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.

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 was the 199th admission to the industrial schools under the act. While her name and her admission number was recorded by LUCAS on the complete list of girls admitted to the school in April 1872,54 because her admission details appeared in the section of the Entrance Book that has not survived, no details of her arrest location, religion, age, parents or apprenticeship can be confirmed from this source. Eliza spent no time in Newcastle as she was the twelfth girl admitted directly to Biloela. She arrived on 6 February 1872, at the age of about 14. No indication has yet been found to explain why she had been arrested under the terms of the Act for the Relief of Destitute Children55 and further details may possibly have been reported in any Gosford newspapers from late January or early February 1872.

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 reported that she had returned to Brisbane Water where her father resided.57 After Eliza's successful return to her parents in Gosford she was re-arrested 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 fever60 and he reported that she was still in the hospital the following week61 and also the week after.62 Eliza finally recovered and was released from the hospital on 21 April.63 By this time the permanent superintendent Selina WALKER, had been appointed and on 31 August 1876, she arranged another apprenticeship for Eliza with Dr F. CAMPBELL64 of Wellwood, Gladesville. WALKER identified that Eliza was 17 years and six months old and that her apprenticeship was for six months at the rate of three shillings a week. This apprenticeship would end when Eliza turned 18. WALKER confirmed Eliza's initial place of arrest, her previous apprenticeship and her first return to the island.65 On 11 January 1877, Eliza was again returned to Biloela from this apprenticeship and these indentures had been cancelled. This cancellation would likely have involved a court appearance but none has yet been found. Few appearances in court to cancel indentures have been found for other inmates and it may be that few were reported in the newspapers. No further correspondence was attached to WALKER's report informing the Colonial Secretary of Eliza's last return to the island.66 WALKER discharged Eliza from Biloela about a fortnight later on 6 February 1877, because she had reached the age of 18.67 The Discharge Register indicated that Eliza had 'married well' but made no indication of the date that this notation had been made.

The birth of Constance DELANY, the first located child of Eliza MILES and James DELANEY aka DELANY, was registered in Sydney in 1879 about two years after her discharge from Biloela. Regardless of the statement in the Discharge Register that Eliza had married well, it is believed that the couple either didn’t marry or that their marriage was unregistered. 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 name of the mother most frequently identified on these registrations was Constance rather than Eliza. Sadly all except two of these children died as infants or in accidents before the age of ten. 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 Only Eliza's last born sons, Arthur and Louis, survived childhood.

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, James was involved in a incident when approaching his ship, the Shamrock, off Barrenjoey. Two men travelling with him in a dingy were drowned74 when the dingy overturned. James had remained with the dingy as he was unable to swim and his companions attempted to reach the shore but were drowned. James 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. On 2 May 1881, James did have his Master's Certificate cancelled in an inquiry by the Marine Board as 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. He had disobeying a directive not to participate in the race.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, Violet80 and he was listed in Sands Directory in 1889. It is considered very likely that the marriage of the mariner, James Edward DELANEY, a widower, to the widow Mary Alice NEARY in St Peter's, Sydney, on 19 November 1888, was a reference to Eliza's former partner. In this record James identified that his father was also James Edward DELANEY who was dead but the marriage did not identify his mother. Mary Alice was unlikely to have been a widow.81 No further appearances for James in Australian newspapers have yet been identified and a death for 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 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 is James' father although there is no birth recorded for any son for this man. The convict DELANEY had made application on two occasions for permission to marry. In December 1836, he requested permission to marry Jane BARNES. The only details on the record indicated that James had been married with a child at the time he arrived so the permission for this marriage was refused. On 30 June 1843, after his sentence had expired, James again requested permission to marry, this time to Catherine CONNELLY but 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 any earlier marriage by James.82 James DELANY and Catherine CONNELLY had baptised two daughters, Maria in September 183983 and Letitia in 1844.84 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, strongly suggests a connection between the two men named James DELANEY so it cannot be ignored. It is however, only circumstantial evidence and no record yet located has verified that either of these relationships was connected to Eliza's husband. Further very strong evidence to support that this man was James' father but which doesn't identify his mother may be located in the 1888 marriage in Sydney outlined above that does identify his father as James Edward DELANEY.

The 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.85

Appearances for a master mariner named J. DELANY before about 1872, are unlikely to refer to this James Edward DELANY as there was another mariner, John DELANY, also operating in coastal waters at this time. Note also that yet 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 subsequently was returned to Tasmania but this time to Macquarie Harbour. It is considered very unlikely that this man is connected to this family.

Eliza's sons, Arthur aka Perrie aka Perce86 and Louis, were three and six respectively when she died. Arthur Perrin (Perce) DELANY had been born minus the lower part of his left arm, from his elbow down, but became a skilled axeman and bush poet. Louis fought in France during WWI and had a beautiful tenor voice. No details of their mother's life were ever divulged to either Arthur or Louis by Eliza's brothers who did identify that Eliza had eloped with James DELANY and that James had subsequently left her. Eliza died as Eliza DELANEY in Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, in 1894 and both her parents were recorded as unknown on the NSW BDM Index. Eliza had been a patient in the hospital for nearly a month when she died of Bright’s Disease (kidney failure) and exhaustion. She was 36 years old.


Eliza was a daughter of William Bevin MILES and Margaret 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 July 2018

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