Back to Mary Jane (Thomas) Miles

St. Tyfodwg's Church

St. Cein's Church

Plymouth, USA


 Henry Miles - married - Celia Jones

granddaughter of James Jones recorded farmer

           James Jones

               father of                                                     

           Micah Jones                - married -              1st. Mary Morgan

             1800-1876                    6th June 1824           Born 1794  

             Buried 22.05.1876                                        Buried 03.05.1849


        Both Micah and Mary are buried St. Tyfodwg's where they married on the 6th of June 1824


Children of Micah & Mary Jones

   John born 1825   Gwenllian born 1830    Celia born 1834     Maria 1936   William born 1840

Celia married Henry Miles and emigrated in 1881 to Plymouth, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, America


on Micah Jones marriage certificate to his second wife Mary Williams

29th July, 1850at St.Ceins Church, Llangennior Micah's father is

recorded as a farmer and Micah signs his own name

1841 Census Micah & Mary Jones, Llandyfodwg Inn, Llandyfodwg Village (Glyn Llan,Blackmill)

latterly know as the New Inn, Llandyfodwg now a private house close to St Tyfodwg's, Glynogwr, Blackill

Micah Jones Male   Age 40    Publican   Birthplace Glamorgan, Wales
Mary Jones Female   Age 45     Birthplace Glamorgan, Wales
John Jones Male   Age 15     Birthplace Glamorgan, Wales
Gwenllian Jones Female   Age 11     Birthplace Glamorgan, Wales
Celia Jones Female   Age   9     Birthplace Glamorgan, Wales
Maria Jones Female   Age   5     Birthplace Glamorgan, Wales
William Jones Male   Age   1     Birthplace Glamorgan, Wales
Morgan Cadogan Male   Age  70    Tailor   Birthplace Glamorgan, Wales


1851 Census Record Micah Jones & 2nd Wife Mary living Talyfan Fach

Micah Jones   Head   Age 50   Farmer Born Llangenior
Mary Jones   Wife   Age 50   Born Llangenior
Maria Jones     Age 15   Scholar Born Llanyfodwg
William Jones     Age 11   Scholar  
Benjamin Evans     Age 74   Pauper Agricultural Labourer Born St Brides Minor

1861 Census Record Micah Jones & 2nd Wife Mary living Gnoll, Llangenior

Micah Jones  Head   Age 61   Farmer Born Llangenior
Mary Jones   Wife   Age 60   Born Llangenior
      Age 23   General Servant  

1871 Census Record Micah Jones & 2nd Wife Mary living Talyfan Fach

Micah Jones   Head   Age 70   Annuitant   Born Llangenior
Mary Jones   Wife   Age 70     Born Llangenior
Margaret Morgan   Servant   Age 14   General Servant   Born




                                                                            Llangattock - Crickhowell - Breconshire                   



                                                   John & Jane Miles - of Llangattock (Crickhowell)


                 Henry Miles                                    - married -                      Celia Jones

           Born : Llangattock 1834                                                          Born 27.12.1834 Llandyfodwg (Blackmill, Bridgend)

          Christened 25.12.1825 Llangattock                                            Baptized 26.01.1834  St. Tyfodwg's Church

          Died : America 1881                                                                Died 18th June, 1908

          Buried : Luzerne, Plymouth, Pennsylvania                                  Buried : Luzerne, Plymouth, Pennsylvania

                                           Children of Henry and Celia (Jones) Miles


    William            Micah              Margaret             Elizabeth         Gwenllian      Jane            Henry              Celia

    Born 1860       Born 1861          Born 1863          Born 1865       Born 1868      Born 1869     Born 1871       Born 1876

    Gelligaer         Fleur de Llys       Mynydd Islwyn    Llangenior       Llangenior                         Llandyfodwg    Llangennior


Henry Miles was born Llangattock (Crickhowell) Breconshire to John and Jane Miles.  Henry was a stone mason likewise his brother.  Henry built and owned the Squirrel Public House, Pontycymmer and his cousin is said to have built the Llangenior Arms of which he was the Landlord.  Henry's wife Celia was the daughter of Micah and Mary (Morgan) Jones, Micah Jones is recorded as a Publican, Farmer and Stone his wedding certificate to his second wife he signs his own names when most people could only put a cross. On the 1871 Census Record (2nd April 1871) Micah Jones lived at Talyfan Fach and is 70 years old and recorded as an Annuitant which is very interesting and confirms my thoughts that the money to build the Squirrell and the relationship to the Llangenior Arms was from his side of the family.  There are three Talyfan’ s recorded – Fach, Uchaf and Ganol.

In 1881 Henry and Celia together with their children all but son William emigrated from Pontycymmer bound for America, Pennsylvania, they settled in Plymouth, Luzerne County. The journey in 1881 could take from six week to some fourteen weeks depending on weather conditions.  Plymouth had a rich anthracite coal field and Henry was experienced in driving hard headings in coal mines but within six weeks of arriving in America tragedy struck the family.  Henry was constructing a well on the land they purchased when a rock dislodged striking him a fatal blow to the head.  Celia remained in Pennsylvania and still owning property in Pontycymmer, the Squirrel Public House and a small cottage nearby made the journey back to Pontycymmer some three times in her lifetime, bringing her feather bed with her on each occasion.  She never remarried but was able to well support her family.  My Mother believed that along seeing her son William and son Micah and daughter Margaret all who now lived in Wales it was financial and she would return to Pennsylvania to sufficient monies to carry on her life there.

Micah Miles


Micah Miles was born 1861 Fleur de Llys to Henry Miles Born 1834 Llangattock (Crickhowell, Brecon) and Celia Jones born 1835 Llandyfodwg (Blackmill, Bridgend) Micah died Toryfron Farm, Llangynwyd on the 20th January 1922 age 61 years

Toryfron Farm, Llangynwyd

As a young man Micah Miles emigrated with his Father, Mother, Sisters and Brother to America, he had left the love of his life Mary Jane Thomas behind in Pontycymmer.  Mary Jane’s Mother had wickedly sent a message to Micah in America to say her daughter had died, not approving of the love match.  Ann (Mary Jane’s mother) had herself married against the wishes of her parents which makes her actions even worse. 

The national census records show a pattern of how people moved around in Wales for work, the following being a record of Henry & Celia before emigrating to America

1871 Census Henry Miles and family are living 81 Brick Row, Glyncorrwg, there has been great confusion over this as Celia is not clearly recorded, there appears to be lot of misspelling of her name and Micah is recorded as Michael - The 1911 UK Census for Margaret who is age 4 years below, shows her married to William Davies living in Swansea and having been born in Glyncorrwg

  Henry Miles   Age 38  Head   Coal Miner   Born Mon Beaufort
  Celia recorded as Alice -error   Age 37  Wife     Born Glam Llandyfodwg
  Mary   Age 14  Daughter     Born Glam
  William   Age 13  Son   Coal Miner   Born Glam
  Michael should be Micah   Age 11  Son   Scholar   Born Mon Gelligaer
  Margaret   Age   8  Daughter   Scholar   Born Mon Bedwelty
  Elizabeth   Age   5  Daughter   Scholar   Born Glam



  Age   3  

  Age   1




  Born Glam

  Born Glam

1881 Census Henry Miles - census night 3rd April the family are living Llest Row, Llangenior - this is the last record of Henry & Celia Miles before emigrating to America, Henry die in America some 6 weeks after arrival in 1881

  Henry Miles   Age 47  Head   Coal Miner  Born Llangattock, Breconshire
  Cecila   Age 46  Wife    Born Glamorgan, Llandyfodwg
  Margaret Davies   Age 19  Daughter    Born Monmouth, Mynydd Islwyn
  Elizabeth   Age 16  Daughter    Scholar  Born Llangenior
  Henry   Age 10  Son    Scholar  Born Llandyfodwg
  Gwen   Age 14  Daughter    Born Llangenior
  Cecila   Age   5  Daughter    Born Llangenior
  William Davies   Age 22  Son-in-law Colliery Co. Clerk Cashier  Born Breconshire Trallwyn
  Gladys M Davies   Age   2  Granddaughter    Born Glamorgan Bettws

Children of Henry and Celia Miles

William Miles

William was born in 1860 when the family lived in Gelligaer and remained in Wales when the family emigrated to America.  The 1881 Census records record William in Wales and married to Mary (nee Jones) and living at Lluest, Pontyrhyl (Pontycymmer) which continued to be their home on the 1891 and 1901 census by the 1911 Census they have moved to 75 Bridgend Road, Maesteg.  Their Children are recorded as Thomas Jones born 1879 Henry 1887, Cecilia 1889, Ellen 1890, Harriet Ann 1892, Howell 1899. Ellen and my Grandmother Hetty Ann were big friends throughout their lives, Ellen also lived at Bridgend Road, Maesteg and in 1917 married Levi Evans, her four sons where well known in the valley, William David, known as Day built a caravan which I can remember visiting as a child, it was on Parkers Field, Newton, Porthcawl, I think Bryn Eglwys Gardens are now on that site, he and wife (Eileen) had two sons one was disabled from memory he had muscular dystrophy and the caravan was mainly for his benefit they also built a bungalow at the top of the Hollies, both were keen golfers and members of Maesteg Golf Club. Tommy who was a Manager at St John’s Colliery Maesteg was known as Tommy Singer and lived at Alma Road, Maesteg, his son Philip once featured on tv cultivating snails for the table and serving in his Public House.  Ken was Manager for many years of Maesteg Market and lived a few doors from his Mother, moving into the family home after her days.  Elwyn the youngest died a young man his daughter Judith worked at Lloyds Bank Maesteg and was an active member of the Operatic Society, unfortunately like her Father she too died young.

Micah Miles

Micah was born 1861 Fleur de Llys to Henry Miles Born 1834 Llangattock (Crickhowell, Brecon) and Celia Jones born 1835 Llandyfodwg (Blackmill, Bridgend) Micah died Toryfron Farm, Llangynwyd on the 20th January 1922 age 61 years.  Mary Jane Miles died on the 19th April 1944 age 78 years living with her daughter Beatrice and son-in-law Hiram Davies at Gelli Ebleg, Llangynwyd.

As a young man Micah Miles emigrated with his Father, Mother, Sisters and Brother to America, he had left the love of his life Mary Jane Thomas behind in Pontycymmer.  Mary Jane’s Mother had wickedly sent a message to Micah in America that her daughter had died, not approving of the love match.  Ann (Mary Jane’s mother) had herself married against the wishes of her parents which makes her actions even worse. 

Every time someone left the Garw Valley for the New World – America – Mary Jane asked them that if they met Micah Miles would they convey her love to him.  Eventually the message was delivered and although Micah was now married with two sons, he divorced his wife and returned to Wales - Pontycymmer, it is said he worked his passage back leaving his money for his former wife.  Upon his appearance in Pontycymmer Ann (Mary Jane’s Mother) is said to have drawn her pistol and told him to stay away, he defied her and said kill me, without Mary Jane I might as well be dead.  In 1891 Micah and Mary Jane married, his first wife returned to Wales with the two boys, she become a career woman and the boys for many years grew up with their Father and Mary Jane.  It was a disappointment that the boys did not attend their Father’s funeral although they had stayed close to him.  I know little of them other than they settled in the Aberdare area.

This story continues on the life and children of Micah and Mary Jane (Thomas) Miles


Margaret Miles

Margaret was born in 1862 Mynydd Islwyn, Monmouthshire and married William Davies The 1891 the Census shows that Margaret had returned home from America to Wales and that a daughter (Cecilia) had been born in Kentucky, it looks as if they moved from Pennsylvania before returning.   Margaret and her husband William Davies along with their children lived for many years at Gloucester Place, Swansea (the street is near the Little Dylan Thomas Theatre) William worked at Swansea Docks as a Colliery Clerk.  They found living in Swansea far too convenient for visitors who could easily travel by train from the Garw Valley to Swansea for a day out.  My Grandmother kept in contact with one of her cousins (Annie) who had moved to live in Llangadog (Carmarthenshire) they would come and stay at Toryfron and one family story which was often told was that Granny Miles (Mary Jane) instructed one of the children to put manure on the rhubarb and her nephew Willie Webber said to her we always have custard on ours ! 


1891 Census Record William & Margret Davies Gloucester Place, Swansea

William Davies  Head  Married Male Age 32 Born 1859 Colliery Clerk Trallwyn, Breconshire
Margaret Davies  Wife  Married Female Age 28 Born 1863   Fleur-de-Llys, Monmouthshire
Gladys Mary Davies  Daughter   Female Age 11 Born 1880 Scholar Bettws, Glamorganshire
William Henry Davies  Son   Male Age  9 Born 1882 Scholar Bettws, Glamorganshire
Celia Jane Davies  Daughter   Female Age  7 Born 1884 Scholar United States
Howell Davies  Son   Male Age 4 Born 1887 Scholar Swansea, Glamorganshire
Arthur Charles Davies  Son   Male Age 1 Born 1890 Scholar Swansea, Glamorganshire

1901 Census Record William & Margaret Davies, 1 Gloucester Place, Swansea

William Davies Head Married Male Age 42 Born 1859 Stevedore Breconshire
Margaret Davies Wife Married Female Age 38 Born 1863   Monmouthshire
William H Davies Son Single Male Age 20 Born 1881 Colliery Clerk Glamorganshire
Gladys M Davies Daughter Single Female Age 22 Born 1879   Glamorganshire
Celia J Davies Daughter Single Female Age 17 Born 1884   Kentucky, USA
Howell Davies Son   Male Age 14 Born 1887 Horsier Assistant Glamorganshire
Arthur A Davies Son   Male Age 11 Born 1890   Swansea, Glamorganshire
Anne Davies Daughter   Male Age  09 Born 1892   Swansea, Glamorganshire
Keziah Miles Boarder Married Female Age 42 Born 1859 Boarder Mariner Aberdare, Glamorganshire

Keziah Miles Born 1859 died Merthyr Tydfil 1925

1911 Census Record William & Margaret Davies, 1 Gloucester Place, Swansea

William Davies Head Married Male Age 52 Born 1859 Foreman Trimmer Coal Breconshire, Trallwyn
Margaret Davies Wife Married Female Age 49 Born 1862   Glyncorrwg,Glamorganshire
Howell Davies Son Single Male Age 25 Born 1886 Fruiterer's Clerk Glamorganshire, Sketty
Arthur Charles Davies Son Single Male Age 21 Born 1890 Coal Trimmer Glamorganshire, Swansea
Annie Irene Davies Daughter Single Female Age 19 Born 1892   Glamorganshire, Swansea


Elizabeth Miles born Llangenior, Wales 13th September, 1865 died 12th December 1912, Plymouth, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, USA Married Evan Reese 1882 - Evan was born 1860 and died 1919

The 1900 United States Federal Census records that both Elizabeth and Evan were born in Wales and have four sons all born in Pennsylvania - John born 1885 : Eddie born 1887 : Hayden born 1891 : Elias born 1894.

Click here to see Elizabeth's death certificate



Gwenllian was born 21st July, 1868 Llangenior, Wales and died 3rd March 1914 Plymouth, Luzerne, Pennsylvania, USA


Jane was Born 5th June, 1869 and died 8th September, 1938 Wilkinsburg, Alleghenny, Pennsylvania, USA she married in 1893 to DavidMorgan born 1860 and died - the 1920 United States Fedral Census records daughter Lizzie Morgan Age 11, Mary Evans Age 9, Maud Morgan Age 8, Isaac Evans Age 7 and David Morgan Age 5

Betty Challenger Jane's grand-daughter wrote to the Rector of St David’s Church Bettws Albert Pegler asking did he know of any descendants of Micah Miles, Albert contacted my Mother Margaret Thomas and the American reunion started.  I remain in contact with Betty’s Son Ken Challenger, he has lived an exciting life, currently he and his wife Gillian own a vineyard in Los Gatos, California and retain a flat in central London.  Betty visited twice bringing her sister Doris on one occasion, Doris was a registrar in Wilkes Barre University. Betty’s daughter Jane and son-in-law also visited and stayed with my parents.  Betty and husband Ken lived in Goodrich, Texas, and Doris, Delray Beach, Florida – Doris lost a son walking home from school in a random Shooting in New York.  Kenneth & Gillian also visited staying with myself and Tony.  Betty and Doris were introduced to many of their Miles cousins and taken to Llangadog to visit their Mothers cousin (Margaret daughter) who was still living. 

Betty Challenger's visit to Wales

September 1980

American & Welsh cousins enjoying a re-union evening Coychurch Road Bridgend

Back row Left to Right Gwilym Garfield - Margaret (Garfield) Thomas) Arthur Garfield

Front Row left to right Tommy Miles - Betty Challenger - Mary (Miles) Hodges


Henry born 21st July, 1871 Llandyfodog, Bridgend, Wales died 9th January, 1912 Plymouth, Luzerne, Pennsylvania, USA the 1910 United States Federal Census records Henry as a Timberman in the colliery he is married to Elizabeth Age 35 and also born in Wales, maiden name Hannock, they have six sons and one daughter, Idris Age 17 : Thomas Age 16 : Arthur Age 14 : Nelson Age 10 : Harry Age 5 : Gilbert Age 1 : and Agnes Age 12. By the 1920 Federal Census Elizabeth is recorded as a widow, her native tongue Welsh, however her surname on the Census is now Reese : additions to the Miles family Mildred born 1912 it would appear that she remarried having two further children with the surname Reese.


Celia born 22nd September, 1875 Llangenior, Wales died 24th October, 1934 Plymouth, Luzerne, Pennsylvania, USA, the 1900 United States Federal Census records shows Celia married to Howell Pugh with her children, Ethel and Velton living with her Mother Celia Jones Miles 1900 United States Federal Census 12th June, 1990 the family are living Price Street,Plymouth, Pennsylvania, USA

Howell Pugh Head Age 25 Coal Miner Born Wales
Celia Pugh Wife Age 23   Born Wales
Ethel Pugh Daughter Age   3   Born Pennsylvania
Venton Pugh Son Age   1   Born Pennsylvania
Celia Jones Mother-in-Law Age 67   Born Wales