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Miller History Index  Family History Index



Introduction to the Miller Family History
Maureen Materi (nee Scott)

"My grandmother was to sail on the Titanic but it was overbooked so she, her mother and sister sailed to Canada a week later on another ship. May not be contacting you otherwise."

"This family emigrated to Australia, Canada, USA, etc. I have been in touch with many of the living relatives."

"My great-grandparents were Capt. Alexander Miller - died aboard the "Ban-Righ" on December 22, 1896 and his wife was Margaret Miller nee: Angus. Some of the names connected with this family are Miller, Angus, Bain, Banks, Taylor, Sinclair, Wares, Smith, Meiklejohn, Oag, etc."

It's hard to say when this whole project started up. I remember my grandmother, Alexina, Kate, Maggie Thackray nee: Miller talking about Wick all the time.  She and my grandfather made a trip there in the summer of 1960.  She sent me several postcards, that for some reason, I still have. Actually, I have about 3000 feet of movie film they took while they were there, which I never remember seeing, so I'm going to have them put on VHS tapes so I can see what new info is on them.

Anyways, when my husband and I were there in Dec. 1996, my mother (now deceased) asked him to clean out the attic over the garage.  Both my grandfather and father owned men's wear shops and in the attic was an old man's suit box.  It looked like it hadn't been opened for years even though they had just built the house in 1988.  I took one album to the hospital to show her and that was what helped her learn to talk again after a stroke. She always wanted to know what happened to her grandfather, Frederick, William Thackray who was a wholesale chemist in Sheffield.  My grandmother and her 2 sons came to Canada and he and his daughter stayed there.  I have followed about 6 generations of his all over England but have lost him in Southport in 1909-10.  Have found a number of really nice relatives, though.  Her wanting to know the answer what happened to her dad's father, I vowed then no matter how long it took, I was going to get an answer for mom.  It was like a bomb explode in my life because for whatever reason I was so focused on this.  The more I got into it and the more results I got, members of my own family who I didn't even know about started contacting me from all over.  I was about 2 months behind in opening the mail, other than bills at one time.  Now I have information, pictures, you name it from all over the world.

After awhile, you wouldn't believe the things people were asking me and I stopped what I was doing (you should have seen my phone bills) and found out what they wanted to know.  This was becoming a nightmare, so I knew I had to put it all together in some form.  The way it look now, I think the final thing will be a book complete with pictures, bios, and anything else. Some of the things people have sent me from Australia are antiques.  Once I got a death certificate from a Miller that I found by accident in Australia (I had to look up in the history book to see where people were settling at that time in Australia) I found a whole family.  That little section is a book in itself. Right from the very first day, I started ordering birth, marriage and death certificates on a few people. You then take the information off of them and expand the search.  Sometimes, one has to go back 5 generations to find the first.  I joined a few family history societies which were of great help. Again, meeting people who just ended up being long distant friends and one who came to visit her daughter who just happened to live here in Edson.  She had been here for 6 months and when she went home to Keighley, England, she was reading the paper and I had an ad in it so she wrote me right away.  That's one of the places my dad's family is from.

The MOST IMPORTANT thing is before you even write down anyone and their stats to make sure you back it up with at least 3 legal documents.  If you don't, what a wild goose chase you can be on especially with the names I am researching. Scott, Thackray, Miller, Smith, Angus, etc.  I buy the certificates from whichever government I am dealing with.  I have put ads in the paper all over. The little ads barely, if ever work.  Make sure you put a picture of someone who is related to whomever you are looking for.  I did that in Wick and the telephone from all over Britain didn't quit for 2 1/2 days and nights.  They forgot the time difference.  No problem.

Your sources for doing a project like this are the Mormon church (best records in the world, yet they have not come up with zip for me in their 600 million people database.  However, they have been extremely helpful in entering it into a database for me because of medical reasons and I didn't have a computer.  Now I'm building on the original discs.   Now I am sending them everything I have as I get it so it will be available to anyone who wishes and they will not have to pay the incredible amount of money this has cost me.  You can get that from, other than your normal birth, death and marriage certificates from cemetery records, church records, family history societies, hundreds of letters (common sense), fraternal organizations, trade directories, census forms, military records, maritime records, archives, (expensive if you aren't there to do the looking) helpful people from every corner of the world, voting records, history books, political org., old newspapers (great source) (17-1800's), a box of pictures like I received without one name on the back and anyone who knew who they were have passed away (I have them all identified now about 1500 of them and you get records such as military and hospital records for physical differences), people who are distant relatives but may be reminded of something by what you say or send them, just use your common sense and try to put yourself in the person's  shoes you are looking for. 


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