Saturday, 21 August 2010

My Nan: Sybil Stanley Myles - searching for family photographs and history Myles and LeFever family tree needed

Women's Voice and Intercultural have invited me to attend the Universal Children's Day in Hastings, East Sussex, UK on the 20th November 2010. I would very much like to speak about my Nan, Sybil Stanley Myles, and share her history and photographs with the children who are from different cultures. So please any family out their on the Internet that have any stories and photographs to do with my Nan's past, please get in touch. I will also be talking about my fairy book Butterfly Lullaby, which Nan's sewing box helped me create all the fairy costumes for. And will hopefully have singing (original Butterfly Lullaby song,) dancing, stories and a butterfly workshop at this event.

Here is a picture of my Nan and I in Hastings, East Sussex (UK) by the Tennis Courts near the sea front. Her Farther, Stanley Myles, I am told died of Bronchitis, so I guess that is one of the reasons for Nan moving us to Hastings to help control my Asthma, as I remember her saying "what you need is some good old sea air." Stanley Myles went out to Burma for the 1st World War where he met my Nan's Mother and fell in love.

My Nan's Mother was Burmese (Great Nan,) we believe she committed suicide after her husband died. Nan's farther Stanley Myles was I believe English/French. His Mother's (Great, Great Nan) surname was LeFever. Not quite sure of the spelling as we have no birth certificates. My Nan was put in foster care with her two brothers Bob and George Myles when she was approximately four years old (1918.)

Nan was a real book worm. She would read to escape from reality. My sister told me Nan cried for her Mother all the time and this was the only way she could forget the sorrow in her life. I feel sad that Nan died before I got to complete my Butterfly Lullaby book and costumes, as I know she would have been so proud of me. She taught us so much. Nan introduced me to peg dolls (clothespin dolls) - I wish I could show her all my little fairy doll creations and thank her for giving us her time and creativity. I can still smell her cooking and I must share her wonderful gravy and coleslaw recipe with you. The paper chains we made and she hung so proudly in her little cottage still make me proud. Proud of her different cultures and sad that she never knew what it was like to have a Mothers love. Deep down I know my Great Nan from Burma loved her children and their must have been a very good reason for her to take her own life and leave her three children with no home. I believe she thought her husbands Mother would take them in and look after them as she obviously had no income or help to support them on her own. If she had know they would have ended up in foster care, made to sleep and eat in a shed and treated like slaves because of their nationality, I am sure she would never have left them. But not all people are bad, Granny Richardson took them in and gave them a good home in Hailsham when Nan was approximately 6 to 7 years old.

The really exciting thing for me is that Nan's name Myles was bought over to Hastings, East Sussex in the UK after 1066. William the Conqueror gave land to his friends and family, and Myles was thought to be a high to middle class name which over took first names. Nan must have been drawn to Hastings as that is where she bought the wrong house, which is a big family joke. She told my Uncle Dave, "I thought I bought the house with Pear Tree and big garden for the children to play in." She had a big heart, I miss you Nan! 

LeFever I am told is a common French name, similar to Smith over here in the UK and USA. So I will have my work cut out trying to trace my Great Great Grandmother and her family. If anyone has got any information about my Nan and any old photographs of her and her family please do get in touch with me. My name is Sharon J. Bainbridge and my email is

When we moved to Wales I was amazed at the welcome we received. All the neighbours gave us Christmas cards and welcomed us into their community. We look out for each other, and I have made some amazing friends here. But I do miss my family and friends back home in England. Having lived in London you don't really get to see your neighbours, and would most definitely not get a Christmas card from everyone in the street, ha ha. I never have understood why some people can dislike someone just because of their nationality, especially when they do not know that person. Maybe that is because I have been brought up around lots of different cultures and enjoy meeting new and exciting people from different backgrounds.

New update -

Nan's two brothers had children. Bob Myles had a daugher Pamela Myles and son Peter Myles who lives in the USA as an Architect. Marj Myles is Bob's wife. Great Uncle George Myles had a son called John Myles who lives near Hailsam? Great Great Grandmother LeFever re-married to a German man with the surname of Schneider (not sure of the spelling.) Nan's Mother was called Josephine. Was her name Josephine Myles or did she keep her maiden name? (Nan's farther Stanley Myles.)

When Nan was 18 she met up with her Grandmother LeFever who was not very happy to see her. Nan was given some money from the Burmese or British Army re her farther (Stanley Myles) service.

Question is why did Grandmother LeFever not want to adopt her sons children?
Why did her Mother Josephine take her own life?
Why did Great Great Grandmother LeFever not want to stay in touch with Nan?

I feel very sad for poor Nan. Both parents died and not even her Grandmother gave her the love she so needed. Any help with my little family history project and photographs would be so appreciated., fairy songs, fairy portraits, art and crafts for children, music, fairy music, true stories, poems, children's stories, free fairy network for businesses and stay at home Mum's (Mom's)

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