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The Miller-Long-Evans Family Tree - Woven With Words



The Miller, Long, and Evans families have a long history in Berks County.  The following information came from an interview with Jessie [Long] Evans in October 2005.


Mrs. Charlotte Miller, born in Reading in the early/mid-eighteenth century, was baptized in the Schuylkill River at the foot of Penn Street.  She married Allen Miller, who had escaped from slavery and gone to Parksburg, Pennsylvania, before coming to Reading.  According to a family story, Allen Miller had a stiff finger from years of hard labor as a slave.  After he escaped, he tricked a slave hunter into thinking his finger was healthy so that he was not captured.


Charlotte and Allen Miller had three daughters (Elizabeth, Sarah, and Priscilla) and two sons.  Sarah married and lived in Philadelphia.  Priscilla was a Sunday school superintendent at Bethel A.M.E. Church in Reading.


Elizabeth Miller married Thomas J. Long from Norfolk, Virginia.  Thomas Long came to Reading intending to work at Highland Towers for one summer to pay for his schooling at Hampton Institute in Virginia, but after meeting Elizabeth, he stayed in Reading.  Elizabeth and Thomas Long had fourteen children; all were active in Sunday school and choir at Bethel A.M.E. Church.  The Long children, in birth order, are as follows:


  • Evelyn (died as a child)

  • Nellie and Margaret (twins)

  • George Allen (served on Bethel A.M.E. usher board)

  • Elsie (lived her entire life in Reading)

  • Viola (had a beautiful contralto voice and once gave a concert at the church; she also served as a trustee at the church)

  • Thomas, Jr. (Associate Pastor of Bethel A.M.E. for many years)

  • William (served in the Navy in World War II and was an active member of church)

  • Rose (lived in Brooklyn, New York for 70 years)

  • Robert (lived in Brooklyn, New York)

  • Virginia (played piano for Sunday school)

  • Forrest (currently 90 years old and residing in Brooklyn, New York; Forrest’s great-grandson, Justin, recently returned from military duty in Iraq.  He is stationed in Kansas.)

  • Jessie (currently 87 years old, residing in Shillington. Jessie taught Sunday school for many years and served as District Superintendent of A.M.E. Bethel Church.  She began singing in the Junior Choir as a child and currently sings in the Senior Choir.  She is the second oldest member of the Bethel A.M.E. Church)

  • Phyllis (served in the Army in France during World War 2)


Jessie [Long] Evans married John Evans in 1944.  Jessie worked at Revco (now CVS) on Penn Street in Reading for fifteen years.  John Evans died in 1963, at the age of 45, from malaria that he had contracted while fighting in World War II.  Jessie and John Evans have four children, ten grandchildren, and several great grandchildren. The Evans children, in order of birth, are as follows:


  • Lionel (married to Sandra; graduated from Cheney University. Has taught in Reading, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and at Alvernia College; currently lives in West Palm Beach, Florida.  Has three children, Kirsten, George, and Grant.)

  • Rosalind [Evans] Matthews (married and divorced Jackie Matthews; graduated from Kutztown University; taught in the Reading school district; now lives in Westbury, New York.  Has three children, Darryl, Kim, and Derek, and two granddaughters, Danielle and Kyanna.)

  • Thomas (lives in Reading; has a son, Duane, and grandson, Tejhan.)

  • Sharon [Evans] Holtz (lives in Exeter Twp.; has three sons, Thomas, Jeffrey, and Michael McNeil, and four grandchildren, Sierra, Jessie [named after her grandmother], Nathaniel, and Alexander.  Thomas McNeil graduated from Millersville University and received a Fulbright scholarship to study in Ghana; he has also taught in the Reading school district. He lives in California.)


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