John Iles (d. c.1692) of Chalford, in the parish of Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire, is the earliest ancester of the Iles family for whom we have some evidence. The baptism records of his children indicate that he married a woman named Elizabeth (c.1632-1715), and his will, which was written on Oct. 23, 1690, and proven on Nov. 23, 1692 in Chalford, indicates that he died about 1691 or 1692, probably in Chalford. This will is available from the British National Archives, and identifies him as John Iles, Clothier of Chalford, Gloucestershire. It also mentions his wife Elizabeth by name. She died on May 1, 1715, presumably in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, where at one time there was a memorial to her at the Church of St. Mary Cheltenham. Ralph Bigland's late 18th century transcription of her memorial identifies her as "Mrs. Elizabeth Iles, departed this life May 1, 1715, aged 83", and the burial register for the church informs us that she was a widow, and that she apparently was buried on the same day that she died. She also left a will, which was written in March 1713/14 in Cheltenham, and proven July 14, 1716 in Gloucestershire, where this will resides today in the county archives. The will of her husband mentions that he had a brother-in-law named Nathaniel Addams, which makes it possible that Adams was Elizabeth's maiden name. However, it is equally possible that Nathaniel Addams married either a sister of John Iles, or a sister of Elizabeth, which means Elizabeth's maiden name remains unknown.
children - ILES
John Iles (b. c.1652), first of the name, was baptized on September 29, 1652 in Minchinhampton. He probably died young, before the c.1657 birth of his brother of the same name.
John Iles (c.1657-1727), second of the name, who follows.
Elizabeth Iles (b. c.1662) was baptized on November 27, 1662 in Minchinhampton. She married Giles Pinfold on June 14, 1683 in Minchinhampton.
Nathaniel Iles (b. c.1663) was born about 1663 and married Anne Townsend on December 26, 1699 in Haling, Gloucestershire.
William Iles (b. c.1666) was baptized on December 20, 1666 in Minchinhampton.
Martha Iles (b. c.1669) was baptized November 23, 1669 in Minchinhampton. She married William Stone on Mapril 19, 1690 in Gloucestershire.
Catherine Iles (c.1671-1756) was born about 1671 and married Thomas Packer on May 16, 1695 in Minchinhampton. She died at the age of 85 on March 15, 1756 and is buried in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
John Iles, the Elder (c.1657-1727), second of the name and the son of John and Elizabeth Iles, was probably born about 1657, most likely in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire, as indicated by his age at death inscribed on his tombstone. Although there is a Minchinhampton baptism record dated Sept. 29, 1652 for a John Iles, son of John and Elizabeth Iles, this would seem to contradict the c.1657 birth date from his tombstone. However, the baptism record might also be for an older brother of the same name, who died young. It was common in those days for parents to not baptise a surviving younger child, who had the same name as a recently deceased older sibling - their reasoning for this being that the younger child was God's replacement for the one that died.
John became a clothier, and the Minchinhampton parish records show that his first wife was probably a woman named Elizabeth, with whom he had at least two children - possibly a daughter named Mary Iles Junior (b. c.1680), and a son named John, who was either born or baptised on Feb. 11, 1684/85 in Minchinhampton (Ref: Pam Wire, pers. comm. 5/19/22). Elizabeth was buried the next day on Feb. 12, 1684 in Minchinhampton, leaving the elder John a widower (Ref: Bishop's Transcripts - FamilySearch Film #008081833, Image 124). Although it is not known what became of their son the younger John Iles, as no memorial inscription is known for him, he may have died immediately after his birth. It is known that the elder John Iles later had another son, who was also named John Iles the Younger.
John Iles the Elder remarried just a few months after the death of his first wife, as there is a marriage license allegation dated May 22, 1684 (Ref: Gloucestershire Archives - GDR/Q3/9/(part)) for a widower named John Iles, of Minchin Hampton, to wed a 23-year old widow named Mary Willett, of Cirencester (c.1660-1737). Mary Willett's maiden name was Mary Stancombe, and she had previously been married on Dec. 30, 1680 in Cirencester, as a 20-year old spinster from Cirencester, to James Willett, of Cirencester, gentleman and widower (Ref: Gloucestershire Archives - GDR/Q3/8/(part)).
John Iles the Elder, at the time of his second marriage, was owner of the Iles Mill at Chalford on the Frome River, which he passed on to his son John Iles the younger. The elder John died at the age of 70 on March 27, 1727 at Minchinhampton, where there is a monument for both him and his wife in the Holy Trinity Church in Minchinhampton. His will, which was dated Aug. 30, 1727 and proven on July 15, 1728 in Gloucestershire, is available from the British National Archives, and identifies him as John Iles of Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire. His wife Mary died on July 8, 1737 aged 78 years, with her memorial inscription placed below that of her husband, and inscriptions to their sons John, Thomas and Joseph, and others of the family are found on the same memorial.
John had a Coat of Arms that are shown above. These same arms were displayed by his youngest son Joseph Iles (c.1704-1749), who follows, and by Joseph's daughter Ann Iles (1738/39-1803), who follow in the lineage below. Ralph Bigland (1990, Part 2, p. 654; and Part 3, p. 1207), an officer of the College of Heralds whose work dates from 1757 to 1789, describes the arms of these three as an, "Argent a fess engrailed Azure in Chief three fleur-de-lis Gules."
children - ILES (with first wife Elizabeth)
Mary Iles, Junior (b. c.1680), who may be the eldest surviving child of John Iles the Elder, was baptized on Dec. 12, 1680 in Minchinhampton, with John Iles listed as her father, and no mother named. Although it is assumed that John's first known wife Elizabeth is her mother, the suffix of Junior in her baptism record implies a mother named Mary. She may be the Mrs. Mary Iles who married John Eyles of Devizes on May 14, 1702 in Minchinhampton. However, not only are the surnames of Mary's assumed father and her husband suspiciously similar, but her identity in the marriage record as "Mrs. Mary Iles" adds more confusion. Thus, further research is needed to ascertain the accuracy of these relationships.
Thomas Iles (d. 1686), first of the name, is known only from his burial monument in the Holy Trinity Church in Minchinhampton, which gives 1686 as his death date, and identifies him as the son of John Iles, the Elder. If his mother is Elizabeth, then he may be the first-born son of John Iles, but if his mother is Mary Stancombe, then he is probably the second-born son. Either mother is possible.
John Iles (b. c.1684/85), first of the name, was baptized on Feb. 11, 1684/85, presumably in Minchinhampton (Ref: Pam Wire, pers. comm. 5/19/22). He must have died sometime before the 1700 birth of his younger half-brother of the same name. Given that his mother died on Feb. 12th, the day after his baptism, it is reasonable to assume that his mother died in child birth, and he died an infant.
children - ILES (with second wife Mary Stancombe)
Sarah Iles (b. c.1686) was baptized July 15, 1686 in Minchinhampton.
Elizabeth Iles (b. c.1688) was baptized on April 12, 1688 in Minchinhampton. She was married about 1710 (according to a land settlement) to her first husband Edward Pierce (c.1686-c.1718), Sr. of Devizes, Wiltshire, and they had a son, who was named Edward Pierce also. The elder Edward evidently died before Elizabeth (will dated July 14, 1718, proved 1719), and she married her second husband Daniel Gough (c.1681-1765) on Jan. 29, 1721 in Rodmarton, Gloucestershire. Daniel was the owner of the Gough Mill at Brimscombe, near Stroud (see the discussion on the adjacent Hope Mill). He is likely to be the same Daniel Gough who died on Feb. 10, 1765/66 at the age of 83 years, and is buried in the St. Laurence churchyard in Stroud. We suspect this, as the Daniel Gough we seek had to have died before 1768, given that he left the Gough Mill to his daughters Elizabeth and Catherine Gough, and they were leasing the mill in 1768 to a tenant named John Cambridge.
Edward Pierce, Jr. (c.1711-1746), the son of Elizabeth Iles and Edward Pierce, Sr, was born about 1711, probably in Minchinhampton, with his birth date based on his age at death. He left a will in which he mentions his spinster half-sisters Elizabeth and Catherine. This will, which is available from the British National Archives, was proven on Feb. 24, 1746/47 and identifies him as "Edward Pierce, Clothier of Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire". He died on Dec. 2, 1746 at the age of 35 years, and he is buried in the Minchinhampton Holy Trinity Church, with several members of his family.
Catherine Gough (c.1723-c.18050, the daughter of Elizabeth Iles and Daniel Gough, was probably born about 1723, as she was baptized on Jan. 7, 1723 in the Minchinhampton parish church. She inherited the Gough Mill in 1765 with her sister Elizabeth, on the death of their father, and became sole owner of the mill upon Elizabeth's death sometime later. She ultimately left the mill around 1805 to the brothers Samuel and Nathaniel Wathen, who were grand nephews of her mother Elizabeth Iles, and therefore cousins to Catherine.
Elizabeth Gough (b. c.1726), the daughter of Elizabeth Iles and Daniel Gough, was probably born about 1726, as she was baptized on Dec. 6, 1726 in the Minchinhampton parish church. She and her sister Catherine in 1765 inherited the Gough Mill on the death of their father. Elizabeth died before her sister Catherine, and presumably left her share of the mill to Catherine.
Rebecca Iles (b. c.1689) was baptized March 31, 1689 in Minchinhampton.
Catherine Iles (b. c.1697) was baptized in February of 1697 in Minchinhampton.
John Iles (c.1700-1767), of Chalford inherited the Iles Mill from his father. He married Ann Hickes (c.1699-1736), the daughter of John and Martha Hickes. Both John and Ann have a marble monument in the nave of the Holy Trinity Church in Minchinhampton. He died April 20, 1767 at the age of 66 years, and his wife Ann died on Aug. 4, 1736 at the age of 39 years, with her inscription on their monument describing her as "the most agreeable, virtuous and best of wives." Nearby is a memorial plaque for her mother Martha Hickes, who died January 14, 1745/46 at the age of 74 years. John and Ann had a son named John Iles (b. 1728), third of the name, who inherited the family mill. This son subsequently sold the mill about 1806 to John Ballinger (d. 1848), ending three generations of family ownership.
Thomas Iles (c.1702-1731), second of the name, was born about 1702, probably in Minchinhampton, as he was baptized there on June 18, 1702, probably in Holy Trinity Church. He married Mary Maynard (c.1701-1728) on Sept. 3, 1724 in Minchinhampton, most likely in the same church. A daughter Sarah was born the next year. Then a daughter named Catherine died an infant two years later. A third daughter, named Mary also, was baptized on Christmas Day 1728, but the elder Mary died the next day at the age of just 27 years - her death likely due to complications from the birth, as the younger Mary was buried the day after that on Dec. 27th. Thus, mother and daughter were likely buried the same day. Thomas, having lost three members of his immediate family in one year, died himself a little more than two years later on March 1, 1731 at the age of 29 years. There is a marble monument to Thomas and wife Mary in the nave of the Holy Trinity Church in Minchinhampton, and below their inscriptions on this monument, there are inscriptions for their daughters Catharine and Mary, "who died in their infancy." Thomas left a will that is available from the British National Archives. He identifies himself in this will as Thomas Iles, Clothier of Minchinhampton, and he makes provisions in it for his surviving daughter Sarah that we elaborate on in the section below on the children of Thomas and Mary.
Sarah Iles (c.1725-1776), the only surviving child of the above Thomas Iles and Mary Maynard, was baptized on Aug. 28, 1725 in the Minchinhampton parish church. She became an orphan at the age of 5 when her father died, and she was probably raised by either her Uncle John Iles or one of his family, as John was appointed her guardian, along with George Flower and Joseph Pinfold, in her fatherís will. She inherited through this will her fatherís estate, which included various properties, one being the late-17th century Brookside House that was just below the Iles Mill at Chalford. Another mill was built adjoining Brookside House in the early 19th century, but there may have been an earlier mill on or near the site as well. Sarah subsequently transferred ownership of these properties to her husband, an attorney named Abraham Walbank (c.1732-1791), when she married him on June 9, 1760 in Minchinhampton. Their daughter Sarah (1761-1839) was born the following year.
The elder Sarah is probably the Sarah Walbank who was buried on Oct. 18, 1776 in Saint Michael and All Angels Churchyard in Brimpsfield. If so, then her daughter the younger Sarah at the time was still a teenager in her minority. She received Brookside House in 1782 from her father, possibly for a dowry, and she subsequently married a surgeon named Robert Lees (d. 1803) on May 27, 1790 in Minchinampton. Her father upon his demise in 1791 bequeathed in his will to the younger Sarah a mill at or near Brookside. Her father Abraham was susequently buried on Oct. 26, 1791 in Saint Michael and All Angels Churchyard in Brimpsfield, which makes it likely that the Sarah Walbank there is indeed his wife.
Catherine Iles died in infancy, and was buried on March 22, 1728 in the Minchinhampton Holy Trinity Church.
Mary Iles was baptized on Christmas Day of 1728, and buried two days later with her mother in the Minchinhampton Holy Trinity Church.
Joseph Iles (c.1704-1749), the son of John Iles of Chalford and Mary Stancombe, was born about 1704 in Minchinhampton, which he refers to as Hampton in his will. He became a wealthy merchant, whose firm of Joseph Iles & Co. in the port of Bristol, Gloucestershire financed ships that traded for slaves in Africa and sold them for profit in South Carolina in the Americas. He is known to have partnered with Member of Parliament Thomas Coster (1684-1739) and brass mercahnt Isaac Hobhouse in 1726 to build the ship 'Amoretto' in New England to transport slaves to America and the West Indies from the Bight of Biafra in West Africa (i.e., the present day Republic of Cameroon). He then he partnered again with Coster and Hobhouse in 1737 to outfit the ship 'Squirrel' to transport slaves to the Carolina low country. All told, Iles is thought to have overseen at least 19 voyages of slave ships to the New World over the course of his career.
Joseph married Sarah Wraxall (d. 1743 or 1747) on Sept. 11, 1735 at St. Stephen's Church in Bristol, Sarah being the daughter of Nathaniel Wraxall (1687-1731) of Mayshill (near Winterbourne) and Anne Goddard (d. 1764). Joseph's father-in-law was a wealthy shipping merchant in Bristol, who in 1723 shared the office of High Sheriff of Bristol with John Blackwell. Joseph, in turn, served as High Sheriff of Bristol in 1737, when he shared the office with Henry Dampier. Nathaniel Wraxall died in 1731 in Bristol, where he is said to have been buried in a family vault in the churchyard of St. Mary-le-Port, but this cemetery was largely destroyed in 1940 during a Nazi air raid, and it is unlikely that the Wraxall family vault survivies today. Sarah is said by Debrett (1840) in the "Baronetage of England" to have died in 1747 in Bristol. However, there is also record of a Sarah Iles, who was buried in 1743 at St. Mary-le-Port, where the tomb of the Wraxall family was once located.
Joseph died at the age of 45 on March 14, 1749 in Bristol, and he is buried at Holy Trinity Church in Minchinhampton, where there is a stone tablet for him carved by Robert Chambers that sits high on the wall of the church. Joseph left a will that was proven on April 26, 1750 and is available from the British National Archives. This will, which identifies him as Joseph Iles, Merchant of Bristol, Gloucestershire, mentions his surviving children, and various relatives and business partners, but makes no mention of his wife Sarah, as she died before he did. Among the names he does mention are his sister-in-law Mary Anne Jenkins, brother-in-law Nathaniel Wraxall (the father of Baronet Sir Nathaniel William Wraxall), brother-in-law Daniel Gough of Brimscombe (owner of the Gough Mill), brother John Iles of Chalford, mother Wraxall (his mother-in-law Anne Goddard), sister (in-law) Patty (Elizabeth) Wraxall. He also metions two business associates who represented his slave trade interests in South Carolina - "Benjaimn and John Savage of Carolina".
children - ILES
Sarah Iles (b. c.1736) was born about 1736 somewhere in the Bristol area and baptized on August 2, 1736 at the Lewins Mead Presbyterian Meeting House in central Bristol. She was only 13 years old when her father died, afterwhich she probably went to live in Winterbourne, as she married Ephraim Little on October 7, 1758 at the Winterbourne parish church. She is mentioned in the 1749 will of her father.
John Iles (b. c.1737), first of the name, was born about 1737 somewhere in the Bristol area and baptized on March 8, 1737 at the Lewins Mead Presbyterian Meeting House in central Bristol. He must have died before the 1741 birth of his brother of the same name.
Mary Iles (b. c.1740) was born about 1740 somewhere in Bristol and baptized October 30, 1740 at the Lewins Mead Presbyterian Meeting House in central Bristol. She was only 9 years old when her father died, and she is mentioned with her sisters in his 1749 will. After her parent's deaths, she probably went to live in Winterbourne, as she married John Wansey (c.1723-1777), a clothier from Warminster, on Nov. 19, 1761 in the Winterbourne parish church, being the last of her sisters to marry. Her husband was the youngest son of a promiment family of Warminster clothiers, who were also members of the Old Meeting House Presbyterian congregation in Warminster. She lived out her married life with him at the Byne House, a well-known mansion that her husband built in 1755 on Church Street in Warminster, and which still stands today. He died on Sept. 20, 1776 at the age of 53 and is buried near the Wansey family vault in the Warminster churchyard, with a memorial on the vault that lists his name with other member of the family. His will, which is available in the British National Archives, was proven Feb. 18, 1777 identifies him as "John Wansey, Clothier of Warminster, Wiltshire". He mentions Mary in this will, as well as his deceased brothers George (c.1713-1762) and William (c.1717-1780), and he leaves the Byne House to his nephew George Wansey, Junior (c.1749-1807). It would appear that Mary survived him, but we know nothing more about her, nor where she is buried.
John Iles (b. c.1741-1768), second of the name, was born about 1741 somewhere in the Bristol area and baptized on January 22, 1741 at the Lewins Mead Presbyterian Meeting House in central Bristol. He is mentioned in his father's 1749 will--his father Joseph writing, My wish is that my trustees to communicate to my friends, that if the house [i.e., the company of Joseph Iles & Co.] in Carolina subsists when my son John be capable of Business, they may take him under their care and let him into such a share as they think reasonable, which is the only thing they can do for a deceased friend who has established and promoted the said house and co-partnership." This makes it clear that Joseph intended for his son John take over Joseph's slave trading interests in South Carolina. However, we have come across no evidence that this did in fact happen.
He is almost certainly the John Iles who died at the age of 27 on July 13, 1768 somewhere in the Stoud area, and is buried in the churchyard of St. Laurence, the Stroud parish church. If true, then it might imply that he was visiting his sister Ann at Far Thrupp at the time of his death, and/or was working for her husband Joseph Wathen in the family cloth mill at Thrupp. His will, which was written on June 6, 1768 and proven on October 13, 1768, is available from the British National Archives, and identifies him as John Iles, Gentleman of Stroud, Gloucestershire. He leaves a bequest in this will to "my Brother-in-law Joseph Wathen of the parish of Stroud aforesaid clothier", and a bequest as well to "my sister Ann wife of the said Joseph Wathen". This mention of Ann Wathen and her husband Joseph in the will of John Iles, confirms that Ann is indeed the daughter of Joseph Iles and Sarah Wraxall.
Joseph Iles (b. c.1742) was born about 1742 somewhere in the Bristol area and baptized on February 27, 1742 at the Lewins Mead Presbyterian Meeting House in central Bristol. He must have died young, as he is not mentioned in his father's 1749 will.
Ann Iles (1738/39-1803), the wife of Joseph Wathen of Stroud, is almost certainly the daughter of Joseph Iles of Bristol and his wife Sarah Wraxall. She is identified in the 1774 and 1777 baptisms of her daughters Anne and Maria as the daughter of Joseph Iles, Esq. of Bristol, and she is mentioned in the will of John Iles (d. 1748), the son of the aforementioned Joseph Iles. There is considerable additional evidence as well to support this relationship. This means that Ann was born in 1738 somewhere in the Bristol area, and baptized on February 10, 1738/39 at the Lewins Mead Presbyterian Meeting House in central Bristol. However, her birth took place prior to the 1751 Calendar Act of Britain, which changed the start of the new year from March 25th to January 1st, and replaced the Julian Calendar that Britain had been using with the Gregorian Calendar. Thus, her offical birth date is 1738, but her actual birth date under the Gregoran Calendar is 1739, which is the date from which her age after 1751 was determined.
Ann was only 8 years old when her mother died. Two years later her father died as well, and she is mentioned in her father's 1749 will along with both of her sisters and her surviving brother John. Most likely, she was then raised by either family or friends in Winterbourne, a village on the northeast side of Bristol, as she and her two sisters were married there in the same church. Ann's marriage took place on April 17, 1760, when she married a wealthy clothier from Stroud named Joseph Wathen (1726-1786) in the Winterbourne parish church. Ann's uncle John Iles (c.1700-1767) owned a mill in Chalford, near Stroud, and Joseph Wathen was no doubt an aquaintance of her uncle's family.
As noted, Ann was probably born in central Bristol, but she most likely grew up in the Winterbourne parish on the outskirts of the city. Winterbourne is significant because on the west side of town, less than two miles away, is the hamlet of Mayse Hill (Mayshill), which is the family seat of Ann's grandfather Nathaniel Wraxall (1687-1731). This makes it all the more likely that when Ann and her sisters became orphans, they were taken in by relatives from their mother's side of the family.
Another parish on the outskirts of Bristol is Hanham Abbotts, which is about three miles east of Bristol, and five or so miles south of Winterbourne and Mayse Hill. Hanham is significant because the Rev. John Wesley, founder of the Methodist faith, preached his first outdoor sermons in 1739 at nearby Hanham Mount. These sermons are sometimes likened to Jesus' sermon on the mount, in that the Hanham Mount sermons won many converts and represent a major turning point in Wesley's life. Ann's parents were Christian dissenters who attended the Presbyterian services at the Lewin's Mead Meeting House in central Bristol, and it is highly likely that they attended some of Wesely's sermons at either Hanham Mount or at Lewin Mead. Of course it is conjecture, but one can imagine Ann's parents watching Wesley preach, becoming friends, then followers of him, and Ann continuing that friendship and faith into adulthood. In any event, Ann Iles Wathen became a close friend of John Wesley, so much so that the Reverend at times dined with Ann and her family at her house.
Ann spent most of her married life in the village of Far Thrupp, where her husband Joseph leased, and later owned the Thrupp Mill, located on the Frome River just upstream from the town of Stroud. Where they lived initially is not known. but by 1769 they were living in a mansion known as New House that Joseph either built or purchased. The exterior the house looks similar to a house in Warminster, Wiltshire that was built by John Wansey, the husband of Ann's sister Mary, which leads one to wonder if New House was built by Joseph, and designed by the same architect as the Warminster House. In any event, New House remained in the family for at least the next 60 years.
Ann, as already noted, was a friend of the famous Rev. John Wesley, and there are two mentions of Ann Wathen in Wesley's writings. He first mentions her in a March 8, 1782 letter written in Bristol and directed 'To Miss Bolton, At Miss Jame's, In Caerleon, Gloster. [Gloucestershire]', in which he writes, "I came hither from Bath this afternoon, and . . . it gave me pleasure to see your letter dated from Caerleon . . . On Monday the 18th instant I hope to have the pleasure of meeting you at Stroud. On Tuesday I have promised to dine with that amiable woman Mrs. Wathen.". Then in an excerpt from Wesley's personal journal for March of 1787 he writes, "Monday 19, I left Bristol with much satisfaction, . . . and in the evening preached at Stroud. Tuesday 20, We had a large congregation at five. Afterwards I met the select society . . . Mrs. Wathen, a few doors from them, left by a most affectionate husband with six children [i.e., her husband had recently died], is a pattern to all about her. I walked from hence through one of the loveliest valleys I ever saw [the Frome River Valley], running with a clear stream in the midst of it, between two lofty mountains, sprinkled all over with little white houses."
Ann's husband Joseph died at the age of 63 on May 28, 1786 in Stroud, and Ann inherited both the Thrupp Mill and Newhouse, both of which eventually passed to her son Samuel Wathen. She most likely spent her final years at Newhouse with Samuel and his wife Elizabeth. Ann stayed active in Methodist societies in the area, and her name appears in 1791 in the Thrupp Society, of which she may have been the leader. The Thrupp Society in 1794 merged with one at Brimscombe, and Ann's name appears in 1796 and 1802 in the lists of the society at Stroud. She died at the age of 64 on March 10, 1803, most likely at Stroud, and she was buried with her husband on March 18, 1803 in a family vault in the All Saints Churchyard in Bisley, Gloucestershire, which is just a short distance from Stroud. There is also a memorial tablet to Ann and Joseph under the tower of the Stroud parish church (St. Laurence). This cenotaph was originally in the north aisle of the old church before being moved in 1869 when the church was rebuilt.
There is considerable evidence that Ann Iles (1739-1803), the wife of Joseph Wathen of Stroud, is the daughter of Joseph Iles, a wealthy merchant of Bristol, as well as the niece of the latter Joseph's brother John Iles of Chalford, who owned the Iles Mill on the River Frome.
Ann is identified in the 1774 and 1777 baptisms of her daughters Anne and Maria as the daughter of Joseph Iles, Esq. of Bristol.
The will of John Iles, son of Joseph Iles and Sarah Warxall, was proven on October 13, 1768 in Gloucestershire and identifies him as John Iles, Gentleman of Stroud, Gloucestershire. He leaves a bequest in this will to his sister Ann Wathen and her children, and he also mentions Ann's husband Joseph Wathen of Stroud.
The Ann Iles we seek married Joseph Wathen of Stroud on April 17, 1760 at the Winterbourne parish church. Winterbourne is located on the outskirts of Bristol, and between 1758 and 1761 three women by the name of Iles were married there - Sarah, Ann and Mary. Joseph Iles of Bristol had three daughters of the same names, and all three would have been in their early twenties at the time of these Winterbourne marriages.
Ann Iles, wife of Joseph Wathen, according to her tombstone, died at the age of 64 on March 10, 1803 at Stroud, Gloucestershire, which puts her likely birthdate in 1739, assuming we are calculating events with the Gregorian calendar, and bearing in mind that prior to the Calendar Act of 1751, the new year in Britain started on March 25th, and not January 1st. Ann Iles, daughter of Joseph Bristol was baptized February 10, 1738, which after 1751 would have changed to February 10, 1739. Also events in the Julian calendar under which Ann would have been born, are about 10 days earlier in 1739, then they would have been under the Gregorian calendar for that year, which Britain adopted in 1751 at the same time the country changed the start of the New Year from March 25th to Jaunary 1st. It all gets very confusing, but it is safe to say that Ann, wife of Joseph Wathen, and Ann, daughter of Joseph Iles, were probably born the same year.
Joseph Iles of Bristol was born in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire, only a few miles south of where Joseph Wathen of Stroud was born and lived out his life. Furthermore, Joseph Iles' brother John, and his father of the same name, owned the Iles Mill at Chalford, which was located just a few miles upstream from the Thrupp Mill that Joseph Wathen, and his father Jonathan before him leased. Given the proximity of these two families, and the fact that both were prominent local clothiers, makes it highly likely that Ann Iles, wife of Joseph Wathen, came from the same family as Joseph Iles.
The family of Joseph Iles of Bristol were non-conformist Christians associated with the Lewins Meade Presbyterian congregation, and Ann Iles, wife of Joseph Wathen, was a close friend of Rev. John Wesley, who was one of the founders of Methodism, another non-conformist Christian faith. Furthermore, Joseph Wathen's older brother Samuel Wathen, M.D. practiced in the late 1730s Bristol, where he was an ardent follower of John Wesley, and very likely he knew Joseph Iles, and later Joseph's daughters, as members of the largest non-conformist congregation in the city. Although the Presbyterians and Methodists differ in their theology, both were made up of Christian dissenters who practised their faith outside of the mainstream Church of England, which meant that the Wathen family of Stroud and the Iles family of Chalford had much in common.
The documentation for many of the dates and places listed in this history are found in the Ancestry.com online databases (subscription required).
Bigland, Ralph (1990), Historical, Monumental and Genealogical Collections, relative to the County of Gloucester (edited by Brian Firth), The Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaelogical Society, in four volumes. This epic work, which was originally published as two volumes in 1791 and 1792, is greatly expanded in the modern edition referenced here. The sections below are of interest.
Minchin Hampton, Part 2 (volume 3), p. 646-662, which lists several monuments to members of the Iles, Gough and Pierce families.