Up On The Housetop: A Family Picture Album


Howard Lee Beall at approximately six months of age. Taken summer 1938, Sykesville, Maryland

Howard Lee Beall at approximately six months of age. Taken summer 1938, Sykesville, Maryland

Barbara Ann Inman, taken at two months of age ca. July 1943, Cedar Rapids Iowa

Barbara Ann Inman, taken at two months of age ca. July 1943, Cedar Rapids Iowa

Our parents: Gordon Loren Inman and Elva Gail Spence Inman; Edward L. Beall, Sr. and Mildred Lee Warfield Beall

Our parents: Gordon Loren Inman and Elva Gail Spence Inman; Edward L. Beall, Sr. and Mildred Lee Warfield Beall. Our wedding April 25, 1964, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Brian (age 4) and Debbie (age 2)), taken December 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Brian and Debbie, taken December 1973, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.



Brian, LuAn and Brandon, taken Christmas 1991/2, Broomfield, Colorado

Brian, LuAn and Brandon, taken Christmas 1991/2, Broomfield, Colorado. They were married in Broomfield March 9, 1991.

Debbie and Dee's Wedding, August 22, 1992, Broomfield, Colorado

Debbie and Dee’s Wedding, August 22, 1992, Broomfield, Colorado









Group shot taken in our driveway Christmas 2005: Brian, Jason, LuAn, Brandon, Trinity, Joshua, Debbie, Howard and Mandy

Group shot taken in our driveway Christmas 2005: Brian, Jason, LuAn, Brandon, Trinity, Joshua, Debbie, Howard and Mandy



Debbie and Dee, Joshua, Jason and Mandy. Taken about 2003.

Debbie and Dee, Joshua, Jason and Mandy. Taken about 2003.








Howard teaching Brandon's daughter, Trinity, how to make a dove call. Taken in Broomfield, Colorado about 2006.

Howard teaching Brandon’s daughter, Trinity, how to make a dove call. Taken in Broomfield, Colorado about 2006.

Brandon's daughters Brooke and Delaney. Taken in Broomfield, Colorado Christmas 2009

Brandon’s daughters Brooke and Delaney. Taken in Broomfield, Colorado Christmas 2009


Joshua and Dallas at their high school graduation, May 2012

Joshua and Dallas at their high school graduation, May 2012

Dee, Jason and Brian at Jason's high school graduation May 2014

Dee, Jason and Brian at Jason’s high school graduation May 2014


Mandy and her prom date May 2014. She will be graduating this spring.

Mandy and her prom date May 2014. She will be graduating this spring.



Brian has been battling cancer this past year. Debbie has been the "Chief Supporting Officer."

Brian has been battling cancer this past year. Debbie has been the “Chief Supportive Officer.”

Team Brian: Debbie, Brian, Mandy, Dallas, Jason, Dee, LuAn, Joshua

Team Brian: Debbie, Brian, Mandy, Dallas, Jason, Dee, LuAn, Joshua. Debbie organized a Gofundme account for Brian as he wages his war against cancer. With Team Brian on his side, Brian will win his war!!

 Wishing each of you a blessed holiday season. May you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy and joyous New Year 2016.

Barbara and Howard Beall

Christmas 2015










A Special Thanksgiving

A Special Baptism: our family on the left; Howard's brother, Prince's family on the right

A Special Baptism: our family on the left–L-R: Barbara (Me), Howard holding Brian. Howard’s brother, Prince’s family on the right: Prince holding Kari Jo and Cleone on the end. Edward L. Beall, Sr. in the middle. Photo taken the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Farmington Presbyterian Church, Farmington, Missouri

Thanksgiving 1968 was a special one for us. Our son Brian was born August 6, 1968 in Louisville, Kentucky, and his cousin, Kari Jo, was born August 29, 1968 in Wichita, Kansas. We were all scheduled to make a migration to Farmington, Missouri for Thanksgiving that year. One reason? The babies were to be baptized by their grandfather, Rev. Edward L. Beall, Sr. in the Farmington Presbyterian Church. This would be Baby Brian’s first big trip!

Howard was teaching school. It was the day before Thanksgiving, and he was scheduled to be home by mid-afternoon. I spent the morning packing and making certain our dachshund Heidi was taken care of. Howard backed into the driveway–we loaded the car–and then we were on our way to Farmington by way of St. Louis. We were driving a 1967 VW Bug at the time, so we were certainly loaded down. Brian went to sleep, something for which I was grateful!

As I recall, it was cloudy–typical of a November day. We drove across southern Indiana and Illinois, and the rain began in one of those states. It rained lightly at first. I remember stopping at a restaurant somewhere in Illinois where I ordered my favorite breaded pork tenderloin sandwich and onion rings–something I generally don’t get outside of Missouri or Iowa. I laid Brian down in the booth beside me. He smiled at first. Then he decided that (a) he was in a strange place; (b) he was tired; (c) he was hungry–and he YELLED at the top of his lungs. Shoving the rest of the sandwich and onion rings down my throat, I bundled him up and went out to the car so the patrons could eat in peace! Wouldn’t you know it? He was sound asleep the minute I fed him. I sat inside the car, listening to the falling rain, wondering whether this was a foretaste of events that would happen.

And that’s when the drama began!

It was pouring down rain by the time we reached the Missouri River. And halfway across the bridge, our windshield wiper motor died right in the center of the bridge!

Talk about a frightening experience!

By some miracle, we made it across the bridge without incident. But we still had 60 miles to go. The rain was still pelting our car. There was no way we could drive 60 miles in the dark without windshield wipers! Howard called his father, who drove to St. Louis to pick us up. We left our car near a station and headed south to Farmington.

But the drama didn’t end there!

Just as we arrived at the house, Howard’s mother was leaving.

“I have to drive to Potosi!” she told us. “Prince and Cleone broke down there!”

Just then, the phone rang. Prince’s car finally started, so Mildred didn’t have to rescue them. We waited for them to arrive, talked for a while. And we all finally settled down to sleep.

But the drama didn’t end there!

When morning broke, the rain stopped–but it transformed into snow overnight leaving a sheet of ice on everything!

Howard’s brother, Ley, his wife Brenda, and their daughter Carmen were scheduled to fly into St. Louis from Kansas City, Missouri the next morning (Thanksgiving Day). Howard’s mother drove to St. Louis to pick them up, and Howard went with her. He wanted to retrieve his car in St. Louis since we didn’t want to walk back home to Kentucky! They checked on his car first, which was fine. Then they travelled to the airport where they waited–

–and waited–

–and waited.

Finally, they heard the announcement:

All flights from Kansas City have been cancelled!

The reason?

It seems that earlier that morning, a plane from Kansas City slid on ice on the runway in St. Louis. So they weren’t going to send any more of their planes to St. Louis unless and until the ice has been cleared. Now, I don’t know whether you are acquainted with the relationship between these two cities. There has always been a rivalry between them outside of opposing football teams. We lived in Kansas City in the 1960s before moving to Kentucky, and I remember how that rivalry was so pronounced. It may have moderated since then, but it was really strong at that time. I think it dated back to the Civil War. St. Louis regarded Kansas City as a haven for incorrigible outlaws and Kansas City regarded St. Louis as a haven for eastern Yankee snobs.

[Kansas City didn’t like Kansans (Jayhawkers) either in the 1960s. But that is another story].

“My kids were scheduled to fly in here!” my mother-in-law complained. “How are they supposed to get here?”

“Well, you’ll have to sit down and wait,” she was informed. “They are on their way–by bus!”


“I believe that’s the direct route.”

She called to update us on the situation.

“This isn’t fair!” she complained. “I want to be there in Farmington holding my babies, and I have to sit here in this stupid airport all day. Well–we’ll have Thanksgiving when we all get there!”

Six hours later, they all arrived. Howard followed them down in his car, relieved that it was finally safe in Farmington. And once they all stopped talking and settled down at the table–the Thanksgiving feast was tremendous. Everyone enjoyed both the food and the conversation!

Then, when the dishes were out of the way–

“Well, we have to celebrate Christmas!” my Mother-in-Law announced. “You’re all here now, and you won’t be here next month!”

So, out came the tree, the other decorations, and the music. Once the halls were appropriately decked, we had our gift exchange. It was probably after midnight again when we finally ran out of gas! I remember the touch football game in the yard the next day. Then Brenda, Ley and Carmen had to return to Kansas City since Ley had to be at work at TWA that evening.

Sunday was the day of the baptism, the event so conveniently worked into our Thanksgiving-Christmas celebration!

The baptism was a signature event. Howard’s Uncle MacPherson Beall (people called him Mac) and his family drove to Farmington from St. Louis for the occasion. And Clan Beall all descended upon the Farmington Presbyterian Church, sitting in the designated section for honored guests. My father-in-law had been minister at that church for several years, so the gathering was a quite an occasion. Then came the moment of the baptism. Brian’s parents (us) and Kari Jo’s parents (them) journeyed to the front with the babies in tow. What I remember most about the baptism is that Baby Brian recognized his Grandpa Beall and began his little chant: “Da-da-da-da-da-”

“I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost! Amen!”

We had to have another celebration after all of that!

The MacPherson Bealls went to the house in Farmington as did the rest of the Clan. We had another feast (Thanksgiving leftovers) and plenty of dinner table conversation. Beall table conversations generally turned to politics and other world events. In those days, the conversation focused on Richard Nixon (the newly elected President) and what he planned to do about ending that awful war (Vietnam)–and whether or not Howard’s cousin, Scott, would be called up for duty. He said he expected it; his wife said “No!” (He did serve as a medic. He retired several years ago after many years as a surgeon!)

Our return trip to Kentucky was without mishap or misadventure. Brian slept most of the way. The sun shone brightly and the roads were clear.

And our little dog Heidi was certainly glad to see us!


Through the Heart of a Hurricane: Maj. Gen. Floyd Bernard Wood (1908-1956)

Maj. Gen. Floyd Bernard Wood (1908-1956), Arlington National Cemetery. Photo From Find-a-Grave

Maj. Gen. Floyd Bernard Wood (1908-1956), Arlington National Cemetery. Photo From Find-a-Grave

Myrtle (Wood) Dunning, Floyd’s sister, remembers that Floyd was very gifted intellectually.  He graduated from college in northern Texas at age 19.  He studied music (violin?) in college, but taught high school following his graduation.  He found that he didn’t like teaching and subsequently became a pilot in the Army Air Corps. 

The Hill Aerospace Museum, in its listing of USAF chronology, records the following:

“14 Sep 1944:  Col. Floyd Wood, Maj. Harry Wexler, and Lt. Frank Record, flying a Douglas A-20 “Havoc,” are the first to fly into the heart of a hurricane to obtain meteorological data.”

Time Magazine carried an article about the flight.

According to an article about his death that appeared in the Evening Capital, Annapolis, MD on 04 Apr, 1956:  “Floyd was a 1927 graduate of North Texas State Teachers College and received a master of science degree in meteorology from MIT in 1937.

He was chief weather officer of the USAF in the South Pacific in 1942 and chief weather officer of the Air Force in Washington in 1943.

From 1945 to ’47, he served with the Joint Brazil-US Military Commission at Rio de Janeiro and returned to the US for various assignments with the Air-Material Command at Wright Field, Dayton, OH.  In June 1951, he became chief of staff of the newly organized Wright Air Development Center at Wright-Patterson AFB and joined the Air Research and Development Command Headquarters (ARDC) in Baltimore, MD in April 1952.

He was promoted to Major General in July 1954 and assumed the post of Deputy Commander for Research and Development in August of 1955.

Floyd died in a plane crash shortly after takeoff from Friendship Airport, MD en route to Elgin AFB, Florida.

At the time of his death in April 1956, he was Deputy Commander for Research and Development, attached to the Air Research and Development Command Headquarters (ARDC) in Baltimore.

In June 1956, he had been slated to take over as commander of the Air Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB, California.”

He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, VA(1).


Howard first told me the story about General Wood when we were dating in the early 1960s. He also told me that General Wood was one of his father’s cousins. I parked that memory somewhere in the back of my brain until I remembered it recently. That’s when I asked him about it.

“Didn’t you tell me your father had a cousin who was a General who did something spectacular?” I asked.

“Floyd Wood!”

Then he launched into the story I set out above. It was the same story he told me in the early 1960s.

I stared at Howard’s pedigree chart on my computer screen.

“I don’t see it!” I responded.  “Wood?”


“I don’t see any the Wood surname in your tree!”

“Keep looking!”

So I started looking. And I started a separate tree for the General and moved back from there.

Suddenly, I discovered something.


“Did you find something?”

“Some of these people are already in my database!”

I connected them and returned to the General. The relationship calculator on his profile now disclosed that the General and I were fifth cousins twice removed.

“Why am I connected with him?” I asked. “He’s your Dad’s cousin!”

When I traced through the connections, I discovered that the General’s Wood line connected with my third great-grandmother, Nancy Haskins!

Nancy was born November 7, 1807 in Macon County, Tennessee, and she died January 8, 1876 in Sulphur Springs, Benton County, Arkansas. On March 25, 1824, she married my third great grandfather– Joel Owensby Hood (1803-1891) —in Roane County, Tennessee. Nancy Haskins and Joel Hood’s daughter, Manerva Caroline Hood (1824-1901)–my second great grandmother–married my second great-grandfather, William David Spence (1827-1907). Their son, my great-grandfather, Salathiel Monroe Spence (1854-1921), married my great grandmother, Josephine Virginia Kessler (1865-1925), and their son, William Franklin Spence (1884-1973) was my maternal grandfather!

Nancy’s connection with the General occurs on her maternal side of the family. Her parents were John D. Haskins (1782-1868) and Susanna Elizabeth C. Tinkham (1790-1860). And Susanna Tinkahm’s parents were John Tinkham (1754-1829) and Mary Wood (1756-1808).


Mary Wood’s brother James Thomas Wood (1764-1799) was the General’s second great-grandfather. Their parents were David Wood (1737-1813) and Mary Watson (1745-1792). And that’s how the General and I became fifth cousins twice removed!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch–

I was staring at the pedigree chart, looking for Howard’s father’s connection with the General. Only this time I was searching for the General’s ancestors who lived in North Carolina. And I finally found them in his mother’s Raby line. The common connection is between the Raby line and Howard’s paternal grandmother’s North Carolina Dalton line!

Yes! I knew the Dalton Gang had to squeeze in here somewhere!

The common ancestors on the Raby line are William Raby (1723-1821) and Elizabeth Shires (1752-1783). Their son, James Raby, Sr. (1770-1861) was the second great-grandfather of the General. James Raby’s brother, Frederick Raby (1775-1850), was the father of Dempsey Manuel Raby (1800-1870), who was in turn the father of Mary Pauline “Polly” Raby (1826-1885). Mary Pauline married Columbus W. Dalton (1829-1901)–and that is the Dalton-Raby connection in Howard’s father’s family.

Howard’s paternal grandmother, Minnie Brengle Grogan Beall (1869-1948), was the daughter of Martin Grogan (1828-1890) and Nancy Kinner Dalton (1830-1894), the granddaughter of James Hunter Dalton (1796-1880) and Nancy Critz (1799-1880), the great-granddaughter of Nicholas Dalton (1770-1838) and Rachel Hunter (1774-1863), and the second great-granddaughter of Samuel Dalton (1738-1789). Samuel’s father was Samuel Dalton (1699-1805)–progenitor of the Rockingham-Stokes County Dalton families, who lived to be 106! (I nicknamed him Old Samuel Who Lived So Long!) Some people believe that Samuel the Progenitor is also the ancestor of the infamous Dalton Gang, who expired in a shootout in Coffeyville, Kansas. Others believe that the Daltons descend from Samuel’s brother, Timothy Dalton (1690-1775). I have not resolved this issue as yet and am still working on it! At any rate, it appears that Columbus W. Dalton, husband of Mary Pauline “Polly Raby, descended from Timothy Dalton, and not from Samuel.

Now, this is really a round-about way to locate the cousin status between Howard’s father and the General. In a way, it reminds me of the Robert E. Lee story that circulated in my paternal grandmother’s family for years. Yes, there was a connection–but you had to take a number of detours through various cousins getting there!

I feel as though I have just flown through a hurricane!

At any rate, this is what I discovered. And I think I will let it go at that!


How about that! I wrote this article earlier today and tonight I have an addendum to add. So, I believe I will add it here.

As some of you may know, our son Brian is battling cancer. This has been a year long fight, and it is still ongoing. Today is Veteran’s Day. Howard is a veteran of the Air Force and Brian is a veteran of the Army. We had planned to go to I-Hops this morning for breakfast, but a winter storm intercepted those plans. Then this afternoon, Brian called. The storm moved out. The sun was shining. He decided to go to Applebee’s with us for dinner.  We picked him up and got there early ahead of the crowd.

The dinner conversation soon changed to what I was doing and whether I was writing anything. I told him about this blog. And then I told him about Maj. General Floyd Bernard Wood. Howard took over the story from there.

“I remember that story!” Brian said. “Dad told me that story when I was little. And I saw a documentary about him later.”

Howard saw the same documentary. Then Howard told a part of the story I think I remember hearing long ago.

Howard’s mother’s family lived on a farm outside the small town of Sykesville, Maryland. Sykesville is perhaps 40 miles from Baltimore. I believe Howard’s family lived in Missouri when this story took place. He was about thirteen at the time. His mother Mildred Lee Warfield Beall (1917-2007) wanted to visit her family, so she talked his father into driving them back to Maryland for a visit. The General was stationed in Baltimore at this time, so my future father-in-law–Edward L. Beall, Sr. (1907-1992)–decided to take his sons to Baltimore for a visit  with his distant cousin.

Howard actually met the General! My future father-in-law took the boys to the General’s office, and they were invited inside.

Ed Beall was quite a person. Whenever someone famous was speaking somewhere, Ed not only attended the engagement, but he managed to shake the person’s hand. A partial list of famous people he met and shook hands with include: (1) Then Senator John F. Kennedy, who stopped in Cedar Rapids, Iowa while on his way to a campaign speech while he was running for President; (2) Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., when he made a speech at Coe College in Cedar Rapids; (3) Clarence Darrow; (4) William Jennings Bryan; (5) Harry S. Truman–the Bealls only lived a few doors from his house in Independence. And when Howard was thirteen, Ed took his sons to meet the man who flew through the center of a hurricane who was his distant cousin!

In the words of Paul Harvey: “And now you know the rest of the story!”



(1) “Floyd Bernard Wood.” Story originally shared on Ancestry.com by jmwood17, 04 May 2010. Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah. Date accessed: 11 Nov 2015. Available online at http://www.ancestry.com

A Ship Without Weapons

William Gordon Spence (1918-1983) Taken in the 1940s. This photo hung on our wall for years.

William Gordon Spence (1918-1983) Taken in the 1940s. This photo hung on our wall for years.  His features favored my grandmother’s Hopper family.

The story I am about to tell happened a couple of years before I was born immediately after December 7, 1941. My mother’s brother, William Gordon Spence, was on a navy ship that had no weapons somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. Had that ship been detected, it would have been destroyed and all those on board would have been killed.

From the Find-a-Grave Memorial I created and maintain for my uncle, William Gordon Spence was born December 30, 1918 in Neosho, Newton County, Missouri, and he died March 5, 1983 in San Francisco, California. The rest of the biography follows–much of which was taken from The Sterns Family History I found in my Grandmother’s photo album:

“William Gordon Spence was the only son of William Franklin Spence and Oda Elizabeth Hopper Spence. His two sisters were Elva Gail Spence Inman and Marian Elizabeth Spence Van Fossen. He moved with his family to Iowa about 1925 and lived in the town of Marian. He joined the U.S. Navy prior to World War II and made the Navy his career. On April 21, 1951, he married Veronica “Ronni” del Palacio/Anselmi in Los Angeles. Ronnie had two children by a previous marriage: Michele Anselmi Tarkington and Raymond Mario Anselmi. The Spences were based in Hawaii prior to relocation to San Francisco ca. 1955. They lived there the rest of their married lives. William Spence died in San Francisco on March 5, 1983 and is buried in the military section of Olivet Memorial Park Cemetery in Colma, California, (Grave 748)”(1). 

Unfortunately, I do not know the name of the ship my uncle was on. He joined the Navy during an isolationist period, and the ship did not have weapons. They were somewhere in the Pacific the day of the Pearl Harbor attack and knew they had to return to the mainland immediately. Since they had no weapons or any means of defense, they had cut all communications for fear of detection. All radio transmissions were silenced.

“And for two months, we didn’t know whether he was alive or dead,” my grandmother told me.

Then my grandparents received the news that the ship returned to California safely. Everyone on board was fine!

I can only imagine what those people on the ship and their families back home experienced while all of this was underway. I think the ship must have traveled north and moved mostly at night or through in intense fog and then made its way down the coast. At any rate, once the weapons were installed on the ship, it was sent out on duty again.

I heard this story when I was really small–late 1940s. And I heard it repeated by my parents and grandparents from time to time. I grew up wondering whether anyone else knew about that ship.

Fast forward to late 1990s.

Howard and I were living in Colorado. A friend of ours–a Navy veteran– lived with us at the time while he was going to school. He worked as a security guard at the local mall. One night, he came home with a movie he rented–some war picture I no longer remember.

“I heard the darndest story today!” he said as we turned on the movie. “I’ll tell you about it later.”

About halfway through the movie, I spoke up:

“This thing reminds me of a story I heard years ago about an uncle of mine. He was on a naval ship that had no weapons on it when Pearl Harbor exploded. They had to sneak back to the mainland, and for two months, my grandparents and parents didn’t know whether he was alive or dead. The ship returned safely, but what a harrowing experience!”

“You had a uncle on that ship?” our friend exclaimed.

“My mom’s brother!” I answered, surprised that anyone knew the story.

“I met a man at the mall today! He was on that same ship!”

So we forgot the movie and compared the two stories: my memory of my uncle’s experience and the man’s memories of the same experience on the same ship.

What a coincidence!



(1) William Gordon Spence Find-a-Grave Memorial No. 97969745. Find-a-Grave.com Website. Created: 29 Sep 2012. Date Accessed: 7 Nov 2015. Available online at http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=97969745&ref=acom


The Search For Sarah Polly White (Snow) (1780-1830)–Wife of Daniel Inman (1776-1848)–AN UPDATE!

Alonzo Inman (1842-1912)–my paternal great-grandfather.

This article was originally written in 2015. When I finished the original version, I thought my search had ended, and I was satisfied with the results. After our son’s passing in March 2016, I put away genealogy for a while. My interest has recently been renewed, but I did not realize it would take me back to this article.

Shortly before Christmas, I received a message from one of my Ancestry.com contacts. We met several years ago when our DNA matched on Ancestry. The match concerned my father’s paternal Inman line and the two brothers we descended from. Her message concerned some medical records she obtained concerning her direct. She would be happy to share them with me by sending copies. Then with the rush of Christmas, I forgot all about them and was surprised when I received them the end of December or first of January.

“Who would send me a large envelope from Indiana?” I asked when it arrived.

And I was thrilled when I discovered the contents!

I’m not going to post the records on this site, nor am I going to identify the person concerned.  What I discovered in those records, however, were answers to questions I had about my father’s line for years. I will use my great- grandfather, Alonzo Inman, as a guide for this discussion. While the medical records do not pertain to him, they do provide insight into his ancestry.  One phrase stands out in particular:

“His parents and grandparents were close cousins!”

That phrase took me through another ancestral search and led to a complete revision of this article. My discussion begins briefly with Alonzo Inman.

Alonzo Inman (1842-1912)

Alonzo Inman was born June 24, 1842 in Illinois to Loren Inman (1810-1878) and Lucy Carpenter (1812-1890). (1), (2)  The parents of Loren Inman were Daniel Inman (1776-1848) and Sarah Polly White (Snow) (1780-1830). And the parents of Lucy Carpenter were  Harvey Carpenter (1775-1840) and Charlotte “Charity” Marinda Cook (1776-1840). The 1850 Census for Sugar Grove, Kane County, Illinois lists the Loren Inman Family as follows:

  • Lorin (sp) Inman  39
  • Lucy Inman 39
  • Harvey C Inman 14
  • Joseph Inman 9
  • Alonzo Inman 8
  • Ethen Inman 4
  • Charlotte M Inman 1 (3)

The Ethen Inman listed on this record should have been Ephraim Inman. Dora Ellen Inman was born in 1852. And apparently, two unnamed infant Inmans were born to this family who did not survive. I do not know whether they were born in Illinois or in Iowa, where the family later settled.

By 1860, the Loren Inman family relocated to Iowa and settled in Union Twp., Floyd County, where they appear on the census for that year. The post office is listed as Marble Rock.

  • Loren Inman 49
  • Lucy Inman 48
  • Harvey Inman 24
  • Joseph Inman 19
  • Alonzo Inman 18
  • Ephraim Inman 13
  • Marinda Inman 11
  • Dora E. Inman 7 (4)

The road leading out to the Inman farm/farms was later called “Inman Road.” I don’t know whether this still holds true but when the farms were first established, they were all lined up along that road. When I was about five years old, my dad’s brother, Forrest, came out from New York to visit us. We all drove up to Marble Rock one day and walked the Alonzo Inman-later the Loren Waiste Inman farm. That was in 1948. All of the houses were still standing along that road. My parents made another trip there in 1961. For the most part, the houses were standing, including the Alonzo Inman place that was built before the Civil War. We walked the grounds again, and I remember being surrounded by sheep. In 1997, my husband and I made our one and only trip to Marble Rock. Only one house was left standing. I could not tell whether it was in the process of being torn down or remodeled.

The last house standing in 1997 on Inman Road

We were joined by a flock of guinea hens who were curious about what we were doing! I was so glad to find the location of the Alonzo Inman/Loren Waiste Inman farm where my father was raised. I remembered my trip there in 1961 and the fact that the farm was at the end of the road. The pictures below depict the farm as it appeared in 1915-1920s and the site of the farm as it appeared on our trip there in 1997.

Alonzo Inman-Loren Waiste Inman Farm ca. 1915-1920s, Inman Road, Floyd County, Iowa

Site of the Alonzo Inman-Loren Waiste Inman Farm, Union Twp., Floyd Co., Iowa 1997. You can distinguish that fence row in front of both pictures.

On October 27, 1869, Alonzo Inman married Caroline Elizabeth Waiste (1842-1933) in Charles City, Floyd County, Iowa. Born in Vermont, Carrie was the daughter of Uriah (Uri) Smith Waiste (1814-1873) and Polly Cline (1813-1886). Carrie had traveled by steamboat to Iowa to become a country school teacher. Her mother would join her there later.

[Note: I need to mention here that the Civil War would take its toll on members of these families. Alonzo Inman’s brother, Joseph L. Inman (1841-1863) died of an illness in Memphis, Tennessee January 6, 1863. Carrie Waiste Inman’s father served with Co. F, 142nd, NY Inf. His son, Henry Smith Thomas Waiste (1845-1921) was a private with the 60th New York Infantry. I have copies of their old Civil War letters, but they are difficult to read.  One of Alonzo’s uncles, Willard Inman (1801-1870) lost two of his sons in the Civil War: Franklin E. Inman (1844-1864), who died of illness in Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, and Cassius F. Inman (1846-1863), who joined the Union Army at the age of 16 as a drummer boy, and who died of illness the following year at the age of 17 in a hospital in Chalmette, Saint Bernard Parish, Louisiana. These are just a few of the examples.]

Alonzo and Carrie Inman had the following children:

  • Loren Waiste Inman (1870-1942)–my paternal grandfather
  • Charles H. Inman (1872-1880)
  • Martha Esther Inman (1876-1899).

Young Loren Waiste Inman

Young Martha Inman

Young Loren Waiste Inman and Martha Esther Inman

Loren Waiste Inman [my paternal grandfather] married Adelia Viola Clay (1869-1951) [my paternal grandmother] in Marble Rock, Iowa on April 4, 1893. She was the daughter of Levi Clay (1843-1917) and Mary Elizabeth Stillians (1849-1915).

Loren Waiste Inman during his politician days. He was a state senator from Floyd County, Iowa (Republican) 1909-1910 etc. His picture still hangs in the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines. Reportedly, he had the largest mustache in the State Legislature


A young Viola Clay in Adair, Iowa

Adelia Viola Clay, Adair, Iowa. This photo was taken by her uncle, John Stillians


The Loren Waiste Inman Family: (L-R) Harold Clay Inman (1894-1958), Forrest Glen Inman (1895-1965), Viola Clay Inman (1869-1951), Gordon Loren Inman (my father) (1908-1974), Loren Waiste Inman (1870-1942), Lelah Esther Inman, (1902-1981) Caroline Elizabeth Waiste Inman (1842-1933) Another son, Lloyd Burr Inman (1899-1901) had already passed away when this picture was taken.


The Cousin Connection: A Time for Sarah

So where do I go from here? I wondered as I considered my options.  I read and reread the reocurring comment posted on the medical records I received:

“His parents and grandparents were close cousins!”

The writer didn’t say they were first cousins! The writer said they were close cousins! That gave me some room to wiggle around.

As already noted, Alonzo Inman’s parents were Loren Inman and Lucy Carpenter. His paternal grandparents were Daniel Inman and Sarah Polly White (Snow). And his maternal grandparents were Harvey Carpenter and Charlotte “Charity” Marinda Cook. I had no problem with most of these cousin connections. I had discovered many cousins in several lines: Inman, Sprague, Bacon, Carpenter, Cook, Sabin and others. There was just one problem, however. In 2015, I originally decided that Sarah Polly White (Snow) was originally a Snow. When I pulled up the chart for the people I perceived to be Sarah White Snow’s ancestors, I could not find a single cousin in the Snow line that would connect with the other lines in my tree. As far as I know, I do not have any common ancestor on that Snow line.

So back to the drawing board again!

I am so grateful for the many official records released by Ancestry.com since 2015. I did not have this information earlier and may have had it sooner had I not taken my leave of absence for a while. What follows is the rest of the story.

Sarah Polly White birth record from the Pomfret Records of Birth, Connecticut Town Records, pre-1870–the Barbour Collection. Ancestry.com

Sarah Polly White was one of a pair of twins born February 13, 1780 in Pomfret, Windham, Connecticut to Daniel White (1746-1804) and Mehitible/Mehetible Cummins (1750-1822). The other twin was Mehitible/Mehetable White (1780-1841). Mehitable White married Lemuel Morse, Sr. (1779-1854). She died January 2, 1841 in Lyme, Huron County, Ohio. The children of Daniel White and Mehitabel Cummins as identified in the Connecticut Town Records follow:

  • Jonathan White (1769-1839)
  • Danforth White (1771-1841)
  • Anna White (1773-1847)
  • Elizabeth White (1775-1845)
  • Daniel White (1777-1836)
  • Sarah Polly White (1780-1830)–the subject of discussion here. She was extremely weak at first and was not projected to live. The Benjamin Snow family took her in to their household and raised her as their daughter. She used the Snow surname at a later time resulting in the confusion as to whether she was a White or a Snow.
  • Mehitible/Mehetable White (1780-1841)–Sarah Polly White’s twin. She married Lemuel Morse (1779-1854) and settled in Huron County, Ohio.
  • Sarah White (1781-1781)–a second daughter named Sarah. She apparently died at birth or shortly thereafter.
  • Dorcas White (1782-1847)
  • Walter White (1784-1812)
  • Resolved White (1787-1875)
  • Artemesia White (1789-1847)
  • Sarah Polly White (1792-1840)–a third daughter named Sarah (and a second one named Sarah Polly). She married George Hammond (1790-1860) and settled in Auburn Twp., Huron County, Ohio.

I should note that the Connecticut Town Records confused three of the Sarahs–Sarah Polly (the subject of discussion here), Sarah, who died in 1781, and Sarah Polly (born 1792). Mehitable had a twin named Sarah Polly. According to Mehetable’s Find-a-Grave record, Mehetable was born February 13, 1780 and not in 1792, per the following:

Mehetable White Morse Gravestone from Find-a-Grave Memorial. Photo by Kathy (Posey) Meadows


Mehetable White Morse

  • Birth 13 Feb 1780 Pomfret, Windham County, Connecticut, USA
  • Death 2 Jan 1841 Huron County, Ohio, USA
  • Burial Bellevue Cemetery Bellevue, Huron County, Ohio, USA
  • Plot Section 1, Row 24
  • Memorial ID 33212688 (5)

This makes Mehetable White and the first Sarah Polly twins!


The Snow Factor: Benjamin Snow (1752-1800)

Benjamin Snow was born August 13, 1752 in Ashford, Windham, Connecticut, and he died in Connecticut in 1800. He was the son of Joseph Snow (1713-1787) and Abigail Sarah Cornel/Cornwall (1712-1797). His wife was Hannah Chubb (1749-1800). Hannah was the daughter of William Prentice Chubb (1723-1753) and Rachel Squire (b. 1723). Hannah was born in Ashford, Windham, Connecticut. They were married March 30, 1773 in Ashford and they stayed there.  Their children follow:.

  • Jonathan Snow, Jr. (1774-1810)  Jonathan was born January 21, 1774, and he died between 1810 and 1820. The exact date of death is unknown. On April 24, 1794, he married Relief Johnson (1773-1831) in Ashford, Windham, Connecticut. Their children were: Annie Snow (b. 1794), Alice Snow (b. 1797), Hezekiah Snow (1798-1842), Hannah Snow (no dates).
  • Eunice Snow (1776-1850). Eunice was born April 6, 1776, and she died in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania April 25, 1850. She married Jesse Ames (1780-1861). Their children were: Roswell Squire Ames (1800-1886); Leon Ames (1804-1805); Simeon Ames (1806-1806); Margaret Philena Ames (1807-1871); Otis Ames (1809-1871); Jasper Ames (1811-1887); Chauncy Ames (1813-1848); Annis Ames (1817-1878)
  • Annis Snow (1778-1779/80)
  • Willard Snow (1782-1784). Willard was Sarah Polly White’s pride and joy. She joined the Snow family shortly after her birth. Willard was born December 30, 1782, and he died July 28, 1784. Sarah was just two years older than Willard. She remembered him well and probably missed him a great deal. Her first son, Willard Inman, may have been named after him.
  • Dudley Snow (1784-1830). Dudley may well have been another of Sarah Polly’s treasures. He served in the War of 1812 and died at sea in 1830. He married Mary Polly Penhallow (1787-1848) on March 2, 1806 in Belchertown, Massachusetts. Their children were: Abijah Rockwell Snow (1810-1892); William D V Snow (1812-1900); Parmelia Snow (b. 1821); Daniel Pinney Snow (1825-1902); [He may well been named after Daniel Inman]; and, James Snow (1828-1898).

There was definitely a scarcity of children in the Snow family when compared with Sarah’s birth family. For this reason, I believe the Whites made the arrangement permanent when the Snows took in the infant Sarah. She later used the Snow surname, thereby creating the White vs. Snow controversy surrounding her name. I do not know how much contact the two families had with one another after Sarah was placed with the Snows. They were friends. The Whites lived in Pomfret and the Snows lived in Ashford. It may have pained the Whites that they gave up Sarah. That could explain why they named their next daughter Sarah. However, that Sarah did not live. And they named their last child Sarah Polly when she was born in 1792. That Sarah Polly White bonded well with her sister Mehitible/Mehetable; the two sisters eventually moved to Ohio with their families.


The Rest of the Story

As already noted, there is no cousin connection with Alonzo Inman in the Snow line. The cousin connections are alive and well in the White line, however with the following surnames: Bacon, Carpenter, Sabin, Inman and Mayo and others.

In 1800, Sarah Polly White (Snow) married Daniel Inman in Dudley, Worchester, Massachusetts.(6) Daniel was the son of Joseph Inman (1750-1819) and Lucy Sprague (1753-1836). By the time of her marriage to Daniel Inman,  Sarah’s foster parents had passed away.  Her natural father Daniel White and her mother Mehetabel/Mehitible Cummins were still alive. Daniel White died June 30, 1804 in Windsor, Berkshire, Massachusetts.(7)

Daniel White death notice in the Massachusetts Town Records for Windsor


He is apparently buried in Windsor, but his grave has never been discovered.

Mehetabel/Mehitible Cummins joined the Daniel Inman family in Ontario, New York, where she passed away in 1822. Her Find-a-Grave entry follows:

Mehetable Cummins White Gravestone, Find-a-Grave Memorial. Photo by Frank C. Hawkins

Mehetabel Cummins White
Birth 28 Mar 1750 Killingly, Windham County, Connecticut, USA
Death 19 Jan 1822 Gorham, Ontario County, New York, USA
Burial Baldwins Corner Cemetery Rushville, Ontario County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 21749721 (8)

She was able to finally bond with her daughter during the final years of her life.

The children of Daniel Inman and Sarah Polly White (Snow) follow:

  • Willard Inman (1801-bef 1870)  Willard was born in Pomfret, Windham, Connecticut in 1801, and he died in Jefferson, Butler Iowa before 1870. His wife was Lydia M. Peck. Their children were: Sarah S. Inman (1825-1879); Elsie (Alcy) Lowena Inman (1827-1906); Pvt. Daniel Willard Inman (1835-1909); Major Chester William Inman (1837-1894); 1st Lt. Joseph George Inman (1838-1893); Harriet S. Inman (1840-1913); Lucy Caroline “Carrie” Inman (1843-1880); Franklin E. Inman (1844-1864); Cassius F. Inman (1846-1863).
  • David Trumbull Inman (1802-1866)  David was born in Ontario, Wayne, New York in 1801, and he died in Illinois in 1866. His wife’s name was Alamanda. I do not have information about his children.
  • Alcy Inman (1807-1873). Alcy was born in Ontario, New York in 1807, and she died in Marble Rock, Floyd County, Iowa in 1873. Her husband was Robert D. Frost (1831-1907). Their children were: Joseph Inman Robert Frost (1831-1907); Sarah Frost (b. 1839); Josephine Frost (1843-1920); Robert David Frost (1846-1921).
  • Joseph Inman (1809-1880). Joseph was born in 1809 in New York, and he died in March 1880 in Marble Rock, Floyd County, Iowa. His wife’s name was Caroline, who was born in 1810. I have no further information.
  • Loren Inman (1810-1878). Loren was born in Ontario, Wayne County, New York in 1810, and he died September 12, 1878 in Marble Rock, Floyd County, Iowa. His wife was Lucy Carpenter (1812-1890). They have already been discussed, but I will list their children here:
    • Harvey Carpenter Inman (1836-1886)–his wife was Sarah E. McCollom (1838-1924). Their son was Harry Edward Inman (1869-1933) [Note: Actually the son of Ephraim Inman and Harriet Clay–adopted by Harvey Carpenter Inman and Sarah E. McCollom.
    • Joseph L. Inman (1841-1863). He joined the Union Army in 1862 and died at age 22 of an illness in Memphis, Tennessee I have already discussed him earlier.
    • Alonzo Inman (1842-1912). My great-grandfather. I have already discussed him earlier.
    • Ephraim Inman (1846-1914). Ephraim was born September 1, 1806 in Aurora, DuPage, Illinois and he died August 9, 1914 in Buchanan County, Iowa. His wife was Harriet Clay (1849-1906). Harriet and my grandmother, Adelia Viola Clay, were cousins. Grandma left Adair, Iowa and went to Floyd County to help Harriet while her husband was ill. That’s how my grandparents met at the local church one Sunday!  The children of Ephraim Inman and Harriet Clay were: Louis Joseph Inman (1867-1908); Harry Edward Inman (1869-1933)–adopted by Harvey Carpenter Inman and Sarah E. McCollom; Harvey Ephraim Inman (1871-1960); Nellie Louisa Inman (1873-1941); Lucy Ellen Inman (1875-1943); Sarah R Inman (b. 1883). Bernice Caroline Inman (1887-1967).
    • Charlotte Marinda Inman (1849-1892). Charlotte was born August 5, 1849 in Sugar Grove, Kane County, Illinois, and she died in Brainerd, Minnesota in 1892. Apparently, she had two marriages. I cannot prove the first marriage nor the son who was reportedly born of that marriage. She may have married a Frank Bell in Floyd County, Iowa in 1865. They may have had a son named Edward Bell (1866-1870). They may have divorced in Brainerd, Minnesota in 1866. She appears to have married Andrew Jackson Baumgardner (1828-1905) before 1870 in Floyd County, Iowa. They were divorced before 1880 because he remarried in 1881. (He appears to have had four wives). Charlotte spent her final years with her sister.
    • Dora Ellen Inman (1852-1930). Dora Ellen was born December 25, 1852 in Aurora, Illinois and she died February 28, 1932 in Portland, Multnonah, Oregon. Her husband was Henry Smith Thomas Waiste (1845-1921). He was one of Caroline Elizabeth Waiste’s brothers. Caroline was Alonzo Inman’s  wife. I mentioned Henry Waiste previously. Their children were Lucy Bell Waiste (1872-1929), Charles Edgar Waiste (1876-1922), Robert Alonzo Waiste (1891-1964), Fay Caroline Waiste (1893-1894.)
    • 2 Unknown Infants–names and dates of birth and death unknown.
  • Nelson Proctor Inman (1822-1872). Nelson was born March 1822 in Genesee County, New York, and he died in 1872 in Sheffield, Franklin County, Iowa. His wife was Laura Jane Denny (1826-1916). Their children were: Nancy J. Inman (1852-1916); John Nelson Inman (1854-1942); William Henry Harrison Inman (1856-1950); Daniel Alonzo Inman (1860-1916); Ida Irene Inman (1862-1864); Lucy Adele Inman (1864-1967).


Daniel Inman Illinois Public Land Purchase, July 1844

There is some dispute concerning the location of Sarah Polly White Inman’s death–whether it occurred in New York or in Illinois. She was still alive in New York in 1830. Daniel Inman began purchasing land in Illinois May 31, 1842.(9)  He was living in Illinois when he began making these purchases, so he may have been there as early as 1840. I cannot find an 1840 Census Record for him. Sarah would have died in New York because Kane County, Illinois wasn’t formed until 1836. There is no definite date of death for her other than the 1830 Census. She would have died after that census record and before Daniel’s move to Illinois (approx. 1840).



(1) Waiste Family Bible originally owned by Polly Cline Waiste, now in the possession of Barbara Inman Beall

(2) Alonzo Inman Death Certificate, Iowa Department of Records, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Des Moines, Iowa.

(3) 1850 U.S. Census, Sugar Grove, Kane County, Illinois for the Loren Inman family. U.S. Department of Federal Census, Washington DC. Copy obtained from Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah.

(4) 1860 U.S. Census, Union Twp., Floyd County, Iowa for the Loren Inman Family. U. S. Department of Federal Census, Washington DC. Copy obtained from Ancestry.com, Provo, Utah.

(5) Mehetable White Morse Find-a-Grave Memorial # 33212688. Accessed 5 Jan 2014. Available online at https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/33212688#

(6) Inman, Charles Gordon. Daniel Inman of Connecticut, Ontario, New York, and Sugar Grove, Ill. and His Descendants ca. 1776-ca. 1976 with Ancestral Notes to the Early Seventeenth Century. Personal Copy.

(7)Daniel White Death Record. Massachusetts Town Death Records. New England Historic Genealogical SocietyPublisherOnline publication – Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 1999.Original data – Vital Records of Bellingham Massachusetts to the Year 1850. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1904.

(8) Mehetabel Cummins White Find-a-Grave Entry. Find-a-Grave.com. Available online at https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/21749721

(9)1830 Census for Daniel Inman; Census Place: Ontario, Wayne, New York; Series: M19; Roll: 117; Page: 56; Family History Library Film: 001717 Ancestry.com. Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.Original data – Fifth Census of the United States, 1830. (NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census,

(10)) Daniel Inman Illinois Land Purchase Certificate, July 1844.  Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999.



Stirring the Nest in the Northeastern Inman Families

Parade of baby ducks!

Parade of baby ducks!


Whenever I start working on a different family line, I generally take time updating my information about them prior to writing the series. I’m currently doing that with Dad’s Northeastern Inmans since I haven’t looked at some of those lines in years! And I have discovered some interesting things. My discoveries all relate to Dad’s Inman line and focus on three families who intermarried with them.

One big problem centered around the wife of Edward Inman (1713-1778) whose wife’s first name (Dorcas) was known, but not her last name. When I first started looking at this line a few years ago, I discovered that a number of people thought her last name was Paine. I checked into it and soon discovered that the Dorcas Paine they focused on married someone else and that was her only marriage. So I listed Dorcus on my tree as Dorcus “Paine”–a marker indicating I would look into it later. Paine was definitely a pain, but I was working on other lines at the time, and I had no ancestral clue for this mysterious lady.  About a month ago, I started looking into Docus “Paine” again only this time, I found her real identity.  Thank goodness for all the records Ancestry has added to their database over the years because when I re-investigated the Paines recently, I blazed a trail!

I always hesitate doing this. The question Am I heading in the right direction lingers in my mind, followed by What if all of this is wrong, and I have to start all over again?  That’s when Ancestry’s DNA steps in.

About a year ago, I took advantage of one of Ancestry’s offers: for $79 I could get one of their DNA kits.

Well, why not? I decided.

Then I waited “patiently” for the kit to arrive. And I wasted no time in returning my result after receiving the kit. Matches were almost immediate. Very early, I was in a number of DNA Circles of people whose DNA matched mine and whose ancestors matched mine, and the list has grown to 23 DNA Circles on both sides of the family plus 283 individual matches:

  • Loren Inman Family DNA Circle
  • Lucy Carpenter Family DNA Circle
  • Daniel Inman Family DNA Circle
  • Samuel Perry Spence Family DNA Circle
  • Rebecca Elizabeth Inman Family DNA Circle
  • Joel Owensby Hood Family DNA Circle
  • Nancy Haskins Family DNA Circle
  • John Christian Clay Family DNA Circle
  • Mary Barbara Hoy Family DNA Circle
  • George Albert Hoy Family DNA Circle
  • Mary Yeager Family DNA Circle
  • Christina Dellinger Family DNA Circle
  • John George Coffman (Kauffman) Family DNA Circle
  • Charles Barney Family DNA Circle
  • Benjamin Franklin Barney Family DNA Circle
  • Darius Brown Family DNA Circle–this family provided the key to the Paine matter; he is my fourth cousin four times removed
  • Leah Johnson Family DNA Circle–she was the wife of Darius Brown
  • Barbara Stiffler Family DNA Circle
  • James Alfred Estill Family DNA Circle
  • Christian Snyder Family DNA Circle
  • John Johnson Carpenter Family DNA Circle
  • Susan Ann Sudduth Family DNA Circle
  • Elias Sudduth Family DNA Circle

Darius Brown provided my link to the correct Paine line and also introduced me to the Brown line that had intermarried with the Paines. As soon as I incorporated all of that information into my tree, I started receiving confirmations of matching DNA  on both Paine and Brown lines. So the issue is settled as far as I am concerned. (I will be talking about those lines in a later article.)

The Cline/Clyne line was the second one I tackled. It bothered me because I had little information about them, and yet they figured prominently in Dad’s Inman history. The line ended in New York. I poked around that state years ago and gave up when I could find nothing new.  And I was about to give up on them again recently until I discovered a death record for my third great-grandmother and discovered her maiden name: Chelson or Chilson. That discovery finally broke down the barrier. I started receiving DNA matches on the Chelson/Chilson line almost as soon as I entered the data on my tree. I’m still poking around somewhat with the Cline line, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. At least I am heading in the right direction.

The third problem on Dad’s Inman line centers upon the wife of Daniel Inman (1776-1848). There was one wife and only one wife whose first name was Sarah. (Over the years, some people have credited Daniel with three wives–all named Sarah. That didn’t happen! There was only one Sarah!)  Existing records suggest that she was either a Snow or a White. Years ago, I couldn’t find anything to justify either name, so I listed her as Sarah Snow for a while and then as Sarah Snow/White. In recent years, I played around with the White name, but I could find no resolution there either. Then I discovered people had added a third wife named Sarah Proctor/Procter, and I knew I had to reach a conclusion soon. (Daniel and Sarah’s youngest son was Nelson Proctor Inman (1822-1872).  Some of his descendants have decided that Sarah’s name was Proctor. I could find no record or other confirmation of that).

Back at the drawing board once again, I tore through existing records and finally concluded that my original assumption was correct: Sarah’s surname was Snow!  I will write about this experience in a later article. What I will note here is that when I incorporated the Snow name into my tree and after including the people I thought were her family, I began receiving DNA confirmations in that regard. So I’m satisfied I’m on the right path.

Meanwhile, I’m still stirring–

Update!!! (November 1, 2015)

I have an update to add to this article concerning the Snow line. My research has been confirmed concerning Sarah Snow and her parents. I received several DNA confirmations today. Will be writing an article on it in the future.

We Meet Again: William Miller (1782-1849)

William Miller (

William Miller (1782-1840)


I mentioned this man in my first book The Sum Total: William Miller (1782-1849)–the founder of the Millerite Movement or Millerism in the 1840s. It was during the time of the Great Awakening, and a number of revivals were underway at the time. Miller was a big item in Ohio in the 1840s when my Clay/Klee ancestors lived there. So I mentioned him briefly in my book along with other events taking place at the time, and then I went on from there. I forgot all about him until today.

I was working on Dad’s Cline/Clyne line–a line that has been very difficult to trace. My great-grandfather, Alonzo Inman (1842-1912), married Caroline Elizabeth Waiste (1842-1933). Caroline was the daughter of Uri Smith Waiste (1814-1873) and Polly Cline (1813-1886). And Polly Cline was the daughter of Jacob Cline/Clyne (1771-1853) and Polly Chelson/Chilson (1777-1865)–the Cline line I am currently researching.

My third great-grandparents, Jacob Cline/Clyne and Polly Chelson/Chilson, are buried in the William Miller Farm/Cemetery in Low Hampton, Washington County, New York! William Miller is buried there as well.

Okay–so who was William Miller? I wondered as I stared at the cemetery page. After all, five years had passed since I wrote that book. His Find-a-Grave Memorial jogged my memory, and when I discovered his photo on the internet, I knew I had visited him before. Only now, he had a direct connection with some of my ancestors!

Who Was William Miller?

After bumping into William Miller again–this time so closely associated with family members– I had to order a book about him. It has been shipped, but I may not receive it until sometime in late November or early December. For now, I will rely on a brief synopsis of from the Wikipedia site and expand it more fully after the book arrives:

William Miller was born on February 15, 1782, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. His parents were Captain William Miller, a veteran of the American Revolution, and Paulina, the daughter of Elnathan Phelps. When he was four years old, his family moved to rural Low Hampton, New York. Miller was educated at home by his mother until the age of nine, when he attended the newly established East Poultney District School. Miller is not known to have undertaken any type of formal study after the age of eighteen, though he continued to read widely and voraciously.  As a youth, he had access to the private libraries of Judge James Witherell and Congressman Matthew Lyon in nearby Fair Haven, Vermont, as well as that of Alexander Cruikshanks of Whitehall, New York. In 1803, Miller married Lucy Smith and moved to her nearby hometown of Poultney, where he took up farming. While in Poultney, Miller was elected to a number of civil offices, starting with the office of Constable. In 1809 he was elected to the office of Deputy Sheriff and at an unknown date was elected Justice of the Peace. Miller served in the Vermont militia and was commissioned a lieutenant on July 21, 1810. He was reasonably well off, owning a house, land, and at least two horses.

Shortly after his move to Poultney, Miller rejected his Baptist heritage and became a Deist. In his biography Miller records his conversion: “I became acquainted with the principal men in that village [Poultney, Vermont], who were professedly Deists; but they were good citizens, and of a moral and serious deportment. They put into my hands the works of Voltaire, [David] Hume, Thomas Paine, Ethan Allen, and other deistical writers”(1)

To make a long story short, after Miller became a Deist, he joined the military and after he was discharged from his military service, he returned to Low Hampton, Washington County, New York. He bought a farm there, and the William Miller Cemetery where he and my ancestors are buried is located in the area. When he returned to Low Hampton, he attempted regaining his Baptist faith. But his early attempt failed when he tried  to regain his Baptist faith by remaining a Deist.

That didn’t work out too well.

In Miller’s words:

“Suddenly the character of a Savior was vividly impressed upon my mind. It seemed that there might be a Being so good and compassionate as to Himself atone for our transgressions, and thereby save us from suffering the penalty of sin. I immediately felt how lovely such a Being must be; and imagined that I could cast myself into the arms of, and trust in the mercy of, such a One”(2).

After  his conversion, his father (who was a Deist) challenged him to prove it. So Miller compiled a calculation of the exact date when Christ would return–the Second Coming. Some writers indicate that Miller did not actually release the date to the public himself. The announcement was made by a Congregational minister in Boston. The result was a religious fervor that got out of control, ending in The Great Disappointment:

After the failure of Miller’s expectations for October 22, 1844, the date became known as the Millerites’ Great Disappointment. Hiram Edson recorded that “Our fondest hopes and expectations were blasted, and such a spirit of weeping came over us as I never experienced before… We wept, and wept, till the day dawn.” Following the Great Disappointment most Millerites simply gave up their beliefs. Some did not and viewpoints and explanations proliferated. Miller initially seems to have thought that Christ’s Second Coming was still going to take place—that “the year of expectation was according to prophecy; but…that there might be an error in Bible chronology, which was of human origin, that could throw the date off somewhat and account for the discrepancy.” Miller never gave up his belief in the Second Coming of Christ; he died on December 20, 1849, still convinced that the Second Coming was imminent. Miller is buried near his home in Low Hampton, NY and his home is a registered National Historic Landmark and preserved as a museum: William Miller’s Home(3).

Repercussions followed The Great Disappointment:

The Millerites had to deal with their own shattered expectations, as well as considerable criticism and even violence from the public. Many followers had given up their possessions in expectation of Christ’s return. On November 18, 1844, Miller wrote to Himes about his experiences:

“Some are tauntingly enquiring, ‘Have you not gone up?’ Even little children in the streets are shouting continually to passersby, ‘Have you a ticket to go up?’ The public prints, of the most fashionable and popular kind…are caricaturing in the most shameful manner of the ‘white robes of the saints,’ Revelation 6:11, the ‘going up,’ and the great day of ‘burning.’ Even the pulpits are desecrated by the repetition of scandalous and false reports concerning the ‘ascension robes’, and priests are using their powers and pens to fill the catalogue of scoffing in the most scandalous periodicals of the day.”

There were also the instances of violence: a Millerite church was burned in Ithaca, and two were vandalized in Dansville and Scottsville. In Loraine, Illinois, a mob attacked the Millerite congregation with clubs and knives, while a group in Toronto was tarred and feathered. Shots were fired at another Canadian group meeting in a private house.

Both Millerite leaders and followers were left generally bewildered and disillusioned. Responses varied: some continued to look daily for Christ’s return, while others predicted different dates—among them April, July, and October 1845. Some theorized that the world had entered the seventh millennium—the “Great Sabbath”, and that therefore, the saved should not work. Others acted as children, basing their belief on Jesus’ words in Mark 10:15: “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Millerite O. J. D. Pickands used Revelation to teach that Christ was now sitting on a white cloud and must be prayed down. Probably the majority, however, simply gave up their beliefs and attempted to rebuild their lives. Some members rejoined their previous denominations. A substantial number joined the Shakers(4).

A number of denominations emerged from this event including the Shakers, the Seventh-Day Adventists, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. My third great grandparents were Millerite Baptists, and they remained loyal with the original group.

I just hope they weren’t sitting on top of their roof, dressed in white sheets!



(1) William Miller, Preacher. From the Wikipedia site. Last modified: 15 Sep 2015. Date Accessed: 25 Oct 2015. Available online at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Miller_%28preacher%29

(2) William Miller, Preacher. From the Wikipedia site. Last modified: 15 Sep 2015. Date Accessed: 25 Oct 2015. Available online at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Miller_%28preacher%29

(3) William Miller, Preacher. From the Wikipedia site. Last modified: 15 Sep 2015. Date Accessed: 25 Oct 2015. Available online at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Miller_%28preacher%29

(4) Great Disappointment. From the Wikipedia site. Last modified: 27 Jul 2015. Date Accessed: 25 Oct 2015. Available online at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Disappointment