Ellen WhiteEllen White

Ellen's Family Tree

Ellen’s parents descended from resourceful ancestors. They fought in earlier wars, beginning with King Philips’s War in 1675. Some were entrepreneurs. Ellen’s great-great-grandfather built a mill on the river at Scarboro, Maine, known as “Harmon’s Mill.”

Robert F. Harmon, Sr., (1786-1866) — A resourceful farmer and hatmaker, Ellen’s father was disfellowshipped in 1843 from his church for embracing the Millerite message.

Eunice Gould Harmon (1787-1863) — Her mother had two sons and six daughters, of whom Ellen and her twin, Elizabeth, were the last. She was a school teacher prior to marriage; afterwards she was an industrious homemaker.

Siblings — Four of the eight Harmon children became Seventh-day Adventists — Ellen, Mary, Sarah, and Robert. Her sister Caroline’s daughter Mary worked briefly as her literary assistant. Robert, Jr. died at 27 of tuberculosis in 1853.

Both of Ellen White’s parents became Adventists in later life. Shortly before their father died (and after Ellen had visited her sisters once more) she wrote, “Although we were not practically agreed on all points of religious duty, yet our hearts were one.”

The White FamilyEllen’s Marriage and Family
Part romance and part practicality led her to marry James White in 1846. He called her his “crown of rejoicing” and she called him “the best man that ever trod in shoe leather.” The marriage also increased both of their usefulness. He would travel with her in the perilous winters of New England, leading out in religious meetings while she shared what God had shown her.

Their marriage produced four children, only two of whom reached adulthood. Their first born, Henry Nichols (1847-1863), a happy young man, died of pneumonia at 16. James Edson (1849-1928) learned the printer’s trade from his father at 14. He became a popular writer and composer. His tenacious work for slaves in the southern states was unparalleled.

Early in life, the managerial skills of William Clarence (1854-1937) were recognized; he was elected to a variety of heavy responsibilities in church leadership. After his father died, he became a traveling companion and trusted counselor to his mother. Soon after his mother died in 1915, he was appointed secretary of the Ellen G. White Estate, supervising its work for more than two decades. Until he died, he served on several important boards of institutions.

John Herbert, born in 1860, died after three months, from erysipelas.

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