The Unexpected Discoveries Through Your Ancestral Family Lines

As I have written before, I began my research into my Miller family back in 2012.  I found many records that eventually took me back to my immigrant ancestor, Jacob Mueller (1697-1772), who, with his family, settled and lived in the Tulpehocken area, in Berks County, Pennsylvania.

A few years ago, my wife got me a book on German genealogy.  It’s called The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide by James M. Beidler.  As I began to read through the book, I knew I had a great resource in the palm of my hands, since I have many Germanic family lines.  I utilized many of the hints that were introduced by the author.  As time went on, I decided to contact the author, to let him know how much I appreciated the book and how it had helped me.

James Beidler wrote me back, and was very receptive and appreciative.  Since that time, Jim and I have corresponded on various things I wrote him about.  I tried not to bug him too much, as I know he is very busy as a lecturer, author and researcher.

There are those moments, when doing this type of work and research, that stand out as simply remarkable.  Last week, Jim Beidler, sent me an email, with the subject line that simply stated,

“Well, Guess What?”

Here is what he wrote:

Good morning, Brian … so, since a lot of Facebook genealogy Friends were posting their “mtDNA lines” in honor of Mother’s Day, I decided I would post mine, too.

 Long story short is that my mtDNA line for a long time has ended with a Sarah Miller Rauch … hadn’t had time to do research on it for a decade or more. On a lark yesterday, really to verify the birth year of her daughter Sybilla Rauch Dehart, I did an Ancestry search … which led to Find A Grave … which led to your WikiTree Miller site!

 It looks like Sarah was the daughter of Jonathan Miller and Elisabeth Schaeffer!

Haven’t had much more time to play with it but can’t wait to write a “Roots & Branches” column about it today in celebration of the “small world” the genealogy community turns out to be …

 In celebration of the full circle!


You could have knocked me over with a feather!

Jonathan Miller (1777-1858) and Elizabeth Schaeffer (1775-1863) are my 5x great-grandparents.

Jim and I now have our work cut out for us, as we move forward to document and verify our shared Miller family, and possibly move back further in time to discover more Miller family.

Jim has also written an article on this remarkable event. You can read it here.

Jim wrote in his article “When you get to a Miller…that’s a good place to stop”.

(Note to Jim…I think that’s actually hilarious!)

This event has taught me that you never know when that next unknown relative is right around the corner, or that you could be corresponding or speaking with them at this very moment.

Brian S. Miller

Special thanks to Jim Beidler…so glad we connected Jim, especially since this solved a long time mystery for you!

If you are interested, please visit Jim’s website at

2 thoughts on “The Unexpected Discoveries Through Your Ancestral Family Lines

  1. I’m now caught up on your blog. I read Jim’s excellent post before I read this one as you sent me the link. Congratulations on the small world genealogy connection the two of you made with your shared Miller ancestors. I’m jealous!

    Liked by 1 person

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