ANNIE MARIE BAYLEY, the oldest child, was born in Wordsley, Staffordshire, 04 July 1860.1 When Annie was eighteen years old, her mother died.2 It is believed that Annie went to live with an aunt, either Aunt Hughes (who would have been Hannah Ashcroft, Esther’s sister, who married a man by the name of Hughes) or Aunt Marion, Hamlet’s sister. Annie married Charles Edward Miller 25 January 1882.3 They left with their young daughter, Nina, for Birtle, Manitoba, where they homesteaded.4 In 1890 the family moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Charles was most likely working there for Annie’s brother, Neville Bayley, who owned two hotels in Pittsburgh. Two more children were born there: Sidney and Esther. Sidney died when he was nine months old. When one of their children, Ethel, was seven, she was badly burned while playing with matches. After months in a hospital in Pittsburgh, her father returned with her to England to be near his family, and the rest of the family followed later. They lived outside London in Honor Oak Park and Charles sold farm implements for his brother-in-law's firm, the E. H. Bentall Company. Another child, Frederick, was born to Charles and Annie while they were in England.

Edward, their oldest son, was a young man in the early 1900s when they were in England. He fought in the Boer War and then settled in South Africa where he married and had a family.5 The rest of the family moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming, in 1907 when Charles got a job keeping the books for a cattle company. The rest of the Miller children married and settled in various western states. Charles and Annie lived in Casper, Wyoming, St. Cloud, Minnesota, and stayed with their children in Mahtomedi, Minnesota, and Missoula, Montana. Annie died while visiting her daughter in Denver in 1927.6 She was sixty-six. Charles died two years later, in 1929, in Missoula.7 He was seventy-two. They are both buried in the Crown Hill Cemetery in Denver.

Children of Annie Bayley and Charles Edward Miller

Biographical sketch of Annie Bayley and Charles Edward Miller

Gravestone of Annie Bayley and Charles Edward Miller





HOWARD BAYLEY, the second child and oldest son, was born in Wordsley, Staffordshire, 1 February 1862.8 According to the family stories, he supposedly came to the United States about 1880 with his brother, Neville. In one of Howard's passport applications he stated that he arrived on the Bostonia in January or February 1881, sailing from Liverpool, but there seems to be no ship with that name at the time.9

According to his 1900 passport application he was naturalized in 1888, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where He lived for many years.10 His sister Annie and her family were also living in Pittsburgh during the 1890s and their father, Hamlet, was in Pittsburgh in the mid to late 1890s. Howard was working as a caterer in 1894 and in 1896,11 and from about 1913 to 1917 he was the manager of the Touraine Hotel Apartments in Manhattan and at various times the St. James Hotel Apartments, also in Manhattan.12

According to family stories, Howard and Neville at one point had an estrangement in their relationship because Howard had married a very beautiful woman of “ill repute” which caused quite a scandal. The woman in question must have been Cora Sponsler, whom Howard married in 1890 in Pittsburgh.13 In 1890 Howard and Cora toured Europe from April to October and were in England in 1904 from June until September.14 According to one of his passport applications, Howard was 6'1", with a broad forehead, brown eyes, aquiline nose, prominent chin, medium full lips; he had brown hair and was bald on the top of his head. His complexion was fair and his face was large and round.15

Cora applied for and received a passport for herself in December 1919. She was going to join her husband who was in Havana. Her plans were to sail from Key West on 5 January 1920.16 She and Howard returned from Cuba aboard the SS Morro Castle, arriving in New York on 25 March 1920.17

Not long after returning from Havana, Howard died suddenly of "angina pectoris." Despite the family's memories of an estrangement, Howard died at the home of his brother in South Norwalk, Connecticut, on Friday, July 2d, 1920.18

According to his notice of death in the New York Times, Howard belonged to the Independent Royal Arch #2, F. and A.M.; the Palestine Commandery #18, Knights Templar, and also Mecca Lodge of Shriners. He was buried Tuesday morning, July 6, in Dauphin, Pennsylvania, his wife Cora’s home town.19 Cora died in 1931.20 The borough of Dauphin is a small town in Dauphin County, just north of Harrisburg, the state capital, and lies right on the Susquehanna River. The Dauphin Cemetery is just north of town.

Although Howard’s sister Annie’s children corresponded with Neville and had many memories of him and his wife Elizabeth, they did not talk much about Howard and knew very little about him.

Marriage Notice: Cora Sponsler and Howard Bayley, Dauphin, Pennsylvania

Grave of Cora Sponsler and Howard Bayley, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania




NEVILLE BAYLEY was born 21 September 1863 in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, England.20 He emigrated to the United States about 1880 when he was just seventeen.21 He made a fortune by going into the hotel business in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and running an amusement park in Connecticut. He was involved in several business ventures, including the hotel business and the roller coaster business. He was an officer (secretary) in the Pittsburgh Bullfrog Mining Company in 1906,22 and, according to one source, he was also a salesman for a merry-go-round company.23 About 1914 he leased Roton Point Park, a popular amusement park in Connecticut across from Long Island, eventually purchasing the property in 1928 from the Connecticut Railway & Lighting Company.24

He married Elizabeth Alter, of Pennsylvania, 6 April 1909 in the Old Presbyterian Church, a Manhattan landmark.25 Neville was about seventeen years older than Elizabeth. They had no children.26

According to the family, Neville went back to England in 1929 and had a tombstone erected for his mother, Esther Ashcroft Bayley, in the Wolverhampton Cemetery, where she was buried. His father, Hamlet, emigrated to the United States in 1894.27 He lived in Pittsburgh where Neville helped take care of him for many years. He died there, possibly in 1928,28 and it is not known where in Pittsburgh he was buried.

A ship manifest from the SS Aller shows that Neville arrived in New York in March 1893, sailing from Southampton, England, cabin-class. According to the manifest, he was still a citizen of England.29 It may have been on this trip that he had the tombstone made for his mother; his father, who was not with him on the ship, must have come sometime after this. Neville made another trip to England with his wife, Elizabeth, returning on the SS France. He was 66 and she was 49. According to the manifest, he was naturalized at the Court of Quarter Sessions, Philadelphia.30

From about 1911 to 1919, Neville was listed in the New York City directories. In 1910 he was listed as living at 502 West 113th Street in Manhattan in between Riverside Park and Morningside Park. His real estate business was located at 311 Madison Ave. In 1911-1914, his home was at 1058 South Boulevard and he was still involved in real estate.31 Sometime after that he moved to Connecticut, first to Norwalk and later to Noroton, not far from Rowayton where the Roton Point Park was located.

The amusement park at Roton Point, on the Long Island Sound, had been a popular spot since the 1800s. People came from all around via train, trolley and boat to this well-known park for bathing, rides, and midway-type amusements which included a roller coaster, dance pavilion, big name bands and weekly fireworks displays. There was a hotel and dining facilities as well. Neville expanded and improved the park. In 1925 an excursion steamer, the Belle Island, was built just to service the park. The park began to decline after a 1938 hurricane damaged many of the rides. With the onset of World War II and the rationing of gasoline, the park closed, and the excursion boats were requisitioned for the war effort. It never reopened.32 Neville sold the park after it closed in 1942. Part of the park went to the town of Rowayton and part went to a private investment group and this became the Roton Point Beach Club. The area that went to Rowayton is now known as Bayley Beach, a private beach for local residents.33

Neville and his wife, Elizabeth, often spent the winters in San Diego, Miami or Tucson. Neville spent the last five months of his life at the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego, within visiting distance of a niece and nephew in Escondido.34 Neville died in San Diego in 1948 and Elizabeth died there in 1960.35 She spent her last years in the U.S. Grant Hotel. Both are buried at the Ferncliff Mausoleum in Hartsdale, New York, north of Manhattan.36



Newsclipping of closure of Roton Point Park

Ferncliff Mausoleum, burial site of Neville and Elizabeth Bayley

History of Roton Point, Roton Point Association Website



  1. Record of Baptism for Annie Maria Bayley, August 6, 1860, Copy of Baptismal record of Holy Trinity Parish Church, Kingswinford, St. Mary's, Stafford County, Great Britain, p.31, no.242, Parents were Hamlet and Esther Bayley, residence Wordsley. According to family members she was born on 4 July 1860.

  2. Year of Esther's death would have been 1879. On the back of an old family picture, her date of death was noted as 23 June 1879. There was an interment on 23 June 1879 in the Merridale Cemetery in Wolverhampton for Esther Bailey aged 42 years of Burbury St., Wolverhampton, who died in Birmingham, Wife of Hamlet Bailey, Accountant.

  3. Record of Marriage Registration for Charles Edward Miller and Annie Maria Bayley, January 25, 1882., Certified copy from the General Register Office, London, 13 July 2004, vol. 8c, p.889, Marriage was solemnized at the Register Office, District of Chorlton, County of Lancaster, England. He was 25 and a bachelor, she was 21and a spinster.

  4. Francis Benjamin Miller, an uncle of Charles Edward, had gone to Birtle in 1880 to homestead and had his farm at Solsgirth, about 12 miles from Birtle. Birtle is west of Winnipeg and north of North Dakota. There were other Miller relatives in this area also.

  5. His children were still living in South Africa in the 1930s and 1940s when the rest of the family lost touch with them.

  6. Certificate of Death for Annie M. [Bayley] Miller, 25 June 1927, Denver, Colorado: Colorado Department of Health.

  7. Certificate of Death for Charles Edward Miller, 2 October 1928, State of Montana, Bureau of Vital Statistics, File no. 6788.

  8. FreeBMD.org transcription of GRO index of Civil Registration of Births, Marriages & Deaths, FreeBMD website, http://www.freebmd.org.uk/ . Birth was recorded in the March quarter 1862, Stourbridge District, Staffordshire, p.207. This means that his birth was registered between January to March 1862.

  9. Passport Application for Howard Bayley, 1900, Accessed through Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007. Original data, Born 1 February 1862, England. Passport issued 29 June 1900, Blair County, PA. "I emigrated to the United States, sailing on Board the Bostonia, from Liverpool, on or about the 29 day of Jany, 1881."

  10. Passport Application for Howard Bayley, 1900, Accessed through Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007. Original data, Born 1 February 1862, England. Passport issued 29 June 1900, Blair County, PA. However, a few months later, in a 1920 ship manifest on board the SS Morro Castle in 1920, it states he was naturalized April 1889, at the Supreme Court, Pittsburgh, PA: Manifest from the SS Morro Castle, from Havana, Cuba, arriving in New York 25 March 1920. From the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Foundation website's online database, www.ellisisland.org/.

  11. Ship Manifest, SS Servia, July 1894, New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, Microfilm Roll M237_629, National Archives, Washington, D.C., p.8.

    Passport Application for Howard Bayley, 1896, Accessed through Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007. Original data, Passport issued 1 August 1896, #15941, Allegheny County, PA.

  12. Newspaper Ad for The Touraine and St. James Hotels, 1913, New York Times (1857-Current file), New York, NY; 19 Sept 1913; Proquest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851-2004), p.20, The Touraine Apt.Hotel was at 9-11 E. 39th St. and the St. James at 45th between 5th and Broadway. There are ads for both of these hotel apartments continuing through 1917.

    Newspaper ad for the St. James Hotel Apartments, Howard Bayley, Manager, New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.; Proquest New York Times online database, c.2008, 9 Sept 1917, p.76, This location was about three blocks north of the New York Public Library which opened in 1911. It is not known whether Howard lived here or just managed the apartments.

  13. Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950 (FamilySearch.org database), data extracted from FHL MF 1299333. Howard Bayley & Cora Sporsler [Sponsler], 8 Oct 1890, Pittsburgh, Allegheny, PA.

  14. Passport Application for Cora S. Bayley, 1919, Passport Applications, 1795-1905, National Archives Microfilm Publication M1372, 694 rolls; General Records of the Department of State, Record Group 59; National Archives, Washington, D.C., Accessed through Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007. Original data, Passport # 154102, issued 26 December 1919, New York, New York.

  15. Passport Application for Howard Bayley, 1900, Accessed through Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007. Original data, Born 1 February 1862, England. Passport issued 29 June 1900, Blair County, PA.

  16. Passport Application for Cora S. Bayley, 1919, Passport Applications, 1795-1905, National Archives Microfilm Publication M1372, 694 rolls; General Records of the Department of State, Record Group 59; National Archives, Washington, D.C., Accessed through Ancestry.com. U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007. Original data, Passport # 154102, issued 26 December 1919, New York, New York.

  17. Manifest from the SS Morro Castle, from Havana, Cuba, arriving in New York 25 March 1920. From the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Foundation website's online database, www.ellisisland.org/.

  18. Death certificate: Howard Bayley, d.1920, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Town of Norwalk CT, recorded 4 July 1920. Death was 2 July 1920, at the Roton Point Hotel, which his brother owned, in Norwalk, CT. He was married and residence at time of death was Dauphin, PA.

    Obituary of Howard Bayley, 1920, New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y, 4 July 1920, p.17; Proquest Historical Newspapers, The New York Times (1851-2004).

  19. Obituary of Howard Bayley, 1920, New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y, 4 July 1920, p.17; Proquest Historical Newspapers, The New York Times (1851-2004).

    Message Board Posting, Rootsweb.com, 15 Nov 2008, Response to query about the burial place of Howard Bayley from Thomas C. Arnold with a picture of the gravestone. Dates on gravestone: 1863-1931. No place of death noted. Next to Howard and Cora's gravestone is the gravestone of her parents.

  20. Message Board Posting, Rootsweb.com, 15 Nov 2008, Response to query about the burial place of Howard Bayley from Thomas C. Arnold with picture of gravestone. Dates on gravestone: 1863-1931. No place of death noted. Next to Howard and Cora's gravestone is the gravestone of her parents.

  21. Record of Birth for Neville Bayley, California Death Records, RootsWeb.com, http://vitals.rootsweb.com/ca/death/search.cgi.

    Certificate of Death for Neville Bayley, d.21 October 1948, State of California, Department of Health Services, Office of Vital Records, Cert. #48-078494. Birthplace given as Wolverhampton, England, in death certificate.

  22. 1910 U.S. Census. New York, New York County, New York City, (FHC MF 1375040), E.D. 726, sheet 13B, line 83. Year of immigration was given as 1880, although if he came with his brother, as the family says, it might have been in 1881.

  23. Newspaper ad for the Pittsburgh Bullfrog Mining Corporation, Ltd., 1906, New York Times (1857-Current file), New York, NY; 26 Feb 1906; Proquest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851-2004), p.11.

  24. Frank E. Raymond, Rowayton on the Half Shell - The History of a Connecticut Village, West Kennebunk, Maine, published for the Rowayton Historical Society by Phoenix Publishing, c.1990.

  25. Raymond, Rowayton on the Half Shell.

  26. Marriage Certificate of Neville Bayley and Elizabeth Alter, 1909, City of New York, NY, Department of Health, Certificate #6941, Manhattan marriage records, 1866-1937, New York. Department of Health. Division of Vital Statistics, FHL MF 1439689, Marriage was 6 Apr 1909, at "the Old First Presbyterian" church. Neville was age 45, single, living at Bretton Hall [a hotel] in the upper West Side of Manhattan; occupation, broker; born Wordsley, England; father H.A. Bayley, mother Esther Ashcroft; first marriage. Elizabeth is 28, single, living at 208 West St., Williamsburg, PA; born Pittsburgh, PA, father A. N? Alter, mother Martha Alexander, first marriage; witnesses were Mr. A. Alter and 2d witness is illegible.

  27. According to her death certificate, in which she was noted to be the informant, Elizabeth was born 20 August 1880 in Pittsburgh to Martha Alexander and Andrew Alter. In the 1880 census, Elizabeth is 1 year old, born PA, both parents born PA; she is living with her grandparents, Andrew and Mary Alexander. Andrew is a farmer, age 57, born in PA, and both of Elizabeth's parents were born in PA also. Her mother is living in the household, listed as married, but her husband is not.

  28. 1900 U.S. Census. Pennsylvania, Allegheny County, City of Pittsburg, E.D. 219, sheet 12B, line 29, 12 June 1900. Year of immigration was given as 1894.

  29. Family tradition gives the date of 1928 for Hamlet's death. Hamlet has been found in the 1900 census in Pittsburgh but not in the 1910 or 1920 censuses.

  30. Manifest from the SS Aller, from Southampton, England, arriving in New York 3 March 1893. From the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Foundation website's online database, www.ellisisland.org/.

  31. Manifest from the SS France, from Plymouth, England, arriving in New York 16 June 1930. From the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Foundation website's online database, www.ellisisland.org/.

  32. New York City Directories, 1910-1911; 1911-12; 1912-13; 1913-14.

  33. Information on Neville Bayley and Roton Point Park comes from the Roton Point History section of the Roton Point website, http://rotonpoint.org/history, stories handed down in the family, and part of a newspaper article, "Local Resort War Casualty." This article is clipped from an unnamed paper with no date and the continuation of the story was not saved. This must have appeared some time in 1941 as Neville is said to be seventy-eight years old in the article; that is the year that the Roton Point website indicates that the park closed as well.

    Frank E. Raymond, Rowayton on the half shell.

  34. Frank E. Raymond, Rowayton on the half shell.

  35. Certificate of Death for Neville Bayley, d.21 October 1948, State of California, Department of Health Services, Office of Vital Records, Record 48-078494, District 3701, Registrar's No. 2446. Age at death was 85 years.

  36. Certificate of Death for Neville Bayley.

    Certificate of Death for Elizabeth Bayley, d. 30 May 1960, State of California, Department of Health Services, Office of Vital Records. Elizabeth was 79. Informant on death certificate was Elizabeth herself.

  37. Burial information comes from Elizabeth Bayley's death certificate.


Photographs of Annie, Howard, and Neville courtesy of Hope Healy Koontz. Photographs of 502 W. 113th St. in Manhattan, and Bayley Beach, Rowayton, CT, by Anne Healy Field, May 2008.

Picture of Cora Bayley was from a passport application.

Page created 10 January 2008
updated 22 July 2015
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