Helen Adams Keller was born on June 27, 1880, in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Her family lived on a homestead, Ivy Green, that Helen's grandfather had built decades earlier.She had two younger siblings, Mildred Campbell and Phillip Brooks Keller, two older half-brothers from her father's prior marriage, James and William Simpson Keller.Her father, Arthur H. Keller,spent many years as an editor for the Tuscumbia North Alabamian, and had served as a captain for theConfederate Army.Her paternal grandmother was the second cousin of Robert E. Lee. Her mother, Kate Adams, was the daughter ofCharles W. Adams.Though originally from Massachusetts, Charles Adams also fought for the Confederate Army during the American Civil War, earning the rank of colonel (and acting brigadier-general). Her paternal lineage was traced to Casper Keller, a native of Switzerland.One of Helen's Swiss ancestors was the first teacher for the deaf in Zurich.
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