Information on the Miles Family of Norwich, Norfolk, England, and Nova Scotia, Canada

John Miles and Martha of Norwich, Norfolk, England
Information from the Raddell Research Center in Queen's County, Nova Scotia, shows that immigrant John Miles was the son of John Miles and Martha of Norwich, Norfolk, England. LDS parish records show a John Miles who married Martha Reve (Reeve) in the parish of St. John de Sepulchre. Parish records show 16 children born to "John Miles and Martha", but it is not known if they were all siblings of John Miles, or if there may have been two Johns, each with a wife named Martha, nor the significance of christenings in different parishes. Thus, while all 16 children are shown here, it is uncertain if they were all children of John Miles and Martha, and siblings of Nova Scotia immigrant John Miles. Those children christened in St. John de Sepulchre would appear to be, but there is a near-ten-year gap in christenings for this parish, indicating either the records are incomplete, or that John and Martha did christen some children in other parishes.

Further research was commissioned through East Anglia Village Research (EAVR) in England. That John Miles (Jr) was a carpenter by trade seems apparent, yet EAVR could find no apprenticeship record in the appropriate timeframe. But their research did find the following records:

The Norwich Directory of 1783 had the following entry:
Miles, John Carpenter No. 124 Magdalen Street

The Norfolk Poll Book for 1780 had one entry:
St Peter Southgate parish, Miles, John, worsted weaver

The Norfolk Poll Book for 1786 had two entries:
(1) St John de Sepulchre parish Miles, John worsted weaver
(2) St Peter Southgate parish Miles, John woolcomber, freeholder

EAVR suggested that the entry from the Norwich Directory may be immigrant John Miles...the timeframe is certainly a match, but that the remaining entries for Norwich parishes from the 1780 and 1786 Norfolk Poll Books are a mystery. The author believes it also possible that this John Miles, carpenter, could be the father of immigrant John Miles which would explain why no apprenticeship record was found in the time period searched; he learned his profession from his father. A preliminary search through Norwich wills yielded no matches.

John Miles, the Immigrant
The only immigration record found thus far which can be verified as subject John Miles is from Nova Scotia Immigrants to 1867, one of only two Miles individuals listed. There is no date shown, only his birthplace as Norwich and his settlement location as Milton. There are other entries within this book which specifically identify individuals as Loyalists and/or as members of british regiments. This would seem to indicate that John Miles was not a Loyalist in the sense that he emigrated from New England or was a member of the british army, nor that any surviving records indicate that he proclaimed himself as such. But the fact that he settled in Canada, and appears alongside other Loyalists in Simeon Perkins' diary, would appear to indicate that he was of Loyalist sentiment, lured to Nova Scotia by the offer of land and a new life.

Whether or not he was a soldier or civilian, the records found thus far indicate his first appearance in Nova Scotia was around 1783-1785. The first entry from Simeon Perkins' diary which mentions John Miles is dated June 1, 1786, but it is possible there may have been earlier mentions of him than those portions provided to this author. This first entry was just three days before he married Thankful Freeman, and the last entry, dated Oct 21, 1811, when he would have been about 60-61 years of age. This diary was published in several volumes, but the author has only been able to locate one volume for which the timeframe was not applicable.

Following is an exact transcription from a copy of selected entries from the Diary of Simeon Perkins, which presents a fascinating image of life in the Nova Scotia wilderness. The Thomas Raddall Research Center of the Queens County Museum graciously furnished these entries pertinent to John Miles, as well as numerous other records on the Miles family.

Jun 1st, 1786: I go to the Falls. Josh. Boomer, John Miles, Wm. Murray, Junr., cutting timber (for flume).

Oct 13, 1786: Mr. Thomas was yesterday, & this day counting off all the boards sawed at the sawmill by Miles, & Coop. The hold out.

Oct 16, 1786: I settle sawing accounts with John Miles, & John Coop.

Nov 22, 1786: John Miles, & John Coop begin to saw. Murray finished sawing his logs yesterday.

Oct 29, 1787: Mr. Grant, & Mr. John Miles begin to work on my house, to alter the entrey, & build stairs, etc., this morning.

Jan 23, 1789: I understand by Mr (Timothy) Bryant that Silvanus Morton, Dennis Freeman, Miles, Martin, are cutting logs on my 200 acre lot 69, or on Wm Godfrey's adjoining. I engage Hunt to go there with me tomorrow.

Mar 30, 1791: I speak to John Miles about working on the ship, and about gitting me some knees. He give encouragement of working on the ship, after planting, and that he will git some knees if he can, and will let me know soon. Sets in to rain hard .....

Jun 28, 1791: John Miles comes to work on the ship at 5/6 pr day. I am to find him his board, & grog. I told him probably he would be employed 5 or six weeks, if it suited.

Jun 29, 1791: John Miles left my work to work on the Great Bridge at the falls. The people there are at work on the Highway tour, as half their work is appropriated to that purpose.

Jul 1 1791: The Great Bridge at the falls is raising. I had spared John to work there Wednesday and Thrs & sent for him this day. He came in time to do half day's work.

Jul 28, 1791: I am blacking the quarter rails, John painting the string.

Jun 4, 1792: I begin to frame my new Kitchen. John Miles, master workman, & Lemuel Drew, Junr, work all day. Mindart Vanhorn held the day.

Jun 5, 1792: Miles and Drew git my kitchen frame ready. Remove the stoop, & raise the kitchen.

Jun 6, 1792: Miles, Vanhorn, Drew, and Silas West at work on the kitchen.

Jun 28, 1792: Thursday: Warm & dry. The Heavens appear to be brass, and the rain of our land powder & dust. The fire at Herring Cove has raged yesterday & this day it run to Beach Meadows. John Miles took his boards off from his house, & carried them into the Creek, but saved his frame standing.

Oct 12, 1792: We are still working on the Minerva. John Miles begins to work...

Oct 13, 1792: No one at work on the Minerva, but Miles siding knees part of the day.

Jul 11, 1793: I ride to the Falls to give some directions about my house fitting up for John Heater...Have nobody but (Lemuel) Drew at work. Miles, I hear, is gone to work at Port Metway for Capt. Joseph Freeman.

Jan 21, 1794: Wrote a collateral Security from John Miles of Cattle, 8 pounds Consideration.

Jun 5, 1802: I conclude this day to begin framing my sawmill next Tuesday. Wm Ford, master workman, George Hammett, Thos Power, & Charles Murray, have engaged to begin on that day. (John) Miles and (Benj) Cole are not ready.

Aug 2, 1802: (Wm) Ford & (John) Miles begin to work on ye sawmill again.

Mar 4, 1803: We have two frames going on. John More and John Miles the masters.

Oct 9, 1804: John Miles is at work to repair my screw beam, which was broke by screwing last May.

Oct 10, 1804: Miles finishes my screw beam, & it looks to be secure.

(Perkins Diary from March 5, 1806 to Nov 30, 1809 has been lost)

Feb 10, 1810: Wind N. and very cold, so that (Robt) Lavender cannot work on the vessel. He works 1/2 day with (John) Miles on Lark's Cabbin.

Feb 12, 1810: We are working on Lark's cabbin. Mr (John) Miles fixing stuff, (Robet) Lavender & Simeon (L Perkins) putting up the ceiling.

Feb 13, 1810: (John) Miles & (Michael) Hulet at work on ye Lark's cabbin.

Mar 2, 1810: Miles finishes the Lark's Cabbin.

Mar 22, 1810: John Miles is begun this day to take away my old platform, which is rotten and to frame a new one.

Mar 31, 1810: John Miles finishes the platform.

Sep 16, 1810: George Giffin & John Miles arrive from fishing, with good fares of fish.

Sep 18, 1811: Miles finishes the Jobb of the Screws, & other little jobbs.

Oct 21, 1811: Miles begun to put a roof to my stone Ash House.

Barnabas Miles and Eliza Keddy
Barnabas Miles, son of John Miles and Thankful Freeman, was a farmer, who, according to information from the aforementioned Thomas Raddell Research Center, removed to the town of Greenfield in Queens County about the time he married Eliza Keddy. No doubt he was named after his mother's father, Barnabas Freeman. His first wife and mother of their three children, Eliza Keddy, is strongly believed ("99.9%") by a Keddy descendant to be one and the same as Maria Elizabeth Keddy, she being one of the few Keddy descendants he had not been able to trace forward. The fact that she had a sister, Maria Sophia Keddy, who lived to adulthood and married, makes it probable that both went by their middle names, indeed the middle name in German families was the baptismal name and was commonly used as the given name.

The following are exact transcripts of two articles which appeared in the local newspaper, The Liverpool Advance; notice the irony of the dates:

The Liverpool Advance, July 5, 1893

There are now residing in Queens County two sisters and a brother whose aggregate age in (is) 256 years, as follows: Mrs Ford Freeman, of Kempt, 89 years; Mrs Eunice Merry (Murray), of Milton, 82 years, and Mr Barnabas Miles, of Greenfield, 85 years. A first cousin of those persons, Mr Abiel Harlow, sen, of Brokkfield, is 95 years of age. Three of those persons were among the first settlers, and bushed their path into the Northern District. Mrs Murray is residing entirely alone, and is able to do all her work. Mr Miles last year harvested by hand nine tons of hay. Mrs Freeman is quite infirm.
The Liverpool Advance, date missing, but shortly after 17 Aug 1893

The inhabitants of the beautiful village of Greenfield have lately been called upon by the grim reaper which has removed two of its most respected landmarks-Barnabas Miles, aged 85 years, and Mrs Rebecca Freeman, aged 85 years.

Mr. Miles was born at Milton in Queens Co., and has resided in Greenfield about sixty years. He was twice married, first to Eliza Keddy, of Lunenburg Co., and last to Miss Fanny Allison of North Queens, who survives him. He leaves a son, Henry A. Miles of Kingston, Annapolis Co., and a daughter, Olivia, wife of Stewart Hunt, Esq. of Greenfield. He was a kind neighbor although temperence man, a good citizen and a consistent member of the baptist church with which he had been connected for several years. He had a large circle of friends and acquaintances by whom he was greatly respected.

Henry Allen Miles and Elizabeth Matilda Crouse
When the author began tracing the Miles genealogy, this was the earliest known generation, which had fortunately been preserved in family records, along with dates and locations.

At some point before around 22 Jun 1886, Henry Allen and Matilda removed from Greenfield in Queens County, to neighboring Annapolis County; this is known from a record of the burial of their second-to-last child, George Stanley Miles, who died at three months and was buried in Melvern Square Cemetery in Annapolis County. The 1920 census for Massachusetts shows that Henry Allen and Matilda removed to Plymouth town, Plymouth in 1894 and 1893, respectively, evidently Matilda going earlier, probably with most, if not all, of their children, to set up the home, and Henry following after taking care of business matters. Matilda survived her husband by some 20 years and died in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The family records state that U.S. citizenship papers were drawn up, but that Elizabeth Matilda Crouse died before she was able to sign them.

George Outhitt Miles and Ida Tew Scott
George Outhitt Miles went with his family to Plymouth, Mass. in either 1893 or 1894, being then about 6 or 7 years of age; and later, probably at age 21, became a U.S. citizen. He was an avid horseman who trained jumpers for various owners and this profession dictated a transient lifestyle. How he met Ida Tew Scott of Newport is not known. Their only child, the author's father, was born just over three years after they married. Wife Ida Scott Miles died just three years after the birth of their only child, due to acute Bright's disease.

Shortly thereafter, with World War I waging, George enlisted and went to Europe. His son was left with Ida's family in Newport, and, when Ida's sister, Laura Tew Scott, married in 1923, George, Jr. went to live with she and her husband in Newport. George Outhitt Miles lived in various places, as his vocation demanded, including Chicago, Pennsylvania, and Maryland; the author's parents married at his home in Monkton, Maryland. By that time George Outhitt Miles had remarried and had a daughter, Edith, who, unlike her half-brother, inherited her father's love of horses. Edith often told the family that even as a teenager, some 20 years after Ida's death, that her father had still carried a picture of his first wife, Ida Tew Scott, in his wallet. His last place of residence was on Long Island, close to his daughter, where he died in a veteran's hospital in 1942, at the age of 54.

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