Religion in Family History
Did you know that George H. Gallup who started the Gallup Poll has a connection to the Amish?
The connection comes through his wife Ophelia Smith Miller. Ophelia was not Amish at the time that she married George. However, she grew up near her Miller grandparents who were Mennonite and her great-grandfather Moses Miller had been an Amish Bishop in Walnut Creek, Ohio. Moses Miller was the brother of Jonas Miller who is my 4th great-grandfather.
The father of Ophelia was Alexander Miller who was the second cousin of my 2nd great-grandfather John A. Miller.
You have seen this picture in several other posts about the Amish, and you will see it again as I continue to write about my family history :-). John A. Miller was an Amish Minister and preached in several Amish districts around the country, including locations in Illinois, Oregon and Oklahoma. The picture was taken by my grandfather and you can see his shadow in the picture.
Alexander Miller was the editor of the Washington Democrat newspaper in Washington, Iowa. He died shortly after an unsuccessful bid for Governor of Iowa in 1926. His wife, Ola Babcock Miller, stayed active in politics after his death and was elected the first female Secretary of State for Iowa in 1932 and served until her death in 1937. During her first run for office her son-in-law George Gallup saw the importance of polling and began to develop his own polling techniques.
You can click on the photo above to read a biography of Ola Babcock Miller at the Iowa Library Services website.
I decided to research as much of Ophelia Miller’s Amish ancestry as possible, so pulled out my genealogy books. Amish and Amish Mennonite Genealogy, Descendants of Jacob Hochstetler and Descendants of Barbara Hochstedler and Christian Stutzman were all consulted to fill in her ancestry in my family tree program. Ophelia has Miller, Hochstetler, Stutzman, Yoder and Troyer ancestry. With this combination of Amish ancestors she is related to a high percentage of people who have Amish ancestry. The closest she is related to me is third cousin three times removed as we both descend from Peter Miller and Mary Stutzman who were both born in Berks County, Pennsylvania 20 years before the Declaration of Independence.
You may have noticed that the title of this post reads Gallup Poll Connection I. In the future I will also explore another family connection to George Gallup. This one is through his father, but is not as close as I have to go back to around 1600 to find a common ancestor. However, there is an interesting political story connected to this family. So, be patient as I will probably post the follow-up close to election time since the story has an interesting connection to a Presidential election.
This post is part of a series on Religion in Family History. See also: