|This photo was scanned from the Bixenman family history book by Sister Catherine Seeman|
|This is the photo included in Journey's End by Barbara Heise Grooman|
The person that Sister Catherine Seeman identified as my great-grandfather Charles Miller, Ms. Grooman identified as Christian Müller. I immediately ordered a copy of "Journey's End". I did a web search, tracked down her phone number and gave her a call. She answered and I verified I had the right person by asking if she was the Barbara that wrote these two books. She replied that this was her and I told her that I found a picture of my great-grandfather in her book.
Our conversation continued with me telling her a little bit about what I knew about the family. She replied with a bit about the Christian Müller family and George Müller Wells. We exchanged email addresses and said we'd discuss more in-depth via email.
I received "Journey's End" within a few days and read it quickly. It's about 90 pages and a very easy read. This is a follow-up to her first book, "Train to Red Cloud: A Small Boy's Journey". Train to Red Cloud was the story of George Müller, whose mother died when he was a young boy and his father brought him to the father's sister's house, who then brought him to the organization responsible for the Orphan Trains, put him on a train and sent him west. He was adopted by a family in Red Cloud, Nebraska and went by the name of George Wells. Journey's End discusses more information Barbara discovered since Train to Red Cloud was published along with her correspondence with George Wells in the 1970s and 80s. George was Barbara's grand-uncle.
It is a heart-breaking story about a young boy being sent away by his family yet also heart-warming story because he had a good life in Nebraska. I encourage my Miller relatives to read these books. Others interested in genealogy and the Orphan Trains should also read them. I felt a kinship to her as she explained the research she performed tracking down the burial location of George's family in New York.
I look forward to exchanging genealogical information with Barbara in the future and also figuring out who is who in the Müller family photo. By my calculations, we must be about third cousins. Other than my first cousins, this is the closest relation I've been in contact with on the Miller side of my family.