This Is Our Family

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"This Is Our Family"


Above: Jill and Ed Miller (Ed Miller 1920-2012)

Family historian Ed Miller has compiled statistics on how the family of Leonard and Barbara Slemp Shoun grew from two to thousands. Leonard was born in 1771 and died in 1845. Barbara lived from 1775 to 1851.

The total number of people in the first three generations? 174

Total in the first 4 generations 1,087

Total in the first 5 generations 4,150

Total in the first 6 generations 9,741

Total in the first 7 generations 18,185

Total in the first 8 generations 27,595

Total in the first 9 generations 31,244

Total in the first 10 generations 31,529

The amazing thing about this is that Ed has catalogued them all.

His records are available through the Humphreys and the Johnson County Public Library, Mountain City, TN.

The Sh—n cousins know him as Ed Miller, but his buddies in the Air Force’s 303rd Bombardment Group know him as Lt. Col. Edgar C. Miller, and they are grateful that he has spent the last 22 years preserving their heritage.   During those 22 years that began in 1987, he was doing the same for the descendants of Leonard and Barbara Slemp Shoun.  Ed has researched and recorded more than 26,000 Shouns, published his findings in 18 books (along with 42 books of pioneer families of Johnson County, TN) and made the information available free of charge to other genealogists.

   In the meantime, he has accumulated the records of 7,336 airmen who served with the B-17 “Flying Fortress” unit at Molesworth, England between 1942 and 1945.     His extensive records were presented in a ceremony at Molesworth March 13. Ed’s daughter, Suzanne Miller Poole, who lives in Deenethorpe, England, represented her father who was unable to attend.     Ed was in his early 20’s when he served as a pilot and co-pilot of a B-17 bomber over the skies of Nazi Germany.    He survived 30 bombing missions, ten of them over the heavily-defended Nazi capitol of Berlin.  He believes he may be the only pilot in the entire 8th Air Forces to complete 10 missions to Berlin and live to tell about it. 

   Forty years later at a reunion, when Ed became membership chairman, he determined to record the legacy of each of the 7,336 men who valiantly served in the 303rd Bombardment Group for future generations.  He started with 385 names on 3 x 5 cards. By the end of the first year, he had a database of 1,200 names. By 1995, the list had grown to more than 5,600.  The final names were discovered in 2004 on the order for the 303rd’s personnel to board the Queen Mary for its September 1942 trip to England.  Ed’s work for the 303rd grew to 13 three-ring binders, some 3,400 pages in all.  The first is titled “A Group of Heroic 8th Air Force Comrades” and is arranged in six binders with more than 1,800 pages.