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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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