I am so excited. This is one of those moments every genealogist dreams of. Shattering a brick wall! I have finally found some of the answers I need about my ancestor Orloff C. Miller, born Herbert Miller Parker. My great grandma Mimi, her grandpa, had been a brick wall for many reasons. He had run away from home and changed his name. Then his children all carried the surname he had at birth. This had made things a little tricky.
He also had very few descendants, so there have not been many of us looking. As far as I know, I am only one of three, at most.
There were men of similar name to both his birth and adopted name, one also served on the side of the Union in The War. My father confused or accidentally made a hybrid ancestor. I always feel so guilty when I find something he did wrong, in terms of genealogy he was and still is larger than life.
The rabbit hole came about when I tried, in desperation to find someone with a similar name or just the initials OC or HM who was a painter with a bad knee. He had hurt his knee during the war. One thing leads to another and I found him and his parents. Thank goodness I knew both his names and that he married Isabelle Elizabeth “Belle” Ferguson and that he was a painter until his knee stopped him from working.
I am still left with questions. Why did he run away from home? What was so bad that it made him change his name? If he was mad enough to change his name, why let his children carry the surname, Parker? Did he ever make peace with his parents? If he wanted to run away from home, why move a few doors on the same street? Why was it also assumed his mothers’ last name was Miller? If you are really that mad at your Dad why take his first name of Orloff? Where in the world did he even conjure the surname Miller from? There are many more questions! I am excited to try and solve them!
I got so excited I forgot to say his parents are Orloff Parker and Jane Straton.