IMG 6714 row6 01                     Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. "Be still," they say. "Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands." –Linda Hogan


The heart of any genealogy is the Ahnentafel. Ahnentafel is simply the German word for "Ancestor Table." It goes beyond the branching chart of the family tree and brings your ancestors alive, because it allows us to include items such as photographs, stories, birth and death announcements, military documents, immigration data, scans of naturalization papers, marriage certificates, medals, obituaries, newspaper articles, offices held, or a ship's manifest. We take care to document sources. The result is a lively look into your past, as far as we can reach. This can be done as part of a memoir, or as a stand-alone project.

What follows is a brief example of the Ahnentafel for Richard E. Miller:


First Generation

1 Rev. Dr. Richard Elroy Miller. Born on 25 Feb 1931 in North English, Iowa. Education: BSc, MBA, MDiv, DMin.

Richard grew up in Waterloo, Iowa. He participated in wrestling, tennis, and basketball while in school. He also acted in several plays, such as Dear Ruth and directed the play, I Remember Mama. He attended Boy’s State in 1948 at Camp Dodge, Iowa. He attended Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa for two years, then transferred to the State University of Iowa in Iowa City where he earned a degree in business and a Master’s in marketing. After graduation he worked for the Equitable Life Assurance for three years, then everything changed.

He felt the call to the ministry, and with two young children to support, he enrolled in the seminary to become a Presbyterian minister. On July 10, 1960, he was ordained as a pastor and served congregations in Waterloo and Ackley, Iowa, Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, Gloucester, Virginia, and several churches in the St. Louis, Missouri area.

Richard and Valerie Jane Reynolds were married in the First Presbyterian Church of Altona, Illinois, by Rev. Ralph Osborne. Marianne Miller was Maid of Honor and Daniel Hinson was Best Man. Richard and Valerie are the parents of David Michael Miller, b. 04 Feb 1954 and Kathleen Anne Miller Evans, b. 08 Jan 1956.


Second Generation

2 Rev. Clair Elroy Miller. Born on 15 Dec 1899 on a farm near South English, Iowa. Rev. Clair Elroy died in 2304 Indian Village Blvd. Ft. Wayne, IN, on 21 Dec 1981; he was 82. Education: BA, Mt. Morris College, Mt. Morris, IL. MA, State University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.

Clair was born and raised on his parent's farm south of North English, Iowa [Liberty Township, Keokuk County]. He was baptized in the English River Church of the Brethren, two miles east of South English, Iowa on Route 22. As a youth, he went skinny dipping in the pond on the farm with his brothers, Lawrence and Wilbur. He climbed up to the barn rafters to retrieve wood for his Grandpa Jacob Etter [his mother’s father] and helped him make furniture.  Clair attended the Union elementary school and the North English High School. He rode his horse to school, stabled it in a nearby barn, and ran out to feed it during the noon hour. According to his sister, Helen, he once broke his arm trying to crank a Ford tractor. Before he had a chance to graduate from high school, he had a falling out with his dad (Albert), so he dropped out of school and left home for a period of time, living with a neighbor.

In 1918, along with his sister Mildred, Clair enrolled in the Mt. Morris Academy, Mt. Morris, Illinois, for two years to earn his remaining high school credits. He then enrolled in Mt. Morris College, on the same campus to earn his BA degree in May of 1924. He was ordained as a minister in the Church of the Brethren in 1924 and served as pastor to the Cedar Rapids Church of the Brethren from 1924 to 1925, and pastor of the Robins Church of the Brethren from 1924 through 1928. [3] On August 18, 1924 he married Marjorie (Margaret) Elizabeth Hersch. [4]

When he took his family on vacations to Colorado, they stayed in cabins with an outhouse. Since the outhouse had no lock on it, he taught his family this song, "There is someone in this house so stay away,  there is someone in this house so stay away, there is ping pong, rook and flinch, they will keep you in a pinch, there is someone in this house so stay away!" One of his favorite jokes was to ask “What is a mugwump.” Answer: It is a bird sitting on a telephone wire with its mug on one side and his wump on the other.

In 1930 he accepted the position of Principal of the Webster City, Iowa high school.

On 18 Aug 1924 when Clair was 24, he married Marjorie Elisabeth Hersch in Jesup, Iowa. After Margaret died in 1957, Clair married Margaret Everding [d. 14 Nov 2011]


3 Marjorie Elisabeth HERSCH. Born on 18 Aug 1901 on a farm near Jesup, Iowa. Marjorie died in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Buried Waterloo, Ia, on 16 Sep 1957; she was 56. Education: BA from Mt. Morris College, Mt. Morris, Illinois.

In 1909, at the age of eight, her family moved to Waterloo, Iowa about seventeen miles west of their farm. She graduated from West High School and enrolled in Mt. Morris College in Illinois where she majored in home-economics. It was at Mt. Morris that she met and fell in love with Clair E. Miller.  [5] Margaret and Clair were the parents of: Marlyn Margaret Miller, b. 03 Sep 1926 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. d. 10 Jun 2007 in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio.

Richard Elroy Miller, b. 25 Feb 1931 in North English, Iowa [6], [


Third Generation

4  Rev. Albert Wellington Miller. Born on 7 Nov 1874 in South English, Iowa.  Rev. Albert Wellington died in South English, Iowa, on 14 Jun 1934; he was 59.

As a little boy, Albert was playing in the grass near the dirt road that passed by their farm house. A group of gypsies came by in a horse-drawn caravan, grabbed him and put him in their wagon. Fortunately, a neighbor working in a nearby field saw what happened. He alerted Albert’s father, Michael, and they chased the gypsies and retrieved Albert. 

Albert and Sadie were married on 28 Feb 1897. Their wedding announcement in the North English Record, the local newspaper, reads as follows: Mr. Albert Miller and Miss Sadie Etter were married by Elder Samuel Flory at his home east of South English at 10 o/clock a.m. last Sunday. A reception and dinner was tendered the happy couple at the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Etter, immediately following the ceremony. An Infare was held on Monday at the home of the groom’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Miller, This bright young couple are numbered among the best young people of Liberty Twp, and the “Record” takes pleasure in extending its hearty congratulations.” [8]

The following newspaper notice appeared at the time of Albert’s death: “A. W. MILLER DIES AT HIS HOME Prominent Minister and Farmer passed away last Thursday afternoon after long illness. The funeral of the late Albert W. Miller was held last Saturday afternoon at 2 o’clock in the English River Church of the Brethren, conducted by Rev. J. D. Brower. Interment in English River Cemetery. The pallbearers were: Guy Harris, Joe King, Newell Gibbens, Homer Miller, Raymond King and Jas. Lockridge. Obituary: Albert Wellington Miller, son of Michael and Sarah Stoner Miller, was born November 7, 1874 and died on the same homestead on which he was born, June 14, 1934, aged 59 years, 7 months and 7 days. He was married to Sadie Etter on LFebruary 28, 1897. To them were born six children, three sons and three daughters, Lawrence, Clair, Wilbur, Mildred, Margaret and Helen. Margaret preceded him in death July 17, 1922.

He also leaves to mourn his loss four brothers, LWill and Sam of So. English, Charles of Wellman, and Frank of Waterford, California; and two sisters, Mrs. Mary Blaylock and Mrs. Elsie Oliver of South English. One brother died in infancy and two sisters have preceded him. He also leaves seven grandchildren, Marlyn and Richard, Leon and Paul, and Lawrence, Betty Jean and Joyce. His grandchildren have lost a jolly, cheerful and ever-ready playmate, his children a kind and indulgent father, and his wife, the loving partner of nearly 40 years of wedded bliss.

In about 1902, he was ordained a minister of the Church of the Brethren, and on Dec. 29, 1917, he was advanced to the eldership by Elders J. D. Brower and H. C. N. Coffman. He served the church he loved faithfully as a minister for over 30 years and was largely instrumental in the organization and development of the church at North English and was Elder-in-Charge at the time of his death, which organization now suffers a serious and irreparable loss. For several years he served as Pastor of the Pleasant Grove Brethren Church and the Community Church of the Millersburg neighborhood. He was greatly interested in Sunday School work and taught a class of young people for 40 years, being exceptionally faithful in attendance. Nor a number of years he served the Southern District of Iowa as Sunday School Secretary. He solemnized many marriages and conducted a large number of funerals, in addition to preaching an average of once every two weeks, and managing, almost single handed, a large farm. His knowledge of the Bible was remarkable. He could quote almost any passage.

Rev. Mr. Miller was very active in prompting the sale of Liberty bonds during the world war as well as raising large funds for the Red Cross and other welfare organizations for the help of the boys in France. He was a cornerstone in his community, serving as president of the school board for about 15 years. He could always be counted on in time of trouble and need to be present and to do what he could. His counsel was always timely and good and his untimely death leaves a place in the community that will never be filled. Liberal and progressive in his views, he sought and gained for his children advantages which he himself never had thus leaving them a heritage that can never be measured and will only be appreciated through the coming years. [9] On 28 Feb 1897 when  Rev. Albert was 22, he married Sadie Lydia Etter in South English, Iowa.


5 Sadie Lydia Etter. Born on 1 Nov 1875 in South English, Iowa. Sadie died in South English, Iowa, on 4 Sep 1959; she was 83. Sadie and Albert were the parents of: Lawrence Albert Miller, b. 22 Feb 1898 - d. 28 Aug 1981. Married Elizabeth Hazel Kimmel on 01 Jul 1924. Clair Elroy Miller, b. 15 Dec 1899 - d. 21 Dec 1981. Married Margaret Elizabeth Hersch on 18 Aug 1924. Mildred May Miller, b. 03 Aug 1902 - d. 08 Nov 1979. Married Earl B. Petzinger on 02 Jun 1938. Wilbur Leon Miller, b. 05 Apr 1907 - d. 04 Feb 1969. Married Jesse Frances McCalla on 23 May 1929. Margaret Sadie Miller, b. 11 Oct 1909 - d. 17 Jul 1922. Died young.Florence Helen Miller, b. 02 Aug 1915 - d. 14 Jun 2005. Married Leo Bucher on 27 Sep 1935. [10], [11]


6 Nevin Blanck Hersch. Born on 21 Jan 1856 in Pennsylvania. Nevin Blanck died in Iowa on 4 Dec 1938; he was 82. Nevin and Minnie Mae Eshleman were married on 22 Mar 1883. [12] For many years, Nevin owned a farm near Jesup, Iowa. He eventually sold the farm and moved to Waterloo, Iowa where he rented out houses and was a realtor. On 22 Mar 1883 when Nevin Blanck was 27, he married Minnie Mae Eshleman in Polo, Illinois. 7 Minnie Mae Eshleman.Born on 15 Jun 1862 in Pennsylvania. Minnie Mae died in Sebring, Florida, on 20 Dec 1937; she was 75. They had these children:

 John David Hersch, b. 14 Jan 1884 - d. 24 Mar 1974.

Thomas Franklin Hersch, b. 02 Jan 1888 - d, 12 Feb 1951.. Viola Hersch, b. 09 Sep 1891 - d. 29 Sep 1891 Edith Mattie Hersch, b. 20 Nov 1892 - d. 08 Sep 1906. Elmer Myron Hersch, b. 12 Jun 1894 - d. 16 Jan 1972. Mae Hersach, b. 1898 Elsie Hersch, b. 1899 Margaret Elizabeth Hersch, b. 1901