Saturday, October 9, 2010

Surname Saturday ~ MILLER

My paternal grandmother was Ada May MILLER. We are fortunate to have her little carte de visite (CDV) album. Unfortunately, she passed way several years before it came into our hands.

We have taken each photograph out of the album and there isn't a single name on any of them. There are nine on cardstock and nineteen are tintypes. Only six of the cardstock have the name of the photographer on the back (verso). Ten of the tintypes have thin paper frames, the other nine have none.

From what I can determine in searching about identifying photographs on the Internet, it probably dates from about the 1860's (tintypes) to about the late 1890's (cardstock). Now about 150 years old! A real treasure.

Ada's parents were Sarah BEEGHLY and William Howard MILLER. William and Sarah had 13 children, Ada was the eldest.

William Howard's parents were Mary FIKE and Phineas MILLER. (Their names appeared on the FIKE Memorial that I posted on Tombstone Tuesday.) Mary and Phineas had 10 children. 

I don't have a photograph of Mary or Phineas. However, I recently found a photograph of  one of Phineas MILLER's younger brothers, William MILLER Jr.

William MILLER Jr.

 Born 26 Sep 1827 - Somerset County, Pennsylvania
 Died 10 Jan 1908 - Waterloo, Black Hawk County, Iowa
There is a very large GEDCOM available for download, but I don't plan to do that.

Two Mystery Men!
Photographed by D. B. Rugg,
 Main Street, Hiawatha, Kansas
Old pictures copied and enlarged.


SOURCE: Personal family collection.

I'm thinking that these young men may be members of the MILLER family.
Comparing them to William, they have the same slim face and straight hair. 

The back (verso) of the photographs became a work of art in its own right. At first they were blank and then had a very small imprint of the photographer's name. Finally, the artwork became worthy of collection for that alone. Although these small photographs were know as carte de visite (visiting cards) they were an excellent way for the photographers to advertise their service.

These photographs/business cards became so popular, that trading them with family and friends became know as "carte mania."

I have a poem about the CDV albums and collecting and sharing the photographs. I'll have to dig it out.