Eliza MILES
Name Variations MYLES, BEVIN MILES
Father William Bevan MILES b. m. 18481 d. 18752
Mother Margaret MUDIE b. 18323 m. 1848 d. 18764
Brother William Joseph MILES b. 18495 m. 18836 Mary L. FRANK d. 19277
Sister Catharine MILES b. 18518 m. d.
Sister Ann MILES b. 18539 m. d.
Brother Thomas Henry MILES b. 185410 m. d. 193811
Brother George MILES b. 185612 m. none - d. 185713
Inmate Eliza MILES b. 185814 m. none (see below) d. 189415
Brother John H. MILES b. 186016 m. d. 192717
Brother Robert MILES b. 186218 m. none - d. 186219
Brother Richard MILES b. 186320 m. none - d. 186321
Sister Margaret MILES b. 186422 m. none - d. 186423
Brother Edward MILES b. 186624 m. none - d. 186625
Sister Mary Ann MILES b. 186826 m. none - d. 186827
Brother Alfred MILES b. 186928 m. none - d. 186929
Brother Joseph MILES b. 187130 m. none - d. 187131
Sister Elizabeth MILES b. 187332 m. none - d. 187333
Sister unnamed MILES34 b. m. none - d.
Husband James Edward DELANEY aka DELANY b. 183635 m. none d. aft. 1892
Daughter Constance Letitia Maud DELANY b. 187936 m. none - d. 188237
Son Edward James DELANY b. 188138 m. none - d. 188139
Daughter Lavinia Grace DELANY b. 188240 m. none - d. 188241
Daughter Eveline aka Evelyn Mary Ann DELANY b. 188442 m. none - d. 188543
Daughter Margaret Beatrice DELANY b. 188644 m. none - d. 188745
Son Arthur Perrin DELANY b. 188846 m. none - d. 195147
Son Louis Robert DELANY b. 189148 m. 192349 Eileen M. WOOD d. 196550
Daughter Elizabeth DELANY b. 189251 m. none - d. 188752

Note: Eliza's biography has been written in collaboration with Roberta, her descendant.

Description
Relationship Name Age Height Hair Eyes Complexion Build Distinguishing features
Inmate Eliza53 18 5' dark dark stout round features; tattooed B M on one arm and shoulder; wears brown hat trimmed with blue ribbon and dark dress

Eliza had been arrested in Gosford and sent to Biloela on 6 February 1872, at the age of about 14. No indication has yet been found to explain why Eliza was arrested under the terms of the Act for the Relief of Destitute Children54 but further details may possibly have been reported in the Gosford newspapers from late January or early February 1872. Eliza's was the 199th admission to the industrial schools under the act and she was the twelfth girl admitted directly to Biloela. She therefore had spent no time in Newcastle. While her name and her admission number was recorded by LUCAS on the one complete list of girls in the school in April 1872,55 her admission details once appeared in the missing section of the Entrance Book. Because this part of the record has not survived, no details of her arrest location, religion, age, parents or apprenticeship can be confirmed from this source.

In December 1874, DALE, the relieving Superintendent, arranged an apprenticeship for Eliza to Edward WOODGATE, of Parramatta.56 Eliza absconded from WOODGATE and it was thought that she had returned to Brisbane Water where her father resided.57 Eliza did successfully return to her parents in Gosford and she was re-arrested there by Senior-constable FINLAY of Gosford police. Eliza appeared in court where her indentures with WOODGATE were cancelled and she was returned to Biloela.58 In his report on 31 March, DALE confirmed that Eliza had been readmitted on 25 March.59 During April 1876 Eliza was identified by DALE as suffering from a fever.60 He reported that she was still in the hospital the following week61 and also the week after.62 She had finally recovered and was released on 21 April.63 On 31 August 1876, Selina WALKER arranged an apprenticeship for Eliza with Dr F. CAMPBELL64 of Wellwood, Gladesville. WALKER identified that Eliza was 17 years and six months old and the apprenticeship was for six months at the rate of three shillings a week. The apprenticeship would end when Eliza turned 18. WALKER confirmed Eliza's initial place of arrest, her previous apprenticeship and her return to the island.65 Eliza was returned from this apprenticeship on 11 January 1877, as her indenture had been cancelled. This would have involved a court appearance but most of these appearances for other inmates appear not to have been reported in the newspapers. No court appearance has yet been found and no further letters were attached to WALKER's report informing the Colonial Secretary of Eliza's return to the island.66 Eliza was discharged from Biloela by WALKER on 6 February 1877, as she had reached the age of 18.67 The Discharge Register indicated that Eliza had 'married well'. There was no indication in the Discharge Register of the date that this notation was made.

The birth of Eliza MILES and James DELANEY aka DELANY's first child, Constance, was registered in Sydney in 1879. This was about two years after her discharge from Biloela and regardless of the statement that indicated that she had married well, it is believed that Eliza and James didn’t marry or that her marriage was unregistered as no evidence of a marriage has been found in NSW, Queensland, Victoria or their stated place of marriage, New Zealand. Eliza and James had seven more children and the mother identified on most of these registrations was Constance and not Eliza. Sadly all except two of these children died as infants or in accidents before the age of ten. Only Eliza's last born sons, Arthur and Louis, survived childhood. Two of Eliza's little daughters were severely burned and died of their injuries68 in a fire at their residence, 15 Mary Street, Surry Hills, around 28 September 1882.69 James DELANEY wrote letters of thanks to the men who had managed to get the children out of the burning house. His letters were published in the newspapers in early October.70 The sad death notice for her only child at the time, Evelyn, reflected Eliza's terrible sadness at the continual loss of her children.71 Evelyn's funeral left from the family residence, 1 Elizabeth Terrace, Harris Street, Ultimo.72

Identifying James DELANEY aka DELANY has proved difficult for his descendants. According to his Mariner’s Certificate, he had been born in 1836 at Port Macquarie but no corroborating evidence has been located to verify this statement. He had received his certificate to work in the coastal trade in 1872.73 On 20 February 1877, he was involved in a incident when approaching his ship, the Shamrock, where two men travelling with him in the dingy were drowned off Barrenjoey.74 The dingy overturned and his companions attempted to reach the shore but were drowned. James had remained with the dingy as he was unable to swim and was rescued the next morning.75 The inquest into the deaths of the two men was held at Gosford and a further inquiry cleared James of any blame. James did have his Master's Certificate cancelled in an inquiry by the Marine Board on 2 May 1881. He was found guilty at the investigation into his decision to follow the Intercolonial Eight-Oar Race held on 9 April whilst he was in command of the steamer, Prince of Wales and had disobeying a directive not to participate.76 James must have eventually regained his certificate as he was the master of the schooner Advance when en route to Port Stephens the vessel was lost at Henry's Head at Botany Bay, on 11 February 1884.77 Although there was no loss of life,78 there was an inquiry but 'nothing in the evidence upon which they could found a charge of default against J. E. Delany, the master.'79 By February 1886 James was master of the ketch, Violet,80 and he was listed in Sands Directory in 1889. No further appearances for him in Australian newspapers have been identified and the death of James Edward Delaney, master mariner, has not been identified by his descendants. Eliza’s death registration in 1894, while noting that she had been married, provided no information about her husband.

It is believed that there is circumstantial evidence to suggest that the transportee, James DELANEY aka DELANY, who had arrived aboard the Cambridge and who resided in Port Macquarie around the time of James Edward's birth may be his father. The convict, James DELANEY, had made application on two occasions for permission to marry. In December 1836, he requested permission to marry Jane BARNES. No further details appeared on the record except that the document indicated that he had been married with a child at the time he arrived so the permission was refused. On 30 June 1843, after his sentence had expired, James again requested permission to marry to Catherine CONNELLY. Again the request was refused. This rejection by M. McGRATH was made even though the couple had applied for banns to be read and had included a petition refuting that James had ever been married.81 James DELANY and Catherine CONNELLY baptised two daughters, Maria in September 183982 and Letitia in 1844.83 Maria's baptism indicated that James was a tailor at Port Macquarie. The coincidence of the relatively unusual name, Letitia, appearing among the children of James and Eliza suggests a connection between the two men and cannot be ignored but it is only circumstantial evidence and no record yet located has verified that either of these relationships was connected to Eliza's husband.

An 1847 baptism for James E. DELANY whose parents were James and Elizabeth suggested a possible baptism but research by descendants has identified that this baptism occurred in Penrith and, with the assistance of the descendants of this James and Elizabeth DELANEY, have eliminated this baptism. The only baptism record for a James DELANEY around 1837 was for a child who died at nine months of age.84 Appearances for J. DELANY before about 1872 as a master mariner are unlikely to refer to James Edward DELANY as there was another mariner, John DELANY, also operating in coastal waters at this time. Note also that another James DELANEY had been sent to Port Macquarie for Life after a trial in Hobart, VDL. He had arrived aboard the Bencoolen but escaped Port Macquarie in 1822, was recaptured and was returned to Tasmania, this time to Macquarie Harbour. This man is unlikely to be connected.

Eliza died in 1894 when her surviving children, her sons Arthur aka Perrie aka Perce85 and Louis were three and six respectively. Arthur Perrin (Perce) DELANY was born minus the lower part of his left arm, from his elbow down, but became a marvellous axeman and bush poet. Louis fought in France in WWI and had a beautiful tenor voice. No details of Eliza's life were ever divulged to either Arthur or Louis by Eliza's brothers who only identified that Eliza had eloped with James DELANY and that James had subsequently left her. Eliza died in Prince Alfred Hospital Sydney where she had been a patient for nearly a month. The cause of death was Bright’s Disease (kidney failure) and exhaustion. She was 36 years old.

Family

Eliza was a daughter of William Bevin MILES and Margaret nee MUDIE who had married in 1848. She was the sixth child born of 17 pregnancies to her mother but only four of these children survived - Eliza and three boys, Thomas, John and William. By the time of Eliza’s arrest in 1872, when she was 14 years old, she would have witnessed the deaths of eight of her siblings. Margaret and William had moved from Sydney to the Gosford Area, in about 1860, a year or two after Eliza’s birth and the family is believed to have had a history of poverty.

The names of William Bevin Miles and some of his infant children are included on the memorial in the Pioneer Park at Point Frederick on the Central Coast.

Eliza's three brothers moved to the Taree area where they remained.

Updated June 2016

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License