. It is likely that she went with her brother Denis. She married John O’Regan and they had five children, three sons and two daughters. One son Con was an ordained priest and was drowned while crossing a bay to answer a sick call. Another son Thomas joined the Christian Brothers while the third son died young. One daughter married but had no family.

John Dowley (1839-1917): John was a farmer on the Mothel Road. He was also a road contractor and had the contract to maintain the road from Carrick-Beg to Ballyhest cross. He married Mary Rowe and they had four children, Mary who never married, Bridget who died at an early age in Boston, USA, Kate who married a Mr. Dunphy but had no children and Michael who married Mary Holden in 1926 and they had three children, John, Mary and Richard. Some time in 1911, John bought the Connawarries farm on the Waterford Road from a Mrs Hahessy. Despite having bought extra land, John and his son Michael continued the road maintenance in order to honour their contract. John died in 1917 and is buried in the new cemetery on the New Line, Carrick-Beg.

There are two Mothel Road Dowley gravestones in the Carrick-Beg cemetery. One gives clear information on the above John’s family. While the other has no individual names, I now understand this is the final resting place of James Dowley (1922-1970) and his wife Minnie King. See photographs below.

Descendants of John Dowley 1839-1917

Descendants of John Dowley 1839-1917

Mary Dowley (1873-1951): Mary is listed in both the 1901 and 1911 census as living on the Mothel Road. Her occupation is given as a housekeeper in 1901. She never married and is buried in the cemetery on the New Line in Carrick-Beg.

Bridget Dowley (????-????): As Bridget is not listed in either the 1901 or 1911 census it must be assumed that she had emigrated to the USA before 1901. She died in Boston at a young age.

Michael Dowley (1875-1956): According to the 1911 census, Michael’s occupation is given as a road contractor in both the 1901 and 1911 census, but we know that he would have also been involved in farming. He always had an interest in pig keeping and he bought and supplied pigs to fattening units including the Dowley fattening units at Killonerry and Tybroughney. He married Mary Holden in 1926 and they had three children, Mary, Richard and John. He died in 1956 and is buried in the cemetery on the New Line in Carrick-Beg.

Katie Dowley (1881-1933): Katie was the youngest in the family and was still living in the Mothel Road in 1911 when her occupation is given as a milk vendor. She later married a Mr. Dunphy but had no family. She died at the age of 52 and is buried in the cemetery on the New Line in Carrick-Beg.

Descendents of Michael Dowley 1875-1956

Descendents of Michael Dowley 1875-1956

Johnny Dowley (1927- ): Johnny is Michael’s eldest child. He became a very successful farmer at the Connawarries, Waterford Rd., Carrick-Beg. John was also highly involved with the business of agriculture and spent a considerable period as chairman of Waterford Co-op. He married Eileen Holden in the 1950’s and they had four children Mary, Michael, Helen and Anne.

Mary Dowley (1928- ): Mary was Michaels only daughter. She married John Ryan in 1953 but they had no children.

Richard Dowley (1930-1933): Richard was Michael’s youngest son. He died when he was only three years old of a neglected appendix.

Mary Dowley (1958- ): Mary was Johnny’s eldest child and married Jimmy Cass. They have two sons, Eoin and Darren.

Michael Dowley (1959-1980): Michael was Johnny’s only son and was following in his father’s footsteps when he lost his life in a tragic farming accident.

Helen Dowley (1962- ): Helen married John O’Donnell and they have no children. John. John O’Donnell, son of Paddy owns all the Dowley land on the Mothel Rd. now.

Anne Dowley (1965- ): Ann married Joe Clifford and they have three children, Elaine (b. 1993), Sarah (b. 1998) and Brian (b. 2000).

We know that John Dowley (1839-1917), James Dowley (1848-????) and Michael Dowley (1828-1906?) were related. It is currently assumed that they were first cousins although I have no direct proof of this at present. It is further assumed that Richard Dowley (1848-1915) was a brother of Michael above.

Descendents of James Dowley 1848-????

Descendents of James Dowley 1848-????

James Dowley (1848-????): James lived with his wife Bridget on the Waterford Road in Carrick Beg. According to the 1901 census his occupation is given as a wool weaver but in 1911 it is given as an unemployed wool weaver. This would suggest that he was one of the last of those involved in the wool weaving industry in Carrick-on-Suir. He had three children, Louis, Bridget and Mary.

Bridget and Mary Dowley: Both Bridget and Mary may have married but I have no information on who they may have married. By 1911, Bridget had left Waterford Road but is not recorded in any part of Ireland. This would suggest she may have emigrated. In 1911 Mary (18) was still living with her parents in Waterford Road and her occupation was given as a dressmaker.

Louis Dowley (1885-????): In 1911 Louis’s occupation was given as a farm labourer but we also know that he later operated as a carter in Carrick. He married in 1920 but the identification of his spouse is not known to me at present. He had one child, James born in 1922.

James Dowley (1922-1970): Jimmy like his father became a carter and worked for Edward Dowley & Sons Ltd. taking meal from the quay to New Street and delivering goods around town. He married Minnie King in 1946 and they had 3 sons Louis A., David C. and Patrick J. They also had one daughter Mala. All four are living in the area still. James and his wife Minnie are buried in the new Carrick-Beg cemetery with only “Mothel Road Dowley” on the headstone.was marr

Louis A. Dowley (????-????): Louis had no children but I am not sure if he was married.

David C. Dowley (????-????): David has at least one daughter, Mary Commins. His wife is buried in the Friary churchyard. I am awaiting further information on David.

Patrick J. Dowley (????-????): Patrick has a family but I am awaiting further information on Patrick.

Mala Dowley (????-????): Mala married Brendan Ragget. She is a very good singer and much sought after for weddings and funerals. She worked as a telephonist and is reputed to be the last telephonist in Carrick. I am awaiting further information on Mala.

Michael Dowley (1829-1906?): Michael was also a farmer and lived opposite John Dowley (1839-1917) on the Mothel Road. According to the 1911 census, Michael’s occupation is given as a small holder of land. He was married to Margaret but her maiden name can not be confirmed. They had four children, Bridget, Jeremiah, Margaret and Mary.


Descendants of Michael Dowley 1829-1906?

Bridget (1863-????) and Margaret Dowley (1881-????): Both of these daughters of Michael remained single and their occupations in the census are given as labourers.

Mary Dowley (1885-????): Mary married Tom Hahessy from the Rathgormack parish. They had one son, Tom, who went to England around 1945. His mother and father died in the 1950’s. He came home at the time and sold the little farm. He returned to England where there was one son, John, by Ivy Rich. They never married, but lived together all their lives. It is not clear why John went into care but he took the name Elwes from his adoptive parents who hailed from Brig in Lincolnshire. John was also head chorister in the Catholic Cathedral of Westminster in London in the 1950’s and went on to have a very successful career as a concert and opera singer.

John had considerable success as a boy soprano – from BBC broadcasts and recordings with Decca to concerts with such conductors as Benjamin Britten. He made his first recording of Benjamin Britten’s Canticle “Abraham ad Isaac” singing the role of Isaac, accompanied by the composer. Britten later dedicated his “Corpus Christi Carol” to him. He went on to study at the Royal College of Music and made his stage debut as a tenor in 1968 at The Proms. John Elwes is particularly well known for his sensitive and musical performances. His repertoire is extensive ranging from Monteverdi, Rameau, Bach and Handel to Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Mahler and Britten. He regularly performed with the leading conductors of baroque, classical and contemporary music. He has sung in over 100 recordings, including Dowland’s First Book of Ayres,   Schubert’s song cycles Die Schone Mullerin and Wintereise, Purcell’s The Tempest, Handel’s Messiah and Mahler’s Das Lied Von der Erde, for which he was nominated for a Grammy award in 2008.

He lived in the south of France for 15 years. He married Siobhan Armstrong who played the harp for the Queen when she visited Ireland last year. The Armstrong’s were from Thurles. John was living in Kilkenny in 2015.

Jeremiah Dowley (1864-????): Jeremiah worked as a carpenter in Carrick-Beg. He married Mary and they initially lived on the Coolnamuck Road where their first three children were born. They then moved to the Mothel Road where the last two children were born. They had a total of seven children, Maggie (b.1894), John (b. 1899), Bridget (b. 1901), Patrick (b. 1903), Mary (b. 1906), Richard (b. 1909) and James who died young.

Descendents of Jeremiah Dowley

Descendents of Jeremiah Dowley

Not much is known about the six children of Jeremiah and Mary Dowley (Maggie, John, Bridget, Patrick, Mary and Richard). This lack of information may be due to emigration. We know that the two youngest emigrated to the USA while the remainder may have gone to the UK or elsewhere.

Maggie Dowley (1894-????): Other than her date of birth I have no further information on Maggie Dowley.

John Dowley (1899-1947): John seems to have married Elizabeth Connolly in Carrick-on-Suir in 1927. He worked as a carpenter but other than that I have no further information on this family.

Bridget Dowley (1901-????): Other than her date of birth I have no further information on Bridget Dowley except that she may have died young.

Patrick Dowley (1902-????): Other than his date of birth I have no further information on Patrick Dowley.

Mary Frances Dowley (1906-????): At the age of 22, Mary emigrated to the USA. She was a passenger aboard the Lanconia which sailed from Cobh and arrived in New York on August 18th, 1929. It is possible that she linked up with her brother Richard who had emigrated to Boston some six months earlier. Mary married Eugene Caries and they had two children, Pam and Jerry.

Richard Dowley (1909-1985):  Richard was the youngest in the family emigrated to the USA at the age of 19. He was a passenger aboard the SS Baltic which sailed from Cobh and arrived in New York on January 2nd, 1929. He went on to Boston where lived until 1942 when he moved to Lowell, Massachusetts. Richard was married to Mary Celeste Caries, a sister of Eugene above. They had one child Judith who was born in 1941. Richard lost contact with his family in Carrick as a result of a conflict with his eldest brother over his father’s carpentry business. Judith married Justice Joe Hart and they have at four children, Patrick, Cristopher, Kevin and Maryjo.

Richard Dowley (1848-1915): Richard was probably a brother of Michael, however, this can not be confirmed. He lived on the Mothel Road and his occupation is given as a cattle dealer. This Richard never married.

Leslie J. Dowley

12 thoughts on “Mothel Rd. Dowley History

  1. Judith Dowley Hart

    Please contact me. I would like to fill in a few spaces in my family. My Dad was Richard Mollern Dowley, son of Jeremiah And Mary Dowley. He and his sister Mary Frances came to the US.

    I was lucky enough to get in touch with John Dowley , Connawarries. Carrick-on-Suir. He helped me so much with my family tree and also introduced me to first cousins that I didn’t know existed.

    My husband, Joe Hart, and I have four children Patrick, Christopher, Kevin And Maryjo. They are all married and we have nine grandchildren

    1. John Elwes ( Hahessy )

      Judith, we have already been in contact. It seems that your grandfather Jeremiah was my grandmother Mary’s brother. My grandmother married Tom Hahessy from Rathgormac. My father, born 1920 ?, was also Tom Hahessy and went to England and lived with my English mother. My birth name was John Hahessy. So, your father Richard and my father Tom were first cousins. They would have known each other for sure. You and I are cousins once removed ?
      I have a son Oisín Hahessy and is not Elwes. We all live in Kilkenny now although I still have a house near Carrick-0n-Suir. I have my grandmother’s birth and marriage certificates.

    2. John Elwes ( Hahessy/Dowley

      Judith, have you received messages from me.
      Your father Richard and my father Tom Hahessy were cousins. My grandmother was Mary Dowley and her brother was your grandfather Jeremiah.
      John, Kilkenny

    3. John Elwes ( Hahessy )

      Judith, have you received any messages from me regarding your father and my father who were first cousins ?

    4. John Elwes ( born John Hahessy )

      Judith, we have met many years ago but recently I have been in contact with Ann Dowley Spillane. We are finally going to establish in what way we are all related. It seems that your grandfather, Jeremiah, was the brother of my grandmother Mary Dowley. She married my grandfather Thomas Hahessy who sold his farm in Ballingarra near Rathgormac to come and live with Mary on the Mothel Road, Carrickbeg. My father, also Thomas Hahessy was their only child. He moved to England and met my mother. They were not married but I was born in 1946. I was John Hahessy for 21 years. I have an 18 yr old son, Oisín Hahessy, who is fiercely Irish. I now live in Kilkenny but still have a house at Kilballyquilty, also an area where other Hahessys farm and next to Ballingarra. My grandfather then, Tom Hahessy, was the cousin of the farmer in Kilballyquilty who was also called Tom Hahessy. Tom was clearly a family name but stopped with me. I did not know my grandfather or my grandmother Mary. My grandmother Mary Dowley, your grandfather Jeremiah’s sister, lived all her life on the Mothel Road. I hope all these facts concur with your own.

    5. John Elwes

      Judith, we have spoken and written before. But to confirm – your father Richard and my father Thomas Hahessy were first cousins. My grandmother Mary Dowley and your grandfather Jeremiah were brother and sister.
      My father was born in Carrickbeg February 1920 and died in London February 1988.
      We are cousins once removed. i now live in Kilkenny but still own a cottage in Kilballyquilty in the townland where my Hahessy family still farm. My granfather’s farm at Balllingarra, next to Kilballyquilty, now belongs to the horse trainer Pat Flynn.

  2. Emma Dowley

    Hello i am Emma Dowley i am the daughter of Patrick Dowley the son of James Dowley and Minnie King of Mothel Road. If i can help you anyway please feel free to contact me .

  3. John Elwes,

    Greetings Leslie ! As you pointed out, my grandmother Mary Dowley was married to my grandfather Tom Hahessy. He sold the family farm , probably in the 1920s, in the townland of Ballingarra, now owned by the horse trainer Pat Flynn, and moved to the Mothel Road, Carrickbeg to marry Mary Dowley, my grandmother ! My father Tom Hahessy was born there in 1923, actually prior to his parents’ marriage ! My father, also Tom Hahessy, moved to England to find work in the early 1940s. When my grandmother Mary died, he returned and sold, apparently, my grandmother’s little property to the pub there on the Mothel Road for a 100 punt !!!!!! He died in London in the 1980s. I still live in Kilkenny. I have a 20 year old son, Oisín HAHESSY. Oisín does not have the name ELWES; Elwes is my story ! I was John Hahessy until the age of 21. I also still have a house in the townland of KIlballyquilty where Tom Hahessy, a cousin, still successfully farms, next to Ballingarra.

  4. Siobhan Armstrong

    Dear Leslie,

    Bravo for all this excellent work you’re doing and – just as importantly – publishing and making accessible. I’m married to John Elwes (born Hahessy). I noted the following text referring to my husband’s father, Tom Hahessy:

    “He came home at the time and sold the little farm. He returned to England where there was one son, John, by a married lady. The partnership broke up and the child was fostered.”

    That’s not quite accurate. Tom Hahessy never married Ivy Rich (John’s mother, who was from SE London) but they lived together all their lives. It’s not clear why John went into care.

    “He took the name Elwes and married Shobhann Armstrong who played the harp for the Queen when she visited Ireland last year. John was living in Kilkenny in 2015.”

    Elwes is John’s adoptive name: an English family from Brig in Lincolnshire. His adoptive parents lived in London when John got to know them. My name is spelled ‘Siobhán’. [My Armstrongs are from Thurles] John was head chorister in Westminster Cathedral (the Catholic cathedral) in London in the 1950s and went on to be a very successful concert and opera singer, living in the south of France for 15 years, and recording more than 100 CDs. He was nominated for a Grammy award sometime after 2000 (sorry I can’t remember the year).

  5. Siobhan Armstrong

    Hi again, Leslie.

    I’ve checked with John now. His father, Thomas Hahessy was born 04.02.20. And John was nominated for a Grammy award in the USA in 2008 for a recording by the composer Gustav Mahler.

    Best wishes,

    Siobhan Armstrong

  6. Pamela Caires Perry


    I am Pamela Caires Perry. My mother was Mary Frances Dowley (Caires). She was born in 1906, and is the woman that you mention immigrated to the US when she was 22. My father was from Funchal, Madeira Portugal, and his name was Eugene Albert Caires. My grandfather was Manuel Caires and my grandmother was Rose Gonsalves. My father, Eugene Albert Caires was born on 8/7/1907, and passed away on 2/27/1989.

    My brother Eugene Jeremiah Caires was born on 12/23/1940 and died at the age of 69 on 3/19/2009.. He was my only sibling. My brother (Jerry) had 4 children from his first marriage to Judith Monte, then remarried Joann. They had two children Mary and Patrick Caires. Jerry and Joann divorced.

    Below is Jerry’s obituary.

    Eugene J. Caires
    Former first selectman
    BETHLEHEM – Mr. Eugene J. Caires, 69, of Bethlehem, died Friday, March 19, 2010, at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He was the husband of the late Judith (Monte) Caires.

    Mr. Caires was born Dec. 23, 1940, in New York, N.Y., son of the late Eugene A. and Mary Frances (Dowley) Caires.

    He had resided in Bethlehem since 1970 and served two terms as first selectman from 1974-1978. Mr. Caires was chairman for the oxen pull at the Bethlehem Fair.

    Mr. Caires was a devout Catholic, and his favorite saint was Saint Anthony. He loved fishing and the outdoors, was a very dedicated father and was a communicant of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

    He leaves two sons, Jerry Caires of San Simon, Ariz., and Patrick Caires of Bethlehem; four daughters, Cathy McCahill of Harwinton, Betsey Caires of Hamden, Aimee Way of Durango, Colo., and Mary Caires of Bethlehem; a sister, Pam Perry of Old Saybrook; seven grandchildren, his former wife, Joann Caires of Bethlehem, and many nieces and nephews.

    A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, March 24, at 11 a.m. at the Church of the Nativity, 48 East St., Bethlehem. Burial will follow in Bethlehem Cemetery. Calling hours will be held on Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Woodbury Funeral Home of Munson-Lovetere, 2 School St.

    In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut, online at, who graciously housed Mr. Caires during treatments.

    My mother Mary Frances Dowley Caires was born on 10/18/1906 and passed away on 3/19/2009. She suffered from derangement throughout her life, and died of dementia. I married Lewis Perry, Jr.,on 6/5/1965, and we have two sons Lewis Perry, III & Michael John Perry. We are blessed with 3 grandchildren, Brianna, Tyler & Zachary.

    Judy Dowley Hart (my double cousin). My father’s sister Mary Celeste married my mother’s brother RIchard Dowley. She is the sister I never had, and I love her dearly. She was trying to reach you, but could not find your email address. Please send it to me and I’ll pass it along.


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