Ritchey and I spent two days at St. Thomas Catholic Church Cemetery in rural Nelson County, Kentucky, taking photos of the older portion of the cemetery. The church is lovely, the setting serene, the only sounds are chirping of birds and perhaps a chipmunk scampering across the ground. Of all the gravestones we photoed there was none so heartbreaking as those of the family of Henry A. Miles. The loss of children is always so very sad.
John Barton Miles, June 6, 1775 – July 29, 1833, born in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, and moved to Nelson County around the turn of the 19th century, was Henry’s father. December 23, 1802 he married Sarah Howard, February 20, 1782- November 15, 1860. Sarah was also born in St. Mary’s County, Maryland.
Henry married Ann Eliza Read June 5, 1855. He gave his age as 42, but actually was 38 at the time. Ann was 17. They both lived on Beechfork in Nelson County, Kentucky. Henry and Ann were the proud parents of fifteen children! All girls, except one son, William Henry, born in 1872. Of the fourteen girls, four died at a young age.
Ann Catherine “Kate” Miles was born October 1, 1857, and died three months later, December 23, 1857. This was their second daughter, their first, Sallie, born in 1856, was named for her paternal grandmother. The Miles took the death of their children very hard. Another daughter, Mary, was born April 20, 1868, and died six days later. This is the first of the monuments that would be dedicated to their deceased children.
The third daughter was also named Kate. It was quite normal at that time for parents to name another child for one that had passed on early in life. This daughter Kate survived for eleven years, but passed away in 1870. Our Kate, daughter of H. A. and A. E. Miles, born November 20, 1858, died March 27, 1870.
Another gravestone was erected when daughter Maggie died in 1879, listing all four daughters. Maggie D. Miles, born June 11, 1874, died December 2, 1879.
In the 1860 Census of Nelson county Henry is listed as 43, a farmer, with wife Ann Eliza, 20, Sallie M., 4, Kate A., 1, Sarah, 80, (his mother), and Lewis Boone, 24, laborer.
In 1870 are Henry and his wife, and six daughters – Sallie M., 14, Fannie, 9, Lillie, 7, Josie, 5, Eliza, 3 and Annie, 1, along with Emma McGill, 16, a nurse.
In 1880 in addition to Henry and Ann Eliza are Sallie, 24, Fannie, 18, (teaching), Lillie, 16, Josie, 14, Eliza, 12, Hadenia, 10, Henry, 8, and Manie (Mamie?), 3. Daughter Maude was born in 1884.
Henry died in 1889, Ann Eliza living on until 1920.
Their only son, William Henry Miles, married Mary F. Wilson in 1897. They had five children – two daughters and three sons.
William Henry Miles, 1871-1920
Mary E. Wilson, wife of Henry Miles, August 5, 1873 – June 23, 1911.
All are buried at St. Thomas Cemetery.