Brick Wall Case Studies #31: Identifying the family of a man with a common name

There were many men named Charles Miller so it was difficult to determine which was the man we were looking for. A draft registration card gave clues to identify the correct man.

What We Knew

  • Charles Epter Miller died 6 May 1961 and was buried in the Pine Hill Cemetery in Craighead, Arkansas.
  • Charles had two daughters and both of their obituaries had been located.
  • Charles was listed in the 1930 census with his wife and children.
  • Charles registered for the World War II draft and filled out a draft registration card. He listed his birth date as 28 November 1892.
  • There were several Charles or Charlie Millers in the general area and it was difficult to determine which one was the correct man. Because the area was rural, the census enumerations appeared to be somewhat incomplete as well because we couldn't locate Charles in other census records in the area.

Records We Located

  • We examined the World War II draft registration card for Charlie Epter Miller. On the card, Charlie listed his birthplace as Mississippi County, Arkansas. On the card it had a place to list a relative who would always know your address whom he listed as Mrs. Alice Hall of Nettleton, Arkansas.
  • Based on the birth place of Mississippi County, Arkansas, we looked in the 1900 and 1910 census records at the Miller families in the area. In the 1910 census we located a Jacob W and Nancy Miller family living in Mississippi County. They had a son listed as Charley M Miller who was the right age to be our Charles. They also had a daughter Alice listed.
  • We looked for more about Alice Miller and found a marriage in 1936 with an Alice Miller of the correct age who married Charlie Hall. They were married in Craigshead County in which Nettleton is located, which showed that this Alice Miller would very likely have been Mrs. Alice Hall of Nettleton, Arkansas as was listed on Charles's draft registration card.
  • Because we could tie Alice Miller Hall in as a relative of Charles we then were confident that Charles Miller was the Charley listed with the Jacob Hall family in the 1910 census. Records for Charles's sister, Ida, had shown that the maiden name of the mother of the family was Nancy Lucinda Hicks.


Charles Epter Miller was born in Missisippi County, Arkansas and was the son of Jacob Miller and Nancy Lucinda Hicks. The sources we located are listed for Charles and his family members in the FamilySearch Family Tree, ID K6H4-M72.

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