Tirzah Miller

Tirzah Miller was born September 13, 1843 in Putney, Vermont.  Her mother, Charlotte, was the youngest sister of John H. Noyes, the founder of the Oneida Community.

Tirzah came of age during the time of the eugenics experiment when the community sought to produce a superior race of children by selective breeding.  Leaders of the community decided who should mate with whom based on physical characteristics as well as  spiritual qualities  and personality traits in order to produce the best children (stirpicults).

Attractive, highly intelligent, and musically talented, Tirzah was a prominent leader of her generation and was considered  “magnetic” because of her effect on men, young and old, who knew her.  She struggled mightily between the contradictions inherent in her duty as a good bible communist and her desires for true love.

Tirzah gave birth to four children.  Her first child, George Wallingford Noyes (Georgie), fathered by her uncle George Noyes, was born in 1870.  Haydn Inslee, fathered by Edward Inslee, born in 1874 and Hilda Herrick, fathered by James Herrick, born in 1878 were stirpicults.  After the community break up, Tirzah married James Herrick with the blessings of John Humphrey Noyes.  Winifred Herrick was born in 1881.   Tirzah died in 1902 and is buried in the Oneida Community cemetery in Oneida, NY.


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