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The Jacob Miller Pages

The Old Homestead
From Janet ("Janny") Wikler:

This photograph belonged to my mother, Elinor Schloss Wikler; I found it after she died.  My mother had a strong sense of family, and one of the great gifts she left us was her genealogical research. 

According to a genealogical chart she made, Jacob Miller (father of Simon Miller and grandfather of Jean Miller Schloss, Claire Miller Schloss, and Prue Miller Harris) was born on February 21, 1833 in Bavaria in Dörrmoschel, Pflalz, Germany.  He emigrated to the United States at the age of 17, in 1850. 

Peter White has continued my mother’s research and built on it extensively.  According to notes provided by Peter, who has built an extensive database of our family, Jacob arrived in America with little to his name; but he built a business empire, became a prominent figure in the various civic and charitable organizations in Philadelphia, and established the foundation for the social position and traditions that his sons Simon, Charles, and William followed.  Peter’s notes also say that Jan Stone has a dim memory of Jacob Miller, who died in 1917 when Jan and El were a year and a half old. 

Peter and I believe this photograph is of the house where Jacob was born and where he lived until he left Bavaria for the United States.  The house appears to be made of stucco.  We do not know the identities of the three women and two men in the photo.  The handwriting at the bottom says, in German, “Jacob Miller born February 21st 1833”.  The handwriting above that inscription says something about May 1, 1850 (perhaps the date that Jacob left home), but we cannot read the writing on the left hand side and do not know what it says.  We assume that Jacob himself made the inscriptions. 

We think the photo was taken later than 1850, both because the label “Our Homestead” is in English, and because the style of the clothing worn by the people in the photo is characteristic of the late 19th or very early 20th century, not of the mid-19th century.  Perhaps the photo was sent to Jacob by relatives or friends in Bavaria, or perhaps he took it or had it taken during a later visit in order to show his children and grandchildren his birthplace.  How fortunate we are that today, more than 150 years after Jacob left Bavaria for America, we can continue to share this photo and, with it, touch our roots

Click here to see documents granting Jacob Miller US citizenship 
and his waiver from required service in the Civil War.

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