Sunday, January 25, 2015

52 Ancestor's Challenge - Elizabeth Miles born 1834 in Georgia - Week 3 - "Tough Woman"

I've been working on and off with this blog for over a year now, but still trying to get used to it all.  I'm learning new tricks every week!  This week, we are starting to use footnotes.  Hopefully I'm using them correctly.  If not....Sorry!!

Anyway...on to week # 3's challenge!  This week, the suggested theme is to write about a "tough woman."  Looking through my tree, I can find so many women that would fit the bill.  It was hard to decide on one.   With all that our ancestors had to endure, living without the modern day conveniences we have today...I'm sure I couldn't do it!

This week I've choose to write about my 3rd great grandmother, Elizabeth Miles, who was widowed during the Civil War with seven young children to take care of.

Elizabeth was the first born daughter of Robert P. Miles and Palmira Jackson.  She was born around Harris County, Georgia on October 5, 1834.  Looking at tax and census records, we know her family lived in Georgia until at least 1843. They then moved to Tallapoosa County, Alabama.12

Familysearch.org, John H.M. Vines and Elizabeth Miles Marriage, 2-13-1849, Alabama County Marriages, 1809-1950, Tallapoosa County, Page 419, Image 355 of 547, File No.1302444(005205830)
On February 13, 1849, Elizabeth married John H.M. Vines in Tallapoosa County, Alabama.3  I wrote about John H.M. Vines in a previous post last year.  The couple had 7 children that I know of:
  • Mary Ann Melvina Vines
  • Nancy Elizabeth Vines (my direct ancestor)
  • Lucinda Jane Vines
  • Susan Margarett Vines
  • Robert Javis Vines
  • Matilda Estella Vines
  • George Washington Vines

Bible record found in the the possessions of Mamie Estelle Locke Holcomb, Elizabeth's granddaughter.

The family resided in Tallapoosa County until the start of the Civil War.  In May of 1862, John joined Company D, of the 34th Alabama Infantry as a private.  One of my most treasured possessions is a letter he wrote home to his family.  The letter was dated July 11th, 1862.  Just 10 days later, John died of sickness somewhere near Saltillo, Mississippi.

In the letter he tells Elizabeth if she wants to move back to her father's house, she can.  Next we see Elizabeth's father listed in the Alabama State Census for the year 1866 in Fayette County, Alabama.4  The household has an extra 8 people living in the house, the same ages as Elizabeth and her 7 children.  Because this census does not list individual names, we can't be positive.  However, I'm pretty sure it's them, since on the 1870 Federal Census, Elizabeth and her 8 children are listed living next door to R.P. Miles, her father.  The family is still in Fayette County, Alabama, and are listed as living in Township 17.5

Sometime before 1874, Elizabeth moved with her children and her sister Lucinda Miles Beckett, and Lucinda's family, to Arkansas.  This is according to probate papers I have copies of.6 Arkansas is the last place we can locate Elizabeth.  In 1880, she is found living in Totten, Lonoke County.7

On June 27th, 1892, we see she filed an Application for Pension for her husband John. This was signed in the county of White, in Arkansas.  The pension not only lists the death date of her husband, John, but it also states that she suffers from "Nervous Prostration."  Elizabeth would have been 57 years old. 


Application For Pension by Elizabeth Miles Vines, June 27, 1892.  Ordered and received from Arkansas Confederate Penion Records, Arkansas History Commission, 1 Capitol Mall, 2B-215, Little Rock, AR 72201. http://www.ark-ives.com/documenting/confed_pensions/detail/default.aspx?sec=ConfPension&id=4077.

I'm not sure what happened to her after this.  I do know she was probably living with her daughter Nancy Elizabeth Vines Locke when she signed the pension application.  But by 1898, Nancy Elizabeth and her family moved to Texas.  Elizabeth's other children: Mary Ann Melvina Vines Beckett, Robert Javis Vines, and Matilda Estella Vines Cockrell also made their way to Texas by 1900.  It's unknown if Elizabeth went with them or stayed in Arkansas with her other 3 children.


If you have any questions about anything in this post, please leave me a comment.  Thanks for reading!!




1 Ancestry.com, 1840 United States Federal Census, R. Miles, Hueys District, Harris, Georgia, Roll:43, Page:243, Image:499, Family History Library Film:0007044.

2 Ancestry.com, Georgia, Property Tax Digests, 1793-1892, Robert Miles, 1843, Dagnol District, Harris, Georgia, USA, Image 78 of 177.

3 Familysearch.org, John H.M. Vines and Elizabeth Miles Marriage, 2-13-1849, Alabama County Marriages, 1809-1950, Tallapoosa County, Page 419, Image 355-547, File No.1302444(005205830).

4 Ancestry.com, Alabama State Census, 1820-1866, Robert Miles, Fayette County, 1866, Image 51 of 126.

5 Ancestry.com, 1870 United States Federal Census, Elizabeth Vines, Township 17, Fayette, Alabama, Roll: M593_16, Page 457A, Image 438, Family History Library Film: 545515.

6 Fayette County, Alabama, Probate Court Minutes, Volume 2, Pages 285-287, Petition For Letters, The Estate of Robert P. Miles, Dated May 13, 1874.

7 Ancestry.com, 1880 United States Federal Census, Elizabeth  Vines, Totten, Lonoke, Arkansas, Roll: 50, Family History Film: 1254050, Page: 383B, Enumeration District: 188, Image: 0490.<

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