Saturday, March 13, 2010

Emily Pugh Iles (Carnival of Genealogy - A Tribute to Women)

 Emily (Pugh) Iles, my great-grandmother, has always fascinated me. I have shared my search to learn about her life in many of my lectures. Using her as my example, I illustrate the importance of searching as many sources as possible to round out the picture of a person and to help resolve conflicting information. I still have many unanswered questions about her life. I am sad that I have no photos of her.
Let me introduce  my great-grandmother to you.

Emily Pugh was born in July 1860 in the Maugersbury Workhouse, near Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire.  Her mother, Hannah Pugh and 11 year old sister, Mary Ann were living in the Workhouse. [1] Hannah saw to it that her daughter was baptized but no birth registration has been found.

Emily PUGH, baptised August 17th 1860, daughter of Hannah PUGH, in the Workhouse, parish of Donnington, by J.A.HILL, Chaplin of the Workhouse. [2]
 No mention is given of her father's name. Was Hannah a single mother?

So let's go back before Emily's birth.

On 13 May 1850, Hannah Cowley, daughter of Thomas Cowley married Charles Pugh, son of Alexander Pugh in King Sutton's Parish Church, Brackley Northhamptonshire. [Hampshire] [3] On the 4 September 1850, Hannah gave birth to a little baby girl, Mary Ann at Donnington. [4]

At the time of the 1851 census, Hannah Pugh and one year old Mary Ann are found with Hannah's father, a widower, Thomas Cowley, in the hamlet of Donnington, Gloucestershire. Hannah had also been born there.[5]

Sometime, between 1851 and 1860 Hannah and daughter, Mary Ann moved to the Maugersbury Workhouse. [6] Did Thomas Cowley die? What happened to Charles Pugh?

Emily was born in July 1860 and we find the three Pughs in 1861 at the time of the census still living in the Workhouse. [7]

 When Emily was five years old, her mother, on 7 October 1865,  married William Clifford

1865 marriage solemnized in the Baptist Chapel in Stow on the Wold in the District of Stow on the Wold in the County of Gloucester & Worcester

no. 192 Seventh day of October 1865 William Clifford age 40 years, widower, labourer residence Lower Swell, father Daniel Clifford, Mason to Hannah Pugh, age 39 years widow residence Lower Swell, father Thomas Cowley, labourer [8]
How did Hannah Pugh meet William Clifford? This is not known. However, the 1851 census, shows William Clifford at household #4 and Hannah and Mary Ann Pugh and Thomas Cowley at household #14 in the hamlet of Donnington. [9]

William Clifford's first wife, Mary Bowyer likely had died in the late 1850s leaving him with three children.  [10]

In 1871, the census taker lists Emily as a Clifford. Living in the household are William, Hannah, Austin, 14, Emily, 11, and Sarah, 4. [11]

Ten years later, Emily is shown on the 1881 census, still with her mother and stepfather but now in Broadwell. She is working as a servant. Her relationship to the head of household is given as grand-daughter.  She is not listed as Clifford but Pew (indexed as Rew). This piece of information was found in my early research and threw me off track for a while. What most interesting about this find was that George Illes [sic], a young agricultural labourer was a visitor in the household. [This is  how I found her.] [12]

Several months later, Emily and George are married  15 October 1881. At the time of her marriage, 22-year old Emily is listed as a spinster and that  she was unemployed. Her father, on her marriage registration is given as Charles Pugh deceased.

Their marriage took place in Stow-on-the-Wold, County of Gloucester & Worchester, England,  at the Baptist Church in the District of Stow-on-the-Wold.   Both living at Stow-on-the-Wold. Chas. M. Rawlings, Minister Witnesses: "X" the mark of Austin Clifford and Sarah Clifford [13]
Throughout her husband George's life, he held different jobs. This resulted in the family moving for him to get work. The children's birth registrations lead me to that conclusion.

Emily gave birth to their first daughter, Edith Emily Iles on 21 February 1883 on Bourton-on-the Hill, Gloucestershire. George was working as a farm labourer. [14]

Two years later, she gave birth to my grand-father, William George Iles on 1 February 1885 at Littleworth, Naunton, Gloucestershire. George was working as a bag and bone collector and hawker. [15]

Emily had her second daughter, Alice Iles in Bidford, Alcester, Warwickshire on 6 January1888. George had found work as an agricultural labourer. [16]

Next, Emily gave birth to Ethel Iles in Aston Clinton, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire 17 April 1890. George was employed as a farm labourer.  [17] It appears that they stayed in the Aylesbury area as they are living there at the time of the 1891 census and George was working as a grocer's porter. [18] While living there, Emily gave birth to Albert Valentine Iles on 14 February 1892. [19]

When Emily gave birth to Emmanuel James Iles on 8 June 1895, they were back living in Gloucestershire, but now in Cheltenham. George was working as a general labourer. [20] Emily gave birth to another son, Harold Edward Iles 28 October 1897 in the same place. [21]

Emily had her last child, a baby girl, Lillian Ruth Iles on 5 March 1900 in Aston, Birmingham, Warwickshire. [22] Over a period of 17 years, Emily had eight children. George was now working a builder's labourer.

They were enumerated in the 1901 census in Birmingham with George working as a foreman carter. This would be the last time they would appear on a census in England. Emily still had most of the family at home from the little ones at home to William who was now working. [23]

Emily's eldest son, William George Iles married Emily Lily Dudley on 27 January 1903. [24] Emily's mother, Hannah died 7 March 1903 in Stow-on-the-Wold of bronchitis and cardiac failure at the age of 75 years.  [25] Emily became a grandmother the following year, when William and Lily had a daughter Edith May Iles on 28 May 1904. [26]

Emily, her children, daughter-in-law, Emily Lily, and her grand-daughter set sail on board The Quebec at Liverpool, England on 27 April 1905. They arrived in Montreal Quebec on the 7 May 1905. George is not listed in either the outbound or inbound passenger listings. If the 1911 census of Ontario is correct, George may have come out to Canada in 1903. They were bound for Owen Sound. [27]

Emily and family lived both in Derby Township [28] and Owen Sound, Grey County. Sadly, Emily died 20 January 1913. Her father is given as William Clifford and her mother's name unknown.  [29] She had been ill for several years. The newspaper gives her cause of death as dropsy but her death registration says she died from mitral stenosis. [30] Mitral stenosis can cause dropsy.

Three of the boys were still living at home when their mother died. It is interesting to note that the youngest, Lillian (Lily) who hadn't yet had her thirteenth birthday wasn't living at home when her mom died. Had she gone to live with an older sister when her mother became very ill?

The Salvation Army Ensign conducted the funeral services at their home on 9th Avenue East, at the Salvation Army Barracks on 3rd Avenue East and at Greenwood Cemetery where she was buried. (lot 104 Range 6, North East Section) On her grave is the word "mother" on a flat marker.  

Emily (Pugh) Iles died too young. My dad was born three years later. He never knew his grandmother.

Today, I pay tribute to her.
To read more about the research process, Who were her parents?
[1] Maugersbury Workhouse, entry for Hannah Pugh, Mary Ann and Emily Pugh, 1861 Census of England, Maugersbury, Stow-on-the-Wold
[2] Email re baptism from a person on the Rootsweb mailing list who went to the Gloucester Record office and looked up the records for Stow-in-the-Wold for the baptism of Emily Pugh.
[3] Hannah Cowley - Charles Pugh marriage registration #110 (13 May 1850, Parish church in the Parish of King's Sutton in the County of Northampton, certified copy of an entry of marriage, in the Registration District of Brackley, General Register Office
[4] Mary Ann Pugh birth registration #226, (1 October 1850) Stow on the Wold, Counties of Gloucester and Worcester, General Register Office certified copy
[5] Thomas Cowley household, 1851 census of England, Donnington, Stow-on-the-Wold, County of Gloucester, extraction (
[6] Maugersbury Workhouse, entry for Hannah Pugh, Mary Ann and Emily Pugh, 1861 Census of England, Maugersbury, Stow-on-the-Wold
[7]Maugersbury Workhouse, entry for Hannah Pugh, Mary Ann and Emily Pugh, 1861 Census of England, Maugersbury, Stow-on-the-Wold
[8] Hannah Pugh - William Clifford marriage registration #172 (7 October 1865), Baptist Chapel Stow on the Wold, Counties of Gloucester & Worcester, certified copy of an entry of marriage, General Register Office
[9] William Clifford and Thomas Cowley household, 1851 census of England, Donnington, Stow-on-the-Wold, County of Gloucester, extraction (
[10] William Clifford household, 1861Census of England, Gloucestershire,  Donnington, Stow on the Wold ED 5, folio 92, p. 20, household, 20; microfilm 542868, Family History Library, Salt Lake City
[11] William Clifford household, 1871 Census of England, Gloucestershire, Donnington, RG10/2655 Stow on the Wold. ED 5. folio 97. p. 21. household 22; digital image (
[12]William Clifford household, 1881 census of England, Gloucestershire, Broadwell, RG 11/2563, ED 5, folio 84, p. 18; microfilm 1341618, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
[13] Emily Pugh - George Iles marriage registration. #86 (15 October 1881), Baptist Chapel, Stow-on-the-Wold, County of Gloucester and Worcester, a certified copy of an entry of marriage from the General Register Office.
[14] Edith Emily Iles birth registration, #40 (5 February 1883), Moreton in Marsh, Shipston on Stour, Counties of Worcester, Warwick & Gloucester, certified copy of an entry of birth, General Register Office
[15] William George Iles birth registration, #20 (28 February 1885), Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold, County of Gloucester, certified copy of an entry of birth, General Register Office
[16] Alice Iles birth registration #168 (6 February 1888), Bidford, Alcester, County of Warwick, certified copy of an entry of birth, General Register Office
[17] Ethel Iles birth registration #341 (18 April 1890), Aylesbury, County of Buckingham, certified copy of an entry of birth, General Register Office
[18] George Iles household, 1891 census of England,  Aylesbury, St. Mary, Buckinghamshire, RG 12/1145, Aylesbury, ED4, Folio 78, p. 28; microfilm 6096255, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah
[19] Albert Valentine Iles birth registration, #66 (22 March 1892), Aylesbury, County of Buckingham, certified copy of an entry of birth, General Register Office
[20] Emmanuel James Iles birth registration #207 (11 July 1895), Cheltenham, County of Gloucester, certified copy of an entry of birth, General Register Office
[21] Harold Edward Iles birth registration #488 (6 December 1897), Cheltenham, County of Gloucester, certified copy of an entry of birth, General Register Office
[22]Lillian Ruth Iles birth registration, #350 (14 April 1900) Deritend, Aston, County of Birmingham, certified copy of an entry of birth, General Register Office
[23] George Iles household, 1901 Census of England, Aston, St. Andrew, Birmingham,Warwickshire, RG 13/2865 Aston Deritend, Folio 30, Page 13, household 79; digital image,
[24] William George Iles - Emily Lily Dudley marriage registration #146 (26 January 1903), Register Office, District of Aston, County of Birmingham, certified copy of an entry of marriage in the Registration District of Aston, General Register Office
[25] Hannah Clifford death registration #82 (7 March 1903), Stow on the Wold, Counties of Gloucester and Worcester, certified copy of an entry of death, General Register Office
[26] Edith May Iles birth - family information
[27] Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: Library and Archives Canada. Passenger Lists, 1865-1935. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Library and Archives Canada, n.d. RG 76-C. Department of Employment and Immigration fonds
[28] George Iles household, 1911 census of Canada, Ontario Grey North (district 73), Derby Township (district 6), Enumeration District 4, dwelling 83, family 87, line 4, p. 9; digital image, Library and Archives Canada, Canadian Genealogy Centre ( : accessed 11 April 2008), citing LAC microfilm T-20373
[29] Emily Iles Ontario death registration #15157 (1913), microfilm, MS 935 Reel 186, Archives of Ontario, Toronto
[30] Emily Iles obituary, 24 January 1913, Owen Sound Sun, p. 7

© 2010 Janet Iles


  1. How sad that Emily was born in the workhouse. She must have been a strong woman to have moved so many times! I hope someday someone shares a picture of her with you.

  2. Nicely done Janet and a most impressive list of sources!

  3. Great story, even greater research, It sounds as though Emily was a strong woman.

  4. Janet,
    You are well named, "The Research"! Research was interesting as well as the story of Emily.

  5. I especially enjoyed reading this bio on your great-grandmother, Janet. I don't know a lot about the research done in Europe or the British Isles. Your post has been informative.

  6. is this useful? The Salvation Army connection may suggest that William lead the band at Emily's services ...

    "The Owen Sound City Band was formed by William Iles, who came to Canada from Birmingham, England, around the turn of the century. In 1904 he formed the first Salvation Army Band, then later the Grey Regiment Brass Band and the Canadian Legion Band.

    "Five years after Owen Sound officially became a city in 1920, William organized these bands into what is now knon as the Owen Sound City Band. He was bandmaster until 1929 when John Cowie took over the post and kept it for 25 years."

    It seems very likely that your William Iles and our William Iles were one in the same; should you ever location any photos of William, please let me know as we'd love to post them to the City Band website; if you send me an email, I'll let you know should we manage to locate a photo of Emily in our band history diggings.

  7. Mr. G. It is quite likely that William Iles led the band that day. The William Iles of the Owen Sound City band was Emily's son.

    They didn't come to Canada until May 1905. I couldn't find your email address on your blog. I do have photographs and more information on him. I also have more information on his connection with the Salvation Army Band in Owen Sound. It will likely be a week or so before I can get back to you.

    If you ever find any photos of Emily, I would be so pleased.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  8. Hi Janet, sorry to take so long getting back to you, and yes, I guess I don't have my email on my website, oops :) You can contact me (Gary Murphy) via admin-[at]

    Clifford Iles was in attendance at our show this evening, and I'm so glad my boys (now 10 and 12) get these opportunities to connect with him, even if only at a distance. Afterward our past-president John Dickson was also telling me that you and he had been in contact.

    I am slowing putting together the band's website at and I have a provisional About The Band history page there where I have used a photo shamelessly borrowed from your site here; I can alter or remove that if you'd rather I not :) The site at the moment is only for the review purposes by the band executive, but I am keen to collect and include as many digital artifacts as I can so as to emphasize the tremendous value in that long unbroken tradition William (and Clifford) began.

  9. How wonderful to hear about someone I share a name with! Great research.

  10. Emily - do you know where your Iles family came from? Mine came from Gloucestershire, England.

  11. No, I haven't gotten back that far yet. The last family member I have is Harold Iles, and we think he was in New York. He was married to Emma Hollingsworth.

  12. Slight update! I worked a little further back on the Iles side, and from my grandfather Alec (Alex): Harold Iles who arrived in PA from Liverpool, of Yorkshire: Sydney J. Iles who also immigrated to PA: Robert Iles b. 1841 of Yorkshire.


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