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From Milbrook to Minnesota in only 400 years (More or Less)

Updated January 3, 2008

Gordon Jefferson Stiles

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The name for this project comes from the fact that the Stiles Family in America (our branch), originated in Milbrook, Bedfordshire, England. They first settled in Dorchester, which was renamed, Windsor, Connecticut in 1634/35. The book I am compiling that is associated with this webpage is intitled, "How We Got Here From There!"

In order to work on this project, I spent endless hours going down wrong trails, checking out family legends, family stories, etc. I had a lot of fun doing it though. It is and has been a never-ending work of love. I have worked on this project on and off since about 1961. (I accomplished very little in those early years, besides just accumulating information, and creating a desire to find out more.) From the time I was a youngster, I had heard stories from my father, and all these stories did was to whet my appetite for more information concerning this family into which, I found myself. My father told me, for instance, that we had a coat-of-arms, and that our family came from England, and how they had homesteaded in Wisconsin, and Minnesota, after coming from Vermont. He had related a story of the Bill Stiles, that was killed in a bank robbery in Northfield, MN; while riding with the Jesse James gang, and that this guy , according to stories he heard, was raised by my great-grandfather, and that his real name was Bill Chadwell, and that he had used my great-grandfather's name when he rode with Jesse James. I had heard this story several times, but it became real, when I was in the US Air Force, and another person saw the story in a Wild West Publication. (I have never found anything conclusive to ascertain whether this family tie-in is true, other than several family members relating the same story.) Lots of research followed, most of it rather slowly, some easier. Thanks to lots of family members, good genealogy programs, and those people that did research on various family lines before me, made putting together this meager history/documentation, feasible and possible.

(During this research, I am compiling a book, entitled, "How We Got Here From There!", and occasionally I will send updates to this website. I hope you find it interesting, but if you find errors in it, feel free to email me at my email address at the bottom of this page. Thank you.)

If you are reading this work, and are remotely interested in our families, please feel free to use anything you find here. The only thing I ask, is that you will acknowledge where the information was obtained, and please email me with any additions or corrections. My email address is Thank you for reading.

My Family History



  • How we got here from there! (Stiles/Cockrill Family, Olmsted County, Minnesota) (view PDF)

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