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Alchemy of Clay and Living in Black Mountain NC, the scenery and my ceramic arts life are combined.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

"Charley" Charles Herman Miller

My great grandfather:

 That's what Ancestry DOT com says about him.
I have searched through lots of immigration records to try to find info about when he arrived in the US.  I think he was pretty young.

A census report of Smithfield, in Bastrop County, Texas in 1910 says the family lived on Neudgins St, (maybe something spelled somewhat like that) number244.  It has Charles listed as head of household, age 41, married 14 years, and all his 4 daughters had been born.

His wife Eugenia Booth Miller was 36 at the time, and the census says her father was born in Illinois and her mother was born in Alabama. (I've honored her on my blog HERE) They were married Oct 28, 1896, according to Ancestry (though I don't see the actual date on the census report, which Ancestry uses as its source.  I think this came from another descendent - cousin?).

It (1910 census) clearly says Charles immigrated to the US in 1865, and that he is a naturalized citizen.  Do you notice any problem yet?

His grave marker says he was born in 1868.  His census record in 1910 says he is 41, which works if the census was taken before his July 18 birthday. And it is dated (by hand on that actual sheet) April 27, 1910. But  this census says he immigrated 3 years before he was born.

OK, there's also a listing of him in the census of 1900, living in Hill County, Texas, which is the home of his wife's family, the Booths.  They have been married 3 years, and have my grandmother already, a 2 year old at that time.  Charley is his listed name, showing that he probably had that as his nickname.  His birth includes the month, July 1868 thus verifying two other sources.  But does it list a date he immigrated?  No, nor how long he's been in the US, nor that he's naturalized.

Another strange listing is how Eugenia has a father now from Indiana, and her mother from Louisiana.  At least Charley's occupation is consistent, a conductor on the railroad.  I can just see him wearing his hat and uniform, and I'd gladly give him my ticket.  Can you say "All Aboard!"   (If this phrase has no meaning for you, you were born too late for the railroad.)

In 1920, another anomaly about Eugenia's parents  (which I can actually correct, but for now I'm just enjoying how they skirted around on these census reports.)  Her father was born in Illinois, but mother was born in Georgia.  And he's a conductor but has no date of immigration given.  The census taker must have gotten tired of asking questions because naturalization is given, but the date of same, or date of immigration are just scribbles...not years.)

Fast forward to 1930 census... (I looked very briefly at a Charley Miller in the census of 1870, who was 2 years old in Texas, but race was black.)  In 1930 Charley was 61, his wife Eugenia is 57, and two of his daughters in their 20's still live at home, in the house pictured below.  (Eugenia's parents are now from Indiana and Alabama,)

And now the immigration date is given as a believable 1871.   He hasn't retired, but is still a passenger conductor.

The 1940 census included Charles Miller, age 71, at the same house.  He no longer lives with my great grandmother, who died in '36, but the two younger daughters are still at home now in their 30's, and my grandmother has moved back as well, now age 42 and twice widowed.  (My mother had married and moved into her own home several years before.)

Has Charles retired at 71? No, and he's listed as a RR Passenger Conductor for Steam M.K.T. Railroad, Co.  He is listed as having complete 4th grade level of school.  2 of his daughters are now seamstresses at home, and the other is a Jr. High School teacher.

After reading this obituary (below) I searched a bit for a sister who was Mrs. Dora Dawnon, but without results. 
The sleuthing about these people will continue! 
Obit: Charles Herman Miller, 78, member of Central Christian Church, died at his home at 111 Davis Court, Thursday, November 7, 1946, He is survived by his daughters, Mrs Mozelle Miller Munhall, Mrs Rowena Miller Rogers, Miss Dorothy D. Miller, and Miss Margaret E. Miller, all of San Antonio; a sister Mrs Dora Lawnon, (my italics) three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.Services will be held Saturday November 9 at 10 am at McCollum Chapel with Dr. Floyd A. Bash officiating. Interment will be at Mission Burial Park under the auspices of San Antonio Lodge No. 1079 A. P. A. A. M.

 Miller Family Monument

I never met this great grandfather.  I never heard any stories about him.  Happy Birthday Pop Pop Charlie.

Please spend time learning what you can from the elders in your family, now, before they're gone.

1 comment:

trav4adventures said...

I like to do my research during the summer, when I'm off from school. Most of my dad's side were Normans. My mom's side is German/Swiss and there aren't many records, but I found one line that goes way back in England to William the Conqueror. Isn't genealogy fun? Found some also in North Carolina, but the records are pretty sparce and they seem to use the same names (male) over and over...sigh...