Family Pages - MILLER, Charles

Charles and Emma Miller, with Phyllis, Lilian and Isabel

Charles Miller was born December 10, 1874 in Newport, IOW. His parents George and Harriett (nee Millmore) of Alverstone and Calbourne would have a total of 12 children. Charles was the 2nd oldest boy. When he was 26 he secured a position as a Groom/Gardener in West Burton, Sussex. There he met Emma Burton of Costessey, Norfolk when he would visit the home where she worked in Beckenham W. Kent. Two years later they married in Costessey [registered June qtr 1902, Forehoe 4b 343] and moved back to London for a short time as he only had a week off work.

But the Isle called Charles back, and he eventually brought his Bride and their first young daughter Phyllis Harriet [Birth registered June qtr 1903 Southwark 1d 164] back to Newport where he worked as a gardener for a local family and for a time sold insurance. Soon a second daughter Lilian Ruth would be born [Birth registered Dec qtr 1904 I. Wight 2b 568] and they would move for a short time to the Godshill area where my Gramma Isabel Emma was born [Birth registered Dec qtr 1908 I. Wight 2b 589]. Charles had a great interest in gardening and all his life kept a beautiful garden of some sort at his residences.

According to family stories "They lived somewhere close to Queen Victoria's summer cottage and Emma watched the Titanic sail by" - clearly a reference to Osborne House and perhaps the Swiss Cottage there; the Titanic's maiden voyage was on 10th April 1912 (*)

He met a family who had relatives in Toronto, Ontario and would be interested in hiring someone with Charles's knowledge at their store Miller & Sons's Florists. The opportunity was too good to pass up and Charles headed to Southampton and took a ship to Canada. He was able to walk right into the position and within the month called for Emma and the three girls to join him. [They left Southampton bound for Quebec on 11 Sep 1913]. He retired in 1953 and never once forgot about his home land. I have numerous stories from my Grandmother Isabel and her sisters of wonderful stories that the girls grew up on about his enchanting Isle of Wight.

(*) Editor's note : the family are shown on the 1911 Census at 4 Victoria Buildings, North St, Ventnor where Charles is shown as a Domestic Gardener. The Titanic sailed from Southampton to Cherbourg and would have been visible from Ventnor. The Census return shows that Emma had had 4 children, one of whom had died; this was Alec Charles, born 1906, died 1910.

Credits :

Elizabeth Scott