This column is part of a feature series which focuses on a different Centre County family each week. Five new columns will be released each month unless some technical difficulty enters the picture.
This column's focus is on Miles. An effort has been made to identify all persons carrying that name in the 1890 U.S. Census, using the Centre County business directory which was formed from a preliminary review of that census before the larger set of 1890 U.S. Census records was destroyed by fire. (Sadly, the postal directory does not typically provide the ages of females, but it's the best record we've got).
Two books in the Pennsylvania Room of the Centre County Library in Bellefonte apparently deal with the Miles family. They are: Irvin Green Miles' A History of the Miles Family (Bellevue, Pa., 1938), and Thornton Moore Shorkley's Miles Lines: Descendants of Richard Miles and His Wife Sarah of Randor [i.e. Radnor] Delaware County, Pennsylvania, Who Came from Wales in 1682 with William Penn (Lewisburg, Pa., 1935).
There are 63 different first-name entries for Miles in John Blair Linn's History of Centre and Clinton County (1883). In addition, there are many references to the name in Beers' Commemorative Biographical Record of Central Pennsylvania (1898) with one person having a separate full-length profile: John Q. Miles (b. 1843, s/o John and Elizabeth (Wilson) Miles).
And, now, your ancestors' MILES neighbors in 1890:
In HUSTON Township:
Bessie--Julian John Q., 47, farmer--Martha Lydia Lizzie Maggie John B. 11 Mary--Martha
In MILESBURG Borough:Anna M. Oscar F., 29, merchant Emma V. Bessie A. Wilber 5 mos. Susan Thomas, 61, merchant Mary J. John 23
In UNION Township:Hattie J.--Fleming Roy 11
In WORTH Township:Scott, 44, merchant--Port Matilda Mary Howard 19 John 15 Zenovia