About the Author
As a young child growing up in the country, Dee Miller was an avid reader. She enjoyed writing poetry and short stories during high school, never imagining one day she’d write a novel.
Her career as a historical fiction writer began after discovering intriguing facts about her husband’s family tree, inspiring her to write her debut book, Anneliese. A fictional story based on real-life circumstances uncovered during her research. Dee began writing Dear Father, the sequel to Anneliese after receiving feedback from her readers urging her to reveal the ending to this family saga.
Dee earned her Bachelor’s degree in Health Administration after she became an empty nester. She is currently retired, living in a small Midwestern town with her husband. She has two wonderful sons and five grandchildren whom she couldn’t be prouder of.
My motivation to write this story:
Upon my retirement, I became interested in my family’s genealogy. I wanted to know my roots, and where my ancestors originated from. I was delighted to learn I was a Mayflower descendent not only of William Bradford, Governor of Plymouth, but Richard Warren and Samuel Fuller who also sailed on the Mayflower and signed the Mayflower Compact.
Excited by what I found; I urged my husband to let me research his family’s genealogy as well. He was reluctant. He knew nothing about his maternal grandfather and wasn’t sure he wanted to find out. I wanted to solve the mystery of this unknown relative for his mother, who never knew her father, and was no longer with us.
My quest to find the identity of this man began.
My husband has wonderful memories of his Grandma A, spending time with her growing up. She was charismatic, independent, and a lot of fun. She never drove, walking everywhere she went. On one occasion, she arranged a bus trip to the Minnesota State Fair. A memory he still fondly recalls.
It was an easy discovery to find Grandma A was twenty-eight years old when she had her only daughter, my husband’s mother. According to multiple censuses’, she continued living with her parents in her childhood home, even after their deaths, until marrying later in life.
Continuing my search, I uncovered a document that recorded a father’s name attached to my mother-in-law. It was the only record I found, but I finally had a name.
I convinced my husband to take a DNA test to confirm what I thought was true. When the results came back, the story began to unfold.
His DNA matched others in the database; first and second cousins he was unaware of. The common denominator came back to one man, my husband’s grandfather.
I reached out and learned these cousins were trying to prove their own genealogy. As adults, they heard rumors that the grandfather they grew up knowing and loving, may not be who they believed he was. Once their mother passed, they wanted to see if those rumors were true.
The DNA verified the grandfather known to them in their youth was not a blood relative. Instead, it linked them to their grandfather’s friend and business partner, someone they knew and loved, never realizing he was their true grandfather.
It is my understanding this man was kind and gentle. He was a veteran of both World Wars and served his community over the years. He never married, caring for his mother until her death. He became a boarder in his own daughter’s house, though she never knew him as her father. Neither did her brother. The DNA proves, that they both are half-siblings of my husband’s mother.
The discovery was something beyond my wildest imagination. It inspired me to write Anneliese, a story about Grandma A, a woman I never met, but by the stories I’m told, find to be a fascinating woman. Dear Father is the sequel, taking us on her daughter’s journey, trying to discover her father’s identity.
Please keep in mind these are fictional novels based on the few facts learned in my research. However, both novels have real-life events woven into them.
The truth surrounding the circumstances discovered will never be known. The people are no longer here to tell their stories. What we know is the name of a man who fathered three children without ever claiming them as his. It’s an intriguing, but sad story.
Just like Betz, I romanticized what kind of man my husband’s grandfather was.
Was this a love story beyond our imaginations or rather a story where promises and family secrets became more important than those it hurt?
A promise is a promise…until it’s not.