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MILES Family History
The Miles surname may derive from the word 'mill' and as such would refer to an ancestor who lived in or near a mill; or the root of the name may come from the Latin for 'soldier' (miles); or alternatively it may be a patronymic reference, meaning 'the son of Mile' or the 'son of Milo'. In the same manner it could also mean 'the son of Millicent' or 'the son of Milly'.
Early examples of the surname include a Johannes filius (son of) Mile who lived in Lincolnshire between 1150 and 1160; a Nicholaus Miles who was recorded on the 1177 Yorkshire Subsidy Rolls; and Peter Myles of Kent, Wychard Miles of Lincolnshire, and Margery Mylys of Cambridgeshire who all appear on the 1273 Hundred Rolls.
Primarily an English surname, there are nevertheless some examples of the surname on Welsh records, including Lewis Myles of Pembrokeshire who was recorded on the Register of the University of Oxford in 1694-5. The 1841 and 1851 Welsh censuses indicate that the surname was mostly recorded in the counties of Monmouthshire and Glamorganshire.
In England, it is predominantly a surname associated with the southern portion of the country, especially Kent, Essex, Sussex, Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Warwickshire and Gloucestershire.
- Lisabeth Miles (b. 1940), Welsh actress who has appeared in many dramas, including The Life and Times of David Lloyd George (1981), and appeared for many years in the Welsh language soap opera, Pobol y Cwm.
- Sarah Miles (b. 1941), English actress who was born in Essex and is best known for her roles in Blowup, White Mischief, Hope and Glory, and Ryan's Daughter for which she received a nomination for a Best Actress Oscar award.
1841 & 1851 censuses
A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames (1896) by Charles Wareing Endell Bardsley
Homes of Family Names in Great Britain (1890) by Henry Brougham Guppy
Patronymica Britannica (1860) by Mark Antony Lower
Surnames of the United Kingdom (1912) by Henry Harrison
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