Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Miles Name
Origins of Name:
The surname of Miles has origins in both the English and the Norman societies. This surname of Miles was introduced to the country of England following the Norman Conquest of the year 1066. This surname is believed to derive from the Germanic personal name of “Mild” which comes from the Slavic word “mil” which can be translated to mean “mercy.” The English believe that this surname comes from the Latin personal name of “Milo,” where the spoken form of this name would have been pronounced as “Mile.” It is believed that the “-s” that was added as a suffix represents the descendant patronymic meaning, which means that “Miles” as as surname literally means “son of Milo” or “son of Mile.”
More common variations are: Milles, Mailes, Moiles, Mieles, Milesi, Milhes, Milese, Miales, Mileos, Milles, Mile, Mills, Myles, Mylles, Millson, Mylls
The first recorded spelling of the surname of Miles was found in the country of England in the year 1177. This person, who was named as Nicholas Miles, was mentioned and recorded in the document the Pipe Rolls of Sussex. This document was ordered, decreed, and written under the reign of King Henry II of England, who was in power from the year 1154 to the year 1189. Other mentions of this surname in the country of England throughout history include Ralph Miles who was said to have founded a charity in the name of Lord Milo in the year 1292, and ended up actually adopting the name of his master, while one named William Augustus Miles who lived from 1753 to 1817 was a notorious political author who suggested the building of the Suez Canal in the year 1791, but stole this idea from the French. Those who bear the surname of Miles in England originally settled in the County of Hampshire. However, these people who bore the surname of Miles eventually ended up in the areas of Lancashire and Yorkshire counties, as well as the city of London. In Wales, those who carry the surname of Miles can be found in the county of Glamorgan.
Those who bore the surname of Miles can be found all over the country of Scotland. The areas with the higher concentrations of those who carried the surname of Miles are Roxburghshire, Fife, and Midlothian counties.
United States of America:
In the 1600’s, European citizens began the European Migration, which was when they left their homeland in search of a better life. The United States of America, which at that time was referred to as the New World, was an area that was not explored, but promised religious freedom, work, and better living conditions, so it was a high traffic area. The first settler in America who bore the surname of Miles was Henry Miles, who settled in the state of Virginia in the year 1633, while Elizabeth Miles came to the state of Virginia in 1634. She was closely followed by Anthony Miles, Lewes Miles, and young Anto Miles, aged 11 years, who all arrived in the state of Virginia in the year of 1635. Those who bear the surname of Miles are found all over the United States. In the southern states of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and up into New York, Maryland, Ohio and Illinois.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Miles:
United States 93,927, England 26,113, Australia 9,310, South Africa 8,456, Canada 5,608, Wales 2,585, New Zealand 1,659, Argentina 1,314, Scotland 1,208, Uganda 1,120
Lynn Alan Miles (1943-2015) who was a human rights activist in Taiwan, but was from America
Joanna Miles (born in 1940) who was an American two-time Prime time Emmy Award Winning actress who was born in France
A.D. Miles (born in 1971) who was a two-time Primetime Emmy Award nominated writer and actor, who was known for the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (2009) The Tonight Show Staring Jimmy Fallon (2014) and Horrible People (2008)
William Miles (1931-2013) who was nicknamed “Mule” and was an American Negro League Baseball player for the Chicago American Giants from the year 1946 to the year 1949 and was inducted into the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame
Lieutenant-General Sherman Miles (1882-1966) who was a Commanding General in the 1st Service Command from 1942 to 1945
Nelson Appleton Miles (1839-1925) who was an Army officer from America
Aaron Miles (born 1976) who was an MLB player from America
Louis Wardlaw Miles (1873-1944) who was a WWII Medal of Honor recipient
Miles Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Miles blazon are the knight’s helmet, mascle, millrind and sword. The three main tinctures (colors) are gules, erminois and vert .
The bold red colour on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple red shield.. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” . Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron , perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.
The deep green colour that is so often observed in heraldry is more properly known as vert. According to Wade, the use of this colour signifies “Hope and Joy”, but may also represent, rather delightfully, “Loyalty in Love” . It has other names also, the French call it sinople, perhaps after a town in Asia Minor from where the best green die materials could be found . More fanciful heralds liked to associate it with the planet venus and the precious stone emerald . More strangely, there is some evidence that the term prasin was anciently used, being the Greek for the vegetable we call the Leek!
We should not be surprised to find items of armour depicted on shields, and perhaps to the wearer none is more important that the helmet. Wade suggests that its presence denotes “Wisdom and surety in defence”. There are many variations of helmet described, now almost indistinguishable to modern eyes, and not having any particular significance – perhaps because of some play on words with the family name. There are complex heraldic rules and guidelines for the depictions of helmets belonging to various grades of nobility, lack of space prevents us from listing them all here!
The mascle is a close relative of the lozenge or diamond shape, but with the centre cut away revealing the background underneath. . Guillim, writing in the 17th century reckoned the mascle to represent the mesh of a net, being the biblical symbol for “persuasion, whereby men are induced to virtue and verity”.
The mill-rind, also known by a rather surprising number of names (fer-de-moline, inkmoline, mill-ink amongst others) is a distinctive symbol, but hard to place by modern viewers. It is a square or diamond shape with arms extending above and below and in fact represents the piece of iron that connects a circular timber axle to a mill-stone, used for grinding corn. These would obviously have been more familiar to those of the middle ages than they are today.