It seems that Jacob in Hull and Abraham in Porth were brothers.
And therefore, that Henry/Hyman of Porth and Hyman of Hull were cousins.
From the details on Hyman’s birth certificate in Hull, Jacob was married to Rachel Horwich.
There was a family called Horwich in Sculcoates in the 1881 census and looking back through the censuses to 1861, I found Hyam Hoorvitch, a glazier.
From the details on Henry’s sister Ada’s birth certificate (birth registered as Bessie Miller) Abraham was married to Rose Mierson.
The 1891 census in Porth showed that the widowed Rose and her two sons were carrying on the family business, as glaziers. This seems to give Rose and her family a possible link to the Hoorvitch family of glaziers.
Ann hadn’t finished her research into the Miller family.
She found Jacob and Rachel on the 1911 census. All of the children had been born in Hull, apart from Abraham (noted as Aba) who was born in Cardiff, Glamorgan.
As she wrote, this was “strong evidence for a link between the two Miller families”.
I had found the same census a day or so before but it wasn’t until I was transcribing it onto my spreadsheet that I had spotted that Abraham had been born in Cardiff. I’m sure my pulse rate went up at that moment.
Following Ann’s discovery of the tree on Ancestry, which listed Jacob, Rachel and their children, I had looked at seven public member trees which listed Dora Miller, born 1880, Hull, Yorkshire.
All but one had her married to Alfred Herman in Johannesburg in 1904 but none cited a marriage record, without which there was no proof that it was Dora Miller, born in 1880 in Hull, daughter of Jacob and Rachel, who had married Alfred Herman.
They identified Alfred Herman and Dora on the various US censuses, which merely state that she was born in England and that her parents were born in England, not in Russia (or Germany or Poland) as we know should be stated if it is the right Dora.
Four trees state that her parents were Jacob Miller and Rachel Davison, with no evidence of the Davison. It was only when I ordered the birth certificate for Dora, born on 2 February,1880, that I discovered that her mother Rachel’s maiden name was given as Davison, not Horwich. Curiouser and curiouser.
There is only one tree which includes Dora and her parents and siblings but that is only because the tree stems from Israel Goldstein. He was noted on the 1881 census as staying with Jacob and Rachel, and described as Jacob’s brother in-law.
They seem to have assumed that Israel was Rachel’s brother but Dora’s birth certificate gives Rachael’s maiden name as Davison and Hyman’s gives her maiden name as Horwich. So I thought that the connection was through Annie, that she was Jacob’s sister and that she had married Israel Goldstein.
I sent messages through Ancestry to the owners of all seven trees, three of which were owned by the same person.
I had replies from the owner of the Pearl and the Pearl-Baxter trees, which looked promising.
According to the 1901 census, Dora was a tailoress.
According to the trees, she went to South Africa and met Alfred Herman. He was Polish and a tailor, who had gone to South Africa from Poland.
They married, according to one of the trees, in January 1904 in Johannesburg, Gauteng, and returned to Leeds to stay with her family, where their first daughter was born.
I ordered the birth certificate. Rennie was born on 8 April 1905, at 93 Albert Grove, Leeds, the daughter of Alfred Herman and Dora Herman, formerly Miller. It was the address where Dora’s parents and siblings were living in 1901 and 1911. I had found my proof.
If Dora and Henry/Hyman had been in South Africa together it is likely that the two cousins had bonded closely and that Dora would have meant more to Henry than his siblings who he’d last seen in 1893. It seems more than likely that Dora sent Henry a photograph of the young Rennie and that this was the photograph which Linda had asked about in her letters to Lewis and Florrie.
By this time I had collected a file full of notes, certificates and scrawled bits of family tree. And I knew there were aspects which I’d seen earlier but which had not seemed relevant to the family but which now, in light of further information, I needed to revisit and assess. But what were they?
The golden rule of family research is to keep records of everything you do, every thing you find, every source you’ve visited. But I admit that, even as an experienced family historian, when caught up in the excitement of the chase, when on the trail, it is so hard to remember to do so. And, of course, you rarely keep notes of things which don’t appear relevant at the time unless you have the feeling that they just might become relevant in the future.
I needed to stop and analyse what I’d got and follow it all through methodically but Ann from the Glamorgan Rootsweb list had still been on the trail and had found more information.
Ann wrote: I’ve been having fun, searching US records on FamilySearch. Not something I’ve really done before. It’s amazing that you can download the 1940 census but not some of the earlier ones. Dora Miller did quite a bit of travelling in her younger days!!
In particular, she discovered that Dora and Alfred’s second daughter, Nellie, was born on the 30th November 1906 in Hutchesontown, Glasgow, Scotland.
“Typically, the information on these census returns varies, especially on those for Dora Miller/Herman. The 1915 New York census, worked out from the indexes, is the most interesting.”
Dora Miller Herman
Dora, Rennie and Nellie left Liverpool for New York on the Mauretania, on 10 October 1908. They arrived at Ellis Island on 16 October 1908.
Dora was 27, Rennie was 3 and Nellie was 11 months. They were listed as English, last place of residence: Leeds, England. According to the 1910 US census index, Alfred had emigrated to America the year before. He’d evidently gone early, to prepare a home for them.
From 1910 the family were living in Buffalo, Erie, New York, according to the US census and New York census returns. They were living with a Russian family with the surname of Weintraut.
Alfred was aged 37, born in Russia, both parents born in Russia.
Dora was aged 36, born in England, both parents born in Russia.
Rennie was aged 5, born in England, father born Russia, mother born England
Nellie was aged 3 months, born New York, father born Russia, mother born England.
It seems that Nellie’s age and place of birth were wrongly recorded and I wondered if the Nellie born in 1906 had died and they had given the same name to another daughter but her age was given correctly in the 1915 New York census index so it was simply that she was noted as three months instead of three years.
By 1915 Alfred and Dora had another daughter, Evelyn, aged 3 years and a son, Herbert, aged 2 years.
Also with them in 1915 were:
Lew Miller, brother in law, aged 26, 5 years in the US
Hyman Miller, brother in law, aged 32, 4 years in the US
Emily Miller, sister in law, aged 21, 3 years in US (Evelyn as transcribed)
By 1920, another daughter had been born to Alfred and Dora. Ruth was 7 months old. For the first time, Nellie was described as being born in Scotland.
In 1925, for the first time the religion of the people was noted and Alfred and Dora and their children were noted as Jewish.
The US censuses for 1930 and 1940 record Dora as the head of the family, aged 50 in 1930 and 60 in 1940. So presumably Alfred had died by 1930. Herbert and Ruth were still at home in 1930 and had been joined by Evelyn in 1940.
Dora’s brother, Hyman Miller, was noted on the New York Passenger Arrival List (Ellis Island) as having arrived on 12 August 1911 on the ship ‘Campania’.
He was described as 26 years, English, last residence: Leeds, England.
In 1915 he appears on the New York Census staying with Alfred and Dora Herman.
By 1920 he had married Fannie and they were living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was 37, she was 28. Both were born in England, both with parents born in Russia.
By 1930, Hyman and Fannie had a son, Murray (aka Maurie), aged 10, born in Pennsylvania. Murray was still living with his parents in 1940.
According to his 1942 WW2 Draft Registration Card on FamilySearch Hyman was born in Hull, England, on 29th Aug 1882, which makes it look as though he’d mis-remembered his date of birth, as so many did in those days. The card names his wife as Fannie.
The US Social Security Death Index gives the most likely entry for Hyman as:
Hyman MILLER, b 17 Aug 1881, d Apr 1964, Pennsylvania. The date of birth
differs from that on the 1942 Draft Card but is closer to the date of 24 September 1881 on his birth certificate.
It was to Philadelphia that our Hyman/Henry’s siblings and mother Rose had travelled in 1893 so, hopefully, we can assume that the cousins were able to meet up.
Ann signed off from this project by writing “I’ve enjoyed looking into this family. Let me know if you’ve got questions about these results. Good luck with your quest.”
It never fails to astonish me just how much members of the various Rootsweb lists help each other with their research.
I know from experience just how much work Ann had put into this project. She had no connection to the family other than she was a member of the Glamorgan Rootsweb list, where Henry had lived for just a few years, but her interest was piqued by the story.
I had been so hooked on the fact that Hyman’s birth certificate was in Henry’s papers and therefore must be his, and on having found the 1891 census showing all the family in south Wales, that I wonder whether I would ever have found Jacob and Rachel and the other Hyman on the Leeds 1891 census.
It had needed Ann to look at it with fresh eyes to be able to break down the brick wall and enable to me discover the Henry/Hyman’s extended family.
The connection with the Pearl family tree on Ancestry is that Dora was most certainly Henry/Hyman’s cousin and that there are living descendants.
For my partner who, until a few weeks before, had known nothing of his Miller roots and nothing of any relations, except that he had Jewish heritage, it was all rather mind blowing.
I cannot overstate how grateful I was for Ann’s help in unravelling the mystery surrounding Henry’s birth.
As I began to review all my notes, I returned to the birth of Abraham Miller, brother of Dora and ordered his birth certificate.
Abraham was born on 27 September 1898, at 82 Saltmead Road, Cardiff, Glamorgan. His father was Robert Miller, house painter and journeyman, his mother was Rachel Miller formerly Goldstein. The informant on the birth registration was D. Miller.
Robert Miller? Rachel Goldstein?
The only D Miller I’ve come across in either the Glamorgan or the Hull and Leeds branches of this family was Dora, then the 18 year daughter of Rachel.
In 1891 and 1901 Rachel was at home with her family in Leeds, so why would she have given birth to Abraham in Cardiff in 1898?
Rose, her sister in-law in Porth, Glamorgan, had emigrated in 1893 so what other reason could there have been for Rachel to be in Cardiff?
I wasn’t just being nosey though I reckon family historians are licensed to be nosey. I was hoping I might get a clue to more family.
Unfortunately, searching on Find My Past on both the 1891 and 1901 census by address did not return anywhere in Cardiff called Saltmead Road. I finally discovered it under the name of Salt Mead road but there was no census return for number 82, probably, as I discovered later, because parts of the area were undergoing redevelopment.
Once more I appealed to the Glamorgan Rootsweb list for help, this time for local knowledge. I had a reply quoting an entry in Owen & Co’s Cardiff directory for 1897:
“82 Saltmead Road, Grangetown: Miller R. glazier”.
In 1890, Rose and her husband Abraham were living in Porth with several children. Abraham was a glazier. He died in 1890 and by the time of the 1891 census, Rose and her two eldest sons were carrying on the family business, as glaziers.
Quite clearly, the words Miller + glazier + the birth of Abraham by Rachel at the same address = family connection.
But who was the R Miller, glazier, at 82 Saltmead Road in 1897?
Could there have been another Miller brother, also a glazier, living in Cardiff, just 15 miles from Abraham and Rose? Unfortunately, neither the 1891 nor the 1901 censuses for Cardiff supplied any clues. I could find no suitable candidate.
Whichever way I looked at it, it seemed that R Miller, glazier of Cardiff, was also Robert Miller, father of Abraham, whose mother was Rachel Miller, formerly Goldstein.
Had Jacob died? I checked the General Register Office records but found no death between 1891 and 1898 of a Jacob Miller who had been born c1856.
All sorts of weird and wonderful scenarios began passing through my head, none of which seemed totally out of possibility given the huge complexity of this family’s history.
I turned my attention to considering all the family strands which Ann and I had found and determining how they all fitted together.