Chapter 8 – William Henry Miller Story

Dr. William Henry Miller and wife, Elizabeth Holt, Circa 1885

Chapter 8 – William Henry Miller Story:

William Henry Miller was the author’s maternal 2nd great-grandfather.  Prior to this investigation, the only biographical information available were the sketchy “facts” offered by Mildred Bedinger Rhea in her work entitled Henry and Betty, The War Years[1].  There are also Ancestry Public Trees owned by my cousins: (1) Denise Fischer, daughter of Marlene Fischer, (2) Brandie Vanorder, granddaughter of Lillian Bedinger Lewis, and (3) Albert Lewis, son of Lillian Bedinger Lewis.  The information provided with these various sources regarding William Henry Miller is either very sketchy or erroneous.  This work will endeavor to identify with more certainty the ancestry of William Henry Miller to the greatest extend possible. 

We will commence this analysis with the information offered by Aunt Mildred in The War Years.  First, we have the photos of Dr. William Henry and Elizabeth Miller (Figure 1) and their daughter (Figure 2).  Aunt Mildred did not identify which daughter is depicted in this photo, but it seems probable that this was the youngest daughter, Elizabeth Jane.  This probability is predicated on the fact that Elizabeth Jane was the only daughter still living at home in the 1871 and 1881 censuses.  The oldest presumed daughter, Olivia Ann, is believed to have died in 1864, so she would not have been the daughter in this photo.  The only other daughter, Sarah Ann, was married and living apart from her father’s household until after 1881, by which time she would have been in her 40’s.  This photo seems to depict a young woman, probably in her 20’s.  The most likely candidate is Elizabeth Jane Miller, probably taken about 1875

Aunt Mildred offered the following anecdotes about William Henry:

“The doctor did visit his son [William Emmett] and family in Weatherford [TX] when Bettie [his granddaughter] was a child [about 1880-2].  She remembered him as “a cross, crabby old man.  He was not a bit like Grandpa Bedinger [Henry Clay III],” she said…  Dr. Miller, however, came bearing gifts, beautiful English china and a full-length, white fir coat for Minnie.  When he found he could not persuade his son to go home to England with him, he tried to bribe his daughter-in-law to take the family and go.  He promised her that if she would go home with him and live in England, he would send every one of her boys to college__ no doubt the idea was that he might have more than one doctor among his five grandsons.  Therefore, he told Minnie that he was a man of considerable wealth, and that if she would only come home with him, she would not want for comforts__ and furthermore, William [Emmett] would soon follow…

These are the only facts we have for Betty Miller’s ancestors.  No more was gleaned of the Millers, and no trace was found in the genealogical records of Liverpool, although Marlene Fischer and her mother [Mildred] made two trips to the city and scanned much microfilm while there.  There were just too many Millers, and too many Dr. Millers, to locate William’s birth certificate and family with the scant number of facts that were already known.”[2]

A search of the U.S. immigration records returned only one hit for anyone even remotely matching William Henry Miller’s demographics arriving in Texas from Liverpool during the time period suggested by Aunt Miller’s anecdote, summarized as follows:

  • Name: William H. Miller; Arrival year: 1882; Arrival Place: Texas; Primary Immigrant: Miller, William H; Source Publication Code: 6015.23; Annotation: Date and place of naturalization, place of origin, date of birth.  Source Bibliography: NATURALIZATION RECORDS. In Trails West (Parker County Genealogical Society), vol. 25:3 (April 1995), pp. 85-89.[3]

According to census records William Henry Miller was born about 1819 near Oldham Parish, Lancashire, England, and died sometime after 1891, probably at Poulton cum Seacombe, Cheshire, England, but possibly at Flixton, Lancashire.  He was recorded in six consecutive census records between 1841 and 1891, each summarized as follows:

1841 England Census

Name: William Mellor; Age: 20; Estimated Birth Year: 1821; Gender: Male; Where born: Foreign Parts; Civil parish: Prestwich Cum Oldham; Hundred: Salford; County/Island: Lancashire; Country: England; Registration district: Ashton and Oldham; Sub-registration district: Oldham below Town; Household Members: Name: William Mellor, Age 20; Name: Elizabeth Mellor, Age 20

This is believed to have been the household of William Henry Miller and his wife, Elizabeth.  Figure 3 contains an image of the full census record, which includes a couple of important elements not contained in the summary.

Perhaps the most important element which allows us to link this census record with a high level of certainty to William Henry Miller is his reported occupation of “hatter”.  This was the same occupation reported in the baptismal records of William Henry’s older children: Sarah Ann and William Emmett.  It is also important to note that William was reported to have been born in “foreign parts”.  This is perhaps the most important piece of information which could lead us to the identity of William’s parents.  Also note that the family was living at Oldham, Below Town, which defined a rather large area extending roughly from the town center southward to the Oldham Parish boundary with Ashton Under Lyne.

1851 England Census[4]

Name: William H Miller

Age: 32

Estimated Birth Year: abt 1819

Relation: Head

Spouse’s Name: Elizabeth Miller

Gender: Male

Where born: Oldham, Lancashire, England

Civil Parish: Failsworth

Ecclesiastical parish: St John

County/Island: Lancashire

Country:                England

Occupation: Warehouseman

Registration District: Manchester and Prestwich

Sub-registration District: Failsworth

Household Members:         

Name                                                      Age       

William H Miller                                   32

Elizabeth Miller                                     32

Olivia A Miller                                      12

William E [Emmett] Miller   9

Sarah A Miller                                      6

Elizabeth J Miller                                  9/12

It is important to note that five census records (1851 thru 1881) recorded William as “William H. Miller”, born in 1819 (or 1820, once) at Oldham, Lancashire.  Similarly, his wife, Elizabeth, was also recorded in 1851, 1861, and 1881 as born in 1819 at Oldham, Lancashire.  For some inexplicable reason Elizabeth was not reported in William’s household in 1871, nor was she reported in the grandson’s (Arthur E. Greene) household in 1891, even though William Henry was reported in that household in that year as still married.  The consistency of the reporting of William’s birth-year and place of birth might lend fairly high credence to those facts being accurate, yet in the 1841 census he was reported to have been born in foreign parts.  Similarly, in the 1891 census he was reportedly born in Ireland.  Such inconsistency is not that uncommon when tracking census records from year to year.  This fact may be particularly important to the task of identifying William Henry Miller’s possible parents and origins.  William’s middle name was reported only with the initial “H”, except in the baptismal record for his youngest child, Elizabeth Jane, wherein he was identified as William Henry Miller.  Additionally, his only known son, William Emmett Miller, named his first born son William Henry Miller.  William’s household was reported within the town of Failsworth, located on the Oldham to Manchester old road.  He was recorded with the occupation of warehouseman, suggesting a person of nominal education and training, basically a laborer.  William and Elizabeth reported having four children: Olivia A, aged 12, William Emmett, aged 9, Sarah A., aged 6, and Elizabeth J., aged 9 months.

We should take particular note of the child named Olivia A., as she did not appear in the families household in 1841, even though she would have been about two years old in that year.  This begs the question as to Olivia’s whereabouts in 1841.  A thorough search of the census records for 1841 returned only one person matching Olivia’s demographics as shown in Figure 4.  This household was located in St. Georges District, on Barlow Street, which was situated to the northeast of Manchester town center off St. Georges Road.  It was headed by a person named Olivia Mellor, aged 60, born in Ireland.  There appears to have been three separate families living in this household, one headed by Olivia Mellor, one headed by James and Ann Nugent, and another headed by Thomas and Jane Sparrow.  Presumably part of the Olivia Mellor family was a young child, one year old, named Olivia Miller.  There was also a young woman named Ester Miller, aged 20.  Most of the adult persons in this household were reported with an occupation connected in some fashion with the hat-making industry.  Everyone in this household, except for the child, Olivia Miller, was reported to have been born in Ireland.  Given that this was the only record found in all of England which matched the name and demographics of Olivia A. Miller, and that she was born in England, it seems highly likely that this was the same person, who appeared in William Henry’s household in 1851, identified as Olivia A. Miller, aged 11.  We will return later for further discussion of this Olivia Miller and her possible kinship connection to William Henry Miller.

1861 England Census

Name: William H Miller

Age: 41

Estimated Birth Year: 1820

Relation: Head

Spouse’s Name: Elizabeth Miller

Gender: Male

Where born: Oldham, Lancashire, England

Civil Parish: Dudley

Town: Dudley

County/Island: Worcestershire (actually Staffordshire)

Country:                England

Occupation: Herbalist

Registration District: Dudley

Sub-registration District: Dudley

Household Members:         

Name                                                      Age       

William H Miller                                   41

Elizabeth Miller                                     41

William Emmie [Emmett] Miller          17

Sarah Ann Miller                                  16

Elizabeth Jane Miller                            9

In the intervening 10 years following the 1851 census William had moved his family to Dudley, Worcestershire (Staffordshire?), about 90 miles southeast of Failsworth.  William’s occupation was reported as an “Herbalist”, suggesting a person engaged in the application of herbs in the practice of medicine.  Such change in occupation probably required some formal training.  The elder daughter, Olivia, was no longer living in William’s household.  She was in fact working as a servant in the household of Dr. Charles Rothwell (Surgeon Practitioner) at Little Bolton, Lancashire, near Manchester.  William Emmett was 17 years old, and working as a watchmaker.  The two youngest daughters were reported being at school.  It may well be that William Henry received his training in herbal medicine at Little Bolton in connection with the Salford Royal Hospital, which was founded in 1827 described briefly as follows:

“The Royal Salford Hospital opened in 1827 as the Salford and Pendleton Dispensary. In 1829 permission was granted from King George IV to rename the Dispensary the Royal Salford and Pendleton Dispensary.

New premises were built, and were occupied by March 1831. The first in-patients were admitted on 29 March 1845. By this time the dispensary was called a hospital.”[5]

In the early 19th Century herbal medicine, much as it is today, was considered a non-traditional alternative to the practice of science-based medicine.  Herbal medicine had a long history in the civilized world dating all the way back to Mesopotamia and Egypt, millennia before the Christian era.

1871 England Census

Name: William H Miller

Age: 51

Estimated Birth Year: 1820

Relation: Head

Gender: Male

Where born: Oldham Lancashire England

Civil Parish: Tranmere

Ecclesiastical parish: St Catherine

County/Island: Cheshire

Country:                England

Registration District: Birkenhead

Sub-registration District: Tranmere

Occupation: General Medical Practitioner

Household Members:         

Name                                      Age       

William H Miller                   51

Jane Miller                             19

Henry E Christopher            3

Richard C Sumner                7

By 1871 William Henry Miller had once again moved his household, this time almost 100 miles from Dudley to Tranmere, Birkenhead, Cheshire.  Tranmere is situated on the south side of the River Mersey, on the opposite bank from Liverpool.  His occupation had advanced to the profession of General Medical Practitioner.  Presumably, he must have received medical training somewhere along the way.  His wife, Elizabeth, was not reported living in his household, nor were his two children: William Emmett and Sarah Ann.  In fact, William Emmett had immigrated to the United State in 1865, and was recorded in the 1870 census living in Grand Haven, Ottawa County, Michigan, working as a jeweler.  Sarah Ann had married James Henry Christopher at Old Swinford, Worcestershire on 16Jun1867.  Their son, Henry Emmett Christopher was living in his grandfather’s (William Henry Miller) household at Tranmere in 1871.  Henry Emmett died the following year.  Also in William Henry’s household was his youngest daughter, Elizabeth Jane, and Richard C. Sumner, aged 7, described as born at New Brighton, and adopted.  Efforts to identify Richard C. Sumner led to naught.

William Henry’s wife, Elizabeth, appears to have been living nearby, identified as a “visitor” and “annuitant” in a household headed by Robert Oliver on Wellington Terrace, Liscard, summarized as follows:

Name: Elizebeth Miller; Age: 52; Estimated Birth Year: 1819; Relation: Visitor; Gender: Female; Where born: Oldham Lancashire England; Civil Parish: Liscard; Town: Egremont; Registration District: Birkenhead; Household Members:

Name                                      Age

Robert Oliver                        35

Mary Oliver                           34

John Oliver                            7

Thomas R Oliver                  5

Richard D Oliver                   3

Elizebeth Miller                     52

The head of this household, Robert Oliver, was described as being a bookkeeper for a cotton merchant, and born in Liverpool.  The author was unable to establish any particular connection between Elizabeth Miller and this Robert Oliver family.  It is possible that Robert Oliver’s wife, Mary, may have been a kinsperson of Elizabeth, perhaps a niece, but, if that were the case, then why wasn’t that kinship reflected in the census?  The demographics associated with this Elizabeth Miller are virtually unmistakable for the wife of Dr. William Henry Miller.  That being the case, then we must ponder the reason for her living apart from her husband and daughter.  It would suggest some sort of estrangement and separation.

1881 England Census

Name: William H. Miller

Age: 62

Estimated Birth Year: abt 1819

Relationship to Head: Head

Spouse: Elizabeth Miller

Where born: Oldham, Lancashire, England

Civil Parish: Poulton cum Seacombe

County/Island: Cheshire

Street Address: 4 Achais Terrace St Pauls Rd

Marital status: Married

Occupation: Doctor Of Medicine

Registration District: Birkenhead

Household Members:         

Name                                      Age

William H. Miller  62

Elizabeth Miller                     62

Elizabeth J. Miller 11

John Griffiths                        32

Elizabeth J. Griffiths             30

Ada M. Griffiths                   4

William H. Griffiths              2

By 1881 Dr. William Henry Miller had moved his family about 2 miles downstream from Tranmere to the town of Poulton cum Seacombe.  He was identified with the occupation of Doctor of Medicine.  William’s wife, Elizabeth, was once again reported living in his household.  She was reported born 1819 at Oldham, leaving little doubt that she was William Henry’s 1st and only wife.  Her separation from William Henry in 1871 is a mystery.  Might it have had something to do with Richard C. Sumner?  Also in the household were William and Elizabeth’s youngest daughter, Elizabeth Jane, and her new husband, John Griffiths, and their two children: Ada M., aged 4 and William H., aged 2.  There was also a granddaughter named Elizabeth J. Miller, aged 11.  This granddaughter reportedly was born at Sedgley in Staffordshire, about 3 miles northwest of Dudley. 

The identity of the granddaughter, Elizabeth Jane Miller, is not known with certainty.  William Henry’s only known son, William Emmett, had immigrated to America in 1865, so he almost certainly was not Elizabeth Jane’s father.  However, it seems highly probable that this Elizabeth Jane Miller was actually Elizabeth Jane Christopher, daughter of Sarah Ann Miller and James Henry Christopher, who were married at Old Swinford, Worchester, on 23Jun1867.  In 1871 Henry and Sarah Ann were living at Swansea, Wales, as shown in Figure 5.  Elizabeth was reported being 22 months old, born at Deepfields, Staffordshire, a small hamlet near Coseley, just easterly of Dudley.  The reporting of Elizabeth Jane’s surname as “Miller” rather than Christopher probably was an error by the census taker.

1891 England Census

Name: William H Willer [Miller]

[William H Miller]

Gender: Male

Age: 72

Relationship: Grand Father-in-law

Birth Year: 1819

Spouse [Daughter]: Sarah A Christopher

[Grand] Child [of Sarah Ann]: Elizabeth A Greene

Birth Place: Ireland

Civil Parish: Poulton with Seacombe

Registration District: Birkenhead

Sub registration district: Wallasey

Household Members:         

Name                                      Age

Arthur E Greene   26

Elizabeth A Greene              21

Emily H Greene     1

Edward C Greene  4/12

Sarah A Christopher            45

William H Willer   72

In 1891 William Henry Miller was living in the household headed by his Grand Son-in-Law, Arthur E. Greene, who had married Elizabeth A. Christopher, daughter of Sarah Ann (Miller) Christopher.  Given the matching age, and place of birth (Deepfield vs. Sedgley) it seems probable that this daughter of Sarah Ann Miller Christopher was the same person as the granddaughter, Elizabeth J. Miller, living in William Henry’s household in 1881.  Why she may have been shown with the surname of Miller rather than Christopher in 1881 is peculiar.  Probably this discrepancy was just a recording error made by the census taker. 

William Henry was described as being 72 years old, married, retired Surgeon, born in Ireland.  The family was living at 15 Rappart Road in Poulton cum Seacombe.  Figure 6 contains an image of the house located at that address.  It is particularly noteworthy that William Henry was reported born in Ireland, whereas in all the earlier records reported his place of birth as Oldham, Lancashire, except the 1841 census which had him born in “foreign parts”.  This piece of information will be especially important in our quest to establish William Henry’s ancestry.

Also living in this household was William’s daughter, Sarah Ann, who had married James Henry Christopher in 1867, and was apparently widowed.  We have included a copy of the actual census record image in Figure 7 for a complete display of all the relevant data elements related to this family.  The household of Arthur E. and Elizabeth Ann Greene was located in the 1901 census, situated at Flixton, Lancashire, on the south side of the River Mersey, about five miles downstream from Manchester as displayed in Figure 8.

Now, having fairly thoroughly documented the life of William Henry Miller, it is time to establish the possible identity of his parents.  At this juncture in our search for the roots of William Henry Miller, the earliest known record is the 1841 census when he and Elizabeth were recorded living at Oldham, Below Town.  Other records that might be used to trace the origins of William Henry Miller are the baptismal records of his children.  From those records we should be able to establish the approximate location of the family at the time of birth of each child.  We will begin this analysis by examining the birth records for each child, in order from youngest to eldest.

Elizabeth Jane Miller – 1750/1

Following is a summary of the baptismal record for Elizabeth Jane Miller:

Name: Elizabeth Jane Millers

Age: 1

Birth Date: 10 Aug 1850

Baptism Date: 25 Apr 1852

Baptism Place: England, Newton Heath, All Saints, Manchester

Father: William Henry Millers

Mother: Elizabeth Millers

An image of this record is presented in Figure 9.  The community of Newton Heath is situated about ¼ mile south of Failsworth, where the family was recorded living in 1851. The parish church, Newton Heath All Saints, has existed on its current site since 1556.  The current structure is shown in Figure 10.  A brief history of the area around Newton Heath is offered as follows:

“French Huguenots settled in the area in the 16th century to avoid continental persecution, and brought cotton and linen weaving and bleaching skills with them. The arrival of textile mills saw Newton Heath’s cottage industry change forever into a fully mechanised mass production system – in 1825 Newton Silk Mill (which exists to this day) was built and the Monsall Silk Dye Works followed soon afterwards.

The Rochdale Canal made movement of raw materials and finished products a practical reality. Later came other industries, including a soap works, Elijah Dixon’s match manufacturing factory, and rope works as well as engineering and glass making works. Many small back-to-back low cost houses were built to house the new migrant work force. Thus was Newton changed irrevocably from a farming area into an industrial one.

The 18th century saw Oldham Road (A62) turnpiked and a toll bar installed at Lambs Lane; this road still forms the main artery through the district. With the Industrial Revolution, by the beginning of the 19th century the Rochdale Canal had been constructed and this brought industry and creeping urbanisation to the district. During the 19th century the local population increased nearly 20 fold.”[6]

Sarah Ann Miller

Following is a summary of the baptismal record for Sarah Ann Miller:

Name: Sarah Ann Miller

Baptism Date: 19 Oct 1845

Baptism Place: England, Oldham, St Mary, Lancashire

Parish as it Appears: Oldham

Father: William Miller

Mother: Elizabeth Miller

An image of this baptismal record is presented in Figure 11.  The location of the baptism was at St. Mary Church, Oldham, which church is situated in the town of Oldham, about 3.5 miles northeast of Failsworth.  It should be noted that William Henry’s occupation was reported as “Hatter”, the same occupation recorded in the 1841 census record.  This is a very important fact to keep in mind, as we attempt to identify William’s parents.  It should also be noted that the place of residence was reported as Northmoor, which is believed to have been situated on the north edge of Oldham, at the intersection of Oldham Road and Chadderton Way.  The location of the baptism, St. Mary, Oldham, is described as follows:

“The Church of St. Mary with St. Peter, mostly known as Oldham Parish Church, is the Church of England parish church for Oldham in Greater Manchester, England. It forms part of the Diocese of Manchester,[1] and is one of several Grade II* listed buildings in Greater Manchester.

A church building had existed on the site since 1280.[1] During this time, a small chapel stood on the site to serve the local townships of Oldham, Chadderton, Royton and Crompton. This was later replaced by an Early English Gothic Church in the 15th century.[1] With the coming of the Industrial Revolution, the population of Oldham increased at a rapid rate (from under 2,000 in 1714, to over 32,000 by 1831).[1] The rapid growth of the local population warranted that the building be rebuilt into the current structure. Though the budget was originally agreed at £5,000, the final cost of building was £30,000, one third of which was spent on the crypt structure.[1] Alternative designs by Sir Charles Barry, the designer of the Palace of Westminster, although now regarded by some as superior, were rejected.[1] In 1805 the churchyard was enlarged and nearby Church Lane, Oldham became a cul-de-sac severing an ancient route through the town. The previous continuance of the road (Church Street) was lowered by 6 feet and became an extension of the recently created Church Terrace.[2]

The church [in] its present form, dates from 1830 and was designed in the Gothic Revival Style by Richard Lane, a Manchester-based Architect.[1] It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed building.[3] It was linked with St Mary’s Church in Prestwich and together the sites were principal churches of the ancient ecclesiastical parish of Prestwich-cum-Oldham.[1]”[7]

St. Mary Church, Oldham, as it appears today, was erected in 1830 and would have been the same church in which Sarah Ann Miller was baptized.  Its image in a rendering, circa 1880, is presented in Figure 12.  It is located just off the north side of Oldham town center, between Rock Street and Church Street.

William Emmett Miller

Name: William Emmett Miller

Baptism Date: 22 Oct 1843

Baptism Place: England, Oldham, St Mary, Lancashire

Parish as it Appears: Oldham

Father: William Miller

Mother: Elizabeth Miller

Figure 13 contains an image of the baptismal record for William Emmett Miller.  It should be noted that this baptism occurred in St Mary Oldham Church, the same location as the baptism of Sarah Ann, but the family’s residential location was at Coldhurst, a small community just to the north of Northmoor about one mile distance.  It is also important to note that William Henry’s occupation was still reported as “Hatter”.

Olivia Ann Miller

No baptismal record was located by the author for Olivia Ann Miller.  However, there is a Lancashire County civil record index entry for an Olivia Miller summarized as follows:

Name: Olivia Miller

Registration Year: 1840

Registration Quarter: Jan-Feb-Mar

Registration district: Ashton Under Lyne

Inferred County: Lancashire

Volume: 20

Page: 158

A copy of this civil register birth record was acquired by the author, the image of which is presented in Figure 14.

From this record we find that Olivia was born on 28Dec1839 at Lees Hall, Oldham, and was registered on 4Feb1840.  Her father was identified as William Miller, hatter, and the mother as Elizabeth Miller, formerly Holt.  This birth registration record would seem to confirm that Olivia was the child of William Henry Miller and Elizabeth nee Holt.

England enacted a national registration program in 1837 wherein births, marriages and deaths were all registered within the county in which the event occurred.  Churches also continued to maintain registers for similar civil records, so there may be duplicate records both in the church registry system as well as in the civil registry system.  The author placed an order for a copy of Olivia’s birth record from Lancashire County on 8Oct2020, and received a copy of that record on 23Oct2020.

The place of Olivia’s birth, Lees Hall, was the site of one of the earliest cotton spinning factories constructed in England at the onset of the Industrial Revolution.  Oldham’s prominence and growth into this burgeoning industry is described as follows:

“Oldham rose to prominence during the 19th century as an international centre of textile manufacture. It was a boomtown of the Industrial Revolution, and amongst the first ever industrialised towns, rapidly becoming “one of the most important centres of cotton and textile industries in England”,[5] spinning Oldham counts, the coarser counts of cotton. Oldham’s soils were too thin and poor to sustain crop growing, and so for decades prior to industrialisation the area was used for grazing sheep, which provided the raw material for a local woollen weaving trade.[6] It was not until the last quarter of the 18th century that Oldham changed from being a cottage industry township producing woollen garments via domestic manual labour, to a sprawling industrial metropolis of textile factories.[6] The first mill, Lees Hall, was built by William Clegg in about 1778. Within a year, 11 other mills had been constructed,[7] but by 1818 there were only 19 of these privately owned mills.[8]”[8]

We will now resume our investigation of the household of Olivia Mellor previously introduced from the 1841 census, reiterated as follows:

1841 All England

Name:     Olivia Meller

Age:       60

Estimated Birth Year:           abt 1781

Gender:  Female

Where born:          Ireland

Civil Parish:           Manchester

Hundred:               Salford

County/Island:     Lancashire

Registration District:           Manchester

Sub-registration District:    St George

Neighbors:            View others on page

Household Members:         

Name      Age

Olivia Meller         60

Ester Miller            20

James Nugent       30

Ann Nugent          22

Lawrance Cullar    28

Thos Sparrow       48

Jane Sparrow        48

George Sparrow    13

Hy Sparrow           12

Frances Sparrow  20

Mary Sparrow       11

Olivia Miller          1

Mary Ann Nugent               9

This household, headed by an Olivia Meller, aged 60, was located in the St. George civil parish of Manchester.  The household was recorded as being on Barlow Street, which was situated just off the west side of Rochdale [St. George] Road in St, Michael’s Parish as illustrated in Figure 15.  Olivia’s house was the 5th house in sequence along Barlow Street, so it very likely was either House A or House B a shown in Figure 15.  Everyone in this household, with the exception of the child, Olivia Miller (aged 1), were recorded as being from Ireland.  Given the name match, the age, and the geographic proximity, it seems a virtual certainty that this child, Olivia Miller, was the same child whose birth was recorded in the civil register, Figure 14, above.  If this record was in fact of Olivia Ann Miller, who appeared in the household of William Henry Miller in 1851, then we may be able to draw several inferences from this “fact”.

A child of one year almost certainly had to have been a kinsperson of someone within this household, headed by Olivia Meller, aged 60, of Ireland.  Given the name match and age differences, it seems possible that the older Olivia Mellor was the grandmother or great-grandmother, and namesake of the younger Olivia Miller.  It also seems possible that the Ester Miller, aged 20, in this household may have been Olivia Miller’s aunt, and possibly a daughter or granddaughter of Olivia Meller.  There appears to have been elements of multiple families residing in this household: (1), James, Ann, and Mary Ann Nugent, (2) Thomas, Jane, Frances, George, Hy, and Mary Sparrow; all of Ireland, and (3) Olivia Meller, Ester Miller and Olivia Miller.  Most of the older members of this household were reported working in some capacity in the hat-making industry, the same occupation reported for William Henry Miller in his youth.

The location of Olivia Mellor’s household in the 1841 census fell within Salford Hundred, Manchester Parish, Manchester Township, St. George Registrar’s District, Enumeration District 36.  District 36 was described on the census record as:

“All that part of No. 2 Police District in the Town of Manchester comprising south side of St. Georges Road, from Barlow Street to Preston Street, east side of Preston Street to Pleasant Row, north side of Pleasant Row to Barlow Street, west side of Barlow Street to St. Georges Road.”  NOTE:  The compass points included with this district boundary description seem to be rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise from the map orientation in Figure 15.

There were only six households reported on Barlow Street, Olivia Mellor’s being the only family not born in England.  Olivia’s household was also the fifth house in sequence along Barlow Street.  The occupations reported on this street included: bootmaker, hostler, silk winder, miller, bricksetter, charwoman, glazer, hat bender, hat finisher, hat picker and collier worker.  The entire enumeration district consisted of only 12 pages, and included residents on Barlow Street, Preston Street, Back Preston Street, Pleasant Row, St. George Road, Blackburn Street, Jones Street and Beaver Street.  Virtually none of these streets still exist today, except for St. George Road [aka Rochdale Road].  The area occupied by Barlow Street is substantially vacant today, and appears as shown in Figure 16.

Given that we have already discovered that William Henry Miller probably was born in Ireland (1841 and 1891 census records), and given that there was an apparent daughter named Olivia Ann Miller living in the household of William Henry and Elizabeth Miller in 1851 at Failsworth, and given that no other baptismal record could be found for Olivia Miller anywhere in England during this time period, and given that Olivia Miller, aged 1 year, was the only member of the Olivia Meller household in 1841 to be born in England, and given that all other members of that household were born in Ireland; it seems irrefutable that William Henry Miller was a close kinsperson of Olivia Mellor and Ester Mellor, and probably the father of Olivia Miller, aged 1 year.  Just what the kinship connection between Olivia Mellor and William Henry Miller may have been cannot be known at this juncture, but, given their respective ages, it is conceivable that William Henry Miller and Ester Miller may have been siblings, and children or grandchildren of Olivia Mellor.

Given the presence of an apparently newly married couple living at Oldham Below Town in 1841, who registered the birth of their daughter, Olivia, on 4Feb1840 at Lees hall, we might expect to locate a marriage record for a William Miller and a bride named Elizabeth in the near vicinity of Oldham in about 1838-9.  From Olivia’s birth registration we discovered that Elizabeth’s maiden name was Holt.  The next logical line of inquiry would be a search for a marriage record of William Miller and Elizabeth Holt sometime before 1841.  Such a search was performed resulting in a hit on only one record shown in Figure 17 and summarized as follows:

  • Name: William Miller; Gender: Male; Marriage Age: Of Full Age; Event Type: Marriage; Marriage Date: 2 Jun 1839; Marriage Place: Prestwich, St Mary, Lancashire, England; Parish as it Appears: Prestwich; Father: Jacob Miller; Spouse: Elizabeth Holt

There are several elements of this marriage record worthy of our note:

  1. The marriage occurred on 1Jun1739, about seven months before the birth of Olivia Ann Miller.
  2. The groom and bride’s names were William Miller and Elizabeth Holt.
  3. The marriage was recorded in Prestwich, St. Mary, which we believe to have been the same church already discussed herein as St. Mary Oldham.
  4. William Miller was described with the occupation of “hatter”, which comports with the occupation of William Henry Miller as reported at the time of the birth of Olivia, William Emmett and Sarah Ann Miller, and in the 1841 census.
  5. William has reported as being a resident of Coldhurst.
  6. Elizabeth was reported as being a resident of Northmoor.
  7. William’s father was reported to have been Jacob Miller, laborer.
  8. Elizabeth’s father was reported to have been James Holt, carder.
  9. Witnesses were reported to have been James Nugent and Joseph Taylor.

There are several facts contained in this marriage record, which make it a virtual certainty that this was the marriage of William Henry Miller, and his wife, Elizabeth, and the same couple recorded in the 1841 census residing at “Oldham, Below Town”.  We have the exact match with the occupation of hatter, the exact match of geographic locations of Coldhurst and Northmoor with the place of residence at the birth of two children (Sarah Ann and William Emmett), and a date which predates the birth year of Olivia Ann Miller.  Another compelling fact is that one of the witnesses was named James Nugent.  It may be remembered that a James Nugent was listed as a member of the household of Olivia Mellor in the 1841 census.  Given these connections, the author is prepared to assert this as the marriage of William Henry Miller and his wife, Elizabeth.

One element of the 1841 census record appears to be incongruous with other “facts” on record regarding William Henry Miller, that being the suggestion that he was “foreign born”.  How could that be?  William Henry Miller consistently reported his place of birth as Oldham Parish, Lancashire in 1851 thru 1881.  We also have the marriage record for William Miller and Elizabeth Holt in which William was reported as a resident of Coldhurst, with no suggestion that he was foreign born.  Yet, we also have a record of the household of Olivia Mellor in 1841 in which everyone in that household were also reported being “foreign born”, except for the child, Olivia Miller, who we believe to have been the same person as Olivia Ann Miller living in William Henry Miller’s household at Failsworth in the 1851 census.  Clearly, it would appear that there was some sort of connection between William Henry Miller and these other persons born in Ireland.  Remember, a James Nugent witnessed the marriage of William Miller and Elizabeth Holt, yet we also had a James Nugent living in the same household with Olivia Miller in 1841.  We also have the assertion that William Miller was “of age” when he married Elizabeth Holt, yet it would appear that William Henry Miller would have been only about 20 years old.  Did he misrepresent his age?  How might these anomalies be explained? 

As we work our way through the search for the possible ancestry of William Henry Miller, we may discover facts which might explain this “foreign born” element.  That issue aside, it would appear that we have successfully established the identity of the father’s of both William Henry Miller and Elizabeth Holt.  This is a vital discovery, in that that information could make it possible for us to further identify the ancestry of William Henry Miller and Elizabeth Holt. 

James Holt

Elizabeth Holt is believed by the author to have been a daughter of James Holt and Mally Duckworth of Cowhill, Oldham.  The identity of Elizabeth’s parents was established from a search for a daughter of James Holt named Elizabeth, born about 1820 (+/- three years) in the near vicinity of Oldham.  This search returned only two hits summarized as follows

  • Elizabeth Holt; Baptized 6 Jun 1819; St. Peter, Oldham, Lancashire, England; Parents: James, Mally
  • Elizabeth Holt; Baptized 25 Dec 1821; St. Peter, Oldham, Lancashire, England; Parents: James, Mary

The daughter, Elizabeth, born to James and Mary Holt died, and was buried at St. Mary, Oldham on 7Sep1823.  So, by process of elimination, it was deduced that the Elizabeth Holt, who married William Henry Miller, was the child of James Holt and Mally, who, themselves, were married at Oldham on 31Aug1803.  The witnesses were John Holt and James Clegg.  John Holt undoubtedly was a kinsman, and may be instrumental in identifying James Holt’s family.  James Clegg probably was a kinsman of William Clegg, the founder of the Lees Hall cotton spinning factory, where William Henry and Elizabeth Miller were living at the birth of their first-born child, Olivia.  James and Mally’s marriage record is shown in Figure 18[9].  James Holt was a weaver (wool carder), by tradecraft.  He and Mally bore a total of eight children, all born in the small community of Cowhill-Alder Root, just south of Chadderton.  Their children are summarized as follows:

  1. Anna Holt; 7 Apr 1805; St. Peter’s, Oldham, Lancashire, England; James, Mally
  2. Sally Holt; 4 Jan 1807; St. Peter’s, Oldham, Lancashire, England; James, Mally
  3. Adam Holt; 12 Feb 1809; St. Peter’s, Oldham, Lancashire, England; James, Mally
  4. Andrew Holt; 3 Feb 1811; St. Peter’s, Oldham, Lancashire, England; James, Mally
  5. Sally Holt; 10 Jan 1813; St. Peter’s, Oldham, Lancashire, England; James, Mally
  6. Francis Holt; 8 Jan 1815; St. Peter’s, Oldham, Lancashire, England;James, Mally
  7. Elizabeth Holt; 6 Jun 1819; St. Peter, Oldham, Lancashire, England; James, Mally
  8. John Holt; 31 Aug 1820; St. Peter, Oldham, Lancashire, England; James, Mally

William Henry’s Ancestry

At this point in our research we have successfully traced William Henry to the Oldham area where he was married to Elizabeth Holt on 2Jun1839 in the St. Mary parish church at Oldham, following the publishing of banns.  In the marriage record William was reported as a resident of Coldhurst working as a hatter, whereas Elizabeth was a resident of Northmoor.  William’s father was identified in that record as Jacob Miller, a labourer.  Elizabeth’s father was identified as James Holt, a carder.  It is worth noting that William Miller signed his own name in the register as shown in Figure 17.  The marriage was witnessed by James Nugent and Joseph Taylor, both of who also signed their own names in the register.  Elizabeth Holt signed the register with her mark, same as she did on the birth record for her daughter, Olivia Ann..  The fact that William Miller signed his name suggests that he had received at least an elementary school education, in spite of having been the son of a labourer.  A review of the ten pages preceding and following this marriage record showed that the large majority of persons witnessing marriages were unique to each marriage, suggesting that they held a special connection to the married couple.  This suggests that James Nugent and Joseph Taylor were likely personal acquaintances of either William Miller or Elizabeth Holt, or both.

A review of the seven adult James Nugents recorded in Lancashire in the 1841 census showed that six were from the Greater Manchester area and two were recorded as born in Ireland.  Given this limited number of records of James Nugents, none of which appeared in the immediate vicinity of Oldham, it seems highly probable that the James Nugent, who witnessed the marriage of William Miller and Elizabeth Holt, was the same person living in the household headed by Olivia Mellor.  Assuming that to be the case, and given the two instances in which William Henry Miller was reported born in Ireland, it seems highly probable that William Henry Miller was a kinsperson of Olivia Mellor and Ester Miller, both of who were reported born in Ireland.  Consequently, it seems highly probable that William’s father, Jacob Miller, would have been from Ireland.  No evidence was found anywhere to confirm that William’s father ever resided in England.

Assuming that Olivia Mellor, Ester Miller and William Henry Miller were kinsmen, then the obvious question becomes, what might their kinship have been?  Since it appears that William Henry and Elizabeth’s newborn child was living in Olivia Mellor’s household in 1841, it is reasonable to conclude that Olivia Mellor possibly was Olivia Ann Miller’s grandmother, and William Henry’s mother.  It further seems reasonable to conclude that Ester Miller may have been William Henry’s sister.  Assuming this to have been the case, we then went in search of a marriage record for Esther Miller, which search returned the following hit:

  • Name: Esther Miller; Marriage Date: 18 Dec 1843; Parish: Manchester, St Mary, St Denys and St George; Father’s Name: Jacob Miller; Spouse’s Name: Hugh McCurry; Spouse’s Father’s Name: Hugh McCurry

Given the date, name and location of this marriage record, it seems highly probable that this was the marriage record for the Ester Miller, who was residing in the household of Olivia Mellor in 1841.  This probability is made even more certain by the additional information provided in the record image shown in Figure 19.

In this record Esther identified her father as Jacob Miller, a needle maker.  Jacob Miller was the same name given by William Henry for his father in his marriage record.  Also, we have the witnesses named James Nugent and Ann Nugent.  The reader probably recalls that James Nugent also witnessed the marriage of William Henry Miller and Elizabeth Holt.  Further, that James and Ann Nugent were occupants of the household headed by Olivia Mellor.  Given that William Henry Miller and Esther Miller both identified their fathers as Jacob Miller, it seems highly probable that they were siblings, a probability that we had already deduced based on earlier facts in evidence. 

Esther and Hugh McCurry were married at St Mary, St Denys and St George [aka Cathedral and Collegiate Church], which is located on Victoria Street in the Collegiate Parish and appears as shown in Figure 20.  Collegiate Church marriages were performed under rather peculiar circumstances described as follows:

“Until 1850, the Collegiate Church remained the parish church for whole of Manchester (this is the ancient parish, including almost the whole area of the modern City of Manchester excepting Wythenshawe), an area which in 1821 had a population of 187,031.[12] Within this vast parish there were considerable numbers of chapels of ease and proprietary chapels for parochial worship – as well as other chapels for dissenters and Roman Catholics. Nevertheless, the Wardens and fellows of the Collegiate church maintained their legal right to a fee of 3s. 6d. for all marriages conducted within their parish; so, unless a couple were able and willing to pay two sets of marriage fees, the only place in Manchester where a marriage might legally be contracted was the Collegiate Church. In 1821 a total of 1,924 marriages were solemnized in the Collegiate Church; commonly in batches of a score or more. The couples to be married were most often desperately poor but Brookes was no respecter of status, so all were subjected to his ‘production line’ methods. Commonly, the groom and friends would decamp to a nearby ale-house while the bride kept place in the queue; but if there was one groom too few when a group of couples were lined up in front of the altar, Brookes notoriously would countenance no delay, but would continue the marriage with any passer-by (or even one of the other grooms) as a proxy stand-in. Brookes is commonly reckoned to have conducted more marriages, funerals and christenings than any English clergyman before or since.[12]”[10]

Now that we have the marriages of both William Henry and Esther having been witnessed by James Nugent, it leaves us to ponder whether there may also have been some sort of kinship connection between these Miller siblings and James Nugent.  The most likely probability of a kinship connection is that James Nugent was married to another Miller sibling, and that he was William Henry and Esther’s brother-in-law.  Such eventuality could explain his presence in Olivia Mellor’s household, and his witnessing the Miller sibling’s marriages.  Assuming this to have been the case, we seemingly have now identified three Miller siblings: William Henry, Esther, and Ann.  Since Ann appears to have been almost 10 years younger than James, and only about 20 years old in 1941, it seems likely that they were only recently married.  Assuming that James and Ann may have been married in England, we made a search for their marriage record.  This search resulted in the following hit:

  • Name: Ann Miller; Marriage Date: 1 Apr 1839; Parish: Manchester, St Mary, St Denys and St George; Father’s Name: Jacob Miller; Spouse’s Name: James Nugent; Spouse’s Father’s Name: George Nugent

Figure 21 contains an image of this marriage record.  Given that the bride is named Ann Miller, and that her father was identified as Jacob Miller, needle-maker, there seems no doubt but that Ann was a sister of Ester Miller, ergo, she was also a sister of William Henry (If A=B, and B=C, then A=C).  From this record we also find that James Nugent was a widower, hence the Mary Ann Nugent, aged 9 years in the household of Olivia Mellor in 1841, very likely was James’ daughter from his earlier marriage.  Another important detail from this record was that a William Miller was a witness, almost certainly William Henry Miller.  A comparison of William’s signatures between this record and his own marriage record shows a clear match of handwriting.

Now that we have reliably established William Henry Miller, Esther Miller and Anne Miller as siblings, it is time to infer a probable kinship connection to Olivia Mellor.  If we only consider the ages reported for Ann Nugent, Esther Miller and William Miller (22 , 20 and 20, respectively) in the 1841 census, it is conceivable that Olivia Mellor could have been their grandmother.  However, in looking beyond the 1841 census records to 1851, 1861 and 1871, we will learn that both Anne and Esther very likely were almost 10 years older than suggested by the 1841 census.  Well might the reader wonder how such a significant difference in ages could be possible?  The author has a theory.  Is it possible that Esther and Anne may have lied about their ages when they married?  Marrying off spinster daughters in their early thirties would have been tricky.  But, if the grooms thought their prospective spouses to have been 10 years younger, marriage may have been an easier proposition.  Assuming that to have been the case, then they naturally would need to lie about their ages for the 1841 census, when they were all residing in the same household

The author cannot absolutely state the cause of this discrepancy, but the record seems to be quite clear that Esther and Anne were born around 1810-2, not 1819-21.  This fact is very important to establishing the probable kinship between these three Miller siblings and Olivia Mellor.  Given the more reliable ages of Anne and Esther Miller, it is a virtual certainty that Olivia Mellor was not their grandmother.  In fact, it seems highly probable that Olivia Mellor was their mother.  By extrapolation, Olivia Mellor’s husband very likely was Jacob Miller, needle-maker, who almost certainly was deceased at the time of the 1841 census taking.

Given that prospect, we went in search of a death record for a Jacob Miller somewhere in the vicinity of Manchester sometime between 1822 and 1839.  This search resulted in only one hit, summarized as follows:

  • Name: Jacob Mellor; Gender: Male; Burial Date: 19 Oct 1825; Burial Place: Royton, Lancashire, England: FHL Film Number: 1545720; Reference ID: 129

The name “Jacob Miller” was extremely rare in the vicinity of Manchester in the first half of the 19th Century.  In fact, the author found only one other instance, that being a Jacob Miller, born about 1772 at Ashton Under Lyne, died about 1830 at Hurst, Ashton Under Lyne.  Given such rarity, it seemed highly possible that this death record may have been of the father of William Henry Miller.  Royton is a town located about 2.5 miles north of Oldham, and about one mile north of Coldhurst, the place of residence reported for William Henry Miller in his marriage record.  However, on reviewing the film record, this Jacob Mellor was found to have been only 15 months old.  Given the name match, and the relatively close geographic proximity, it should not be discounted that this could have been a younger brother of William Henry.  Regrettably, the record does not provide any information on the child’s family.  If this Jacob Mellor had been a brother of William Henry, then it would establish the date of the Miller family’s migration to Lancashire at between 1819 and 1825.

Having reliably established that William Henry Miller had two sisters living in the vicinity of Manchester, we next went in search of other records associated with their families in an effort to determine whether there might be clues as to this Miller family’s origins.  This search led to one very important census record shown in Figure 22.

This was the household headed by James Nugent, located on Dean’s Court, which was situated about one mile west-southwest from the household of Olivia Mellor on Barlow Street in 1841  Barlow Street was situated off the west side of Rochdale Road in St. Michael’s Parish.  Dean’s Court was on the south side of the River Irwell, near the intersection of New Bridge Street and Greengate.  This census record identified James Nugent’s place of birth as Dublin, Ireland.  Anne (Miller) Nugent, his wife, aged 39, was identified as having been born at Swords, near Dublin, Ireland.  Also, in this household was Anne’s older sister, Esther McCurry, aged 41, born at Dublin, Ireland.  So, from this record we have traced the birth place of these Miller siblings to Dublin and/or the nearby town of Swords.  It is reasonable to believe that William Henry Miller was also born in Dublin County, near Swords.  Note that the ages of Esther and Anne have increased almost 20 years since the 1841 census.

It is important to note that the three oldest children of James and Ann Nugent were reportedly born at Manchester (probably on Barlow Street at Collyhurst), whereas the youngest child was born at Salford (probably on Deans Court).  These facts allow us to establish the date range at which the family relocated from Barlow Street to Deans Court at around 1846 to 1849.  Another “fact” that might be drawn from this information is that Olivia Mellor probably died sometime within that date range, which death probably prompted the Nugent Family’s relocation.

The Nugent family was living on Dean’s Court in 1851.  Dean’s Court is shown in the inset contained in Figure 23.  It was a small, enclosed court with an outlet onto Greengate Street to the south, or through Langworthy Court on the north onto Sandywell Street.  It was situated within a couple of blocks of the Greengate Cotton Mills complex, four breweries, an Iron Foundary and a Hat Manufactory along the south bank of the River Irwell as shown in Figure 24.  The area in which the Nugent family lived is briefly described as follows:

“Greengate was noted for textiles and dyeing long before the Industrial Revolution, but from the early 19th century it developed a reputation for poverty and slum housing alongside sections of manufacturing. By the mid-19th century, almost two thirds of the population of Salford were crowded into the small area of Greengate.[1]”[11]

James Nugent died later in 1851, and sometime over the next decade, Anne (Miller) Nugent moved her household about ¼ of a mile to the southeast across the River Irwell to Marks Lane.  Her household appeared inthe Market Street Registrar’s Sub-District, Enumeration District 14 described as follows:

“All that part of the Township of Manchester commencing with Halliwell Street, Long-Mile Gate, thence along the left-hand side of Long-Mile Gate of Todd Street to Withy Grove to Garden Street, thence by the back of the houses on the south side of Balloon Street and of Halliwell Street to Long-Mile Gate, aforesaid, including the said left-hand side of Long-Mill Gate, of Todd Street, and of Withy Grove together with all other streets, courts, yards and places, whatever, within the described boundary.”

Following is a list of the streets named within this census enumeration district: Long Mill Gate, Todd Street, Carpenter Street, Hydes Cross, Huntsmans Court, Holgate Street, Back Clock Alley, Clock Alley, Arkwright Court, Mark Lane, Cock Inn – Mark Lane, [Three] Crown Yard, Pump Yard – Mark Lane, Oldham Tavern – Mark Lane, and Lamb Yard.  Figure 25 contains an inset of a map of Blackfriars Ward, surveyed in 1849 and engraved in 1850 at the Ordinance Map Office, Southampton.  Although Marks Lane does not appear on this map, it is clear that Marks Lane and Cock Gates were the same street, based on street and landmark references from the 1861 census of Enumeration District 14.  In that census Cock Inn, [Three] Crown Yard and Pump Yard were all identified as being off Marks Lane.  In Figure 25 these landmarks are shown to be off Cock Gates.  It would appear that sometime after this ordinance survey in 1849 and before the 1861 census taking Cock Gates had been renamed to Marks Lane.  Figure 26 contains a map of Manchester, circa 1844, which shows the locations of the James and Ann Nugent households in 1841, 1851 and 1861.

In the 1861 census record Anne (Miller) Nugent and her eldest daughter, Esther, were identified as engaged in the occupation of Furrier.  The only other Furrier appearing in this Enumeration District was Anne Nugent’s immediate neighbors: Hugh Combs and his wife, Ann.  In fact, Anne Nugent’s neighbors on Marks Lane were from an eclectic mixture of trades as follows: Carter (Corn Trade), Hand Servant, Porter, Inn Keeper, Book Keeper, Labourer, General Dealer, Cheese Factor, Tobacco Stripper, Domestic, Fish Hawker, Fruit Hawker, Cotton Factory Operator, School Mistress, Hand Maid, Labourer (Oil Manufactory), Currier, Market Porter, Striker at Foundary, Traveling Confectioner, Carriage Maker, Fustian Shearer, Confectioner, Baker, Tallow Chandler, Cotton Draper, Cask (Barrel) Maker, Shoe Maker, Cotton Sorter, Coach Lace Weaver, Butler, Fancy Box Maker, Nurse Girl, Cordwainer, Poulterer, and Mangle Woman.  Within the various occupations listed for Anne Nugent’s neighbors, there is no suggestion of any dominant industry or trade.  They represent a wide cross-section of businesses, mostly at the lower end of the economic scale.

In modern parlance, furrier describes someone engaged in the sale of garments manufactured from furs (usually exotic furs, i.e., mink, sable, ermine).  This modern definition probably bears little resemblance to a furrier in 19th Century England.  Although a fairly old “profession”, it is difficult to find any published literature on the subject.  The author first encountered the occupation of furrier in England as early as the 17th Century in his study of John Murton, co-founder of the Baptist Church in Britain, who was a furrier from Gainsborough.  From that earlier study it was learned that the trade of “furrier” might be considered synonymous with “pelter” or “skinner”.  The Worshipful Company of Skinners was originally an association of persons engaged in the trade of skins or furs, established by Royal Charter granted in 1327.

Just how Anne Nugent and her daughter, Esther, came to be engaged in the furrier business is not clear.  It seems possible that it may have emanated from Anne’s husband’s occupation as a Journeyman Hatter.  Like furriers, hatters had no official standing as a chartered livery company.  Hatters were most commonly allied with the Worshipful Company of Feltmakers.  In fact, feltmakers were generally considered synonymous with hatmakers.  Hat manufacturing in the 18th and 19th centuries utilized a variety of materials in the manufacture of their finished products, including felted “fabric”, linen, silk and furs.  During the 19th century hats made from furs were in high demand, and even recognized as status symbols of social distinction.  The most common fur in use in England during this time period was obtained from beaver pelts, but rabbit, sheep and other animal skins were also utilized as a means to lowering the cost.  Furriers would have been a vital source of material for the hat making trade.

We pick up the trail of Anne Nugent in the 1871 census at Liverpool, summarized as follows:

Name: Ann Nugent

Age: 65

Estimated Birth Year: 1806

Relation: Head

Gender: Female

Where born: Dublin Ireland

Civil Parish: Liverpool; Ecclesiastical parish: St Luke

Household Members:         

Name                                      Age

Ann Nugent                          65

Esther Porter                         27

Ann Porter (dau.)                 2

Albert Porter (son)               18/12

Kate Heslin                           25

Richard Porter                       26

Elizabeth Sherwin 57

William Evans (nephew)     10

An image of this census record is shown in Figure 27.  Anne Nugent was identified as the head of household, no occupation, born in Dublin, aged 65 years.  Her true age in 1871 probably was about 59-60 years, based on the age shown in the 1851 and 1861 censuses.  Also living in Anne’s household was her daughter, Esther Miller Nugent (who had married Richard Porter on 1Apr1868 at Liverpool), Richard Porter and their two children: Anne, aged two years, and Albert, aged 18 months.  Another kinsperson in this household was William Evans, aged 10, identified as a niece, but likely a nephew of Anne Miller Nugent.  Since Anne is known to have had only one sister, namely, Esther Miller McCorry, it seems possible that Albert Evans may have been a son of Esther Miller.  However, it is also possible that he may have been related to Anne through her husband’s (James Nugent) family.

It is worth noting that Esther Miller Nugent Porter was identified in this census record with the occupation of furrier, as were two other members of the household: Kate Heslin, aged 25 of Dublin, and Elizabeth Sherwin, a 54 old widow of Dublin.  Both Kate Heslin and Elizabeth Sherwin were reportedly boarders (aka lodgers) in Anne’s household.  The household was identified as being on Wolstenholme Square.  When first developed in about 1770, Wolstenholme Square was considered a very stylish little tree-lined park dubbed “Ladies Walk” near the center of this ancient city about five blocks from quayside.  See Figure 28 for an illustration of Wolstenholme Square as it may have appeared in the late-1780’s.  Its exclusive and tranquil appearance gave way to urban development over the next century and may have appeared as illustrated in Figure 29, when Anne Nugent, and Esther and Richard Porter were in residence.  It was situated directly across the River Mersey from Birkenhead and Seacombe, the residential location of Dr. William Henry Miller in 1871 and 1881.  Whether William Henry Miller would have been aware of his sister and niece living across the River is not known, but probable.  In fact, he may have purchased the white fur coat he delivered to has daughter-in-law, Minnie Penoyer Miller, from his sister’s store.

No further trace was found of Anne Nugent, but her daughter, Esther Miller Nugent was found in later records.  Following is a summary of Esther Miller Nugent’s marriage record:

  • Name: Esther Nugent; Gender: Female; Marriage Age: Full Age; Event Type: Marriage; Marriage Date: 1 Apr 1868; Marriage Place: Liverpool, St Peter, Lancashire, England; Parish as it Appears: Liverpool; Father: James Nugent; Spouse: Richard Porter.

An image of this marriage record is shown in Figure 30. 

Esther Miller Nugent would have been about 28 years old at the time of her marriage to Richard Porter.  The bride and groom reportedly were living at Wolstenholme Square at the time of their marriage, probably the same address as the family in 1871.  Richard Porter was identified in the marriage record and in later census records with the occupation of “French Polisher”.  French polishing was a highly specialized skill described as follows:

“French polish is not a product. Rather, French polishing is a method of applying shellac to wood furniture, musical instruments, or decorative accents in many thin layers—typically well over 100—that results in a highly glossy, glass-smooth surface with a rich depth that beautifully highlights the grain of the wood.”[12]

The author was able to trace Richard Porter’s family to the household of his parent’s Richard and Ann Porter in 1851 and 1861, situated about ½ mile east-northeast of Wolstenholme Square in the Mount Pleasant District.  Esther’s husband, Richard Porter, was consistently identified in four consecutive censuses as having been born at Bombay, East India, in about 1845.  This is quite curious, as his parents: Richard Porter [Sr.] and Ann were reported born at County Down, Ireland, and Liverpool, respectively.  Richard was reported with only one sibling, Elizabeth A. Porter, born in Liverpool in about 1852. 

Richard Porter’s household in the 1861 census is summarized as follows:

Name: Richard Porter; Age: 56; Estimated Birth Year:1805; Relation: Head; Occupation: Shoemaker; Spouse’s Name: Ann Porter; Gender: Male; Where born: Ireland; Civil Parish: Liverpool; Ecclesiastical parish: St David; Town: Liverpool; County/Island: Lancashire; Sub-registration District: Mount Pleasant

Household Members:         

Name                                      Age

Richard Porter                       56

Ann Porter                            43

Richard Porter                       16

Elizabeth A Porter                9

The household in the 1851 census is summarized as follows:

Name: Richard Porter; Age: 45; Estimated Birth Year: abt 1806; Relation: Head; Occupation: Shoemaker; Spouse’s Name: Ann Porter; Gender: Male; Where born: Ireland; Civil Parish: Liverpool; County/Island: Lancashire; Country: England; Sub-registration District: Mount Pleasant

Household Members:         

Name                                      Age

Richard Porter                       45

Ann Porter                            32

Richard Porter                       6

James Mellos [Mellor]         13

John Porter                            47

There were two additional persons in this household in 1851 worthy of note.  John Porter was identified as Richard Porter’s brother, born at Hastings, Sussex.  James Mellor was identified as Richard Porter’s step-son, born in East Indies.  An attempt was made to locate Richard Porter Sr. in the 1841 census with only marginal success.  The closest match was of a Richard Porter, born in 1806, an inmate in the Pestworth, Sussex, House of Corrections.  His birth place was not cited, but he was indicated as not born in Sussex.  No other matches even remotely fit with the demographics of our Richard Porter.  Further effort was made to locate Richard’s brother, John Porter in the 1841 census without success.

Since John Porter was the only known kinsperson of Richard Porter, an effort was made to locate a birth record for John Porter.  Only one record was located, which appears to match, except for the year of birth.  A summary of that record is as follows:

Name: John Joshua Porter; Gender: Male; Baptism Date: [3Jun]1808; Baptism Place: St. Clement’s, Hastings, Sussex, England; Father: John Porter; Mother: Mary Ann

This was the only birth record found for anyone named John Porter at Hastings, Sussex in the approximate time period of 1804.  It seems possible to the author that this may have been the birth record of Richard Porter’s brother.  Even though the date of birth is four years after the date suggested by the 1851 census record, there are other factors in favor of this having been the birth of Richard Porter’s brother.  Since Richard Porter, himself, was reportedly born in Ireland, it seems possible that his parents were from Ireland.  It would be very unusual for a working-class English family to have migrated from England to Ireland during this time period.  If Richard was born before his brother, John, then that would fit with Richard being born in Ireland, and the family migrating to Hastings, where John Joshua would have been born.  In spite of significant effort, no further records could be located for the parents of John Joshua, neither in baptism, marriage, census, nor death records.  All things considered, it is the author’s opinion that John and Mary Ann Porter were the parents of Richard and John Porter, and that they emigrated from Ireland to Sussex in about 1806.

As regards the James Mellor living in Richard Porter’s household in 1851, it seems probable that he was a son of Richard’s wife, Ann, by an earlier connection.  This would seem to be the only explanation for the reported kinship of “step-son”.  While the term of “step-son” may have had a different meaning in the 18th century and earlier, by the 19th century its meaning was essentially the same as in present day.  Assuming that to be the case, and given that both Richard Porter Jr. and James Mellor were reportedly born in the East Indies, it seems probable that Richard Porter Sr. and his wife, Ann, met and married in India sometime between 1838 and 1845.  It further seems probable that Ann was widowed at the time she married Richard Porter. 

Given the connection of Richard Porter Sr. with the East Indies, it occurred to the author that he may have been in military service in India.  With that possibility in mind, a search was made for military service records for Richard Porter, which search resulted in the discharge paper illustrated in Figure 31.  This discharge paper provides a fairly thorough record of the service performed by Private Richard Porter, No. 1059.  At the time of his discharge on 27Jun1848 at Liverpool, he was a member of the 14th Kings Regiment of Light Dragoons.  The record states that he was born in St. Peters Parish, Drogheda, Louth, Ireland.  He enlisted in the 4th Regiment, Light Dragoons, at Dublin, Ireland on 23May1827 at the age of 21 years.  He was a shoemaker, by trade.  At the time of his discharge on good terms, he was entitled to credit for 20 years, 152 days of service, of which 19-1/3 years were in the East Indies.

From his service record it can be deduced that he met and married his wife, Ann Mellor, while on duty in India, probably around 1843.  Further, that Ann probably was widowed and had a son named James Mellor, born about 1838 in India.  It is possible that Ann Mellor’s first husband was also on military service in India.

Jacob Mellor Family – Irish Migration to England

From the marriage records of William Henry Miller, Esther Miller and Anne Miller, we have discovered that their father was named Jacob Miller, that he was a needle-maker by trade, and that he very likely originated from Dublin, or its immediate environs, possibly Swords.  Whether Jacob Miller, himself, ever migrated to England cannot be established from the records thus far discovered.  We can deduce with some degree of certainty that he was the husband of Olivia Mellor [nee Emmett?].  This is established with a fairly high level of certainty based on the occupants of the household headed by Olivia Mellor in 1841.  The two Miller sisters: Esther and Anne were born around 1810-2.  It is a virtual certainty that Olivia Mellor and Esther and Anne Miller were kinsmen.  The most likely kinship is that Esther and Anne were daughters of Olivia Mellor.  Olivia’s age was reportedly 60 years in 1841.  That age would comport with her having had two daughters when she would have been about 30 years old, and having had a son (William Henry) when she was about 39 years old.  If we accept that Olivia Mellor was the mother of Esther, Anne and William Henry Miller, then it follows that Olivia’s husband was Jacob Miller, needle-maker.

Just when this Miller family may have migrated from Ireland to England is also not known with certainty.  Perhaps the best dates that can be established with any degree of certainty would be between about 1822/3, when William Henry would have been old enough to safely make the crossing, to about 1828, when these two Miller sisters (Esther and Anne) would have been old enough to receive their training in hat manufacture.  This is a rather broad range, but the best the author can offer given the limited information available.  It seems possible to the author that Jacob Miller may have made earlier crossings as a seasonal worker, but possible that he had died in Ireland and did not make the voyage with his family.  We probably will never know for certain when the family migrated to England, beyond the broad 5-year range already suggested.  Whether they migrated directly to the Manchester area is also uncertain.  Possibly they first stopped in Liverpool, and then later migrated up-river to the emerging industrial center of Manchester.

We can get a glimpse into this family’s economic status and living conditions in Ireland by expanding our knowledge of the trade-craft of needle-making.  Needle-making in the British Isles can be traced to as early as the 16th century.  For the first couple of centuries it was a cottage industry, often times with the entire household engaged in one or more steps of the needle production process.  An excellent description of needle-making in 19th Century England can be found online at http://www.coulthart.com/avery/history-pages/needle-history.html

“Early needle making was a “cottage industry,” the term used to describe production that occurred in a person’s home as opposed to in a factory or mill…  Men, woman, and children, often entire families, would be engaged in some form of needle making, including the production of fish hooks and fishing tackle.  After all, what is a fish hook other than a needle with an extra barb bent into the shape of the letter “J”!”[13]

By the turn of the 19th Century the process of needle making had achieved a certain level of standardization, even as the Industrial Revolution was introducing mechanization and innovation in virtually all aspects of industry.  Needle makers relied on a steady supply of high-quality tempered wire, which could be purchased in bulk quantity.  The wire came rolled on spools.  The first step in needle-making would involve drawing down the wire to the appropriate size, by pulling it through a succession of gradually decreasing gauges.  When drawn to the required gauge, the wire would be cut into segments roughly double the length of the finished needle.  Having come from spooled wire stock, the blank wire segments would require straightening, through a process of heating, rolling and annealing.  The straightened blanks were then pointed on each end by grinding on a grinding wheel.  The pointed blanks were then run through a stamping tool, which flattened the middle of the blank to form the needle head, and to impart an indentation for the eye.  Following stamping of the needle head, the blank would be cut in half for the final processing, which involved drilling or punching the eye, grinding and smoothing the head and eyelet, and burnishing/polishing.

“Technology advances led to the ‘industrial revolution’, and manufacture of the humble needle became a toxic and risky occupation, taken over by the introduction of machinery in 1828. In 1824 around 5 million needles were handmade per week in the Redditch district, and by 1847, after the introduction of machinery; 50 million were churned out per week.  A ‘pointer’ was able to grind up to 100 needles a time on the grindstone, completing around 10,000 needles an hour. Pneumoconiosis, known as Pointer’s Rot was the result of inhaling a mix of fine metal particulates and grindstone dust into the lung. Another risk was the grindstone fatally shattering or a shard of metal ending up in the pointer’s eye causing blindness. Furthermore, to impede rust, needles were rolled in asbestos powder – prior to learning lung disease was a product of exposure to asbestos. Life expectancy for a pointer was 35yrs of age, or otherwise five to six years of working in this field till health issues commonly surfaced.”[14]

Needle making was a labor intensive craft, aspects of which were extremely hazardous to the health.  For example, needle pointers were constantly exposed to inhalation of fine metal particles and stone dust.  Life expectancy of a needle pointer was around 35 years, who usually died from tuberculosis, which was at the time dubbed “pointer’s rot”.  Given the prospect of early death, it seems likely that Jacob Miller probably died shortly after William Henry’s birth, around 1820 in Ireland.  The family of a needle-maker would have fallen into the lower middle-class, or upper lower-class.  Undoubtedly, following the death of her husband, Olivia would have been facing poverty and that prospect of poverty likely drove her to migrate to England. 

Once in England and responsible for three orphaned children, Olivia was probably forced to establish her own “cottage industry” to avoid becoming a victim of the workhouse.  From The Irish in the Victorian City we get a brief glimpse at the realities facing the Irish emigrant on their arrival, and the obstacles they faced in finding their niche in a foreign land.  M.A.G. O Tauthaigh describes the Irish emigrant thusly:

“The Irish in Britain constituted a somewhat peculiar minority indeed.  E. P. Thompson asserts with some force that the Irish were never pressed back into ghettoes.  It would have been difficult to have made a people who spoke the same language and were British citizens under the Act of Union into a subject minority.  A subject minority they may not have been, but, in their perception of themselves and in the way the natives of the host society perceived them, the immigrant Irish were undoubtedly a minority of some kind…  The first kind (into which the Irish probably fell) is that minority, usually immigrant, which seeks the maximum degree of assimilation and integration, but which regards itself as the object of collective discrimination by the majority.  In short, a minority whose urge to integrate is resisted.”[15]

Even though they shared a common language and possessed many cultural similarities with the inhabitants of their host country, the Irish were generally viewed by the English as illiterate, unskilled, slothful, unreliable, drunken and threatening to the labor force.  Because of the labor guild structure in Britain, foreigners found it difficult to find work within the more established trades.  They were frequently forced into unskilled or semi-skilled labor, often times taking only the lowest forms of employment: 

“…the immigrant Irish were disproportionately concentrated in the ranks of the semi-skilled casual labor force – in construction, transportation, dockside labour, in food distribution, and in railway construction.  Again, in certain industries such as sugar refining, textiles (especially where the Irish acted as sweated labour in declining trades), in gasworks and paper-making, as sawyers, coal-heavers, and porters – in all of these categories the Irish were disproportionately numerous…  The occupations most frequent among female Irish immigrants were in the textile factories, laundry work, and domestic service…  Many Irish women survived and contributed to the family income, through earnings from piece-work (such as needle-work, sewing and rag-picking) in their own homes.  Both male and female Irish immigrants were heavily involved in hawking and street-trading in the large centres of population, while the keeping of lodgers was an important source of income for the enterprising immigrant family, both because of the rent and the laundry service offered by the women of the house.”[16]

Also, because of these class distinctions, the Irish were forced to live in the poorest and most desperate conditions:

“Their living conditions were generally the very worst which the Victorian industrial slum could offer.  Some of these inner-city Irish settlements became bywords for industrial slum living.  The “Little Ireland” ghetto in Manchester… displayed the full spectrum of social evils. – appalling over-crowding, little or no sanitation, open sewers and cesspools, unhealthy diet, inadequate clothing, vagrancy, disease, alcoholism,  and general squalor; a high quota of unemployed paupers, or of underemployed casual labourers; and a high incidence of casual violence (very often provoked by drink).”[17]

Given the composition of her household in 1841, it would appear that Olivia Mellor had established a “hatting” industry, possibly in her own home.  In that year we found her heading a household situated on the north side of Barlow Street in Collyhurst, a northeastern suburb of Manchester.  Her household was described as containing six persons working in the finishing stage of hat-making, including her two presumed daughters.  There was only one other hatter listed within Olivia’s enumeration district, that being Thomas Taylor, a hat finisher residing on Blackburn Street.  These facts hardly seem coincidental, when we consider the state of the hat-making industry around Manchester at that time:

“Southwark in south London was the major early (felted hat) production centre, supported by an experienced workforce and the largest single market in England.  However, the need for imported beaver pelts meant that a number of early manufacturing centres also sprang up around the ports of Bristol, Chester, and Liverpool.  In these towns the guild system controlled the manufacture of felt hats.  In Chester, where felt hat making was recorded as early as 1550, the trade was dominated by the hat-maker-cum-retailer and was overseen by The Skinners and Felt-makers Company from the early seventeenth century (Giles 1959, 106; Phillips & Smith 1994, 54).  During the seventeenth century felt-makers of fur and wool hats could be found in many of the larger English towns such as Coventry, Exeter, and Ripon, as well as in smaller centres such Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Preston, and Warrington (Giles 1959, 106-7).  These scattered production centres meant that during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries felted hat manufacture of these cheaper types of hat could and did become a common domestic-based [cottage] industry in a number of areas, supplementing on a seasonal basis the tenant farmer’s income (Smith 1981 , 104).  In the North West these included Denton, Kendal, Manchester, Nantwich, Oldham, Sandbach, and Stockport where the farmer-hat-maker-cum-retailer was common (Phillips & Smith 1994, 54).”[18]

In the mid- to late-18th Century hat-making in Britain was transformed and distributed by a series of Acts initiated by the London Feltmakers Guild, described as follows:

“…finally through the imposition of a heavy tariff on the re-export of beaver skins to foreign craftsmen, thus securing the supply of the best quality skins (1764; Giles 1959, 107-11). This last act was also supported by felt-makers in Bristol, Chester, Liverpool, Manchester, and Newcastle-under-Lyme…  The restrictions of the guild system encouraged the development of regional production centres, where wage costs were lower and margins higher…”  “… the lifting of the ban on finishing London hats in the regions in 1758, marked not only the beginning of the decline of the guild system in London but also allowed many London-based firms to expand into production areas beyond the capital (Giles 1959, 108) through what were in effect cheaper sub-contractors.  These regionally-based master hatters might have no more than a warehouse and packing-room, hat production in their areas being commissioned on an out-work system…  Writing in 1771 in his book ‘A Six Months Tour Through the North of England’, Arthur Young thought that hat manufacture was one of the four chief industries of Manchester, the others being fustian, check, and worsted small ware manufacture…  During the 1770s and 1780s the Felt-makers’ Company was active in Manchester and Stockport, by then the most important hatting manufacturing centres in the country, leading Smith to suggest that the whole hatting process was probably being carried out in these towns…  By the late eighteenth century the production process in the North West had begun to fragment as more London master hatters shifted work to the region.  This can be seen in both Manchester and Stockport where the hatting trade was divided between firms using out-workers, who specialised in particular parts of the process, and master hatters with a small journeymen workforce working on their own premises.”[19]

From the foregoing citations we have the evolution of hat-making in the North West, particularly around Manchester, into “the most important hatting manufacturing centre in the country.”  We also have the description of how the industry evolved from manufactories controlling the entire production process, to a distributed and bifurcated industry, in which the work was subdivided into specialized stages of production.  Given the composition of Olivia Mellor’s household work-force, it would appear that she probably had established her own small-scale “cottage industry” which specialized in the finishing, or end-phase of hat manufacturing.  Just how she may have acquired the means and skills to establish her cottage business can only be guessed at, but, that seems to be the only logical explanation for the concentration of these skilled hat-making tenants in her household.  It is known that hat-manufactories were established in the Manchester area as early as the 1750’s, the closest being the Miles Bower and Son on Deansgate Street. 

It seems probable that Olivia would have purchased her hat cones from a local sub-contractor, and would have performed the blocking, brimming, and trimming in her own workshop.  The finished shaped hats would then go to another subcontractor, who would dye and cure the hats, before attaching a lining and any adornments, readying the hats for the retailer.  To better inform the reader of the multi-stage process of hat-making, we offer the following:

One excellent resource for a more comprehensive understanding of the somewhat complex and mysterious process of hat-making is a book entitled The Book of English Trades and Library of the Useful Art, printed for C & J Rivington, 1827.[20]  The descriptions contained in this publication for the “Hatters” trade focuses mainly on the manufacture of hats made from felted material.  There appears to have been as many as eight distinct stages in the hat-making process, beginning with the removal of the “stuff” or “fluff” from the animal hide described as follows:

“The materials in general use for hat-making, are lambs’-wool, rabbits’ and hares’ fur, beaver, seal-wool, monkey-stuff, or neuter-wool, camels’-hair, goats’-hair, or estridge silk, and cotton. The best fur is from the backs of the different animals; it decreases in value as it approaches the belly.  As the process is nearly the same in all, it will be sufficient if we describe the method made use of in the manufacture of beaver hats. The skin of the beaver is covered with two kinds of hair; the one long, stiff, and glossy; the other is short, thick-set, and soft, and is used alone for hats. To tear off these kinds of hair and cut the other, women are employed, who make use of two knives: a large one, something like a shoe-maker’s knife, for the long hair, and a smaller one, nearly in the form of a pruning-knife, with which they shave or scrape off the shorter hair.”[21]

The next stage in this process is almost magical and mystic, a process called bowing, felting and rolling depicted in Figure 32 and described as follows:

“The bowing commences by shovelling the material towards the right-hand partition with the basket, upon which the workman holding the bow horizontally in his left hand, and the bow-pin in his right, lightly places the bow-string, and gives it a pluck with the pin. The string, in its return, strikes upon the fur, and causes it to spring up in the air, and fly partly across the hurdle in a light open form.  By repeated strokes the whole is thus subjected to the bow; and this beating is repeated till all the original clots, or filaments, are perfectly opened and dilated, and having thus fallen together in all possible directions, form a thin mass or substance for the felt (batt)…  When the batt is sufficiently bowed, it is ready for hardening; which term denotes the first commencement of felting. The prepared material being evenly disposed on the hurdle, is first pressed down by the convex side of the basket, then covered with a cloth and pressed backwards and forwards successively in its various parts by the hand of the workman.  By this process the hairs are twisted together, and the lamellae of each hair, by fixing themselves to other hairs, which happen to be directed the contrary way, keep the whole in a compact state.  When the felt is thus managed the cloth is taken off; and a sheet of paper with its corners doubled in, so as to give it a triangular outline, is laid upon the batt, which last is folded over the paper as it lies, and its edges meeting one over the other, form a conical cap.  The joining is soon made good by pressure with the hands on the cloth.  Another batt, ready hardened, is in the next place laid on the hurdle, and the cap, here mentioned, placed upon it with the joining downwards.  This last batt being also folded up, will, consequently, have its place of junction diametrically opposite to that of the inner felt, which it must therefore greatly tend to strengthen. 

The foregoing description of the forming of the hat “cone” is less than instructive.  As the author interprets this cone-forming process, we start by folding a square sheet of paper diagonally along a central axis to form a triangle.  Then that triangular sheet of paper is laid on top of the roughly square batt.  Then the edge of the batt is folded across to form a joining seam along the opposite edge, thus supposedly forming a cone.  This process is repeated by laying the cone on top of a second batt with the seam facing down and centered on the second batt.  Then the edges of the second batt are folded over and around the first cone to form a new seam, opposite the original seam.

Clearly there must be other steps/instructions omitted from this description.  First, the best and truest method to form a cone is to fold a semicircular sheet of paper or a batt to join the edges.  A square sheet of paper, folded into a triangle and then shaped into a cone produces an “oblique cone”, not a “right cone”.  Moreover, if the batt was still square, when wrapped around the paper cone, there would be almost half of the material wasted.  It seems more likely that the batt would have been cut into a circle, and then cut in half.  The paper conical mold probably should also be formed from a semicircular sheet in order to create a “right cone” shape rather than an “oblique” cone shape.  This method would result in less than 25% waste material, which possibly could be salvaged and repurposed.

An intermediate step in the hat-making involved a process known as basoning, working and soaking as depicted in the background of Figure 33, and described as follows:

“The basoning is followed by a still more effectual continuation of the felting, called working. This is done at an apparatus called the batter consisting of a kettle containing water slightly accidulated with sulphuric acid, to which, for beaver-hats, a quantity of winelees, or the grounds of beer are added, or else plain water for rinsing out, and eight planks of wood joined together in the form of a frustrum of a cone, and meeting in the kettle at the middle. The outer or upper edge of each plank is about two feet broad, and rises a little more than two feet and a half above the ground ; the slope towards the kettle is considerably rapid, so that the whole battery is little more, than six feet in diameter. The quantity of sulphuric acid added to the liquor is not sufficient to give a sour taste, but only renders it rough to the tongue. In this liquor, heated rather higher than unpractised hands could bear, the felt is dipped from time to time, and worked on the planks ; before which it is plunged gently into the boiling kettle till fully saturated with the liquor, which is called soaking.”

Also depicted in the foreground of Figure 33 was the near-final stage of bending and trimming the brim to a uniform width utilizing a notched jig and trimming knife described as follows: 

“When the legs of this angle are applied to the outside of the crown, and the board lies flat on the brim of the hat, the notched edge will lie nearly in the direction of the radius, or line pointing to the centre of the hat. A knife being therefore inserted in one of the notches, it is easy to draw it round by leaning the tool against the crown, and it will cut the brim very regular and true. This cut is made before the hat is quite finished, and is carried entirely through; so that one of the last operations consists in tearing off the redundant part, which by that means leaves an edging of beaver round the external face.”

Esther Miller was identified as a “hat bender”, which would have entailed one of the stages following the working and soaking stages.  Esther’s skill would have entailed the bending of the felted hat cone to form the brim of the hat.  James and Anne Nugent were identified as “hat finishers”, which probably, as the name implies, was a near final stage in the hat manufacturing process and probably entailed blocking and crowning, trimming the brim to the desired size and shape, and possibly sealing the underside to make the hat waterproof.  William Henry Miller in his early days was simply identified as a “hatter”.  This descriptor suggests someone trained and skilled in all aspects of hat-making, but in fact he may have been more specialized and worked at a specific stage in the process.

Appendix A contains a rather rudimentary diagram of the primary stages in the hat manufacturing process.  Although somewhat simplified, this graphic may be useful to better illustrate certain stages, particularly the initial cone forming stage.

Mechanized hat-making was yet to be introduced.  Most hat-making was still performed by manual labor, in small shops connected with residences or farms.  Much of this work was segregated by specializations.  In Olivia’ case, it would appear that she and her resident hatters were engaged in the final stage, or finishing of hats.  This suggests that she probably received the hat cones, ready for blocking, bending, trimming and sealing.  It seems probable that Olivia’s son, William Henry had received his own training as a “hatter” from his mother’s workshop.

A thorough search of all known databases for a death record of Jacob Miller in both England and Ireland failed to produce a viable hit.  Similarly, searches were made for a death record for his presumed spouse, Olivia Mellor, which also failed to produce any hits.  These searches included the Catholic Church records around Manchester.  St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, which is located just across St. Georges Road from Barlow Street, has a large cemetery with burial records dating from before 1830.  If Olivia or her husband had been affiliated with the Catholic Church (which over 75% of Irish were), we might expect to find a burial record for Olivia at St. Patrick Church on Livesey Street.  Absent any further records for either Jacob Miller or his presumed spouse, Olivia Mellor, we are only left with educated guessing as to their family connections.

We can deduce to some degree of certainty the names of Jacob’s parents.  For example, given that Jacob appears to have named his eldest daughter, Esther, it seems probable that his mother was also named Esther.  This prospect is given weight by the fact that his youngest daughter, Anne, named her oldest daughter Esther.  Clearly, this female appellation held some significance within this family.  Similar inclinations can be observed in William Henry having named his oldest daughter, Olivia Ann, presumably in honor of his mother. 

We might also speculate about the name of Jacob’s father.  Given that he named his only known son, William Henry, it seems highly possible that Jacob’s father also may have been named William Henry.  It also seems possible that Olivia’s surname may have been Emmett, since Jacob and Olivia’s only known son named his only known son, William Emmett.  Emmett was not a typical given name, and very possibly originates from a maternal surname.  As a test of this hypothesis, the author searched all English baptismal records spanning a 20-year period between 1830 and 1850 and found only 10 instances of first names of Emmett, whereas there were roughly 70 instances of the middle name of Emmett, and nearly 800 instances of surnames of Emmett.  Middle names were frequently reserved for the practice of “maternal surname perpetuation”.  Hence the high percentage of Emmett middle names as compared to Emmett first names.  All things considered, the author is inclined to believe that Jacob’s wife probably was named Olivia Emmett.

The Miller Family in Ireland

We will end our excurses into the William Henry Miller family with a discussion of Swords and the Dublin area before the early part of the 19th Century.  Since Anne Miller, youngest of Jacob Miller’s two daughters was specifically identified as having been born near Swords, we will focus most of our attention on the Swords township.  It seems probable that, if Anne was born nears Swords around 1811/2, Esther very likely would also have been born in the same area in 1810.  We cannot state with any certainty just where William Henry may have been born, as he was identified only as having been born in Ireland.  However, it is reasonable to think that the family of a needle-maker would not have been changing their place of residence with any great frequency, as Jacob’s occupation probably was a “cottage industry”, wherein he would have need for a working forge and workshop, replete with grinding wheels and myriad tools.  Such accoutrements would not be easily replicable, suggesting that the family’s location would likely have been stable and constant.

Refer to Figure 34 for a Dublin vicinity map showing its proximity with Swords (about 8 miles north of Dublin).  Based on the 1851 census of the James Nugent household, we found that both Anne Miller and Esther Miller were born in the Dublin area, with Anne specifically identified as being born in the town of Swords near Dublin.  Given that most of the 18th and 19th Century church and civil records of Ireland are lost, it seems very unlikely that we will be able to trace the family of Jacob Miller or his spouse, Olivia [Emmett?] Mellor, any further than to suggest that they originated from the Dublin area.  Nevertheless, the author has performed a thorough search of all Ireland databases available online at Ancestry.com, which search found absolutely no trace of this Miller family nor that of James Nugent or Richard Porter.  Perhaps the most comprehensive records surviving in Ireland are those of the Catholic Church.  Since no matching records could be found in those Catholic Church records, it seems probable that the Millers were protestant.  This prospect is supported by the fact that Jacob’s children recorded their marriages, births and deaths with the Anglican Church.

From an address delivered at Swords, in the Borough Schoolhouse on Wednesday evening of 12Sep1860 by the Right Reverend William Reeves, D.D., L.L.D., M.R.I.A, Bishop of Down, formerly Vicar of Lusk, we have the following history of the ancient origins of the name and founding of Swords:

“Conspicious among the evangelical labourers in Ireland was St. Columba, or Columbkille, whose genius and devotion have won for him a high place in the annals of the Church of Christ. This man was born in Gartan, in the county of Donegal, in 521. About the year 553 he founded the church of Durrow, and previously to 563, when he departed from Ireland to Iona, it is recorded that he founded your church of Swords.

The early Irish Life of him, to which I have already alluded, thus relates the origin of your church and of its name “Columbkille founded a church at Rechra (that is, the island of Lambay), in the cast of Bregia, and left Colman, the Deacon, in it. Also he founded a church in the place where Sord is at this day. He left a learned man of his people there, namely, Finan Lobhar, and he left a gospel, which his own hand wrote, there.

There also he dedicated a well named Sord, i.e., ‘pure,’ and he consecrated a cross. One day that Columbkille and Cainnech were on the brink of the tide, a great tempest raged over the sea, and Cainnech asked, ‘What saith the wave?’ Columbkille answered, ‘Thy people are in danger yonder on the sea, and one of them has died, and the Lord will bring him in unto us to-morrow to this bank on which we stand.”

“As Bridget was one time walking through the Currach of Life (i.e., the Curragh of Kildare), she viewed the beautiful shamrock-flowering plain before her, whereupon she said in her mind, that if to her belonged the power of the plain, she would offer it to the Lord of creation. This was communicated to Columbkille in his monastery at Sord, whereupon he said with a loud voice, ‘Well has it happened to the holy virgin; for it is the same to her in the sight of God as if the land she offered were in her own right.”‘ Hence St. Columba has always been regarded as the founder and principal patron of the church of Swords. He died in 597, on the 9th of June, and that day has been regarded as his festival in Scotland as well as in Ireland.”

In a work entitled Monasticon hibernicum: or, A history of the abbeys, priories, and other religious houses in Ireland; interspersed with memoirs of their several founders and benefactors, and of their abbots and other superiors, to the time of their final suppression (1873) Archdall, Mervyn, 1723-1791; Moran, Patrick Francis, 1830-1911, editor, pp. 139-141 we find an abbreviated history of the town of Swords in the 8th thru the 9th centuries in which the town was repeatedly pillaged and burned to the ground by various marauding factions, including the Danes.  From this history we learn that by 1166 Swords was a parish in the Diocese of Dublin.

From an inquisition held at Dublin in 1326 we have the follows accounting of improvements at Swords:

“”In 1326, Alexander de Bicknor, the Archbishop, having displeased the king, and further, being greatly in arrear in his accounts as Lord Treasurer, the king seized into his hands the profits of the see, in satisfaction for the deficiency; and, in order to ascertain the available amount, Inquisitions by jurors were held before the Sheriff in the various manors.

That on Swords was sped at Dublin, on the 14th March, 1326, and twenty jurors were empanelled. The result of their finding, as regards the palace of Swords, was as follows:-

 “Who being sworn, say on their oath, that there is in this place a hall, and the chamber adjoining said hall, the walls of which are of stone, crenelated after the manner of a castle, and covered with shingles.

 “Further, there is a kitchen, together with a larder, the walls of which are of stone, roofted with shingles. And there is in the same place a chapel, the walls of which are of stone, roofed with shingles. Also there was in the same place a chamber for friars, with a cloister, which are now prostrate. Also, there are in the same place a chamber, or apartment, for the constables by the gate, and four chambers for soldiers and wardens, roofed with shingles, under which are a stable and bake-house.

“Also, there was here a house for a dairy, and a workshop, which are now prostrate. Also, there is on the premises in the haggard a shed made of planks, and thatched with straw. Also, a granary, built with timber, and roofed with boards. Also, a byre, for the housing of farm horses and bullocks.

“The profits of all the above-recited premises, they return as of no value, because nothing is to be derived from them, either in the letting of the houses, or in any other way. And they need thorough repair, inasmuch as they are badly roofed.”

Thus we perceive that so early as 1326, these buildings were beginning to suffer from the effects of time.”[22]

Although there are numerous ancient ruins still to be found at Swords, clearly the above accounting shows that this manorial in the early 14th century was in advanced decay and ruin.  Rev. Reeves, in his 12Sep1860 address gave the following account of the archaic ruins still existing at Swords in that year:

“The only remains of the early ecclesiastical structures that adorned this place, is the belfry tower of the old church, a square building of the 14th or 15th century ; one of the ancient round towers, 73 feet high, and 52 foot in circumference (see Figure 35); and the archbishop’s palace [the Castle]. The latter was an extensive structure in the centre of a court, encompassed by embattled walls, flanked by towers, the inner portion of which is now a garden. There was also a Nunnery here, as appears on record by a pension being granted by Parliament in 1474, to the Lady Prioress and her successors.”[23]

In the 16th Century we have the following description of a revitalization of Swords [Castle], when the Archbishop of Dublin had chosen it as his baronial seat (see Figure 36):

“The castles of Baldungan and Swords were built for ecclesiastics. They must have been the two strongest castles in the district. The Archbishop of Dublin was a great feudal baron as well as a great ecclesiastic. About the year 1200 he fixed on Swords for his country residence, and built the castle whose ruins still remain. Swords had become, within two centuries of the conquest, an immensely wealthy parish. Archbishop Allen (1532) says it ” was called the golden, as if it were virtually a bed full of gold.” The Archbishop had a large share of this wealth, and here he lived as a prince bishop, dispensing profuse hospitality, and rigorously enforcing English law.”[24]

So, from the foregoing citations we have seen the ebbing and flowing of the fortunes of Swords through more than half a millennia.  In the 8th and 9th Centuries the site was repeatedly pillaged and burned by outside marauders.  By 1200 Swords had been selected by the Archbishop of Dublin for his summer home, and he built the castle “whose ruins still remain (see Figure 36).  In the early 14th Century the baronial seat was appraised and found to have fallen into great decay and ruin, and “of no value”.  Then in 1583 Sir Henry Sydney, the Queen’s Deputy, planted a group of Dutch Reformed refugees in the castle at Swords, described as follows:

“The Romish persecutions on the continent helped the Reformation in Fingal. In 1583, Sir Henry Sydney, the Queen’s Lord Deputy, planted forty families of Protestant refugees from the Low Countries in the old Castle of Swords. It is significantly related of them: “Truly it would have done any man good to see how diligently they worked and how they re-edified the quiet spoiled castle of the town, and repaired almost all the same and how godly and cleanly their lives and children lived.” “[25]

Sir Henry Sydney, writing in 1583 to Sir Francis Walsingham (Elizabeth I’s spy-master) states:

“I caused to plant and inhabit there about 40 families of the reformed churches of the Low Countries flying there for their religion’s sake in one ruinous town called Surds (Swords).  And truly Sir, it would have done any man good to have seen how diligently they wrought, how they reedified the quite spoiled old Castle of the same town and repaired almost all the same and how godly and cleanly, they, their wives and children lived.  They made diaper and ticks for beds and other good stuff for man’s use and excellent good leather of deer skins, goat and sheep fells (felts), as is made in Southwark.[26]

This truly was an unexpected and important discovery.  Forty families from the Low Countries were settled at Swords in 1583, refugees from Catholic persecution on the Continent, seemingly at a time when Swords was substantially depopulated, and fallen into ruin.  Is it mere coincidence that a fairly large (probably 300 or more) group of Dutch reformed protestant refugees should be planted at Swords in 1583, and that two centuries later we have a family named Miller [possibly Mueller] residing in that very same locale?  Who were these refugees from the Low Countries, and how might they have been connected to Jacob Miller?  In order to answer that question, we should first look at another important historical event involving the citizens of Swords which emanated from the Irish Rebellion of 1641:

“1641 – About the beginning of November, five poor men (whereof two were Protestants) coming from the market of Dublin, and lying that night at Santry, three miles from thence, were murdered in their beds by one Captain Smith and a part of the garrison of Dublin, and their heads brought next day in triumph into the city; which occasioned Luke Netterville and George King, and others of the neighbours, to write to the Lords Justices to know the cause of the said murder: whereupon their lordships issued forth a proclamation that within five days the gentry [George King and his associates] should come to Dublin to receive satisfaction, and in the mean while (before the five days were expired) old Sir Charles Coote came out with a party, plundered and burned the town of Clontarf, distant two miles from Dublin, belonging to the said George King, nominated in the proclamation; and killed 16 of the townsmen and women, and three sucking infants. Which unexpected breach of the proclamation (having deterred the gentlemen from waiting on the Lords Justices) forced many of them to betake themselves to their defence, and abandon their houses.”

“In the same week (1st week of Nov1641), 56 men, women, and children, of the village of Bulloge, (being frightened at what was done at Clontarf,) took boats and went to sea, to shun the fury of a party of soldiers come out of Dublin under the command of Colonel Crafford; but being pursued by soldiers in other boats, were overtaken, and thrown over board. One Russell, a baker in Dublin, coming out of the country in company with Mr. Archbold of Clogram (who went to take hold of the proclamation of the Lords Justices,) were both hanged and quartered. In March, a party of horse, of the garrison of Donshaghlin, murdered seven or eight poor people in protection, tenants of Mr. Dillon of Huntstowne, having quartered in their houses the night before, and receiving such entertainment as the poor people could afford. About the same time, a party of the English quartered at Malahyde, hanged a servant of Mr. Robert Boyne’s at the plough, and forced a poor labourer to hang his own brother: and soon after they hanged 15 of the inhabitants of Swords who never bore arms, in the orchard of Malahyde; they likewise hanged a woman bemoaning her husband hanged among them.”[27]

“Clontarf Castle was burned in 1641 by the Governor of Dublin, Sir Charles Coote, apparently in revenge for the disloyalty of the then owner, George King.”

“Hard was the case of the country people at this time, when not being able to hinder parties of robbers and rebels breaking into their homes and taking refreshments there, this should be deemed a treasonable act, AND SUFFICIENT TO AUTHORIZE A MASSACRE. This following so soon after the executions, which Sir Charles Coote… had ordered in the county of Wicklow, among which, when A SOLDIER WAS CARRYING ABOUT A POOR BABE ON THE END OF HIS PIKE, he” [namely, Coote] “was charged with saying THAT HE LIKED SUCH FROLICS, made it presently be imagined that it was determined to proceed against all suspected persons in the same undistinguishing way of cruelty; and it served either for an occasion or pretence to some Roman Catholic gentlemen of the county of Dublin (among which were Luke Netterville, George Blackney, and George King) to assemble together at Swords, six miles from Dublin, and put themselves with their followers in a posture of defence.”

The foregoing murderous events took place during the so-called Irish Rebellion of 1641 in which the Catholics in Ireland revolted against the English Crown.  Sir Charles Coote (the Elder) was commissioned by the Lord Justices of Ireland to enforce martial law in an effort to put down the rebellion.  Coote was relentless and ruthless in carrying out this commission.  He became a “law unto himself”, and his actions resulted in the murder of numerous innocents, including 15 “pacifistic”(?) protestant residents of Swords.  Why do we say “pacifistic”?  Well, we do have the account of the 15 inhabitants of Swords who were hanged, in which they were described as persons “who never bore arms”.  This hardly seems to be a casual reference.  Nowhere else in the accounts of the persons murdered around Dublin at this time, were the victims described in this manner.  Such a description would seem to suggest a pacifistic tendency.  Further suggestion of a pacifistic inclination may be observed in the fact that George King, a catholic, and his fellow “rebels” were permitted by the inhabitants of Swords to set up a defensive position within their town.

Even though the Irish Rebellion occurred 58 years after the planting of 40 reformed protestant Dutch families at Swords, the events described above regarding the fate of the 15 inhabitants of Swords suggests that there was still a strong influence of those reformed Dutch within that community.  How do we arrive at that conclusion?  We should first look at the words of Sir Henry Sydney in his letter to Lord Walsingham: “families of the reformed churches of the Low Countries flying there for their religion’s sake”.  Sir Henry did not refer to the people as being members of the Dutch Reformed church, an association which would connote a specific religious affiliation.  Rather he referred to them as being affiliated with the “reformed churches”, flying for their “religion’s sake”.  In this context, these Low Country refugees in fact could have been affiliated with a variety of different protestant sects extant in Holland at that time.  These sects could have included Mennonites, Dunkers (or Brethren), Separatists, Calvinists, and Anabaptists, to name a few.  Having been from the “low countries” it seems highly possible that they may have been Mennonites or Dunkers, both of which practiced and preached pacifism.

There was nothing found in our research into the history of Swords during the 17th or 18th centuries to suggest the existence of an independent or non-conformist protestant sect, but that does not mean that it did not exist.  In fact, if these early low country refugees were Mennonite or Dunker, they may have felt it acceptable and more prudent to simply integrate with the prevailing protestant churches in their community, but practice their unique rituals separately.

One other significant element of Sir Henry Sydney’s accounting of these refugees was the select skill sets which he attributed to them.  For example, he made reference to their ability to make “diapers and ticks for beds”, which was a specific reference to a style or method of weaving cotton fabrics unique to Holland at that time.  During the 15th thru the 17th centuries the Dutch were recognized across Europe to be superior masters of various crafts and trades, particularly in the various forms of fabric weaving.  He also made reference to “excellent good leather of deer skins”, and “goat and sheep fells (felts?), as is made in Southwark.”  Clearly, Sir Sydney believed these foreigners to be possessed of unique and valuable skills that would enhance various Irish industries and trades.  We specifically draw the reader’s attention to the reference to “goat and sheep fells”.  Given the further reference to Southwark, it is the author’s belief that this was a reference to their ability to make felt, a predominant industry already well-established at Southwark at that time.  In an earlier study performed by the author for his monograph on his 6th great grandfather, Edward Arterbury, he compiled a statistical tabulation of the top 25 occupations recorded in St. Olave’s Parish, Southwark between 1706 and 1715, presented in Figure 37.  From this tabulation it can be seen that feltmaking was the 2nd most common occupation after watermen.  Clearly, feltmaking would have been an important industry in Southwark in the latter part of the 16th Century, and that fact would have been known to Sir Sydney.

So, what inferences or conclusions might we draw from our study of the history of Swords, and how might it enable us to draw inferences about the origins of the Jacob Miller family?  What we are about to suggest is pure speculation on the author’s part, but supported by strong circumstantial evidence.  First, we have the connection between a reference to feltmaking being a specialized skill known to the low country refugees, and the prevalent practice of feltmaking among the descendants of Jacob Miller.  Next we have the inference that these low country refugees continued to have a significant presence in Swords 58 years after their first installation in the castle ruins at Swords, when 15 of their numbers were hanged for a show of benevolence to a catholic.  What irony, that these same people who were driven from their homeland by Romish overlords in Europe, should then lose their lives for providing shelter to a catholic in Ireland.  We have the surname of Miller, which very possibly originated in Holland, Germany or Switzerland as Mueller.  We have the given name of Jacob, not exactly your typical English or Irish given name, but fairly common on the continent.  And, lastly, we have the strong suggestion that this family originated from Swords, prior to its migration to England.  All things considered, the author believes there is a strong possibility that Jacob Miller was descended from one of those 40 families of low country refugees that were planted at Swords in 1583.

We will close this excurses with one final speculation, that being the source of the education evidenced by William Henry Miller and Esther Miller being able to write their names.  It seems entirely possible that Anne, Esther and William Henry may have attended the Old Borough National School in Swords, which currently operates as the Old Boro public house shown in Figure 38.  A brief history of the Old Borough National School is as follows:

“The Old Borough was designed by Francis Johnston who also designed the General Post Office in O’Connell Street Dublin. In December 1804 the Government purchased the land for £200. The building opened as The Old Borough National School on the 18th of February 1808 at a cost of £1,800. The first schoolmasters were Joseph Carmichael and Anne Carmichael. They were paid £100 a year as a salary. The Old Borough National School occupied the premises for 191 years, becoming one of the best known buildings and most significant constructions in the town during the 19th Century, funding mandatory schooling as well as apprenticeships. The School closed down in the year 2000 and a new school was built at Church Road.”[28]


[1] Henry and Betty, The War Years, Mildred Bedinger Rhea, 1992, pp. vii-xi.

[2] Ibid., pp. xxvii-xxviii.

[3] https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=pili354&indiv=try&h=4281854, accessed 23Oct2020.

[4] https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?dbid=8860&h=11700285&indiv=try&o_vc=Record:OtherRecord&rhSource=7572, accessed 6Oct2020.

[5] https://www.manchester.gov.uk/directory_record/212459/salford_royal_hospital, accessed 22Oct2020.

[6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton_Heath, accessed 7Oct2020.

[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldham_Parish_Church, accessed 7Oct2020.

[8] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royd_Mill,_Oldham, accessed 23Oct2020.

[9] https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/2962/images/40365_294054-00140?treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true&usePUBJs=true&_ga=2.154795312.909227514.1601727074-1772867590.1594732064&pId=4403896, accessed 12Oct2020

[10] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchester_Cathedral, accessed 29Oct2020.

[11] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greengate,_Salford, accessed 27Oct2020.

[12] https://www.bobvila.com/articles/french-polishing/, accessed 3Nov2020.

[13] http://www.coulthart.com/avery/history-pages/needle-history.html#steps, accessed 26Oct2020

[14] https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/the-sewing-needle-a-history-through-16-19th-centuries/, accessed 5Nov2020.

[15] The Irish and the Victorian City, edited by Roger Swift and Sheridan Gilley, 1985, pp. 15-16.

[16] Ibid., pp. 16-7.

[17] Ibid., p. 16.

[18] The Rise and Fall of the Felt Hatting Industry, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275656136_Denton_and_the_Archaeology_of_the_Felt_Hatting_Industry, accessed 7Nov2020.

[19] Ibid.

[20] The Book of English Trades and Library of the Useful Art, printed for C & J Rivington, 1827, pp. 162-73.

[21] Ibid, p. 165.

[22] http://www.gaelart.net/swordshistory.html#.X6ftURKSmUk, accessed 8Nov2020.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Fingal and Its Churches: A Historical Sketch of the Foundation and Struggles of the Church of …, Robert Walsh, 1888, pp. 123-4.

[26] The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland Vol. 105 (1975), pp. 47-82, An Irish Medieval Tile Pavement: Recent Excavations at Swords Castle, County Dublin, Thomas Fanning, p. 57.

[27] Ibid.

[28] https://www.swords-dublin.com/the-old-boro-pub.html, accessed 9Nov2020.

Chapter 16 – The Miller-Blissett Story (Part 1)

Margaret Miller-Blissett, sister of Adam and James Miller, and wife of George Johnson Blissett Jr., d. about 1885, Breckenridge County, KY

The Miller – Blissett Story

NOTE TO READER:

This chapter is a work-in-progress, but, because it has unexpectedly become such a lengthy investigation, it was decided to separate it into installments.  Part 1 substantally completes the investigation of the Miller family being addressed by this investigation, but is still lacking that part that extends beyond Berkeley County WV into Maryland, and the work being performed on the Blissett side of this family.  That remaining work will be incorporated into a future post identified as Chapter 16 – The Miller-Blissett Story (Part 2).  Sorry for any inconvenience, but bear with me. When loading these manuscripts, the graphic images are stripped, and item numbering is destroyed. By downloading and reading from the .pdf file, the reader will be treated to the full array of graphic and documentary support.

DEDICATION: This work is dedicated to the loving memory of Marion Roy Miller (1946-2020) and his dear friend and companion, Mary Turek. The author had the good fortune of sharing this research with Marion and Mary and incorporating their memories, thoughts and insights into its development. The life of Marion is paid tribute in the following obituary:

Marion Roy Miller, 73, of New London, passed away at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, 2020, at his home.Private graveside services will be in Calvary Cemetery in Quincy, Ill., with Father Mike Quinn officiating.James O’Donnell Funeral Home in Hannibal, Mo., is handling arrangements. Marion Roy was born May 2, 1946, near Frankford, Mo., to Henry Miller and Esther Raney Miller.He married Barbara Frese on April 19, 1969, at St. John’s Church in Quincy. She preceded him in death on Sept. 30, 1990.Survivors include his longtime companion, Mary Turek of New London; a son, Jared P. Miller (fiancee Wanda Smith) of Eolia; a brother, Melvin Miller of Troy; a brother-in-law, Lawrence Rodhouse; three sisters-in-law, Elsie Miller of Monroe City, Shirley Miller of Redondo Beach, Calif., and Frances Miller of Southgate, Mich.; and numerous nieces and nephews.Marion was preceded in death by his parents; seven brothers, Edgar, Lloyd, Ralph, Virgil, John, Raymond “Junior” and Darrel Wayne; and 2 sisters, Esther Sue and Mary Lee.Marion proudly served his country in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He proudly belonged to the Adams County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Committee, where he helped raise funds and construct Quincy’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial.Marion began working at Stark Brothers Nursery in Louisiana out of high school. He later worked at Motorola in Quincy, where he met his wife, Barbara. Marion then worked at Gardner Denver before taking a position with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, where he worked until his retirement in 2006.Living in the country suited Marion. He loved to hunt and fish and enjoyed taking his four-wheeler around town to check in with friends and neighbors. Barbecuing on his grill, talking baseball with his brother, Melvin, or enjoying a cold beer with friends were a few of Marion’s favorites. Most of all, he simply loved the moments he shared with family and friends.Marion was Catholic by faith and was a longtime member of St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Quincy and later, Holy Family of Hannibal.Pallbearers include Jared Miller, Harold Caldwell, Chris Raney, Dave Lounsberry, Alex Dunker and Dave Houchins.Honorary pallbearers include Joe McGlasson, Ronnie Kelly, Tara Bergheger, Eric Bergheger, Roger Jennings and Rob Jennings.

The author received an e-mail on June 5, 2019 from a distant cousin, a descendant of George J. Miller, b. 1815 in Kentucky, d. 1873 in Illinois, contents of inquiry below:

“Hello, I am trying to determine how I’m related to Christopher J. Miller. I have an old photo album with tin type pictures of his wife Mary Ann Cain (Kane) and children William, Amos, Adolphus, Nancy and Alva Perry. The pictures are in the album with known Miller relatives. The pictures also have been posted to Christopher Miller’s family tree on this site. I know about Chistopher’s father and mother, but nothing else. I’ve been trying to link him to my GGGrandfather George J. Miller, born 1815 KY and died 1873 Greene or Jersey County, IL. Thanks for reading this….”

This rather benign call for assistance has launched a fairly complex and protracted research into one strand of the Arterbury/Atterbury family not previously given much attention.  The reason for the past “neglect” and indifference for these Millers was due to their rather tenuous connection to the author’s Arterbury/Atterbury family lineage.  After all, Christopher J. Miller was merely the father-in-law of the author’s 2nd great aunt, Rosella White, who had married Amos Leroy Miller, son of Christopher J. Miller (almost certainly the “Amos” mentioned in the above cited e-mail as a child of Mary Ann Cain-Miller).  Rosella White was the baby sister of the author’s great grandmother, Martha Emeline White, pictured at right.  Unlike Bettie Tennant Miller, the author’s maternal grandmother, this Christopher J. Miller family seemed too far removed to be of any further interest.  At least that was the author’s belief until being contacted by his Miller cousin.

Thinking only to perform a quick study of the facts surrounding the Miller family photos and to render an opinion as to the possible kinship connection between our respective Miller ancestors, the author quickly became seduced by the genealogical mysteries they embodied.  How had photos of the family of Christopher J. Miller come to be in the possession of the family of George J. Miller?  Was there a connection to Jacob Miller, the purported founder of Millerstown Kentucky?  Were Jacob Miller’s brothers held captive by Indians?  These were mysteries indeed. 

Being addicted to the challenge of solving genealogical entanglements, the author quickly became hooked.  Particularly when it emerged that there had been contemporaneous intermarriages between these Millers and members of the Blissett family.  Now, the Blissetts were a much more familiar group, as Reason Blissett had married the author’s 4th great-aunt, Anna Arterbury, daughter of Richard Arterbury, son of the American Arterbury immigrant, William Arterbury.  The Blissett family had resided contemporaneously with the Atterburys along the drains of the Sandy River in Chester County South Carolina during the latter part of the 18th century, long before both families relocated to Hardin County Kentucky.  Reason Blissett, along with Priddy Meeks and William Watkins [all three were sons-in-law of Richard Arterbury] initially filed for administration of Richard Arterbury’s estate in 1806.  Reason Blissett ultimately went the security bond for Charles Arterbury and Richard Arterbury Jr. for the administration of Richard Sr’s. estate.  Reason and Anna Blissett were among the first members of the Atterbury family to move to Wayne County Illinois around 1812, where Reason died sometime before 1820.

From the author’s earlier research it had been established that James Miller was the father of Christopher J. Miller, the father of Amos Leroy Miller.  However, due to lack of curiosity, nothing further had been discovered by the author relative to James Miller until being contacted by his Miller cousin.  What follows hereinafter will be the evolving story of these Millers and Blissetts as discovered and compiled by the author.  James Miller is believed to have married Nancy Blissett, daughter of George Blissett, as evidenced by the following abstract from KentuckyCounty Marriages: 1783-1965[1]:

Name:     James Miller

Gender:  Male

Marriage Date:      30 Dec 1815

Marriage Place:     Hardin, Kentucky, USA

Spouse:  Nancy Blissit

A thorough search of census and other civil records during this time period disclosed the presence of only one family named Blissett or near facsimile in the entire nation during the 18th and 19th centuries, that being the households of George Blissett and his antecedents.  Given the rarity of the Blissett surname in this country during this time period, it seems highly probable that Nancy Blissett and Reason Blissett were siblings, and children of George Blissett, thus making Anna Atterbury Blissett and James Miller brother and sister in-law.  Marriages during this time period typically involved parties from the same neighborhood, unless there had been some prior association through kinship or close living proximity elsewhere.  So, from this basic “fact” it is reasonable to assume that the George Blissett family and the Miller family most likely were near neighbors somewhere within Hardin County in the early part of the 19th century.

Unlike Blissett, the Miller surname was anything but rare, as there were a total of 15 separate Miller households recorded in Hardin County in 1810, five years before the intermarriage of James Miller and Nancy Blissett.  Since Grayson County was erected in 1810 by partitioning from Hardin County, it is possible that James Miller’s family may also have been from the Grayson County area, which contained 9 separate Miller households in 1810.  With so many Miller households existing in the Hardin and Grayson County area in 1815, how might it be possible to isolate and identify James Miller’s family?  There may have been clues recorded in Illinois which could assist in refining the search for James Miller’s family in Kentucky.  Let’s first look at the census records in Illinois which are believed to have been associated with James Miller.  The 1840 census of Greene County Illinois records the household of a James Miller residing in Taylors Township.  A review of the demographic composition of that household provides a strong inference that it was of our James Miller.  Recorded immediately adjacent to the James Miller household in 1840 was a household headed by a Henry B. Miller.  Because of the age range of the head of that household (20-30) and the apparent close living proximity, it seemed probable to the author that Henry B. Miller was a son of James Miller. 

The 1850 census record believed to have contained our James Miller’s household is summarized in Figure 2.  James Miller was identified in this record as having been about 59 years old, and born in Pennsylvania.  Also in this household was Ailcey Miller, 59 years old, born in South Carolina, believed by the author to have been James’ wife, Nancy Blissett.  Christopher J. Miller is believed to have been James and Nancy Miller’s son.  Christopher was reported born about 1824 in Kentucky.

Another record was found in the 1860 census which the author believes to have contained our James Miller, summarized in Figure 3.  This household was headed by a person named Jacob Miller, born about 1818 in Kentucky.  Also in this household was an elderly male named James Miller, born about 1790 in Kentucky.  Apart from the variance in the place of birth (Pennsylvania vs Kentucky) the demographics of this James Miller are a match for our James Miller.  It is the author’s belief that the James Miller in Figure 3 was the same person as the James Miller in Figure 2, and that he was the father of Henry B., Christopher J. and Jacob Miller.  This belief is supported by the fact that Jacob Miller, aged 61 years in the 1880 census living at Greenfield, Green County Illinois, reported his father born in Kentucky and his mother born in South Carolina.  We also have the 1880 census record for Christopher J. Miller living in English, Jersey County Illinois in which he reported his father born in Maryland and his mother born in South Carolina.  While these facts are not absolute proof of Jacob Miller having been a son of James and Nancy Miller, the circumstantial connections are very compelling. 

Ironically, from the census records in which James Miller’s birth place ostensibly was reported, we have a variance between Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Maryland.  Had these records consistently reported the same place of birth, that fact might have been helpful in tracing James Miller’s origins.  Given the variances in his reported birth place, that piece of information is rendered less than helpful (inconclusive).

Now we come back to the question at hand, was there anything else found in the records of Illinois that might help us focus or refine our search for the ancestry of James Miller?  As a matter of fact, there is just such evidence to be found in the obituary of Christopher J. Miller, which was transcribed by the author from a newspaper clipping provided by his Miller cousin:

“The Patriot”, Carrollton, IL

Christopher J. Miller Obit, September 23, 1898:

Was a Pioneer of Greene

Christopher J, Miller, who died on the 12th instant in Jersey County, was a pioneer of, and lived for some years in, this county.  He was born in Hart County Kentucky, June 14, 1824.  In 1839 his parents came to this state and settled near Greenfield.  In his early life he worked on farms and ran a wood boat from Hardin to St. Louis.  He was a member of the company raised at Greenfield to go and fight the Mormons at Nauvoo.  He was married to Mary Ann Cain of Grayson County Kentucky, June 21, 1849, and they settled on a farm five miles southeast of Carrollton, near Mount Hope school house.  In 1851 Mr. Miller sold his farm to his brother and moved to Jersey County.  Of eight children, six are still living, as follows: William P., of Carrollton, Mrs. Elizabeth Downey, and Amos L. near Kane, Adolphus of Godfrey, Mrs. Nancy E. Vanbuskirk of Kincaid Kansas, and Alva P. of Cripple Creek Colorado…

The reference to Christopher J. Miller’s birth place having been Hart County could be very useful in our efforts to identify his father’s ancestry.  First, it should be noted that Hart County was erected in 1819 from the southern part of Hardin County and the northern part of Barren County.  By knowing that Christopher Miller was born in Hart County in 1824, and that his father was married in Hardin County in 1815, it seems reasonable to conclude that James Miller’s family probably resided in that part of Hardin County that was partitioned into Hart County in 1819.  This “fact” would seem to substantially narrow the geographic territory within which our search for James Miller’s ancestors should be centered.  Since the Green River delineated the boundary between Hardin County and Barren County before 1819, we might expect to locate James Miller and his family in that part of Hart County situated to the north of the Green River.

To begin this search we will first present the 1820 and 1830 census records from Hart County, which are believed to have contained our James Miller.  Figure 4 contains the census record of the James Miller household in 1820.  Unfortunately, the 1820 and 1830 census records from Hart County are ordered alphabetically, so it is not possible to infer any geographic location or proximity to other households, aside from the fact that James Miller was located within the Munfordville township in 1820, which probably places him to the north of the Green River, a placement which we had already deduced from his marriage record.  The Munfordville township recorded a total of 376 households, as contrasted to 130 in the Woodsonville township (south of the Green River?).  It should also be noted that James and Nancy appear to have had two sons prior to 1820, presumably George J. and Henry B. Miller.

The 1830 census record of the James Miller household is presented in Figure 5.  In this census year the county was recorded as one entity, except for the area immediately surrounding the town of Munfordville, which area reported only 53 households.  The rest of the county reported 781 households.  Note that the James Miller household now contained four sons and two daughters, and that the two eldest sons were under age 14, giving them a birth year of 1815 or later.  The two added sons are believed to have been Jacob and Christorpher J. Miller.  In the obit for Christopher J. Miller it was reported that as a youth he “ran a wood boat from Hardin (County) to St. Louis”.  There will be more discussion of this experience later in this work.

In the 1840 census in Greene County, IL the James Miller household was summarized as shown in Figure 6.  James and his wife were reported aged 60 to 69 and 50 to 59, respectively.  Their two youngest sons (Christopher J. and Jacob) and the two daughters appeared to still be living in their parent’s household.  Additionally, there appeared to be a young married couple, aged 20 to 29 in the household.  It is the author’s belief that this young couple was the eldest son, George J. Miller, and his new wife, Catherine Gough, who are recorded marrying in Greene County on 1Sep1840.  It is curious that the apparent heads of this household: James Miller and his presumed wife were reported with ages that were older than might have been expected, when compared to the ages reported in the 1830 census.  The author cannot explain this age discrepancy, except to point out that James’ age was reported as 70 years on the 1860 census, which suggests that he was born around 1790.  Assuming 1790 to have been his approximate birth year, then the age reported in 1840 would have been understated by only one year, and his age reported in 1850 would have been virtually precise.  This variance is well within the range of acceptance.  Additionally, there was an elder female, aged 70 to 79.  The identity of this older woman is uncertain.  She may have been James Miller’s mother, but she just as easily could have been Nancy Blissett’s mother.  She almost certainly was a kinsperson to the heads of this household, or of their new daughter-in-law, Catherine Gough.

So, we have tracked James Miller to Hart County Kentucky in the 1820 and 1830 census records, based on information obtained from the obit of his presumed son, Christopher J. Miller.  We have also tentatively identified four sons for James Miller and Nancy Blissett named George J., Henry B., Jacob and Christopher J.  We have also established that there may have been two daughters, who survived to their early teens and who moved with the family from Hart County to Taylor Township, Greene County Illinois by 1840.  These presumed daughters were no longer living in their parents’, or their brothers’ households in 1850, so presumably they had moved away from home, married or had died.  A search of marriage records for 1840 through 1852 for Greene and Jersey Counties failed to locate anyone matching their descriptions.  There were a total of five marriages of Miller women in Greene County and one in Jersey County, but none were later reported to have been born in Kentucky.  It is possible that the place of birth could have been misreported in those later records.  It is also possible that these daughters may have married elsewhere, away from Greene or Jersey counties.  Regrettably, Christopher Miller’s obit failed to mention the names of his siblings.  Further attempts to identify these presumed daughters of James Miller and Nancy Blissett will be left to other, more intrepid researchers.

Now we will return to our search for the family of James Miller in Kentucky.  Since James Miller married in Hardin County in 1815, we might expect to find a land record for James Miller in that area.  Searching through the volume entitled The Kentucky Land Grants four records were found for a James Miller listed as follows:

  1. James Miller, 300 acres, Bk. A, p. 424, 8Nov1816, Hardin County, Nolinn Waters (p.642)[2]
  2. James Miller, 50 acres, Bk. E, p. 526, 10Sep1818, Grayson County, Short Creek (p. 642)[3]
  3. Nicholas and James Miller, 100 acres, Bk. F, p. 469, 8Apr1819, Hardin County, Millers Creek (p. 642)
  4. Nicholas and James Miller, 50 acres, Bk. F, p. 470, 8Apr1819, Hardin County, Clear Creek (p. 642)

It is possible that any or all of these records could have been for our James Miller, but the first record seems the most probable, given that it was a warrant, that it was filed the year after James Miller married Nancy Blissett, and that the tract was located in Hardin County.  It may be significant that this tract reportedly was situated on the waters of the Nolin River, so keep that fact in mind.  Also, the two records involving Nicholas and James Miller may be of particular interest later in this chapter.  Having searched for land records related to James Miller, and having identified four possible candidates, the author then attempted to find any similar records for Blissetts.  Searching the same volume, The Kentucky Land Grants, the author was unable to locate any records for persons named Blissett.  However, it should be recognized that, although the records contained in this 1,844 page volume are arranged in alphabetical order, the records within each letter of the alphabet are not necessarily in alphabetical order.  Consequently, the author had to visually scan more than 50 pages of persons whose names began with the letter “B”, and it is possible that entries for Blissett could have been overlooked.

As luck would have it, an inventory of land owners was compiled for tax purposes in 1819 when Hart County was erected[4].  Several persons of interest to this inquiry were found in that list:

  1. Thomas Atterbury – 385 acres, Bacon Creek
  2. Elijah Atterbury – 140 acres, Nolin
  3. Michall Atterbury – 10 acres, Bacon Creek
  4. Elisha Atterbury – 150 acres, Bacon Creek
  5. George Blissett – 325 acres, Nolin
  6. Perdy [Priddy] Meeks – 450 acres, Nolin
  7. James Miller
  8. Robert Miller
  9. Abraham Peoples – 100 acres, Bacon Creek
  10. Bird Peoples – 100 acres, Bacon Creek

From this 1819 Hart County Tax List it was found that a George Blissett was reported with 325 acres on Nolin River.  This list also contained an entry for a James Miller, but did not identify the amount or location of his land.  Given the above cited warrant filing by James Miller, it is reasonable to assume that his tract reported on the tax list probably was on the Nolin River.  Also, given that James Miller had married the daughter of George Blissett, it seems probable that their lands were located in relatively close proximity to each other, perhaps within a couple of miles.  The author has highlighted a tract owned by Priddy Meeks, as it was also located on the Nolin River.  This Priddy Meeks is believed to have been the same person who witnessed the LWT of Richard Atterbury I in 1806.  It is also believed that Priddy Meeks’ son, Benjamin Meeks, married Rebecca Atterbury, daughter of Richard Atterbury I.  Benjamin and Rebecca relocated to White County Illinois by about 1817. 

So, from the 1819 tax list from Hart County we have evidence suggesting that George Blissett, presumed father-in-law of James Miller, may have homesteaded land along the Nolin River in the near vicinity of tracts owned by James Miller and several members of the Atterbury family and allied parties.  However, it should be noted that the Nolin River formed the boundary between Hart County and Grayson County for a distance of almost 12 miles, so presumably lands described as having been on the waters of the Nolin River in Hart County may not necessarily have been in close proximity, or were they.  Note the lands belonging to the Atterberrys and Peebles on Bacon Creek.  Bacon Creek is a tributary of the Nolin River about 9 miles downstream from the northern border of Hart County.  About midway between the northern boundary and Bacon Creek is another significant stream known as Roundstone Creek.  A review of the 1819 tax list showed 56 entries for Bacon Creek , but only seven for Roundstone Creek.  Almost half of these tax records contained no geographic reference at all.  Only nine records were specifically identified with Nolin.  Since the Nolin River extended along virtually the entire western border of Hart County, it might be assumed that the references to “Nolin” were associated with a smaller, specific geographic area, rather than to lands that were within the Nolin River drainage.  A fairly thorough search of the Web failed to yield any reference to any specific locale identified as “Nolin”; only references to Nolin Creek or Nolin River were found.  In the very early days of Kentucky settlement there was a site on the upper Nolin River known as Nolin Station, however, Nolin Station would have been within Hardin County after the formation of Hart County.  Consequently, nothing was found with certainty that could fix the relative locations of lands identified as having been on “waters” of Nolin.

Absent any direct reference to the specific location of the James Miller and George Blissett tracts, aside from having been on the waters of the Nolin River within Hart County, the author then resorted to secondary connections.  The first such secondary connection found was in the form of another member of the Blissett family, namely George Johnson Blissett.  In the 1840 census George Johnson Blissett and his presumed son, Jacob Blissett, were listed immediately abutting the households of Adam Miller and his presumed son, Samuel Miller listed as follows:

Gideon Skag                                          Hart        Kentucky

Allie Fletcher                                        Hart        Kentucky

G I Blepel [sic]                                      Hart        Kentucky

Jacob Blepel [sic]                                 Hart        Kentucky

Adam Miller                                          Hart        Kentucky

Saml Miller                                            Hart        Kentucky

H L Hison                                              Hart        Kentucky

Fortunately, the 1840 census was not ordered alphabetically, so its listings might be construed as having a more geographical ordering, i.e. spatial continuity.  These households appear near the bottom of page 27 of 72.  There were a total of 967 households recorded in Hart County in 1840.  Given the close proximity of these households within the 1840 census, and given the relatively large number of households in the entire county, it is reasonable to assume that these Millers and Blissetts were living on abutting or nearly abutting properties.  Also recorded in this 1840 census, a few households removed from the Millers and Blissetts, was the household of Gideon Skaggs.  Gideon Skaggs reputedly was the bastard son (born out of wedlock in about 1815) of Rebecca Skaggs, daughter of Henry Skaggs (long hunter?).  The near presence of Gideon Skaggs may be relevant to identifying the geographic locale of these Millers and Blissetts in 1840.  The main body of the Skaggs family was settled on Rock Creek in Grayson County, a few miles southwest of the community of Millerstown.  It might be presumed that Gideon Skagg would not have strayed too far from his nearest relations, and consequently, it might also be presumed that he and these Millers and Blissetts were situated not too distant from Millerstown.

The location of Millerstown is of particular interest to this investigation into the possible ancestry of James Miller, due to the association of the James Miller tract and the Nolin River.  Millerstown is situated on the Nolin River within Grayson County as indicated on Figure 7, but within one mile of the corner boundaries between Hart, Hardin and Grayson County.  Because of this unique location of Millerstown being within a stone’s throw of three separate counties, the search for James Miller’s ancestral roots may need to extend into all three of these counties. 

The summary of the households of Adam Miller and George Johnson Blissett in 1840 are presented in Figures 8 and 9, respectively.  From the summary of the Adam Miller household it is shown that he was aged 50 to 59 years, and that his wife was aged 40 to 49, and that he appears to have had two sons and four daughters living at home.  George Johnson Blissett was also reportedly aged 50 to 59, his wife aged 40 to 49, and three sons and three daughters still living at home.  So, given their matching ages, it would appear that George Blissett and Adam Miller were of the same generation, or peers. 

At least one researcher has suggested that George Johnson Blissett’s wife was surnamed Miller.  With that in mind, the author went in search of proof and discovered a pension application record, which appears to substantiate that claim.  This record has been inserted as Figure 10.  The subject pension application was for Private George A. [aka J.] Blissett for services performed during the War of 1812.  On this application it was asserted that George Blissett served almost two months between 18Sep1812 and 30Oct1812 in the company commanded by Captain Aaron Hart of Hardin County KY.  It is also stated on this application that Private George Blissett’s widow was named Margaret [aka Peggy] Miller, and that they had married on 2Apr1812 in Grayson County, and that George had died on 9Jul1862 in Hart County.  Margaret died in about 1884, presumably near Big Springs in Breckenridge County.  For what its worth, the biography of Capt. Aaron Hart states that he made application in 1834 to erect a water grist mill on the Nolin River.

So, given the close geographic proximity between George Johnson Blissett and Adam Miller in 1840 and the rarity of the Blissett surname, it seems reasonable to conclude that George Johnson Blissett may have married a sister of Adam Miller.  The fact that this marriage occurred in Grayson County will later be shown to be even more revealing.

We have now compiled a sufficiency of records for the author to posit a hypothesis relative to possible kinship connections for our James Miller:

Hypothesis No. 1:  James Miller, Adam Miller and Margaret Miller were siblings; and Nancy Blissett, Reason Blissett and George Johnson Blissett were siblings.

This hypothesis was formulated based substantially on the intermarriages between Millers and Blissetts, the apparent close living proximity between George Johnson Blissett and Adam Miller [Time and Place Convergence], and the apparent close spatial proximity between lands owned by James Miller and George Blissett on the Nolin River.  Assuming the foregoing hypothesis to be correct, we will now explore the background of Adam Miller in an effort to establish his ancestry.  For, if we can establish the ancestry of Adam Miller, we will have indirectly established the ancestry of his presumed brother, James Miller.

Text Box: Figure 11 - George Blissett Sr. Household - 1810However, before launching into a study of the background and possible ancestry of Adam Miller, let us first clarify the identity of George Johnson Blissett vis a vis the person identified as George Blissett in the 1819 tax record.  Because of the singular character of the Blissett surname in Kentucky in the early part of the 19th century, namely its attribution to only one source, George Blissett, we can state with a high degree of certainty that Nancy Blissett, Reason Blissett and George Johnson Blissett were all siblings, and children of George Blissett Sr.  However, given the presence of George J. Blissett [Jr.], we cannot state with certainty whether the owner of the tract of land on the Nolin River was George Blissett Sr. or George Blissett Jr.  In the 1810 census of Kentucky there was only one George Blissett household, and that household contained one young male aged 16 thru 25, presumably George Johnson Blissett, so this clearly would seem to have been the household of George Blissett Sr.  (see Figure 11)

In 1820 there was also only one household found for George Blissett, which is summarized in Figure 12.  Given the age range of the heads of household being over 45 years, it seems highly likely that this was still the household of George Blissett Sr.  Assuming that to be the case, then we are left to ponder the whereabouts of the George Johnson Blissett household in 1820.  After all, according to the pension application, George Jr. and Margaret Miller had married on 2Apr1812 in Grayson County.  Using every trick known to the author, no other Blissett households were found anywhere in Kentucky in 1820.  One thing about this 1820 census record might appear to be somewhat incongruous with a person owning land on the upper Nolin River.  The George Blissett household was recorded in the Woodsonville Township.  The author had initially assumed that because Woodsonville is located south of the Green River, its township territory would have logically encompassed that part of Hart County to the south of Green River.  However, closer scrutiny of the persons recorded living in the Woodsonville Township reveals that all the Atterburys living in Hart County were recorded living in the Woodsonville Township.  From the earlier presentation of 1819 tax records it was shown that all four Atterberrys thus recorded were living on either Bacon Creek or Nolin River, both of which streams are situated to the north of the Green River.  From this little test we might conclude that George Blissett Sr.’s household was also situated north of the Green River in 1820.  So, we might further extrapolate that the 325 acre tract reported in the 1819 tax record in possession of George Blissett on the Nolin River, was in fact the property and home place of George Blissett Sr. in 1810 and 1820, not of his son, George Jr.

Now it is time once again for the author to posit another hypothesis:

Hypothesis No. 2 – George Johnson Blissett and his new wife, Margaret Miller, were living in the household of Margaret’s father in 1820.

Assuming that George and Margaret Blissett were not omitted from the 1820 census compilation, it seems possible that they may have been living in the household of a close relation, possibly Margaret’s father’s household.  If only we knew the identity of Margaret’s parents!  Well, as it so happens, we may just be able to establish her parent’s identity through an analysis of her presumed brother, Adam Miller.  If we trace Adam Miller through successive census records, we find that he was captured in every census from 1820 thru 1870.  We will not bore the reader by including each and every one of those census records, but we will include the records from 1820 and 1860, because they offer clues in support of identifying his presumed parents.

The 1820 census summary for Adam Miller has been provided in Figure 13.  The significant element of this census record is the fact that it showed that Adam Miller was living in Grayson County in that year and not in Hart County.  Why, you might ask, is that significant?  Well, there are a variety of factors which suggest that Adam’s parents had moved to the west side of the Nolin River sometime prior to 1810.  We will return to that discussion, momentarily.

First, let’s turn our attention to the 1860 census record for the Adam Miller household as summarized in Figure 14.  Adam is now reported to have been 71 years old, born in Pennsylvania, and receiving his mail at the Millerstown Post Office.  Adam’s wife, Nancy [Taylor] was still alive and in that household, but all other members of the family have reached adulthood and moved out of Adam’s care.  The fact that Adam was reported living in the near vicinity of Millerstown is a clear indication that he was living in the extreme northwest corner of Hart County, nearby to the upper Nolin River.

And finally, we present the death record of Adam Miller abstracted as follows:

  1. “Adam Miller, white, Age: 100, Sex: male, Marital Status: married, Occupation: farmer, Date of Death: 16Feb1877, Cause of Death: old age, Place of Birth: Virginia, Residence at Death: Hart County, Place of Death: Hart County, Parents: Jacob and Nancy Miller, Parents Birthplace: not stated.”[5]

Given the matching name, date, and locations, it seems a certainty that this was the death record of the same Adam Miller, who was living nearby to George Johnson Blissett in 1840.  There are several important pieces of information provided in this record, the most important of which are the names of Adam’s parents: Jacob and Nancy.  However, there was one piece of information that was clearly at odds with all of the census records, that being Adam’s reported age of 100 years at the time of his death in 1877.  Such age would suggest a birth year of 1777, almost ten years earlier than reported in most of the census records, which consistently showed approximately 1787.  Also, the place of birth was shown as Virginia.  There were at least two contradictory citations which showed Pennsylvania as his birth place.  Given that his place of birth was most frequently cited as having been Virginia, the author is inclined to accept Virginia as Adam’s correct place of birth.

Now, armed with the names of Adam’s parents, it may be possible to identify the household of his parent’s family.  In 1810 and 1820 censuses there are records for the household of a Jacob Miller, which appear to fit with the father of Adam Miller, and which are summarized in Figures 15 and 16, respectively.  Since this Jacob Miller was reported over the age of 45 in 1810, it follows that he was born sometime before 1765.  If this Jacob Miller was Adam Miller’s father, and if Adam Miller was born around 1777 (as suggested by his death record), then Jacob Miller probably was born before 1755. 

One important factor shown in each of these records is that Jacob Miller was living in Grayson County before 1810 and after 1820.  Adam Miller is believed to have been one of the two young males in Jacob Miller’s household in 1810 in the age range of 16 thru 25.  Adam Miller, himself, was recorded living in Grayson County in 1820. 

The reader may remember that we promised to return to the discussion of the whereabouts of George Johnson Blissett and Margaret Miller in 1820.  Since we could not find a household headed by George Johnson Blissett in 1820, it was hypothesized that he and Margaret might have been living with Margaret’s parents.  Based on the theory posited in Hypothesis No. 2, above, we might expect to find George and Margaret Blissett living in Jacob Miller’s household in 1820.  As it so happens, there does appear to be a young couple matching George and Margaret’s demographics living in Jacob Miller’s household.  They would be the young male aged 26 thru 44 years and one of the females aged 16 thru 25.  It is the author’s belief that the apparent young Text Box: Figure 16 - Jacob Miller Sr. Household - 1820married couple living in Jacob Miller’s household, were in fact George and Margaret Blissett.  It is further believed that the two young males under age 10 were the children of George and Margaret.  For a basis of comparison and support for Hypothesis No. 2, the household of George J. Blissett from the 1830 census is summarized in Figure 17.  One possible discrepancy in this interpretation is the fact that George and Margaret appear to have had a daughter in their household in 1830 aged 10 to 14 years, yet there does not appear to have been a corresponding female in Jacob Miller’s household in 1820.  The author must admit that this discrepancy does cast a cloud over the proof of Hypothesis No. 2.  That issue aside, the author is still inclined to believe that Hypothesis No. 1 and 2 are reliable.

To assist the reader in a better understanding of the probable connections of Adam, James and Margaret Miller as siblings, and as children of Jacob and Nancy Miller, the author has compiled a link diagram showing the probable connections between the households of each respective family in 1810, 1820 and 1830 as presented in Figure 18.  It must be admitted that this link diagram has a few loose ends, which cannot be explained by the author, but which do not necessarily undermine the basic kinship assumptions asserted by the author.  For example, there appear to have been two young males aged 10 to 18 years in Jacob’s household in 1820, which do not appear to have been in his household in 1810.  It seems possible to the author that those young males may have been grandchildren from a yet to be identified child of Jacob Miller, who may have died in the previous decade.  That discrepancy aside, the author believes that these families are generally a perfect match.

Having fairly reliably established the names of the parents of James, Adam and Margaret Miller as Jacob Miller and his wife, Nancy (mnu), is there anything further to be learned about the family of Jacob Miller?  The answer to that question may well lie in the averred origins of the community named Millerstown.  Figure 19 contains an image of the Millerstown Historical Marker.  The inscription on this monument reads as follows:

“Pioneer Family – Millerstown, settled before 1800, founded by Jacob Miller Jr.  He owned 500 acres along Nolin River and built a grist mill.  Christopher, a brother, was prisoner of Indians for 11 years; rescued by spies of Anthony Wayne, he then helped Wayne secure peace, 1794.  Christopher and his brother, Nicholas, both served in Kentucky House of Representatives.  Town was at peak circa 1900, with population of 150.”

According to the Millerstown Historical Marker, the town was founded by Jacob Miller Jr., who built a water grist mill nearby on the Nolin River.  This history further asserts that Jacob Miller Jr. had at least two brothers: Christopher and Nicholas, both of whom served in the Kentucky House of Representatives.  While this “story” of a pioneering family, headed by a person named Jacob Miller, having been the namesake for Millerstown, the author must issue a word of caution regarding the averred connection between that Jacob Miller and the more celebrated Miller brothers: Christopher and Nicholas.  While careful research has disclosed numerous references to Jacob Miller’s grist mill on the Nolin River in the vicinity of Millerstown, sod all has been found of any connection between that Jacob Miller and the Miller brothers: Christopher and Nicholas.

First, it must be stated that very little information has been found regarding the community known as Millerstown on current maps, and further, that whatever information was found appears to be undocumented and rife with discrepancy and incongruence.

However, before launching into the study of Jacob Miller Jr.’s averred siblings: Christopher Miller and Nicholas Miller, we offer the added historical narrative for Millerstown as follows:

“Pioneer Family

By Ashlee Chilton

Historical Marker #1828 notes the town of Millerstown, which was settled before 1800.

Millerstown is the oldest settlement in Grayson County. Founded by Jacob Miller in the late eighteenth century, Millerstown was originally called Skaggs after the first postmaster, Jefferson G. Skaggs. In 1882, the name was changed to Millerstown after a pioneer family. The settlement was located in the farthest southeastern part of the county on the Nolin River, adjacent to Hardin County. Miller built a grist mill, or a flour or corn mill, near the river. As it is located between the Twin Lakes – Rough River Lake and Nolin Lake – Grayson County has produced a number of flour mills, corn mills, and lumber mills.

Millerstown was the first town in Grayson County to be incorporated, which was done in 1826. It would be forty more years before the county seat of Leitchfield was incorporated. In 1896, a professor named John McClure established the “Teachers College,” also called “Brick College” in the community. The purpose of this college was to train school teachers who also came from the counties surrounding Grayson County.

At its peak in 1900, Millerstown had a population of about 150 people. Maintaining its own law enforcement and jail for several years, the town also possessed two larger general stores, one roller mill, one drugstore, one grocery store, two blacksmith shops, and a wool carding mill. Millerstown is actually no longer incorporated.”[6]

The foregoing “history” of Millerstown appears to have been little more than an embellishment of the Historical Marker, but does offer a couple of intriguing added elements.  First, it should be noted that the historical marker credited the founding of Millerstown to Jacob Miller Jr., whereas the narrative offered by Ashlee Chilton states that Millerstown was founded “by Jacob Miller in the late eighteenth century”.  Hereinbefore, the author has presented census records from Grayson County in 1810 and 1820 for a Jacob Miller family, which the author presumes to have been the father of James, Adam and Margaret Miller.  Was this Jacob Miller the same person, who is credited with the founding of Millerstown?  The Marker identifies the founder as Jacob Miller Jr., whereas Ashlee Chilton simply ascribed that honor to a Jacob Miller, who was residing in the area in the late-18th century.  Are we talking about two different persons, or the same person?  Was that person Jacob Miller Jr. or simply Jacob Miller? 

It should further be noted that there was a discrepancy in the founding and naming of Millerstown.  Ashlee Chilton states that it was originally named Skaggs, allegedly in honor of the town’s first postmaster, Jefferson G. Skaggs, and that the name “Millerstown” was only adopted after 1882.  She further stated that the town was incorporated in 1826.  These “facts” may all be accurate, but what is not mentioned is the fact that the name “Millerstown” predated 1882 by several decades.  For example, the 1860 census recorded four census pages (85 thru 88) in Hart County as having been within the vicinity of the Millerstown post office.  The Grayson County census in 1860 was not segregated by townships, so it is not possible to state whether Millerstown was recognized as a township in that county in 1860, but very likely.  In 1870 and 1900 there was no mention of Millerstown in the census listings from Hart County, but there are listings for Millerstown in Grayson County.  No listings were found in any census year in either Hart County or Grayson County for a township named “Skaggs”.  So, it would appear that the name of Millerstown post office had emerged in the census records in 1860 and 1870, disappeared in 1880, but reemerged in 1900.

One further “fact” worthy of our note is taken from the records of the National Archives which tabulates the names and dates of Post Masters appointed at various towns and villages across the country.  Of particular interest is a listing of post masters appointed for the post office at Millerstown, Grayson County Kentucky transcribed as follows:

  1. Adam Heyser – 16Jan1828
  2. William G. Bourman and S. McClure – 12Apr1837
  3. Charles Wortham and Isaac Thomas – 26Jul1842[7]

These entries would suggest that the town was named “Millerstown”, when it was first incorporated, not decades later as suggested by Ashlee Chilton.  Further, that Jefferson G. Skaggs was not the first post master of Millerstown, but rather that distinction probably should be accorded Adam Heyser.  But, most importantly it would be inferred that Jacob Miller had already left an indelible mark on the region at a very early date.

Another interesting fact about the history of Millerstown as offered by Ashlee Chilton is the absence of any reference to an association between the averred town’s founder, Jacob Miller, and Christopher Miller, who was captured by Indians.  Is it possible that the historical marker is in error?  Clearly, further research is needed in order to bring clarity to these questions.  Let’s begin this discussion by offering the following description of the boundary of Hart County at the time of its formation in 1819:

“An Act for the erection of the county of Hart, out of the Counties of Barren and Hardin, approved 28Jan1819… beginning at the mouth of Little Barren River, running thence up the same to Elk Lick; thence with the Green County line four miles and a half; thence a straight line to a point 10.5 miles due north of Barren courthouse; thence a due west line to the Warren County line; thence with the same to Green River’ thence down Green River to the mouth of Nolin Creek; thence up same to the mouth of Jacob Miller’s spring branch; thence a straight line to Benjamin Martin’s old place, where ___ Raglin now lives; leaving the same in the new county, and the same course to the Green County line; thence with the same to Green River; thence up the same to the beginning.”

From this description of the formation of Hart County we find a reference to Jacob Miller’s spring branch.  From Jacob Miller’s “spring branch” the boundary turned easterly, away from the Nolin River on a straight course to Benjamin Martin’s old place.  The foregoing description seemingly would place Jacob Miller’s spring branch at the extreme northwest corner of Hart County.  Given that the census records during this period place the Jacob Miller households in Grayson County, it might be inferred that Jacob Miller’s spring branch actually flowed into the Nolin River from the west side, less than one-half mile upstream from the town of Millerstown.  It is peculiar that the boundary description for the newly formed Hart County would reference Jacob Miller’s spring branch, if it were located across the river, in Grayson County.  No such tributary is found on present day maps.  However, there is evidence of a minor side channel or finger of the Nolin River main channel extending easterly from the river immediately adjacent to the county line corner boundary as illustrated on an excerpt of the USGS Quad map contained in Figure 20 (circled in red).  This low-lying boggy protrusion may well be the remnant of the ancient water feature referred to as “Jacob Miller’s spring branch”.  The fact that the county line is identified as “indefinite” at this location might be the result of the vague nature of the boundary description at the time of the formation of Hart County.  Unless a precise survey of the boundary was performed, the determination of its location in future years would depend on the ability to establish the location of such generalized and transitory geographic features at “Jacob Miller’s spring branch” and “Ben Martin’s old place”.  The author is inclined to believe that the location of Jacob Miller’s spring branch was that minor finger of the Nolin River channel protruding easterly toward the intersection of Akers School Road and Flint Hill Road.  Whether this may also have been the location of Jacob Miller’s Mill is less certain.

Beginning two years earlier we find the following citations from the Hardin County Order Books:

14Oct1817 (p. 149) page 408 – On petition of Robert Tompkins and 24 others, it is ordered that Aylett W. Buckner, John Furguson, Samuel Finley and Lewis Brown or any three of them, do after being duly sworn before some magistrate of the county, view and mark the nearest and best way for a road to lead from Jacob Miller’s mill on Nolin to the iron works on Lyn Camp.  And that they report faithfully…

10Nov1817 (p. 151) page 412 – The person appointed to view the road from Jacob Miller’s mill on Nolin to iron works on Lyn Camp… after being sworn, proceeded to view out a road from Jacob Miller’s mill on Nolin to iron works on Lyn Camp…

12Jan1818 (p. 162) page 438 – Ordered that an alias summons be awarded against Henry Buckner and John Furguson commanding them to appear here on the first day of the next term of the court, to show cause if any they can, why a road to lead from Jacob Miller’s mill on Nolin to the iron works on Lyn Camp should not be opened through their land.

13Apr1818 (p. 170) page 457 – The persons summoned to appear here to show cause why a road should not be opened through their land, agreeable to a report made by commissioners appointed for the purpose to lead from Jacob Miller’s mill on Nolin to the iron works on Lynn Camp Creek, failing to appear and the court being fully satisfied that they are willing, the said road should be established.  Therefore it is ordered that the said road to be established agreeable to the report returned herein.

Ordered that Jesse Kirby be and he is hereby appointed surveyor of that part of the road leading from Jacob Miller’s mill on Nolin to the iron works, which lies between said Miller’s mill and where the same intersects the road leading from Elizabeth Town to Munsford’s ferry on the Green River, and that all the hands in the following bounds to wit: beginning at the mouth of Roundstone [Creek] running up the same to the head, thence to the road leading from Elizabeth Town to Munsford Ferry, thence running along said road to James Gilbert’s, including him and his hands, thence a straight line to the head of Sandy, thence down Sandy to the mouth, and from thence to the beginning, do assist the said Kirby in opening and keeping the road in repairs.

So, as early as 14Oct1817 we find references to Jacob Miller’s Mill on the Nolin in road orders in Hardin County.  From these references it seems reasonable to assume that Jacob Miller’s presence in that part of Hardin County (near Millerstown) had been of some duration, probably for a decade or longer.  This would seem to comport with the suggestion by Ashlee Chilton that Jacob Miller, alleged founder of Millerstown, had been resident in that area since before 1800.  Moreover, whoever the Jacob Miller was that had built the water grist mill on the Nolin River, he had probably established that mill many years before 1817, and that mill had become an important center of industry in that area in order to be designated as the commencement point for a major new roadway.

The roadway described in the foregoing road orders was divided into two, roughly equal segments with the dividing point being where the new road crossed the existing Elizabethtown to Munfordville Road.  The eastern terminus of this new road was near the “iron works” on Lynn Camp Creek.  This roadway was to span a length of roughly 24 miles.  Surveying, clearing and maintenance of the western half was to include all the “hands” between Sandy Creek (on the north) and Roundstone Creek (on the south).  The area of benefit as evidenced by the hands designated to be turned out for construction spanned almost 50 square miles as illustrated by Figure 21.

Hart County was erected one year after Hardin County adopted the alignment for this new road.  After the creation of Hart County, the northern part of this road would remain in Hardin County, whereas the southeastern portion of the road would fall within Hart County jurisdiction.  It might be assumed that the efforts to establish this new roadway proceeded as planned, as roads can be found on modern maps which roughly approximate the alignment described in the road order. 

It is the author’s belief that the impetus for the construction of this new roadway was driven by the centers of commerce and industry developing at each terminus of the road, and the perceived growing need to transport goods and materials to and from those centers of commerce and industry to the already existing Elizabethtown to Munfordsville Road.  The emerging commerce at the road’s eastern terminus on Lynn Camp Creek probably consisted of the Aetna Furnace and the Lynn Creek Powder Works.  A brief history of the Aetna Furnace is as follows:

“Aetna Furnace was located in Hart County on Lynn Camp Creek and began operations in 1817.  It was a partnership operation involving Charles Wilkins, Jacob Holderman and Ruggles Whiting.  This partnership was dissolved on 1Jul1818 when Holderman became the sole owner.  The Aetna Furnace holdings comprised 10,500 acres of land, stock barns, slave cabins, store, tool shed, workshops, and cottages for workmen.  A large portion of the ironware was floated down the Green and Ohio Rivers.  In 1829 Brookings, Serret and Company acquired the Aetna Furnace.”[8]

In addition to iron mining and smelting at the Aetna Furnace site, a major black powder factory was established on Lynn Creek during roughly the same time period, described as follows:

“John Courts lived in one of the first two-story frame buildings in the town of Nobob, Barren County (Simmons, 1940). The house served as stage stop and tavern. In 1810, Courts and his brother-in-law, Braxton B. Winn, operated a general store in Nobob (Goode and Woodford, 1980, p. 358). As their mercantile business prospered, a gunpowder factory was built in 1810, on Lynn Camp Creek. It was constructed on the west side of the creek near two large springs, in the vicinity of an incised meander bend called The Big Hill. The powder mill was strategically located on a wagon road connecting Munfordville with Greensburg at a ford on Lynn Camp Creek. They constructed two pestle buildings, sometimes referred to as separate powder mills (1820 U. S. Federal Census, p. 104/5). The pestle buildings were water powered; one was found at the upper and another one at the lower ford. A saw mill and grist mill was also in operation. Upon John Courts’ death, the mill site was reduced to a 500 acre tract of .land (Courts, 1817). John Courts died on February 21, 1817, leaving an exceptionally detailed last will and testament (Peden, 1979, p. 79-81~). Provisions were made for the operation of the powder mill and adjacent saw mill throughout the life span of his wife, Fanny Courts. If she or her assignees cannot make a success at operating the establishment, the powder and saw mills would be rented or leased out. Upon the death of Fanny, the estate was divided into equal parts to John’s nine children. Other money and property was provided to his deceased daughter’s (Polly Moss) two children. Powder manufactured at the mill was shipped down the Green River on a flat boat and used by Andrew Jackson in the Battle for New Orleans on January 8, 1815 (Collins, 1874, p. ))4). It should be noted that most war-related industries, the powder factorie~, iron foundries and saltpeter caves, claim individual involvement as the sole savior for winning Andrew Jackson’s battle against the British in New Orleans.”

The timing of the emergence of commerce along Lynn Camp Creek and the enactment of an order to build a new road between Lynn Camp and Jacob Miller’s mill seem too coincidental.  It seems highly likely that there were proponents for this new road stemming from commercial interests at each terminus.  The objective seems to have been the provision for overland transportation from these two rather remote regions northward to the Ohio River at West Point.  Without the road, the Aetna Furnace and Lynn Creek Powder works had to float their products and goods almost 100 miles down the meandering Green River.  Similarly, Jacob Miller would have had to use the Nolin River and Green River as his primary transportation route.  Completion of the Millerstown to Lynn Camp Road would have provided an overland transport route to West Point on the Ohio River, a distance of about 50 miles from either terminus.  If the market destination for these commercial interests included points upstream on the Ohio, such as Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, they would have cut almost 150 miles off of their transport routes via the new roadway.

Although the primary market for products and goods coming out of central Kentucky and Tennessee would have been downstream to New Orleans, there was also an upstream flow of goods via keel boats.  In this era before the introduction of steamboat and rail travel, poling, cordelling and warping keel boats upstream on the Ohio held sway for over 50 years.  Upstream transportation on the Ohio during this period is described in the following:

“Despite the utility of the ships and flatboats, they were limited to downstream travel. Thus, merchants and navigators sought some means of establishing a dependable two-way commerce. Bringing goods across the Appalachians to the Ohio Basin by land cost as much as $200 a ton,. and the small canoes, dugouts, and bateaux used initially for upstream. navigation had limited cargo capacities. By the early 1790s; the keel-:: boat was providing an economical means of upriver navigation. :The long, sleek craft were ribbed and planked like a ship,: and their heavy timber keel and pointed prow allowed for easier navigation against river currents as well as through shallows and rapids: 11.  Keelboats varied in dimensions from 30 to 75 feet long and from 5 to 10 feet wide. They could .carry cargoes of 15 to 40 tons.  One navigator described the craft’s superstructure as “a covered way, a kind of cabin-occupying the entire hold of the boat, excepting spaces for small decks at each end, and, a strip on each side the whole length of the boat, about 15 inches wide, called the ‘run,’ on which the men walked when ‘poling’ the boat upstream. Although some keelboats had masts and sails, they were commonly driven .upstream by crewmen with iron-tipped poles. They stabbed the pole into the stream bottom, braced it against their shoulders, and “walked” the . boat upriver until they reached the stern. The agonizing process was repeated over and over as the boat fought against the river.5  Keelboats usually remained near banks to avoid rapid currents, which often enabled the crew to bushwack (to pull the branches of trees to drag the boat along). When the opposing current became too swift, they resorted to “cordelling” and “warping.” The former consisted of putting the crew ashore to drag the boat along with an attached rope. The latter involved tying the rope to an upstream tree and reeling it in from the bow. Navigating the inland rivers was a dangerous business undertaken by rugged and profane men who faced Indian attacks, pirates, navigational hazards, and unrelenting daily toil. But the commercial ventures were often quite profitable. A keelboat owner reported in 1817 that the cost of operating a 36-ton .boat from New Orleans to Louisville was $1,750 and provided a profit of $1,490 for each trip on a total capital investment of less than $2,000.13  Thus, despite the Herculean efforts required to move the keelboats upstream, they significantly lowered transportation costs.  The vessels eventually lost passenger traffic and long-distance freighting to steamboats, but for short routes, particularly on the headwaters of tributaries, they were extensively used until railroads and improved roads reduced their numbers at the close of the nineteenth century.”

The fact that the western terminus of the Millerstown to Lynn Camp Road was identified with Jacob Miller’s mill suggests that this mill and others like it on the Nolin were an important part of commerce in that region.  Evidence of even earlier existence of Jacob Miller’s milling operations on the Nolin River can be inferred from the following statutes enacted by the Kentucky General Assembly:

“Approved 18Jan1811 – An Act to improve the navigation of Nolinn:  Whereas it is represented to the present general assembly, that great advantage would accrue to the inhabitants of Hardin County, by the removal of the obstructions to the navigation of Nolinn, from Adam Coombes’s mill to the mouth of the same:

Section 1:  Be it enacted by the General Asssembly, that Adam Coombes, Josiah Best, Aaron Hart, Jacob Vanmatree, Jacob Miller and George Keller, be and they are hereby appointed commissioners, who or a majority of whom, are hereby vested with power to raise by subscription, in money, property or labor, any sum not exceeding one thousand dollars, for the purpose of clearing and keeping in repair the navigation of Nolinn, from Adam Coombes’s mill to the junction of the same with Green River; remove all fish pots and dams, cut and clear away all timber projecting over said stream, shrub all points of islands, and remove such other obstructions in the channel as may impede the navigation of the said Nolinn River.”, and

“Approved 19Dec1810 – An Act erecting Election Precincts in the Counties of Hardin and Caldwell:  Section 1.  Be it enacted by the General Assembly, that all that part of Hardin County included in the following bounds, viz. Beginning at the mouth of Nolinn Creek; thence up the same to the mouth of Jacob Miller’s spring branch; thence a direct line to the Elk spring, near Jacob’s knob; thence a straight a straight line to the county line dividing Green and Hardin counties, so as to include Linncamp Creek within the bounds of the precinct; thence a with the said dividing line between the said counties of Green and Hardin, to Green River; thence down Green River to the beginning…”

The measure enacted in Jan1811 to improve navigation on the Nolin River predated the earlier referenced road orders by almost eight years.  This bill appointed Jacob Miller and six of his neighbors, presumably all residing within the Nolin River watershed, to a commission authorized to raise the funds and resources necessary for clearing the Nolin River channel from Adam Coombes mill to the river’s confluence with Green River.  The location of Coombe’s Mill is not known to the author with certainty, but very likely was situated just upstream from the confluence of Severn Valley Creek with the Nolin River, about 10 miles south-southwest of Elizabethtown.  This site for Coombe’s Mill was identified by the author because the Coombes family progenitor in Kentucky, Samuel Coombes, formerly of Loudon County VA, is reported to have lived and died at Red Mill on the upper Nolin River in present day LaRue County.  It seems probable that Adam Coombes was a son of Samuel Coombes, and had inherited the mill from his father.  Jacob Vanmetre Sr. was one of the pioneer settlers to the Elizabethtown area, and who established his own grist mill on Severn Valley Creek.  We have already mentioned Aaron Hart earlier in this chapter as having been George Johnson Blissett’s commanding officer during the War of 1812, and having, himself, applied to establish a water grist mill on the Nolin River in 1834.  Josiah Best was recorded on the same census page with Jacob Vanmetre Sr. and Jacob Vanmetre Jr. in 1810, so presumably he had interests in commerce in the area along the Nolin River.  George Keller appeared in the 1810 census in Grayson County, four households removed from Jacob Miller, so presumably he too had interests in commerce along the Nolin River.

The other measure enacted by the Kentucky General Assembly in Dec1810 created a new electoral district in Hardin County, which began at the mouth of Nolin Creek [aka River] (at its confluence with Green River), thence up said creek to Jacob Miller’s spring branch, thence on a straight line easterly to Jacob’s Knob (near Elizabethtown to Munfordville Road midway between present day towns of Sonora and Upton), thence in straight line to the County line between Green and Hardin (including the Lynn Camp area)…  The area thus described encompassed essentially the same area that would be partitioned from Hardin County in 1819 to form the northern part of Hart County, above Green River.  Of course, the relevant part of this act was its reference to Jacob Miller’s spring branch.  This was one of the earliest records found by the author to be specifically linked to our Jacob Miller.  From this information it can be stated with some degree of certainty that Jacob Miller had been situated on his spring branch on the Nolin River near present day Millerstown for several years prior to 1810.

The next earliest record source for locating Jacob Miller might be the All Kentucky Tax Lists, 1799-1801 accessed on Ancestry.com, which yielded a total of eleven hits for persons named Jacob Miller, summarized in Table 1.  It seems probable that our Jacob Miller was one of the two Jacob Millers recorded in Hardin County in 1800 but just which one is undeterminable and possibly irrelevant.  A quick review of the 1810 census revealed no Jacob Millers in Hardin County, but two are found in Grayson County, which had been formed from Hardin County in 1810.  From these facts it can be inferred that at least one of the Jacob Millers reported in Hardin County in 1800 was still alive, and probably in that part of the county which was within the newly erected Grayson County in 1810.  A review of those two Jacob Miller households in Grayson County in 1810 revealed the household headed by a male over age 45, which we have assumed to have been our Jacob Miller.  The other household appears to have been headed by a male under the age of 25.  That person may have been a son of our Jacob Miller, but could have been too young to have been independently reported in the 1800 tax list, unless perhaps it included all males over the age of 16.  If that were the case, then it might have been possible that the younger Jacob Miller had been captured in the 1800 tax list.  Whether that other Jacob Miller was a kinsperson of our Jacob Miller cannot be established from the information currently available.

It should be noted that there were a total of twelve persons named Miller captured in the Hardin County 1800 tax list, summarized in Table 2.  Three of these names match up with the brothers reportedly connected with Indian captivity, namely: Adam, Christopher and Nicholas.  Reportedly, Adam and Christopher were captured from near their father’s farm on Wilson’s Creek in about 1782, and Christopher was recaptured from the Indians by his brother, Colonel Nicholas Miller, in 1793/4.  Whether any of these brothers were reported in Hardin County in 1800 is uncertain, but possible.

Table 3 contains a listing of all persons named Miller in Grayson County in 1810.  Those persons in Table 3 which match with names of a person from Table 2 have been highlighted in red.  Of the highlighted Millers, only our Jacob Miller was reported to have been over the age of 45.  The John Miller who was reported as the only member of his household was reported to have been aged 26 thru 44, and appeared in the census on the same page as our Jacob Miller.  Given this John Miller’s age range, it seems possible that he may have been the same John Miller, who was recorded in the 1800 tax record in Hardin County.  Given the possibility of that John Miller’s arrival in Hardin County before 1800, and given his near proximity to our Jacob Miller in the 1810 census of Grayson County, it seems possible that this John Miller could have been a kinsman of our Jacob Miller, i.e., brother or older son.  In the 1820 census there were three John Millers living in Grayson County, all three in the age range of 26 thru 44.  One of those John Millers is readily recognizable as the 2nd John Miller from the 1810 census, given the matching children.  From this it would follow that the other John Miller could not have been a brother of our Jacob Miller (too young).

From the foregoing analysis of Millers reported in Hardin County in the 1800 tax list, when compared to the 1810 Grayson County census record, it has been shown that there was only one Jacob Miller household headed by a person old enough to have been the grist mill owner and presumed founder of Millerstown.  It was further shown that that Jacob Miller probably did not have a kinsman living nearby, neither brother nor father.  From these “facts”, it might be inferred that our Jacob Miller arrived in Kentucky with only his immediate family, including wife and children.  Assuming that to have been the case, then it would be very useful to know approximately when Jacob Miller arrived, and from whence he came.

In an attempt to answer those questions, we will first resort to a search of the The Kentucky Land Grants book for grants to persons named Jacob Miller prior to 1805.  First, it should be noted that no grants were found for anyone named Jacob Miller anywhere in Hardin County during this time period.  In fact, the only lands granted to anyone named Miller in Hardin County between 1780 and 1810 were two tracts awarded to Samuel Miller listed as follows:

  1. Samuel Miller, 870 acres, 4 Dec 1795, Hardin
  2. Samuel Miller 461 acres, 11 Aug 1798, Hardin

It might be worth noting that there were several tracts granted to a Jacob Miller on the waters of the Kentucky River in Lincoln/Madison County prior to 1800 listed below:

  1. Jacob Miller, 200 acres, 24 Mar 1784, Flint Creek, Lincoln
  2. Jacob Miller, 800, 22 Sep 1796, Station Camp Creek, Madison
  3. Jacob Miller, 400, 24 Sep 1796, Station Camp Creek, Madison
  4. Jacob Miller, 400, 18 Dec 1797, Drowning Creek, Madison

These filings could have been by our Jacob Miller or a kinsperson, but they were located almost 150 miles to the east of Millerstown.  Moreover, there is evidence within the census records for members of the presumed family of our Jacob Miller, which would seemingly counter any assertion of an arrival of our Jacob Miller any earlier than about 1792/3, unless perhaps our Jacob had entered the territory around 1780, filed a patent in 1784, left the territory for almost 10 years, and then returned to file patents in 1796, or there were two different Jacob Millers filing patents on the same watershed. 

Any “evidence” of the approximate arrival date of our Jacob Miller might be extracted from the records associated with his presumed children: James, Adam and Margaret Miller.  For example, Adam Miller’s birth was variously reported as 1788 in Virginia (twice) or Pennsylvania (twice).  Even though Adam’s reported place of birth varied between Virginia and Pennsylvania, it can be stated with some degree of certainty that his family was not in Kentucky in 1788.  Similarly, James Miller was reported born in about 1791 in Pennsylvania, Maryland or Kentucky (twice).  It should be noted that in the one record (1850) in which James Miller was the head of his own household, he was reported born in Pennsylvania.  In two records he was reported born in Kentucky, but both of those records were in households headed by his presumed son, Jacob Miller, so it might be presumed that the information was furnished by someone else in the household other than by James Miller, himself, and therefore could have been unreliable.  The report of Maryland as James Miller’s birthplace was from the 1880 census of Christopher J. Miller, so, again, its accuracy must be considered suspect.  Lastly, we have the birth of Margaret Miller, which was consistently reported as about 1796 in Kentucky.  If we accept that Adam, James and Margaret were all children of Jacob Miller, then it would appear that Adam Miller and James Miller were both born before the family arrived in Kentucky, but that Margaret was born after the family’s arrival in Kentucky.  Ergo, we can tentatively place the arrival date of Jacob Miller’s family in Kentucky at sometime between 1791 and 1796.

One other wrinkle to consider is whether the younger Jacob Miller, recorded living in Grayson County between 1810 and 1860 was also a son of our Jacob Miller.  Unlike Adam, James and Margaret, the author has been unable to infer any kinship, either through intermarriage or close geographic proximity for this younger Jacob Miller.  However, kinship as a son of our Jacob Miller does appear possible based on his relative age, concurrent residency in the same county, and his reported place of birth having been Pennsylvania.  Those circumstances aside, the author could find no other evidence which would link this younger Jacob Miller to our Jacob Miller.  We were unable to establish the identity of his wife, other than her having been named Margaret, and born in Kentucky.  The fact that the wife was reportedly born in Kentucky would seem to augur in favor of the marriage having occurred in Kentucky.  There was no similarity in the naming of their children.  The two known younger sons were named Horace and Morgan, both names totally unassociated with our Jacob Miller.  However, if the younger Jacob Miller was the same person reported in six consecutive census records between 1810 and 1860, then it would appear that he had had as many as five sons born prior to Horace and Morgan, leaving open the possibility that there could have been several sons christened with names more familiar to our Jacob Miller’s family.  A link diagram has been prepared by the author of the households presumed to have been headed by this younger Jacob Miller for the years 1810 thru 1850 as presented in Figure 22.

It should be noted that there are some peculiarities about these households which raise a question as to whether they may have involved more than one Jacob Miller.  For example, an analysis of the 1810 and 1820 household compositions suggest that the eldest of the two apparent sons was 16 to 18 years old in 1820, giving him a birth year of before 1804.  The 1850 census shows Jacob Miller (head of household) at age 54, giving him a birth year of about 1796.  Jacob Miller’s calculated birth year, when compared to the birth year of his presumed eldest son, suggests that Jacob had fathered that son when he was only eight years old.  Improbable!  There is also the plethora of apparent children (13 in all) born to Jacob and Margaret Miller between about 1804/5 and 1840, when Horace, the youngest child, presumably was born.  It seems highly unlikely that Margaret could have been the mother of all of those children, unless perhaps she was extremely young when the first child was born (say 11/12), and unusually old when the last child was born (say 44/45).  Moreover, given the appearance of seven sons born to Jacob and Margaret between about 1804 and 1840, we might expect to find evidence of some of these numerous Miller offspring living in the vicinity of Millerstown in the 1830’s and beyond.  If we were to accept this younger Jacob Miller as another son of our Jacob Miller, then we might refine the arrival date of our Jacob Miller to Kentucky even further.  The younger Jacob Miller was twice reported born about 1796 in Pennsylvania.  Comparing this Jacob’s birth to that of Margaret Miller, it might be assumed that our Jacob Miller brought his family into Kentucky around 1795/6.

So, if our Jacob Miller arrived in Kentucky around 1792-6, he could have been the person who filed for the three grants on the Kentucky River at Drowning Creek and Station Camp Creek in 1796/7, and still have been recorded in Hardin County in 1800, but such sudden migration seems improbable.  However, one fact supporting that person having been our Jacob Miller is that no census record could be found for a Jacob Miller in either 1810 or 1820 in the vicinity of Madison or Estill counties where those grants would have been located.  The author is inclined to believe that our Jacob Miller first arrived in Kentucky via transport down the Ohio River from Pennsylvania sometime between 1792 and 1796, that he could have taken out grants in Madison County in 1796/7 before settling in the Nolin River Valley, and that he likely purchased land from an earlier settler on the site associated with Jacob Miller’s spring branch, at which site he proceeded to erect and operate a grist mill.

Before moving forward with our search for the ancestry of our Jacob Miller, let’s see whether we can debunk the myth of a connection between the Millerstown Millers and the Miller brothers, who were captured by Indians.  First, it should be stated that there were only a couple of references found which connected Christopher and Adam Miller, who were captured by Indians in about 1782, with their alleged brother, Jacob Miller Jr., who founded Millerstown.  Following is an iteration of these references:

  1. “Pioneer Family – Millerstown, settled before 1800, founded by Jacob Miller Jr.  He owned 500 acres along Nolin River and built a grist mill.  Christopher, a brother, was prisoner of Indians for 11 years; rescued by spies of Anthony Wayne, he then helped Wayne secure peace, 1794.  Christopher and his brother, Nicholas, both served in Kentucky House of Representatives.  Town was at peak circa 1900, with population of 150.”[9]
  1. “The following is a story of Joseph’s Grandfather Adam, and Adam’s brother Christopher Miller compiled by the Hardin County Kentucky, Historical Society.  In 1779, Jacob Miller, Sr. left Virginia, via flat-boat, and landed at the falls of the Ohio, in Louisville. By 1782 they lived at Wilson’s Creek, which forms a part of the boundary between to-day’s Bullitt and Nelson counties. Here, in 1783, two of his young sons were taken prisoner by a war-party of Shawnee and Delaware Indians, and were carried to Indian towns northwest of the Ohio River.  Adam, the younger son, was captive of the Delaware’s, who exchanged him after seven years; but fifteen year-old Christopher remained a prisoner of the Shawnees for eleven long years-before he was “rescued” (in March of 1794) by the Army of Gen. “Mad Anthony” Wayne.  After his “recapture” from the Indians, young Christopher was taken by Gen. Wayne to fort Greenville, Ohio, where he was reunited with his brothers, Samuel and Nicholas Miller. He was then released from under guard by Gen. Wayne.  After his release, he joined Gen. Wayne’s Army, and became a chief spy, bringing about the capture of numerous Indians by his knowledge of their languages he used to decoy them into traps.  In August of 1794, he was selected to leave Fort Greenville, under a flag of truce, with an offer of peace to the Indians. Other white men had gone before him with similar offers and had been “murdered” by the Indians. There was little reason to believe that Christopher Miller would be any more fortunate than the others, but he had been “persuaded” by a promise from Gen. Wayne of an “independence and fortune” from his government, if he should succeed.  He did succeed, but the promises made to him were kept no better than were those promises made by the white man to the Indians, and he received nothing at all for his perilous risks!  After he left the army, Christopher settled in Hardin County, Kentucky, where he resided until his death on May 16, 1838. He was elected from Hardin County to The House of Representatives for the years 1818 and 1819 and to the State Senate in 1822 and 1823.  Neither Rev. W. Miller records nor “who was who” in Hardin County made any further mention of Adam. However, his name is remembered in the Millerstown area, as the brother of Jacob Miller who founded that town.”[10]

There are probably other similar references to the averred Millerstown connection with the captive Miller brothers, but, if so, the author has not found them.  Neither of the foregoing referenced sources for the storied connection between Millerstown and the Miller brothers captured by Indians offers any documentary evidence to support this claim.  Absent any documentation of this connection, it is difficult for the author to place any trust in its veracity.  One intriguing element in reference No. 2 is the suggestion that Adam Miller “is remembered in the Millerstown area, as the brother of Jacob Miller who founded that town”.  The author has already presented extensive evidence which supports the notion that a Jacob Miller was the person for whom Millerstown was named.  He has also presented extensive evidence on an Adam Miller, who lived and died near Millerstown in the early part of the 19th century, and who the author has posited as a son (not a brother) of the founder of Millerstown.  Let it be said that that Adam Miller was the only person of that name found in records to have had any direct connection with the Millerstown area.  So, the suggestion in the piece attributed to the Hardin County Historical Society of Adam Miller, brother of Christopher Miller, having been associated with the founder of Millerstown appears to have been unfounded.  The author suspects that someone has attempted to conflate the Adam Miller, who actually lived and died near Millerstown, with the brother of Christopher Miller, Indian captive.  Evidence of such attempts can be found in the death record for Adam Miller in which it appears that someone has “doctored” the entry for his age at death.  In that record it appears that the age was originally recorded as 90 years, and that someone has overwritten that age to appear as 100 years.

There has been a wealth of information published on the life of Christopher Miller, much of which relates to the circumstances of his capture by Indians, his recapture by General Wayne’s spies, and his life after repatriation with his family.  Virtually none of that published matter makes any reference to Christopher’s ancestral roots or his origins.  Most of this material also makes reference to Christopher’s brothers, but there is a wide disparity in the identification of those brothers.  The most consistent theme is that Christopher was repatriated with his family by an elder brother identified as Colonel Nicholas Miller.  However, in one account, that brother was identified with the name of Henry Miller, not Nicholas Miller.  In a few accounts the younger brother, who was captured at the same time as Christopher, is identified as Adam Miller.  However, in at least one other account, that brother is identified as William Miller.  The foregoing referenced account in Item 2, above, identified yet another brother named Samuel Miller.  So, between all of these various accounts there are named a total of seven brothers: Jacob Jr., Henry, Christopher, Adam, Nicholas, William and Samuel.  Additionally, the two above references also refer to the boys’ father as having been named Jacob Miller (either by direct statement or by inference).

In searching genealogical histories, the author did discover one particular genealogy which has several elements that correspond to the information published about Christopher Miller.  That Miller family genealogy is outlined below for the readers consideration:

Ernest Christian “Earnest” Miller

Born 1732 in Germany

ANCESTORS:

Son of Adam (Mueller) Miller Sr and Anna Barbara (Koger) Miller

Brother of Mary (Miller) Mallow, Anna Barbara (Miller) Bär, Catherine Elizabeth (Miller) Bär, Adam Miller, Henry Miller, Anna Barbara Miller and Anna Christina Miller

Husband of Margaret (Linderman) Miller — married before 1763 in Pennsylvania

DESCENDANTS:

Father of Samuel Miller Sr., Jacob Miller, Adam Miller, Christopher Bryan Miller, Christley Miller, Nicholas Miller, Katarine (Miller) Hughes, Thomas Miller, Margaret Miller [Bush] and Leonard Miller

Died 25 Oct 1798 in Hardin, Kentucky, United States[11]

The author is favorably disposed to the general reliability of this WikiTree genealogy for the family of Christopher Miller for a number of reasons.  First, it should be noted that of sons ascribed to Ernest Miller, five match with the brothers named in the various accounts associated with Christopher, the Indian captive, namely: Samuel Miller, Jacob Miller, Adam Miller, Christopher Miller and Nicholas Miller.  We also have Ernest Miller having been recorded on a list of voters for delegates from Jefferson County on 3Apr1781.[12]  Moreover, given as evidence on this WikiTree profile is the following deed abstract:

25 Oct 1798 Hardin Co. KY Deed Book A p. 399 SAMUEL MILLER and CATY his wife of the County of Nelson, ABNER HUGHES and CATY [Katherine Miller] his wife of the County of Jefferson, CHRISTOPHER MILLER, ADAM MILLER and Sarah his wife, NICHOLAS MILLER and JANE his wife and SAMUEL BUSH and PEGGY [Margaret Miller] his wife of the County of Hardin and State of Kentucky of the one part and THOMAS MILLER, LEONARD MILLER and JOHN MILLER of the County of Hardin and state aforesaid of the other part. Whereas EARNEST MILLER, late of Hardin, deceased leaving the said SAMUEL MILLER and CATY his wife, ABNER HUGHES and CATY his wife, CHRISTOPHER MILLER, ADAM MILLER and SARAH his wife, NICHOLAS MILLER and JANE his wife and SAMUEL BUSH and PEGGY his wife, THOMAS MILLER, LEONARD MILLER and JOHN MILLER, Heirs to his Estate and in the lifetime of said EARNEST MILLER for and in consideration of the love and affection which he had toward the said THOMAS MILLER, LEONARD MILLER and JOHN MILLER did give grant bargain and Make over to the said THOMAS MILLER, LEONARD MILLER and JOHN MILLER a Certain tract or parcel of land Containing two hundred acres by Survey bearing the date 5 March 1783 lying and being in the County of Hardin formerly Jefferson County on Buffaloe Creek and Severns Valley, a branch of Green River and bounded by a corner of JOHN SWANKS survey of 200 acres… to a stake in the barrens. (signed) SAMUEL MILLER CATY MILLER CHRISTOPHER MILLER ADAM MILLER SARAH MILLER NICHOLAS MILLER JANEY MILLER ABNER HUGHES CATY HUGHES SAMUEL BUSH MARGARET BUSH Recorded 14 December 1798 Hardin Co. KY Court

Within the foregoing deed for 200 acres on Buffaloe Creek and Severn Valley Creek are listed nine heirs of Ernest Miller, including presumed sons named Samuel, Christopher, Adam and Nicholas, all which names correspond with purported brothers of the Indian captives.  This information, in and of itself, is not sufficient to establish Ernest Miller as the father of Christopher and Adam Miller, who purportedly were captured by Indians in 1782.  However, other facts gleaned from this deed tend to lend such support.  For example, the son, Christopher Miller, is not identified with a wife, and it is known from other sources that Christopher Miller did not marry Mary Wells [aka Wales] until 1799, the year following this deed recordation.  Also, the son named Nicholas was shown with a wife named Jane, and it is known from other sources that Colonel Nicholas Miller married Jane Rawlings in Hardin County in 1796, two years before this deed was recorded.  Additionally, it should be noted that the 200 acre tract being conveyed by the foregoing deed was situated on Buffalo Creek, tributary of Valley Creek.  Such location would place this tract on the upper reaches of Valley Creek, just upstream from the confluence of Freeman Creek at the southeast side of Elizabethtown.  From other sources it is known that Christopher Miller and other siblings held tracts on Freeman Creek.  So, through this deed we find strong genealogical and geographic connections of the parties named in this deed to the family of Christopher Miller, Indian captive.

If the foregoing deed is accepted as having named all of the siblings of Christopher Miller, who were still living in 1798, and if we accept the Wikitree genealogy of the family of Ernest Miller, then we have a basis for further evaluation of any possible connection of this family to Millerstown.  First, it should be recognized that there are a few differences between the children named in the Wikitree family and the heirs named in the deed.  For example the Wikitree genealogy included a son named Jacob Miller, who was not named as an heir in the deed.  This variance is of vital importance to our investigation into the founder of Millerstown.  The deed made no mention of a sibling [heir] named Jacob.  If there was a son of Ernest Miller named Jacob, then we must ponder his omission from the deed.  Might there have been a son of Ernest Miller named Jacob, who was dead before 1798?  If so, might that Jacob have had a son named Jacob Jr., who could have been the founder of Millerstown?  This is all “airy-fairy” as Andy Dalziel might say, but really, isn’t that a bit of a stretch?  After all, we have presented “evidence” which suggests that the founder of Millerstown was born before 1765, and still alive and well in Grayson County as late as 1820, and that some of his presumed children were born in Pennsylvania or Virginia as late as 1791.  Is it possible that Ernest Miller had an adult son named Jacob, who remained behind in Pennsylvania, while his father and siblings floated down the Ohio River in 1779?  Is it also possible that that son, Jacob Miller, later moved his family from Pennsylvania to Hardin County around 1792, and died there before 1798?  Not very likely!

The author is of the opinion that sufficient evidence has been presented to establish that Jacob Miller, who is credited with the founding of Millerstown, had no direct or immediate kinship connection to the Ernest Miller family.  Unless the author has completely erred in his ascription of Adam, James and Margaret as children of Jacob Miller (presumed founder of Millerstown) then the civic record data just doesn’t support a direct kinship connection to the family of Ernest Miller.  Consequently, the author is inclined to believe that Jacob Miller, who founded Millerstown, was born before 1765, was the father of Adam, James and Margaret Miller, and is currently of unknown ancestry.

So, let’s cease with the unfounded, undocumented, and incongruous connections of our Jacob Miller to the Christopher Miller family, and focus our attention on things that we do know with some degree of certainty.  We have reliably established the existence of a person named Jacob Miller in Hardin County on the Nolin River as early as 1810.  That Jacob Miller was purportedly the owner of a grist mill on the Nolin River nearby to present day Millerstown, and has reliably been identified as the person for whom Millerstown was named as early as 1826.  What other records might exist for this Jacob Miller?  Well, we do have two deed records to present, which almost certainly involved our Jacob Miller:

  1. Hardin County Deed Book C, p. 471, etc.: Conveyance of 200 acres from Jacob Linder and Elizabeth, his wife, to Jacob Miller on 29Feb1808 for one dollar.  “This indenture made this 29th day of February in the year 1808 between Jacob Linder and his wife Elizabeth of Hardin County and state of Kentucky of the one part and Jacob Miller of the said County and state aforesaid of the other part, witnesseth that for and in consideration of the sum of one dollar in hand paid by the said Jacob Miller before the signing, sealing and delivery of these presents, the receipt where of the said Jacob Linder and Elizabeth his wife do hereby acknowledge. Have granted, bargained and sold and by these presents do grant, bargained, alien, sell, release and confirm unto this said Jacob Miller his heirs and assigns forever a certain tract or parcel of land containing by resurvey 200 acres situate, lying and being in the County of hard and on the westwardly side of Nolan [in future Grayson County]. It being a part of an 800 acre survey granted to the said Jacob Linder by the Commonwealth of Virginia by patent bearing date the second day of December 1780, and bounded as follows, to wit: beginning at a black cloak with several notches on the bank of Nolan about three or 4 miles above the mouth of Roundstone Creek, the beginning of the said 800 acres running events South 20° east 160 polls to a stake, then it’s North 70° east and 60 polls to a stake, then it’s north 70° east 200 polls to a stake, thence North 20° West 160 polls to a stake, pence South 70° West 200 polls to the point of beginning. To have and to hold the said tract or parcel of land with the appurtenances there onto belonging to the only proper use and behoove of him the said Jacob Miller, his heirs and assigns forever, and the said Jacob Linder and Elizabeth his wife for themselves and their heirs do further covenant and agree to and with the said Jacob Miller his heirs and assigns that they will and shall forever warrant and defend the said 200 acres of land together with all and singular the appurtenances, hereditaments unto and advantages there onto belonging or in any wise there onto appertaining, from themselves and their heirs and from all and every other person or persons whatsoever claiming by or through them: but not from any other claim or claims by person or persons: he the said Jacob Miller hereby taking a quitclaim to the said land and be it further understood by and between the parties that this said Jacob Linder nor his heirs is in any manner whatsoever bound to refund the purchase money or pay any damages or costs in case the said Jacob Miller should lose the said land by any prior or better claim that no one hereby conveyed. In testimony whereof the said Jacob Linder and Elizabeth his wife have here unto set their hands and affirmed their seals the day and date first above written. Signed Jacob Linder and Elizabeth Linder.”[13]

This was the earliest record found for our Jacob Miller in Kentucky.  The author has reason to believe that it was on this tract of land that Jacob Miller erected and operated his grist mill along the west bank of the Nolin River in an area that two years later would become a part of Grayson County.  From the description contained within this deed: “about three or 4 miles above the mouth of Roundstone Creek”, it can be established that this tract was situated on the Nolin River, just upstream from present day Millerstown.  The 200 acres purchased by Jacob Miller from Jacob Linder and his wife, Elizabeth, was part of an 800 acre tract granted to Jacob Linder by the Commonwealth of Virginia on 2Dec1780.  The author believes this grant to have been the same property involved in the following filing summary:

  1. Grantee: Jacob Linder; Number of Acres: 800; Survey Date: 1 May 1784; County: Jefferson; Watercourse: Nolinn; Book Number: 4.[14]

Jacob Linder was a very active grant filer in Jefferson County KY during this time period, when he was recorded with nine separate grants totaling more than 6,000 acres, most of which were on Nolin, Clifty, Rough, Short and Cave Creeks.  With such extensive filings, it would seem that Jacob Linder was primarily a land speculator.  In the early part of the 19th century in Kentucky it seems very unlikely that any single individual could develop such large tracts of land.  Moreover, there are numerous deeds from Jacob Linder to other parties during the early part of the 19th century, wherein he and his wife disposed of large parts of these early patents.  In a couple of those deed documents, Jacob Linder assigned title for parts of tracts to individuals as repayment of “locator fees”.  One of the earliest deed filings found for Jacob Linder in Kentucky is abstracted as follows:

Deed Book B, p. 452, 3Jan1804:  Whereas Daniel Linder Sr. located a certain tract of land for Jacob Linder by virtue of a Land Office Treasury Warrant issued to the said Jacob Linder the ___ day of ___, No. 11825 for 5,000 acres and the said Daniel by virtue of the above recited warrant, entered 300 acres on the waters of Rough Creek, and the said Jacob Linder holding the same by patent, bearing date 2Dec1785, and now the said Daniel Linder being entitled to 250 acres for locating the above lands and other lands not necessary to be herein recited; Now this indenture…  Signed 3Jan1804, Jacob and Elizabeth Linder.

From the foregoing deed record it would appear that Jacob Linder was somehow in possession of a Treasury Warrant from the Commonwealth of Virginia which authorized him to receive land totaling 5,000 acres.  It would also appear from this record that Jacob Linder had given a power of attorney to his brother, Daniel Linder, to locate and patent lands in his name under the authority of said treasury warrant.  A fairly exhaustive search of online archives failed to locate any record of a treasury warrant granted to Jacob Linder.  Under the laws in force in Virginia following the end of the Revolutionary War, there were very few avenues for a person to be issued a warrant of this magnitude.  Basically, you had to have been eligible for a warrant of 5,000 acres upon proof of service as a field officer (rank of Major, Lt. Colonel or Colonel) during specific periods of conflict, or you had to purchase the warrant at a cost of about £40 per 100 acres (roughly £2,000), or you had to purchase the rights to a warrant from some other eligible person or persons.  Given the facts we will later learn about the earlier life of Jacob Linder, it seems highly unlikely that he could have been able to afford to purchase such a warrant.  Seemingly, Jacob Linder’s warrant must have been based on the military service record of either himself, or a close kinsperson from whom he could have held some legal claim.  The author is not sure whether we will ever know the source from which Jacob Linder obtained this warrant.  Suffice it to say that he apparently was able to satisfy the Court of Jefferson County of its legality, as he was able to amass a large body of lands on its merit, summarized as follows:

  1. Grantee: Jacob Linder, Number of Acres: 737, Survey Date: 12 Apr 1783, County: Jefferson, Watercourse: Clifty, Book Number: 4.
  2. Grantee: Jacob Linder, Number of Acres: 1,000, Survey Date: 2 Dec 1783, County: Jefferson, Watercourse: Short Cr, Book Number: 4.
  3. Grantee: Jacob Linder, Number of Acres: 500, Survey Date: 1 May 1784, County: Jefferson, Watercourse: Nolinn, Book Number: 4.
  4. Grantee: Jacob Linder, Number of Acres: 800, Survey Date: 1 May 1784, County: Jefferson, Watercourse: Nolinn, Book Number: 4. [tract on which Jacob Miller’s grist mill was established]
  5. Grantee: Jacob Linder, Number of Acres: 200, Survey Date: 10 May 1784, County: Jefferson, Watercourse: Cave Cr, Book Number: 4.
  6. Grantee: Jacob Linder, Number of Acres: 500, Survey Date: 11 May 1784, County: Jefferson, Watercourse: Nolinn, Book Number: 4.
  7. Grantee: Jacob Linder, Number of Acres: 300, Survey Date: 11 May 1784, County: Jefferson, Watercourse: Cave Cr, Book Number: 4.
  8. Grantee: Jacob Linder, Number of Acres: 1,000, Survey Date: 28 Aug 1798, County: Hardin, Watercourse: Nolin, Book Number: 12.
  9. Grantee: Jacob Linder, Number of Acres: 1,000, Survey Date: 29 Sep 1798, County: Hardin, Watercourse: Rough Cr, Book Number: 11.

It would appear that Jacob Linder had been granted a warrant for 5,000 acres by the Commonwealth of Virginia, and that he had signed agreements (powers of attorney) with various parties to locate and file patents on his behalf, reimbursement to the “locator” for such locating service to be made by the assignment of a portion of any such patents thus resulting.  One of the “locator fees” was paid to Jacob’s brother, Daniel Linder, in two separate deeds dated 3Jan1804 (Book B, p. 452-4) in which title was conveyed on parts of tracts situated on Rough Creek and Clifty Creek. 

The fact that Jacob Linder relied on other parties to “locate” and patent lands in his name suggests that he may not actually have resided in Jefferson County Kentucky at that time.  In fact, it seems probable that Jacob Linder was still residing in Frederick County Virginia in the early part of the 1780’s, when patents were being filed on his behalf in the area of future Hardin County.  The earliest record the author was able to locate for Jacob and Daniel Linder in Kentucky was on the 1793 tax list for Nelson County, abstracted as follows:

  1. Jacob Lyndon [sic] – 3685 acres[15]
  2. Daniel Lyndon [sic] – 500 acres[16]

By 1800 they were both recorded living in Hardin County.[17]  From later deed records it would appear that both Jacob Linder and Daniel Linder had established their residency in future Hardin County along the banks of Severn Valley Creek, nearby to Jacob Vanmeter.  Based on “facts” soon to be revealed, the origin of Jacob Linder may become an essential element in our search for the ancestry of Jacob Miller.

Let’s get right to the point.  The deed whereby Jacob Miller “purchased” a 200 acre tract on the Nolin River from Jacob Linder and his wife, Elizabeth, was of a very peculiar nature.  First, it should be recognized that the purchase price of one dollar was merely a legal formality, a token sum.  Even in the early 19th century “consideration” was an essential element in creating a binding contract.  In almost all other deeds being recorded during this time period, the consideration paid was substantially higher, typically amounting to $.50 to $1 per acre, depending on the location and quality of the land involved.  A 200 acre tract situated on the banks of a navigable stream should have fetched at least $.75 per acre.  Why then had Jacob and Elizabeth Linder agreed to part with their land for such a piddling sum?  One other element of this deed would seem to supply us with the answer.  The land was conveyed by “quitclaim”.  Following is a brief description of a “quitclaim” instrument:

Because of this lack of warranty, quitclaim deeds are most often used to transfer property between family members, as gifts, placing personal property into a business entity (and vice versa) or in other special or unique circumstances.

Does the manner in which title of this 200 acre tract was conveyed suggest something about the relationship between these parties?  It is the opinion of the author that this conveyance was the legal equivalence of a “gift deed”, the type of transfer that frequently occurred during this time period to convey property between family members.  If this interpretation is correct, then it would follow that there must have been some sort of kinship connection between Jacob and Elizabeth Linder and Jacob Miller (or Miller’s wife?).  To reinforce the reliability of this interpretation, the author will introduce one additional transaction involving Jacob and Elizabeth Linder:

Hardin County Deed Book C, Page 466:  1Feb1808 – conveyance of 850 acres consisting of three separate tracts situated on the waters of Ashcroft’s Creek and Big Clifty Creek, waters of Rough Creek from Jacob and Elizabeth Linder to Nathan Vanmeter of Berkeley County Virginia for the sum of one dollar, title conveyed by quitclaim.

The foregoing deed was written just 28 days before the deed conveyance to Jacob Miller, and for essentially the same terms: one dollar purchase price, and title conveyed by quitclaim.  There is a distinctive similarity between these two deeds.  They were filed within only a few weeks of each other, and for exactly the same terms and conditions which emulated the equivalence of a gift deed.  So, it would appear that there was very likely some sort of kinship connection between Jacob and Elizabeth Linder, and both Jacob Miller and Nathan Vanmeter.  Ergo, there may also have been a kinship connection between Nathan Vanmeter and Jacob Miller.  It may be noteworthy that Nathan Vanmeter was identified as having been a resident of Berkeley County Virginia at the time of the deed filing. 

It is now time for the author to posit another hypothesis:

Hypothesis No. 3 – Jacob Miller and Nathan Vanmeter were kinsmen of Jacob and Elizabeth Linder, either by blood or marriage.

Before getting into the investigation of the implied kinship connection between Jacob Miller and Jacob and Elizabeth Linder, we should introduce the second deed between Jacob Miller and Jacob Linder:

  1. Hardin County Deed Book H, p. 170, etc.: Conveyance of 256 acres from Jacob Linder and Elizabeth, his wife, to Jacob Miller on 4Jun1821 for $224.  West side of Nolin River in Grayson County, about 3-4 miles above mouth of Roundstone Creek.  “This indenture made this first day of June in the year of our Lord 1821 between Jacob Linder and Elizabeth his wife of the County of Hardin and state of Kentucky of the one part and Jacob Miller of the County of Grayson and state aforesaid of the other part; witnesseth that the said Jacob Linder and Elizabeth his wife for and in consideration of the sum of $224 by the said Jacob Miller to this said Jacob under part in hand paid and partly note the receipt where of his hereby acknowledge has this day granted bargained sold and by these presents do grant bargain and sell to the said Jacob Miller one certain tract or parcel of land lying and being in the County of Grayson on the waters of Nolan containing 256 acres by survey being a part of a one 800 acre survey in the name of Jacob Linder of which the said 256 acres is a part bounded as follows to wit: beginning at the beginning corner of the said 800 acres survey, thence with the patent line North 70° East 216 poles to a black cloak and white oak corner to the patent thence South 20° east 160 polls to a black oak and hickory in the division line between Lyons and the said Miller’s, thence with the same South 70° West 256 polls to a white oak corner to “unreadable” line, thence with the same North 20° West 160 polls to a white oak in the original lines, thence with the same to the beginning. To have and to hold the said tract or parcel of land together with all and singular there appertaining to him the said Jacob Miller his heirs and assigns to his and their only proper use benefit and behoove and the said Jacob Linder and Elizabeth his wife death further covenant and agree to and with the said Jacob Miller that they the said Jacob Linder and Elizabeth his wife will forever warrant and defend the aforesaid tract or parcel of land to this said Jacob Miller his heirs and assigns forever from the claim of them the said Jacob Linder and Elizabeth his wife their heirs and assigns and from the claim of every other person or persons whatsoever claiming the same by through or under them but not from the claim of any other person. In testimony there of the said Jacob Linder and Elizabeth his wife had here unto set their hand and affixed their seal the day and year first written. Signed Jacob Linder and Elizabeth Linder.  Recorded 4 June 1821.”  (Transcribed by Robert Atteberry, 3Jul2019)

This tract is believed to have abutted the 200 acre tract previously “gift deeded” by Jacob and Elizabeth Linder to Jacob Miller.  There is a reference within the boundary description for this tract to a preexisting boundary which separated Jacob Miller from an unknown Lyon.  This 256 acre tract was partitioned from the same 800 acres surveyed for Jacob Linder, as was the original 200 acre tract.  There was an elapsing of more than 13 years between the first tract deed and the second tract deed.  The second tract deed was more of a normal nature, in that it was for a reasonable purchase price equivalent to about $.87 per acre, and there was no mention of a quitclaim.  So, unlike the first transaction, which appeared to have been a gift deed, this transaction was by way of a normal purchase.

In an attempt to establish a possible kinship connection between Jacob Miller and Jacob Linder, we will first focus our attention on Jacob Linder’s purported ancestry, the premise being that such connection likely would have originated from an intermarriage between members of their respective families, given their different surnames and that they were both males.  In order for such an intermarriage to have occurred, those parties probably would have resided in the same general geographic locality at the time of those marriages.  If we can trace the origins of Jacob Linder’s family, we may be able to establish the origins of Jacob Miller’s family.  At least one researcher believes they have a handle on Jacob Linder’s genealogical origins.  The reader’s attention is directed to an item appearing in the Alabama, Surname Files Expanded, 1702–1981 published at Ancestry.com, page 273 of 297.[18]  This item consists of research contributed by Hazel Kraft Eilers of 2522 Thayer Street, Evanston Illinois, in which she reports three generations of the Linder Family.  The author cannot attest to the accuracy of Ms. Eilers research, but can state that most of the main elements of this Linder family correspond with similar genealogies published by other researchers.

In Ms. Eiler’s research she reported the following genealogical tree for Jacob and Daniel Linder:

  1. Simon Linder Sr., b. 1680, Palatinate of Germany; arrived America 27Aug1733 (aged 53) with wife, Margaret (aged 39).  Estate administered 12Feb1752, Frederick County Virginia.  The family landed in Philadelphia PA with five children: Catrina, b. 1716, Simon Jr., b. 1717, Elizabeth, b. 1722, Laurence [aka Lorenz], b. 1725, and George, b. 1729.[19]
  2. Laurence Linder, b. 1725, d. after 1780; [m. Rebecca Van Meter] served as a colonial soldier; also, as a patriot, furnished supplies for the colonial army.  References: Gleanings of Virginia History, by Boogher, p. 81, Lawrence Lender (sic), and Virginia Colonial Militia, by Crozier.  Recorded in Frederick County VA in Sept1758.  Laurence resided in Berkeley and Jefferson Counties VA and had children: Jacob Linder Sr., b. 1745, and Daniel Linder, b. 1750.
  3. 1.  Jacob Linder Sr., b. 1745, d. 1841 Hardin County KY, m. 1781 Elizabeth Van Meter, had children: Nathaniel Linder, Rebecca Linder, Abigail Linder, Jacob Linder Jr., Margaret “Peggy” Linder, m. 1803, Usher Ferguson, brother of Jane and Elizabeth, son of John Ferguson and Catherine Thomas.

        2.  Daniel Linder, b. ca. 1750, in Virginia, d. 1840 in Hardin County KY, m. Rebecca Van Meter, b. ca. 1752, d. 1830.  Ref.: Kentucky tax list: DAR Nat’l Reg. No. 327-828 and No. 219-161, had children: Isaac Linder, b. 1775, Daniel Linder Jr., b. 1777, Israel Linder, Andrew H. Linder and Samuel Linder.

One important recurring theme within this Linder family genealogy is the reputed intermarriages with Van Meter women.  First, it should be noted that Jacob Linder and his brother, Daniel Linder are both reported to have married Van Meter women.  This report has a certain ring of truth to it, as the Linders and Van Meters are both recorded having lived in Frederick County Virginia for several decades prior to the Revolutionary War.  Jacob and Daniel’s mother is also reported to have been a Van Meter woman.  Then we have the “gift deed” from Jacob and Elizabeth (Van Meter?) Linder to Nathan Van Meter of Berkeley County Virginia, formerly Frederick County.  So, we appear to have evidence of several intermarriages and a land transaction between the Linders and the Van Meters.  It would seem that we cannot perform a thorough evaluation of a possible kinship connection between Jacob Miller and Jacob Linder, without also performing a thorough investigation of the Van Meter family.  What strikes the author is the fact that both the Van Meter and the Linder families trace their roots to Frederick County Virginia before they migrated to Kentucky.  Given that the presumed children of Jacob Miller were variously reported to have originated from either Pennsylvania or Virginia, then it seems very possible that Jacob Miller’s roots could also be traced to Frederick County Virginia.

Before delving into the Van Meter family genealogy, following are a couple more court records involving Jacob Linder and his presumed in-law, Jacob Van Meter:

  1. Court, 12 Jun 1790, , Nelson, Kentucky, USA. 772 Inventory and appraisal of the effects of Miles Hart, desc…. Taken 12 June 1790 by John Vertrees, Jacob Linder, Jacob Vanmeter.

Here is a curious collection of individuals, wherein John Vertrees, Jacob Linder and Jacob Vanmeter united as co-appraisers on the estate of Miles Hart.  This teaming probably was not coincidental, as John Vertrees was married to Elizabeth Vanmeter, daughter of Jacob Vanmeter Sr., and Jacob Linder is purported to have been married to another woman named Elizabeth Vanmeter, clearly a possible kinsperson of Jacob Vanmeter, but identity yet unknown.  It is the author’s belief that the Jacob Vanmeter in this record was Jacob Vanmeter Sr.  There is a tragic story accompanying this record of which we will leave the telling to others momentarily.  First, let’s give some identity to Miles Hart, as he was no stranger to these appraisers.  Miles Hart and two of his brothers: Josiah Hart and Silas Hart were all married to daughters of Edward Rawlings and Rebecca Vanmeter, daughter of Jacob Vanmeter Sr.  Miles Hart also had a twin brother named Aaron Hart, a name we have already encountered as a co-commissioner with Jacob Miller, Jacob Vanmeter [Jr.], etal, to clear the Nolin River channel for navigation.  Now for the tragic story:

” The Hart brothers were known as the best Indian fighters in the country. Miles Hart, husband of Elizabeth Rawlings was, perhaps, the best of them, because he was so deadly with the rifle the Indians had called him ‘Sharp-Eye’. The Hart brothers married the three Rawlings girls, daughters of Edward Rawlings, namely: Miles married Elizabeth Rawlings, Josiah married Ann Rawlings, and Silas married Letitia (Letty) Rawlings. Miles Hart had a twin brother Aaron Hart. There is a mistake in Collin’s History of Kentucky where he says Silas Hart was the husband of Elizabeth (stolen by the Indians). Haycraft’s History of Elizabethtown gives the incident and name of Miles Hart correctly. Haycraft was a relative of Elizabeth. There is a letter from John VanMeter also a member of the family, in which he gives the name of Miles Hart. The Hart brothers and the other men of the settlement drove the Indians across the Ohio River at a point about West Point today, but in doing so, Miles Hart, or ‘Sharp-Eye’ as the Indians called him, had killed the Chief. With the chief dead, the settlers thought perhaps the raids would cease so they returned to the VanMeter Fort where Miles Hart had his wife and his three children, aged 7 or 8 years. The family returned to their home, a crude log cabin that Miles had built on a clearing nearby. The log cabin had only a small window and a solid door so there was little light in it. At night the log-burning fireplace and a candle furnished light. In the morning as they were about to eat their meager breakfast, they opened the door to let in more light. The Indians who had followed them back to their home had been prowling around the cabin of Miles Hart all night waiting for an opportunity to kill him in revenge for the loss of their chief. They pounced upon Hart and killed him after a desperate struggle, thus avenging the death of their chief. Joe Hart, the 12 year old son of Miles Hart, grabbed his father’s rifle and tomahawk hatchet and killed the Indian leader, who was the chief’s brother, and several other savages before they could overcome him. He struck them as they tried to enter the door to the cabin to take his mother and the children prisoners. The Indians, however, carried Elizabeth, Joe and the two smaller children into captivity. They killed the little girl just a short distance from the cabin because she cried and the Indians were afraid the followers would hear her. They killed Miles, Jr. because he had a sore foot and couldn’t keep up. They were in a hurry for they knew they would be followed as soon as the other settlers found out what had been done, and they knew the fury of the Hart brothers. This left Joe and his mother the only captives and she was ready to have another child and could hardly keep up. She was required to carry kettles and cook for the Indians. She finally had the baby in the snow unattended, and was made to resume the march the next day. She carried the baby strapped to her back and also some cooking kettles. During the day they waded waist-deep across an ice-filled creek. Elizabeth was considered a delicate woman of her day, according to Haycraft’s History of Elizabethtown. He says: ‘Mrs. Elizabeth Hart, wife of Miles Hart, was regarded as a very delicate woman for those days. She was enceinte when taken prisoner in an advanced state. She was burdened with camp kettles and other Indian plunder. They crossed the Ohio River into the Northwest Territory. At nightfall she was delegated to kindle fires for the Indians and then to go aside to kindle a fire for herself, raking up as best she could rubbish from under the snow and there alone, unaided by the kind assistance known to civilized life, was delivered of a son. The squaws then showed a little kindness in the morning by giving her a little water in which a turkey had been boiled. Then cutting a block from a tree, they wrapped a piece of blanket around the new-born infant, fastened it to the block and laid the block upon her back with camp kettles, etc., and pursued their way north. In the course of the day they waded a river waist-deep (filled with ice) and yet strange to tell, she experienced no serious inconvenience, but from hard usage and inhuman treatment the child died at the age of six months. She lingered in captivity and wretched slavery for several years until a trading Frenchman at Detroit purchased her from the Indians and restored her to her relatives.”[20]

We included this tragic story so that the reader would have a deeper understanding of the close familial connections between the various parties involved in the appraisal of Miles Hart’s estate.

  1. Ordered that Stephen Rawlings, Jacob Vanmatre [Jr.] and Jacob Linder after being sworn, appraise the estate of Jacob Vanmatre [Sr.], dec’d and return a true and perfect inventory to the court.

Was it just coincidence that Jacob Linder would be appointed, along with Jacob Vanmatre Jr. and Stephen Rawlings to appraise the estate of Jacob Vanmatre Sr.?  Jacob Linder is believed to have been married to Elizabeth Vanmeter (identity uncertain).  Some researchers claim this Elizabeth Vanmeter to have been a daughter of Jacob Vanmeter Sr., however, most researchers claim that Elizabeth, daughter of Jacob Vanmeter Sr. was married three times to mssrs.: Capt. John Swan (killed by Indians while floating down the Ohio from Fort Pitt in 1779), Thomas McNeal, and John Vertrees.  A few others claim that Elizabeth Vanmetre, daughter of Jacob Vanmetre Sr., married Jacob Linder.  Clearly, there is some confusion related to the identity of the wife of Jacob Linder, which we will endeavor to sort out.  Stephen Rawlings’ brother, Edward Rawlings, is believed to have been married to Rebecca Vanmeter, another daughter of Jacob Vanmeter Sr.  Moreover, the Rawlings brothers originated from Frederick County Virginia, where they undoubtedly were acquainted with the Linder and Vanmeter families, before they migrated to Jefferson County Kentucky.  So, the uniting of Jacob Linder, Jacob Vanmeter Jr. and Stephen Rawlings as co-appraisers on the estate of Jacob Vanmeter Sr. probably was not coincidental.  Most likely it came about as a result of their close familial associations with the Vanmeter family.

Before we launch into a full-scale investigation of the Vanmeter family genealogy, let’s sweeten the pot a bit by jumping backward one generation.  Jacob Vanmeter Sr.’s parents are reliably proven to have been Jan John Vanmeter and Margaret Molenaar [aka Miller].  Speaking of your coincidences, Jacob Vanmeter’s mother’s maiden name was Molenaar, which when translated from Dutch into English means “miller”.  In fact, in earlier records of Margaret’s family the surname appeared as Miller or Millar, as evidenced by the following deed from Somerset County NJ:

“All that tract of land situate, lying and being upon the west side of the South Branch of Raraton River in the said County of Somerset aforesaid, now in the peaceable possession and enjoyment of him the said Hendry Millar…  The deed is signed: John Vanmetere and Margaret [Molenaar] Vanmetere, who makes her mark.  The tract was bounded by lands of John Campbell, John Drummond, of “Londine”, other lands of John Vanmetere and the South Branch, estimated to contain 37 acres…”[21]

It occurs to the author that Margaret Molenaar very likely had male kinsfolk who, when they began to migrate outside the Dutch community of New Amsterdam, very likely anglicized their surname into either Miller or Millar.  The probability of this morphing of the Molenaar surname into Miller or Millar is supported by the above cited deed abstract for Hendry Millar [aka Hendrick Molenaar].  Is it possible that our Jacob Miller may have descended from a branch of these Molenaars, who may have migrated westerly into the Valley of Virginia with the Vanmeters?  This is certainly a possibility that we will keep in mind as we investigate the Vanmeters.

To begin our investigation of the Vanmeter family, we will start with the only Vanmeter, known with any certainty, to have had a direct association with Jacob Linder, and indirectly with Jacob Miller, namely, Nathan Vanmeter.  Who was Nathan Vanmeter, and what might his connection have been with Jacob and Elizabeth Linder?  Since the gift deed conveying 850 acres to Nathan Vanmeter in 1808 stated that Nathan was at that time living in Berkeley County VA, we will begin our search in Berkeley County.  A search of the 1810 census records reveals the household of Nathan Vanmeter living in Berkeley County and summarized as shown in Figure 23.  First, it should be stated that this was the only record hit for a Nathan Vanmeter in the entire 1810 census database, leaving little doubt but that this was the same person to whom Jacob and Elizabeth Linder had gift deeded the 850 acres.  Next, it should be recognized that Nathan Vanmeter was reported being over the age of 45, and did not appear to have a wife in his household.  But there did appear to have been several children, four males under age 25 and two females aged 16 thru 25.  It is possible that two of the older young persons could have been a married couple.  It would appear that Nathan Vanmeter was widowed.

For the identity of this Nathan Vanmeter we will refer to the tome written by Samuel Gordon Smyth, which is the singularly most superior publication found by the author on the Vanmeter family.  Smyth describes Nathan Vanmeter as follows:

“Nathan Van Metre (John1, Henry2), son of Henry and [Hannah, possibly Pyle], born in Virginia ~1760; died ?; married ~1780 Mary Ann Pyle, daughter of Elizabeth Pyle, her father’s [step-father’s] third wife.  Nathan lived in Virginia near his father in Berkeley County.  By his father’s will Nathan was bequeathed the Berkeley County homestead, with the bulk of the personal property, subject to other children named in the Will.  Nathan was presumed to have been the eldest son of Henry by his 2nd marriage to Hannah Pyle (the sister of his 3rd wife, Elizabeth Pyle?).  There was probably no issue by the third marriage and the children of the first wife, Eva, being already provided for in the testator’s lifetime.  To Nathan’s son Joseph was bequeathed the lands of Nathan’s deceased brother, Joseph, “lying on the west side of the Ohio.”  This grandson of Henry afterwards went out to Ohio and took possession of the inheritance and was known as “Virginia Joe.””[22]

So, Mr. Smyth would have us believe that Nathan Vanmeter was the eldest son of Henry Vanmeter and Hannah Pyle.  Further, that Nathan had married Mary Ann Pyle, daughter of Nathan’s step-mother, Elizabeth Pile, 3rd wife of Henry Vanmeter.  The author is inclined to accept this description of Nathan Vanmeter and his wife, but there are some corrections/additions wanting for the identity of Mary Ann Pile’s mother, Elizabeth Pile.  Smyth, and numerous other Vanmeter family researchers report Henry Vanmeter’s 2nd and 3rd wives to have been sisters.  Some even go so far as to identify Henry’s 1st wife as Eva Pile, another sister of Hannah Pile and Elizabeth Pile.  Let’s leave aside the kinship connection, if any, between the wives of Henry Vanmeter, and concentrate for a moment solely on his 3rd wife, Elizabeth Pile Vanmeter. 

The author’s research has found a strong inference that Elizabeth Pile Vanmeter was not born a Pile.  In fact, there is strong evidence to support Elizabeth as a daughter of Col. Edward Thomas Sprigg and Elizabeth Pile [daughter of Dr. Richard Pile], who were recorded married on 26Apr1720 in Prince Georges County MD.  Elizabeth Sprigg is reported to have married her 1st cousin, Dr. Richard Pile [another of several medical doctors or apothecaries in this Pile family], in about 1747 in Prince Georges County MD.  No record of their marriage was found by the author, but the birth of a son, William Pile, is believed to have been recorded in St. Johns Parish, Prince Georges County MD on 14Dec1761.  Pile family genealogists credit Richard Pile and Elizabeth Sprigg with at least two more children: Richard Jr. born about 1760, and Mary Ann born about 1764.  It occurs to the author, that, if Elizabeth Sprigg and Richard Pile were married in 1747, as reported, then there certainly could have been several more children born to this couple, who are not on record.

Now, let’s return to the household of Henry Vanmeter.  He is reported to have married Elizabeth [Sprigg] Pile on 8Apr1777 in Ohio County VA (see Smyth’s description of Henry Vanmeter, below):

“Henry Vanmeter (John1), third son of John Vanmeter and Margaret Molenaar, born circa 1717 in Somerset County NJ, died circa 1793 in Virginia; married 1st: Eva mnu (possibly Pile or Pyle); 2nd ante 1757, Hannah Pyle; and 3rd, Elizabeth Pyle [Sprigg], of Ohio County VA.  License issued 8Apr1777.  Henry inherited, by the terms of his father’s Will, 400 acres of land whereon he (father) lived.  There is considerable documentary evidence regarding this Henry Vanmeter and his migratory movements; first of these is found recorded in the Journal of the Frederick County VA Court, under date of 11Sep1744, which states that Henry Vanmeter is appointed overseer of the road from Noah Hampton’s Mill, on the road to Cape Capon, near James Cody’s.  On 5Apr1757, Henry Vanmeter, jointly with his wife Hannah, transferred to Abraham Vanmeter a tract of 150 acres of land, which had been granted to said Henry and Abraham by Samuel Bryan, 12Nov1747; on the same date Henry Vanmeter conveyed by deed another tract of land, containing 64 acres, which had been granted said Henry and Abraham Vanmeter by Jacob Vanmeter.  This deed was unsigned, but is acknowledged by Henry Vanmeter and his wife, Hannah.  Sep1758 Henry Vanmeter, Joseph Vanmeter, etal., soldiers of Frederick County VA, were paid 7 shillings each for services in resisting Indians. (privates in Capt. Thomas Speak’s Company, Virginia Colonial Militia).  While still remaining in Virginia, Henry kept migrating westward, until he reached what is now southwestern Pennsylvania, the border land then in controversy between the Colony of Virginia and the Province of Penssylvania.  He took up residence in the territory which later became Bedford, and afterward Washington, then Green Counties of Pennsylvania.  Here he took up land on Muddy Creek adjacent ot his brother, Jacob Vanmeter, and his name appears on an assessment roll in Springhill Township in 1772-3, rated as a taxable.  In the latter year some sort of disturbance of the peace occurred and Henry, Jacob and Abraham Vanmeter were indicted by the “Grand Inquest of Quarter Sessions”, 6Jul1773, on two bills, for riot. [Mason-Dixon Line Dispute?]  These bills were found and presented to the Court of Yohogania County VA, which exercised Jurisdiction over this part of Pennsylvania.  On 23Feb1775 Henry Vanmeter was recommended, among others, as a proper person to be added to the Commission of the Peace for the County of West Augusta (Virginia jurisdiction), and on 18Apr1776, Henry Vanmeter and Ebenezer Zane were appointed viewers, to view the old road from Conrad Walter’s to mouth of Wheeling [Creek] [south side of Ohio River near present day Wheeling, within Ohio County, same county where Henry reportedly married his 3rd wife, Elizabeth Sprigg-Pile]; and again on 20Aug1776, Henry Vanmeter was among those persons recommended to be added to the Commission of the Peace for Augusta County VA.  Henry Vanmeter’s name appears among those who received warrants for lands for military services; 400 acres were granted in Washington County PA 25Mar1785, with 250 additional acres in 1786.

In his Will, dated 3Mar1790, and probated ___1793, Henry Vanmeter mentions his wife, Elizabeth and children: Nathan, Joshua, Hester, Henry and Joseph (the latter was already deceased), which recites “My son Joseph Vanmeter’s estate which lies on the west side of the Ohio River in the Indian country.”  It is to be supposed that the above children, excepting Joseph, were the children of Henry’s 2nd wife, Hannah; the issue of the first wife, Eve, having already been provided for as they arrived at maturity.  One of the executors of Henry’s Will was William Gorrell, who married a daughter of Henry’s brother, Jacob Vanmeter [same Jacob Vanmeter, who had floated down the Ohio River with a large contingent of his family in 1779 to the Falls nearby Louisville].  There were no children believed born of Henry’s 3rd wife, Elizabeth.  Henry’s children are believed to have included: John, Joseph, Henry Jr., Isaac, Jacob, Hannah, Ruth, Nathan, Joshua and Hester.”[23]

The author is inclined to accept the identity of Henry Vanmeter’s 3rd wife, as Elizabeth Sprigg, widow of Richard Pile.  Assuming that to have been the case, then we may now have a basis for evaluating the possible kinship connections between Jacob and Elizabeth Linder, and Jacob Miller and Nathan Vanmeter.  First, it would appear that Jacob Linder, Nathan Vanmeter and Jacob Miller were all of about the same age, probably born sometime between 1755 and 1765.  We also know with some certainty that Jacob Linder and Nathan Vanmeter originated from that part of Frederick County that would later fall within Berkeley County at its formation in 1772.  We also know that Nathan Vanmeter was bequeathed land in Berkeley County, described in Henry Vanmeter’s Will as follows:

“In the name of God, Amen. I Henry Van Mater, of Berkely County & Commonwealth of Virginia, feeling infirmity of body but of perfect mind and memory, and therefore reccolecting [sic] the mortality of human nature, do make and Constitute this my last Will and Testament. After my just debts and burial charges are paid, I do give and dispose of my wordly [sic] estate in manner and form following, that is to say I do give devise and bequeath unto my son Nathan Van Mater all my landed estate in the County of Berkeley and Commonwealth of Virginia, as well the plantation whereon I now live as all the tract or tracts of land which I have in said County of Berkeley, to him my said son Nathan and his heirs and assigns forever. I do give and bequeath unto my son Henry Van Mater five pounds Virginia currency, to be paid to him by my son Nathan. I do give and bequeath unto my son Joshua one hundred pounds Virginia currency to be paid to him by my son Nathan at the end of two years after my decease. I do further Will and bequeath unto my said son Nathan Van Mater, in addition to my Berkeley lands aforesaid, the following negroes namely: Sam, Gim [sic], Peter and Dinah, to him, his heirs and assigns, provided he takes his sister Hester into his family, or otherwise maintains her in a proper manner during her single state; and provided he fails or neglects to make such proper provision for her as aforesaid, then and in that case the three last mentioned negroes shall vest in her the said Hester forever. I do give and bequeath unto my wife Elizabeth, in addition to her third of my landed estate and in lieu of her part of my personal estate, the following legacy to wit; one negro girl to be purchased as soon as she may think it convenient, out of my estate, not exceeding eighteen nor under ten years of age; my two old negroes, viz: Beck and Jim, the feather bed and furniture whereon we now sleep together with her choice of six milch cows and one third of my dry cattle, her choice of two horses, a third of my sheep, and one third of all my household and kitchen furniture, together with all the movable estate which belonged to her when we were married, and of which I died possessed, to her, her heirs, and assigns, together with a full third part of my hogs and provisions and all the other moveable part of my estate, except the aforesaid four negroes bequeathed to my said son Nathan. It is also my earnest will and desire that she may have an uninterrupted home in my present dwelling house during her widowhood.  The tract of land which did belong to my son Joseph Van mater lying and being situate on the west side of the Ohio River, in the Indian country and which did devolve to me on his death, together with all the said Joseph’s personal estate (my negro boy Gim only excepted) I do will devise and bequeath to my aforesaid son Joshua and his heirs and assigns forever, and the other tract of land lying and being situate in the Sufferer’s Valley [probably Severns Valley where his brother, Jacob had settled his family], in the District of Kentucky, Which was also the property of my said son Joseph, and at his death devolved to me by operation of law, I do give and devise to my Grandson Joseph Van Mater, the son of my aforesaid son Nathan, to him, his heirs and assigns forever. And the residue of my estate after the disposition and payment of the respective legacies above recited of every kind and of every determination, I do further give will devise and bequeath unto my aforesaid son Nathan Van Mater, his heirs and assigns forever, and he my said son Nathan is in consequence thereof is to pay unto my daughter also two hundred dollars specie within a twelvemonth of my decease. I do hereby make ordain, constitute and appoint my said son Nathan Van Matre and my friend William Gorrell [son-in-law of Jacob Vanmeter] my sole executors of this my last Will, interest for interest, for the intents and purpose in this my last will contained to take care to have the same performed according to my true intent[?] and meaning.

In Witness whereof, I the said Henry Van Matre have to this my last Will and testament set my hand and seal the third day of March, in the year of our Lord, seventeen hundred and ninety.

Henry (his H mark) Van Metre

Signed sealed and delivered by the

Said Henry Van Matre, as, and for

his last Will and Testament in the

Presence of us who were present

at the signing and sealing thereof:

John McCulloch William Allen

Jacob Vandever Abraham (his AM mark) Merlot”[24]

So, from his father’s Will, it would appear that Nathan was the eldest son of Henry Vanmeter and Hannah (Pyle?), and the principal beneficiary of his father’s estate.  Nathan was also named Executor, along with William Gorrell, son-in-law of Jacob Vanmeter and Nathan’s uncle.  Nathan’s legacy included all of his father’s lands situated in Berkeley County, including Henry’s place of domicile.  So, Elizabeth Sprigg Pile Vanmeter was doubly rewarded through the settlement of her husband, Henry Vanmeter’s, estate.  Not only did she receive her legal one-third dowry, but also the following additional legacy: 

“…one negro girl to be purchased as soon as she may think it convenient, out of my estate, not exceeding eighteen nor under ten years of age; my two old negroes, viz: Beck and Jim, the feather bed and furniture whereon we now sleep together with her choice of six milch cows and one third of my dry cattle, her choice of two horses, a third of my sheep, and one third of all my household and kitchen furniture, together with all the movable estate which belonged to her when we were married, and of which I died possessed, to her, her heirs, and assigns, together with a full third part of my hogs and provisions and all the other moveable part of my estate, except the aforesaid four negroes bequeathed to my said son Nathan.”

In addition to that, she had the peace of mind in knowing that her daughter, Mary Ann Pile Vanmeter, was being well cared for via Nathan’s legacy from his father’s estate.

Are we any nearer to discovering a possible kinship connection between Jacob and Elizabeth Linder, Nathan Vanmeter and Jacob Miller?  Perhaps!  Let’s digress for a moment and contemplate our reasoning for focusing on the Vanmeters at the outset.  This redirection was based in large part on the alleged intermarriages between members of the Linder and Vanmeter families, compounded by the gift deed from Jacob and Elizabeth Linder to Nathan Vanmeter.  What if this kinship connection was not due to Vanmeter-Linder intermarriages, but rather intermarriages with Pile women?  For starters, we do not know with certainty the identity of either Jacob Linder’s wife, or that of Jacob Miller, other than their approximate ages and given names.  What if the connection was through their each having married a daughter of Elizabeth Sprigg Pile Vanmeter?  Some genealogical researchers credit Richard Pile and Elizabeth Sprigg with a daughter named Elizabeth, but no one has offered any information regarding her marriage or demise.  Given the naming conventions in practice during this time period, it would be logical for Richard Pile and Elizabeth Sprigg to have named their first-born daughter, Elizabeth, as namesake for both of their own mothers: Elizabeth Hutchinson Pile, and Elizabeth Pile Sprigg.  What if Elizabeth Pile, presumed daughter of Richard Pile and Elizabeth Sprigg, had married Jacob Linder?  Would that connection be sufficiently strong for Jacob and Elizabeth Linder to make a deed of gift of 850 acres to Elizabeth’s sister’s [Mary Ann Pile] husband [Nathan Vanmeter] and nieces and nephews?  Perhaps!  Along this same vein, would the intermarriage of Jacob Miller with a sister of Elizabeth Pile Linder be sufficiently strong for Jacob and Elizabeth Linder to make a deed of gift of 200 acres to Jacob and Nancy Miller?  Perhaps!

It is now time for another hypothesis:

Hypothesis No. 4: Jacob Linder, Nathan Vanmeter and Jacob Miller were all married to daughters of Richard Pile and Elizabeth Sprigg.

One thing that has troubled the author, since discovering the connection between Jacob Linder and Jacob Miller, was the fact that Jacob Linder appeared to have been granted a warrant for 5,000 acres by the Commonwealth of Virginia.  This was a remarkably large warrant for land in this time period.  However, as a result of the Treaty of Paris at the close of the French and Indian War, King George III issued a proclamation whereby men who served in military units from 1754 until such units disbanded were entitled to bounty land.  Following is a description of the bounty grant program which permitted the issuance of such warrants:

The acreage allowed was based on the rank held.  A field officer was entitled to 5,000 acres, a captain 3,000, etc.  The same proclamation became the basis for soldiers seeking bounty land after Lord Dunmore’s War.  In May1779 the Virginia Legislature placed a time limit of 12 months on receiving such land.  The claimant, or his representative’s, had to produce a certificate from Lord Dunmore while he was the Royal Governor or from the county court before which proof of military service had been made.  Thereupon the Land Office issued the appropriate warrant.  Between 1779 and 1783 the Commonwealth of Virginia issued more than 1,400 bounty grants.  Most of the land was in the western section of Virginia, i.e. present day Kentucky.”[25]

At this point in our research the author must admit that, while there is evidence that several members of the Vanmeter family performed various military-related services from the French-Indian War through the Revolutionary War, no Vanmeter in known to have attained a field officer rank.  In fact, the only evidence of potentially qualifying military service found in association with the Vanmeter family was through Elizabeth Sprigg, 3rd wife of Henry Vanmeter.  Elizabeth Sprigg’s father attained the rank of Colonel in the state militia of Maryland, but died in 1752 and is not known to have served in any capacity that would have made him eligible for a bounty grant.  However, there was one record found, which is believed to have pertained to Elizabeth Sprigg’s brother, Capt. Edward Sprigg abstracted as follows:

“Edwd. Sprigg, who is and has been a resident of this state [Virginia] 8 years, proved that his father, Edward Sprigg, served as Capt. in the requirement (Regt. ?) commanded by Geo. Washington, Esqr., and lost his life in the service; and that he is heir-at-law, etc. Prince William Co., July 3, 1780.”[26]

The applicant in the above cited application for bounty grant service is believed to have been filed by Elizabeth Sprigg’s nephew, the son of her late-brother, Edward Sprigg Jr.  This nephew is believed to have died shortly after filing this application.  Is it possible that this application was approved by the Commonwealth of Virginia, and that entitlement to the land grant thus authorized somehow devolved to Elizabeth Sprigg Pile Vanmeter, Edward’s surviving heir at law?  The author cannot stipulate with certainty that this filing was the basis for the Treasury Warrant later found in possession of Jacob Linder, but thinks it possible.  Edward Sprigg III, the applicant for his father’s bounty grant, had been living in Fairfax County VA for at least eight years before his death.  Very little is known of the life of Edward Sprigg III.  It does seem possible that he may have died testate, and that he may have bequeathed his father’s bounty grant to his aunt, Elizabeth Sprigg Pile Vanmeter, possibly his only surviving heir at law.

The author may be leaning toward this scenario regarding the origins of Jacob Linder’s Treasury Warrant, because it could provide an element of “proof” for Hypothesis No. 4.  Be that as it may, it does seem to provide a solution to an otherwise seemingly unsolvable riddle.  The reader may ultimately need to be the final arbiter.  The author is prepared to proceed with this investigation based on the assumption that the wife of Jacob Linder was Elizabeth Pile, eldest daughter of Elizabeth Sprigg and Richard Pile.  It is further the belief of the author that the gift deeds from Jacob and Elizabeth Linder to Nathan Vanmeter and Jacob Miller may have been an attempt to distribute the estate of Elizabth Sprigg Pile Vanmeter.

This scenario of the spouses of Nathan Vanmeter, Jacob Linder and Jacob Miller having been sisters, and the daughters of Elizabeth Sprigg Pile Vanmeter, is pure speculation on the author’s part, but does offer a plausible explanation for the gift deeds from Jacob and Elizabeth Linder.  After all, it is reasonable to assume that any unmarried children of Elizabeth Sprigg Pile would have become members of Henry Vanmeter’s household, upon Henry’s marriage to the widow of Richard Pile in 1777.  By the author’s calculation, many of Elizabeth Pile’s children could still have been teenagers, when their mother remarried.  It seems possible that it was through that close family association that Nathan Vanmeter and Mary Ann Pile would have established the personal bond that would lead them into matrimony. 

It is now time to transport our search for the ancestry of Jacob Miller to Frederick County Virginia, the presumed principal place of origin of the Vanmeters and Linders prior to their settling in Jefferson County Kentucky.  The beginning of our search in Frederick County seems best served by an introduction to the history of that region.  Prior to 1720 the region west of the Blue Ridge Mountain range was recognized by the British monarchy as Indian territory, and off-limits to settlement by Europeans.  However, adventurous white men had made incursions into that region for exploration and trading.  Trading for animal skins harvested by the Indians had become a burgeoning business among the colonies all along the eastern seaboard of North America.  This business had already been pushed extensively by the French, British and Dutch up the St. Laurence and Hudson Rivers into the Great Lakes region, and by the Spanish upstream along the Mississippi River basin.  Fur trading was found to be a mutually beneficial commercial enterprise between the Native Americans and the European interlopers.

One of the Vanmeter ancestors was an important player in this unfolding drama.  Samuel Smythe seems a bit confused about the identity of this early Vanmeter trader, but historians are in general agreement that his name was John Vanmeter.  The following excerpt from Smythe’s history of the Shepherd-Duke-Vanmeter families provides one rendition of this Vanmeter tradition:

“Tradition relates that a man by the name of John Van Meter, from New York, some years previous to the first settlement of the valley [of Virginia], discovered the fine country on the Wappatomaka [South Branch of the Potomac]. This man was a kind of Indian trader, being well acquainted with the Delawares, and once accompanied a war party who marched to the South for the purpose of invading the Catawbas. The Catawbas however anticipated them—met them very near the spot where Pendleton Court-House now stands, encountered, and defeated them with great slaughter. Van Meter was engaged on the side of the Delawares in this battle. When Van Meter returned to New York, he advised his sons, that if ever they migrated to Virginia, by all means to secure a part of the South Branch bottom, and described the land immediately above ‘The Trough’ as the finest body of land which he had ever discovered in all his travels.”[27]

In an article that appeared in the Virginia Historical Magazine [Vol. III, p. 191, footnote] an account of John Vanmeter’s excursion with the Delaware into the Valley of Virginia reads as follows:

“Mr. John Van Meter of New York gives an account of his accompanying the New York Delaware Indians in 1732 ( ?) on their raid against the Catawbas. They passed up the South Branch of the Potomac and he afterward settled his boys there.”

Yet, another writer relates the following account of a battle between the Delaware and Catawba tribes as follows:

“At the mouth of the Antietam, a small creek on the Maryland side of the river, a most bloody affair took place between parties of the Catawba and Delaware tribes.  This was probably about the year 1736.  The Delawares had penetrated pretty far south, committed some acts of outrage on the Catawbas, and on their retreat were overtaken at the mouth of this creek, when a desperate conflict ensued.  Every man of the Delaware party were put to death… [no mention of John Vanmeter]”[28]

The battle between the Delaware and the Catawba described in each of the foregoing historical accounts appear to have been one and the same.  However, the precise date and location is at variance.  The story related by Kercheval, etal., is more detailed as to location and events, but failed to mention John Vanmeter’s participation.  However, there are other facts of record which would tend to support a John Vanmeter having been present in Maryland at around the same time as this reported Indian battle.  That John Vanmeter is believed to have been born on 17Apr1683 at Marbletown, Ulster County, New York, son of Joost Jansen Van Meteren and Sarah Dubois.  John Vanmeter is also reported to have married (1) Sarah Bodine and (2) Margaret Mollenaar.  John Vanmeter is believed to have fathered ten children, listed in order of birth: (with 1st wife) Sarah Jansen Van Meteren; Johannes J. Van Meter; Maria Van Meter; (with 2nd wife) Rebecca Janson Hedges; Isaac van Metre; Elizabeth Shepard; Henry van Meter [husband of Elizabeth Sprigg Pile]; Rachel Lessige; Abraham Van Meter, Sr.; Jacob Jansen Van Meter and Magdalena Pusey.  By 1730 John Vanmeter had relocated from New Jersey to Prince Georges County MD as evidence by the following deed abstract:

’25th March, 1730, John Van Metre, of Prince George’s County, Maryland, yeoman, conveys to Cornelius Newkirk [Newkirks also migrated to Frederick County Virginia], of Salem, N. J., 200 acres of land. The recitation in the deed shows that the land conveyed was part of the original purchase of 3,000 acres from Colonel Daniel Coxe, 19th June, 1714; that subsequently 400 acres were set apart by Jacob du Bois, Sarah du Bois and Isaac Van Metre to John Van Metre as his dividend…’[29]

Smythe describes the possible circumstances and means by which John Vanmeter had resettled his family to the Monocacy Valley of northwestern Prince Georges County MD:

“The date of John Van Metre’s settlement in Maryland can only be approximated. He was perhaps long familiar with this part of the country, and may have traversed it with his father while following the trails with the Delaware Indians southward from the headwaters of the Delaware, which rose in the mountainous country adjacent to the Dutch settlements in Ulster County, N. Y. In 1730 Prince George’s County, Maryland, extended from the Patuxent River to the western limits of Lord Baltimore’s palatinate. This county was indebted for much of its earlier population to the emigrants from Pennsylvania and eastward. The border troubles between the two Provinces of Maryland and Pennsylvania had much to do with its settlement, and the disputes between these proprietary governments led many settlers of the adjacent counties of Pennsylvania to remove to the valley of Frederick, to the Monocacy and its neighboring streams. The Dutch element, perhaps, were the first to establish themselves in these localities; coming down from New York by way of Pennsylvania, they were found in western Maryland as early as 1725… It is probably due to him [John Van Metre] that his friends and relatives began to colonize along that stream, for here were found the Eltings, Vernoys, Croms, Van Metre and other families from the Hudson River communities. “[30]

The earliest Maryland record found of John Vanmeter was in the following grant deed abstract:

  1. 8Nov1726 – John Vanmeter received a grant of 300 acres in Prince Georges County named “Metre” located near the mouth of a stream called Metre’s Run, falling into the Monocacy.

Clearly, this John Vanmeter would have been in Maryland at a sufficiently early date to have been the John Vanmeter described in the accounts presented hereinabove related to the Delaware and Catawba battle.  Yet, Smythe opines that the John Vanmeter, Indian trader from New York, was actually Jans Joost Vanmeter, the father of the foregoing described John Vanmeter.  He renders this opinion in spite of the fact that there is a record for the settlement of the estate of Jans Joost Vanmeter dated sometime in 1706.  Perhaps there was more information in Smythe’s possession than he has seen fit to share with us.  On the face of the facts known to the author, it seems fairly apparent that the John Vanmeter, who had settled along the Monocacy and Antietam sometime prior to 1726, about 10 years before the reported battle between the Delaware and Catawba, was the most likely candidate for the Vanmeter reportedly connected to that battle.  The only potential contradiction being the reference to having been from New York.  Yet, in fact John Vanmeter, who married Margaret Mollenaar was born in New York, and might have referred to himself as having been from New York.  The solution to this mystery is unimportant to this investigation’s purpose, and nothing more will be said on the matter.

We will now turn our attention to the Vanmeter-Hite Grants.  On 17Jun1730 several petitions were presented to the Virginia General Assembly at Williamsburg for leave to take up land on the Shenandoah River on the northwest side of the Great Mountains [Blue Ridge].  Robert Carter, Esq., Agent for the Proprietors of the Northern Neck moved that it might be entered that he on behalf of the said Proprietors claimed the territory in question, and objected to the Board’s consideration of approving said petitions.  The Board then proceeded to hear a petition from John Vanmeter, outlined as follows:

“On reading at this Board the Petition of John Van Metre setting forth that he is desirous to take up a Tract of land in this Colony on the West side of the Great Mountains for the settlement of himself & Eleven children & also that divers of his Relations & friends living in the Government of New York are also desirous to move with their families & Effects to Settle in the same place if a Sufficient Quantity of Land may be assigned them for that purpose & praying that ten thousand acres of land lying in the forks of Sherando River including the places called by the names of Cedar Litch & Stony Lick and running up between the branches of the s**. River to complete that Quantity & twenty thousand acres not already taken up by Robert Carter & Mann Page, Esq”^, or any other,—lying in the fork between the sd. River Sherando and the River Cohongaroola [Potomac] & extending thence to Opeckon & up the South Branch thereof may be assigned for the Habitation of himself his family & friends.  The Governor with the advise of the Council is pleased to give leave to the sd. John Vanmeter to take up the sd. first mentioned tract of ten thousand acres for the Set’lem’t of himself and his family. And that as soon as the Petitioner shall bring on the last mentioned tract twenty families to inhabit on that this Board is satisfied so many are to remove thither Leave be & it is hereby granted him for surveying the last mentioned Tract of twenty thousand acres within the limits above described in so many Several Dividens as the pet””. & his sd. partners shall think fit. And it is further ordered that no person be permitted to enter for or take up any part of the afsd. Lands in the meantime provided the sd. Vanmeter & his family & the twenty other families of his Relations and friends do settle thereon within the space of two years according to his proposal. [31]

Following approval of the petition from John Vanmeter, the Board proceeded with the hearing of another petition from Isaac Vanmeter as follows:

“Isaac Vanmeter of the Province of West Jersey having by his petition to this Board set forth that he & Divers other Germans Families are desirous to settle themselves on the West side of the Great Mountains in this Colony he the Petitioner has been to view the lands in those parts & has discovered a place where further such Settlement may Conveniently be made & not yet taken up or possesed by any of the english Inhabitants & praying that ten thousand acres of Land lying between the Land surveyed for Robert Carter, Esqr. the fork of Sherundo River & the River Opeckon in as many several Tracts or Dividends as shall be necessary ffor the Acomodation and settlement of ten ffamilies (including his own), which he proposes to bring to the sd. Land. The Governor with the advise of the Council is pleas’d to order as it is hereby Ordered that the sd. Isaac Vanmeter for himself and his Partners have leave to take up the sd. Quantity of ten thousand acres of Land within the limits above described & that if he bring the above Number of Families to dwell there within two yeares Patents be granted him & them for the same in such several Tracts & Dividends as they shall think ffit & in the Mean time that the same shall be reserv’d free from the entry of any other p’son.”[32]

Thus began a protracted legal battle between John and Isaac Vanmeter, and later, their assignee, Jost Hite, and the house of Lord Fairfax over the rightful ownership of these tracts established within the Valley of Virginia.  Perhaps fearing a looming battle with Lord Fairfax, the Vanmeter brothers conveyed their interest in 40,000 acres between the Opequon and the Potomac to Jost Hite and his partner, Robert McCoy on 5Aug1731.  Following this transfer, on 25Oct1731 Hite and McCoy were granted 100,000 acres of land on the west side of the Blue Ridge under the same terms and conditions as were exacted from the Vanmeters.  Hite and McCoy moved almost immediately with the subdivision and disposal of this property.  On the formation of Orange County VA in 1734, the Hite-McCoy-Vanmeter tracts were then within that newly formed county.  One of the first patents issued was for 1,020 acres, being part of the original Vanmeter grant, to Jost Hite on 5Aug1734.  On 3Oct1734 thirty-four more patents were filed, aggregating to 19,033 acres:

“Among the various grantees are the names of John Van Metre, 885 acres; Thomas Shepherd, 220 acres ; Richard Morgan, 500 acres ; Richard Paulson, 834 acres, and Benjamin Burden [Borden], 1,142 acres. Some of these pioneers were from the Provinces of East and West Jersey, and were in all probability, more or less intimately associated with the Van Metres and Hite in earlier days and localities. Between 1734 and 1744—the year following the establishment of Frederick Co., out of Orange Co.—82 other grants were made to as many different persons ; these grants probably absorbed the whole of the Van Metre-Hite-McKoy original interests and the passing of title by these grantors to the many grantees occasioned long years of contention and litigation between Hite and McKoy of the one part and Thomas, Lord Fairfax, of the other part, upon the latter’s claim that he had prior ownership of the Northern Neck; the dispute lasted until 1786 and was finally settled by decree of Court in Hite & McKoy’s favor, and after the two principals had laid long in their graves.”[33]

Cavaliers and Pioneers Volume IV, edited by Dennis Hudgins, pages 54 thru 59 contain a listing of 49 separate grants made to various parties, including two grants to John Vanmeter, and twelve grants to Jost Hite.  The original Vanmeter tract was to extend from the Shenandoah River on the south to Opequon Creek on the north, and the Potomac River on the east.  All of these grants were simply described as being in Orange County, on the west side of the Sherando [sic] River.  Difficulty with these grants began almost immediately on several fronts.  First, they were laid out in a fashion such that only the best lands were taken, leaving a scattering of intermediate, unpatented land of low value.  This pattern alarmed the Virginia Land Office and caused some second-guessing as to the prudence of having granted such a large block of land without having placed more restrictions on its division and disposal.  Moreover, Lord Fairfax’s interests were not to stand by quietly while territory which they assumed to have been part of their Northern Neck mega-grant, was carved up and sold by another party.

John Vanmeter settled his large family (wife and eleven children) on his grant near Opequon and pursued a life of farming.  The Vanmeter homestead was surrounded by kinsmen and former neighbors from New Amsterdam.  His children intermarried with families from the neighboring community, who in turn acquired homesteads of their own.  Even his brother, Isaac eventually relocated his family from New Jersey to the Shenandoah Valley.  Fast forward about ten years, we have the Last Will and Testament of John Vanmeter transcribed in its entirety in Appendix A, and summarized as follows:

  1. Margaret Vanmeter (wife) – one-third part of moveable estate, also one room in dwelling house, one-third part of orchard, one riding horse, two milk cows, linen and welling yarn to weave, bed and bedding;
  2. Abraham (son) – 100 acres bought of Francis Prichard on Opequon, half of 475 acres bought of Jost Hite on Opequon and half 400 acres (patent from Jost Hite);
  3. Isaac Vanmeter (son) – 250 acres, provided that Isaac sell land at Monocacy and share proceeds with brother, Jacob;
  4. Henry Vanmeter (son) – 400 acre tract on Opequon (mentions Henry’s wife, Eve);
  5. Jacob Vanmeter (son) – 233 acre from part of plantation whereon John Vanmeter lived;
  6. Sarah Vanmeter (daughter and wife of James Davis) – 220 acre tract;
  7. Mary Vanmeter (daughter and wife of Robert Jones) –
  8. Rebecca Vanmeter (daughter and wife of Solomon Hedges) – 200 acre tract;
  9. Elizabeth Vanmeter (daughter and wife of Thomas Shepherd) – 106 acres on Antietam bottom, at Potomac;
  10. Magdalena Vanmeter (daughter, unmarried) – 20 schillings and 250 acre tract;
  11. Rebecca Vanmeter (deceased daughter and wife of John Leforge) – 200 acre tract; (half of 400 acre tract)
  12. Johannes Vanmeter (eldest son, deceased) – to grandson: Johannes Vanmeter Jr. 238 acres, upper part of 475 acre tract shared with Abraham Vanmeter, purchased of Jost Hite, provided that Johannes delivers equal share of land at Monocacy to his sister, Joanna Vanmeter.
  13. Thomas Shepherd and Jacob Vanmeter, co-Executors.

From the foregoing summary of legacies devised from the estate of John Vanmeter it is clear that he had amassed a substantial amount of property, all situated along the banks of the Opequon, except for a property on the Monocacy in Maryland.  In the description of several of the tracts of land devised by John Vanmeter, it would appear that some abutted one another.  As might be expected, several of the tracts were described as having been granted or purchased from Jost Hite.  Particular attention should be given to the 400 acres devised to John’s son, Henry Vanmeter, as Henry will become a central focus of our investigation into the possible ancestry of Jacob Miller.  The tract devised to Henry Vanmeter was described as beginning at a Spanish Oak on the bank of the Opequon, thence on a line running east into the woods.  Based on this description, and the fact that the Opequon flows generally from southwest to northeast, this tract would have been situated on the southeasterly side of the Opequon.

Following are deed records from Frederick County between 1743 and 1771 involving members of the Vanmter family, presented in chronological order and accompanied by the author’s interpretations:

  1. Book 1, p. 143 – 17Sep1744:  I John Vanmeter of Frederick County, yeoman, send greetings… know that I, John Vanmeter, for the love and affection that I bear unto Isaac Vanmeter, eldest son of the said John Vanmeter, Henry Vanmeter, 2nd son, Absalom Vanmeter [Abraham?], 3rd son, Jacob Vanmeter, 4th and youngest son of the said John Vanmeter, and Maudlena, wife to Robert Ramsey [Pewsey], my youngest daughter, Solomon Hedges Esq., Thomas Shepherd, James Davis and Robert Jones, sons-in-law… I the said John Vanmeter being in perfect memory have given, granted, confirmed [to the above named] my outlying stallions, geldings, mares and colts of whatever kind now running in the woods… equally divided between them… to the said daughter shall be appropriated to her use under the care and conduct my Executors mentioned in my Will and Testament… four young likely mares of age of four or thereabout… to be appropriated to the use of my grandsons, Johannes Vanmeter, son to Johannes Vanmeter, deceased, and John Savage, natural son of my daughter, Rachael, deceased, to be divided equally between them… I give unto myself for my use one Crown Stallion by the name of Buck, one bay gelding by the name of jobber, one young bay gelding of four years old with star in his forehead, one young black horse of four years old, and one stallion [with] one ear cropped at home…  Witnessed by Peter Hart, Charles Polk and Nicholas Johnson, recorded 11Nov1744..  This gift deed was written nine months before John Vanmeter’s LWT.  Clearly, he anticipated his demise and was preparing, in advance, division of most of his equine stock.  It is interesting that he did not include a specific devise to his wife, but did provide to her an assignment of livestock in his Will.  At time of writing this gift deed, it would appear that two of John Vanmeter’s children had predeceased their father: Johannes and Rachael.
  2. Book 2, p. 26 – 8Jun1749: Know all men by these presents that I, William Chapman of Frederick County… do bargain and sell unto Solomon Hedges of the same County… all my beast and goods and chattels hereinafter mentioned to wit: one bay horse, one bay mare and one colt, and one black horse…  one brown cow, one feather bed and furniture, four pewter dishes…  Witnessed: Henry Vanmeter, William Chapman and John Sturman.  Recorded 9Jun1749.  This was the first record found for Henry Vanmeter, husband of Elizabeth Sprigg Pile, after the filing of his father’s Will.
  3. Book 2, p. 190 – 9Oct1750:  Know all men by these presents that I, James Davis of Frederick County, for and in consideration of £33… in hand paid by Abraham and Jacob Vanmeter, farmers… bargain and sell unto said Abraham and Jacob Vanmeter one dark mare, two-year old horse, one brown stallion, one bay mare, one yearling mare with young colt, ect…  Witnessed: Thomas Swearingen, Thomas Shepherd and Thomas Thornbary.  Recorded 14Nov1750.  It would appear that James Davis, husband of Sarah Vanmeter, was selling horses to Sarah’s brothers: Abraham and Jacob.  This livestock may have been part of the gift deed from John Vanmeter to his daughter.  Thomas Shepherd, witness, was the husband of another Vanmeter sister, Elizabeth Vanmeter.  The identity of Thomas van Swearingen is unknown to the author, except to state that he was of Dutch descent, descended from Gerrit VanSwearingen, probably born near Shepherdstown on the Potomac River.
  4. Book 3, p. 3 – 9Nov1752:  [Release]  Between John Jones, son and heir of Robert Jones and Mary [Vanmeter], his wife, devisee of John Vanmeter, deceased, of Halifax County VA for £70 consideration, sold 350 acres situated on Cohango River to Edward Lucas.  The tract being conveyed in this deed appears to have been the same tract devised to Mary Vanmeter and her husband, Robert Jones, by the Will of John Vanmeter.
  5. Book 3, p. 114 – 2Oct1752: [Release] between Jacob Vanmeter and Abraham Vanmeter, Executors of John Vanmeter, deceased, of County of Frederick sell to Simon Linder, heir at law to Simon Linder Sr., deceased… consideration of £100… 300 acres of land… No witnesses.  Recorded 2Oct1753.  This was the first record found in Frederick County in which a member of the Linder family interacted with a Vanmeter.  Simon Linder Jr., the grantee, was the uncle of Jacob and Daniel Linder, and brother of Lawrence Linder, their father.  The tract of land purchased by Simon Linder undoubtedly was property from the estate of John Vanmeter, but does not appear to match any of the tracts devised in his Will.
  6. Book 3, p. 332 – 9Jul1754: [Lease]  Between James Davis of County of Frederick sold to Jacob Vanmeter of said County… consideration of £60… a certain tract or dividend of land containing 220 acres more or less being part of that tract of land of John Vanmeter’s deed which said land being granted to said Davis by Will…  Witnessed: Archibald McNeal, and Richard Mercer.  Recorded 7Aug1754.  James Davis, son-in-law of John Vanmeter, sold to Jacob Vanmeter [aka “Valley Jake”], husband of Lettice Strode, 220 acre tract devised by Will of John Vanmeter.  For what its worth, Jacob Vanmeter [aka Valley Jake] married an aunt of the wife of the author’s 4th great uncle, Henry Bedinger, who married Rachael Strode on 22Dec1784.  Major Henry Bedinger, who married Rachel, daughter of Captain James Strode, was a town trustee, treasurer, and postmaster, and a member of the Virginia Assembly before moving to “Protumna,” near Martinsburg.
  7. Book 3, p. 442 – 31Mar1755 – [Lease]  Between Jacob Vanmeter of County of Frederick to Henry Vanmeter and Abraham Vanmeter of said County… consideration of £50… a certain tract or dividend of land containing 170 acres more or less which said land being granted to said Jacob Vanmeter by patent, being part of land that Henry Vanmeter now lives upon, the upper end of said land…  Lettis Vanmeter gave dower right.  Witnessed: John Keywood and Jonathan Taylor.  Recorded 1Apr1755.  Jacob and Lettice Vanmeter sold 170 tract acquired by patent to Jacob’s older brother, Henry Vanmeter.  Note that it was the tract upon which Henry Vanmeter was living at that time.
  8. Book 4, pp. 249-50 – 5Apr1757:  [Lease and Release]  Between Henry Vanmeter of County of Frederick to Abraham Vanmeter for £22, sold 64 acres, said land being granted to said Henry and Abraham Vanmeter by indenture from Jacob Vanmeter, situated upon east side of Opequon Creek.  Witnessed: none.  Recorded 5Apr1757.  Henry Vanmeter conveyed to his brother, Abraham Vanmeter, his interest in a 64 acre tract that had been granted jointly to both Abraham and Henry.
  9. Book 4, pp. 253-4 – 5Apr1757:  [Lease and Release]  Between Henry Vanmeter of County of Frederick and Abraham Vanmeter of same, for £60, sold 150 acre of land granted to above Henry and Abraham Vanmeter by indenture from Samuel Bryan on 12Nov1747, situated on west side of Opequon Creek.  Witnessed: Samuel Earle and James Wood Jr.  Recorded 5Apr1757.  Henry Vanmeter conveyed his interest in a tract of land containing 150 acres, to his brother, Abraham Vanmeter, said tract purchased jointly by Henry and Abraham Vanmeter from Samuel Bryan.
  10. Book 4, pp257-9 – 5Apr1757: [Lease and Release]  Between Abraham Vanmeter of County of Frederick and Henry Vanmeter of same, for £21, sold 64 acres, granted to said Abraham and Henry Vanmeter by Jacob Vanmeter by indenture, situated on east side of Opequon Creek.  Witnessed: Samuel Earle and James Wood Jr.  Recorded 5Apr1757.  Abraham Vanmeter conveyed his interest in a 64 acre tract to his brother, Henry Vanmeter, which had been purchased jointly by Abraham and Henry Vanmeter from their brother, Jacob Vanmeter.
  11. Bool 4, pp. 261-3 – 5Apr1757: [Lease and Release]  Between Abraham Vanmeter of County of Frederick to Henry Vanmeter of same, for £60, 150 acres, which said tract being granted to said Arbraham and Henry Vanmeter by indenture from Samuel Bryan on 12Nov1747, situated on west side of Opequon Creek.  Witnessed: Samuel Earle.  Recorded 5Apr1757.  When considered in combination with the deed presented in Item No. 9, above, it is suggested that Abraham and Henry Vanmeter had jointly purchased a tract containing 300 acres from Samuel Bryan, and that by these deeds, they were separating their interests by conveying half of the property (150 acres) to each other.  There may be another explanation, but none occurs to the author.  No record was found by the author of the original indenture when Abraham and Henry purchased the tract from Samuel Bryan.  It is noteworthy to the author that this tract appears to have been on the west side of the Opequon, which might place it in closer proximity to Martinsburg.
  12. Book 5, pp. 235-7 – 5Mar1759:  [Lease and Release]  Between Simon Linder, son and heir of Simon Linder, deceased of County of Frederick to Lawrence Linder of same, for £50, 150 acres of land, just below Henry Vanmeter, being part of a tract of land purchased by Simon Linder, deceased of Jacob and Abraham Vanmeter, Executors of John Vanmeter, deceased.  Witnessed: Thomas Wood and Richard Arnold.  Recorded 1May1759.  This conveyance from Simon Linder Jr. to his presumed brother, Lawrence Linder, appears to involve the same 150 acre tract described in Item No. 5, above, wherein Simon Linder Jr. purchased a tract from the estate of John Vanmeter.  It is the author’s belief that this tract was situated on the west side of Opequon Creek in the vicinity of Martinsburg.  It is noteworthy that this tract abutted the land of Henry Vanmeter, probably the same tract acquired by Henry from his brother, Abraham Vanmeter in Item No. 11, above.  Lawrence Linder was the father of Jacob and Daniel Linder.  Previously in this chapter we have opined that Daniel Linder had married a daughter [Rebecca Vanmeter] of Henry Vanmeter, and that Jacob Linder had married a step-daughter [Elizabeth Pile] of Henry Vanmeter.  Now, through this deed record, we have evidence that Henry Vanmeter and Lawrence Linder (father of Daniel and Jacob) probably lived on abutting properties along the west side of Opequon Creek in the near vicinity of Martinsburg.
  13. Book 11, p. 215 – 24Sep1764: Articles of Agreement between James Renfro Sr. of Halifax County and Joseph Renfro Sr. of Bedford County and Henry Vanmeter Sr. and James Davis Sr. of Frederick County… in a certain tract of land lying and being on the waters of Potomack in the County of Hampshire… Item: that James Renfro is to have two parts out of five of the tract taken up by the parties…   parties shall not dispose of any part of the tract without consent of each other.  Witnessed: Jonathan Boone, John Vanmeter, Henry Feinsham, Henry Vanmeter Jr..  Signed: James Renfro, Joseph Renfro, Henry Vanmeter and James Davis.  Recorded 4Nov1766.  In this record we have evidence that Henry Vanmeter, in association with his brother-in-law, James Davis, was beginning to acquire land outside the Opequon settlement.  This tract is described as having been situated on the waters of the Potomac within Hampshire County.  It should be noted that Hampshire County was created in 1754 from the northwestern part of Frederick County, and that its northeastern boundary was formed by the Potomac River.  So this tract of land could have been 12 to 30 miles distance overland from Martinsburg.

NOTE:  Berkeley County was created from the northeastern (roughly one-third) of Frederick County in 1772.  On its formation, Berkeley County contained most of the area that had been the Vanmeter-Hite Grant, and consequently contained most of the territory held by descendants of John Vanmeter during this time period.  Following is a continuation of deed records for Vanmeters in Berkeley County.

  1. Book 1, Page 222 – 23 April 1772; William McNer and Mary (wife) of Frederick County, 127 acres for 40 pounds to John Vanmeter Sr. on the drains of Opequon Run. Adjacent to lands of Jacob Vanmeter, William Williams, Peter Bellor and Jacob Virtres.  The identity of this John Vanmeter Sr. is not known with certainty to the author.  This tract appears to have been in close proximity to land owned by Jacob Vanmeter, youngest son of John Vanmeter and Margaret Mollenaar.  This deed identified another neighbor as Jacob Virtres, probably same person listed elsewhere as Jacob Vestres, and probably the father of John Vertrees, 3rd husband of Elizabeth Vanmeter, daughter of Jacob Vanmeter and Lettice Strode.
  2. Book 1, Page 362 – 20 August 1772; Jacob Vanmeter and Catharine (wife) of Bedford County Pennsylvania, 193 acres for 160 pounds to William Hancher of Berkeley County, on Mill Creek a branch of Opequon Run. Adjacent to lands of James Crabtree, Isaac Eaton, Robert Cunningham.  This Jacob Vanmeter may have been a son of Isaac Vanmeter, the brother of John Vanmeter, and one of the original grantees in the Valley of Virginia.  After selling their grants (40,000 acres) to Joist Hite, Isaac Vanmeter returned to New Jersey (around 1736).  A few years later (around 1740) he is believed to have moved his entire family to the Valley of Virginia.  From this deed record, it would appear that Jacob Vanmeter (son of Isaac) had moved his family to the north side of the Potomac into Bedford County PA.  This tract was situated about 12 miles upstream from Martinsburg, near the small community of Middleway.
  3. Book 2, Page 239 – 10 September 1773; John Vanmeter Sr., 2 acres for 4 pounds to Jacob Vandevson. Adjacent to lands of William Morgan. Said Jacob Vandevson formerly Jacob Vanmeter.  This John Vanmeter Sr. is believed to have been the same person named in Item No. 14, above.  This tract was likely situated in the vicinity of Martinsburg.
  4. Book 2, Page 266 – 18 October 1773; Jacob Vanmetre and Lettice (wife) and son and heir Abraham Vanmetre and Elizabeth (wife) of the Muddy Creek settlement on the Ohio River in Pennsylvania, 232 acres for 500 pounds to Van Swearingen of Berkeley County. Land on Vanmetres Marsh of the Potomac part of a 1786 acre grant to John Vanmetre in 1734 and is part of a 40,000 acre purchase by Jacob Hite from John and Isaac Vanmetre in 1730. Land formerly adjacent to Isaac Vanmetre now John Carson.  Clearly, this Jacob Vanmeter was the youngest son of John Vanmeter and Margaret Mollenaar, by virtue of the reference to his wife, Lettice [Strode].  This deed identified Abraham Vanmeter as Jacob Vanmeter’s heir at law, suggesting that he was the eldest son.  Abraham is believed to have married Elizabeth Kline [aka Cline].  This record coincides with other sources which state that Jacob Vanmeter and several other members of his family had begun to explore moving northwesterly into the disputed territory of southwestern Pennsylvania.  Apparently, Jacob and Lettice and his son were already located on Muddy Creek, and were beginning to dispose of their land in Berkeley County.  This tract was apparently located near the Potomac River, probably in the vicinity of Shepherdstown, given that the purchaser was Van VanSwearingen.  The so-called Muddy Creek settlement was situated on the west side of the Monongahela River, near present day Carmichaels PA.
  5. Book 2, Page 270 – 18 October 1773; Jacob Vanmetre and Lettice (wife) of the Muddy Creek settlement on the Ohio River in Pennsylvania, 42 acres for 120 pounds to Van Swearington, on Vanmetre Branch of the Potomac as surveyed by Richard Riggs and adjacent to land described in Deed Book 2, Page 266.  Ditto.
  6. Book 2, Page 278 – 18 October 1773; Jacob Vanmetre and Lettice (wife) of the Muddy Creek settlement on the Ohio River in Pennsylvania, 180 acres for 50 pounds to Henry and Abraham Vanmetre of Berkeley County. Part of a larger tract granted to John Vanmetre in 1734 and willed to said Jacob in 1745.  This appears to have been a sale of part of the land Jacob Vanmeter was devised from his father’s estate.  It is important to note that Henry and Abraham Vanmeter [elder brothers of Jacob Vanmeter] were still described as living in Berkeley County.
  7. Grant Book Q, Page 74 – Henry Vanmeter of Berkeley Co. obtained 327 acres, 20 September 1766 [probably 1776] on Tuscororah Branch of Opeccon in said Co. Resurveyed by Richard Rigg, shows 360 acres 3 Rods (16 acre surplus & 17 acre, 3 Rod waste).  Whole to Vanmeter.  Adjacent Capt. James Wales, Elizabeth Morgan, Henry Vanmeter, George Tingle, Road from Martinsburg to James Forman’s, George Perkle.  18 December 1776  Northern Neck Virginia Land Grants – Virginia State Library; Richmond, Virginia.  The author believes that the date of this conveyance should have been 20Sep1776, not 1766.  The reason for this belief is that Berkeley County wasn’t created until 1772, and this deed was recorded on 18Dec1776.  Note that this tract abutted land already in possession of Henry Vanmeter.  Further note that it was described as abutting the road from Martinsburg and situated on Tuscarora Creek (more to follow).
  8. Book 4, Page 83 – 7 April 1777; Henry Vanmeter Sr. and Hannah (wife), 284 acres for 100 pounds to Isaac Vanmeter being part of two tracts of land. One conveyed to Henry and Abraham Vanmeter by Samuel Bryan in 1753 and Abraham conveyed his share to Henry. The other tract patented by said Henry in 1776. Land is on road from Opequon Creek to Vanmeters Mill and adjacent to John Vanmeter, son of Henry, and to Captain George Waler.  This deed conveyed 284 acres from Henry and Hannah [Pyle?] Vanmeter to Isaac Vanmeter [son of Henry Vanmeter], being two tracts: one consisting of 150 acres conveyed from Samuel Bryan to Abraham and Henry Vanmeter (Item No. 11, above).  There is one element of this deed that is very confusing.  This deed was dated 7Apr1777, and was entered in Berkeley County.  The confusion has to do with the fact that Hannah (Pile?) Vanmeter was a co-grantee, yet Samuel Smythe would have us believe that Henry is reported to have married Elizabeth [Sprigg] Pile on 8Apr1777 in Ohio County VA.  Is it possible that Henry was disposing of this land, after the decease of Hannah, and in anticipation of his pending marriage the following day to Elizabeth?
  9. Book 4, Page 87 – 7 April 1777; Henry Vanmeter Sr. and Hannah (wife), 170 acres for 500 pounds to John Vanmeter, part of two tracts of land described in Deed Book 4, Page 83. Adjacent to Abraham Vanmeter, Isaac Vanmeter and Captain George Waler.  Ditto.  The identity of this John Vanmeter is unknown to the author.  Samuel Smythe claims that Henry Vanmeter sold a tract of land to his son, John Vanmeter, described as follows:

“John Van Metre was granted land by his father, ante 1779, in Berkeley Co., Va., adjoining other lands owned by his brother Isaac and known as Flagg’s Mill; the latter was erected at the mouth of the Tuscarara as it empties into the Potomac [Opequon?], two miles from Martinsburg, W. Va.”[34]

From the foregoing excerpt, it would appear that the John Vanmeter in this deed was the son of Henry Vanmeter.

  1. Book 4, Page 91 – 10 April 1777; Isaac Vanmeter, 284 acres for 100 pounds to Henry Vanmeter, part of two tracts of land conveyed by Samuel Bryan to Abraham Vanmeter in 1753.  It appears that Isaac Vanmeter reconveyed to his father, Henry Vanmeter Sr., the same 284 acre tract, which three days earlier, Henry had conveyed to his son.  It seems probable that these conveyances were effected as a means of expunging any interest in these tracts that inured to Henry’s late wife, Hannah Vanmeter.  Thusly, following Henry’s marriage to Elizabeth Sprigg Pile on 8Apr1777, Elizabeth would be entitled to a dower interest in this tract acquired after their marriage.  Such machinations may have been necessary, if Hannah died intestate.  It also seems probable that this 286 acres was the homestead of Henry Vanmeter’s family.
  2. Book 5, Page 323 – 18 August 1779; Henry Vanmeter and Elizabeth (wife), 49 ½ acres for 69.10.06 pounds to Andrew Silling, being Lot #8.
  3. Book 5, Page 373 – 2 September 1779; Henry Vanmeter and Elizabeth (wife), three lots to John Millan for 453.11.03 pounds. Lot #1 of 87 ½ acres, Lot #2 of 24 acres, and Lot #3 of 87 ½ acres. Adjacent to Isaac Vanmeter and George Walls.
  4. Book 5, Page 375 – 2 September 1779; Henry Vanmeter and Elizabeth (wife), four Lots for 193.02.06 pounds to Henry Cockburn. Part of 212 acres granted to said Henry Vanmeter in 1764. Lots numbered 4,5,6,7 being 42 acres.
    • [Northern Neck Grants]  Book M, p. 258 – 2Mar1764:  Henry Vanmeter of Frederick County, 212 acres on Tuscarora in said County, surveyed by Thomas Rutherford, adjacent Moridcai Morgan, Morgan Morgan, George William Fairfax Esq., Richard Morgan and John Ellis.
  5. Book 5, Page 385 – 20 September 1779; Jacob Linder and Grace (wife), 10 acres for 1000 pounds to Abraham Vanmeter Jr.  This Jacob Linder is believed to have been a son of Simon Linder Jr.  He is reputed to have married a woman named Grace [mnu], and to have died near Greensburg, Westmoreland County PA, where his estate was administered on 14Aug1789 [Will Book 1, p. 235].
  6. Book 5, Page 416 – 16 March 1780; Abraham Vanmeter, two tracts of 50 and 150 acres for 1000 pounds to William Jarrell (Garrell) on Opequon Creek and the 50 acres granted to Henry and Abraham Vanmeter.  Abraham Vanmeter Jr. was likely the son of Abraham Vanmeter, brother of Henry Vanmeter.
  7. Book 5, Page 448 – 8 December 1779; Henry Vanmeter, 284 acres for 1000 pounds to Isaac Vanmeter. Isaac Vanmeter to Henry Vanmeter, part of two tracts, one by Samuel Bryan to Henry and Abraham Vanmeter in 1753 and to said Henry by Abraham. The other to Henry Vanmeter by Lord Fairfax. Land is on the road from Opequon Creek to Vanmeter Mill. Adjacent to John Vanmeter son of Henry.
  8. Book 5, Page 450 – 7 January 1780; Henry Vanmeter and Elizabeth (wife), to Isaac Taylor, Lot #3, 11 ½ acres for 40 pounds.
  9. Book 5, Page 457 – 16 May 1780; Isaac Vanmeter and Esther (wife), 284 acres for 1400 pounds to John Shively [Snavely?], part of a larger tract described in Deed Book 5, Page 448.  This would appear to have been the same 284 acre tract sold by Henry Vanmeter to his son, Isaac Vanmeter, for ₤1000 on 8Dec1779 (Item No. 29, above).  For what its worth, the buyer, John Shively, may have been a kinsman of the Snavely family discussed later in this section in connection with a person the author has dubbed “Jacob Miller of Spring Mill”.
  10. Book 5, Page 467 – 12 April 1780; Abraham Vanmeter, 150 acres for 10 shillings to Isaac Vanmeter son of Abraham. Land granted to said Abraham in 1754.
  11. Book 5, Page 468 – 12 April 1780; Abraham Vanmeter, 150 acres for 10 shillings to Jacob Vanmeter son of Abraham. Land granted to said Abraham in 1754. Adjacent to Samuel Roberts.
  12. Book 5, Page 469 – 12 April 1780; Abraham Vanmeter, 150 acres for 10 shillings to Abraham Vanmeter son of Abraham. Land granted to said Abraham in 1754. Adjacent to John Wright, William Burns, and John Strodes [probably father of Lettice Strode, wife of Jacob Vanmeter [Valley Jake]].
  13. Book 5, Page 470 – 16 May 1780; Abraham Vanmeter Sr., 100 acres for 1000 pounds to William Garrall. Two miles above Tuscaraca Branch on Opequon Creek and was granted in 1735 to Francis Pencher.
  14. Book 5, Page 627 – 17 April 1781; Simon Linder and Mary (wife), 200 acres for 27,000 pounds to Abraham Vanmeter Jr. On Opequon Creek and adjacent to Laurence Linder. Land granted to John Vanmeter and conveyed to said Linder by Abraham and Jacob Vanmeter as executors of the estate of said John.  This is believed to have been a record of Simon Linder Jr., brother of Lawrence Linder, who arrived at Philadelphia with his parents in 1733.  The 200 acre tract involved is believed to have been the tract which Simon Linder Jr. purchased from the estate of John Vanmeter.  This tract abutted the land of Lawrence Linder.

Let it be said that there were several more Vanmeter deed records in Frederick and Berkeley County after 1763, which the author has not included in the foregoing list of deeds, reason being that they involved Vanmeters other than Henry Vanmeter or his immediate family, and were not deemed relevant to this investigation into the ancestry of Jacob Miller. 

We will now direct our attention to the Linder family of Frederick/Berkeley County Virginia.  The very first record we will present is a militia payroll record which shows that Henry Vanmeter and Lawrence Linder performed service together during the French and Indian War:

“Lawrence (1725 – ca 1793) is noted to have served in the French Indian Wars “The ‘valuable defensive service of Lawrence Linder was recognized by the Virginia General Assembly, meeting at Williamsburg on 24 Sept. 1758. They appropriated a large sum to pay the Home Guards, to be equal to the [colonial] Line soldiers. Listed as a private “Lawrence Lender [sic]” (Dean Linder in The Linders of the Revolution. Per Boogher in his Gleanings of Virginia History “To John Lamon, James Legat, John Dickson, Holoway Perry, Joseph Pierce, Henry Vanmeter, Lawrence Lender, Edward Mergee, Joseph Vanmeter, Jacob Mergee, Remembrance Williams, Joseph Polsen, William Field, Nicholas M’Intire, Edward Lucas, Robert Buchus, Benjamin Sweet, John Taylor and Arthur Turner 7s each = pounds 6-13-00″ Again we find the neighborly connection of the Linders and the Van Meters — now if only for a church or marriage record, a will… Lawrence last appeared on the tax rolls in Nelson Co., KY in 1791 and I suspect that is when and where he was buried.”

Aside from the close living proximity between the Henry Vanmeter and Lawrence Linder families which will be demonstrated from the myriad of land records, it would appear that Henry and Lawrence were also comrades in arms, having served together in the Militia.

We will now present all of the deed records found in Frederick County involving any and all members of the Linder family:

  1. Book 2, pp. 88-9 – 16-17Feb1749:  Between Morgan Bryan of Anson County NC to Simon Linder of Frederick County VA, for £28, 100 acres on the west side of Opequon Creek.  Witnessed: Andrew Campbell, William Green and Thomas Wood.  Recorded 16Feb1749.  This was the first record found for Simon Linder Sr. in Virginia.  Note that this tract was situated on the west side of Opequon, probably in close proximity to the tract acquired from the estate of John Vanmeter in Item No. 2, below.
  2. Book 3, p. 114 – 2Oct1752: [Release] between Jacob Vanmeter and Abraham Vanmeter, Executors of John Vanmeter, deceased, of County of Frederick sell to Simon Linder, heir at law to Simon Linder Sr., deceased… consideration of £100… 300 acres of land… No witnesses.  Recorded 2Oct1753.  Repeated from Vanmeter deed list, above.  From this record, it might be surmised that Simon Linder Sr. had died sometime before 2Oct1752.
  3. Book 3, pp. 344-5 – 3Sep1754:  [Lease and Release]  Between Nicholas Mercer of Frederick County to Robert Lemon of same…  Witnessed: Thomas Wood, John Baker and Simon Linder.  This probably was a record of Simon Linder Jr., as it would appear that his father was deceased at the time that he purchased the tract conveyed in Item No. 2, above..
  4. Book 5, pp. 235-7 – 5Mar1759:  [Lease and Release]  Between Simon Linder [Jr.] son and heir at law of Simon Linder [Sr.], deceased, and Mary, his wife, of Frederick County sold for £50 150 acres to Lawrence Linder, situated just below Henry Vanmeter, part of a tract purchased by Simon Linder from the estate of John Vanmeter.  Repeat of Vanmeter deed Item No. 12, above.  It would appear that Simon Linder Sr. had died, and that his eldest son and heir at law, Simon Linder Jr. was disposing of parts of his estate, including the sale of this moiety from the 300 acre tract purchased by Simon Linder out of the estate of John Vanmeter.  This tract appears to have abutted land owned by Henry Vanmeter.  The purchaser, Lawrence Linder, was a brother of Simon Linder Jr., and father of Jacob and Daniel Linder.
  5. Book 5, pp. 241-3 – 5Mar1759:  [Lease and Release]  Between Simon Linder [Jr.] son and heir at law of Simon Linder [Sr.], deceased, and Mary, his wife, of Frederick County sold for £40 100 acres to George Linder, situated on west side of Opequon Creek, part of a larger tract (400 acres [450?]) granted to Morgan Bryan by patent dated 12Nov—-, said Morgan conveyed 100 acres to Simon Linder…  Witnessed: Thomas Wood, Lawrence Linder and Mary Wood.  Recorded 1May1759.  Another Linder brother, George Linder, purchased the 100 acre tract acquired by his father from Morgan Bryan, deed witnessed by Lawrence Linder, father of Jacob and Daniel Linder.  This 100 acre moiety is believed to have been part of the tract granted to Morgan Bryan [Quaker] on 12Nov1735 (see Appendix B), abstracted as follows:
  6. Morgan Bryan – 450 acres, west side of Opequon, lowermost ford of Tuscarora.  From this description, the tract acquired by Simon Linder Sr. would appear to have been on the lower part of Tuscarora Creek, near its confluence with the Opequon.
  1. Book 14, p. 20 – 4Nov1770:  Know all men by these presents that I, Jerome Williams of Frederick County for diverse considerations and good causes – that whereas John Smith and Simon Linder of the same County did become my special bail…  Witnessed: none. Recorded 9Nov1770.  Undoubtedly a record of Simon Linder Jr., going security on a bail bond with John Smith. 
  2. Book 14, pp. 256-9 – 6-7Mar1771:  [Lease and Release]  Between Michael Frits of Frederick County to John Linder of same, for £154 sells 150 acres situated on the drains of Opequon, corner of Moses Keywood, in line of Capt. Richard Pearis, granted to Jacob Vestres [Vertrees?] by deed from Lord Thomas Fairfax, and by said Vestres conveyed to said Michael Frits.  Witnessed: Henry Bauen and Thomas Wood.  Recorded 7Mar1771.  Per the following deed record, John Linder was a son of George Linder, deceased brother of Lawrence and Simon Linder Jr.  Jacob Vestres may have been a kinsperson of John Vertrees, husband of Elizabeth Vanmeter, daughter of Jacob Vanmeter and Lettice Strode.
  3. Book 14, pp. 263-5 – 6-7Mar1771: [Lease and Release]  Between John Linder, son and heir at law of George Linder, deceased, of Frederick County to Michael Frits of same, for £225, 100 acres of land situated on west side of Opequon Creek, part of a larger tract (400 acres) granted by patent to Morgan Bryan 7Nov1735.  This record established the identity of John Linder as a son of George Linder, and 1st cousin of Jacob and Daniel Linder.  The tract being sold to Michael Frits appears to have been the same tract purchased by Simon Linder Sr. from Morgan Bryan on 16Feb1749, Item No. 1, above.  This tract was sold from the estate of Simon Linder Sr. to his son, George Linder, which apparently devolved by law to George’s son (probably eldest son) John Linder.

Now for the Linder deeds from Berkeley County:

  1. Deed Book 2, p. 5 – 23Dec1772:  Jerom Williams to John Smith and Simon Linder, various livestock as security, bonded for Williams.  Witness: Samuel Oldham and James Graham.  Probably Simon Linder Jr.
  2. Deed Book 1, p. 454 – 10Jan1773:  [Lease and Release] Simon Linder [Jr.] and wife, Mary [Vanmeter] Linder 10 acres for £5 to Benjamin Hock, land granted to John Vanmeter, deceased, and by his executors, Jacob and Abraham Vanmeter conveyed to said Linder.  Land adj. to John Newland.  This probably was part of the 300 acre tract purchased by Simon Linder Jr. conveyed in Item No. 2, above.  John Newland is believed to have been a brother-in-law of Simon Linder Jr. and Lawrence Linder, his having married their sister, Elizabeth Linder.
  3. Deed Book 1, p. 464 – 16Mar1773:  [Lease and Release] Simon Linder and wife, Mary [Vanmeter] Linder 100 acres for £45 to John Newland on the east bank of Opequon, adj. said Linder.  Witness: Jacob Morgan, Samuel Thompson.  Simon Linder Jr. sold this tract to his brother-in-law, John Newland. 
  4. Bk P p 270 [1775?] Michael Fritz of Berkeley Co., assignee of Jno Linder, 147 acres on Opeccon in said county. surveyor Richard Rigg. adjoining George Linder, heirs of EDWARD STRODE, EDWARD WILSON, JAMES BROWN, George Parkle, Vanmeter.  Edward Strode is believed to have been the father of Rachael Strode, wife of Maj. Henry Bedinger.  Edward Wilson (son of John Wilson) and James Brown were Quakers, who lived nearby and had interactions with a Henry Miller, presented later in this chapter.
  5. Deed Book 3, p. 558 – 20May1776:  [Lease and Release]  John Covenhaven and wife, Elizabeth Covenhaven, 107 acres for £100 to William Covenhaven, part of a greated tract as noted in the deed [page 555, above].  Witness: Robert Cockburn, Jacob Linder and Jacob Bellar [Beller].  This could have been a record of Jacob Linder, son of Lawrence Linder, whom the author believes to have married Elizabeth Pile.  Although, there were two other Jacob Linders living in this area at this time, son of George Linder, and son of Simon Linder Jr..
  6. Deed Book 4, p. 237 – 12Aug1777:  John Newland and wife, Elizabeth Newland 15 acres for £30 to Nicholas Coffenberry part of a grant to Simon Linder and wife, Mary [Vanmeter] Linder and they to the said Newland.  Land on the Opequon Creek, adj. Leonard Rush and George Weekles [Perkles?].  Witness: Robert Cockburn, William Brown and George Weigel. (Germans)  Ditto.
  7. Deed Book 4, p. 241 – 12Aug1777:  [Lease and Release] John Newland and wife, Elizabeth Newland 15 acres for £30 to George Weigel, part of a grant to Simon Linder and wife, Mary [Vanmeter] Linder, and they to the said Newland.  Land adj. to Leonard Rucker [Rush?], Nicholas Coffenberry, and Bedinger.  Witness: Robert Cockburn, William Brown and Nicholas Coffenberrar [sic].
  8. Will Book 1, p. 117 – 6Nov1777:  Estate Sale for James Graham:  appraisal by John Vanmeter, Robert Cockburn and Daniel Davis:  Buyers include: Daniel Linder, Lawrence Linder, Jacob Vanmeter (son of Abraham), etal…  This Daniel Linder is believed to have been the son of Lawrence Linder, and brother of Jacob Linder, and husband of Rebecca Vanmeter, daughter of Henry Vanmeter.
  9. Deed Book 5, p. 31 – 13Jun1778:  Simon Linder and wife, Mary [Vanmeter] Linder 200 acres for £100 to Lawrence Linder on Opequon Creek sold by Jacob and Abraham Vanmeter, executors of John Vanmeter to said Simon.  Witness: Robert Cockburn, Daniel Kane and Edward Beeson.  Ditto.
  10. Deed Book 5, p. 319 – 16Aug1779:  Benjamin Hock and wife, Mary Hock 10 acres for £495 to Jacob Linder, granted to said Hock by Simon Linder and Mary Linder, adj. John Newland.  This Jacob Linder probably was the son of Simon Linder Jr., and same person involved in the conveyance in Item No. 19, below.
  11. Deed Book 5, Page 385 – 20 September 1779; Jacob Linder and Grace (wife), 10 acres for 1000 pounds to Abraham Vanmeter Jr.  Ditto.
  12. Deed Book 5, p. 362 – 21Sep1779:  George Hollenback and wife, Hannah Hollenback to Ephriam Gaither Lot No. 170 of 75 square poles in Martinsburg for £2000.  Witness: Robert Cockburn, John Shelding and Jacob Linder.  The identity of this Jacob Linder is uncertain, as there were two persons of that name living in Berkeley County at this time.
  13. Deed Book 5, p. 385 – 20Sep1779:  [Lease and Release] Jacob Linder and wife, Grace Linder 10 acres for £2000 to Abraham Vanmeter Jr., conveyed to Benjamin Hook and Margaret Hook by Simon Linder and wife, Mary Linder.  Witness Robert Cockburn, Sarah Cockburn and Sarah Lydia Crawford.  Ditto.
  14. Deed Book 5, p. 389 – 15Nov1779:  [Lease and Release] Thomas Swearingen 100 acres for £130 to Jeremiah Prather, part of 342 acres granted to John Hough.  Witness: Jonathan Seaman, James Hamilton and Jacob Linder.  Ditto.
  15. Deed Book 5, p. 448 – 8Dec1779:  Henry Vanmeter 284 acres for £1000 Pennsylvania currency to Isaac Vanmeter, Isaac Vanmeter to Henry Vanmeter, part of two tracts, one by Samuel Bryan to Henry and Abraham Vanmeter in 1753 and to said Henry by Abraham.  The other to Henry by Lord Fairfax and the land is on the road from Opequon Creek to Vanmeter Mill, adj. John Vanmeter, son of Henry.  Witness: Robert Cockburn, Nathaniel Linder and Emma Margaret James.  Nathaniel Linder is believed to have been the eldest son of George Linder.
  16. Will Book 1, p. 188 – 20Dec1779:  Will of Jacob Morgan:  probated 21Mar1780.  Names wife, Jane Morgan, daughters: Polly Morgan, sons: Richard Morgan and Jacob Morgan, neighbor: George Tabler.  Executors: wife, Jane, son Richard, and Leonard Rush.  Witness:  Leonard Rush, Jacob Linder, William Morgan and Charles Scheibler.  (Germans)  Ditto.
  17. Deed Book 5, p. 409 – 19Jan1780:  Simon Linder and wife, Mary [Vanmeter] Linder 93 acres for £80 to Michael Bedinger [author’s 4th great grandfather] on the east side of Opequon Creek, adj. to Leonard Rush.  Witness: Robert C. Willis, Smith Slaughter, Philip Coons and Robert Cockburn.  Michael Bedinger is believed to have been the author’s 4th great grandfather, Maj. George Michael Bedinger.
  18. Will Book 1, p. 192 – 7Mar1780:  Estate appraisal of Jacob Morgan:  by Abram Morelot [aka Morlatt], Jacob Linder and Leonard Rush.  The identity of this Jacob Linder is uncertain for the reasons already presented.  It is of interest to note that an Abraham Morlatt was one of the appraisers of the estate of Dr. Richard Pile.  Also, that Abraham Morlatt Jr. is believed to have married Margaret Ann Linder, daughter of George Linder and Anna Newland.  So, it would appear that George Linder married his 1st cousin, Anna Newland, daughter of John Newland and Elizabeth Linder.
  19. Will Book 1, p. 194 – 20Jun1780:  Estate sale of Jacob Morgan:  Buyers included: Michael Fritz, Dorley Wolgamont [Volgamot], Jacob Linder, Michael Bedinger, Isaac Vanmeter, etal…
  20. Deed Book 5, p. 450 – 7Jan1780: Henry Vanmeter and wife, Elizabeth [Sprigg-Pile] Vanmeter to Isaac Taylor a 11.5 acre Lot No. 3 for £40.  Witness Samuel Gill, Isaac Vanmeter and Jacob Linder.  Again, the identity of this Jacob Linder is uncertain, may have been the husband of Grace [mnu] and son of Simon Jr.
  21. Deed Book 5, p. 460 – 15May1780:  [Lease and Release]  John Newland and wife, Elizabeth [Linder] Newland 60 acres for £100 to Leonard Rush land granted to Simon Linder and he to said Newland, adj. Henry Bedinger on Opequon Creek.  Witness: John Lemen and John Wright.  This Simon Linder very likely was Simon Jr., brother-in-law of John Newland.
  22. Deed Book 5, p. 507 – 18Jun1780:  [Lease and Release] Laurence Linder and wife, Rebecca [Vanmeter] Linder 128 acres for £1000 to Jacob Linder Jr., land to said Laurence by Simon Linder and wife, Mary Linder.  Witness: Robert Cockburn, Enoch Wales and Ralph Potter.  The identiy of this Jacob Linder Jr. may have been the son of Lawrence Linder, and the presumed husband of Elizbeth Pile.
  23. Deed Book 5, Page 627 – 17 April 1781; Simon Linder and Mary (wife), 200 acres for £27,000 to Abraham Vanmeter Jr. On Opequon Creek and adjacent to Laurence Linder. Land granted to John Vanmeter and conveyed to said Linder by Abraham and Jacob Vanmeter as executors of the estate of said John.  Ditto.
  24. Deed Book 5, p. 674 – 18Jun1781:  Andrew Gibson and wife, Sarah Gibson 250 acres for £20,000 Maryland Currency to Alexander McFadin of Baltimore MD on Middle Creek of Opequon, adj. George Jenkins, Duncan Campbell and Anthony Leis.  The land was granted to Thomas, Samuel and Joseph Brown in 1752 and Thomas and Samuel to said Joseph, he to Thomas Ellis, he to Dougall Campbell, he to James Campbell, and he to said Gibson.  Witness: Samuel Oldham, Jacob Linder and James Morrison.  The identity of this Jacob Linder is uncertain.  None of the persons named in this record are familiar to the author.
  25. Will Book 1, p. 243 – 19Mar1782: Estate appraisal of John Carlyle by Jacob Linder, John Miers and Allon Miller.  Ditto.  It is the author’s belief that Jacob Linder, son of Lawrence Linder, may already have relocated to Jefferson County Kentucky by this date, so this may have been the son of George Linder and Anna Newland, or of Simon Linder Jr.
  26. Deed Book 5, p. 742 – 15Jul1782:  [Lease and Release] Jacob Linder Sr. and wife, Grace Linder, 82 acres for £250 to William Green, adj. William Maxwell, John Neely and Richard Pearis, granted to Jacob Morgan.  Clearly, the son of Simon Linder Jr.
  27. Will Book 1, p. 299 – 20Jan1783:  Estate Audit and Sale for James Graham:  Executors: William Gorrell and Abraham Vanmeter Sr.:  Buyers included: Jacob Vanmeter (son of Abraham), Henry Vanmeter, Isaac Vanmeter, Daniel Linder, Lawrence Linder, Simon Linder [Jr.?]. William Gorrell, Abraham Vanmeter, Jacob Bellar, etal…  By the date of this record it is a virtual certainty that both Jacob Linder, and his brother, Daniel Linder, were both residing in Jefferson County Kentucky.

The following quotation from a letter written by the author’s 4th great uncle, Major Henry Bedinger II to his brother, Major George Michael Bedinger [author’s 4th great grandfather] (member of U.S. House of Representatives from Kentucky) gives a brief recollection of several Linders, who lived near the Bedinger family at Shepherdstown, and an added suggestion that Daniel Linder, son of Lawrence Linder and brother of Jacob Linder, may actually have been part of Jacob Vanmeter’s flotilla down the Ohio River in 1779:

“In 1833 Henry Bedinger thus wrote to his brother, G. M. Bedinger: “There were then (at the time of the Revolution), along Opequon four Linders, active young men, to wit, Daniel and Jacob, sons of Lawrence Linder; Jacob, son of Simon Linder, and Than, or Nathaniel, whose father was dead [George Linder]. Possibly one of those was an officer in your company.”  Some claim that Dandridge provides evidence that Daniel Linder and his family accompanied the well documented journey (1779) of Jacob Van Meter with family and friends (late of Green Co., PA) on twenty-seven flatboats down the Ohio River to Bear Grass (present Louisville).”

If the foregoing account of Daniel Linder having been among the Jacob Vanmeter migration to Kentucky is correct, then it would explain the manner by which Daniel Linder could have been present in Jefferson County in 1782-3 to file patents on behalf of his brother, Jacob Linder.  Also, Henry Bedinger’s suggestion that one of these Linders may have been an officer in Major George Michael Bedinger’s Company, may provide an alternative explanation for the authority for the Treasury Warrant in the possession of Jacob Linder.  It may well have been that Jacob Linder qualified for that bounty warrant on his own merit, although the author thinks that unlikely.

We have now presented dozens of records for Henry Vanmeter and various members of the Vanmeter and Linder families, which clearly show that Lawrence Linder, father of Jacob and Daniel Linder, lived for many years along Tuscarora Creek in close proximity to the Henry Vanmeter family.  Such close and protracted living proximity of those two families would have provided ample opportunity and incentive for intermarriages to occur between Vanmeters and Linders.  Hazel Craft Eilers asserts that Lawrence Linder had married a Rebecca Vanmeter, but failed to provide the identity of Rebecca Vanmeter.  At least one other researcher identifies Rebecca Vanmeter as a daughter of Henry Vanmeter and Eva [Pile?].  Given the close and contemporaneous living proximity of Henry Vanmeter’s family, juxtaposed with the Simon Linder family along the waters of Opequon Creek, the author is inclined to accept this identification of Lawrence Linder’s wife, if, in fact, she was a Vanmeter.

However, before proceeding with our search for the possible ancestry of Jacob Miller, the author needs to present what he considers to be a major discrepancy in the biography of Henry Vanmeter, as provided by Samuel Smythe, excerpted as follows:

“While still remaining a resident of Virginia, Henry kept migrating westward, until he reached what is now southwestern Pennsylvania, the border land then in controversy between the Colony of Virginia and the Province of Pennsylvania. He took up his residence in this territory which later became Bedford, and afterward Washington, then Green counties of Pennsylvania. Here he took up land on Muddy Creek adjacent to his brother, Jacob Van Metre, and his name appears on the assessment roll of Springhill Township in 1772-1773, rated as a taxable. In the latter year some sort of disturbance of the peace occurred and Henry, Jacob and Abraham Van Metre were indicted by the “Grand Inquest of Quarter Sessions,” July 6, 1773, on two bills, for riot. These bills were found and presented to the Court of Yohogania Co., Va., which exercised jurisdiction over this part of Pennsylvania (see History of Washington Co., Pa., p. 152, Crumrine). On 23 February, 1775, Henry Van Metre is recommended, among others, as a proper person to be added to the Commission of the Peace for the County of West Augusta (Virginia jurisdiction), and on the i8th of April, 1776, Henry Van Metre and Ebenezer Zane were appointed viewers, to view old road from Conrad Walter’s to mouth of Wheeling; and again, on 20th August, 1776, Henry Van Metre was among those persons recommended to be added to the Commission of the Peace for Augusta Co., Va. (see Carnegie Museum Annals, Vol. I., pp. 533, 564, 565; 1902). , t. • J Henry Van Metre s name appears among those who received warrants for lands for military services ; 400 acres were granted in Washington Co., Pa.,2Sth May, 1785, with 250 additional acres in the year 1786. There is also found in the entries on the old mill books in possession of the Shepherd family at Shepherdstown, Va., a brief memorandum referring to ” Henry Van Metre, Sr., £12. 3. 0 1785-“”

It is the author’s belief that Smythe has conflated the history of two different Henry Vanmeter’s.  If we were to believe Smythe’s rendition of the later life of Henry Vanmeter, he would have upped stakes and followed his younger brother, Jacob Vanmeter, and other family members sometime between 1768 and 1772 to southwestern Pennsylvania into the area that later became Bedford County, then Greene County, and ultimately, Washington County.  Further, that Henry Vanmeter would have established residency in that area near Carmichaels PA for a decade or more.  Aside from the purported marriage record of Henry Vanmeter and Elizabeth Pile on 8Apr1777 in Ohio County, the author was unable to find any direct evidence that Henry Vanmeter had at any time lived outside of Frederick County, or its descendant counties after 1745.  It is the author’s belief that Henry Vanmeter continuously lived along the waters of Opequon Creek, along with his brothers, Abraham and Isaac and their families, throughout most of his adult life, and that he died and is buried in Berkeley County, along the waters of Tuscarora Creek.  The deed records presented hereinbefore involving Henry Vanmeter have all been situated in Frederick County, and later in Berkeley County.  Even the citation above by Samuel Smythe re: the old Shepherdstown mill records of a Henry Vanmeter dated 1785, would seem to support this opinion.

As for the purported marriage of Henry Vanmeter and Elizabeth Pile, the author has found only one source for this information, namely Samuel Smythe.  All other references to this marriage seemingly have relied on Smythe as their source.  It is worth taking another look at the language actually used by Smythe:

“Elizabeth Pyle, of Ohio Co., Va. License issued 8 April, 1777.”[35]

Now, we hate to be a stickler, but Smythe does not actually state that the marriage occurred in Ohio County VA.  What he actually stated was that Elizabeth Pyle was of Ohio County VA, and that the license was issued on 8Apr1777.  Smythe gave no reference for the source of this information, so the author has been unable to locate any actual record of this marriage license.  Given the deed record filings by Henry Vanmeter in Berkeley County VA on 7Apr1777, and given that Ohio County VA is located approximately 180 miles away from Berkeley County, it would have been a physical impossibility for a marriage license to have been issued to Henry Vanmeter (of Berkeley County) in Ohio County the day following his having filed deed records in Berkeley County.  It seems more probable to the author that the marriage license, if it exists, was issued in Berkeley County, and that Elizabeth Sprigg Pile’s family was residing in Berkeley County at the time of her marriage to Henry Vanmeter. 

Then we have the estate administration records for Richard Pile, abstracted as follows:

  1. West Virginia Estate Settlements: Berkeley County:  PYLES, RICH., App., 8-15-1780. PYLES, RICH., Sale, 8-15-1780[36]

Although the date of this estate record does not align with the presumed death date of Elizabeth Sprigg’s husband at sometime prior to 8Apr1777, the name and location cannot be ignored.  It seems probable to the author that this was a record of the administration of the estate of Elizabeth’s husband, several years posthumously.  This record provides a strong suggestion that Henry Vanmeter and his new wife continued to live in Berkeley County.  For the record, the author has transcribed the actual estate accounts for Richard Pile as follows:

Appraisal:  In obedience to an order of Berkeley Court to us the subscribers directed.  We have met this 26Jun1780 and have appraised as much of the estate of Richard Pile, deceased, as was brought to our view:

  1. Auger and Chisel and Cooper Tools: 45/0/0
  2. Old Hoe: 3/0/0
  3. Slate: 1/16/0
  4. Pepper Mill: 3/0/0
  5. Silver Tea Spoons, Tongs, and Strainer, and Salt Cellar: 25/0/0
  6. Parcel of Books: 30/0/0
  7. Old Pewter: 30/0/0
  8. Box Iron and Heater: 3/0/0
  9. Trunk: 30/0/0
  10. Whipsaw: 45/0/0
  11. Pots and Hooks and Tramel: 30/0/0
  12. Table: 7/10/0
  13. Negro called Panther: 3,000/0/0
  14. Negro called James: 1,000/0/0
  15. Negro called Rebeckey: 300/0/0
  16. Looking Glass: 100/0/0
  17. Tongs and Shovel: 6/0/0
  18. Grid Iron: 3/12/0
  19. Bed and Stead and Furniture: 200/0/0

Total Value: 4,882/8/0

Inventory and Appraisal recorded 15Aug1780

Amount of sales of the effects and estate of the deceased, Dr. Richard Pile, the quantity being the same as given in by Col. William Morgan and Abraham Mollatt, the vendue being made at my house 11Aug1780:  Purchasers Names:  Abraham Mollatt, Henry Vanmeter, Daniel Davis, David Osborn, Thomas Lafferty, Jacob Cores, William Duncan, William Kumbon, David Colgan, Capt. Thomas Swearingen, Richard Piles [Jr.?], and John Sheley.  Total Sales Receipts 7,865/14/0.  Four gallons of Whiskey served at Vendue at 45/0/0.  Net Estate Value: 7,672/4/0.

Final accounting of estate of Richard Pile dated 12Aug1780 submitted to Court by William Duncan and Henry Vanmeter.  Recorded 15Aug1780.

It is a bit peculiar that the estate sale occurred more than three years after the presumed death of Richard Pile, perhaps the estate settlement had been contested.  From the title of “Doctor” ascribed to Richard Pile, it would appear that he had followed a professional tradition that had existed in his family for almost four generations.  The author was unable to find any other record of Richard Pile in Berkeley County.  Perhaps those records are to be found in Ohio County, or across the river in Washington County MD.

The reader may be wondering at this juncture why it matters where this marriage occurred.  Well, it is the author’s contention that for the intermarriages posited between the daughters of Elizabeth Sprigg Pile and Nathan Vanmeter, Jacob Linder and Jacob Miller to have occurred, the respective Vanmeter, Linder and Miller families would need to have been near neighbors for a fairly long period of time for these implied marriages to have occurred.  If Henry Vanmeter, and his immediate family, had been living for an extended period of time during the 1770’s in the wilderness of southwestern Pennsylvania, it is difficult to envision the kind of extended contact needed for these relationships to have developed.  However, if Henry Vanmeter never moved his family away from Berkeley County, then there would have been ample time for this type of exposure to have occurred.  So, it is vitally important to our research into the ancestry of Jacob Miller, that he should have had the opportunity to interact with the Henry Vanmeter and Lawrence Linder families.

Having provided more than ample record evidence establishing the close and contemporaneous residencies of both the Henry Vanmeter and Lawrence Linder families in Berkeley County from 1745 to 1780 and beyond, it is now time for us to turn our attention to the search for Jacob Miller’s family.  If we accept the relationships posited in Hypothesis No. 4, namely that Nathan Vanmeter, Jacob Linder and Jacob Miller had each married Pile women, daughters of Richard Pile and Elizabeth Sprigg, then it is reasonable to think that we would find Jacob Miller’s family living in Berkeley County around the time of those marriages, which the author estimates to have occurred in the 1770’s or 80’s.  This is particularly true if we accept the author’s contention that Henry Vanmeter and Elizabeth Sprigg married, lived and died in Berkeley County.  Given the even closer living proximity of the Henry Vanmeter and Lawrence Linder family established by the author within the near vicinity of Martinsburg, it would seem reasonable that we should expect to find Millers living contemporaneously with the Vanmeter and Linder families in that same sub-region of Berkeley County.

We will begin our search with the 1810 census (the first year for which a Virginia census has survived) of Berkeley County.  Since Jacob Miller was reported as over the age of 45 years in 1810, he would have been born before 1765.  Such age would comport with his eldest known son, Adam Miller, having been born about 1787.  Given Jacob’s approximate date of birth, it is reasonable to believe that his parents would have been born before 1740.  Consequently, it seems improbable that we would find Jacob’s parents, or aunts and uncles still alive in 1810, but possible.  However, we might expect to find siblings or cousins still alive, and possibly living in Berkeley County in 1810.  A search of the 1810 census of Berkeley County reveals a total of 34 Miller households.  Such population of Millers certainly points to the possibility of some of those households having been kinsmen of Jacob Miller.

Armed with the 1810 census results, the author was reassured that his scenario regarding the linkage of our Jacob Miller to Berkeley County and to the Henry Vanmeter family may have merit.  In addition to the 1810 census, there is one other earlier database which might offer a further refinement of the Miller households in Berkeley County, that being the “rent roll” compilations.  The rent rolls reportedly contain the names of the heads of households, who were registered as having paid “quit rents”, i.e., non-exempt freeholders.  The author has compiled a list of all the Millers captured in the quit rent rolls from Frederick and Berkeley Counties for the period 1764 thru 1777 and presented the results in Table 4.[37]  This list of Miller quit rent records has been sorted by name, and then by date. 

The reader is reminded that Berkeley County was not formed until 1772, so, in order to capture Millers living in that part of Frederick County that ultimately fell within Berkeley County prior to 1772, the author screened out the names of Millers from Frederick County, that did not appear in Berkeley County after 1772.  This approach allowed the capture of persons residing in Frederick County prior to 1772, who continued to be reported in Berkeley County after 1772.  One flaw in this screening methodology is to be found in the name of Jacob Miller.  Through other research, the author became aware of the existence of a Jacob Miller, who lived in Frederick County prior to 1772, but who was located outside of that area that became Berkeley County.  The instances of those Jacob Millers [Jacob Miller Sr., founder of Woodstock, and his son, Jacob Miller Jr.] have been highlighted in yellow in Table 4, and will not be considered in our search for our Jacob Miller’s ancestors. 

So, from 34 separate Miller households in Berkeley County in 1810, we have narrowed the field dramatically to about 12 separate households in 1777.  The actual number of households we might be considering for the identification of our Jacob Miller’s household in about 1790, when his presumed son, James Miller was born, would probably be around 25 households.  This is still an inordinately high number of families to evaluate, even if we were able to identify records associated with those families, without some further means of narrowing the field.

There may be just such means available for further refinement and focusing of our analysis.  Such means of refinement may be found in a deeper understanding of the social, cultural, and ethnic composition of these early settlers to the Valley of Virginia.  Speaking in broad, aggregate terms, these early settlers came from three primary cultural and ethnic sources: (1) Dutch-German-Swiss-French, (2) Scots-Irish, and (3) English.  For the first two or three generations after their initial migration into the colonies, these various cultural and ethnic groups tended to settle in communities inhabited by persons of like origins.  During the 17th century immigrants were induced to such cultural and ethnic segregation by the governments that controlled and guided their immigration.  Dutch, German Palatines and French Huguenots were steered mainly toward the Dutch Colony, whereas Scots-Irish and English were steered mainly toward Maryland and Virginia (and later toward the Carolinas and Georgia).  A fewer number of Scandinavian settlers were planted in the Rhode Island/Delaware region between New Amsterdam and Maryland.  In the latter part of the 17th century William Penn’s colony on the upper Chesapeake, introduced a wholly different “melting-pot” migration experience.  While Penn initially intended his colony principally as a safe haven for his Quaker kinsmen, Pennsylvania soon opened its doors to all forms of protestants: Dutch Reformed, German Reformed, Episcopal, Puritan, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Mennonite, Dunker; followed by Methodist and Baptist.

These early colonialists tended to aggregate into enclaves of shared ethnicity and religion.  Such aggregation tended to dictate recognizable patterns of social and cultural behavior, particularly in their chosen craft or trade, commerce, religious worship, militia service, participation in public office, and most importantly, intermarriage.  Taking the Vanmeter family as an example, they were Dutch in origin, for the first generation in New Amsterdam they settled in communities principally comprised of fellow Dutchmen and Huguenots, they worshiped in the nearest Dutch Reformed Church, and they intermarried almost exclusively with persons of Dutch or French Huguenot extraction.  Following the John Vanmeter strand of this family as it migrated westward, first into New Jersey, then to Maryland, and ultimately to the Opequon, they continued to exhibit the same cultural and social patterns as their forbearers.  They settled primarily among fellow Dutch, German and Huguenot colonials, they engaged primarily in farming and milling, and, they continued to intermarry principally with persons of like ancestral heritage.

One manifestation of this behavior may be found in the intermarriages between the Vanmeters and the Linders.  The Linders are believed to have been of German ancestry, whereas we know with certainty that the Vanmeters were of Dutch ancestry.  Given these proclivities, it might reasonably be assumed that Jacob Miller likely had roots in either German or Dutch ancestry.  So, as we proceed with our study of Miller records in Berkeley County, we will continuously monitor those records for any implied cultural or ethnic associations.  Because there is such a large body of Miller records to be evaluated (more than 100), we will first separate these records into five recognized family groupings ordered from earliest to latest: (1) Scots-Irish Miller Brothers, (2) Opequon Henry Millers, (3) Spring Mills Jacob Millers, (4) Elk Branch Jacob Miller and (5) German George Adam Moler.

However, before launching into our analysis of the compilation of Berkeley County Miller records, the author would like to introduce some of the earliest records found of anyone named Miller associated with the Valley of Virginia:

  1. “some to declare that he [Joist Hite] was the first white settler in the Shenandoah Valley (this has later been disproved as it has been documented that Adam Miller settled in the Valley as early as 1726 or 1727.)”[38]  This Adam Miller has been reliably established as the first white person to settle permanently in the Valley of Virginia, almost six years before the arrival of Jost Hite.  Adam Miller [aka Muller] was of German descent, and he and several other fellow Pennsylvania Germans settled on a branch of Hawksbill Creek, tributary to South Shenandoah River in the vicinity of present day Luray VA.  The near descendants of Adam Miller never strayed far from their family seat in Page County.  Despite the matching name of Adam Miller, there is absolutely no reason to believe that he had any connection to the family of our Jacob Miller.
  2. “William Miller and Abraham Hite were also among the earliest settlers.  When the Indian wars broke out, Miller sold his right to 500 acres of land, and all of his stock of horses and cattle in the woods, for £25, and removed to the South Fork of the Shenandoah, a few miles above Front Royal.  The 500 acres of land sold by Miller lies within two miles of Moorefield…”[39]  This William Miller is believed to have been descended from the New Jersey Molenaar family, into which John Vanmeter intermarried.  However, this William Miller, after selling his lands along the South Potomac River at Moorefield, resettled on the North Branch of Shenandoah River, just a few miles upstream from Front Royal.  Temptingly, the family of William Miller settled for several generations at Front Royal where many Millar and Vanmeter kinsmen’s graves can be found in the Millar Graveyard at Front Royal, including the graves of William Millar and his wife, Catherine DuBois in the Prospect Hill Cemetery at Front Royal.  Yet nothing was found about this family of William Millar [Miller], other than his probably having descended from the Molenaar family of New Jersey, that would connect him or his descendants with our Jacob Miller.
  3. And, lastly we should not overlook Jacob and Barbara Miller, German born, who established the town of Woodstock [originally known as Miller Town] on the upper North Fork Shenandoah River, about 25 miles above Front Royal.  Again, despite the matching names, there was nothing found about this Jacob Miller or his descendants to connect his family with our Jacob Miller.

Consequently, we will concentrate our search closer to the Opequon, and list in chronological order all records found for the Miller surname in that locale, grouped by the five established family groupings. 

(1) Scots-Irish Miller Brothers

“David, Hugh and William Miller (brothers and of Scotch ancestry) came to Frederick County Virginia (now Berkeley County) from Lancaster or Chester Counties Pennsylvania.  It is believed William came first, about 1748, and that David and Hugh came in 1750.  William died in 1757 without any direct heirs and left his estate to his nephews and nieces.  Hugh was married and had a family of five children: two sons: John, whose family sold their land in Berkeley County and move to Ohio in 1796; Hugh [Jr.], who sold his property in Berkeley County and moved to Greenbrier County VA about 1774, later moved to Kentucky with his family.  Therefore all the Millers of Berkeley County are descended from our ancestor, David Miller.  [This contention will be shown later in this section to be incorrect.  There is evidence of several other Miller families in Berkeley County in the late-1700’s and early-1800’s, who were not descended from David Miller.]

David Miller was born in Chester County PA and it is believed he was the son of John Miller (however, this fact has not been proved beyond doubt).  After coming to Berkeley County, he purchased from Thomas Thornburgh of Lancaster PA, 360 acres of land on the Old Pack Horse Trail about three miles south of Tuscarora, the deed issued on 4Mat1756.  This was the first land he owned in Virginia and at his death this tract was willed to his son, James, and has passed thru succeeding generations and is now owned by Harry Smith Miller, father of this writer.  David Miller in 1766 secured a Fairfax Grant for 251 acres on the Tuscarora and in 1769 purchased a tract of 400 acres on which he was living when he died.  He also owned another large tract of land located near the North Mountain, which was assigned to him for debt, also some land in Martinsburg.  It is not known definitely if he served in the Militia during the Revolution, but he did furnish supplies to the Army as noted by certificates issued him and Hugh and his son, James.  These certificates are now in the Sate Library at Richmond.

David and his wife, Agnes, were married in Pennsylvania and had a family of nine children, several of whom were born in Virginia.  These children were: John, James, Sarah, Elizabeth, David Jr., Absalom, Mary, Joseph and Alexander.  David Miller died at his home in Mar1782, and so far as is known, is buried in the Tuscarora Churchyard.  (The land upon which the Tuscarora Church stands was deeded to the church committee in 1774; David Miller [and Hugh Miller Sr.] was a member of this committee)…”[40]

As we present the land and estate records related to this Scots-Irish Miller Brothers family hereinafter, the reader may recognize persons referenced in the foregoing Miller family genealogy.  The author cannot attest to the accuracy of the information presented in this genealogy, but can state that persons with matching names, and occasionally with matching kinships are found in these records from Frederick, and later, Berkeley Counties.  The author cannot with certainty, even identify the source of this genealogy, but is actively seeking to ascertain its origins.  There will also be names of Millers encountered in the following records, who do not appear in this genealogy.  The author will endeavor as best as possible to identify these various parties and their probable kinships, if any, in the analysis attached to each record:

  1. Mar 1749/50[?] — Northern Neck Warrants & Surveys: Robert Snodgrass,  assignee of John Miller, Jun’r, assignee of William Miller, assignee  of Samuel Harris for whom surv’d; no warrant, survey undated;   Samuel Harris’s house on plat;   warrant date might be Mar. 1749/50 [damaged].   Chain Carriers: Aaron Jenkins & Hugh Millor [Miller].   Surveyor John Mauzy.  This was the earliest record found for anyone surnamed Miller in Frederick County.  Although not stated in this abstract, this tract almost certainly was situated on Back Creek, nearby to the tract described in Item No. 4, below.  The original assignee of both tracts was Samuel Harris.  It is interesting to note that this tract was first assigned by Samuel Harris to William Miller, who in turn assigned to John Miller Jr., who is now assigning to Robert Snodgrass.  According to the Miller Genealogy, William Miller conveyed parts of his property to his nieces and nephews, so it might be assumed that John Miller Jr. was a nephew, possibly a son of Hugh Miller, although David Miller also had a son named John.  The curious aspect of this John Miller is that he would be titled “Jr.”, implying that there may have been another, more senior, John Miller in the area.  The genealogy made no mention of an older John Miller, except to suggest that David Miller’s father may have been named John.  Might we assume that that implied older John Miller was the father of these three Miller brothers, or was there another John Miller, not mentioned in the genealogy (more to follow).  It is also interesting to note that Hugh Miller acted as a chain carrier on this survey.  There is strong reason for believing that William Miller and Hugh Miller were the brothers mentioned in the genealogy. 

Most of these Miller land records will be shown to have been situated on either Back Creek, Tuscarora Creek or near North Mountain.  Figure 24 has been provided to give the reader a better geographic perspective.

To illustrate geographic features existing in the Martinsburg area in the early 19th century, Figure 25, which is an annotated excerpt from the Map of Frederick, Berkeley, & Jefferson counties in the state of Virginia created by Charles Varley in 1809 has been included.  It is fascinating to note that this map illustrates the residence of Nathan Vanmeter, who inherited the residential property of his father, Henry Vanmeter, situated near the mouth of Tuscarora Creek, at its outfall into Opequon.  Also, shown nearby is the home place [Portumna] of the author’s 4th great uncle, Henry Bedinger, husband of Rachael Strode, niece of Lettice Strode, the wife of Jacob Vanmeter.  One other feature of interest on Varley’s map is the site of the Tuscarora Presbyterian Church, the land for which was conveyed by Hugh Miller Jr., and witnessed by David Miller and Hugh Miller Sr..

  1. 20 Sep 1750 — Northern Neck Warrants & Surveys: Robert Elder, assignee of Hugh Miller; 20 Sep 1750 – 31 Oct 1750; 296 a. where Miller lives on both sides of Back Creek. ca. 6 miles above Hugh Paul & land he bought of Wm. Snodgrass & Wm. Patterson. (House drawn on plat.) Chain Carriers: John Park & Robert Elder; Pilot: Hugh Miller; surveyor: John Mauzy.  This survey was performed in conjunction with the conveyance of a 296 acre tract from Hugh Miller to Robert Elder.  This tract was the first of many land records found in association with Hugh Miller and his descendants, and only the second record found of anyone named Miller in connection with the Opequon Creek area.  This tract was situated on both sides of Back Creek, which is situated just northwest of North Mountain, which forms the headwaters of Tuscarora Creek.  Back Creek flows in a northeasterly direction through an erosion valley, which parallels and is separated from Opequon Creek by about 10 miles.  This record indicates that Hugh Miller had already established residence on this tract, and that his house was shown on the tract map.  There is language in the survey notes which suggest that Hugh Miller may have purchased another tract from William Snodgrass and William Patterson, which was located about six miles downstream from the subject tract..
  2. Northern Neck Warrants & Surveys: John Kennedy, assignee of John Miller, assignee of Samuel Harris; 20 Sep 1750 – 1 Nov 1750; 140 acres between Widow Canady & Wm. Snodgrass on Back Crk. (John Miller’s house on plat.) Chain Carriers: Wm. Snodgrass & Hugh Miller. Surveyor: John Mauzy.  John Miller, farmer, to Kennedy. Tract named Hollow Bottom. Witness: Robt. Jackson.  This survey was performed in conjunction with the conveyance of a 140 acre tract situated on Back Creek from John Miller, farmer, to John Kennedy.  This tract had previously been conveyed from Samuel Harris to John Miller (date unknown).  The tract was described as abutting the land of William Snodgrass and Widow Kennedy.  Hugh Miller and William Snodgrass acted as chain carriers for the survey.  The identity of this John Miller is uncertain.  Was he the same person identified as John Miller Jr. in Item No. 1, above?  It seems very unlikely that this John Miller would have been a son of any of the Miller brothers, as the children of Hugh and David would still have been minors in 1750.  Given the apparent close intersection between John Miller, and other Millers mentioned in these records, it seems highly probably that this John Miller was another brother or cousin of William, Hugh and David, who for some reason had been overlooked by the chronicler of the Miller genealogy, above, or perhaps their father.
  3. 3 Nov’r 1750 – By Virtue of a Warrant from the Propr’s Office dated the 29h day of Sep’r 1750. Survey’d for Wm. Snodgrass a parcell of waste land where he lives in the County of Frederick on both sides of Back Creek & bounded as Followeth Viz Beginning at (A) a Corner white Oak in John Millers line on a Piney hill Thence N 55 E 188 po: to (B) a white oak Thence S:E 172 po: to (C) a Corn’r white Oak on the No. side of Back Creek Thence S 41 1/2 W 224 po to (D) a Corner Black Oak on a hill Thence N 35 W 222 po: to the first station Containing 250 acres; 3 Nov 1750.  William Snodgrass Pilot; P’r [Surveyor] John Mauzy; John Murphy & John Ford Ch’n [= chain] Carriers. (found among loose survey papers in the Virginia State Archives, Richmond, Virginia). [transcribed by Charlou Dolan].  Like the preceding tract (Item No. 1) to Hugh Miller, this tract was situated on both side of Back Creek.  This tract abutted a tract in possession of a John Miller.  As will be discovered in the LWT of Hugn Miller, his daughter, Mary Miller, was married to a Snodgrass [identity uncertain].  This survey was performed only a few days after the survey in Item No. 2, above, and may have referenced the same tract conveyed by John Miller to John Kennedy.
  4. 6 Dec 1750, Hugh (x) Miller sold to “Rov’t [prob. Robert] Elder, waver [weaver?] of the County. “Land between James Nail & Dan’l Kennedy. Miller reserves use of house until May next, to reap & carry away that rye “which his Brother Claims Likewise a Nursery of young apel treys [apple trees]…” (Signed) Hugh (x) Miller. Witnesses: Wm. Pattison, And’w Paul, David Croket.  This conveyance very likely was supported by and involved that same tract of land surveyed in Item No. 1.  The reference to Hugh Miller’s brother is meaningless, without that brother’s name.  We know now that both William and John had held land on Back Creek around this time, so the reference was likely to one or the other.  William Patterson will be shown later to have been a Miller kinsperson through marriage.  David Crockett, reportedly was the grandfather of Davey Crockett of Alamo fame.  It should be noted that, from other sources, persons living on Back Creek in the early part of the 1750’s were selling out and moving across North Mountain to the Opequon drainage due to “Indian troubles” in the Back Creek valley.  This might explain these conveyances by Millers of their property on Back Creek.
  5. Book 2, pp. 225-6 – 20Dec1750:  [Lease and Release]  Between William Beeson, and Mary, his wife, of Frederick County to Hugh Miller, farmer, of same, for £100 Pennsylvania money, 200 acres situated on west side of Opequon, branch called Tuscarora, part of a tract containg 650 acres granted George Robinson and John Petite, dated 12Nov1735, now in possession of Richard Beeson Sr. by L&R from Robinson and Petite, and Ann, his wife, etc…  Witnessed: William Patterson, Benjamin Thornbrough, and William Miller.  Recorded 14May1751.  The Miller Genealogy claims that David and Hugh Miller migrated from Chester County PA in about 1750.  It is important to note that this tract was situated on the waters of Tuscarora Creek, the same stream that would later become associated with the families of Henry Vanmeter and Lawrence Linder.  This transaction, when taken in context with the earlier conveyances on Back Creek, supports the reports of relocation due to Indian troubles.  It should also be noted that this deed was witnessed by a William Miller, the probable brother of Hugh Miller. 
  6. Robert Snodgrass & Joseph Snodgrass, assignees of David Snodgrass, heir at law of William Snodgrass; 20 Sep 1750-3 Nov 1750; 250 ac on Back Crk. where he (William Snodgrass) lives (house on plat); adj John Miller.  Chain carriers John Murphey & John Ford.  Surv John Mauzy.  N.d. William Snodgrass died without will.  David, heir at law, desires deed issue to Robt & Joseph Snodgrass.  The widow relinquishes her right of dower.  25  Sep 1766 -Catherin Snotgrass, widow of Wm desires deed to issue to her 2 sons Robt & Joseph.  It would appear that William Snodgrass was deceased.  David Snodgrass is believed to have been William’s eldest son and heir at law, and that he was conveying this tract from his father’s estate to his two younger brothers: Robert and Joseph.  William’s widow, Catherine Snodgrass’s maiden name was Patterson, probably a kinsperson of William Patterson, who witnessed the preceding deed record.  William Snodgrass and Catherine Patterson had several sons, one named Robert Snodgrass married Susan Rawlings, daughter of Stephen Rawlings, and sister of Edward Rawlings and Stephen Rawlings Jr.  Stephen Rawlings Jr. was the same person who, along with Jacob Linder and Jacob Vanmeter Jr., appraised the estate of Jacob Vanmeter Sr. in Hardin County KY.  Edward Rawlings married Rebecca Vanmeter, daughter of Jacob Vanmeter and Lettice Strode.  So, we have evidence of several of the families associated with Jacob Vanmeter and Jacob Linder in Hardin County, who were originally from the Martinsburg area, including Harts, Vertrees, Strodes, Rawlings, Glenn, etal.  After William Snodgrass’s death, his widow married Aaron Jenkins, who will frequently appear in these compiled land records involving the Miller Brothers family.  In fact, there was at least one Snodgrass-Miller intermarriage during this time period.
  7. Book 2, p. 400 – 19Aug1751:  [Lease and Release]  Between Benjamin Beeson and Elizabeth, his wife, of Frederick County to Andrew Paul of same, for £100, 226 acres, situated on west side of Opequon, branch called Tuscarora, part of tract containing 1,650 acres granted to George Robinson and John Petite… Benjamin Beeson by L&R from Richard Beeson Sr. dated 1743.  Witnessed: Jonas Hedges, Hugh Miller, Robert Paul and John Baker.  Recorded 11Feb1752.
  8. JOHN GLENN, assignee of Mordecai Beeson, assignee of John Beeson; 21 Sep 1751-4 Apr 1752; 247 ac. where he(Glenn) has a good plantation on brs. of Tuscarora; adj Richard Beason, Richard Thatcher, Hugh Miller, JAMES GLENN. Chain carriers David Crockett & SAML GLENN.  Surv. John Baylis.  Warrant in name of John Beeson, survd for JAMES GLENN.  This tract sold by John Glenn abutted the 200 acre tract acquired by Hugh Miller in Item No. 6, above.  James Glenn was married to Mary Emma Miller, daughter of David Miller and Sarah Agnes Callender.  It seems probable that John Glenn and James Glenn were brothers, and sons of James Glenn and Martha Borland.  James and Martha had another son named William Glenn, who the author believes to have been the same person that filed jointly with Jacob Linder on a 1,000 acre tract situated on the waters of Nolin River, 200 acres of which Jacob and Elizabeth Linder sold to Aaron Hart on 6Jan1810.
  9. Hugh Miller, Junr, assignee of Hugh Miller; no wart., survd 7 Nov 1751; 404 ac whereon he lives on Tuscarorah; adj JAMES GLEN, Andrew Paul, Wm Patterson. Chain carriers David Croket & James Minnes.  Surv William Baylis.  Hugh Miller Jr. conveyed a 404 acre tract to his father, Hugh Miller Sr., situated on the waters of Tuscarora Creek, abutting land of James Glenn.
  10. David Miller, assignee of Thomas Patton, assignee of Robert Knox; 15 Feb1752-4 Apr 1752; 251 ac where he(Patton) lives at North Mt, at Tuscarorah; adj JAMES GLEN, Richd Thatcher, Cornelius Breyson.  Chain carriers JOHN GLEN & Wm Paterson.  Surv William Baylis.  This is the same tract mentioned in the Miller genealogy, and is the first tract found in this compilation involving David Miller, brother of William Miller, Hugh Miller, and possibly John Miller.
  11. Book 3, pp. 438-442 – 28Jan1755:  [Lease and Release]  Between Hugh Miller and Jannet, his wife, of Frederick County to John Miller of same, for £100, 200 acres situated on west side of Opequon, branch called Tuscarora, being part of a tract containing 1,650 acres granted to Robinson and Petite, by L&R from William and Mary Beeson to Hugh Miller on 21Dec1750.  Witnessed: David Miller, and John Glenn.  Recorded 1Apr1755.  This record is believed to include the names of three of the Miller brothers: John, Hugh and David.  Note that Hugh Miller’s wife is identified as Jannet [or Jennet].  Later Hugh Miller’s wife will be identified as Eleanor, probably his second marriage, following the death of Jannet.  This conveyance appears to have involved the same tract acquired by Hugh Miller in Item No. 6, above.
  12. Book 4, pp. 184-5 – 3May1756:  [Lease and Release]  Between Thomas Thornbrough of Frederick County to David Miller of same, for £100, 360 acres, part of a tract situated on Middle Creek, part of 860 acres.  Witnessed: Hugh Lyle, William Pattison, Hugh Miller and John Miller.  Recorded 3Oct1756.  Again, we have the intermixing of two of the Miller brother in the same deed.  This is the 2nd tract of land acquired by David Miller.  It was situated on Middle Creek, a tributary of Opequon Creek, just upstream of Tuscarora Creek.
  13. Book 5, pp. 48-9 – 1Aug1757:  [Lease and Release]  Between James Glenn of Frederick County to John Glenn of same, for £100, 150 acres, situated on branch of Opequon called Tuscarora, purchased by said Glenn from Mordecai Mendenhall… Witnessed: John Snodgrass, John Miller and David Snodgrass.  Recorded: 2Aug1757.  This James Glenn may have been either the father or brother of John Glenn, as James Glenn Sr. did not die until 1774.  The author believes that all of the parties mentioned in this deed document were related in some fashion through various intermarriages.
  14. Book 5, pp. 209-11 – 27Nov1758:  [Lease and Release]  Between Richard Beeson Sr. and Charity, his wife, of Rowan County NC to William Patterson [aka Pattison] of same, for £200, 325 acres, part of 1,650 acre tract situated on Opequon, branch of Tuscarora, granted to Robinson and Petite.  Witnessed Thomas Caton, Hugh Miller, Aaron Jenkins and John Miller.  Recorded 2Feb1759.  Aaron Jenkins is believed to have married Catherine Patterson-Snodgrass, widow of William Snodgrass.  Hugh Miller and John Miller may have been brothers.  Richard Beeson will later be identified with the Hopewell Quaker settlement.
  15. Book 7, pp. 246-7 – 28Apr1762:  [Lease and Release]  Between Robert Thornbrough of York County PA and Benjamin Thornbrough of Frederick County VA [heirs of Thomas Thornbrough] to  David Miller of Frederick County, for £100, 360 acres, drains of Opequon near North Mountain, part of larger tract of 860 acres granted Thomas Thornbrough by Lord Fairfax 18Nov1752.  Witnessed Hugh Lyle, James Brown and Samuel Parkes.  Recorded 3Aug1762.  This was the third, and final, tract listed in this compilation acquired by David Miller.  The Thornburghs are believed to have been Quakers from Pennsylvania.
  16. Book 7, pp. 250, 28Apr1762:  [Lease and Release]  Between Robert Thornbrough of York County PA and Benjamin Thornbrough of Frederick County VA [heirs of Thomas Thornbrough] to  Samuel Parks, for £100, 251 acres, drains of Opequon near North Mountain, part of larger tract of 860 acres granted Thomas Thornbrough by Lord Fairfax 18Nov1752.  Witnessed Hugh Lyle, James Brown and David Miller.  Recorded 3Aug1762.  This tract conveyed to Samuel Parks appears to have been carved from the same 860 acre patent as the previous tract conveyed to David Miller.
  17. 5 Aug 1766  Book N, entry 91.  David Miller of Frederick Co.  251 ac. on Tuscarora Br. in said co.  Surv. Wm Baylis.  Adj. JAMES GLEN, Richard Thatcher, foot of N. Mt., Cornelius Breyson.  This tract acquired by David Miller appears to have abutted land owned by either his son-in-law, or that son-in-law’s father.
  18. 22 Aug 1766  Book N, entry 149.  JAMES GLENN of Frederick Co, 247 ac. on Tuscorora Brs. in said co.  Surv. John Baylis.  Adj. his land, Richard Thatcher, Hugh Miller.
  19. 23 Aug 1766  Book N, entry 150.  Hugh Miller Jr. of Frederick Co. 257 ac. on Tuscorora Br. of Opeckon in said co.  Surv. Wm Baylis.  Adj Beason, Andrew Paul, JAMES GLENN, Wm. Patterson.  Again, we appear to have Hugh Miller Jr. acquiring a tract of land which abutted his Glenn and Patterson kinsmen.
  20. Book 13, pp. 4-5 – 2May1769:  [Lease and Release]  Between Hugh Miller Jr. of Frederick County to John Miller of same, for £70, 28 acres, situated near the North Mountain on Tuscarora Run, drains of Opequon, part of 400 acres granted to Hugh Miller Jr. by Proprietor 23Aug1766.  Witnessed James Harrison and Thomas Hewitt.  Recorded 2May1769.  The identity of this John Miller is uncertain.  The brothers are now getting old enough, that their children could now be acquiring land of their own.
  21. Book 13, pp. 93-4 – 2Jul1769:  [Lease and Release]  Between Aaron Jenkins of Frederick County to David Miller of same, for £250, 314 acres, head of Middle Creek, north side of Opequon, part of patent granted to Thomas Brown…  Witnessed: James Gratham and James Forman.  Recorded 2Aug1769.  David Miller appears to be adding to his holdings along Middle Creek.  The grantor, Aaron Jenkins, is believed to have been the husband of Catherine Patterson Snodgrass.
  22. Book 13, p. 47 – 30Jul1769:  [Lease and Release]  Between James Glenn of Colony of Virginia to James Glenn, nephew, son of John Glenn, of same, for £100, 247 acres, on branches of Tuscarora.  Witnessed: John Glenn, Hugh Miller and William Glenn.  Recorded 1Aug1769.  At least, in this deed they attempted to clarify the identities of the parties involved.  By virtue of the reference to the grantee having been the nephew, and son of John Glenn, we can assume that the grantor, James Glenn, was the brother of John Glenn, and son-in-law of David Miller.
  23. Book 14, pp. 349-0 – 6May1771:  [Lease and Release]  Between Hugh Lyle of Frederick County and Robert Lyle of same, for £300, 318 acres, head of Tuscarora Creek, part of larger tract patented to Hugh Lyle, 27Aug1762.  Witnessed Thomas Hewitt, John Miller and Hugh Miller.  Recorded 7May1771.  Again, the identity of this John Miller is not certain.  John Miller could have been a brother of David, Hugh and William, or he could have been a son of Hugh or David.  He may also have been a son of John Miller [Sr.], as we have yet to be introduced to that John Miller’s family.
  24. Book 14, pp. 253-4 – 7May1771:  [Lease and Release]  Between Hugh Lyle of Frederick County to John Lyle of same, for £400, 451 acres, head of Tuscarora, part of larger tract granted to said Lyle 27Aug1762.  Witnessed Thomas Hewitt, John Miller and Hugh Miller.  Recorded 7May1771.  Ditto.
  25. 16 Oct 1773 — Northern Neck Warrants & Surveys: Patrick Reed of “Newcastle County on Delaware in Pennsylvania,” 16 Oct 1773-20  May 1774; 118 acres (land John Miller got warrant for 24 Jul 1772 & did not execute); on Back Crk; adj. Stephen Rawlings, Edw’d Beeson, John Harr, Rob’t Snodgrass’ 334 acre patent. Chain Carriers: Stephen & Aaron Rawlings.  Surveyor: Richard Rigg [Richard Bigg]. (undated) Caveated by Stephen Rawlings, Sen’r of Berkeley County.  Again, the identity of this John Miller is uncertain, but these Rawlings very likely were kinfolk of Edward and Stephen Rawlings of Hardin County KY.
  26. Text Box: Figure 26 - Tuscarora Presbyterian ChurchDec 1773, Hugh Miller, Junior, sold land to the Tuscarora Creek Presbyterian Church congregation, which was represented by Hugh Vance (minister), William Patterson, Hugh Lyle, Hugh Miller Senr, David Miller, John Snodgrass Senr, John Park, Dugal Campbell, Samuel Park, Matthew Duncan, Joseph W Car(?), and Thomas Kennedy.  This record clearly involved the brothers: David and Hugh Miller, and Hugh’s son, Hugh Miller Jr.  It would appear from this record that Hugh Miller Sr., David Miller, William Patterson and John Snodgrass were all affiliated with the Tuscarora Presbyterian Church.  Such church affiliation would seem to auger in favor of these Miller’s having descended from Scottish ancestry, possibly migrating to America through Ireland.  A new church was erected on this tract that was sold to the church by Hugh Miller Jr.  That original church was replaced by the present stone structure shown in Figure 26, erected in about 1811.  The Tuscarora Presbyterian Church is held by many historians to have been the site on which the gospel was first preached west of the Blue Ridge, some saying as early as about 1720, when a request was made to the New Castle Synod to supply a minister for the Potomoke people in Virginia.

Even though there are numerous other records available for this family unit, we will end our presentation of records related to the Scots-Irish Miller Brothers.  From the foregoing record, which demonstrated the connection between Hugh and David Miller and the Presbyterian Church, it seems almost a certainty that they were of Scots-Irish heritage, certainly not of Dutch or German ancestry.  Another test of this presumed Scots-Irish affiliation may be found in the Anglo-Saxon sounding surnames associated with these records.  Assuming this ancestral background for the three Miller brothers and their families to be correct, it is the author’s belief that they had no kinship connection with our Jacob Miller.  We will now analyze the records associated with the German-Dutch Henry Miller families.

(2) Opequon Henry Miller

Based on a variety of reasons the author believes the profile[41] of Heinrich Miller, presented in Figure 27, was of the same person we will hereinafter refer to as “Henry Miller of Opequon“.  This profile was one of 175 found on Ancestry.com, which seem to match the profile of our subject.  It should be noted that most of these Ancestry trees show Heinrich Miller’s wife having been named Magdalena, some even reporting her maiden name as “Oswalt” or “Oswald”.  No documentation was offered for Heinrich Miller’s wife’s ancestry.  Several of these trees also report Heinrich Miller’s father to have been Daniel Miller, born about 1720, variously in Pennsylvania or Germany.  A Civil War pension record is offered as proof for Heinrich’s wife’s and father’s names, even though it seems obvious that that record was for a different Heinrich Miller, as Henry Miller of Opequon died in 1817, long before the start of the Civil War.  Following are the records found for Henry Miller of Opequon:

  1. Frederick County Deed Book 13, p. 437 – 6Aug1770:  George Neily of Frederick County to Henry Miller of same, 235 acres for £66 situated on Opequon Creek, it being part of a greater tract of 285 acres which was granted to John Neily by Lord Fairfax, deed dated 18Oct1756, adjacent corner of Peter Bedinger.  This was the first record found for Henry Miller in the Opequon region.  This tract probably was located on the east side of the Opequon, between the mouth of Eagle Branch and Swan’s Pond.  The fact that it abutted a corner of Peter Bedinger’s tract clearly placed it in the vicinity of Richard Morgan’s estate lands.  The author was unable to locate the original grant to John Neeley, reportedly dated 18Oct1756. 
  2. Berkeley County Deed Book 2, p. 306 – 16Aug1773: [Lease and Release] Henry Miller and wife, Maudlin, 80 acres to Jacob Sevier of the drain of Opequon Creek, part of a tract said Miller obtained from George Neeley and is adjacent to [Peter] Bedinger.  Witness Jacob Morgan and James Graham.  This was the second record found for a Henry Miller in the vicinity of Opequon Creek.  The identity of Henry’s wife as “Maudlin” seems to comport with Magalena as reported in Figure 27.  The grantee, Jacob Sevier, is clearly of Dutch-German-French origin.  The tract abutted the land of a Peter Bedinger, also of known German origins, and the author’s 4th great uncle.  From other sources it is known that both Henry Beginger and Peter Bedinger witnessed the LWT of Richard Morgan, and that Peter Bedinger acquired a 100 acre tract from the estate of Richard Morgan, through his executors:
  3. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book M, p. 8 – 4Aug1762 :  Capt. Richard Morgan of Frederick County, 373 acres on Opequon Creek, surveyed by Thomas Rutherford, adjacent Robert Stogdon, Jacob Morgan, Beal, George Linder, Samuel Shoud [Shroud?].  Also,
  4. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book M, p. 259 – 4Apr1764:  Henry Vanmeter of Frederick County, 212 acres on Tuscarora, surveyed by Thomas Rutherford, adjacent Moricai Morgan, Morgan Morgan, George William Fairfax Esq., Richard Morgan and John Ellis.  Also,
  5. Frederick County Deed Book 12, p. 115 – 1Mar1768:  [Lease and Release]  Between John Neally of County of Frederick to Peter Bedinger of same, 50 acres for £40, on drains of Opequon.  Witness: Thomas Swearingen, Thomas Ellery and John Ryan.

Through this series of deed records we have links connecting Richard Morgan to George Linder and Henry Vanmeter, and Peter Bedinger to John Neally.  So, indirectly, we have Henry Miller linked to both Henry Vanmeter and George Linder.  Although somewhat circuitous, through the foregoing series of deed records we have managed to connect Henry Miller with both a Vanmeter and a Linder along the banks of the Opequon, nearby to Tuscarora Branch.

  1. Berkeley Co., Va DB3 p 60 – 14Apr1774: James and Margaret Brown to Henry Miller, 14 April 1774, 343 acres for £525 Pennsylvania currency situated on the West side of Opequon Creek adjacent to Richard Beeson, Andrew Campbell, JOHN WILSON, George William Fairfax, and John Mendenhall, part of 493 acre tract acquired by Brown from William Morgan and Thomas Swearingen, the executors of the estate of Captain Richard Morgan, and 150 acres conveyed to William Campbell by said Brown.  Witness: James Graham and James Gifford.  This tract was simply described as having been on the west side of the Opequon.  Heretofore, most tracts thus far compiled, and described as having been on the west side of the Opequon, were further described as having been near North Mountain or on Tuscarora Creek or Middle Creek.  Was there something different about the location of this tract?  It had been more than 20 years since any Millers had appeared in a record with a Beeson.  Why all of a sudden this record?  On reviewing all of the land records thus far analyzed in Frederick and Berkeley County, the only record previously reviewed which involved James Brown and a Wilson was a 1775 tract involving a Linder.  As a basis for comparison, that record is reiterated herein below:
  2. Bk P p 270 [1775?] Michael Fritz of Berkeley Co., assignee of Jno Linder, 147 acres on Opeccon in said county. surveyor Richard Rigg. adjoining George Linder, heirs of EDWARD STRODE, EDWARD WILSON, JAMES BROWN, George Parkle, Vanmeter.  So, in this deed conveyance from John Linder to Michael Fritz we have a tract that abutted Edward Wilson, James Brown, George Parkle and an unspecified Vanmeter.  In the current record we have reference to James and  Margaret Brown, and John Wilson.

Also, note that the same persons witnessed this deed as witnessed the preceding deed.  So, clearly the deed conveyances involved the same Henry Miller and probably were in relatively close proximity (a couple of miles) of each other, probably both on the west side of the Opequon.

We hate to interrupt the flow of our analysis, but find that it is necessary to take a quick excursus into the world of Quakers and Mennonites, so that we might have a better understanding of the social and cultural setting into which this unknown Henry Miller was venturing when he purchased the 343 acre tract from James and Margaret Brown.  Heretofore we have spent a great deal of time elaborating on the Vanmeter-Hite tracts, and the important role that they played in the settling of the Valley of Virginia.  Yet we have completely ignored an equally important, and almost contemporaneous grant awarded by the Governor and Council of Virginia to the Quakers.  Following is one persons description of that early Quaker settlement:

“Although Pennsylvania had been created initially as a haven for Quakers, the arrival of numerous immigrants with other religious beliefs provided in time such a shift in emphasis that many Quakers felt compelled to move elsewhere. In the year 1730 the Quaker leaders Alexander Ross and Morgan Bryan appeared before the Governor and Council of Virginia and from them received a grant of 100,000 acres on the Opequon River in Frederick County, Virginia. This encouraged the move of many Quakers who followed them to the back Virginia country. Because these people moved through the Monocacy area of Maryland it may prove interesting to list some who were named in the Virginia State Land Office records. . . . John Willson, Nathaniel Thomas, John Haitt, Jr., John Peteate, George Robinson, Robert Luna, Luke Emelen, Francis Pincher, John Frost, George Hobson and John Calvert were other Quakers who moved through Maryland to Pennsylvania [Virginia?].” [Tracey][42]… Also,

“An order of the Lieutenant Governor of the colony of Virginia, dated 23 April 1735, granted leave to Alexander Ross and Morgan Bryan to survey 1,000 acres of land for each of 70 families. John Wilson received 286 acres, “beginning at a red oak on the East side of a small Branch of Opeckon and about forty Poles below the head spring [Eagle Run] . . .” It included all woods and or wood swamps, marshes, low grounds, meadows, etc., rights to all mines and quarries found there, watercourses, with privileges for hunting, hawking, fishing and fowling. Dated 12 November 1735.”

“In the State Land Office at Richmond are to be found recorded in Book 16, pages 315-415, inclusive, the patents issued to the settlers who came to the Shenandoah Valley under authority of the Orders in Council made to Alexander Ross and Morgan Bryan. All bear date of 12 November 1735, and recite that the grantee is one of the 70 families brought in by them, and excepting location and acreage, are alike in wording and conditions, and are signed by William Gooch, Lieutenant-Governor of the Colony at that time . . .

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  Cavaliers and Pioneers, Volume IV, Denis Hudgins, 1994, pp. 91-4, contain abstracts of the patent filings referred to, hereinabove.  Hudgins writes in the introduction of these patents the following: “The Alexander Ross and Morgan Bryan allotment for 70,000 acres is like the Vanmeter-Hite allotment of Sherrando Land found in Patent Book 15 and at the rate of 1,000 acres per family…”

“These patents were issued under the seal of the colony and were grants from the Crown, free of any obligation of feudal services to the Fairfax family, who claimed the land as lords proprietors of the Northern Neck of Virginia. The 6th Lord Fairfax, who later established his home at Greenway Court near Winchester, instituted many suits against early settlers in the Shenandoah Valley, but it does not appear that any Friend who claimed under Ross and Bryan was ever ejected from his land.”[43]

A list of these Quaker patentees is contained at the end of this chapter in Appendix B.

So, John Wilson was one of the first Quakers to receive a patent from the 100,000 acre grant authorized by the Governor and Council of Virginia to Alexander Ross and Morgan Bryan along the Opequon.  In addition to John Wilson, note that John Peteate [Petite] and George Robinson, and James Brown were also identified among these early Quaker settlers.  In fact, several of the deed conveyances we have already reviewed and analyzed were part of patents originally issued to Petite and Robinson.  Also, note that the Edward Wilson, identified in the John Linder deed conveyance reiterated hereinabove was the eldest son of John Wilson, and of course, himself a fellow Quaker.  The original 286 acre patent awarded to John Wilson was situated on the east side of Eagle Run, which was the next westerly tributary on Opequon downstream of Tuscarora Branch, and would fall within the southeasterly limits of present day Martinsburg.  It is the author’s belief that the two foregoing tracts that involved Henry Miller and John Linder were very likely in the same general vicinity of John Wilson’s original patent. 

It should also be noted that none of the Miller tracts analyzed prior to this Henry Miller tract involved any of these other parties associated with the two foregoing tracts, with the exception of Richard Beeson, who, himself, was a Quaker.  It should further be noted that none of those previously analyzed Miller tracts directly or indirectly involved either a Linder or a Vanmeter.  Yet, here we find that this Henry Miller, whoever he was, appears to have had a direct and/or indirect connection with both a Linder and a Vanmeter.  The other party common to both of the foregoing tracts was James Brown.  For the identity of James Brown we offer the following:

“The subject of this profile, [James] Brown-82507, went to Virginia from Maryland around 1732 and settled on the Shenandoah in northern Frederick County with his wife Abigail and daughter Abigail. This James was a Quaker and made his living as a weaver. He sold his northern land in 1738 and 1739. In 1739 his wife was described in the land document as very ill. By 1740 James had settled on Middle Creek. We do not have a land record, but he is described as being of Middle Creek in his daughter’s marriage record. The groom’s family [Thomas Thornbrough], the Thornburghs, were also “of Middle Creek.” Abigail’s mother did not attend the wedding. We do not know if she had died or was still alive but ill, as in 1739.”[44]

So, in addition to the Quaker connections embodied in John and Edward Wilson and Richard Beeson, it would appear the James Brown was also Quaker.  Thus ends our excursus into Quakers in the Valley of Virginia.

  1. Book P, p. 225 – 2Sep1773:  George Perkle of Berkeley County 236 acres on Opecon in said County, surveyed by Richard Rigg, adjacent James Brown, Henry Vanmeter, road to Linder’s Ford on Opecon to Warm Springs, Abraham Vanmeter.  Recorded 2Sep1773.  This deed does not mention a Miller, but has been included at this point in our analysis in an effort to further assist identification of the location of the Henry Miller deed conveyance in Item No. 3, above.  George Parkle [aka Perkle] was identified as an adjacent land owner, along with Edward Wilson [son of John Wilson] Edward Strode heirs, James Brown, and an unknown Vanmeter.  Now, in this survey performed for George Perkle we find that his tract abutted James Brown, “road to Linder’s Ford on Opequon”, Henry Vanmeter and Abraham Vanmeter.  By extrapolation this suggests that Henry Miller’s tract was in the same general neighborhood as Henry Vanmeter and Linder’s Ford.  This indirect connection for the location of the tract acquired by Henry Miller from James and Margaret Brown, would seemingly place that tract somewhere along the Opequon, probably not far from the mouth of Tuscarora Creek, perhaps midway between Middle Creek and Eagle Run.  Thusly, it would appear that we have a Miller acquiring land in the same immediate neighborhood with Henry Vanmeter and members of the Linder family.  Not to place too fine a point on it, but this tract would have been directly across Opequon from the home of Nathan Vanmeter, as exhibited on Figure 25.  As an aside, the author believes that Linder’s Ford very likely was the same crossing known as Vanmeter’s Ford on the Opequon, located adjacent to the mouth of Tuscarora Creek.  Vanmeter’s Ford is reputedly the location of Vanmeter’s Bridge over the Opequon, which was erected around 1832 and is pictured in Figure 28.  This bridge may have been erected on the land of Nathan Vanmeter, inherited from the estate of Henry Vanmeter.
  2. Deed Book 3, p. 280 – 17Mar1775:  [Lease and Release] Henry Miller and wife, Magdalen Miller, 165 acres for £ 285 to Michael Clikes on the drains of Opequon, part of a 285 acre tract granted to John Neally in 1756, and he to George Neally and he to said Miller, adj. to Peter Bedinger, Robert Stockton [Stogdon] and Peter Myers.  Witness: William Morgan and James Graham.  This Henry Miller is believed to have been the same person involved in the preceding records.  Again, Henry Miller appears to have been disposing of the remainder of the 235 acre tract he had acquired from George Neeley [aka Nealley].  In this record Henry’s wife was identified as Magdalen, vs. Maudlin in the earlier record, but believed to have been the same woman [which matches with Henry Miller’s wife shown in Figure 27].  This deed also identifies the neighboring Bedinger as Peter Bedinger.  Having disposed of the entire 235 acres acquired from George Neally, Henry Miller was left with the 343 acres acquired from James and Margaret Brown on the west side of the Opequon, near Eagle Run.
  3. Deed Book 3, p. 226 – 20Mar1775:  [Lease and Release] Samuel Stroud, son and heir of the late Samuel Stroud of Loudoun County VA, 50 acres for £125 Pennsylvania currency to Conrad Miller of Berkeley County, part of 100 acres conveyed to the elder Samuel and part of 450 acres granted to Morgan Bryan in 1735.  The land is on a creek adj. to Couchman and Miller.  This is the first of several records involving various Millers in the near vicinity of Henry Miller of Opequon.  At this stage of our investigation the author has no means of identifying these various Millers, except to note their geographic proximity and contemporaneous timing with Henry Miller.  Until such time as we have the means to provide an identity for these various Millers, they will be integrated with this analysis of “Henry Miller of Opequon”.  The identity of Conrad Miller is uncertain.  The land being conveyed from the estate of Samuel Stroud to Conrad Miller was part of a 450 acre tract originally patented by Morgan Bryan, the Quaker.  It is the author’s belief that this Morgan Bryan tract was the same tract filed by Bryan on 12Nov1735 summarized in Appendix B, and reiterated as follows:
  4. Morgan Bryan – 450 acres, west side of Opequon, lowermost ford of Tuscarora.

Assuming the author’s identification of this tract to be correct, then the parcel acquired by Conrad Miller was situated along the lower drains of Tuscarora Creek.  Samuel Stroud Sr. lived and died in Loudoun County, across the Blue Ridge to the south of Martinsburg.  He almost certainly was a Quaker.  In the 1810 census for Berkeley County there was a household headed by a Conrad Miller (page 27 of 91), immediately adjacent to the household of Christian Miller, and on the same page with a John Miller.  George Lile’s household abutted Christian Miller.  Neither Conrad Miller nor Christian Miller was reported in the 1776/7 rent rolls of Berkeley County, but both were reported in the 1787 rent roll.

This would be a good point at which to introduce a record of a militia company from Frederick County Maryland:

  1. Maryland Militia Roster – 1757:  Capt. Jonathan Hagar’s [founder of Hagerstown MD] Company (Mennonites); Lt. Martin Casner; Ens. James White; Sgt.’s: John Casner, Jacob Casner; Soldiers: Leonard Snavely, George Casner, Jacob Miller, Conrad Miller, John Miller Jr., Frederick Unselt, Joseph Volgamott, John Miller, Daniel Cresap [grandson of notorious Indian Trader and namesake of Cresap’s War, Col. Thomas Cresap], Jacob Miller Jr., Abraham Teter, John Teter, Zachariah Miller, Philip Jacob Miller, Christian Rhoarer, George Davis, Jacob Miller (son of Conrad), Benjamin Mollatt [Arbraham Mollatt was an appraiser and purchased property from the estate of Dr. Richard Pile, deceased husband of Elizabeth Sprigg]

The foregoing record contains names which match persons already introduced, or soon to be introduced in this analysis of Millers in Frederick and Berkeley County Virginia.  The author cannot attest to whether the Conrad Miller named as a soldier in Capt. Jonathan Hagar’s Company was the same person named in this deed record, but thinks it possible.  Similarly, the soldier named Zachariah Miller may have been the same person, who will appear in deed records in this analysis of Henry Miller of Opequon.  Joseph Volgamott almost certainly was Joseph Wolgamott Sr., who will also be introduced shortly in other deed documents.  Given the unique character of the Mollatt surname, it seems possible that the soldier, Benjamin Mollatt, was a kinsman of Abraham Mollatt, who was an appraiser on the estate of Dr. Richard Pile in 1780.  And, lastly, Frederick Unselt almost certainly was the same person from whom a Jacob Miller purchased a tract of land on Tilhance Branch, discussed later in this chapter under the section entitled “Jacob Miller of Spring Mills”.  For what its worth, Frederick Unsult may also have been the same person identified as Friedrich Oneself (or Georg Friederich Unseldt), weaver, age 24, in the passenger list of the Elizabeth, arriving from Rotterdam at the port of Philadelphia on 27Aug1733, the same ship that transported Simon Linder and his family.  Further, it might be noteworthy, that on that same ship with the Linders and Frederick Onself, was a Wolf Conrad Milor (or Wolffgang Miller), aged 41, and a Jacob Milor (or Jacob Muller), aged 17.  Since the ship’s register did not attempt to record familial connections, it cannot be stated with any certainty that Wolf Conrad Milor and Jacob Milor held any particular kinship.  However, given their respective ages, it does seem possible that Jacob Milor could have been the son of Wolf Conrad Milor.  More to the point, the soldier identified as “Jacob Miller (son of Conrad)” could have been the same as Jacob Milor in the manifest from the Elizabeth.  If those Jacob Millers were the same person, then Jacob Miller, the soldier, would have been about 39 years old in 1757.  Does that seem plausible?  More to the point, might that Jacob Miller have purchased land in Frederick County Virginia in 1760?  (more discussion to follow under Jacob Miller of Spring Mills)

  1. Deed Book 3, p. 229 – 20Mar1775:  [Lease and Release] Samuel Stroud, son and heir of the late Samuel Stroud of Loudoun County VA, 75 acres for £125 Pennsylvania currency to Conrad Miller of Berkeley County, part of 225 acres conveyed to the elder Samuel and Adj. to Couchman.  Ditto.  May have been a brother or son of Jacob Miller, son of Conrad Miller.
  2. Deed Book 3, p. 283 – 17Apr1775:  [Lease and Release] Tuler Myre and Michael Cukes [Clikes?] executors of Jacob Seever [Sevier?] deceased and widow, Barbara Seever, 80 acres for £ 105 to John Allen on the drains of Opequon, part of a tract Henry Miller purchased from George Neally,  and said Miller to Sevier, adj. to Bedinger.  Witness: Moses Hunter, David Whipple and George Hollenback.  This appears to have been the same tract conveyed by Henry Miller and his wife to Jacob Sevier in Item No. 2, above.
  3. Will Book 1, p. 209 – 26Jun1777:  Estate Audit and Sale for Daniel May:  Buyers names included: Edward Beeson, James Strode, Conrad Miller, Michael Fritz, etal… (mostly Germans).  Ditto.
  4. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book Q, p. 178 – 2Aug1777:  Robert Jackson of Berkeley County, 178 acres on Back Creek in said County, surveyed by Richard Rigg, adjacent Mr. Jackson, John Harper, Thomas Loudan/Lowdan, Zechariah Miller and Pine Ridge.  This was the first record encountered for Zachariah Miller.  He may have been the same person identified as a soldier in the company of Capt. Jonathan Hagar.
  5. Will Book 1, p. 262 – 1777 (filed 20Aug1782):  Estate sale for Barbara Merritz:  Items sold to Henry Miller, John Miller, Henry Mooler, Jacob Mooler, Benjamin Rawlings, etal… (many Germans).  Barbara Merritz [aka Merritt] is believed to have been the wife of George Merritt, who had land granted around 1762 on the drains of Opequon.  There were almost 80 persons who purchased property from this estate sale, most of whom had German surnames.  It is interesting to note the intermixing of Henry Miller with a John Miller, whose identity is unknown to the author [possibly son of Henry Miller as identified in Henry Miller’s Will (more to follow)].  Even more interesting is the involvement of Jacob and Henry Mooler, whose family will be discussed in a later section of this Chapter entitled “George Adam Mooler/Mohler”.
  6. [Northern Neck Grants] Book R, p. 100 – 16Feb1779: Zachariah Millar of Berkeley County, 306 acres on Back Creek, in said County, Surveyed by Richard Rigg.  Adj. Peter White.  Ditto.  Other associated grant records place this tract in the vicinity of Whites Run drainage, which flows into Tilhance Branch, thence into Back Creek. 
  7. [Northern Neck Grants] Book R, p. 101 – 17Feb1779: Zachariah Millar of Berkeley County, 263 acres, in said County, Surveyed by Richard Rigg.  Adj. Thomas Loudoun, Laurence ONeil, Millar, Rawling’s Spring Branch, and White.  This is believed to have been the same person as the preceding records.  This tract very likely was situated on the northwest side of Tilhance Branch, by virtue of its having abutted Thomas Loudoun’s land, probably on the waters of White’s Run, about 5 miles westerly of Hedgesville.
  8. Bk R p 262 – 4Aug1779:  Henry Millar of Berkley County, 4 aug 1779, Informed Office of Surplus in tract near Martinsburg in said county, part of 403 acres granted 2 May 1753 to Richard Morgan who conveyed to James Brown who conveyed 321 acres to said Millar.  Resurveyed by Richard Rigg, 34(?) [343 acre, per deed conveyance in Item No. 2, above] acres (28 acres surplus) to George Miller, adjoining Edward Beeson, Capt. Richard Morgan, JOHN WILSON, George Tingle [Perkle?].  This almost certainly was Henry Miller of Opequon.  It is believed that this resurvey involved the same tract of land conveyed by James and Margaret Brown to Henry Miller in Item No. 3, above.  Through this resurvey record we have the introduction for the first time the name of George Miller.  It is the author’s belief that this George Miller was a son of Henry Miller, as identified in Henry Miller’s Will dated 7Oct1816 (Appendix C).  George Miller probably would have been born before 1758, in order to receive this tract from his father.
  9. Bk S p 75 – 3Aug1780: WILLIAM WILSON of Berkeley County said there is surplus in tract on Opecon about 2 miles from Martinsburg in said county, part of 225 acre granted Sept 14, 1764 to SAMUEL STRODE who sold his part. Residue at his death became property of his son Samuel Strode as heir at law, who conveyed to WILSON for 97 acres. Resurveyed by Richard Rigg shows 264 acres, 3 Ro 38 Po (167 acres 3 Ro and 38 Po. surplus). Deed to WILSON. adjoining Henry Miller, JOHN WILSON, James Blair, Samuel Strode. 3 Aug 1780.  This Henry Miller is believed to have been Henry Miller of Opequon.  This deed would seem to place Henry Miller’s land about two miles from Martinsburg, probably to the east.
  10. Deed Book 5, p. 559 – 18Sep1780:  [Lease and Release] William Wilson and wife, Jane Wilson 264 acres and 3 rods, 38 poles for £1000 to David Wolgamot on drains of Opequon Creek, adj. Henry Miller, John Wilson, James Blair and Samuel Strode.  This tract is believed to have abutted the 343 acre tract acquired by Henry Miller from James and Mary Brown.  The grantee, David Wolgamot is believed to have been a son of Joseph Wolgamot, who received naturalization on the same date with George French and Jacob Miller at Annapolis Maryland in 1747 (more to follow).  Also the same person recorded as a soldier in Capt. Jonathan Hagar’s company of militia in Frederick County MD in 1757.
  11. Deed Book 5, p. 560 – 18Sep1780:  [Lease and Release]  David Wolgamot and wife, Susannah Wolgamot  228 acres for £4200 to Henry Sherrod, land granted to William Wilson, then to Wolgamot, adj. Conrad Miller, Blair, Couchman.  The referenced Conrad Miller is believed to have been the same person mentioned in the preceding records.  The identity of Conrad Miller is yet unknown.  The author believes the grantee, David Wolgamot was a son of Joseph Wogamot Sr..  We will explore the Wolgamot family in much greater detail later in this chapter.  David Wolgamot would have retained 36 acres from the original 264 acres acquired from William and Jane Wilson.
  12. Deed Book 5, p. 563 – 19Sep1780:  [Lease and Release] David Wolgamot and wife, Susannah Wolgamot of Berkeley County VA and Joseph Wolgamot and wife, Julianna Wolgamot of Washington County MD 118 acres for £3000 to William Hickson of Washington County MD on Sleepy Creek and Mountain Run, granted their deceased father, Joseph Wolgamot.
  13. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book N, p. 304 – 30Oct1766:  Joseph Vulgamore Sr., 188 acres on Sleepy Creek and Mountain Run in Frederick County VA, surveyed by Thomas Rutherford, near Warm Spring Road, Mountain Run.

The foregoing grant was the original patent filed by Joseph Wolgamot Sr., father of David Wolgamot and Joseph Wolgamot Jr.  Apparently, Joseph Jr. and family were still residing in Washington County MD at time of this conveyance.  The location of this tract is believed to have been situated on Mountain Run, tributary of Sleepy Creek, about 10 miles over the mountain from Tomahawk on Back Creek.  It is possible that Joseph Sr. never actually occupied this tract, as he is believed to have lived in the vicinity of Williamsport MD where he owned and operated a grist mill.

  1. Deed Book 5, p. 722 – 20May1782:  [Lease and Release] Michael Fritz 9.73 acres for £11.6 to Henry Baugh, adj. to Henry Miller and Wolgamot.  Witness Robert Cockburn, Felty Fritz and Peter Deal.  Same Henry Miller.  Still living near Eagle Run on Opequon.
  2.  [Northern Neck Grants]  Book S, p. 214 – 27Apr1787:  John Miller, assignee of William Askew, assignee of John Cowdry, heir at law to John Cowdry, deceased, 276 acres (patented 15Nov1752) in Frederick County on North Mountain, adj. James Jones, Richard Hatcher, Patton now Robert Knox, Cornelius Breson, David Crocket.  The identity of this John Miller is uncertain, but possibly the son of Henry Miller, as identified in Henry Miller’s Will.  He could also have been a son of Zachariah Miller, who was named an executor to his father’s estate in 1795.
  3. Berkeley County Deed Book 5, p. 429 – 11May1785:  Henry Miller Jr. purchased 228.75 acres from Henry Sherrard for £332, with all houses, buildings, orchards, waters, water courses and appurtenances.[45]  This deed record reference was extracted from a book on the Hout Family, which contained a biography of the Henry Miller family.  This referenced deed is believed to have involved the purchase of a tract by the son of “Henry Miller of Opequon”.  The date of this purchase would suggest that Henry Miller Jr. was born sometime before 1764, as he would have had to have reached his majority in order to be allowed to purchase land.  Following is another deed abstract, which the author believes to have been the means whereby Henry Sherrard acquired the land sold to Henry Miller Jr.:
    • Berkeley County Deed Book 5, p. 560 – 18Sep1780:  [Lease and Release]  David Wolgamot and wife, Susannah, 228 acres for £4,200 to Henry Sherrod, land granted to William Wilson and he to said Wolgamot, adjacent Conrad Miller, Blair, Couchman.  We have already introduced this record (Item No. 17, above).  The author believes that this tract abutted the 343 acre tract purchased by Henry Miller Sr. from James and Margaret Brown on 14Apr1774 (Item No. 3., above), situated on the west side of Opequon Creek near head of Eagle Run.
  4. Will Book 1, p. 463 – 15Jul1787:  Estate sale for Michael Fritz:  Buyers names included:  Zachariah Miller, Conrad Miller, etal… (mostly Germans)  Michael Fritz is believed to have been the same person named in Item No. 19, above, selling land to Henry Baugh, which abutted the lands of Henry Miller and [David] Wolgamot.  Zachariah and Conrad Miller are believed to have been the same persons whose names previously appeared in this section.  Henceforth, Zachariah Miller’s records have been situated on the northwest side of Back Creek, whereas Conrad Miller’s references were related to the drains of Opequon near Eagle Run.  There were only seventeen persons who purchased items from this estate, so it is curious that Zachariah Miller and Conrad Miller, who seemingly lived almost 15 miles apart, would appear at the same estate auction.  Given the presence of so many Germans in Berkeley County in this time period, it hardly seems likely that it would have been merely their common ethnicity that would cause this convergence.  This is highly suggestive of a common ancestral connection.  Since Conrad Miller appeared in this record, and because the estate sale was for Michael Fritz (the same persons reported acquiring land adjacent to Henry Miller and Wolgamot in Item No. 19), we will assume that there may have been a kinship connection between Henry Miller, Conrad Miller and Zachariah Miller, to be discussed at the end of this compilation.
  5. Bk W p 628 T.W. 27- 24 Nov 1787 JOHN TURNER, assigned of Richard Sarjeant, 50 acres ( 16 Aug 1794) in Berkeley Co., on North Mountain adjoining Martin Miller, JOHN TURNER, GEORGE MILLER. 27 Nov 1795.  We now have the introduction of yet another Miller, Martin Miller, seemingly associated with George Miller.  There were no listings for either George Miller or Martin Miller in the 1776/7 rent roll for Berkeley County, yet there were two listings for Martin Miller in 1787 (none for George Miller).  This George Miller is believed to have been the same person, who received the surplus land from the resurvey of Henry Miller’s tract in Item No. 11, above.  Given the close geographic proximity of Martin Miller to George Miller, it might be inferred that they had a kinship connection. Aside from being near North Mountain, the location of this tract is uncertain.  No estate record was found for a Martin Miller in West Virginia, and no record was found for him in the 1810 census of Berkeley or Jefferson Counties, so it seems plausible that he moved out of Virginia before 1810.
  6. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book S, p. 372 – 31Mar1788:  Jacob Bergman [Bingaman?], assignee of Christian Caliz?, 47 acres (patented 6Sep1775) in Berkeley County, adj. Edward Beeson, Robert Snodgrass, Stephen Rawlings, Gaspar Bonner on North Mountain, and Martin Miller.  We have seen several records already involving various members of the Beeson, Snodgrass and Rawlings families.  Many of the early records were on Back Creek, but later records were on the southeast side of North Mountain.  This record being almost 40 years on, it is difficult to state exactly where these families may have been living in 1788.  However, a grant to one of the adjacent landowners may give us a clue as to location:
  7. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book R, p. 112 – 2Mar1779:  Gasper Bonner of Berkeley County, 365 acres on drains of Potomac in said County, adjacent George Myles, Thomas Swearingen, Road from Rawlings on Back Creek to Warm Springs, Turd [Third] Hill Mountain.  Also,
  8. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book Q, p. 336 – 7Sep1778:  Edward Beeson of Berkeley County, assignee of Stephen Rawlings, 336 acres on Back Creek in said County, surveyed by Richard Riggs, adjacent Shepherd, hills of Back Creek, Rawlings, Casper Bonner, Road from Rawling’s to Warm Springs.

The clue provided in these grant records is the reference to “the road from Rawlings to Warm Springs”.  In order to get a geographic fix on the references being provided with these records related to Henry Miller, Conrad Miller, John Miller, George Miller, Zachariah Miller and now Martin Miller, it is helpful to understand the geology of this northeast panhandle of West Virginia.  This area has been marked (at the earth’s surface) by tectonic uplifting and compression, which has created longitudinal folds in the earth’s crust.  These folds in the panhandle area are oriented along an axis which runs from southwest to northeast.  Over eons of surface erosion, a series of roughly parallel mountain ranges have been formed, divided by erosion valleys carved out by streams.  The Catoctin Range forms the southeasterly-most range, followed in succession by the Blue Ridge range, then the North Mountain range, Speepy Creek [Third Hill] range, etc.  The Potomac River has cut through this succession of uplifted or folded ridges.  Early settlement of this panhandle region of Virginia (before it became designated West Virginia) generally migrated southwestward from the Potomac along the intervening erosion valleys.  The bottom lands in these valleys was generally the most fertile and, therefore, most desirable among the first patentees.  As settlement and developments advanced it became necessary to clear and maintain roadways to allow for further development and transport of agricultural, industrial, household and trade goods.  Added to this mix was the presence of another geological phenomena, the Berkeley Springs or Warm Springs, as it was known in the 18th century.  Situated on the banks of the Potomac between the Sleepy Creek and Cacapon ranges, the warm springs had been a major attraction for centuries, if not millennia, first for the native Americans, and then later the newly arriving European settlers.  Certainly there was a need for wagon roads across this region to and from the earliest ferrying points at Watkins Ferry near Williamsport, Swearingens Ferry on Pack Horse Trail at Shepherdstown, and Harpers Ferry at the mouth of the Shenandoah.  The need for other transportation routes to interconnect the growing populations radiating out along the eroded valleys soon became apparent, and on 5Aug1746 an order was enacted in Frederick County for the construction of the first major trans-valley roadway:

  1. Frederick County Order Book 2, p. 113 – 5Aug1746:  On the petition of the inhabitants of Potomac River it is ordered that Israel Robinson, Gentleman, Thomas Berwick, and Thomas Cherry view and mark and lay off a road from the meeting house at the gap [Hedgesville] of the mountain [North Mountain] above Hugh Pauls to the Warm Spring [Berkeley Spring] and James Boyl is hereby appointed overseer from the said spring to Sleepy Creek, and Edward Robinson from Sleepy Creek to the meeting house, and it is further ordered that the tithables within six miles on each side  of the said road clear and work on the same and when cleared that the said James Boyl and Edward Robinson keep the said road in good repair according to law.[46]

The foregoing road order was the earliest record found by the author creating a road from North Mountain to Warm Springs.  It is the author’s belief that this road began in the mountain gap on North Mountain (at present day Hedgesville) and ran in a northwesterly direction, first crossing Back Creek, then skirting around the eastern end of Sleepy Creek range, crossing Tilhance Creek, Gough Creek, Cherry Creek and finally Sleepy Creek, before making a beeline westerly to Warm Springs, following essentially the same alignment as present day State Route 9.  Refer to Figure 29 for an illustration of the probable alignment of this new road.  Assuming the author’s interpretation of the alignment of the road to Warm Springs to be correct, then the above cited patent, which included Martin Miller as an adjacent land owner, likely would have been situated on the northwestern slope of North Mountain, within the Back Creek drainage, and not too distant from Hedgesville.

  1. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book U, p. 128 – 7Sep1789:  James Laramore assignee of James Orr, 293 acres (patented 13May1772) in Frederick County, adj. John Moore, Zachariah Miller, between Back Creek and Sleepy Creek Mountains, and Bryan Bruin.  Given the proximity of this tract to Zachariah Miller, it would appear that Zachariah Miller’s tract was situated on the southeast side of the Sleepy Creek Mountains, within the Back Creek drainage.  Since Back Creek is such a long stream, it is difficult to pinpoint Zachariah Miller’s land other than to state that is was situated on the drains of Back Creek, possibly near White’s Run.
  2. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book U, p. 130 – 7Sep1789:  Monnis [Morris?] Plotner, assignee of John Miller, executor of Jacob Cale, deceased, 29 acres (patented 23Sep1788) in Berkeley County on Sleepy Creek, adj. Thomas Morgan and Peter Overly.  The identity of this John Miller is unknown to the author.  The location of this tract seemingly would place it in the near vicinity to Zachariah Miller, whose lands were across the mountain from Sleepy Creek.
  3. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book V, p. 150 – 9Jun1791:  John Miller 400 acres (patented 23Sep1790) in Berkeley County on Sleepy Creek, adj. Jonathan Rose, Thomas Harrison, John Miller and Joseph Watson.  This patent filing by John Miller appears to have been within the Sleepy Creek drainage, which would place it further north and westerly from the preceding patent involving Martin Miller.  Since Sleepy Creek is a relatively long stream (almost 35 miles) it is difficult to place this tract more precisely, but probably was on the lower reaches near the Potomac.  It seems possible that this John Miller was the son of Henry Miller (Henry’s Will), but may also have been a son of Zachariah Miller.
  4. Will Book 2, p. 111 – 10Oct1791:  Estate sale for John Plotner: Buyers names included:  Henry Miller, Conrad Miller, Barney [Bernhard] Miller, Henry Miller Jr., etal… (about 40% Germans)  It is difficult to ascribe kinship connection based solely on buyers at an estate sale, but, at a minimum, it seems reasonable to assume that Henry Miller Jr. was a son of Henry Miller.  In the 1776/7 rent rolls there were records for two different Henry Miller’s, one clearly associated with David Osburn, who we will explore in the next section entitled “Jacob Miller of Spring Mills”.  The other Henry Miller in 1776/7 is believed to have been Henry Miller of Opequon.  In the 1787 rent rolls there are listings of three separate Henry Millers, probably a continuation of the two from 1776/7 with the addition of this Henry Miller Jr.  We have already opined that Conrad Miller was possibly a kinsman of Henry Miller, based on earlier deed and patent record analysis.  This was the first recorded instance found by the author of Bernard Miller.  There was no listing for Bernard Miller in either 1776/7 or 1787 rent rolls, nor in the 1810 census or estate records.  We will attempt of ascribe a kinship for Bernard Miller, as our record review and analysis proceeds.  We will start our speculation on the kinship of Bernard Miller based on the following land records:
  5. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book V, p. 152 – 10Jun1791:  John Plotner, assignee of Nathaniel Hull or Hall, 73 acres (patented 21Aug1780) in Berkeley County, adjacent Col. Benjamin Chambers, John Richardson, John Plotner, and Nathan Rawlings, on Back Creek or Potomac.  Also,
  6. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book U, p. 130 – 7Sep1789:  Monnis [Morris?] Plotner, assignee of John Miller, executor of Jacob Cale, deceased, 29 acres (patented 23Sep1788) in Berkeley County, on Sleepy Creek adjacent Thomas Morgan and Peter Overly.

From the forgoing records it would appear that John Plotner had lived in the vicinity of the Back Creek drainage, near its confluence with the Potomac River, i.e. not too distant from Tilhance and Gough Creeks.  It seems doubtful that persons would travel very far from their immediate neighborhoods to participate in an estate auction.  Consequently, it seems probable that all four of the Millers, who purchased items from this estate sale were residing in the area of lower Back Creek and the Potomac.  Consequently, it seems reasonable to assume that Bernard Miller may have been yet another kinsman of Henry Miller Sr., whoever he was.  Whether this Henry Miller [Sr.] was the same person as “Henry Miller of Opequon” is not yet clear to the author.

  1. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book V, p. 355 – 3Feb1792:  Morgan Gibbons, assignee of John Lamb, 226 acres (patented 19Jul1779) in Berkeley County, adj. Richard Rigg, Robert Pinkerton, Zachariah Miller, on Tilhance Branch of Back Creek, James Orr, George Myles, John Jenkins and Elias Stone.  In this record we have Zachariah Miller as an adjacent land owner on Tilhance Branch of Back Creek.  This is the same location that a Jacob Miller first filed a patent in 1760.  That Jacob Miller will be analyzed later in this chapter under the identity of “Spring Mills Jacob Miller”.  At some point in our analysis of Miller records from Berkeley County it may become suggestive that there were kinship connections between some of the five different groupings established by the author, but that is yet to be determined.
  2. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book V, p. 570 – 30May1792:  Martin Miller 53 acres (patented 1Oct1770) in Frederick County, adj. Allen Cox, Edward Beeson, Peter Hedges, Edward Davis, Gaspar Bonner on North Mountain.  When the author researched patents having a filing date of 1Oct1770, only two records were found, one of which was located on the slope of the Blue Ridge (clearly not this patent), and another filed by the Honorable George William Fairfax, abstracted as follows:
  3. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book O, p. 318 – 1Oct1770:  The Honorable George William Fairfax of Fairfax County, 2080 acres on Dry Marsh of Opequon (including the improvement formerly Nicholas Mercer’s) in Frederick County, surveyed by Thomas Rutherford, adjacent William McMachon, David Brown, Mr. Charles Dick, John Nickland’s heirs, Samuel Littler, Andrew Milburn, Milburn’s heirs, land formerly Peter Falkner, deceased, Joseph Darnell, Richard Colbert, Benjamin Blackburn, the Waggon Road [from Watkins Ferry], Capt. Angus McDonald, and Henry Heth.

It seems probable that the 53 acre tract patented by Martin Miller on 30May1792 may have been part of the patent taken out by George William Fairfax on 1Oct1770, given that there were no other patents on that date in this part of Berkeley County.  The precise location of this patent is uncertain, but probably was in the region between Opequon and Back Creeks, near the Potomac, and north of Shepherdstown, perhaps in the Falling Creek area.

  1. Will Book 2, p. 171 – 26Fed1793:  Estate Settlement for Michael Shaver:  Account Names:  Barney Miller, Christian Miller, Henry Miller, etal… (mostly Germans)  Again, we have the introduction of yet another Miller, Christian Miller, in association with Henry Miller and Bernard [Barney] Miller.  Christian Miller appeared on the 1787 rent roll in Berkeley County, so he would have been born before about 1766, and probably a land owner in order to pay quit rents.  The LWT of Christian Miller was dated 15Mar1809, naming wife, Christen [Christina], daughters: Sarah and Cathy, and a young son, named John, witnessed by Henry Dawson and John Shockey.
  2. Bk Y p 200 Exc. TW 540-18 Sept 1793 GEO. MILLER, 50 acres (31 Oct 1794) in Berkeley Co., on North Mountain adjoining Tunis Newkirk and JOHN TURNER purchased of Edward David [Davis?], George Myles, Robert Stephenson, Edward Beeson. 22 July 1796.  This George Miller is believed to have been the same person involved in earlier records above, and a son of Henry Miller of Opequon.  The location of this tract very likely was in the vicinity of Hedgesville or Spring Mills.
  3.  [Northern Neck Grants]  Book W, p. 628 – 27Nov1795:  John Turner, assignee of Richard Serjeant, 50 acres (patented 16Aug1794) in Berkeley County on North Mountain, adj. Martin Miller, John Turner and George Miller.  So Martin Miller and George Miller were neighbors, likely in the environs of Hedgesville.
  4. Will Book 2, p. 306 – 29Mar1794:  Auction Vendue for Philip Sheets:  Buyers: Bernard Miller, Jacob Miller, Henry Bedinger, etal…  Administrators: Uliana Sheets and Henry Turney; Security By: Abraham Shepherd Jr. and J. Swearingen.  This record is of particular importance to our investigation, as it is the first instance of a Jacob Miller appearing in the same record with other parties already tentatively identified.  Henry Bedinger almost certainly was the author’s 4th great uncle.  It can be further assumed that this Bernard Miller was the same person previously identified in association with Henry Miller, Conrad Miller, George Miller and Zachariah Miller.  Unfortunately, this was an estate sale record, so it is not possible to establish close geographic proximity, based on this record alone.  As we proceed with our investigation we will look for other instances of this Jacob Miller, if they exist.  It seems possible to the author that this Jacob Miller was yet another son of Henry Miller of Opequon (see Henry Miller’s Will in Appendix C)  Philip Sheets was not the son-in-law of Henry Miller of Opequon.
  5. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book X, p. 177 – 8Jun1796: John Thornton, 439 acres (patented 21May1772) in Berkeley County, adj. his own land, Coulter, John Miller, Alpheus Gustin, Sleepy Creek and Potomac.  Ditto.  Possibly a son of Henry Miller of Opequon or Zachariah Miller.
  6. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book X, p. 490 – 19Oct1796:  John McLean, assignee of Joseph Turner, 116.5 acres (patented 19Mar1794) in Berkeley County, adj, heirs of Thacher, heirs of John Miller, deceased, North Mountain.  Identity of this John Miller, deceased, is uncertain, but possibly related to the Scotch-Irish Miller brothers.  This John Miller would not have been a son of Henry Miller of Opequon, as Henry made a bequest to that John Miller in 1816.
  7. Will Book 3, p. 87 – 28Aug1797:  Estate Audit for Benjamin Thornburgh:  Account Names: John Vanmeter, Henry Miller, etal… (mostly Germans)  The Thornburgh family were Quakers.  This may have been the same Henry Miller, who appeared in the previous records, and identified as Henry Miller of Opequon. 
  8. Will Book 3, p. 279 – 27Jan1800:  Estate Settlement for John Platner [Plotner?]:  Account Names:   Henry Miller, John Miller, etal…  This may have been a record of Henry Miller of Opequon, and his son, John Miller..
  9. Will Book 3, p. 288 – 9Mar1800:  Estate Settlement for Col. William Morgan:  Account Names:  Daniel Bedinger, Henry Bedinger, Jacob Bedinger. William Brown, William Lemen, Christian Miller, etal… (mostly Dutch and German)  This Christian Miller almost certainly was the same person named in earlier record(s).  He may have been a kinsman of Henry Miller of Opequon.
  10. Will Book 3, p. 351 – 14May1800:  Estate appraisal for Jacob Miller;  Appraisers: David Osborn Sr., Mason Bennett, David Moore and Adam Link.  The identity of this Jacob Miller is uncertain.  This estate record will be revisited in our analysis of Jacob Miller of Elk Branch in the next section of this chapter.
  11. Will Book 2, p. 637 – 4Nov1802:  Estate sale for Conrad Stickler:  Buyers names included: George Miller, etal… (mostly Germans)  This George Miller probably was a son of Henry Miller of Opequon.
  12. Will Book 3, p. 452 – 25Oct1802:  Estate Sale for Archibald Shearer:  Buyers Names: Henry Miller, William Miller, etal… (mostly German)  Archibald Shearer lived in the Falling Creek area, between Spring Mills and the Potomac River.  This Henry Miller may have been Henry Miller of Opequon.  This was the first instance of this William Miller.  His identity is unknown to the author.
  13. Will Book 3, p. 583 – 27Dec1803:  Estate appraisal for Zephaniah Brashear. Names on account: Jacob Miller, Edward Strode, Jeremiah Strode, John Strode, Susannah Strode, Thomas Swearingen, etal…  The identity of this Jacob Miller is uncertain..  An extraordinary number of these accounts involved various members of the Strode family, suggesting a possible kinship connection to Zephaniah Brashear. 
  14. Will Book 3, p. 664 – 25Feb1805:  Estate Sale for Jacob Clise:  Names of bidders: Jacob Miller, etal… (mostly Germans).  There was still a Jacob Miller living in Berkeley County in 1805.  His identity is unknown to the author. but possibly the same person who purchased from the estate of Zephaniah Brashear, above.
  15. 4Oct1816, Recorded 10Mar1817 – Will of Henry Miller Sr.; Sons: Henry, Jacob [possibly our Jacob Miller], George, Adam and John; daughters: Rosanna Horst [Hout or Haudt], Elizabeth Job, Mary Choppart, Hannah Vincenheller, Catherine Deel (wife of Peter Dell [Diehl]), granddaughters: Hannah Errett, Elizabeth Sheets and Sarah Sheets; grandsons: William and Henry Sheets; Executors: Jacob Weaver, Esq., and William Long; Witnesses: John Shober, Martin Myers, Edward Grub and Nicholas Moursquint [Marquart?].  This is believed to have been the LWT of “Henry Miller of Opequon”.  A complete transcription of this Will is contained in Appendix C at the end of this chapter.  It is a very lengthy Will which made substantial bequests to five sons: Henry, Jacob, George, Adam and John, and five daughters: Rosannah, Elizabeth, Mary, Hannah, Catherine, and several grandchildren of deceased daughters (married to a Mr. Errett and Mr. Sheetz).  Henry’s wife was not named in the Will, so presumably she had died sometime before about 1815, when Henry disposed of a tract of land, without his wife relinquishing dower.  The author believes that the George Miller, who received the surplus tract from Henry Miller (Item No. 14, above) probably was the son, George Miller, named in Henry Miller’s LWT.  If so, it seems probable that this son would have been born before 4Aug1758.  If it is assumed that Henry’s sons were named in his Will in their order of birth (oldest to youngest), then it seems likely that Henry Jr. and Jacob were older than George, and possibly born before 1757.  NOTE:  At the time that this Will was written, all of Henry Miller’s children were adults, married, and living away from his household.  It is entirely conceivable that Henry Miller’s son, Jacob Miller, was the same person as our Jacob Miller, who had removed to Grayson County Kentucky in about 1795.  It is known that Rosanna Miller Hout was living in Ohio in 1817, when her father made her bequest from his estate, so there is good reason to believe that other children were also living outside of Berkeley County Virginia in 1816.
  16. 1810 Berkeley County Census record for household of Henry Miller Sr. is summarized in Figure 30.  This record lists five younger males, in addition to the presumed head of household, Henry Miller Sr.  It also lists an older woman, over age 45, presumed to have been Henry’s wife, Magdalena.  Additionally, there were two young females, the oldest aged 10 thru 25.  It is the author’s belief that one of Henry and Madgalen’s married daughters, and her husband and children were living in Henry Sr’s. household.  That being the case, then it would appear that all of the other children (with the possible exception of one son) were no longer living with the parents.  It seems probable that Henry Miller was born sometime around 1735 [in Germany], so in 1810 all of his children would have been adults and probably living on their own.
  17. Henry Miller of Opequon’s Public Tree:  There were 151 trees found on Ancestry.com for this Henry Miller, whose profile is summarized in Figure 27.  It should be noted that some of these trees associated communicant records for a Henry and Magdalen Miller from the Christ Evangelical Luther Church of Lehigh PA in the 1790’s.  Clearly, those records could not have been for Henry Miller of Opequon, as he had been living continuously in Berkeley County VA from about 1770 until his death in 1817, unless perhaps they had traveled briefly back to Pennsylvania.  Also, many of those trees identify Magdalena with the surname of “Oswald”, and Heirnich’s father as Daniel Miller.  However, no documentary proof is offered for those assertions.
  18. Henry Miller Family Biography:  The best (if not only) biography to be found on the family of Henry Miller was published in a book entitled THE HOUT FAMILY For Two Hundred and Twenty-seven Years Ten Generations 1725 to 1952, written by Margaret Birney Pittis, 1952.  Ms. Pittis has performed a Herculean task of researching her Hout family ancestry in an age before the advent of computers and electronic communications.  The author stands in awe of her achievement.  In Ms. Pittis’ work she has compiled a variety of information on the Houts and allied families in and around Martinsburg, some elements of which are reiterated as follows:

“Some names in Poll List of Berkeley County 1788-89

(Only “freeholders” voted)

M. Hout

Jacob Miller (quite possibly our Jacob Miller)

Thomas Crow

John Miller (quite possibly Jacob Miller’s younger brother)

Marriages: 

  1. Peter Houte and Rosanna Miller [daughter of Henry and Madgalena Miller, and possibly sister of our Jacob Miller]: 21Nov1786, Hugh Vance, Minister.
  2. Henry Houte (son of Peter and Rosanna [Miller]) and Rachael French [French family will be explored in next section of this chapter]: 14Apr1812

Rosannah gave eight (possibly nine) of their ten children the same names as those of her father and brothers and three (or four) of her sisters. Her first son was named Henry, which was the name of her father and eldest brother…

Of the ten children [of Peter Hout and Rosanna Miller], Henry [Hout Jr.] was the only one to marry in Virginia before moving to Ohio. On April 14, 1812, the marriage of Henry Hout and Rachel French occurred, as was recorded in the marriage records of Berkeley County. This was a year previous to the removal of the Peter Hout family to Ohio. Henry and Rachel joined the migration and established their home in the land of new opportunity…

Henry Miller’s grandson, William Jobe, in his biographical sketch in the “History of the Lower Shenandoah Valley”, stated that Henry Miller served in the American Revolution. Several, and probably all, of his twelve children were born before the outbreak of the War in 1775 (Rosannah was born in 1765); it is doubtful, therefore, that Henry Miller actually enlisted in the army. He may have served in the local militia, as did many men who were fifty or more years of age…

We do hereby certify that there is due unto Henry Miller the sum of three hundred and ninety-six pounds seventeen shillings and six pence for nineteen bushels and three pecks and three quarts furnished by the said Henry Miller for the use of the State of Virginia, agreeable to an act of Assembly entitled “An Act for procuring a Supply of Provisions,” &c. Witness our hands this 24th day of October, 1780. (p. 58-9)…

Henry Miller is allowed one pound ten shillings for a gun impressed for the use of the Militia of this County in the service of the State, which is ordered to be certified. Henry Miller was a patriot, having furnished supplies. His daughter Rosannah married Peter Hout; hence these two records qualify the descendants of Peter and Rosannah Miller Hout for membership in the patriotic societies stemming from the American Revolution. Bars are used by these societies to de note the number of qualifying ancestors. The records of John George Hout, Peter Hout, and Henry Miller qualify the descendants of Peter and Rosannah Hout for membership and two bars in the patriotic societies…”[47] 

NOTE:  Although the foregoing writer’s primary emphasis was on the Haudt or Hout family, and consequently, focused on the descendants of Rosannah [Miller] Hout having claim of ascendance from a Revolutionary War “patriot”, it should be pointed out that anyone descended from Henry Miller would be entitled to claim the same ascendancy.

This concludes our investigation into the family of “Henry Miller of Opequon”.  We will return to this family when we conclude our complete analysis of Berkeley County Millers, toward the end of this chapter.

(3) Spring Mills Jacob Miller:

The author only became aware of the possible existence of this Jacob Miller through seven public trees on Ancestry.com.  His profile is presented in Figure 31, below.  Many of the owners of these trees aver that this Jacob Miller died at Spring Mills in 1788, and that he had two sons named Henry and Michael, each of whom had married daughters of Jacob French.  The author has attempted to contact the owners of these public trees regarding their sources for this purported family of Jacob Miller, but has received no reply.  These public tree records for the family of Jacob Miller are completely lacking in any source data.  Consequently, the author is unable to reliably establish the existence of this Jacob Miller, or whether he may have had two sons named Henry and Michael. 

That being said, it should be reported that there does appear to be record evidence of the existence in Berkeley County of two men named Henry and Michael Miller, who were married to Margaret French and Mary French, respectively, presumed to have been daughters of Jacob French II.  The basis for these marriages is credited to a deed record abstracted as follows:

“1798 Jun 29 — Jacob French 2nd, who died in 1788, had his land split up among his children. But in 1791 when his son John died, John’s share needed to be split up [among his surviving siblings?]. John was the executor of his father’s will. Land was further divided among the following family members:

  1. George French, son, and his wife Mary Saveley [aka Snaveley or Schnabele]
  2. Barbara French Helm, daughter, who married Martin Helm
  3. Mary French, daughter, who married Michael Miller
  4. Margaret French, daughter, who married Henry Miller
  5. Henry French, son, had moved out of the area.  [Relo to Mercer County KY]

All of Berkeley County, WV, sold to their sibling Jacob French 3rd two tracts of land adjoining each other: 220 acres, land which Jacob French 2nd, now deceased, had purchased from Edward Davis and James Davis.”[48]

Now comes the author’s speculations.  First, it is the author’s belief that there was a Henry Miller and Michael Miller living in Berkeley County in 1798, who were identified in the foregoing deed abstract as husband’s of Margaret French and Mary French, respectively, and that those wives were daughters of Jacob French II, who had died in Berkeley County VA in 1788.  However, it seems questionable to the author whether that Henry Miller and Michael Miller were brothers, or sons of a Jacob Miller.  Very little evidence could be located to establish the existence of a Jacob Miller anywhere in Berkeley or Frederick (prior to 1772) Counties VA.  What little evidence that was found is presented as follows:

  1. Frederick County Deed Book 9, p. 186 – 1May1764:  [Lease and Release] Between Frederick Unsult and Easter, his wife, of Frederick County VA to Jacob Miller of Frederick County MD for £180, 184 acres, patented to said Unsult by Lord Fairfax on 10Apr1751.  This was the first record found in Frederick County VA for the man who we will tentatively refer to as “Jacob Miller of Spring Mills”.  We have dubbed him thusly, because of the similarities between his demographics and that of the Jacob Miller reported in the Ancestry Public Tree profile presented in Figure 31.  According to this public tree, Jacob’s origins were unknown, and the identity of his wife was unknown.  However, this tree avers that Jacob had two sons named Henry and Michael, both of whom married daughters of Jacob French.  The tract purchased by Jacob Miller appears to have been part of the 248 acre tract patented by Frederick Unsult, abstracted below.
  2. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book G, p. 480 – 3Apr1751:  Frederick Unsult of Province of Maryland, 163 acres in Frederick County VA, surveyed by John Mauzey, adjacent his former survey, John Harris [Harr?], and North Mountain, on Back Creek.  This tract appears to have abutted the tract patented below, and adjacent to the tract sold to Jacob Miller. 
  3. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book G, p. 486 – 10Apr1751:  Frederick Unsult of Frederick County [Maryland?], 248 acres in said County, surveyed by John Muazy, on Back Creek.  It is the author’s belief that the tract granted in this patent filing included the land sold to Jacob Miller.  In his LWT probated on 1Dec1755 in Frederick County Maryland, Frederick Unseld bequeathed to his eldest son, Frederick Unseld Jr. a tract of land in Virginia containing 228 [248?] acres, less 64 acres.  If we assume a transcription error, and that the original size of this tract was actually 248 acres (as shown in this patent abstract), when reduced by 64 acres, would yield the 184 acres purchased by Jacob Miller.
  4. Maryland Militia Roster – 1757:  Capt. Jonathan Hagar’s Company (Mennonites); Lt. Martin Casner; Ens. James White; Sgt.’s: John Casner, Jacob Casner; Soldiers: Leonard Snavely, George Casner, Jacob Miller, Conrad Miller, John Miller Jr., Frederick Unselt, Joseph Volgamott, John Miller, Daniel Cresap [grandson of notorious Indian Trader and namesake of Cresap’s War, Col. Thomas Cresap], Jacob Miller Jr., Abraham Teter, John Teter, Zachariah Miller, Philip Jacob Miller, Christian Rhoarer, George Davis, Jacob Miller (son of Conrad), Benjamin Mollatt [Arbraham Mollatt purchased property from the estate of Dr. Richard Pile, deceased husband of Elizabeth].  Captain Jonathan Hagar’s Maryland Militia Company, formed during the French and Indian War, was from that part of Frederick County MD that would be annexed to form Washington County MD in 1776, and which included the valley of Coconocheague, from its mouth at Williamsport on the Potomac, northerly into Antrim Township in Pennsylvania.  By virtue of its member’s term of service having been limited to six-day intervals, it has been surmised that this company was composed mainly of men of the Mennonite faith, possibly also including Dunkers (or Brethren).  Captain Jonathan Hagar himself is believed to have been a Mennonist, and founder of Hagarstown MD.  The reader will recognize several names of soldiers, which match with names of persons already discussed in this chapter, including Frederick Unsult, Conrad Miller, Jacob Miller, Joseph Volgamot, and Zachariah Miller (not necessarily the same persons already introduced).  This militia record was inserted at this juncture mainly for its reference to Frederick Unselt [sic], but it certainly should peak the reader’s interest for discussions to be presented later in this chapter.
  5. Virginia Militia Records – 9Oct1761:  From Capt. Thomas Caton’s Company: The following fines were levied.  Fined 10 shillings for being absent from 1 general muster: William Cherry, John Mercer, Josiah Hultz, Adam Pain, James Jack, Jacob Johnston, John Cherry, James Llogan, Thomas Applegate, George Pack, Samuel Pack, Thomas Pack, William Noble, Felix Hughes, Joseph Dunn, Frederick Unsult, Jacob Brown, James Morgan, John Morgan, Matthias Swin, John Swin, Matthias Swin Jr, Robert Caton, William Jackson, John Stewart, John McCoy, David Shaine, Richard Smith, Job Harrington and Thomas Copely.  Frederick Unsult was recorded four years later as a member of the Virginia Militia Company of Capt. Thomas Caton, in company with two members of the Cherry family, who resided along the drains of Cherry Creek, just northwest of Back Creek, the same general neighborhood in which Frederick Unselt Sr. filed his patents.  Since Frederick Unselt Sr. appears to have died before Dec1755, the Frederick Unselt in these militia records probably was Frederick Unselt Jr.  And,
  6. “However, at his [Muhlenberg’s] request, Rev. Gabriel Naesman, pastor of the Swedish Lutheran Church at Wicaco, near Philadelphia, who could preach in German,… made a visit to Frederick [Maryland] in October, 1746…   He caused a large and well-bound record book to be purchased and in it he entered the fact of his preaching there and the record of his baptisms.  He also gave instruction to have the records of Candler and all other entries copied from private journals and family Bibles into the new church book  Fifty-four baptisms previous to October 1746, were so entered.  The earliest baptism in the record is dated 22Aug1737.  The infant son of Frederick Unsult was baptized by a Rev. Mr. Wolf… The probability is that the baptism was performed at the place from which the parents removed before they came to the Monocacy settlement, possibly the Lutheran settlement on the Raritan in New Jersey, where in 1737 Rev. John August Wolf was pastor.”[49]  Frederick Unsult is such a unique name, it seems highly probable that the Frederick Unsult, from whom Jacob Miller purchased this 184 acre tract, was the same person, whose child’s baptism was recorded in the new Lutheran Church register on the Monocacy in October 1746.  And finally,
  7. Ship’s register, Elizabeth, Philadelphia, 27Aug1733, Friedrich Oneself (aka Georg Friederich Unseldt), weaver, age 24.  It is the author’s belief that this was the transport record for Frederick Unsult into the Americas from Rotterdam.  It is curious to note that Frederick Unsult appeared in this ship’s log immediately following the entries for Simon Linder and Simon Linder Jr.  Was this just coincidence, or does it suggest that Frederick Unsult and the Linders may have been previously acquainted before embarking for America?  This puzzle is made even murkier by the baptism of Henricus Unseld (4th child of Frederick Unseld) on 13Jan1744, possibly in Antrim Township (future Franklin County) Pennsylvania, wherein Simon Linder and his wife were sponsors.[50]  It is also worth noting that there was a record of a Wolf Conrad Milor [Miller] aged 41, and a Jacob Milor [Miller] aged 17 aboard this same voyage of the Elizabeth.  Is it possible that Wolf Conrad Miller and Jacob Miller were father and son, and that that Jacob Miller was the same person who purchased this tract from Frederick Unsult?  (more to follow)

This was the first record found in Virginia for this Jacob Miller.  It is important for establishing his identity that he was noted as being of Frederick County MD.  Also, by tracing the title of this tract back to its original grant, it can be established that this tract was situated near the mouth of Back Creek near the Potomac River, probably between the waters of Tilhance and Gough Creeks.  It is also important to note that the original grantee was Frederick Unsult (clearly of Dutch, German or Swiss origin) of Maryland.

  1. Berkeley County Deed Book 2, p. 345 – 26Jul1773: Jeremiah Dunn and Elizabeth Dunn of Bustow Creek settlement on the Ohio, appoint Ezekial Cox of Frederick Co. MD lawful attorney to deliver to Jacob Miller of Frederick County MD a deed for a 250 acre tract adj. to Isaac Pearce, and Jacob Miller on Back Creek and Tile Hanes Branch [aka Tilhance Branch], part of a prior tract of John Swan of Hagerstown and the residual being 120 acres.  Witness: Robert Harrison and Joseph Crawford.  The author believes this tract to have been situated on Tilhance [aka Tile Haynes or Tilhanzy] Branch, a northwesterly tributary of Back Creek, just upstream from the Potomac River, about five miles northeast of present day Hedgesville.  This Jacob Miller was identified as having been of Frederick County MD at the time of the deed filing.  He is believed to have been the same Jacob Miller, who purchased the 184 acre tract from Frederick Unsult in Item No. 1, above.  It seems probable that this tract originated from the following two patents:
  2. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book O, p. 177 – 17Aug1768:  Jeremiah Dunn of Frederick County [Maryland or Virginia?], 161 acres on Tilchanzy’s Branch and Goff’s [Gough’s]Branch of Back Creek in said County, surveyed by John Mauzey, adjacent Charles Goff [namesake of Gough’s Branch?], Jeremiah Foulsom and Edward McGinnes.  Also,
  3. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book O, p. 299 – 7Aug1770:  Jeremiah Dunn of Maryland, 162 acres near mouth of Back Creek, surveyed by John Mauzey, adjacent Frederick Unsult, Potomac River, Jeremiah Foulsan.  By virtue of this tract having abutted the land of Frederick Unsult, it very likely was nearby to the earlier tract acquired by Jacob Miller from Frederick Unsult.  The location of this tract is further established by the following records related to the abutting owner, Isaac Pearce:
  4. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book H, p. 721 – 27Oct1756:  John McGinnis of Fairfax County VA, 322 acres in Frederick County on Back Creek, surveyed by John Mauzy, on Tilhanzy’s Branch, adjacent Frederick Unsult.  Also,
  5. Frederick County Deed Book 5, p. 490 – 6May1760:  [Lease amd Release]  Between John McGinnis of County of Loudoun VA to Isaac Peirce of County of Frederick for £150, 322 acres, situated on Back Creek.  Witness: Thomas Wood.  By virtue of the tract acquired by Isaac Peirce [Pearce] from John McGinnis having abutted the land of Frederick Unsult, it clearly was the same land which abutted the tract acquired by Jacob Miller from  the Dunns.

There are some facts to be gleaned from the foregoing land records involving Jacob Miller, Frederick Unselt and Jeremiah Dunn, which may allow us to eliminate this Jacob Miller as the purported father of Henry and Michael Miller, as well as a possible kinsman of Jacob Miller of Millerstown.  These so-called “facts” are connected with Jeremiah Dunn and his family, whom the author believes to have settled on Buffalo Creek [aka Bustow Creek], an easterly tributary of the Ohio River in Westmoreland County VA [aka Washington County PA] around 1772/3.  The earliest record found by the author of Jeremiah Dunn was in survey certificate recorded in Frederick County VA dated Apr-Dec1753 in which it was stated that Jeremiah had just reached his majority and was heir at law of James Dun, who had died intestate.  The next record was of a land purchase abstracted as follows:

  1. Frederick County VA Deed Book 6, p. 332 – 3Aug1761:  [Lease and Release]  Between Frederick Unsult of Frederick County VA to Jeremiah Dunn of same, for £22, 68 acres lying on the north side of Back Creek.  This 68 acres probably was the residual of the 248 acre tract in possession of Frderick Unselt, from which he sold 184 acres to Jacob Miller.

This tract may have been in the same general area as the two tracts acquired by Dunn in 1768 and 1770 on the waters of Tilhance Branch.  The tract filing by Jeremiah Dunn in 1770 indicated that he was residing in Maryland, so it seems probable that sometime between 1768 and 1770 Jeremiah Dunn had moved across the Potomac River, probably into Frederick County in the vicinity of Hagerstown.  By 1773 Jeremiah Dunn had moved his family from Maryland to Buffalo Creek, tributary to the Ohio River, an area that would later become Washington County PA.  From one researcher’s account, Jeremiah Dunn was joined in the “Bustow” Creek settlement by several members of his family, including two uncles: Benajah Dunn and Joseph Dunn, and two first cousins: Hezekiah Dunn and Zephaniah Dunn.[51]  Perhaps not coincidentally, a Jacob Miller also moved his family from Maryland to the Buffalo Creek drainage, settling on the Dutch Fork in about 1774.[52]  Jacob Miller [Sr.] acquired two tracts of land totaling 798 acres along Miller’s Run, a minor tributary of Dutch Fork on which he constructed one of the more formidable blockhouses in the region.  On Easter Sunday, 31Mar1782, a marauding band of Shawnee Indians, having been repelled in an attack on Wheeling, sought to take vengeance on settlements to the east of the Ohio.  This Indian band, estimated at about 20 in number, set an ambush and attacked and murdered Jacob Miller Sr. and John Hupp Sr., as they went out of the stockade in search of a lost pony.  The occupants of the stockade, including members of the Miller, Hupp and Gaither families, valiantly fought the Indian onslaught until reinforcements arrived later that day.  Elizabeth Jane Miller Hack provides an extensive description of the children of Jacob Miller Sr., none of whom match Henry and Michael Miller. 

It is the author’s belief that Jacob Miller Sr., who was killed at Dutch Fork, was the same person who had purchased tracts of land on Tilhance Branch in 1764 and 1773.  The basis for this belief is predicated on the fact that he was reported as living in Frederick County MD in 1764 and 1773, that he purchased the second tract from Jeremiah and Elizabeth Dunn the year after the Dunn’s are believed to have removed from the Hagerstown area to settle on Buffalo Creek, and that Jacob Miller Sr. appears to have himself removed from the Hagerstown area and settled on Dutch Fork, tributary of Buffalo Creek two years after the Dunn’s migration to that same area.  One further connection between Jeremiah Dunn and Jacob Miller of Tilhance is the fact that they both purchase land from Frederick Unsult.  If the author’s identification of the Jacob Miller of Tilhance Branch having been the same person as the Jacob Miller, who settled on Dutch Fork, then he could not have been the father of Henry and Michael Miller, who married daughters of Jacob French Jr. 

Having reasonably eliminated the Jacob Miller, who purchased tracts on Tilhance Branch, as the father of Henry and Michael Miller, and being unable to establish the presence of any other person named Jacob Miller in the vicinity of Spring Mills, then we must direct our search for Spring Mills Jacob Miller elsewhere.  We will commence this redirected search for Spring Mills Jacob Miller through a more in-depth investigation of Henry and Michael Miller:

  1. Deed Book 4, p. 461 – 16Mar1778:  Henry Counce [Kuntz or Koonz] and his wife, Dorothy Counce, 52 acres for £120 Pennsylvania currency to Henry Miller land conveyed to the said Counce by David Ozborn on the Potomac River.  The identity of this Henry Miller is not known with certainty at this juncture, but he may well have been the same person, who married Margaret French.  He may also have been the son of “Henry Miller of Opequon”, already discussed in detail in the preceding section.  The 52 acre tract acquired by this Henry Miller is believed to have been the same tract described in the following deed abstract:
  2. Berkeley County Deed Book 3, p. 122 – 22May1774:  [Deed of Mortgage] Henry Countz and wife, Dorothy Countz, 52 acres for £59 Pennsylvania currency to David Ozburn part of a larger tract granted to Evans Watkins, and he to David Watkins, and then he to David Ozburn, and he to the said Countz.  The land is on the Potomac River.  Witnessed: Thomas Legitt, George Legitt and William McCleery.

Given that the original patentee was Evans Watkins, it is the author’s belief that this tract would have been within a couple of miles inland from Watkins Ferry on the Potomac.  Watkins Ferry operated well into the 19th century under various, succeeding owners and was situated adjacent to present day Williamsport MD on the Old Wagon Road.  Also,

  1. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book K, p. 373 – 24Mar1762:  Evan Watkins of Frederick County, 252 acres on Potomac River, in said County, surveyed by Thomas Rutherford, adjacent Maidstone Common, Jeremiah Jack.  This may have been the tract from which Henry Miller’s tract was partitioned.  Although, Evan Watkins already owned a tract in this area, which contained the ferry landing and Maidstone Manor house, pictured in Figure 32. Also,
  2. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book O, p. 259 – 5Mar1770:  Evan Watkins of Frederick County, 219 acres on Potomac in said County, surveyed by Richard Rigg, adjacent George Ross, Watkins, Maidstone Common, Jeremiah Jack and John White.  Ditto.

“Maidstone-on-the-Potomac is a historic house and farm near Falling Waters, West Virginia. Located on the Potomac River immediately opposite Williamsport, Maryland, the property consists of a 218-acre (88 ha) tract with a main house dating from c. 1741. The house was built by Evan Watkins, who operated Watkins Ferry on the Potomac, which was used by George Washington and General Edward Braddock.”

  1. Berkeley County Will Book 1, p. 483 – 26Jun1787:  Jacob Fisher estate appraisal, by Tunis Newkirk, George Myles, John Turner and Michael Miller.  A male and female negro.  Given the other appraisers names, this Michael Miller almost certainly was the husband of Mary French.
  2. Berkeley County Will Book 3, p. 219 – 10Nov1798:  James Night estate appraisal, by Robert Stephen, Jacob French, Michael Miller and William Hedges.  This Michael Miller almost certainly was the husband of Mary French.  This Jacob French probably was the brother-in-law of Michael Miller, as his presumed father-in-law had died in 1788.
  3. 18Jan1805 – Will of Henry Miller; wife: Margaret [French?] Miller; children: only Jacob Miller (minor) named to be apprenticed; and daughter: Elizabeth Miller to receive grey mare; balance of estate to be held for two years, then sold and equally divided; Executors: Margaret Miller and Jacob French; Witnesses: John Gardener and Jacob Miller; Administrator: George Newkirk.  This was certainly the LWT of Henry Miller, presumed son of Jacob Miller and husband of Margaret French Miller.  Only two children were named in the Will, but reference is made to other, unnamed children.  There is good reason to believe that several of Henry’s older children were already living outside his household in 1805.  In fact, it seems possible that several of the other male Millers, who emerge in the Berkeley County records in the vicinity of North Mountain may have been sons of Henry and Margaret, i.e. Martin Miller, Bernard Miller, Conrad Miller and/or Christian Miller.  The peculiar fact about this Henry Miller is that we have him appearing in only one other record, and that is in the purchase of 75 acres from Henry and Dorothy Counce in 1778.  Where was he during the next 27 years?  Also, we are left to ponder the identity of the Jacob Miller, who witnessed the signing of Henry Miller’s will.  Almost certainly not the son, as he was a minor.
  4. 17Feb1809 – Michael Miller Estate Sale:  Mary Miller, Jacob French, John Miller Sr., John Miller Jr., George Loco, James Grimes, Adam Spitsnoggle, David Kouch, Jacob Miller, William Thurston, Mary Spitsnoggle, George Newkirk, George Low, John Boughdine [Bodine?], Jacob Miller Jr., Jacob Miller Sr.. Michael Mowry, Andrew Toland, William Axe, Alexander Cockran, and Joseph Foreman.  Total Sale Receipts = $182.20.  Other Sources = $296.34.  Appraisers: John Porterfield, Henry French, and [unreadable].  This almost certainly was the estate sale for Michael Miller, presumed son of Jacob Miller and brother of Henry Miller.  The named Mary Miller is believed by the author to have been Michael Miller’s widow, Mary French.  She appeared in the 1810 census as Molly Miller, living nearby to her presumed brother, Henry French, one of the appraisers of her husband’s estate.  The identity of the other Millers, who purchased articles from the estate may have been kinsmen of Michael Miller, i.e., children, nephews, cousins, perhaps even brother(s).  It is interesting to note that there appears to have been three separate Jacob Millers named in this record.  The 1810 census record for Berkeley County contains the households of six separate Jacob Millers, possibly including the three named in this record.  Two were recorded on page 11 of 91, living next to each other and to a John Miller, and nearby to Morris and John Plotner, names closely associated with the Hedgesville area.  The eldest of these Jacob Millers in the 1810 census was over 45, with several children over 16, recorded on page 7 of 91, living nearby to several Keesecker households, which would clearly locate him in the vicinity of North Mountain/Hedgesville.  Is it possible that the Jacob Miller Sr. listed in this estate sale may have been Michael and Henry Miller’s father?  We know little or nothing about the age of Henry and Michael Miller, except that Henry’s only son named in his Will was still a minor.  Consequently, it seems possible that their father could still have been alive in 1809.

Thus far we have presented two deed records for a Jacob Miller of Frederick County Maryland dated 1764 and 1773, for lands abutting one another on the drains of Tilhance Creek, tributary of Back Creek, near the Potomac River.  Aside from these two patents, nothing further was found suggesting the presence of this Jacob Miller in Berkeley County, aside from the undocumented Ancestry Public Tree profile presented in Figure 31.  We do have the 1777 rent roll record, which shows the existence to two different Jacob Millers in Berkeley County, one associated with an Engle tract on Elk Branch (whom we have dubbed Jacob Miller of Elk Branch).  It might be reasonable to assume that the other Jacob Miller was the same person, who filed the deeds on Tilhance Branch, but that would not necessarily affirm his residence in Berkeley County.  He may have been assessed quit rents on his property, and still have been residing in Frederick County Maryland.  So, we really have found very little evidence to support the existence of a Jacob Miller who allegedly lived in Berkeley County, and who died near Spring Mills in 1788.  Curiously, the purported date of Jacob Miller’s death coincides with the death of Jacob French II, and probably near that same general location. 

In order to gain a better understanding of the possible identity and ancestry of Henry and Michael Miller, and their purported father, Jacob Miller, it will be necessary to explore the various Millers and allied families living in Frederick County MD during the latter half of the 18th century.  Also, in order to separate and analyze these various Millers and allied families of Frederick County MD it will be useful to possess a better understanding of the circumstances contributing to and guiding the settlement and development of this region.  First, we will narrow the geographic scope of our analysis by stating that a preliminary investigation of the Millers, who potentially could be the source of Henry and Michael Miller, most likely was limited to that region that ultimately fell within Washington County.  Frederick County was formed in 1748 by partitioning the northwestern part of Prince Georges County, along a dividing boundary in the vicinity of future Washington DC.  Frederick County limits remained unchanged until 1776, when it was further subdivided to form Washington County, northwest of the South Mountain range, and Montgomery County, south of Monocacy Creek.

To further set the stage for this investigation, it should be recognized that a territorial overlap was created by the Crown when it granted proprietorships to William Penn and Lord Baltimore.  In Lord Baltimore’s case, his proprietary limits were almost immediately in conflict with the Virginia Colony (Eastern Shore), and the New Sweden Colony (Delaware) and later the Penn Colony.  The disputed territory between Virginia and Maryland was settled in the mid-17th century, however, the dispute between Maryland and Pennsylvania continued to foment until 1769, just eight years before both proprietorships were lost to America during the Revolutionary War.  The main area of dissention involved the placement of the east-west boundary between the two colonies.  Lord Baltimore’s charter had placed Maryland’s northern boundary at the 40th parallel.  However, due to surveying errors, Pennsylvania had assumed that boundary to be roughly 20 miles southerly of its true location.  Such error resulted in both colonies authorizing land grants and issuing patents within this disputed territory. 

Figure 33 illustrates the area of disputed territory between Pennsylvania and Maryland.  A protracted legal battle ensued, during which a tentative compromise was reached, which placed the colonial boundary along an east-west line at the southern limits of Philadelphia (about 15 miles south of the 40th parallel).  A contract was entered between the Penns, Baltimore, and Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon (London surveyors) on July 20, 1763.  The ensuing survey established the Mason-Dixon Line, which demarked the boundary between Maryland and Delaware, as well as the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania.  Until the establishment of the Mason-Dixon Line, title to lands within the disputed zone were frequently contested, and the settlers within that zone were often uncertain as to which colonial government held jurisdiction.

Each colony was eager to expand settlement into the Cumberland Valley, a constituent of the Great Appalachian Valley, bounded by South Mountain Range on the southeast, Susquehanna River on the northeast, and Potomac River on the southwest.  Germans, Swiss and French immigrants were particularly sought by Penn and Baltimore for this westward expansion.  In the 2nd quarter of the 18th century these ethnic groups comprised roughly 1/3 of the settlers to this region.  With these early European settlers came their unique protestant religions, which in the main included Reformed, Lutheran, Mennonists and Dunkers (Anabaptists).  Because of their strong religious affiliations, these early settlers tended to aggregate in relatively close geographic proximity, and typically intermarried with members of their respective religious communities.  The history of the Mennonist community in the Cumberland Valley during the 18th century has been well-documented by Edsel Burdge Jr. and Samuel L. Horst in their collaborative work entitled Building on the Gospel Foundation, a resource that will frequently be referenced in our search for the ancestry of Henry and Michael Miller.  Another excellent resource is a book entitled Pioneers of the Moncacy, by Grace L. Tracey and John P. Dern.  These resources, combined with a few well-developed genealogical websites on various Miller and allied families will form the primary basis for our research and analysis into the ancestry of Henry and Michael Miller.

We will start this investigation by setting forth the nucleus of three separate Miller families known to have lived in Frederick County during the mid- to late-1700’s:

  1. Abraham Miller of Monocacy

Abraham appears to have been one of the earliest German Millers living in this region.  He was first recorded in Prince Georges County Maryland on 11Jun1737, when he was listed along with five other fellow Germans as having settled on lands within Tasker’s Chance on the Monocacy which included the future townsite of Frederick MD.  Tasker’s Chance abutted John Vanmeter’s tract called Meadows (1725), and his son’s [John Jr’s.?] Pipe Meadows (1727).  Tasker’s Chance had first been surveyed for Benjamin Tasker, an Annapolis businessman, on 15Apr1725, and patented on 9Jun1727.  Abraham Miller and his five fellow Germans (probably already squatting on Tasker’s Chance) approached Tasker with a proposal to purchase the entire tract, which contained approximately 7,000 acres for the sum of £2,000, making a down payment of £841/11, and taking out a note for the balance, payable within seven years.  When the note matured, the German’s had failed to raise the money needed for its redemption, at which time the German’s transferred their interests in Tasker’s Chance to Daniel Dulany, who paid Tasker the balance due on the note on 13Jan1744/5.  The German’s then entered into an agreement with Daniel Dulany to purchase their respective tracts directly from Dulany.  Abraham Miller’s tract contained 294 acres and was situated about one mile below the confluence of Tuscarora Creek on the west side of a sharp bend in the Monocacy.  Abraham Miller and eighteen other settlers received deeds for their Tasker’s Chance tracts from Daniel Dulany on 28Jul1746.  In 1743 Moravian missionaries, Leonard Schnell and Robert Hussey, enroute on a journey from Bethlehem PA to Georgia, reported having stayed overnight at the home of a Mennonite family on the Monocacy, and receiving the reluctant hospitality of one, Abraham Miller.  For whatever reason, Abraham Miller abandoned this tract around 1747, and moved his family about eight miles northward to the environs of Lewistown.  At Lewistown on the waters of Fishing Creek, Abraham Miller acquired several tracts of land and erected three separate water mills.  On 1Sep1748 he filed a patent for 100 acres on a tract called Miller’s Chance, situated to the southwest of Lewistown.  In Mar1750 he purchased another tract called Cooper’s Point from Teter and Hannah Lehnich (former Tasker’s Chance tenants), containing 200 acres.  On 26Oct1751 Abraham resurveyed Miller’s Chance, increasing its size to 1,289 acres.  Although purportedly a Mennonist, Abraham Miller was cited in Nov1749 for operating a “tippling house”.  Abraham Miller died at his home on 20Sep1754, just two days after having dictated his Last Will and Testament.  In his Will he made bequests to his wife, Francis, sons named Jacob, Christian, Isaac, Abraham, and David, and a daughter named Mary.  Two additional daughters named Louisa and Barbara had been referenced in his naturalization proceeding in 1740, but were not named in Abraham’s Will.  Very little is known of Abraham Miller’s origins.  He may have been the Abraham Miller who arrived at Philadelphia on 28Aug1733 aboard the Hope, which arrived one day after the Elizabeth containing several of the fellow Germans who settled on Tasker’s Chance.  The sons of Abraham Miller would have been of the appropriate age range to have kinship association with Henry and Michael Miller, but their geographic location, while in Frederick County MD, was several miles easterly from such allied families as the Frenchs and Snavelys.  The author is not inclined to believe that Abraham Miller or his descendants had any connection to Jacob Miller of Spring Mills.

  1. Brethren Johann Michael Muller

You may need to buckle your seat belt, as this will be a rather long and bumpy ride, but well worth the journey, as we will discover strong connections between the Brethren Johann Michael Muller and Michael and Henry Miller, who married the daughters of Jacob French II.  Johann Michael Muller II is believed to have been born 5Oct1692 in Steinwenden, Germany[53]  He is reputed to have married Susanna Agnes Berchtol (b. 3May1688), daughter of Hans Berchtol and Anna Christina [mnu] on 4Jan1714 at Krottlebach, Germany.  Johann Michael Miller and his family are believed to have immigrated to Philadelphia on 2Oct1727 aboard the Adventure from Rotterdam.  The ship’s register for this voyage clearly shows passengers named Michael Miller and Christopher Miller (unknown relationship, if any).[54]  Several different published sources claim that Johann Michael Miller was accompanied aboard that voyage of the Adventure by his brother-in-law, Jacob Berchtol, his step-brother, Jacob Stutzman, and his step-mother’s husband, Hans Jacob Stutzman.  Whether this assertion is true or not, there is later record evidence of his step-brother, Jacob Stutzman, in America in close association with Michael Miller, so undoubtedly his step-brother did immigrate at some point.  There is also an alternative ship’s log, which includes the name of a Johann [Hans?] Jacob Stutzman, presumably Michael Miller’s step-father or step-brother.  Also aboard this voyage of the Adventure were a Johannes Ulrich and a Christopher Ulrick, surnames which are closely associated in later years with the family of Brethren Michael Miller.  Also, some researchers report that Michael and Susannah Miller brought as many as seven or more of their children with them on this voyage.  Having married in 1714, it is reasonable to assume that they could have had several children in their family when they set sail in 1727.

On 21Oct1736 Governor Ogle of Maryland issued a proclamation offering a reward for the arrest of several parties believed to have sided with the government of Pennsylvania in the territorial dispute between those two colonies.  Just prior to this proclamation a group of settlers within the disputed territory had signed a petition to the Governor and Council of Pennsylvania in which they pled their case for having been deceived in the past by miscreants from Maryland into believing the lands on which they had settled to have been the rightful territory of the Maryland proprietary, but since had come to realize the error of their way and vowed allegiance and loyalty to the province of Pennsylvania.  In addition to the “ringleaders”, constables and magistrates, there were a total of 51 other signers believed to have been the actual settlers, mostly (over 75%) possessing German or Swiss sounding surnames, including one person named Michael Miller.[55]

Although no previous records exist associating Michael Miller with the Church of the Brethren [Dunkers], there are several records in Pennsylvania and Maryland supporting such a connection.  The first such record is the indirect association of Jacob Stutzman as a charter member of the Little Conewago Church (Brethren), along with Jacob Cripe and Stephen Ulrich.  Michael Miller’s close association and living proximity to these Brethren families at Conewago has prompted speculation that he was also a member of that church.  Later notable associations are the intermarriage in 1773 of the widow of Jacob Stutzman with Stephen Cripe Jr.  Also, Michael Miller’s grandson married Elizabeth Ulrich, daughter of Stephen Ulrich Jr.  Michael and Susannah Miller’s first born child was baptized in 1715 in a Reformed Church, suggesting that their conversion to the Brethren faith occurred sometime after that date.  In 1744 Michael Miller was mentioned in correspondence among Brethren leaders in Pennsylvania.  Also, an undated naturalization record (at Philadelphia, probably around 1762) of persons affirming, but not swearing an oath (typical of Quakers, Mennonites and Dunkers, aka Brethren) are the names of Stephen Ulrick, Michael Miller, Conrad Fox, Jacob Schnyder, Simon Stucky and Philip Jacob Miller, all of Frederick County MD, and Jacob Stutzman of Cumberland County PA.

On 16Feb1742 Stephen Ulrich Jr. (Baptist Minister and founder of Little Conewago Church) filed patents on two tracts of land on Little Conewago Creek, adjoining lands of his father.  This land would later be subsumed into York County, and later into Adams County.  Stephen Ulrich’s land was bisected by the Old Monocacy Road which ran between the Susquehanna River (at Wrightsville) and the Potomac River.  It is believed that Stephen Ulrich Jr. and Jacob Stutzman organized the Little Conewago Church near Hanover, possibly on land owned by Stephen Ulrich.  Stephen Ulrich sold this land to Jacob Stutzman (step-brother of Michael Miller).  Stutzman later sold this land to George Wine.  The lands owned by Stephen Ulruch Sr. and Jr. fell within the disputed territory between Pennsylvania and Maryland, such that in 1743 the “Germans” sent an agent named Martin Updegraf to Annapolis to check on the status of their patents near Hanover.  It was discovered that their patents, which had been granted by the government of Pennsylvania, had also been patented by a John Digges in Maryland, thus resulting in disputed ownership:

“It was found that Digges had sold some land he didn’t own, so he got a new grant from Maryland which included farms of 14 Germans whose land had been granted under warrant from Pennsylvania.  Both sides tried to intimidate the farmers.  The Pennsylvania surveyor warned them against violating royal orders.  Mathias Ulrich (possibly a brother of Stephen Ulrich Jr.) apparently told the sheriff “to go to the devil,” an action very out of character for a Brethren and remarkable enough that it was recorded.  Eventually, the situation escalated further and Diggs’ son was killed but Pennsylvania would not surrender the killers to Maryland to be tried.  It was clearly one hot mess on the frontier, and petitions and requests for help went unheard and unanswered by those (officials) back east who cared little if a bunch of Germans killed each other.”

On 7Feb1744 Michael Miller, Nicholas Garber, Samuel Bechtol, and Hans Jacob and Elizabeth Bechtol, who lived in Chester County PA, purchased a tract of land from John Stinchcomb containing 400 acres northeast of Hanover PA, called Batchelor’s Choice.  This tract was just outside of the John Digge’s tract, and may have been part of the lands that came under dispute.  This tract was subdivided with 150 acres each going to Michael Miller and Samuel Bechtol (Michael’s brother-in-law), and the remaining 100 acres going to Nicholas Garber.  Michael Miller sold his 150 acre tract to Samuel Bechtol in 1752.  Michael Miller married the widow of Nicholas Garber, at which time he would have taken possession of his wife’s 100 acre tract, formerly owned by Nicholas Garber.  It is probable that Michael Miller also sold that 100 acres to Samuel Bechtol.

Prior to Michael Miller selling his Bachelor’s Choice land to his presumed brother-in-law, Samuel Bechtol, he is on record having purchased a tract of land in Prince Georges County MD from John George Arnold on 28Aug1745 for the sum of £200 called Ash Swamp containing 200 acres.  In the deed (Liber BB, No. 1, Page 362)  Michael Miller was described as being of Prince Georges County, suggesting that he had already relocated to that region with his family from Hanover, PA.  Ash Swamp had been patented by John GeorgeArnold on 16Jan1739 (MSA S1203-252) containing 150 acres described as follows:

“By virtue of a special warrant granted out of his Lordships Land Office at Annapolis to Daniel Dulaney, Esq. for 150 acres of land bearing date May1739, being part of a warrant granted him, the said Dulaney and Horitta Maria, his wife, for 9,340 acres as appears…  Therefore certifies Deputy Surveyor… I have carefully laid out for and in the name of him, the said Daniel Dulaney, all that tract of land lying in Prince Georges County called the Ash Swamp, beginning at a bounded Spanish Oak tree standing near the head of Ashton Swamp, being a draft of Conococheague Creek, about 500 yards from the dwelling house of John George Arnold and running thence NE66-120 perches, thence NE21-80 perches, thence NW27-140 perches, thence SW31-258 perches, thence by straight line to beginning, containing 150 acres, held of Calverton or Congocheigue Manor.”

A copy of the plat contained within that deed record is presented in Figure 34.  The location of Ash Swamp has been established by the author as being about one mile south-southwest of Maugansville town center.  The citing of Ash Swamp in that area was predicated substantially on the location of a historical building known as “Ashton Hall”.  From numerous sources Ashton Hall is reputed to have been constructed by John Schnebley, son of Dr. Henry Schnebley, on a 196.5 acre tract of land purchased from Philip Jacob Miller, son of Brethren Michael Miller, on 25Sep1795 (Washington County Deed Book I, p. 360), and renamed by Schebley as “Ashton Hall”.  Per the deed the tract purchased by John Schnebley was composed of three separate, but contiguous, tracts known as Prickly Ash Bottom, Keller’s Discovery, and part of Ash Swamp.  According to the Washington County Historical Trust[56] John Schnebley named his new acquisition Ashton Hall, and proceeded in 1803 to build a substantial stone house on that property.  John Schnebley’s old home place still survives today and is situated at 13426 Chads Terrace, Maugansville.

Figure 35 shows an aerial view of the site of Ashton Hall.  Figure 36 shows a groundlevel view of Ashton Hall from the intersection of Chads Terrace and Jennifer Lane.

The author has compiled a fairly complete history of the Ash Swamp tract and its surrounding parcels, through which we will analyze its familial connections with Brethren Michael Miller.  To facilitate this analysis, the author has compiled a timeline and graphic “plat map” reconstruction for Ash Swamp and its neighboring patents.  This timeline and plat map reconstruction will be presented and analyzed in chronological order, based on the earliest date associated with each tract[57]:

  1. 3Apr1739 – Plat surveyed for Joseph Perre for 200 acres, called The Ash Swamp (Prince Georges County, MSA-S1203-251).  This tract was described as “beginning at a bounded Red Oak, standing on the side of a valley, near an Ashton Swamp, being a draught of Conogocheige Creek…”.  A plat map of this tract is presented in Figure 37.  Make note of the point of beginning, and the date of this survey, as these facts will be important to sorting out the sequence of events relative to Ash Swamp, itself.
  1. 19Dec1739 – Plat surveyed for John George Arnold for 150 acres, called Ash Swamp (Prince Georges County, MSA-S1203-252).  This tract was described as “beginning at a bounded Spanish Oak standing near the head of an Ashton Swamp, being a draught of Conogocheige Creek, about 500 yards from the dwelling house of one John George Arnold…”.  A plat map of this tract is presented in Figure 38.  Again, note the point of beginning and the date of this survey.  This is the same tract that was purchased by Brethren Michael Miller on 14May1745.  The metes and bounds description in the deed of conveyance of this tract matches with that of the original grant, except that the deed describes the parcel as containing 200 acres.  In fact, the tract boundaries as described in both the patent and deed calculate to only 150 acres.
  1. 19Dec1739 – Plat map surveyed for John Keller for 150 acres, called The Head of Ash Swamp (Prince George’s County, MSA-S1203-2137).  This tract was described as “beginning at a bounded Spanish Oak, the beginning tree of a tract of land taken up for John George Arnold called the Ash Swamp…”.  A plat map of this tract is presented in Figure 39.  It should be noted that this plat was described as beginning at the same bounded Spanish Oak as the beinning point for Ash Swamp.  Using the metes and bounds description contained in this patent and that of Ash Swamp, these two tracts were found to fit together as illustrated in Figure 40.
  2. Text Box: Figure 38 – Ash Swamp Plat Map19Dec1739 – Plat surveyed for Daniel Dulaney, assigned to James Toms, for 150 acres, called Toms Chance (Prince Georges County, MSA-S1203-2173).  This tract was described as “beginning at a bounded Spanish Oak, being the beginning tree of John George Arnold’s tract called the Ash Swamp…”.  It should be noted that this plat was described as beginning at the same bounded Spanish Oak as the beinning point for Ash Swamp and The Head of Ash Swamp.  Using the metes and bounds description contained in this patent and that of Ash Swamp and The Head of Ash Swamp, these three tracts were found to fit together as illustrated in Figure 40.  John Toms conveyed this tract to Lodowick Miller on 19Apr1751 for the sum of £160.  Lodowick was described as being of Frederick County.
  3. 25Apr1752 – Plat resurveyed for Philip Jacob Miller on Ash Swamp totaling 290 acres (Frederick County MSA S1197-3708) called Resurvey on Ash Swamp.  This resurvey verified the accuracy of the original patent, and added 140 acres of vacant land as illustrated in Figure 41.  Ash Swamp was last known to have been in possession of Brethren Michael Miller.  No document could be located which showed the title conveyance to Philip Jacob Miller.  As will be discovered later in this analysis, Philip Jacob Miller was a son of Michael Miller, and that he became possessed of Ash Swamp following the death of his father.

10Aug1753 – Plats resurveyed for John Keller on The Ash Swamp and The Head of Ash Swamp totaling 363 acres (Frederick County MSA S1197-4358).  This resurvey is quite revealing, in that it determined that the tract called The Head of Ash Swamp substantially overlapped the tract called The Ash Swamp, as illustrated in Figure 42.  This resurvey also determined that The Ash Swamp overlapped 10 acres of Ash Swamp, but also determined that Ash Swamp was an elder survey.  Consequently, Joseph Perre’s tract, The Ash Swamp, was reduced to 190 acres.  Similarly, this resurvey determined that The Head of Ash Swamp substantially overlapped and was subordinate to The Ash Swamp.  Thusly, The Head of Ash Swamp was reduced to a small sliver of land containing only 11 acres.  Apparently as compensation, two adjacent vacant tracts of 62 acres and 100 acres, respectively, were added to The Head of Ash Swamp such that John Keller’s newly consistuted tracts contained 173 acres.

  1. 2Feb1765 – Plat surveyed for Thomas Keller (son of John Keller) for 39 acres called Prickley Ash Bottom (Frederick County – MSA S1197-3580).  This tract was described as “beginning at the end of the 6th Line of a tract called Resurvey on Ash Swamp taken up be Philip Jacob Miller.  Using the references and metes and bounds contained with this plat map, it was found to abut the Resurvey on Ash Swamp to the northeast as illustrated in Figure 43.
  2. Text Box: Figure 43 – Prickley Ash Bottom  and  Keller’s Discovery Plat Map2Feb1765 – Plat surveyed for Thomas Keller for 11 acres called Keller’s Discovery (Frederick County – MSA S1197-2331).  This tract was described as “beginning at 65 perches along the 1st line of a tract called of land called Ash Swamp taken up by Philip Jacob Miller…”.  Based on the references and metes and bounds contained in this plat map, Keller’s Discovery was found to abut the Resurvey on Ash Swamp to the east as illustrated in Figure 43.

In addition to the foregoing patent records associated with Ash Swamp, there were also several key deed records listed chronologically as follows:

  1. 22Apr1774 – Frederick County Deed Book V, p. 278:  Philip Jacob Miller purchased two tracts of land from Thomas Keller (of Cumberland County PA), viz., (1)  a tract called Keller’s Discovery containing 11 acres, and (2) a tract of land called Prickley Ash Bottom containing 39 acres.
  2. 9Dec1783 – Washington County Deed Book C, pp. 563-7:  Lodowick Miller of Frederick County sold to Philip Jacob Miller of Washington County for 5 shillings, all of his interest in a tract of land known as Resurvey on Ash Swamp, vested in Lodowick as a son and heir of Michael Miller, deceased.  In the deed Lodowick acknowledged having already received his fair share of his father’s estate, presumably through other gratuities or devises.  There is one clause within this deed that requires our particular attention, as it tends to contradict the conventional belief of researchers regarding the timing of the death of Brethren Michael Miller.  Most researchers contend that Michael Miller did not die until about the year 1777.  Additionally, many researchers state that Brethren Michael Miller was among a group of brethren, who traveled from Frederick County MD to Philadelphia for the purpose of becoming naturalized citizens.  Some references to this event do not give it a specific date, but suggest that it occurred in the mid-1750’s.  Another source, Roberta Estes, owner of a blog post entitled “Johann Michael Miller (Mueller) the Second (1692-1771), Brethren Immigrant, 52 Ancestors #104” states that she believes Michael Miller, Philip Jacob Miller (Michael’s son), etal., traveled to Philadelphia in 1762 and 1765 for naturalization.[58] 

The following clause from this deed would seem to belie these assertions regarding the death of Michael Miller:

“…said original tract [Ash Swamp] being resurveyed by and with my [Lodowick Miller’s] consent and free will as son and heir at law to my father, Michael Miller, deceased, and leaving no Will, I ordered and agreed that my brother, Philip Jacob Miller, should resurvey the said original tract called Ash Swamp, which was resurveyed on the 25th of April, 1752, and afterward patented unto him, my said brother, Philip Jacob Miller…”[59]

In this clause Lodowick Miller refers to the Resurvey on Ash Swamp having occurred with his agreement, after his father’s death, and that Michael died intestate.  This statement would seem to provide irrefutable proof that Brethren Michael Miller had died sometime before Apr1752.

  1. 26Dec1783 – Washington County Deed Book C, pp. 560-2:  Philip Jacob Miller sold 144.25 acres, part of Resurvey on Ash Swamp to his brother, John Miller, for 5 shillings, said John Miller already residing on said land.  John Miller received the equivalent of a “gift deed” from his brother, the land being conveyed described as John’s right of inheritance from his father’s, Michael Miller’s, estate.  The conveyed tract was described as: “beginning at a Spanish Oak, being the beginning point of the original survey, thence along Line 1 of that survey NE66, 64 perches…”.  The author has compiled a plat map reconstruction of this plat based on the metes and bounds contained in the deed of conveyance, which is depicted in Figure 44.  This subdivision of the Resurvey on Ash Swamp resulted in the splitting of the tract into two, roughly equal parcels, with John Miller owning the southwest half and Philip Jacob Miller Miller owning the northeast half. 
  2. 25Sep1795 – Washington County Deek Book I, pp. 360-1:  Philip Jacob Miller sold three contiguous tracts, totaling about 196 acres, to John Schnebley, son of Dr. Henry Schnebley, for sum of £2,175, 5 shillings.  All tracts said to be contiguous, and consisting of Keller’s Discovery, Prickley Ash Bottom and part of Resurvey on Ash Swamp (being remainder not sold to John Miller).  The author has compiled a plat map reconstruction of the tracts conveyed to John Schnebley, which he reportedly renamed Ashton Hall as illustrated in Figure 45.

This concludes our analysis of the tract known as Ash Swamp presumably purchased by Brethren Michael Miller.  From this analysis we have been able to reliably eastablished that a person named Michael Miller, presumed by many researchers to have been the same person described hereinbefore as Brethren Michael Miller, purchased the Ash Swamp tract from John George Arnold on 14May1745, and that he was described as “being of Prince George’s County”.  So, even though he is on record having purchased 150 acres, part of a tract called Bachelor’s Choice near Hanover PA on 7Feb1744, he would appear to have established residency in Maryland sometime before May1745.  There were several other land records found for a Michael Miller in Frederick County after its formation in 1748, however, there is good reason to believe that most of those records did not involve Brethren Michael Miller.  The basis for that conclusion is that, per the deed record in which Lodowick Miller relinquished his interest in Resurvey on Ash Swamp to his brother, Philip Jacob Miller, on 9Dec1783, it is stated that Lodowick Miller had ordered and agreed to the resurvey of Ash Swamp on 25Apr1752 because his father, Michael Miller, had died intestate.  So, from that deed record it was learned that Brethren Michael Miller had died sometime before 25Apr1752, when the survey map for the Resurvey on Ash Swamp was created.  It was also learned from that deed record, and the deed of conveyance from Philip Jacob Miller to his brother, John Miller in 26Dec1752, that Philip Jacob Miller, John Miller and Lodowixk Miller were all sons of Brethren Michael Miller, and presumably Michael’s only sons still living in 1783.  Had there been other sons still living at that time, they likely would have held a vested interest in Resurvey on Ash Swamp, which vested interest would need to have been acknowledged in the land records.

Now that we have reliably established the existence and identity of three of Brethren Michael Miller’s sons, it is time to conduct further investigations to determine whether there may have been any kinship connection between these Millers and Michael and Henry Miller, who married daughters of Jacob French Jr.  Before commencing that investigation, let’s digress momentarily for a brief history lesson on the region of Maryland that would later become Washington County.  County formation timelines and boundaries are always important and useful in the conduct of this type of investigation as we invariably resort to the use of land, court and road records as the primary tools for tracing our ancestors during colonial times, and understanding the evolution of county boundaries helps narrow the geographic location of the parties appearing in those records.  Prince George’s County was erected in 1696, and extended from its present day southern boundary with Charles County, northward to the Pennsylvania border.  In 1748 Frederick County was erected from the northern part of Prince George’s County and part of Baltimore County, extending from the mouth of the Monocacy River to the Pennsylvania border.  In 1776 Montgomery County was erected from the southern part of Frederick County, and Washington County was erected from the northwestern part of Frederick County, extending from the South Mountain Range to the Pennsylvania border.  And, finally, Allegany County was erected in 1789 from the northwestern tip of Washington County.  Firgure 46 contains a graphic of the county boundaries as they existed in 1789.

It is also useful to understand the settlement patterns in and around Frederick County during the middle part of the 18th century.  The earliest European settlement in the Cumberland Valley, and particularly along the Antietam and Conococheague watersheds commenced in about 1735, and continued at an accelerating pace through the end of that century.  The earliest settlers were composed mostly of Scots-Irish, Dutch, German and Swiss immigrants, newly arrived from Europe at both Annapolis and Philadelphia.  Most of these German immigrants arrived in North America at Philadelphia, and, as lands became scarce, these early immigrants began to move west and southward down the Cumberland Valley and into the Conococheague basin. 

By 1750 there had been several hundreds of patents issued by both Pennsylvania and Maryland in the Conococheague basin.  Ash Swamp and its immediate neighbors were some of these early German settlers.  The pace of settlement was interrupted and hampered for several years during the Indian hostilities attendant to the so-called French and Indian War (1754-1763).  Settlers along the Conococheague and Antietam were forced to flee their homesteads, abandoning their crops and property improvements.  Although we find numerous records of land transactions along both the Conococheague and Antietam during this time period, life was in turmoil and disarray.  This was particularly true for non-associators, the Mennonites and Dunkers (Brethren), because of their pacifist beliefs.  They were disinclined on religious grounds to participate in the defense of their lands and families, and therefore more susceptible to attack from both the Indians and their European neighbors.

In the midst of this social and international unrest, we will resume our search for land records believed associated with the family of Brethren Michael Miller:

  1. 10Jun1749 – Frederick County Deed Book B, pp. 41-2:  Michael Miller, yeoman of Frederick County, purchased from Col. Thomas Cresap a tract of land called Skipton on Craven for the sum of £220 Maryland currency containing 280 acres.  This tract was described as lying on Antietam Creek, a draught of Potomac River, beginning at the original beginning tree, and running the several courses described on the original patent.  This tract was originally surveyed on 27Nov1740 for Colonel Thomas Cresap for 100 acres.  A resurvey was granted on 27Dec1745, which added 180 acres of vacant land, resulting in a combined total of 280 acres.  The author has compiled a plat reconstruction of the original and resurvey on Skipton on Craven as illustrated in Figure 47.  The grantee in this deed may have been Brethren Michael Miller.  The tract was situated on Little Antietam Creek [aka Forbush’s Branch] to the northeast of Hagerstown, near the southeast edge of Leitersburg.
  2. 17Mar1755 – Frederick County Deed Book E, pp. 676-7:  Michael Miller, of Frederick County MD for sum of £36, purchased from George Pow of same, two tracts of land being parts of a tract called Resurvey on Well Taught: (1) beginning at the end of 24 perches in the 35th line of the original tract called Resurvey on Well Taught, containing 292 acres, and (2) beginning at the end of the 55th line, containing 117 acres.  The author has receated a plat map reconstruction of these tracts, overlaid on the parent tract, Resurvey on Well Taught as illustrated in Figure 48.  Well Taught, the original patent for a 100 acre tract surveyed for Jacob Pow on 4Jul1749, was described as beginning at a bounded White Oak, standing on the east side and nearby Antietam Creek.  A description presented with the patent filed for Resurvey on Well Taught stated that it included the original 100 acre tract plus an added 1200 acres of contiguous vacant lands.  Some of the adjacent lands were described as having been taken up by earlier patents, but no reference to those patents was contaned within the tract description.  By virtue of proximity of this tract to Antietam Creek, and relatively close dates, this may have been the same Michael Miller, who purchased Skipton on Craven described in Item 13, above.
  3. 6May1761 – Frederick County Deed Book F, pp. 1238-9:  Michael Miller, farmer of Frederick County purchased from Joseph Perry for £50 a tract of land called Deceit, containing 108 acres.  Tract was described as being part of a larger tract called Resurvey on Deceit, beginning as a bounded Black Oak, standing nigh Antietam Creek on the side of a steep hill, near the plat of land on which George Forbush once lived.  Deceit was originally surveyed for John Darling on 16Sep1743, and later sold to Joseph Perry, who resurveyed the tract on 16Feb1760 for a total of 1300 acres, as shown in Figure 49.  Again, because of the near geographic proximity and timing, this may have been the same Michael Miller involved in the two preceeding land purchases.
  4. 1Feb1764 – Frederick County Deed Book J, pp. 154-6:  Michael Miller, farmer of Frederick County, purchased from Peter Apple, etal. for sum of £460 a tract described as being part of Rocky Creek, and containing 150 acres.  Tract was described as beginning at end of 98 perches in the 2nd Line of the original survey.  Rocky Creek was originally patented to Thomas Bordley on 22Nov1725 for 1,778 acres situated on the north side of the Moncacy River, between Rocky Creek and Tasker’s Chance.  This tract was located to the west side of present day Frederick MD, approximately 20 miles to the south of Leitersburg.  It is uncertain whether this was the same person involved with the three previous records, but unlikely.
  5. 9Jun1764 – Frederick County Deed Book J, pp. 603-4:  Michael Miller, farmer of Frederick County, purchased from John and George Kizer of Virginia, for sum of 5 shilling a tract of land called Part of Rocky Creek, beginning at end of 98 perches in Line 2 of original, containing 150 acres.  This tract appears to have been the same tract as recorded in the previous item. 
  6. 21Aug1765 – Frederick County Deed Book J, pp. 1277-8:  Michael Miller, farmer of Frederick County, sold to Michael Farmer, farmer of Tawney Town [aka Taneytown], same, for sum of £100, a tract of land called Miller’s Chance beginning at the end of the 2nd Line of a tract called Piney Grove, and containing 50 acres.  The author was unable to locate a patent for Miller’s Chance, but there are two patents for tracts called Piney Creek.  The oldest of these patents was dated 1751 and was located along the drains of Catoctin Creek.  The other tract was dated 1760 for 50 acres to Samuel Tallabaugh, described as being on the road from York PA, and on the drains of Piney Creek, which is a tributary of Monocacy River in the vicinity of Taneytown.  Given that the grantee in this deed was identified as being of Taneytown, and the matching name of Piney Creek with the geographic feature called Piney Creek, it seems highly probable that this tract was situated in northeast Frederick County in the vicinity of Taneytown.  Because of the geographic distance between Hagerstown and Taneytown (almost 35 miles), it seems probable that this Michael Miller was a different person from the Michael Millers involved in the previous records.
  7. 28Oct1765 – Frederick County Deed Book K, pp. 140-2:  Michael Miller sold to Jacob Good, both of Frederick County, for sum of £200, a tract of land called Hamburgh, being a part of a tract called Resurvey on Well Taught, beginning at the end of 61 perches on the 38th Line of the original.  Hamburgh was the southern part of the 292 acre tract purchased by Michael Miller from George Pow on 17Mar1755, Item 14, above.  Elizabeth Miller, wife of Michael Miller, relinquished her dower right.  Some researchers aver that Jacob Good was the step-son-in-law of Michael Miller, his having married Elizabeth Garber, daughter of Nicholas Garber. 

NOTE:  Many researchers aver that Brethren Michael Miller married the widow of Nicholas Garber near Hanover PA in about 1750.  Given the probability that Brethren Michael Miller had died before Apr1752, and given this association between Jacob Good and this yet to be identified Michael Miller, owner of Hamburgh, it seems probable that this Michael Miller was actually an elder son of Brethren Michael Miller.

  1. 28Oct1765 – Frederick County Deed Book K, pp. 166-7:  Michael Miller sold to John Rife, both of Frederick County, for sum of £200, a tract of land called Quarry, being part of a tract called part of Resurvey on Well Taught, originally patented to George Jacob Pow, beginning at the end of 38 perches on the 51st Line.  The tract conveyed by this deed appears to have been the balance of the 292 acre tract purchased by Michael Miller from George Pow on 17Mar1755, Item 14, above.  Elizabeth Miller, wife of Michael Miller, relinquished her dower right.  Some researchers aver that John Rife was the step-son-in-law of Michael Miller, his having married Anna Garber, daughter of Nicholas Garber. 
  2. 25Oct1765 – Frederick County Deed Book K, pp. 175-6:  Michael Miller sold to John Rife, both of Frederick County, for sum of £50, two tracts of land: (1) a tract of land called Miller’s Fancy, described as beginning at a bounded White Oak, and running various courses, containing 36 acres, and (2) part of a tract called Resurvey on Well Taught, beginning at the beginning tree, and containing 5 acres.  A patent record for Miller’s Fancy could not be locate by the author, consequently, the location of this tract is uncertain, but likely on Little Anteitam Creek in near proximity to Skipton on Craven, Deceit, and Resurvey on Well Taught.  The 2nd tract appears to have been part of the 117 acre tract purchased by Michael Miller from George Pow on 17Mar1755, Item 14, above.  Elizabeth Miller, wife of Michael Miller, relinquished her dower right. 
  3. 25Oct1765 – Frederick County Deed Book K, pp. 177-8:  Michael Miller sold to Jacob Good, both of Frederick County, for sum of £300, a tract of land called Good’s Choice, being part of a tract called Skipton on Craven, and being the land whereon Jacob Good lived, beginning at the beginning tree of the original, and containing 163 acres.  Good’s Choice constituted rough the southern half of the tract known as Skipton on Craven.
  4. 25Oct1765 – Frederick County Deed Book K, pp. 179-0:  Michael Miller sold to Jacob Good, both of Frederick County, for sum of £60 , a tract of land called Luck, being part of a tract of land called Resurvey on Well Taught, beginning at end of 54th Line, containing 100 acres.
  5. Text Box: Figure 50 –Skipton on Craven Subdivision into 
Good’s Choice and Rife’s Lot
25Oct1765 – Frederick County Deed Book K, pp. 185-6:  Michael Miller sold to John Rife, both of Frederick County, for sum of £200, a tract of land called Rife’s Lot, being part of a tract called Skipton on Craven, and being the land whereon Jacob Good lived, beginning 110 perches in the 7th Line of original.  With the sale of this tract and the earlier tract to Jacob Good called Good’s Choice, Michael Miller had disposed of all of Skipton on Craven as illustrated in Firgue 50.
  6. 30Jun1769 – Frederick County Deed Book M, pp. 362-4:  Michael Miller purchased from William Teagarden, both of Frederick County, for sum of £1000, parts of five different parts of tracts all contiguous and joining to one another: (1) part of Teagardens Delight containing 146 acres, (2) part of Addition to Teagardens Delight containing 28 acres, (3) part of Resurvey on Plunks Doubt containing 133 acres, (4) part of Maidens Walk containing 35 acres, and (5) part of Joneses Lot containing 16 acres; all combined into a new tract called Pleasant Garden containing 358 acres. 

The identity of this Michael Miller is not known with certainty.  However, it is important to note that the location of these tracts, which when combined, composed a tract called Pleasant Garden, were situated in close proximity to the Resurvey on Ash Swamp.  To get a sense of just how close, we present Figure 51, which contains the reconstructed plat maps associated with the Resurvey on Ash Swamp, to which we have added the tract known as Teagardens Delight.  As illustrated in this reconstruction, Teagardens Delight, 146 acre of which was included in the purchase of Pleasant Garden, immediately abutted Prickly Ash Bottom, which was purchased by Philip Jacob Miller in Apr1774.

Such close proximity lends strong inference that this Michael Miller was the elder brother of Philip Jacob Miller, John Miller and Lodowick Miller, and the same person, who had sold large parts of his holdings on Little Antietam Creek (Well Taught and Skipton on Craven) to his presumed step-son-in-laws just four years earlier.  If the author’s interpretation of the 9Dec1783 deed between Lodowick Miller and Philip Jacob Miller is correct, and if the identity of the Michael Miller, who purchased Skipton On Craven, Deceit¸ and Well Taught, as a son of Brethren Michael Miller is correct, then this Michael Miller, who purchased Pleasant Garden from William Teagarden, would still have been entitled to a share in Resurvey on Ash Swamp.  In fact, he may have had a particular affinity for that area, as all three of his presumed brothers: Lodowick, John and Philip Jacob, would have been living either on Resurvey of Ash Swamp or Tom’s Chance, at the time that this Michael Miller purchased Pleasant Garden

  1. 21Jun1770 – Frederick County Deed Book N, pp. 154-5:  Michael Miller purchased from Peter Apple, both of Frederick County, for £50, 20 acres, being part of a tract of land called Small Hopes, beginning at end of 53 perches on the 8th Line of said land…, containing 20 acres.  Note:  Small Hopes was originally surveyed for Henry Mayners for 80 acres on 1Aug1749, and patented by Charles and Francis Peirpoint.  Tract was described as being part of a larger tract called Rocky Ridge, which was situated along north side of Monocacy River, bownstream of present day Frederick MD.  The identity of this Michael Miller is not known with certainty, but is believed to have been the same person named in Items 16 and 17, above.
  2. 22Jun1770 – Frederick County Deed Book N, pp. 172-3:  Michael Miller sold to Richard Richardson, both of Frederick County, for £40, 10 acres, being a part of a tract called Small Hopes, described in the previous Item No. 26, above.  This tract was probably part of the 20 acres purchased from Peter Apple.

22Jun1770 – Frederick County Deed Book N, pp. 186-7:  Richard Richardson sold to Michael Miller, both of Frederick County, for £200, 53 acres, part of the original tract known as Small Hopes.  Ditto, Items 26 and 27, above. 

  1. 14Apr1779 – Washington County Deed Book A, pp. 534-5:  Michael Miller purchased of James Cross, both of Frederick County, for sum of £700??, 35 acres, a tract of land called Johnson’s Desire, abutting a tract of land owned by Abraham Cammer [aka Kemmerer].  It is the author’s belief that this tract was situated at the northern boundary of a tract called Resurvey on Plunk’s Doubt patented to Dr. Henry Snavely 27May1752.  A plat map reconstruction of Resurvey on Plunk’s Doubt created by the author is illustrated in Figure 52. 

We have already encountered a reference to Resurvey on Plunk’s Doubt in connection with the purchase of Pleasant Garden by Michael Miller on 30Jun1769, Item 25, above.  Consequently, through the tract called Pleasant Garden, we have already presented an interconnection between the Resurvey on Ash Swamp and the Resurvey on Plunk’s Doubt, albeit somewhat tangentially.  Figure 53 illustrates the point of intersention and convergence between the Resurvey on Plunk’s Doubt and the Resurvey on Ash Swamp.  That point of convergence is embodied in a 146 acre tract carved out of Resurvey Plunk’s Doubt and sold by Dr. Henry Snavely to William Teagarden 23Feb1756.  It is that tract, which was described in the deed conveyance of Pleasant Garden to Michael Miller in 1769 as having been part of Resurvey on Plunk’s Doubt

The identity of the Michael Miller, who purchased Johnson’s Desire on 14Apr1779 is not known to the author with any certainty.  We certainly have ample Millers owning land in the vicinity of Ash Swamp and Plunk’s Doubt from which this Michael Miller may have descended, perhaps too many.  Given the continuity of the given name with the Brethren Michael Miller family, there would seem to be a strong possibility that this Michael Miller may have been a descendant of that family.  In fact, absent any absolute proof of the earlier demise of the presumed son of Brethren Michael Miller, who the author believes to have purchased Pleasant Garden, it seems entirely possible that he may have been the same person who purchased Johnson’s Desire.

It is interesting to note that Johnson’s Desire was originally patented to Thomas Cresap on 20Aug1745 as a 65 acre tract.  In the patent this tract was described as being situated near the provincial border, about five miles east of its intersection with Conococheague Creek.  In fact, based on the author’s plat map reconstruction, this tract would appear to have actually been located just north of the provincial line within the Pennsylvania Colony.  Keep in mind that until the final adoption of the Mason-Dix Line survey in the 1760’s, the patent by Thomas Cresap could have fallen within the disputed territory.  This possibility is supported by the estimated location of another historical property known as “The Kammerer House”.

According to the Washington County Maryland Historical Trust (the same entity that documented the history of Ashton Hall) “Kammerer House history is as follows:

“Kammerer House, the home place of Lodowick [Ludwig] Kammerer, once stood within the present day Citigroup financial complex, east of Interstate 81, and north of the Maugansville Airport.  Lodowick Kammerer’s patent for 150 acres was encapsulated within the boundary of the Resurvey on Plunk’s Doubt, filed by Dr. Henry Snavely in 1752.  Following is a brief history of Kammerer House and its builder:

Just south of the Pennsylvania state line near Interstate 81, the efficient, modern buildings of Citicorp are fanned out around an 18th century farmstead. Tucked in the center of this banking complex at the corner of two new streets is the story-and-a-half stone house that Ludwig Kammerer built in 1774 and the frame barn that was rebuilt about 1910 after a fire. Here is a tranquil pause amid the bustle of a busy corporation. This continuum of history spans more than two centuries in a modern business center.

Ludwig Kammerer, who emigrated from Germany on the same ship as Jonathan Hager, purchased a tract of land called Beechspring and part of a tract called The Resurvey on Plumb’s [Plunk’s] Doubt. Here he built his home straddling a spring. Kammerer lived in his house until 1806 when he sold the farm to David Brumbach for £500 and moved near Pittsburgh, Pennsylania with his family. Three years later, he died at the age of 90. This farm has had only four owners. It remained in the Brumbach/Hartle family until 1961 when J. Allen and Elizabeth Clopper were the high bidders for the farm, then part of Charles Hartle’s estate. The Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation (CHIEF) purchased the remaining 109 acres from the Cloppers in 1985. CHIEF developed the farm for Citicorp, which now owns about two-thirds of the land.”[60]

Based on the assumption that “Kammerer House” was located somewhere within the property owned by Ludwig Kammerer (see Figure 52, above), and that “Ashton Hall” was located somewhere within the Ash Swamp property purchased by John Schnebley from Philip Jacob Miller, the author set about attempting to conjoin the Ash Swamp property with Plunk’s Doubt.  As it turned out, the Pleasant Garden tract purchased by Michael Miller in 1769 was described in the deed as abutting Prickly Ash Swamp and a part of Plunk’s Doubt.  It was that description contained in the deed conveyance of Pleasant Garden that the author was able to conjoin these two sets of plat maps as illustrated in Figure 53.

Having successfully united the Ash Swamp tracts to the Resurvey on Plunk’s Doubt, the author then overlaid this composite of plat maps onto a Google Aerial Map base as illustrated in Figure 54.  Although the plat map reconstructions compiled by the author were based on a combination of traced outlines from patent records, and reconstructed boundaries based on metes and bounds from deed documents, this aerial map overlay appears to matchup quite well with known geographic features on the ground.  For example, the known location of “Ashton Hall” falls near the center of the 196 acre tract sold by Philip Jacob Miller to John Schnebley.  Also, the assumed location of “Kammerer House” falls within the boundary of the tract sold by Allen and Elizabeth Clopper to the Washington County Maryland Historical Trust.

This concludes our presentation of all the property records found pertaining to a person named Michael Miller within Frederick and Washington Counties.  From this presentation, it seems highly probably that the person named Michael Miller who purchased lands along Little Antietam Creek and nearby to Ash Swamp were very likely the same person, and very likely an elder son of Brethren Michael Miller.  The identity of the person named Michael Miller, who purchased and sold tracts, parts of an older survey called Rocky Ridge, located to the west of present day Frederick MD, is unknown to the author, but very likely not the son of Brethern Michael Miller.  Given the date and the relatively close geographic proximity, it seems possible that the Michael Miller, who purchased the 35 acres, part of a tract called Johnson’s Desire, could have been the elder son of Brethren Michael Miller, or a descendant.

Having fairly well exhausted all of the known land records pertaining to persons named Michael Miller in Frederick/ Washington County, are we any closer to establishing the ancestry of the Michael and Henry Miller, who married daughters of Jacob French Jr.?  Perhaps, but we need to dig much deeper into Miller, French and Schnebley land and other records in Frederick County to further and more persuasively establish linkages than the mere matching of names.  Before delving into other Miller candidates living in the vicinity of Conococheague and Antietam Creeks, we will first perform a more complete analysis of the other known sons of Brethren Michael Miller

From our analysis of the history associated with the Ash Swamp tract, we reliably established that Brethren Michael Miller, likely died sometime before Apr1762, and that he almost certainly had at least three sons named John, Philip Jacob and Lodowick [Ludwig] Miller.  We also established that all three of those sons shared, as heirs at law, in the property known as Resurvey on Ash Swamp.  We also established that a person named Michael Miller purchased tracts called Skipton on Craven (10Jun1749) Well Taught (17Mar1755) and Deceit (6May1761), all believed to have been situated on the east side of Antietam Creek, two identified as being on Little Antietam Creek [aka Forbush’s Branch].  Michael Miller sold all of Skipton on Craven, and most of Well Taught to his presumed sons-in-law in Oct1765.  No records were found in association with the disposal of the tract called Deceit.  On 30Jun1769 a Michael Miller purchased five tracts, parts of Teagarden’s Delight, Addition to Teagarden’s Delight, Resurvey of Plunk’s Doubt. Maidens Walk and Joneses Lot, totaling 358 acres and renamed Pleasant Garden.  This acquisition abutted Prickly Ash Bottom, a tract purchased by Philip Jacob Miller from Thomas Keller.  Because of the timing and close geographic proximity, this Michael Miller was presumed by the author to have been the same person, who owned the tracts near Antietam Creek, and a brother of Philip Jacob, John and Lodowick Miller.

We will now present the land records associated with Philip Jacob Miller, Lodowick Miller and John Miller in chronological order:

                Philip Jacob Miller

  1. 20Sep1751 – Frederick County Patent Book, Jacob Miller filed a survey on a tract called The Swamp¸ containing 50 acres, described as beginning at a bounded White Oak, standing on the north of a swamp, near a parcel of limestone rocks, and near the said Miller’s land, held by Conigocheige Manor.  This patent identifies the patentee simply as “Jacob Miller”, however, it is the author’s belief that the filer was actually Philip Jacob Miller.  The rationale for this belief is based on date, and the description as being “near the said Miller’s land”.  As shown in Figure 54, The Swamp was located just to the northwest of Ash Swamp.  Just six months after this patent filing, Philip Jacob Miller filed a patent for Resurvey on Ash Swamp.  The close geographic proximity and timing of these filings provides a strong inference that The Swamp was patented to Philip Jacob Miller.  If so, it may be noteworthy that it was described as being near Jacob Miller’s land.  This statement suggests that Philip Jacob Miller may already have been in possession of Ash Swamp, further suggesting that his father may have been dead before Sep1751.
  2. 25Apr1752 – Frederick County Patent Book, Philip Jacob Miller patented a resurvey on Ash Swamp totaling 290 acres (Frederick County MSA S1197-3708) called Resurvey on Ash Swamp.  This was the earliest land record found for Philip Jacob Miller.  We have already studied this tract exhaustively, in Item No. 5, herein above.
  3. 22Aug1770 – Frederick County Deed Book E, pp. 283-4:  Philip Miller of Lancaster County PA, farmer, purchased from Benjamin Biggs of Frederick County, for sum of £559, 10 schillings, part of a tract called Benjamin’s Good Luck, situated in Frederick County, beginning at the end of 100 perches on the 2nd Line of the last resurvey of said tract…  In the original patent this tract was described as being on Stoney Branch, of Monocacy River.  This location is south of present day Emmitsburg MD.  Due to the extreme distance from the Conococheague, there is no reason to think that this person was Philip Jacob Miller.
  4. 22Mar1773 – Frederick County Deed Book P, pp. 637-8:  Philip Miller sold to James Flemming, both of Frederick County, for sum of £300, a tract of land called Isaac’s Range, surveyed for Isaac Miller on 24Mar1752, containing 100 acres, described as being near the Catoctin Mountains.  Due to the significant distance from the Conococheague, this is not believed to have been Philip Jacob Miller.
  5.  

Until about 1752 these settlers had been permitted to establish their homesteads relatively unmolested by their Native American neighbors.  Yes, there had been an occasional depredation, but usually with provocation from both sides.

 It should be noted that there was actually a patent for a tract called The Head of Ash Swamp (MSA S1203-1128), for 150 acres to John Keller on 6Jun1739, which boundary began at the same “bounded Spanish Oak” as did Ash Swamp.  So, it seems probable that these two tracts: Ash Swamp and The Head of Ash Swamp were locate on a tributary of Conococheague Creek known as Ash Swamp, but which name has not survived to the present day.  It seems probable to the author that Ash Swamp was one of the branches of a small stream identified on current maps as Rush Run. 

Ash Swamp is of particular importance to connecting several other persons named Miller with the Brethren Michael Miller.  For example, on 17Mar1753 Philip Jacob Miller received a patent for a tract called Resurvey on Ash Swamp, said resurvey pursuant to a warrant dated 26Oct1751 to amend errors in the original survey, and to add 140 acres of contiguous vacant lands to original plat containing 150 acres, for a total single tract of 290 acres.  The author has compiled a plat map reconstruction of Ash Swamp, The Head of Ash Swamp, and  Resurvey on Ash Swamp as illustrated in Figure 16-XX. From this resurvey on Ash Swamp, it has been surmised by many that Philip Jacob Miller was a son of Brethren Michael Miller

“The whole settlement of Conococheague in Maryland is fled, and there now remain only two families from thence to Fredericktown which is several miles below the Blue Ridge. By which means we are quite exposed and have no better security on that side, than the Potomac River, for many miles below the Shenandoah; and how great a security that is to us, may easily be discerned, when we consider, with what facility the enemy have passed and repassed it already. That the Maryland settlements are all abandoned is certainly a fact, as I have had the accounts transmitted to me by several hands, and confirmed yesterday by Henry Brinker, who left Monocacy the day before, and also affirms, that three hundred and fifty wagons had passed that place to avoid the enemy, within the space of three days.”[61]

Beginning in 1745 and continuing up to about 1770 (year before Michael’s presumed death) Michael Miller was involved in numerous land transactions in Frederick County MD listed as follows:

  1. 15Oct1747 thirteen individuals were granted naturalization status by the Maryland General Assembly as exhibited on an index card contained in the Maryland State Archives and presented in Figure 33.  Included on this list were the names of George French [presumed son of Jacob French I], Jacob Miller, Lodowick Miller, and Joseph Vulgamot.

Work-in-progress

27Aug2020 post on the”Brethren Michael Miller” blog site:

“Good Morning Roberta:

Don’t know what became of my most recent post, so I will attempt to recreate it.  Since I have not received a contact from you via e-mail, I am left with no other option than to communicate via this blog page.  Since you have invested so much effort into creating your wonderful work on the Brethren, Michael Miller, I am sure you would like to have it as factual and informative as possible.  Toward that end I would like to share with you one more piece of information that has come to my attention in the course of my research into the Miller-Schnebley-French families.

Your blog, and many other Miller resources report Michael Miller’s death date to have been around 1777.  There is a clause in the deed record between Lodowick and Philip Jacob dated 9Dec1783, in which Lodowick relinquished his rights vested in the property known as Resurvey on Ash Swamp, which merits our particular attention.  That clause is transcribed (by me) as follows:

“…said original tract [Ash Swamp] being resurveyed by and with my [Lodowick Miller’s] consent and free will as son and heir at law to my father, Michael Miller, deceased, and leaving no Will, I ordered and agreed that my brother, Philip Jacob Miller, should resurvey the said original tract called Ash Swamp, which was resurveyed on the 25th of April, 1752, and afterward patented unto him, my said brother, Philip Jacob Miller…” (Washington County Deed Book C, pp. 563-567)

This clause would seem to make it quite certain that Michael Miller was already deceased when Philip Jacob Miller filed for the resurvey on Ash Swamp in Dec1752.  If my interpretation of this clause is correct, then there are numerous other “facts” regarding Michael Miller, which must be readdressed and corrected.  For example, he could not have been the Michael Miller, who is on record traveling to Philadelphia with Philip Jacob Miller, etal., to receive the oath of allegiance and become a naturalized citizen.  He could not have been the Michael Miller, who is on record having owned several tracts of land along Little Antietam Creek and having been elected a Constable for the Leitersburg area.  He may not even have been the same person, who disposed of the 150 acre tract, part of Bachelor’s Choice near Hanover.  If he was not those Michael Millers, then we should be more than a little curious to know who those Michael Millers were.  It is my belief that those Michael Millers may have been another son of the Brethren Michael Miller.

My research will continue, and I will from time to time post any additional pieces of new information that may be uncovered regarding this family.  I would really like to know your thoughts regarding the foregoing.  Sincerely, Robert Atteberry.”

“As one minister phrased religion on the frontier, “They joined the church of opportunity.” Perhaps it wasn’t exactly what they wanted, but they preferred worshipping to not worshipping…  The Brethren (Dunkers) at this time were an open, inviting faith, so it would not be unusual for non-Brethren families to convert.”[62]

We will introduce one further record which might suggest a connection between a Jacob Miller of Maryland and a member of the French family:

  1. 15Oct1747 thirteen individuals were granted naturalization status by the Maryland General Assembly as exhibited on an index card contained in the Maryland State Archives and presented in Figure 33.  Included on this list were the names of George French [presumed son of Jacob French I], Jacob Miller, Lodowick Miller, and Joseph Vulgamot.

The identity of the Jacob Miller, who received naturalization status on 7Oct1747 at Annapolis, is not known with certainty, but may have been a brother of Lodowick Miller, who was also naturalized on that same date.  The George French, who was naturalized in company with Jacob and Lodowick Miller, is believed by the author to have been a brother of Jacob French II, and uncle of Margaret and Mary French, presumed wives of Henry and Michael Miller.  So, given the association of Jacob and Lodowick Miller in this naturalization ceremony with George French, we are logically drawn to the question of whether there may have been any connection between Jacob and Lodowick Miller and Henry and Michael Miller.  If the answer to that question proves to be affirmative, then its explanation might lead us to an identity of the parentage of Henry and Michael Miller, and whether or not there was such a person as Jacob Miller of Spring Mills

It should also be noted that Joseph Volgamot and Jonathan Hager were also naturalized at this same ceremony.

unknown to the author at this juncture, but may have been the same person, who purchased tracts of land on Tilhance Branch in 1764 and 1773.  Further, there is good reason to believe that the George French, who was also naturalized on that date was a brother of Jacob French II, and son of Jacob French I.  It is also believed that Joseph Vulgamot may have been the same person, who was reported as a soldier in Captain Jonathan Hagar’s Mennonite Company of militia in Frederick County Maryland in 1757, along with several Jacob Millers, Zachariah Miller, Frederick Unsult, etal.  This Joseph Vulgamot is believed to have been the same person, who filed a patent for 188 acres on Sleepy Creek and Mountain Run on 30Oct1766, which was sold by his sons: David Wolgamot and Joseph Wolgamot [Jr.] to William Hickson on 19Sep1780 (Item No. 18, Henry Miller of Opequon).  And, lastly, Jonathan Isagar is believed to have been Capt. Jonathan Hagar, commander of the Mennonite Company, and founder of Hagarstown MD.

The author has no way of proving that the father of Henry Miller and Michael Miller was not a Jacob Miller, who died in 1788 at Spring Mills, but is prepared to concede that this is a possibility.  It does seem apparent from the records that there was a Henry Miller residing in Berkeley County in 1777, separate and apart from Henry Miller of Opequon.  That Henry Miller is distinguished in the rent roll from Henry Miller of Opequon by the designation of “Henry Miller of Osburn”, seemingly a reference to the Henry Miller, who had purchased the tract from Henry and Dorothy Counce, abstracted in Item No. 3, above.  See Table 6 for a listing of the Henry and Jacob Millers appearing in the 1776/7 rent roll.  It seems probable to the author that the Henry Miller identified as “of Osborn” was the Henry Miller married to Margaret French, and that the other two Henry Millers were Henry Miller of Opequon, and his son, Henry Miller Jr.  The LWT of the Henry Miller, husband of Margaret French was written on 18Jan1805, abstracted as follows:

We also have the LWT of Michael Miller, presumed son of Jacob Miller, abstracted as follows:

Before offering an opinion regarding the existence/identity of Jacob Miller of Spring Mills the author would like to provide some background on some of the persons who received naturalization at Annapolis Maryland on 7Oct1747.  There is relatively strong evidence to support the fact that all 13 of these persons were of the non-associators, i.e., Mennonists, Dunkers or Quakers, and that they all were immigrated from either Germany, Holland or Switzerland, had likely entered the colony through Philadelphia, and that they were all settled in future Washington County along the waters of the Conococheague or Antietam Creeks.  Those who are of particular interest to our study were George French, Jonathan Isagar, Jacob Miller, Jacob Stull, and Joseph Vulgamot. 

George French – is believed to have been a brother of Jacob French II, and uncle of Margaret and Mary French, who married Henry and Michael Miller.  Since George French went through the naturalization process, he probably was born somewhere on the Continent.  He is believed born about 1725, whereas his younger brother, Jacob French II is believed born about 1728, possibly in either Britain or the Colonies, as he is not on record being naturalized.  However, there are some French family researchers, who believe (although unproven) that Jacob Frans, on board the Elizabeth, arrived Philadelphia on 30Oct1738, to have been Jacob French I.  The French family is believed to have settled in Antrim Township, Franklin County PA. shortly after arrival, as it was in that township that Louisa [Levina] French married John Sniveley [aka Snavely or Schnebli].  The earliest record found for George French was in his naturalization on 7Oct1747.  According to one family researcher, George would need to have been a resident of Maryland for seven years prior to his naturalization, which suggests that he had been in Maryland since before Oct1740.  Jacob French II did not appear in records until his patent filing for a 100 acre tract known as Deep Spring Joining to a Hard Rock in 1752, probably situated along Little Antietam Creek [Forbush’s Branch] near Leitersburg.  George and Jacob II filed several patents, mostly along the drainage of Antietam Creek in future Washington County as listed in Table 7.  In 1762 Jacob French purchased an old Daniel Dulany patent (filed 5Dec1742) containing 100 acres called Huckleberry Hall situated on a branch of Little Antietam Creek known as Forbush’s Branch, named for a local resident, George Forbush [aka Fairbush].  Remnants of the manor house constructed by Jacob French are described as follows:

“The main house, which faces the road, is built of stone and is nestled into the gentle slope of the land so that the basement level opens out into the back yard. A two-story, four-bay section is on the left with a two-story, two-bay kitchen wing on the right…  Above, the severed ends of floor joists jut out; revealing that the porch roof had been cantilevered at one time–a pent roof. As this roof had sagged over time, earlier owners added columns. Finally the roof deteriorated to the point where it had to be removed. It was then that the new owners discovered the original pent roof construction. They also removed the roughcast that had been applied to the wall under this roof and found that the mortar joints between the stones had been painted with even, white lines about an inch wide. These lines enhance the regularity of the stonework and were probably drawn on all the mortar joints of the front elevation of the house. It is possible that the entire house may have been decorated in this way, but time has worn away any other evidence of this.”[63]

A brief history of the Huckleberry Hall property is offered as follows:

Bell’s History of Leitersburg District describes Huckleberry Hall as originally being surveyed for Daniel Dulaney on December 5, 1742, but he died before completing title. The patent was granted to Jacob French, September 29, 1759, and contained 100 acres. It was next owned by John Schnebley, who leased it and an adjacent 140 acres to Jacob Good in 1770.[64]

In Aug1766 in the settlement of the estate of Jacob Schnebli in Antrim Township, Franklin County PA, George French was recorded paying the executors £7 owed Schnebele, and Jacob French received money as part of his wife’s [Magdalena’s] share of her father’s estate.  The 2nd owner of Huckleberry Hall, John Schnebley, was Jacob French II’s brother-in-law, they are believed to have married each others sister: John Schnebley married Levina French ~1743, and Jacob French II married Magdalena Schnebley ~1748/9.  Jacob French is on record selling land (possibly Huckleberry Hall) to John Schnebley on 28Aug1769, and to Andrew Evey [aka Avey] [any relation to George Avey, naturalized in Oct1747?] on 25Jun1770.  It probably was about this time at which Jacob French moved across the Potomac and purchased a tract of land in Berkeley County Virginia, abstracted as follows:

  1. Berkeley County Deed Book 1, p. 211 – 1Aug1772: Edward Davis and Mary Davis, his wife, of Frederick County sold 75 acres for ₤5 to Jacob French of same, land granted to James Davis Sr. and left to said Edward by his father, and is part of 1,175 acre tract, adjacent Peter Hedges and said Edward.  The original grant of 1,175 acres was situated on Tullises Branch, tributary of Harlan Run, about midway between Hedgesville and Spring Mills.

The foregoing tract purchased by Jacob French would have been situated about six miles from the tract acquired by his presumed son-in-law, Henry Miller, about six years later.  This acquisition suggests that Jacob French had relocated, or was in the process of relocating his family from Washington County MD into Berkeley County Virginia.  The relocation of Henry Miller to this same general area a few years later, probably was attributable to their familial connections.  No further record was found by the author for Jacob French II until the filing of his estate administration in Sep1788 in Berkeley County.  There were several more estate records on which a Jacob French appeared as a purchaser or witness, extending all the way to 1804, presumably for Jacob French III or IV.  One of those estate records was the settlement of the estate of Joshua Ward on 19Feb1794, in which Jacob French [probably III] and Henry Miller appeared in the accounts.  Presumably this was a record of Jacob French III’s brother-in-law, as Henry Miller is believed to have married Margaret French, the sister of Jacob French III.  On 18Jun 1794 the estate of Jacob French [III] was audited, in which Jacob French Jr. [IV] was named as an administrator, and George French [probably brother of Jacob French IV] was named in the accounts.

When Jacob French II died in 1788, he is reputed to have left a Will, which divided his real property (200 acres) among his children, and in which his eldest son, John French, was named executor.  The author was unable to find any record of a Will, merely the aforementioned estate administration record.  However, there appears to have been a deed record or estate action dated 29Jun1798, which made a further division of the 200 acres bequeathed by the Will of Jacob French II.  Apparently, that Will provided that, should any child die without heirs of their body, their respective share would be distributed evenly to the other surviving children.  The author has already presented this record earlier in this section but thinks it worthwhile to reiterate its fundamental elements at this time.  This Court record from Jun1798 made a division of John French’s share of his legacy to five surviving siblings: George French, Barbara French, Mary French [wife of Michael Miller], Margaret French [wife of Henry Miller] and Henry French (no longer residing in the area).  It should be noted that there was no mention of Jacob French III as a surviving heir, so presumably, he was the person whose estate was administered on 18Jun1794.  The fact that there does not appear to have been a redistribution of Jacob French III’s legacy suggests that he probably died either testate or without heirs of his body.

Nothing further was discovered of George French of Huckleberry Hall aside from his patents in Washington County.  As noted in Table 7, George French acquired several tracts of land in Washington County between 1747 and 1775, most of which were situated along the drains of Antietam Creek.  Sometime around 1760 George French is believed to have constructed a substantial stone dwelling house on his property known variously as Resurvey on George’s Mistake, George’s Venture, and The Barrens, measuring roughly 30′ by 40′.  Two years after completion of his new home, George sold this property to Barnabas Hughes.  Over the years the old dwelling house of George French received several additions and improvements, until it came to appear as illustrated in Figure 34.  This property came to be known as Old Forge Farm, situated as described below:

“Going west on Old Forge Road from Route 62, the highway dips across a one-lane bridge and rises again between fields and scattered homes. At the crest of a rise, an enormous stone structure seems to lie across the way in the distance, commanding the area from a small rise that slopes away from the building on three sides. Just before reaching this house, the road turns to the left, as though diverted by the stone presence, and proceeds over a humpbacked stone bridge that spans Antietam Creek.”[65]

George French is on about 21 different deed conveyances between 1751 and 1769, including the conveyance of Old Forge Farm to Barnabas Hughes on 11Oct1764.  He is believed to have died in Washington County MD in about 1772.

Joseph Volgamott – is believed to have been the Joseph Wohlgemuth, aged 20 arriving at Philadelphia on 1Sep1736 aboard the Harle from Rotterdam, in the company of Henrich Wohlgemuth aged 29 and Abraham Wohlgemuth aged 22 (presumably Joseph’s older brothers).  Aboard this same ship was recorded the arrival of Jonathan Hager, believed to have been the same person, who received naturalization with Joseph Wolgamot, George French, etal. at Annapolis on 12Oct1747.  Joseph Volgamot was recorded in Frederick County Maryland receiving four separate patents as listed in Table 8:

At some point before 1765 Joseph Wolgamot built a grist mill on the Conococheague, possibly on the 112 acre plat filed in 1746 known as Part of Dutch Folly Resurveyed.  He is believed to have operated this mill until his death in 1774.  At some point after his death the property came into the possession of David Kemp, who continued to operate a mill at this location, later devolving to Kemp’s sons.  The old Wolgamot-Kemp mill was located on the east bank of the Conococheague at the intersection of Kemp’s Mill Road and Rock Hill Road, about two miles upstream from Williamsport.  Figure 35 provides an overhead view of the structure known today as Old Mill Tavern, which is believed to stand on the site of Joseph Wolgamot’s grist mill, perhaps incorporating remnants of the old Wolgamot Mill foundations.  Also visible in this image is the remnant of the dam, which diverted water through Text Box: Figure 35 - Joseph Wolgamot Grist Mill Sitethe headrace to power the under-shot water wheel.  Joseph Wolgamot is believed to have had three sons: John, David and Joseph Jr.  John Wolgamot predeceased his father, and an abstract of his estate settlement is as follows:

“60/p. 95    JOHN WOLGAMOT, late of Frederick County, appraised 2 May 1776,   £178-1-0 Appraised in Maryland currency, inventory included a Negro Girl Named Nell  £40 Appraised by Martin Kershner & Henry Due Next of Kin – Joseph Wolgamot & David Wogamot   /  Creditors – David Wolgamot & Joseph Wolgamot Mary Wolgamot, Executrix of John Wolgamot, swore to this inventory on 29 September 1781.”[66]

Even though this estate appraisal of John Volgamot was dated almost two years after the date of his father’s Will it seems probable that he actually died before his father, otherwise, why was there no mention of John in his father’s Will?  Joseph Wolgamot Sr. is believed to have died sometime in 1774, given the date of his Will, abstracted as follows:

“IN THE NAME OF GOD AMEN: I Joseph Wolgamot of the county of Frederick and Province of Maryland being weak in Body but of sound Mind and Memory (blessed by God) do this second day of August Dommi Seventeen hundred and seventy four, make and publish this my Last Will and Testament in the manner following ( that is to say) First and principally I recommend my Soul to God that gave it, and my Body to the earth to be decently buried at the Discretion of my Executors, nothing doubting but I shall receive the same again at the General Resurrection according to the mighty power of God, and as to my wordly Estate with which it has pleased God to bless me I give and bequeath it in the way and manner following.

IMPRIMIS. It is my Will and I do hereby allow that all my Estate both real and personal shall immediately after my Death be justly appraised and the sum arising from that appraisement (after all my just debts is paid and what the law allows Catherine Wolgamot my wife is taken therefrom) to be equally divided in the following manner between my Sons Joseph and David Wolgamot and my Daughters Ann Chambers, Hester Brandenburg, Elizabeth Meek and Sarah Wolgamot giving each of my sons Joseph and David as aforesaid, double as much as each of my daughters aforesaid, and should my Son David, or my Daughter or both of them, die before they are married his her of their part I allow to be equally divided amongst the Survivors aforesaid agreeable to the aforesaid proportion. Secondly, it is my Will and I do hereby allow that Ann Chambers Part shall be continued in the hands of my Executors for the use of her and the said Ann Chambers Children to be equally divided amongst them, and their respective parts to be paid to them as they come of age and for no other purpose. Thirdly, it is my Will and I do hereby allow my sons Joseph and David Wolgamot to hold my Lands betwixt them to be equally divided according to quantity and Quality (that is to say) let so much of the Land most convenient to the new Mill be given with her as will make her equal in value to the Remaining part of my Lands, and they the said Joseph and David to pay my Daughter’s portion in money, each one half share (should my sons chuse to do so) but if otherwise I allow my whole Estate real and personal to be sold and the money arising from such sale to be divided as before directed and I do hereby constitute and appoint my Sons Joseph Wolgamot and David Wolgamot jointly Executors of this my Last Will and Testament for the Intent and purposes before mentioned. In Witness thereof I the said Joseph Wolgamot have to this my Last Will and Testament set my hand and affixed my Seal the day and year first above written.”[67]

From the records already presented herein before, it is known that David Wolgamot had settled in Berkeley County Virginia around 1780, when he acquired land on Opequon Creek nearby to Henry Miller of Opequon.  His brother, Joseph Wolgamot Jr., was still living in Washington County MD, when he and his brother, David, disposed of their father’s tract on Mountain Run of Sleepy Creek, Berkeley County Virginia on 19Sep1780.

Jacob Stull – Virtually nothing was discovered regarding the origins and history of Jacob Stull, who took the oath of allegiance at Annapolis.  No one with the surname of “Stull” is to be found in the book Pennsylvania German Pioneers, Vol. I 1727-1772, Ralph Beaver Strassburger, LL.D., 1934.  “Stull” is not a recognized Germanic surname, and probably was “anglicized” from some other form, i.e., Stuhl, Stohl, Stahl, etc.  There is one listing of the “Stuhl” surname [Strassburger], that being a Jacob Stuhl, who arrived at Philadelphia on 3Sep1739 aboard the Loyall Judith, age unknown.  Given the virtual match of name, date of landing, and place of origin, there is good reason to believe that this Jacob Stuhl was the same person as Jacob Stull.  Unfortunately, no other record could be found of Jacob Stull or Stuhl in Maryland, before or after Oct1747.  Some researchers may be tempted to confuse Jacob Stull with the family of John Stull, which left a relatively large footprint around Hagerstown, including owning a mill on a westerly branch of Antietam Creek, known as Stull’s Mill which later came into possession of the Jonathan Hager family, briefly referenced as follows:

“Mills were established at an early date to process wood and grain grown by the settlers. They were important early trade centers and gathering places for residents of their vicinities. The Hager Mill was known earlier as Stull’s Mill which was established, according to historians, as early as the 1730’s. The Hager family bought the mill in the late 18th century.”[68]

In Building on the Gospel Foundation, Edsel Burge and Samuel Horst made further reference to Stull’s Mill as follows:

“Four hundreds encompassed Maryland’s portion of the Cumberland Valley.  Antietam Hundred north to south between Antietam Creek and the South Mountain.  Between the Antietam and Conococheague creeks, twh hundreds, Salisbury to the north and Marsh to the south, were divided by the road between Wolgamot’s and Stull’s mills.  The Conococheague Hundred to the west of the creek.”[69]

The reference to the road between Wolgamot’s and Stull’s mills was a clear reference to the wagon road connecting between future Williamsport and Watkins Ferry on the Potomac, and Elizabeth Town (future Hagerstown).  The author was unable to establish any kinship connection between the John Stull family and that of Jacob Stull, nor was any further reference to Jacob Stull found after Oct1747.

Jacob Miller – the fact that a Jacob Miller was among those supposed Mennonists who took the oath of allegiance at Annapolis in Oct1747 is particularly noteworthy for our investigation, when taken in context of the other parties; specifically Lodowick Miller, George French and Frederick Unselt.  We have already presented a fairly thorough history the French brothers: George and Jacob II, and the connection of the daughters of Jacob French II with the purported sons of Jacob Miller of Spring Mills: Henry and Michael.  We have also fairly thoroughly developed the history of Georg Frederick Unseldt, who was a fellow passenger on the Elizabeth with the Simon Linder family, and whose son, Frederick Unsult Jr., sold a 184 acre tract to Jacob Miller of Frederick County Maryland on 1May1764.  Unfortunately, there appears to have been several Jacob Millers residing in Frederick County Maryland during this time period, who had Mennonists connections, as evidenced by the muster roll of the militia company of Capt. Jonathan Hager, which we will reiterate here for the reader’s convenience:

  1. Maryland Militia Roster – 1757:  Capt. Jonathan Hagar’s Company (Mennonites); Lt. Martin Casner; Ens. James White; Sgt.’s: John Casner, Jacob Casner; Soldiers: Leonard Snavely, George Casner, Jacob Miller, Conrad Miller, John Miller Jr., Frederick Unselt, Joseph Volgamott, John Miller, Daniel Cresap [grandson of notorious Indian Trader and namesake of Cresap’s War, Col. Thomas Cresap], Jacob Miller Jr., Abraham Teter, John Teter, Zachariah Miller, Philip Jacob Miller, Christian Rhoarer, George Davis, Jacob Miller (son of Conrad), Benjamin Mollatt [Arbraham Mollatt purchased property from the estate of Dr. Richard Pile, deceased husband of Elizabeth]. 

In this roster dated about 1757 we have the listings of three separate Jacob Millers, in addition to a Conrad Miller, Philip Jacob Miller, John Miller and Zachariah Miller.  One of these Jacob Millers was identified as a son of Conrad Miller, possibly the same Conrad Miller also appearing in this muster, but not likely.  Another Jacob Miller was identified as Jacob Miller Jr., possibly a son of the third Jacob Miller appearing in this muster.  If these associations are correct, then we would appear to have two Jacob Millers matched up with their fathers: Conrad Miller and Jacob Miller[Sr.].  The Jacob Miller, who took the oath of allegiance in Oct1747, can be assumed to have been in America for at least seven years prior to that 1747, as such duration of residence was a condition of becoming naturalized in Maryland at that time.  That being said, then this Jacob Miller would have immigrated, probably to Pennsylvania, sometime prior to Oct1740.  A review of the ships registers [Strassburger] of transports after 1727 revealed only five viable candidates: 

  1. Jacob Miller – 5Sep1730, Alexander and Ann
  2. Jacob Miller, aged 17 – 27Aug1733, Elizabeth[70]
  3. Jacob Miller – 16Sep1736, Princess Augusta
  4. Jacob Miller – 8Oct1737, Charming Nancy
  5. Jacob Miller – 6Sep1738, Winter Galley

It should be noted that the Jacob Miller, aged 17, arriving 27Aug1733, was on the same voyage with the Simon Linder family and Frederick Onself.  Also on this same voyage was a person identified as Wolfcon Miller, aged 42.  A fairly thorough search for any Germanic forename of “Wolfcon” yielded zero hits.  However, alternative transcriptions of this same list twice interpreted this name as Wolfgang.  Yet, in a third, and more comprehensive transcription, the name is reported to have been Wolf Con. Milor, aged 41, along with a Margret Milor, aged 52, and Jacob Milor, aged 17.  There were no other younger Milors in this third transcription, even though it appeared to contain a complete listing of all men, women and children aboard the Elizabeth on that voyage.  Given that the third transcription was the more complete listing of the ship’s manifest, the author is inclined to believe that it might have been the most accurate recreation.  Assuming that to have been the case, then it might be interpreted that Wolf Con., Margret and Jacob were members of the same family.  The age spread of Wolf Con. versus Jacob suggests that Jacob may have been the son of Wolf Con. Milor.  Margret could have been Wolf Con.’s wife and Jacob’s mother.

Now, for our interpretation of the name of Wolf Con. Milor.  If we accept this as a literal [unnuanced] transcription of the ship’s register, it would give the impression that this person carried both a first and middle name in addition to their surname.  Assuming that to have been the case, then it seems probable to the author that both names may have been truncated.  Most likely, this persons full name was Wolf [Wulf] or Wolfgang Conrad [Konrad] Muller.  Let’s for the moment consider the possibility that the Jacob Miller, who swore the oath of allegiance in Oct1747 was the son of Wolf Conrad Miller.  Is there anything else found in the records of Maryland during this time period that might support or refute this supposition?

Well, we do have the militia muster of Capt. Jonathan Hager which lists a soldier named Jacob Miller, son of Conrad.  There was also a soldier named Conrad Miller in that same militia company.  It seems possible to the author that this Jacob and Conrad Miller may have been brothers.  If so, it seems possible that Conrad could have been older than Jacob.  There is a record of a Conrad Millear arriving at Philadelphia on 25Sep1732 aboard the Loyal Judith, who could have been another son of Wolf Conrad Miller.  All of this is speculation on the part of the author, and probably not provable.

In addition to the ship registers we also have land patents for Millers as listed in Figure 9.

Six of the foregoing patents are reported to have been part of or abutting a tract identified as Plunks Doubt.  Following a fairly extensive investigation, the author was unable to establish the precise origin, location or size of the tract known as Plunks Doubt.  However,

“In the fall of 1756, Indians scalped 20 people in Conococheague including one Jacob Miller, his wife and 6 children. Were they related?  We don’t know.  If they were Brethren, they would not have defended themselves.”  Was this the father of Jacob Miller Jr., soldier in Capt. Hager’s company?

Most settlers fled east from Monocacy. George Washington received a report in the summer of 1756 that “350 wagons had passed that place to avoid the enemy within the space of 3 days” and by August the report was that “The whole settlement of Conococheague in Maryland is fled, and there now remain only two families from thence to Fredericktown…..”

The settlements remained abandoned in 1757 and into 1758 when General Forbes actions served to end the war. Were it not for Forbes, we might all be speaking French today.

List of delinquent taxpayers from Frederick County

  1. Conrad Miller
  2. Isaac Miller
  3. Jacob Miller Jr
  4. John Miller
  5. Lodwick Miller
  6. Michael Miller heirs[71]

It is now time to wrap up our investigation of Spring Mills Jacob Miller with the author’s opinion that there is no apparent connection between this “family” and our Jacob Miller, other than their probable shared ethnic heritage as having descended from German ancestry.  Before arriving at this opinion, the author had compiled a fairly extensive background on the French and Snavely families.  So that that research effort will not be wasted, it has been included in Appendix E at the end of this chapter.

The deeds presented in Items 1 and 2, above, were the only records found by the author which could be linked to “Spring Mills Jacob Miller“.  This linkage is established through the matching names and relatively close geographic proximity (about five miles) of lower Tilhance Branch to the locale known as “Spring Mills”, and the assumed age of these two Jacob Millers (born before 1740).  The Jacob Miller, who purchased 184 acres from Frederick Unsult in 1764 probably would have been born sometime before about 1740.  We cannot state with any certainty that he ever actually resided in Virginia, as both of the deed records give his residence in 1764 and 1773 as having been in Frederick County Maryland.  It is the author’s belief that one or more researcher has studied these records of Jacob Miller who filed patents on the drainage of Tilhance Branch, coupled with the almost contemporaneous purchase by Henry Miller of a 52 acre tract in the same general area in 1778 and have connected them as father and son.  This may be a reliable conclusion to be drawn, but is completely lacking in documentary “proof” at the present time. 

We do have the 1776/7 rent rolls from Berkeley County which appear to show two different Jacob Millers and three different Henry Millers paying taxes in Berkeley County at the same time as abstracted in Table 6.  The Henry Miller reported as “of Osborn” would seem to be a clear reference to the Henry Miller cited in Item No. 3, above, who purchased the 52 acre tract from Henry and Dorothy Counce [Kuntz] in 1778 near the Potomac, which had been assigned by David Osborn to Counce.  This rent record makes it appear that this Henry Miller probably was already occupying the Counce tract in 1777, or earlier, and was paying the quit rent on the property before actually purchasing the tract.  The other Henry Millers reported in 1776 and 1777 probably was the Henry Miller of Opequon, who we have already studied extensively, and his son Henry Miller Jr..  So, it would appear from these rent roll records that there were three different Henry Millers living in Berkeley County in 1777.  Similarly, Table 6 also appears to contain records of two different Jacob Millers in Berkeley County in 1776 and 1777.  The Jacob Miller identified as being “of Engle” is believed to have been located on Elk Run, tributary of the Potomac River, situated about five miles southwest of Shepherdstown.  We will be analyzing that Jacob Miller in detail in the following section, and identified as “Jacob Miller of Elk Run”.  It is the author’s belief that the other Jacob Miller could have been the same person identified as acquiring tracts in Items 1 and 2, above.  It is further the author’s belief that this rent roll record provides evidence that that Jacob Miller may have taken up residency in Berkeley County sometime after acquiring the tract from Jeremiah and Elizabeth Dunn in 1773.  However, it should be recognized that a person did not have to reside, but merely own land, in order to be assessed quit rents.  We will end this analysis of Spring Mills Jacob Miller by stating that he could have existed, and could have been the father of sons named Henry and Michael, but that that family probably was not connected to our Jacob Miller.

(4) Elk Branch Jacob Miller

There is evidence of a person named Jacob Miller who resided in the lower part of Berkeley County on a stream known as Elk Run, tributary to the Potomac River, not to be confused with another stream in Berkeley County of the same name, tributary to Back Creek.  This Jacob Miller left a very small footprint, but could have been the same person as our Jacob Miller.  He was found in only two land records, abstracted as follows:

  1. Deed Book 3, p. 100 – 13Nov1774: Philip Engle Sr. and his wife, Mary Engle, Philip the son of Melger Engle, deceased and George Engle and his wife, Elizabeth Engle, also son of Melger Engle, sell 100 acres for £240, to Jacob Miller on Elk Branch, part of 397 acre tract granted to said Melger Engle in 1754.  Witness:  William Morgan, Joseph Smallwood, Johannes Blessind, William Endler, Philip Schult and Martin Endler.  Given the name and timing of this deed record, it seems possible that this Jacob Miller could have been the same person as Spring Mills Jacob Miller.  However, the location of this tract appears to have been almost 25 miles southeast from the earlier tracts on Tilhance Creek.  This current tract is believed to have been on a small stream, directly tributary to the Potomac River, a few miles southeast of Duffield, called Elk Branch.  Having performed the detailed investigation of the family of Henry Miller of Opequon, it occurs to the author that this Jacob Miller could have been the son of that Henry Miller, and may well have been “our Jacob Miller”.  Henry Miller of Opequon named five sons in his Will in 1816: Henry, Jacob, George, Adam and John, presumably in the order of birth.  Assuming that to be the case, then Jacob Miller would have been the second eldest son.  We do not know the ages of any of these sons with any certainty, but we might be able to extrapolate their approximate age based on the resurvey of Henry Miller’s 343 acre tract in Feb1779 from which he granted 28 acres overage to his presumed son, George Miller.  If we assume that George Miller had to be 21 years old to receive this land from his father, and that he was the 3rd born son, then we could surmise that Jacob Miller probably was born sometime before about 1757.  This is not a very reliable measure, but the best information currently available to the author.  Consequently, the Jacob Miller, who purchased this 100 aacre tract on Elk Run from Philip and Mary Engle could very well have been the 2nd born son of Henry Miller of Opequon.  However, if this were the case, then our Jacob Miller would have been born before 1753.  The author is inclined for the moment to accept that possibility.  By virtue of this tract having been purchased from Philip Engle, it seems highly probable that this was the Jacob Miller identified in the 1777 rent rolls as being “of Engle”.
  2. Deed Book 4, p. 33 – 20Nov1776:  Mary Engle, wife of Philip Engle and Elizabeth Engle, wife of George Engle relinquished their dower rights to a tract of land sold 14Nov1774 to Jacob Miller.  Same as Item No. 1, above.
  3. Deed Book 5, p. 193 – 15Mar1779:  Michael Engle sold 10 acres for £60 to Robert Lowery, adj. to Jacob Miller on the road from Elk Branch Meeting House to Shepherdstown (aka Mechlenburg).  Witness: John Wright, Jacob Conklyn.  The reference to Elk Branch Meeting House, places this tract not very far from the community of Duffield, the home of the Elk Branch Presbyterian Meeting House.  Such location would place this Jacob Miller’s land near the road connecting between Duffield and Shepherdstown, identified on present day maps as Flowing Spring Road.
  4. Will Book 1, p. 435:  Jacob Hum, Will dated 11Aug1786, probated 20Sep1786; Wife: Barbara, Sons: Jacob, Nicholas, Michael, John; Daughter: Catherine Potts.  Devises land from Doctor John Brisco.  Executor: son, Jacob Hum.  Witness: Goodwin Swift, Thomas Hart Jr. and Jacob Millan [Miller?]  Although this name was transcribed as “Millan”, it almost certainly was for Jacob Miller.  This is made probable by the reference to a tract of land which was “from Dr. John Brisco”.  Dr. John Brisco’s home place was known as Piedmont, situated about two miles north of Charlestown, which was about five miles south of Duffield.  Given this connection to the Duffield area, it is a virtual certainty that the witness to this probate was Jacob Miller, who had purchased to 100 acre tract from Philip and Mary Engle.  Jacob Ham [Jr.?] and Jacob Miller posted the surety bond for administration of the estate of Jacob Ham.  On that surety bond Jacob Miller signed his name as portrayed in Figure 36.  Close inspection of Jacob Miller’s signature would suggest that he knew his surname to have been “Müller”.
  5. Will Book 1, p. 448 – 27Feb1785:  Estate appraisal of Jacob Ham [Hum?]. Appraised by Thomas Hart Jr., Jacob Miller and Thomas Hart Sr.  Ditto.  This record would seem to verify the identity of this person as Jacob Miller, not Millan.  The identity of Jacob’s fellow appraisers: Thomas Hart Sr. and Thomas Hart Jr. may provide yet another important link between the Jacob Miller and our Jacob Miller of Millerstown.

There was one other record found for Jacob Miller of Elk Branch which might provide an explanation for his relocation to Grayson County Kentucky, abstracted as follows:

  1. “Paul vs. Hite–O. S. 310; N. S. 110–Bill, 21st January, 1794, by Margaret [Miles, sister of John Miles and Ann Thomas] Paul of Pennsylvania. Many years ago Joist Hite sold to Thos. Hart land in now Berkeley County. Hart sold a part to John Miles of Pennsylvania. On 2d April, 1747, Miles made his will and devised the land “intail” to oratrix [Margaret Miles-Paul], his only child, an infant. She married —- Paul, now deceased. Oratrix and father always lived in Pennsylvania. Fairfax claimed the land, was sued by Hite and lands decreed to Hite, but the Hite heirs refuse to give it up. Jacob Miller, Abraham Neil, Robt. Lowry, Philip Ingle, Godwin Swift, William Dark petition that they, with Giles Cook, are in possession of a tract of land on Elk Branch in Berkeley County, 1,300 acres, part was sold by Jost Hite to Thos. Hart and by him conveyed to petitioners. 17th June, 1803, Peter Martin, Sr., aged 73, 4 or 5 years ago, he was shown a tree that formerly stood in Cavalier Martin’s yard by Thos. Hart. 17th June, 1803, Thos. Hart, Sr., aged nearly 80 years, deposes, he was with the surveyor and his father when they surveyed Jost Hite’s 1,100 acres. 27th April, 1795, Ann Thomas, aged 78, deposes at Spread Eagle Tavern, kept by John Dunwoody in Philadelphia (285 High St.), she was married to John Miles in 1739 or 1740, that by him she had a son, Griffith Miles, who died when an infant, and Margaret, the plaintiff. 27th April, 1795, John Cart, aged 69 years, deposes, same place. 5th September, 1795, Edward Lucas, son of Edward Lucas, deposes. 19th March, 1787, Thos. Rutherford deposes, in 1752 as surveyor for Fairfax he made survey for Thos. Hart and an adjoining one for Miles Hart, son of Thomas. Joseph Darke owned adjoining land. In 1740 deponent saw a log house covered with clap board or shingle and nailed roof on north side of Elk Branch on land now in dispute. The house was said to be the property of John Miles, who had purchased from Thos. Harte, Sr. 5th September, 1795, John Wright, aged 70, deposes, he came to Virginia in 1747 or 1748 and was shown the land by James Glenn, Sr., who said John Miles claimed the land. A shingled house was uncommon. 17th February, 1795, Wm. Darke deposes, he was ordered out with the militia against the insurgents (in September) which prevented him from attending taking depositions in Philadelphia. Bond, 29th March, 1735, by Thomas Hart of Warminister in County Bucks, Penna., husbandman to Jost Hite of Orange County, Va. Gentleman title bond for 2 tracts, 1,000 acres on Elk Branch on the Waggon Road from Potomack to Opeckon, 500 acres northward from above. 27th September, 1794, Thos. Hart, aged 71 years, about 60 years ago his father, Thomas Hart, purchased 1,500 acres. In 1754 Thomas, Sr., was about to remove to Carolina.”[72] 

The foregoing abstract of a lawsuit filed by Margaret Miles Paul is fraught with generalities and obscure references.  Perhaps the most thorough and lucid description of the background of this suit may be found in an article published in the Jefferson County Historical Society Magazine (2014), edited by James L. Glymph (ed.)[73]  The author will attempt to summarize the cause and purpose of this suit, in hopes of clarifying the roles of the various parties thereto.  On 29Mar1735 Thomas Hart Sr., husbandman, of Bucks County Pennsylvania purchased two tracts of land from Jost Hite: 1,000 acres on Elk Branch, and 500 acres to the northward of the first tract, which, when surveyed, appeared to contain only 1,300 acres.  Over the ensuing years prior to about 1755, Thomas Hart sold off various pieces of these tracts, including a 200 acre tract to his brother-in-law, John Miles of Pennsylvania on 2Apr1747.  Another purchaser from the Thomas Hart tract was Melchor [aka Melger] Engle, who purchased a tract abstracted as follows:

  1. Frederick County Deed Book 3, pp. 311-3 – 4Jun1754:  [Lease and Release]  Between Thomas Hart and Ann Hart of Frederick County to Melger Ingle of Lancaster County PA, saddler, for £50, 105 acres, being part of a larger tract of land containing 268 acres granted to said Thomas Hart 2Jan1754.  Below is abstract of original grant to Thomas Hart.
  2. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book H, p. 413 – 2Jan1754:  Thomas Hart of Frederick County, 286 acres surveyed by Thomas Rutherford, near Elk Branch, adjacent Samuel Dark and Hart’s Line.

Although the acreage is not an exact match (105 acres), the author believes that it was this tract which Philip and George Ingle sold to Jacob Miller on 13Nov1774.  The reason for this belief is that Melchor Ingle was found to have acquired only two tracts of land: (1) the above purchase of 105 acres from Thomas Hart, and (2) the following Fairfax grant:

  1. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book H, p. 412 – 1Jan1754:  Melger Ingle of Pennsylvania, 397 acres in Frederick County, surveted by Thomas Rutherford, on Elk Branch, adjacent Thomas Hart, James Lloyd, Thomas Hart Jr., and Joseph Dark.

“To all to whom this present writing shall come sends greeting, Know ye that for good causes for and in consideration of the composition to me paid and for the annual rent hereafter reserved, I have given granted and confirmed and by these presents for me my heirs and assigns do give grant and confirm unto Melger Engle of Pennsylvania, a certain tract of waste and ungranted land on Elk Branch in Frederick county and bounded as by a survey thereof made by Mr. Thomas Rutherford Junr as follows:

Beginning at two white oaks and one hickory standing amongst rocks a corner to Thomas Hart then with his line So. 8(o) Et. 320 poles to two black Oaks and two Hickory Saplings in the line of James Lloyd, then with Lloyd’s No. 82(o) Et. 106 poles to a black Oak a corner to Thomas Hart Junr, then leaving the said Lloyd’s line and extending with the said Hart Junr’s Line No. 85(o) Et. 60 poles to two black Oak Saplings then leaving the said Thomas Hart Junr’s Line and extending No. 82(o) Et. 34 poles to two white Oaks and two Hickory Saplings thence No. 8 (o) Wt. 320 poles to a stake standing among Rocks near Joseph Darke’s house, then So. 83 (o) Wt. 201 poles to the beginning containing three hundred and ninety seven acres…

  1. Frederick County Deed Book 1, p. 202 – 1744:  Conveyance between Thomas Hart of Frederick County, farmer, to Lewis Neill of same, for £106, all that tract of land containing 1,000 acres on Elk Branch being the land and plantation on which the said Thomas Hart now lives, and by him the said Hart purchased from Jost Hite the 29Mar1735.  Witnessed: Sam Earle, J. Wood, and C Johnstone.  This would appear to have been the 1,000 tract purchased from Jost Hite, so by 1744 Thomas Hart had disposed of the largest part of his 1735 acquisition.  It seems probable that Lewis Neill subdivided and sold off parts of this tract, prior to the lawsuit filing by Margaret Miles-Paul.

At the same time that Melger Ingle filed his grant for 397 acres, Thomas Hart and Lewis Neil filed similar grants abstracted as follows:

  1. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book H, p. 413 – 2Jan1754:  Thomas Hart of Frederick County, 286 acres surveyed by Thomas Rutherford, near Elk Branch, adjacent Samuel Dark and Hart’s Line.
  2. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book H, p. 414 – 4Jan1754:  Lewis Neil of Frederick County, 392 acres surveyed by Thomas Rutherford, on Elk Branch, adjacent Henry Loyd, Peter Burr, near Waggon Road and James Loyd.

Almost from the outset of tract sales by Jost Hite, ownership and title became disputed by Lord Fairfax, described as follows:

“Over several decades, landholders on the Elk Branch were between a rock and a hard place as they had to variously prove land title derived from the Council or from Lord Fairfax, the Proprietor of the Northern Neck, depending on the vicissitudes of the lawsuit [Hite vs Fairfax] as it wound its way up and down the court system.  Most Elk Branch settlers had come to the area having purchased from Thomas Hart of Pennsylvania parts of his 1,300 acre survey purchased from the Hites.  When Lord Fairfax challenged the Hites’ title, the Hites could not give a good deed to Thomas Hart, who in turn was prevented from giving good deeds to the settlers.  Hart and his sons, Miles and Thomas Jr. led the settlers into the precaution of obtaining deeds from the Fairfax, covering 976 acres of the original 1,300.”[74]

So, when Jacob Miller purchased the 100 acre tract from Philip and George Ingle in 1774, he (perhaps unwittingly) became a party to the Hite-Fairfax dispute.  Although the lawsuit filed by Margaret Miles-Paul was principally intended to establish her rightful claim to the 200 acres purchased by her father from her uncle, Thomas Hart, in 1747, it appears to have collaterally engaged the interests of all of the parties impacted by the sales from the Thomas Hart grant: Jacob Miller, Abraham Neil, Robt. Lowry, Philip Ingle, Godwin Swift, and William Dark.  Whether William Dark was actually a co-complainant in Margaret Paul’s case is not certain, as he is described as acting as her attorney, and after achieving a settlement in Ms. Paul’s favor, General William Dark purchased her 200 acre tract.

There are several elements related to this lawsuit which may be of interest toward our efforts to expand our knowledge and understanding of Jacob Miller of Elk Branch.  First, as an adjunct to this lawsuit, the court ordered a survey of the properties involved, which surveys give us a rare insight into the habitation of Jacob Miller and his neighbors:

“The disputed land was surveyed in 1786 as part of an ongoing lawsuit between Hite and Fairfax, which resulted in a detailed description of the land and improvements in that part of northwestern Virginia. All of the buildings listed in the Lick (Elk) Branch area still claimed by Hite were log or timber-framed construction, many described as “old” or “very old”:

William Dark – Buildings: one old round log dwelling house about 26 by 20 with stone chimney, a shed one end the width of the house 12 foot wide and [?] shed [?]; a good new log barn 60 by 20 with a shed on one side the length of the barn 12 foot wide and a shed on the other side 20 foot long and 12 foot wide; one round log house 16 by 12 covered with clap boards; one very old log house; land in cultivation and in good order 70 a. high land.

Jacob Miller – Buildings: one half worn 1 ½ story log dwelling house 28 by 24 with inside stone chimney; one old scalp’d log barn 48 by 22 covered with straw, no doors; land in cultivation and in pretty good order 50 a. high land; 10 a. meadow; 140 apple trees.

Philip Ingle – one new unfinished log dwelling house 30 by 22 with two inside double brick chimneys, one not carried above the roof and a stone cellar the size the house; one half worn round log barn 44 by 20 covered with straw, no doors; land in cultivation and in pretty good order 60 a. high land, 9 a. meadow.”

Second is the involvement of members of the Hart family as near neighbors of Jacob Miller.  The reader may recall that during our investigation on Jacob Linder and Jacob Miller in Hardin and Grayson Counties, Kentucky, that we crossed paths on several occasions with various members of the Hart family.  Perhaps the earliest such encounter was in the administration of the estate of Miles Hart, who had been killed by Indians, and his wife and son taken captive.  Miles Hart’s estate was appraised by Jacob Vanmeter [probably “Valley Jake”], Jacob Linder and John Vertrees.  Whoever this Miles Hart was, he almost certainly was descended from Thomas Hart and Esther [Easter] Miles of Elk Branch.  Next we encountered Aaron Hart, as a co-commissioner with Jacob Miller, etal., for the clearing and maintenance of the Nolin River channel as a navigable waterway from Elizabethtown to the Green River.  Next, we had an Aaron Hart applying for a license to operate a grist mill on the Nolin River.  And finally, we had a Captain Aaron Hart as the commanding officer of Adam Miller, a presumed son of Jacob Miller.  Who were these Hardin County Harts, and what was their connection to Thomas Hart of Elk Branch?  Thirdly, we have the peculiar timing of the Margaret Mile-Paul lawsuit in Jan1794 and the presumed migration of Jacob Miller from Virginia? to Grayson County Kentucky in 1795-6.  Was there a connection between the filing of this lawsuit and Jacob Miller’s decision to migrate to Kentucky?  This motivation seems possible to the author.

Thomas Hart Sr.

Since Jacob Miller appears to have been a near neighbor and close associate of Thomas Hart Sr., Miles Hart and Thomas Hart Jr. in the 1780’s and 90’s, it might be helpful to know the identity of these Harts.  From our earlier discussions of the lawsuit, brought by Margaret Miles-Paul, it was discovered that Thomas Hart [Sr.], husbandman, from Bucks County PA purchased two separate tracts from Jost Hite totaling 1,500 (1,000 and 500) acres along Elk Branch on 29Mar1735.  Sometime before 2Apr1747, Thomas Hart sold 200 acres, presumably from the 500 acre tract, to John Miles, father of the complainant, Margaret Miles-Paul.  The exact date of that sale, and the specific location of the 200 acre tract, relative to the balance of the grant is not known, but apparently the sale was proven to the satisfaction of the Court, as they found in favor of Ms. Paul.  The remaining 1300 acres appear to have also been sold by Thomas Hart, as that remainder appears to have wound up in ownership of several separate parties named in the lawsuit, including: Jacob Miller, Abraham Neil, Robt. Lowry, Philip Ingle, Godwin Swift, William Dark.  The author was unable to ascertain the particulars of just how the 1,300 acres came to be further subdivided and conveyed to the various named parties, except that one particular deed conveyance appears to have involved the residual, abstracted was follows:

  1. Frederick County Deed Book 1, p. 202 – 1744:  Conveyance between Thomas Hart of Frederick County, farmer, to Lewis Neill of same, for £106, all that tract of land containing 1,000 acres on Elk Branch being the land and plantation on which the said Thomas Hart now lives, and by him the said Hart purchased from Jost Hite the 29Mar1735.  Witnessed: Sam Earle, J. Wood, and C Johnstone. 

Since no other land acquisitions by Thomas Hart were found prior to the date of this conveyance, other than the afore described purchase of two separate parcels from Jost Hite, it seems logical to conclude that the above conveyance from Thomas Hart to Lewis Neill was the sale of the 1,000 acre tract situated on Elk Branch.  Presumably it was through this conveyance that Abraham Neill (probably an heir-at-law of Lewis Neill) became involved in the Thomas Hart lands.  Following the sales of 200 acres to John Miles and 1,000 acres to Lewis Neill, Thomas Hart would have retained ownership of only 300 acres.  Further, it was discovered that on 1 thru 4Jan1754 Melger Ingle, Thomas Hart and Lewis Neil each filed for patents with the Northern Neck proprietor for tracts abstracted as follows:

  1. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book H, p. 412 – 1Jan1754:  Melger Ingle of Pennsylvania, 397 acres in Frederick County, surveted by Thomas Rutherford, on Elk Branch, adjacent Thomas Hart, James Lloyd, Thomas Hart Jr., and Joseph Dark.
  2. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book H, p. 413 – 2Jan1754:  Thomas Hart of Frederick County, 286 acres surveyed by Thomas Rutherford, near Elk Branch, adjacent Samuel Dark and Hart’s Line.
  3. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book H, p. 414 – 4Jan1754:  Lewis Neil of Frederick County, 392 acres surveyed by Thomas Rutherford, on Elk Branch, adjacent Henry Loyd, Peter Burr, near Waggon Road and James Loyd.

It is the author’s belief that all three of these tracts had been part of the original 1,500 acres purchased by Thomas hart from Joist Hite.  It is further believed that these patents were filed as a hedge against an unfavorable settlement in the Hite-Fairfax dispute.  Regardless of their motivations, Thomas Hart followed this patent filing with the sale of 105 acres of that patent to Melger Ingle, abstracted as follows:

  1. Frederick County Deed Book 3, pp. 311-3 – 4Jun1754:  [Lease and Release]  Between Thomas Hart and Ann Hart of Frederick County to Melger Ingle of Lancaster County PA, saddler, for £50, 105 acres, being part of a larger tract of land containing 268 acres granted to said Thomas Hart 2Jan1754. 

Three months later Thomas Hart Sr. filed a power-of-attorney with the Court granting to his son, Thomas Hart Jr., the authority to act in his stead in the sale of two separate tracts of land, abstracted as follows:

  1. Frederick County Deed Book 3, p. 343 – 3Sep1754:  Know all men by these presents that, I, Thomas Hart of the County of Frederick have assigned and ordained and made in my stead and place… my trusty and well beloved son, Thomas Hart Jr. to be my true and lawful Attorney for me and in my name… to issue for, levy and receive all and every such debts, rents of money now due unto me… to bargain, sell and convey… two tracts of land lying in said County, viz: one tract containing 163 acres adjoining Lewis Neill, Gentleman, his land, the other containing 185 acres lying between my said Attorney’s own land and Benjamin Mackall…  Witnesses: John Campbell, Absalom Hammond and Thomas Wood.

It has been gathered from numerous other sources that Thomas Hart Sr., shortly after filing this power of attorney with the Frederick County Court, removed himself and many members of his family from Virginia to the “Carolinas”.  It is not known by the author exactly where Thomas Hart Sr. and his family moved immediately after leaving Virginia, but he did emerge in the records of Union County South Carolina in the Fair Forest community in the 1770’s.  From numerous reports, Thomas Hart Sr. and his wife, Esther Miles were members of the Quaker Friends Society before leaving Pennsylvania to settle on Elk Branch in Frederick County Virginia.  But, at some point, probably in the 1750’s the Miles and Hart families left the company of Quakers over some schism and joined a branch of the Baptists.  It is presumed that it was that affiliation with the Baptists that led to Thomas Hart’s migration to the Fair Forest area of Union County SC.

Following the departure of Thomas Hart Sr. from Virginia, Thomas Hart Jr. continued to be reported in the records around Elk Branch, but without the “Jr.” appellation and several trailing transactions involving former lands of Thomas Hart Sr. and Miles Hart ensued as follows:

  1. On 26Oct1757 Thomas Hart Jr.’s brother, Miles Hart, also granted a power of attorney to Thomas Hart Jr. to attend to the disposal of a 192 acre tract of land situated on Elk Branch.  It seems reasonable to assume that Miles Hart was also preparing to move away from Virginia. 
  2. On 1Dec1762 deeds of Lease and Release were recorded for the conveyance of a 185 acre tract of land from Miles Hart, now of Orange County NC, to John Humphrey, said tract having been having been granted to Miles Hart by Lord Proprietor on 26Oct1756, adjacent corner of Thomas Hart on Elk Branch.  Thomas Hart Jr., acting as attorney for his brother, Miles Hart, disposed of tract of land on Elk Branch.
  3. On 1Feb1763 Thomas Hart Jr., acting as attorney for his father, Thomas Hart Sr., conveyed a 168 acre tract of land to Nicholas Parker.  Thomas Hart Jr., acting as attorney for his father, Thomas Hart Sr., disposed to the residual of the 286 acres, patented on 2Jan1754.
  4. On 15Jul1766 the 187 acre tract formerly in possession of Miles Hart, conveyed to John Humphrey on 1Dec1762 with Thomas Hart [Jr.] acting as attorney, was reconveyed to John Briscoe [Dr.?] and John Smith. 
  5. On 8Aug1770 John and Margaret Ingle conveyed one acre trustees of Presbyterian Church of Elk Branch, said tract having been part of larger tract conveyed from Thomas Hart [Sr.] to Melger Ingle, joining land of Lewis Neill.  Melger Ingle died in Apr1760 and bequeathed his land to his five sons, with Michael and Philip each receiving 100 acres, the remainder being divided between John, George and William Ingle.  It would appear that this one acre tract was from the 105 acres conveyed by Thomas Hart to Melger Ingle in Jun1754.
  6. On 7Sep1770 honorable George William Fairfax leased an 1,119 acre tract of land to Giles Coke, which abutted lands of Thomas Hart Sr., Thomas Hart Jr., Benjamin McKalls [Mackall].  It was this leased land that became embroiled in the lawsuit brought by Margaret Miles-Paul.  The 200 acres, which Thomas Hart had sold to John Miles, was also included in this 1119 acres claimed by Lord Fairfax.  The court ultimately decided in favor of Margaret Miles-Paul, who following that judgment, sold the 200 acres to General Joseph Dark.  FYI, Mary Dark, sister of General Dark, was married to Philip Ingle, son of Melger Ingle.

Further Supporting Evidence

One additional element to consider as possible supporting evidence for Hypothesis No. 4 is the geographic proximity of patents filed by various members of James Miller’s family, juxtaposed to Jacob Linder in Greene County, Illinois in the 1820’s thru 1850’s.  The author has compiled a list of all the patents located for James Miller (and his presumed children) and Jacob Linder, which are presented in Table 7.  The data in this table has been ordered first by individual filer’s name, then in ascending date order by person.  The list is topped by a Henry Miller, who the author believes to have been Henry B. Miller, eldest son of James Miller, based on date and geographic proximity.  Next in the list is a filing by a Jacob A. Miller in 1859, who the author believes to have been the second eldest son of James Miller.  Third ordered in the list are a series of ten filings for a Jacob Linder ranging in date from Jul1821 thru Oct1835.  The author believes this person to have been Jacob Linder Jr., son of Jacob Linder and Elizabeth Pile.  Per the theory posited in Hypothesis No. 4, Jacob Linder Jr. would have been a first cousin of James Miller, their mothers having been sisters.  Next in the list are a series of four filings by James Miller ranging in date from Apr1824 to Sep1835.  The final listing is for a Nancy Miller on 1Jan1840.  The identity of this Nancy Miller is uncertain, but she may well have been the eldest daughter of James Miller and Nancy Blissett, heretofore unidentified.  The reasoning for this identification is based on the fact that Henry Miller, Nancy’s presumed brother, filed a patent on the very same date.

If the author’s identification of these patent filers displayed in Table 7 is correct, then it would appear that Jacob Linder Jr. commenced filing patents in Green County at a very early date.  There was a deed filing found for Jacob Linder Jr. in Hardin County Kentucky as late as 16Sep1819, and Jacob Linder Jr. appears to have been captured in the 1820 census still living in Hardin County as illustrated in Figure 37.  However, given the patent filings commencing in Jul1821 in Greene County IL, it would appear that he had either already relocated to Illinois, or was in the process of relocating.  By 1830 Jacob Linder was recorded in the census records of Greene County IL, living nearby to his son, Isham Linder as illustrated in Figure 38.  It should be noted that James Miller filed his first patent on 10Apr1824, just two miles removed from a patent filed by Jacob Linder on 12Apr1824.  What are the odds that Jacob Linder Jr. and James Miller would file almost concurrently on patents in such close Text Box: Figure 38 - Jacob Linder Jr. - 1830 CensusText Box: Figure 37 - Jacob Linder Jr. - 1820 Censusgeographic proximity, if they were not kinsmen?  The author believes that these patent filings provide extremely compelling circumstantial evidence of the kinship posited by the author.

What these patent filings also demonstrate is the fact that James Miller had started planning his relocation from Hart County to Greene County almost six years or more in advance of his actual move.  He was recorded still living in Hart County in 1830, yet he filed an additional patent in Greene County in 1828.  Finally, in 1834 and 1835 he filed two more patents in Greene County.  All of James Millers patents were located in a small cluster in Sections 23 and 26 in Township 10N Range 11W.  In all likelihood, James Miller probably moved his family to Greene County shortly after the 1830 census. 

To provide a graphic illustration of the geographic proximity of the lands of Jacob Linder and James Miller, the author has identified the location of each of the patents listed in Table 7 on a Township grid map presented in Figure 39.  James Miller’s patents are highlighted in red, whereas Jacob Linder’s patents are highlighted in black.

Since Jacob Linder was the first to file for patents in Greene County, it seems highly likely that it was he, who induced his cousin, James Miller to relocate to his new found neighborhood on the prairie near Taylor’s Flat. 

Jacob Linder Jr., eldest son of Jacob Linder, was born in about 1783 in Madison County [later Hardin County], Kentucky.  He married a nice Irish woman, named Jane Ferguson, and they had five children who lived to adulthood.  The eldest, Sarah C. Linder lived to the age of 80 years, and died at Jacksonville, Jackson County Oregon.  Sarah is pictured in her waning years in Figure 40.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

  1. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book H, p. 650 – 5Jul1755:  Thomas Hart Jr. of Frederick County, 323 acres in said county on branch of Potomac called Cabbin Run where he now lives, adjacent Peter Burr, James Loyd and George William Fairfax, Esq.
  2. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book M, p. 219 – 10Dec1763:  Thomas Hart of Frederick County, 49 acres on Elk Branch, surveyed by Thomas Rutherford, adjacent George William Fairfax, Esq., and John Humphries.
  3. [Northern Neck Grants]  Book H, p. 720 – 26Oct1756:  Miles Hart of Frederick County, 187 acres in said county on Elk Branch, adjacent Thomas Hart, George William Fairfax, Esq.,

RENT ROLL OF BERKELEY COUNTY FOR THE YEARS 1774, 1775, 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, 1780, and 1781:  Jacob Miller, 100 acres. 

(5) German George Adam Moler

  1. 12Jul1813 – Will of Zachariah Miller [Jr.?]; wife: Brabara Miller; sons: Michael, George and Henry; daughters: Polly, Catherine and Elizabeth Tabler; Executors; Barbara and sons, Michael; Witnesses: John Shober, George Tabler and George Cuthman.
  2. 26Apr1796 – Will of Zachariah Miller Sr.; wife: Catherine; sons: John (eldest), Zachariah [Jr.] (adjoining George Myles) and Jacob; dughters: Sarah, Catherine (Coonrod Cresman), Ann, Susannah, and Elizabeth (Jacob McLean); Executors: Catherine Miller and John Miller; Witnesses: William Miller, Charles Orick, John Shimp and William Shields.
  3. 25Mar1809 – Will of Christian Miller Sr.; wife not named; sons: [Gerard, not named] and John; daughters: Caty and Sarah; Witnesses: Henry Dawson and Jacob Shockley.
  4. 16Dec1788 – Will of Frederick Allen; son: Frederick Allen; daughter: Mary Allen; Executors: John Morrow and Peter Allen; Witnesses: Bernard Miller, Philip Suber and Conrad Allen.
  5. 10Dec1799 – Will of Henry Nace; Wife: Magdalen Nace; sons: Henry, George and Jacob; daughter: Catherine; Executors: Magdalen and Jacob Nace; witnesses: Bernard Miller, Jacob Craft and Kohn Fiddler.
  6. 14Sep1818 – Account Settlement for Michael Miller Estate: Payments: Jacob Miller, Michael Mowers, Josiah Hedges, John Belolus, Stephen Herd, Towson, Elisha Boyd, Jacob Miller, Stope’s Heirs, Robert Grimes, Bishop, Thomas C. Smith, William Runer, Jacob Bronsman, Robert Snodgrass, Andrew Pistar, Elizabeth Miller, William Axe, Emanuel Pepher, Newkirk, John Muma, Gurney, Harrison, David McClary, John Miller for Rochester and Beaty, Sheriff, Surveyor, Swope, two receipts of locks in favour of Jacob Miller, John Bodine for carrying chair, Newkirk, Emanuel Eversole, Clerks notes, Jacob Lerbert, and Adam Spitsnoggle.  Total Payments = $848.61. From Property Sale = $469.43.  Grain Sale = $112.00.  Timber Sale = $20.50.  Balance Due Administrator = $245.68.  Administrators: George Newkirk and Charles Orrick.  Recorded 14Sep1818.
  7. 17Feb1809 – Michael Miller Estate Sale:  Mary Miller, Jacob French, John Miller Sr., John Miller Jr., George Loco, James Grimes, Adam Spitsnoggle, David Kouch, Jacob Miller, William Thurston, Mary Spitsnoggle, George Newkirk, George Low, John Boughdine [Bodine?], Jacob Miller Jr., Jacob Miller Sr.. Michael Mowry, Andrew Toland, William Axe, Alexander Cockran, and Joseph Foreman.  Total Sale Receipts = $182.20.  Other Sources = $296.34.  Appraisers: John Porterfield, Henry French, and [unreadable].
  8. 2Apr1800 – Administration Bond for Jacob Miller, deceased.  Administrators: Mary Miller, John Miller, Henry Miller, Joseph McMunson, and George Smallwood.  Bondsmen: Nicholas Orrick, William Riddle, John Kearsey and George Porterfield.  Bond Value: $1,000.
  9. 20Jun1806 – Administration Bond for Henry Miller.  Administrators: George Newkirk, Henry French and James Wilson.  Bondsmen: James Campbell, George Porterfield, Samuel Boyd, Charles Orrick, and George Cunningham.
  10. 21Sep1807 – Estate Account of Jacob Miller: John Dicks, Peach Brandy and Whiskey, Advance to Henry Miller, Administrator ($21.00 for mending still), Thomas Melvin, George Smallwood, Jesse Stall, Bernard Miller for transcribing account (German to English), John Miller, Clerks Note, A. Waggener, B. Stephenson, John Baker, James L. Lane, Michael Diduerover?. Net Value = $1,289.58.  Payments to Heirs:  Widow, Mary Miller $1,218; Mattias Swazely, Catherine Miller, Adam Brown, John Miller, Phillip Miller, Jacob Miller, and Elizabeth Miller, each received $25.12.
  11. 23Jan1788 – Will of Jacob Cole; wife: Barbara Cole; daughters: Barbara and Margaret; Executors: John Miller and George Bragovner Jr.; Witnesses: Robert Duke, Henry Fritz, and Charles Rumsey; Bondsmen: Robert Cockburn and David Wolgamott.
  12. 18Jan1805 – Will of Henry Miller; wife: Margaret [French?] Miller; children: only Jacob Miller (minor) named to be apprenticed; and daughter: Elizabeth Miller to receive grey mare; balance of estate to be held for two years, then sold and equally divided; Executors: Margaret Miller and Jacob French; Witnesses: John Gardener and Jacob Miller; Administrator: George Newkirk.

RENT ROLL OF BERKELEY COUNTY FOR THE YEARS

1774, 1775, 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, 1780, and 1781

Lawrence Linder, 200 acres.

Simon Linder, 393 acres.

Daniel Miller, 415 acres.

Isaac Miller, 360 acres.

John Miller, 250 acres.

Hugh Miller, 202 acres.

Simon Miller, 223 acres.

Jacob Miller, 100 acres.

Henry Miller, 340 acres.

Stephen Miller, 429 acres.

Henry Miller, 526 acres.

John Miller, 200 acres.

Millan & Miller, 633 acres.

Zechariah Miller, 306 acres.

Zechariah Miller, 263 acres.

Henry Miller, 28 acres.

Henry Van Metre, 977 acres.

Jacob Van Metre, 173 acres.

Abram Van Metre, 1092 acres.

Conclusion

Having fairly thoroughly scrutinized the Miller family groupings resident in Frederick/Berkeley County Virginia, it is the author’s opinion that Jacob Miller of Millerstown did in fact originate from a family located in Berkeley County.  More specifically, from the foregoing analyses of these various Miller families, it seems highly probable that Jacob Miller of Millerstown was the same person as Jacob Miller, son of Henry Miller of Opequon.  Having arrived at that conclusion because of the close and contemporaneous living proximities of the Henry Miller family, and the other closely allied families of the Vanmeters and Linders, the author then directed his attention to the challenge of tracing the origins of Jacob Miller’s presumed parents: Henry Miller and Magdalena [mnu].

Because of the fact that Henry Miller bequeathed a tract of land situated in Pennsylvania, the author set his sights on the Pennsylvania Colony as the probable location of Henry Miller’s family, prior to his settlement in Berkeley County Virginia in about 1770.  Further, based on Henry’s estate having contained a German family bible and a German hymnal, it seems reasonable to believe that Henry Miller was the original immigrant of this family, and that he was of German origin [a fact that had already been inferred by the high frequency of persons with Germanic surnames associated with this family].  Ms. Pettis, in her tome of the Hout family history, suggested that Henry Miller may have been a passenger on the Patience which arrived at Philadelphia on 9Sep1751, the same ship on which she presumed Peter Haudt [aka Hout] to have been a passenger.  The author has completed a fairly thorough search of the records contained in the Ancestry database entitled: Pennsylvania German Pioneers: A Publication of the Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia from 1727 to 1808, Vol. I[75]and is inclined to concur with Ms. Pettis.  Although there are several other records of the arrival of persons whose names are near facsimiles, the Henry Miller aboard the Patience most closely fits the demographics seemingly associated with our target.  If it is assumed that it was our Henry Miller, who arrived aboard the Patience, it may be noteworthy that he appeared in the ship’s manifest in the company of a Conrad Miller.  We have already encountered several persons named Conrad Miller during the course of this investigation, most instances having occurred in Frederick County MD, but also including land records near North Mountain in Berkeley County.

Assuming that the Henry Miller, who arrived aboard the Patience was the same as our Henry Miller, the author then set about trying to locate any record of this Henry Miller in Pennsylvania.  After a fairly extensive search of land, church and goverrnment records, only a very few records were located, which have a fairly high probability of having been our target:

“Name: Henry Mueeler

Event: Marriage

Marriage Date: 6 Feb 1758

Marriage Place: Lancaster Co., PA

Church: First Reformed Congregation at Lancaster, PA

Henry Mueeler, Groom

Magdalene Oswaed, Bride

Philip William Otterbein, Reverend”[76]

This marriage record was the earliest Pennsylvania record which could reliably be attributed to our Henry Miller.  There are several elements of this record worthy of our attention.  First, the date of Henry and Magdalena’s marriage occurred almost seven years after Henry’s presumed arrival date.  This fairly lengthy delay may suggest several causes: (1) Henry may have been only 16 years old at time of his arrival, (2) Henry may have been indentured for seven years following his arrival, (3) Henry may have been married and widowed before he married Magdalena.  The fact that this marriage took place in a Reformed Church suggests that Henry and/or Magdalena were affiliated with the Reformed Church rather than the Lutheran Church.  The fact that the ceremony was performed by Reverend Philip William Otterbein may indicate an even further refinement of the parties religious affiliation.

“Name: Henrich Mueeler

Event: Baptism

Residence Date: 27 May 1765

Residence Place: Adams Co., PA

Church: Lutheran Record, Adams Co., PA

Role: Sponsor

Remark: Magdalena daughter of Georg Heiges and Anna Maria. Sponsors, Henrich Mueller and Magdalena.

Household Members Names/Role:

(1) Anna Maria Heiges, Mother

(2) Georg Heiges, Father

(3) Magdalena Heiges, Baptized (Daughter)

(4) Henrich Mueeler, Sponsor

(5)Magdalena Mueeler, Sponsor

(6) Lucas Rauss, Reverend”[77]

Ship’s log 9Sep1751 at Philadelphia: Patience, with 255 passengers (including 8 Roman Catholics)

Conrad Müller 

Henrich Müller

NOTE TO READER

This investigation into the origins of Henry Miller and the Blissett family is still in progress.  The foregoing should be consider as Part 1 of this investigation.  Part 2 will be posted in the near future, when the data has been compiled, analyzed and rendered to writing.

APPENDIX A

Last Will and Testament

John Vanmeter, written 13Aug1745

In the name of God Amen, the Thirteenth day of August one thousand seven hundred and forty five, I. John Van Metre in Frederick County in the Colony of Virginia being sick in body but of sound mind and Memory praise be given to God for the same and calling to mind the uncertainty of this Transitory Life, am willing tlirough Divine Assistance to settle and Dispose of those Temporal blessings which it hath Pleased God beyond my Deserts to bestow upon me and therefore making this my Last W’ill and Testament Disannulling all other wills and Testaments heretofore made by me, &c. Imprimis, I commend my soul into the hands of God that gave it, hoping thro the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ it will be accepted and my body to be Interred with Deacency at the Discretion of my executors hereafter named. I also will that all my Just Debts and Demands whatsoever in Right of Conscience is Due to any to be Discharged and paid (as also funeral expenses) By my executors and as to my Real and Personal Estate, I Will, Dispose Devise Give and Bequeath it in the manner following, that is to say. First my will is that my well beloved wife Margerat Van Metre Have the third part of my moveable estate, also one room which she likes best, to Dwell in, in my dwelling House, and one third part of the Orchard next the Run with the keeping of one Riding Horse and two Milch cows, Linnin and Welling Yarn to be wove her Bed and Bedding the said Room and Liberties to be by her possessed during Her Dureing Life, without controle hinderance or molestation of any person whatever. Second, Item, I give Will Devise and bequeath unto my son Abraham VanMiter and his Heirs Lawfully Begotten, a Certain Parcel Tract of Land Bought by me of Francis Prichard on Opekan Run against the Land formally Bequeathed to him, said Tract Begins at an Elm Tree being the East corner of the said Tract between a Line Tree Hickory Saplin and aforesaid Elm Saplin By Opekan Run side thence down the same to the Beginning Tree of afsd. Pricherds Tract, thence South Fifty five Degrees West, one Hundred and Ten Poles, to the afsd. Beginning Elm Tree, containing by Estimation one hundred acres of land be it more or less. Provided there should be no Heirs Male or Female of my said Son or Sons (Hereafter named) Live to arise to the age of Twenty one Years, that then after the Decease of my s’d son or sons afsd. or their Heirs, that then their part of Land to be equally Divided amongst the rest of my Surviving Devisees 3** hereafter mentioned. Furthermore I also give Unto my s’d son Abraham Van Meter on Certain Tract of Land being and Situate on Opequon Run in the County afrs’d and to his Heirs Lawfully Begotton being part of Four hundred and Seventy five acres of Land Bought of Jpst^Hite, Beginning at or about two yards below a Pine Tree on a high Bank on Opeckon Run called the Allaji Hill, and running thence by a Division Line North Sixty five Degrees””East sixty Polls, to a small Hickory thence North Twenty Degrees West Twenty Eight Poles to a Black Oak then North Twenty Degrees West Sixteen Poles then North Fifteen Degrees East two hundred and nine Poles to a Spannish Oak another corner of the Original survey Thence North twenty Degrees West sixteen Poles to the First Beginning head of the survey of the original Tract by Opeckon Run side near a White Oak marked thus IVM, then up Opeckon Run to the Beginning Pine, containing by estimation Two hundred and thirty seven acres of Land be it more or less &c. the same I also Give Devise and Bequeath to him my son Abraham and his Heir Lawfully Begotten, Under the same Restrictions and Limitations as I have Bequeathed unto him the above mentioned Land Bought of Francis Pricher, also I Give Devise unto my said son Abraham (a son of my wife aforesaid thirds of my Movable Estate and Legacies are paid) an equal proportioned. Childs’ part therefrom as well as Lands to be Disposed of if any there be as of all things else &c. Fourth I also Will, Give Devise and Bequeath unto my son Abraham Van Metre and to his lawful Heirs the Southernmost part and half moiety of four hundred acres of land for me and in my name to survey for him his Heirs afrs’d which land I have Jos Hite’s Bond for procuring a Pattent, which if he shall not obtain the said Pattent he is to have the said Bond for Recovering so much as will amount to his share or Proportion according to his dividend of s’d Tract and the same Land to be held and enjoyed by him under the same Restrictions and Limitations as the above mentioned Land Namely the Land Bought of Francis Pricher &c. Fifth, I Devise Will and Bequeath unto my son Isaac Van Meter and his Heirs Lawfully Begotten one Part or Tract of Land being part of the Tract of Land whereon I now Dwell, Beginning at a Bounded stake at the end of Sixteen Poles in the first Line of the Original Tract Running thence with the said Line South Thirty Degrees West Sixty full perches, then South Eighty one Degrees East One hundred and Eighty Eight Perches, the North Five Degrees East Ten Poles then South Eighty one Degrees East One hundred and Eighty Poles until it intersects the line of the Intire Tract then North one hundred Poles to two white oaks at corner of the Intire Tract then North Fifty two Degrees West Fifty Poles to a Black Oak another Corner of the Intire Tract then North Eighteen Poles then South Seventy-six Degrees West to the Beginning Stake, containing by computation Two hundred and Fifty acres of Land be it more or less. Provided the said Isaac Van Meter make sale of the Land he has at Monocacy and deliver one fourth part of the price thereof to his Brother Jacob and the other three fourths to be either applied toward improving the Land herein Bequeathed otherwise laid out in other Lands and the s’d. to be held under the same Restrictions and Limitations, as those lands Will and Bequeathed, to my son Abraham as aforementioned. Also I Give and Devise unto my said son , Isaac Van Meter after my afs’d wife’s thirds of my Movable Estate and Legacies are paid an Equal proportional Child’s part arising therefrom as well of my Lands which arc to be Disposed of if any there be as of all also my Movables &c. Sixth Item, I Give Devise and Bequeath unto my son Henry Van Meter his Heirs Lawfully Begotten one certain Parcel Tract of Land situate and being in Frederich County on Opeckon Run whereon the said Henry now dwells. Beginning at the Spannish oak standing by Opeckon at a Lick in the Branch of s’d Run and running thence into the woods East Twenty Poles to a Black Oak thence South Eighty three Degrees East Ninty two Poles to a White Oak then East one hundred and fifty one Poles to a Hickory in a Line of the original survey thence down the same to a Run that falls into Opeckon Run thence down the same into Opeckon Run where a Spring is at the mouth thereof then up Opcckan Run to the Beginning Spannish Oak containing by estimation about four Hundred acres of Land be it more or less, with Liberty to such as possessed the land below the mouth of the said Run to get the water and have and possess part of the said Spring at the mouth of said Run, and hold and enjoy the said land under the same Restrictions and Limitations as my son Abraham and his Heirs &c. and if my said son should decease before his wife Eve. . . . Also I give and Devise unto my said son Henry after my aforesaid wives third of my Movable Estate and Legacies are paid an equal proportional Child’s part arising therefrom as well as my lands which are to be disposed of if any there be as of all else &c. Seventh—Item I will Devise Give and Bequeath unto my son Jacob Van Metre and his Heirs Lawfully Begotten, one piece or tract of land, being part of Tract whereon I now dwell. Beginning at a Bound Hickory standing at the end of the Eighty Poles in the first Line of the Original and running thence with the said Line North Thirty Degrees West Fifty six Poles then South seventy one Degrees East two hundred and twenty four Poles then North sixty six Degrees East Twenty four Poles then North Eighty two Degrees East Eighty Poles then North Eighty five Degrees East one hundred and Forty Poles then North fifteen Degrees west twelve Poles to a Black Oak being one of the corner trees of the original Tract then North Forty two Degrees West Eighty two Poles to a Hickory then North sixty eight Poles until it intersects Isaac Van Meter’s Line thence traversing the several Courses of the said Isaac’s Line to the Beginning Containing by estimation two hundred and thirty three acres of Land with that part of the Plantation whereon I now dwell together with all the Houses, Orchards on the said part Parcel, Tract of Land excepting as before excepted unto my wife to hold and enjoy the same tinder the same Restrictions and Limitations as is aforementioned unto my son Abraham and his Heirs &c. Also I give Devise and bequeath unto my said son Jacob after my wifes Third part of my Movable Estate and Legacies are paid an equal proportional Child’s part arising therefrom as well as my lands which are to be disposed of if any there be as of all else &c. Eighth, Item, I will Devise give and Bequeath unto the Heirs Begotten [on] the body of my daughter Sarah wife to James Davis, one Piece or Tract of Land, part of the Tract of land whereon I now dwell Beginning for the same at the first Beginning Tree of the Intire tract and Running thence South Thirty degrees West Sixteen Poles to a stake then North Seventy-five Degrees East two hundred and ninty two Poles to a cross the Intire Tract then around the several courses Joining Rebeccas land to the Beginning Containing by computation two hundred and Twenty acres of Land, more or less to be held under the same Restrictions, Titles, Limitations as aforesaid. Also, I give and Bequeath unto my said Daughter after my said wife’s Thirds of my Moveable Estate and Legacies are paid an equal proportional Child’s part arising therefrom as well of my Lands wh are to be Disposed of if there be of all else. Provided, and it is my Soul Intent and Meaning that James Davis together with his wife Sarah give Good and sufficient security unto my Executors, for the sum of her Proportional part of my Moveable Estate arising to be paid unto their Heirs, equally divided amongst them when they shall arrive at the age of twenty one years, and on Refusal of such security the Proportional part so arising to remain in the hands of my Executors until the Heirs aforesaid arrive at the age aforesaid &c. Nin tjj^ Item, I will Devise Give and Bequeath unto my daughter Mary. wiTeoi Robert 7nnr’: and to the Heirs of her^ body Law fujiy Bfifixtttip one certain piece or Tract of Land J)eing~paiT oF^theTTract whereon I now Dwell beginning at a large White Oak by a Hole in the Ground it being a corner of the original Survey of the Whole Intire Tract and JRunning from the said oak South twenty one Degrees West two hundred and eight Poles then South forty two degrees west forty two Poles to a White Oak by a Mead on a corner of the Original Tract thence South forty two Degrees East Sixty Poles thence North Fifty four Degrees East three hundred and forty Poles until it Intersects the Line of the Intire Tract then with the same eighteen Degrees East Sixty five Poles to a Hickory Corner of the Original Tract thence North Thirty Degrees East eighty poles to the afs White Oak by Spring it being another Corner of the Original Tract then North Fifteen Degrees West Seventy Poles thence South Eighty three Degrees West Eighty Poles to a Black Oak then South ten Degrees West Fifty six Poles to a stake by a corner of a fence then East by the said fence to another stake then thirty Degrees then West one hundred and sixty four Poles to another stake then Northwest sixty six Poles to the Beginning containing by estimation three hundred and fifty acres of Land be it more less the same to be held and enjoyed under the same Restrictions and Limitations above mentioned in the Lands Willed and Bequeathed to my son Abraham Van Metre and his Heirs &c. Also, I give and Devise unto my said Daught^^Mary ^ife to the said Robert Jnnps after my afsd Wife’s ThirHT^oT^’my Movable Estate and Legacies are paid an Equal Proportional Child’s part arising therefrom as well of my Lands which are not to be disposed of if any there be as of all else, Provided, and it is my Soul Intent and meaning that Robert Jones With his wife Mary give Good and sufficient security unto my Executors for the sum of her proportional part of my Movable Estate, arising to be jjaid unto their Heirs equally divided arnongst them when^ they arrive to the_age of Twenty one years, and on Refusal of suich security, the Proportional part scT arisingTo remain in the hands of my Executors until the Heirs afs*^ arrive af^**. Tenth, Item, I Devise Give and Bequeath unto my Daughter Rebecca wife to Solomon Hedges, Esq., and to her Heirs Lawfully Begotten of her body one parcel or Tract of land being part of the tract I now Dwell on Beginning at a corner marked Black Oak the lower most corner on the east side of the meadow and running with the lines of the Original Tract North Thirty three Degrees West One hundred & ten Poles to a Black oak then South Seventeen Degrees West one hundred and Fifty eight Poles to a Hickory then South Sixty Degrees West and Ninty five Poles to a Black Oak then South Fifteen Degrees West one hundred and thirty six Poles and in a corner of the other Tract then crossing the said Tract North seventy nine Degrees East one hundred and sixty Poles until it shall intersect the Line of the Intire survey then with the same North Twenty five Degrees East two hundred and forty four Poles to the Beginning Black Oak containing by estimation two hundred acres of Land and meadow be it more or less to be held and enjoyed by the Heirs of the said Solomon and Rebecca Lawfully begotten of her body under the same Restriction and Limitations as is mentioned to Abraham Van Meter’s Heirs, &c. Also I give and devise unto my said Daughter Rebecca after my said wife’s Thirds of my Movable Estate and Legacies are paid an Equal Proportional Child’s part arising therefrom as well as of my Lands which are to be disposed of if any then be as of all else, &c. Provided, and it is my soul Intent and meaning that Solomon Hedges and Rebecca his wife give Good and sufficient security unto my Executor’s for the sum of her Proportional Part of my Movable Estate arising to be paid unto their Heirs Equally Divided amongst them when they shall arrive to the age of Twenty one years and on Refusal of such Security, the Proportional part so arising to remain in the hands of my Executors until the Heirs afs” arrive at the age afs” &c. Eleventh, Item, I give Devise and Bequeath unto my Daughter Elisabeth Wife to Thomas Shepherd and to the heirs of her body Lawfully Begotten One Certain Tract or piece of Land being part of the Tract whereon I now dwell beginning at the South corner of the above Devised Land and running thence with the same North Fifty four Degrees East Three hundred and Forty Poles until it shall Intersect the Line of the Intire Tract thence Traversing the Lines of the Intire Tract round to the Beginning, containing by computation three hundred acres of Land. Also one other Tract of Land Lying situate and being in Prince George’s County in the Province of Maryland known by the name of Pelmel. Beginning at a bounded Ash standing at the upper end of a Tract of land called Antetum Bottom on the Bank of Potomack River containing one hundred and sixty acres of Land according to the Certificate of Survey under the same Title Restrictions and Limitations as in afs” Bequest and Devise unto my son Abraham Van Meter and his Heirs. Also if Robert Jones should be scarce of Water or his Heirs, or anyother the Devises or their Heirs into whose Hands the Lands shall come into, then it shall and may be Lawful for them to Digg a Trench to Convey the Water from the Run into the said Land with [out] Interruption of him the said Thomas Shepherd or his heirs afore^*’*. Also I give and Devise unto my said Daughter Elisabeth wife to Thomas Shepherd after my afs* wife’s Thirds of my Movable Estate and Legacies are paid an equal Proportional Child’s part arising therefrom as well of my Lands which are to be Deposed of if any there be as of all else &c. Provided, and it is my Soul Intent and meaning that Thomas Shepherd and Elizabeth his wife Give Good and sufficient security unto my Executors for the sum of her proportional part of my movable Estate arising to be paid unto their Heirs equally Divided amongst them when they shall arrive at the age of Twenty one Years, And on Refusal of such security the Proportional part so arising to Remain in the Hands of my Executors until the Heirs afs* arrive at the age afsd &c. Twelvth, Item, I Devise Give and Bequeath unto my Daughter Magdalena the sum of twenty shillings, as her full Legacy whereby when paid or tendered to her by my Executors is discharged and fully acquitted from any Right Title or Interest or in or to my Real or Personal Estate and I do Devise Will and Bequeath unto her Heirs Lawfully Begotten on her body a Certain Tract or piece of Land being part of the Tract whereon I now Dwell beginning at a marked Red Oak saplin being a corner of the original survey of the Intire Tract and Running thence North Thirty Degrees East Twelve Poles, then South Seventy one Degrees East two hundred and twenty four Poles then North sixty six Degrees East twenty four Poles then North Eighty two Degrees East Eighty four Poles then south Eighty Poles then south ten West fifty six Poles then East twenty Poles then North West sixtysix Poles to a white oak by a Hole being a corner of the survey of the Intire Tract then with the Line of the same to the beginning Black oak saplin Containing by estimation two hundred and fifty acres of land be it more or less to be held and enjoyed by the heirs of my said Daughter under the Limitations and Restrictions according to the Devise made to my son Abraham van Meter’s Heirs, &c. Also I give and Devise unto the Heirs of my said Daughter Magdalena after my wife’s Thirds of my Movable Estate so arising to remain in the hands of my Executors until her heirs arrive to the age of Twenty one years and then equally between them and for want of such Heirs to be equally divided amongst the other Devisees &c. Thirteenth Item, I will Devise Give and Bequeath to the son of Daughter Rachael deceased (viz) John Leforge a certain tract of land containing two hundred acres being part of four hundred acres of land which my son Abraham Van Meter hath Divided to him, which two hundred acres of Land are to be held and enjoyed under the same Restrictions and Limitations and Tntails as aforementioned &c. as also two Breeding Mares, and if it so happen that he should die that then the said mares shall be given to his two cousins namely Johannes Van Meter son of Johanes Van Meter deceased and Joana daughter of the said Johanes deceased &c. Fourteenth, Item, I will Devise and Bequeath unto my Grandson Johannes Van Meter son of my Eldest son Johannes Van Meter Deceased and to his Heirs Lawfully Begotten a certain parcel of Land being the uppermost part of the afs** four hundred and seventy five acres of land which I purchased of lost Hite Beginning at the afs** Pine Trees mentioned in the second clause of my Bequest to my son Abraham Van Meter out of part of the same Tract and running thence with the same Division Line Between him and my son Abraham North sixty Degrees East sixty Poles to a small Hickory Saplin standing on the Line of the Survey of the whole Intire Tract then with the same South twenty three Degrees East two hundred and Fifty seven Poles to a White oak standing at a corner of the original survey and is the uppermost corner of the Land mentioned in Jost Hite’s Deed then running with the Line of the said Deed to Opeckon Run and Down the same to the afs’* Pine Tree containing by estimation two hundred and thirty eight acres be it more or less. Provided the said Johanas Delivers an equal share of his Land at Monokasy or the value thereof to his sister Joana Daughter of Johannes Van Meter Deceased, then this Land Willed and Bequeathed to my Grand son Johannes Van Meter is to be held by him Under the same Restrictions and Limitations as aforementioned in Abraham’s Bequest, Also I will that my said grandson Johannas have two Breeding Mares, &c. Fifteenth, Item. I will that if any veins or any sort of mines should at anytime hereafter be Discovered on any part of my Lands herein mentioned, Given Willed Devised and Bequeathed, and that the same should arise amount or become of more value than Fifty Pounds that then such Mines to be equally divided amongst my Devisees and every of them to have equal share or proportion of the same with Liberty of Roads to and from the same for Transporting of such mine also Liberty to Digg and make search and Trail for such Mines in Co-Partnership with the rest of the Devisees, &c. Sixteenth, Item, I also Will Devise Give and Bequeath the sum of Ten Pounds Virginia Money to be paid by my Executors to my grand-chidren to Johannes Van Meter and Joana Van Meter the sum of Fifteen Pounds when they arrive to the age of twenty one years of age. Seventeenth, Item I do nominate. Constitute and Appoint my son-in-law Thomas Shepherd, Abraham Van Meter and Jacob Van Meter my sons joint Executors of this my last Will and Testament Impowering them to act and perform according to what is contained in every Clause being Contained in five Sheets of Paper Disannuling and making void all other Wills and Testament’s by me in any wise by me heretofore confirming this and no other as my last Will and Testament. In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the Day and Year above Written. signed John Metor [seal]

Signed sealed Published and Pronounced and Declared by the said John Van Meter as his last Will and Testament in the Presence of us

his Edward X Morgan mark Andrew Corn Joseph Carroll.

[Probated at Winchester Va. 3* Sept. 1745].

APPENDIX B

List of Quaker Patentees

12Nov1735

  1. Morgan Bryan – 400 acres, above Underwood Lick
  2. Morgan Bryan – 264 acres
  3. Alexander Ross – 2,373 acres, foot of Grindstone Hill, adj. John Little and John Ballenger
  4. John Wilson – 286 acres, east side of small branch of Opequon (Eagle Run)
  5. Thomas Curtis – 418 acres, 2 miles above mouth of Tulisses Branch
  6. Nathaniel Thomas – 380 acres, west side of Opequon, on Red Bud Branch
  7. Isaac Perkins – 200 acres, near the Gap, adj. Thomas Babbs
  8. John Hiet Jr. [Hite or Heidt] of Lancaster Co. PA – 300 acres, north side of Opequon
  9. Thomas Anderson – 542 acres, south side of Mill Branch
  10. John Mills Jr. – 408 acres, small branch of Middle Creek
  11. John Peteate – 500 acres, Middle Branch, Opequon
  12. Robert Luna – 294 acres, near ford across Cohongornto, adj. Samuel Owens
  13. John Richards – 500 acres, south side Cedar Run, adj. John Branson
  14. John Litler – 448 acres, head of Yorkshire-Manns Branch, Opequon
  15. Giles Chapman – 400 acres, head of Yorkshire-Manns Branch, Opequon
  16. James Brown – 121 acres, south side of Cohongornta River
  17. Luke Emlen – 125 acres, west side of Cohongornta
  18. Morgan Bryan – 450 acres, west side of Opequon, lowermost ford of Tuscarora
  19.  Francis Pincher – 100 acres, two miles above Tuscarora Branch, west side of Opequon
  20. Conelius Cockburne – 172 acres, south side of Cohono River, adj. James Brown
  21. Josiah Ballenger – 500 acres, surveyed for George Hollingsworth, at Hannah’s Spring
  22. William Hogg – 411 acres, adj. John Calvert and Thomas Dawson
  23. Benjamin Borden – 850 acres, near Round Hill, adj. Thomas Babb.
  24. John Litler and James Wright – 438 acres, one mile south of Giles Chapman and Samuel Bond
  25. John Frost – 380 acres, adj. Hugh Parrel, above path to Litler’s and Hollingsworth’s, adj .John Litler
  26. Thomas Dawson – 295 acres, adj. Hite and William Hogg.
  27. Thomas Branson – 850 acres, head of south branch Opequon, nigh Cattail Meadow
  28. Geroge Hobson – 937 acres, branch of Mill Run
  29. Morgan Bryan – 1,020 acres, head of Tulley’s branch
  30. Evan Thomas – 1,014 acres, NE side of branch into Opequon, near path to John Smith’s mill
  31. John Calvert – 850 acres, near Abraham Hollingsworth and Calvert’s Run
  32. John Litler – 1,085 acres, adj. Thomas Evans
  33. Morgan Morgan – 1,000 acres, branch of Opequon, adj. Morgan’s path to Great Spring, adj. John Mills and George Hobson
  34. Hugh Parral – 466 acres, NE side of Red Bud Branch, adj. John Calvert
  35. James Davis – 600 acres, crossing Tulisis Branch, near foot of North Mountain
  36. Thomas Babb – 600 acres,
  37. Edward Davis – 875 acres, branch of Cohongornto, called Tulisis, adj. James Davis
  38. John Mills – 1,315 acres, branch of Opequon called Mill Branch, path from Mills’s to Lewis D. Moss.
  39. John Peteate and Geroge Robinson – 1,650 acres, both side of Tuscarora
  40. Isaac Perkins – 725 acres, branch of Opequon below John Calvert’s
  41. John Hood – 1,175 acres, crossing Tylysses Branch, adj. John Davis

APPENDIX C

Last Will and Testament

Henry Miller Sr. – 7Oct1816

(Transcriber by Robert Atteberry, 4Aug2019)

In the name of God Amen I Henry Miller Senior of the County of Berkeley and state of Virginia being weak and infirm and my body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given unto God, calling unto mind the mortality of my body and provided it is appointed for all men once to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament, that is to say principally and first, I give and recommend my soul into the hands of Almighty God that gave it, and my body I recommend to the Earth to be buried in a decent Christian burial at the discretion of my executors who I shall hereafter appoint, nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God and as touching such worldly estate wherewith it has pleased God to bless me in this life I give and devise in the manner following;

Firstly I ordered that my burying expenses and just debts be punctually paid out of my cash left at my decease and if that should be deficient my executors are to collect my outstanding debts be the same bonds, notes, or book accounts and with the monies recovered discharge all I just debts and;

Item my executors as soon as it can be done after my death and to expose at public sale on a reasonable credit to be at the option of my said executors of all my real and personal property of every kind and description and after having sold the same I fully empower my said executors or any of them to convey such real estate to the same land or lots to the purchaser by such a deeds or any other instrument of writing required by law and such conveyance or conveyances made by my said executors to be valid to all intents and purposes;

Item after my just debts and burying expenses as aforesaid are fully paid and discharged I order the residue of my estate to be distributed as follows:

I give and bequeath to my son Henry Miller the sum of $602.75 he having already received in lands and money the sum of $1397.25, and should it pleased God to prolong my life so that I may be able to furnish him with any part or the whole amount of the said some of $602.75, he is to discount with my executors for such part he shall receive;

Item after my son Henry has received a part or share devise to him and receipted for the same to my executors hereafter named my son Jacob Miller is to receive as follows I have hereto paid him in cash horse creatures and to the amount of $1500 as appears by his account and Absalom Ovendorf’s receipt dated 26 April 1814, which sum deducted from $2000 leaves a balance of $500 which said sum of $500 he is to receive from my executors out of my cash or if there should be a deficiency out of the first money that shall be collected by my executors, if he should receive any part of the said sum during my life he is to account with my executors for the same in the same manner as my son Henry is ordered to do;

Item my son George Miller is to receive of my executors after my son Jacob has received as aforesaid (as follows) I have paid him the sum of $1500 as appears by his note dated 26 April 1814 the sum of $1500 as specified in said note deducted from the $2000 leaves a balance of $500 which said some he is to receive from my executors out of my cash as aforesaid and in like manner discount with my executors as my son Henry and Jacob are ordered to do;

Item my son Adam Miller is to receive of my executors after my son George has received as aforesaid two wit I have paid him the sum of $1500 as appears by his note dated 26 April 1814 the sum of $1500 as specified in the said note deducted from the $2000 leaves a balance of $500 which said some he is to receive from my executors of the money then in their hands and if none as soon as the same can be recovered by them and in like manner discount with my executors as hereto for expressed and as my other sons are ordered to do;

Item I bequeath unto my son John Miller the sum of $2000 (he having received no part) to be paid him by my executors out of the next money recovered by my executors after my son Adam has received his balance as aforesaid but if he shall receive any part thereof during my life he is to account with my executors in the manner and form aforesaid should any of my sons afford named die and have no legal heirs such of my sons then living shall inherit their part by them and their heirs forever;

I give and bequeath to my daughter Rosanna Haupt at present a widow and to her heirs for ever, the sum of $1000 to be paid to her by my executors out of the first money recovered after my sons aforesaid have received their part specified as aforesaid;

Item I bequeath unto my daughter Elizabeth Job the sum of $2000 she having hereto for received the sum of $800 for which said sum Henry Job her husband did on 14th day of March 1815 execute his receipt in full the aforesaid sum of $2000 she is to receive of my executors out of the first money recovered after my daughter Rosanna Haupt has received her part as aforesaid;

Item I bequeath unto my daughter Mary Choppart wife of Jacob Choppart the sum of $1000 first deducting Jacob Choppart note for $50 dated 2 May 1814 which will leave a balance of $950 which said sum of $950 she is to receive of my executors out of the first money recovered by my executors after my daughter Elizabeth Job has received her part as aforesaid;

item my daughter Hannah intermarried with John Vincenheller is to receive one dollar of my executors she having hereto for received of me a tract of land in the state of Pennsylvania to the full value of her share, part or portion of my estate as appears by the said John Vinceheller’s receipt bearing date of 16 September 1811;

Item I bequeath unto my son in law Peter Deel [aka Dehl or Diehl] the sum of one dollar to be paid him by my executors when demanded debarring him from any further claim on any part of my estate the devise aforesaid being his part or share in full;

After my daughters, aforenamed have received there are several shares as devised to them and specified as aforesaid my executors are to lay out the sum of $984.50 on interest well secured, the interest from said sum accruing yearly is to be paid to my daughter Catherine Dell (to her alone and to no other person) debarring her said husband Peter Dell from receiving any part thereof or make a transfer or assign the same to any other person which interest is accruing my daughter Catherine Dell is to receive yearly during the natural life of her husband but after his death she is to receive the principal and interest to her own use and behoove, but should she die before her husband the principal sum is to remain at interest and the interest to be appropriated for the support of her young children and as soon as her youngest child shall arrive at lawful age the same is to be devised amongst them equally by my executors;

After the legacies aforementioned are paid my granddaughter Hannah Ehvrett is to receive of my executors the sum of $200 out of such fund then in the hands of my executors, also my granddaughter Elizabeth Sheetz is to receive the sum of $400, my grandson Jacob Sheetz the sum of $150 my grandson Henry Sheetz the sum of $150 by grandson William Sheetz the sum of $150 and my granddaughter Sarah Sheetz the sum of $150, my executors to lay out the monies devised to my grandchildren on interest from the time so much shall be in their hands and pay to each the principal and interest when each severally shall arrive to lawful age, should any of my grandchildren aforesaid die without legal heirs the survivors are to inherit the several parts or shares after the legacies aforedevised are paid and my executors have closed their accounts with the commissioners and there shall be in the balance left in their hands such balance my sons and daughters and their heirs are to receive from my said executors;

I likewise constitute make and ordain my friend Jacob Weaver Esquire and William Long, merchant my soul executors to this my last will and testament according to the true intent and meaning there of and do other early disallow, revoke and this and all and every other and former testament, wills, legacies, bequests and executors in any ways before named, willed and bequeathed satisfying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament. In witness whereof I the said Henry Miller Senior have here unto set my hand and affixed my seal this seventh day of October 1816.

Witnesses: John Schubert, Martin Myers, Edward Grubb, Nicholas Marquardt.

Proven by the oath’s of John Schubert, Martin Myers and Nicholas Marquardt three of the witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded and on motion of Jacob Weaver and William Long, the executors there in named who made oath thereto according to law certificate is granted them for obtaining a probate thereof in due form they having entered into bond with security as the law directs.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


[1] https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?viewrecord=1&r=an&db=FSMarriageKentucky&indiv=try&h=1556533, accessed 20Jun2019.

[2] The Kentucky Land Grants, Willard Rouse Jillson, Sc.D., 1921, p. 642.

[3] Ibid.

[4] 1819 Hart County, KY Tax List, http://www.censusdiggins.com/1819hart.htmlm accessed 20Jun2019.

[5] https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/1222/KYVR_994038-0284?pid=191056&backurl=https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc%3DgIj5105%26_phstart%3DsuccessSource%26usePUBJs%3Dtrue%26indiv%3D1%26dbid%3D1222%26gsfn%3Dadam%26gsln%3Dmiller%26gsfn_x%3D1%26gsln_x%3D1%26msddy%3D1877%26new%3D1%26rank%3D1%26uidh%3Dyq3%26redir%3Dfalse%26gss%3Dangs-d%26pcat%3D34%26fh%3D0%26h%3D191056%26recoff%3D%26ml_rpos%3D1&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=gIj5105&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&_ga=2.47121191.1004942472.1558535593-2094791472.1554911209, accessed 21Jun2019.

[6] https://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/651, accessed 22Jun2019.

[7] https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/1932/30439_065431-00009?pid=312867&backurl=https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?dbid%3D1932%26h%3D312867%26indiv%3Dtry%26o_vc%3DRecord:OtherRecord%26rhSource%3D60525&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true&usePUBJs=true&_ga=2.76418965.1004942472.1558535593-2094791472.1554911209#?imageId=30439_065431-00009, accessed 2Jul2019.

[8] Green and Barren Rivers Continued O&M: Environmental Impact Statement, https://books.google.com/books?id=bSg0AQAAMAAJ&pg=SL6-PA10&lpg=SL6-PA10&dq=iron+works+on+lynn+camp+creek,+hart+county+kentucky&source=bl&ots=8hFr9dHuuc&sig=ACfU3U0FRVX-c7lYeQ3eUdy7vRGbkYRnNw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi_yKHskfPiAhXMl54KHfw3BVsQ6AEwCnoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=iron%20works%20on%20lynn%20camp%20creek%2C%20hart%20county%20kentucky&f=false, accessed 18Jun2019.

[9] Kentucky Historical Society, Roadside Markers.

[10] https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/29096294/joseph-j-miller, accessed 29Jun2019.

[11] https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Miller-22574, accessed 29Jun2019.

[12] Early Kentucky Settlers: The Records of Jefferson County, Kentucky, from the …, James R. Bentley, 1988, p. 16.

[13] http://www.hccoky.org/archives/ViewPage.asp?Book=DBC&varA=471&SType=DB&Submit=Open+Page, accessed 25Jun219, Transcribed by Robert Atteberry.

[14] Kentucky Land Grants, ibid., https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=2073&h=5154&tid=&pid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=gIj5590&_phstart=successSource, accessed 2Jul2019.

[15] Early Kentucky Tax Records, from the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, 1999, p. 226.

[16] Ibid.

[17] “Kentucky Tax Lists: 1779-1801”, Ancestry.com, https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/3720/gpc_secondcensusky-0189?pid=16466&backurl=https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc%3DgIj5588%26_phstart%3DsuccessSource%26usePUBJs%3Dtrue%26indiv%3D1%26dbid%3D3720%26gsfn%3Djacob%26gsln%3Dlinder%26new%3D1%26rank%3D1%26uidh%3Dyq3%26redir%3Dfalse%26gss%3Dangs-d%26pcat%3D36%26fh%3D0%26h%3D16466%26recoff%3D%26ml_rpos%3D1&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=gIj5588&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true, accessed 13Jul2019.

[18] https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/61266/41904_539854-01435/240096?backurl=https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/16709819/person/441156731/facts/citation/682049361673/edit/record, accessed 3Jul2019. 

[19] https://www.fold3.com/page/31-simon-linder-family/stories, accessed 8Jul2019.

[20] https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/75470727/miles-hart, Source: The American Descendants of Chretien DuBois of Wicres, France, Part Four, 1970. Compiled by William Heidgerd for the DuBois Family Association, Huguenot Historical Society of New Paltz, N.Y., Inc.  Accessed 4Jul2019.

[21] North America, Family Histories, 1500-2000, Genealogy Duke-Shepherd-VanMetre Family, Samuel Gordon Smyth, 1909, pp. 13-14.

[22] Smyth, p. 65.

[23] Smyth, pp. 58-9.

[24] https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Van_Meter-6, accessed 9Jul2019.

[25] Virginia’s Colonial Soldiers, Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck, 1988, p. 267.

[26] LAND BOUNTY CERTIFICATES FOR SERVICE IN THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WARS, http://genealogytrails.com/vir/land_bounty_certificates.html, accessed 1Jul2019

[27] Smythe, p. 21.

[28] A history of the Valley of Virginia, Samuel Kercheval, Charles James Faulkner, John Jeremiah Jacob, 1902, p. 32.

[29] Smythe, p. 17.

[30] Ibid., p. 19.

[31] Ibid., p. 27.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Ibid., pp. 28-9.

[34]

[35] Smythe, p. 58.

[36] http://www.htracyhall.org/txt/IRH-Genealogy/Cabinent%201/Drawer%203/HistoryOfPendltonCounty&&&/West%20Virginia%20Estate%20Settlements.txt, accessed 19Jul2019.

[37] https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/vacen/?name=_mill*r&event=1770_berkeley-west+virginia-usa_294&count=50&event_x=10-0-0&name_x=_1, accessed 20Jul2019.

[38] https://worldhistory.us/american-history/colonial-america-jost-hite-shenandoah-pioneer.php, accessed 16Jul2019.

[39] Kercheval, etal., p. 73.

[40] https://www.ancestry.com/mediaui-viewer/tree/112445637/person/310125183905/media/aef5149d-277d-49bc-bdb3-bb50720411c1, accessed 19Jul2019.

[41] https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/29938416/person/26043979068/facts, accessed 4Aug2019.

[42]https://www.ancestry.com/boards/thread.aspx?mv=flat&m=5930&p=localities.northam.usa.states.virginia.counties.frederick, accessed 19Jul2019.

[43] https://www.ancestry.com/boards/thread.aspx?mv=flat&m=5930&p=localities.northam.usa.states.virginia.counties.frederick, accessed 19Jul2019.

[44] https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Brown-82507, accessed 20Jul2019.

[45] The Hout Family for Two Hundred and Twenty-seven Years, Ten Generations …, Margaret Birney Pittis, 1952, p. 579.

[46] Frederick County [Virginia] Road Orders 1743-1772, Virginia Genealogical Society, 2007, p. 21.

[47] Hout, various pages.

[48] http://www.frenchfamilyassoc.com/FFA/CHARTS/Chart195/Genealogy.htm#_Death_of_Jacob, accessed 1Aug2019.

[49] Centennial History of the Evangenical Lutheran Synod of Maryland 1820-1920Centennial History of the Evangenical Lutheran Synod of Maryland 1820-1920, Rev. Prof. Abdel Ross Wentz, PhD., 1920, p. 17.

[50] Pioneers of Old Monocacy, Grace L. Tracey and John P. Dern, 1987, p. 183.

[51] https://www.werelate.org/wiki/Person:Benajah_Dunn_%287%29, accessed 12Sep2019.

[52] The History of the Jacob Miller Family of Donegal Township, Washington County Pennsylvania, by Elizabeth Jane Miller Hack, ~1953.

[53] https://dna-explained.com/2015/12/27/johann-michael-miller-mueller-the-second-1692-1771-brethren-immigrant-52-ancestors-104/, accessed 1Sep2019.

[54] Strassburg.

[55]

[56] http://washingtoncountyhistoricaltrust.org/ashton-hall-maugansville-md/, accessed 13Aug2020.

[57] NOTE:  During the course of a patent process, there are several dates, which bear significance.  Typically, the earliest date relative to a given patent is that date on which a warrant was issued.  Typically, the next date of record is when the plat survey was performed and/or filed.  The third, and typically the final date, is when the patent was issued.  The patent issuance typically coincided with the date at which the relevant fees were paid.

[58] https://dna-explained.com/2015/12/27/johann-michael-miller-mueller-the-second-1692-1771-brethren-immigrant-52-ancestors-104/, accessed 23Aug2020.

[59] Frederick County Deed Book C, p. 564.

[60] http://washingtoncountyhistoricaltrust.org/kammerer-house-1774-north-washington-county-md/, accessed 1Sep2020.

[61] Excerpt of letter from George Washington to Lord Fairfax dated 29Aug1756.  Pennsylvania: The German Influence in its Settlement and Development, Volume XXV, Prepared for Pennsylvania-German Society, by Daniel Wunderlich Nead, M.D., 1914, p. 154.

[62] https://dna-explained.com/2015/12/27/johann-michael-miller-mueller-the-second-1692-1771-brethren-immigrant-52-ancestors-104/, accessed 31Aug2019.

[63] http://washingtoncountyhistoricaltrust.org/26-huckleberry-hall-circa-1787-north-of-smithsburg-md/, accessed 16Aug2019.

[64] Ibid.

[65] http://washingtoncountyhistoricaltrust.org/old-forge-farm-1762-west-of-hagerstown-md-13/, accessed 16Aug2019.

[66] http://www.ourbrickwalls.com/subpageWills-Inventories.html, accessed 17Aug2019.

[67] https://www.geni.com/people/Joseph-Wolgamott/4786697931760052060, accessed 17Aug2019.

[68] https://mht.maryland.gov/secure/medusa/PDF/Washington/WA-I-436.pdf, accessed 17Aug2019.

[69] Building, p. 72.

[70] Note:  Also on this voyage was a Wolfcon Miller, aged 41, and the Simon Linder family and Frederick Onself.

[71] https://dna-explained.com/2016/04/10/philip-jacob-miller-c1726-1799-buried-on-a-missing-island-52-ancestors-119/, accessed 18Sep2020.  NOTE: This listing of delinquent tax payers was taken from a webpage managed by Roberta Estes, the same person who manages the page for the Brethren Michael Miller.  The reference to “heirs of Michael Miller”, would seem to be further confirmation of the demise of Brethren Michael Miller sometime before 1768/9.

[72] CHRONICLES OF THE Scotch-Irish Settlement IN VIRGINIA EXTRACTED FROM THE ORIGINAL COURT RECORDS OF AUGUSTA COUNTY 1745-1800 CIRCUIT COURT RECORDS, SECTION “I.” JUDGMENTS, page 231

[73] https://books.google.com/books?id=NpEHBgAAQBAJ&pg=PA31&lpg=PA31&dq=Paul+vs.+Hite–O.+S.+310;+N.+S.+110–Bill&source=bl&ots=FNDd3DCaiq&sig=ACfU3U1GKyCwY7p18fFQe8D1-RtcAeGkNQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiv_siO6fDjAhUgJTQIHandDZwQ6AEwCnoECAQQAQ#v=onepage&q=Paul%20vs.%20Hite–O.%20S.%20310%3B%20N.%20S.%20110–Bill&f=false, accessed 7Aug2019.

[74] Jefferson County Historical Society Magazine (2014), edited by James L. Glymph (ed.), p. 29.

[75]  https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/48379/PAGermanPioneersI-005088-689/320565?backurl=&ssrc=&backlabel=Return#?imageId=PAGermanPioneersI-004855-456, accessed 3Mar2020.

[76] https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc=Gub918&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&indiv=1&dbid=7830&gsfn=henry&gsln=m*ler&msydy=1762&msydy_x=1&msydp=10&new=1&rank=1&uidh=yq3&redir=false&gss=angs-d&pcat=37&fh=4&h=114594&recoff=&ml_rpos=5&queryId=5446b6998cd54fc1c106afe39082d851, accessed 3Mar2020.

a

Chapter 20 – Charles Arthurbury of Chester County

Charles Arthurbury in ChesterCounty

Charles Arthurbury first appeared in South Carolina records when he filed a plat map for 100 acres on Little River on 22Oct1773.  This patent abutted lands of his older brothers: Edward Arthurbury and Michael Arthurbury, as well as land owned by Benjamin Dove.  The author has assembled a plat map reconstruction as illustrated in Figure 20-1 which contains the plats surveyed for all three Arthurbury brothers, along with the plat surveyed for Benjamin Dove.  Additionally, plats surveyed for David Doute, Stephen Ditshaw and Mary Long have also been added to this map layout.  These plats have been overlaid onto a topographic base, however, it should be noted that the actual placement of these tracts on this topo base is uncertain, other than having been on the drains of Little River, which probably placed the land within the boundary of future Fairfield County.

It is worth mentioning the methodology utilized in building the plat map reconstructions that are presented in this manuscript.  When available, the author traced the outline of each tract from the image presented on the recorded plat map or deed record.  Further, all relevant geographic features, i.e. waterways, paths, roads, etc. were also traced from the original documents.  And, lastly, the bearings and distances, and adjacent ownerships were also copied from the original record.  When an image of a tract was not available, an effort was made to reconstruct the tract from data contained in abutting tracts, or from the metes and bounds descriptions contained in deed documents.  These tracts were then scaled to a ratio of 1″= 2,000′, and fitted together based on recorded adjacent land ownerships and matching boundary segments. 

Further, it should be noted that land surveying in North America during the 18th and early 19th centuries was performed with the use of two basic tools, a linked surveyor’s chain and a magnetic compass as illustrated in Figure 20-2.  The chain was comprised of 100 links, each measuring 7.92 inches in length, with a total chain length of 66 feet.  Measurements were most frequently recorded in multiples of whole chains, but occasionally recorded in fractions of a chain, denoted by multiples of links.  Bearings, on the other hand, were almost always recorded in measurements of whole compass degrees, but occasionally in 1/4 or 1/2 degrees.  Consequently, bearings were recorded as deflections from magnetic north.  Further, map boundaries were most frequently recorded in a clockwise direction around a parcel or tract of land from a designated point of beginning.  Occasionally, map boundaries were recorded in a counter-clockwise direction. 

Any attempt to assemble plat maps into a conjoined mosaic (plat map reconstruction) is as much an art as it is a science.  Although two plats may be identified on their face as abutting one another, their corresponding boundaries may not have exactly matching bearings.  Minor variances of a few degrees may be considered acceptable and ordinary, given the rustic tools and variances in time and training.  Bearing variances of more than five degrees is beyond the range of normal circumstance, and may suggest that the presumed conjoining boundaries were not contiguous along their entire length, but may have been separated, or perhaps actually overlapped.

Ideally, it would be possible to site these tracts on a topographic base in order to provide a geographic context, but such placement depends on matching a geographic feature presented on a plat map with its corresponding feature on the topo base.  For a variety of factors, the author is of the opinion that these early Arthurbury patents were situated along West Fork Little River.  The main factor in drawing this conclusion was the general alignment and trajectory of the Little River watercourse shown on some of the plat maps, compared to the topographically mapped alignment of West Fork Little River, versus the alignment of other branches of Little River.

It should also be recognized that the alignment of a stream as laid out on a plat map oftentimes was the surveyor’s approximation, and not based on an actual survey of the waterway course.  Having scrutinized literally hundreds of plat maps compiled in this region of South Carolina in the 18th and early 19th centuries, the author has observed that waterway alignments were mostly gross approximations.  Presumably, the surveyor did make a fairly accurate measurement of the location at which the watercourse transected a surveyed tract boundary.  Consequently, if a stream fully bisected a tract, its point of entry and exit might be assumed to have been fairly accurate.  However, the stream’s alignment within the parcel, and the actual juncture points of branching tributaries within that parcel likely were generalizations or approximations.

Having said all that, the author must confess to a certain degree of uncertainty about the exact location of these tracts along West Fork Little River.  The best stream alignment elements in the vicinity appear to have been on the 590 acre tract laid out for Minor Winn on 8Feb1787 shown in Figure 20-3.  This tract contained a fairly lengthy reach of Little River, and provides three separate branches that might be used in positioning this tract along the waterway.  Further, when the two abutting tracts filed by Nathan Arthurbury and Samuel Biggerstaff are added, there appears to be further continuity with other reaches and branches.  Such location places Minor Winn’s and Nathan Arthurbury’s tracts near the confluence of Williams Creek.  This location might be further strengthened by the references to Thomas Williams as an abutting landowner on both the Winn and Biggerstaff plats. 

There were several grant filings for a person named Thomas Williams in the 1780’s, two of which were identified as having been situated on Turnip Patch Branch of Little River of Broad River.  From these plat descriptions, there would seem to be no doubt that these two tracts were situated on a tributary of West Fork Little River.  One of these grant filings by Thomas Williams is of particular value to siting the Arthurbury, etal. tracts on the West Fork Little River.  That tract is summarized from SCDAH records as follows:

Williams, Thomas, Plat For 170 Acres On Turnip Patch Branch, Camden District, Surveyed By Alexander Johnston. Date: 2/9/1787

People in this record:

Biggerstaff, Samuel; Johnston, Alexander; Jones, William; Williams, Thomas

Places in this record:

Turnip Patch Branch

Also: Broad River; Camden District; Little River

No waterway known as Turnip Patch Branch as a tributary of Little River could be found on any maps, past or present.  However, given the continuity between the surname of Thomas Williams and Williams Creek, and that his name was given as an abutting property owner on the Minor Winn and Samuel Biggerstaff plats, it seems highly probable that Williams Creek and Turnip Patch Branch were the same waterway.  This probability is strengthened by the fact that Samuel Biggerstaff was identified in association with only two grants, one being his own filing for 270 acres in 1785, and the other being the filing by Thomas Williams for 170 acres in 1787. 

Extensive effort was made to site these tracts elsewhere along West Fork Little River or along other tributaries of Little River, and no other location even remotely fit as well as the Williams Creek [aka Turnip Patch Branch] location.  Having exhausted all the resources and techniques available to the author, he is inclined to accept that these early grants filed on Little River by Charles, Edward, Michael and Nathan Arterbury were within about one-half mile of the locations depicted in Figure 20-3.

Other “facts” that might be inferred from this plat map study are as follows:

  1. Three of the nine Arthurbury brothers elected to file for patents within about one year of each other, and Edward and Charles appear to have filed on the exact same date.  Further, their tracts abutted one another.  This suggests that all three may have traveled from Loudoun County Virginia to Camden District South Carolina together, and that they may have had some particular kinship connection that may have led to this joint migration.
  2. Nathan Arthurbury is believed to have migrated separately from Charles, Edward and Michael, since he is recorded having acquired a 100 acre tract on Cane Creek on the south side of the Broad River in the southeast corner of Union County in about 1776-9.  It seems probable that Nathan was drawn to the Little River location in 1784 by the presence of his older brothers.
  3. The size of the grants issued to Charles, Edward and Michael may be suggestive of their respective marital status at the time of entering the province.  Under the headright rules in force in colonial South Carolina, each male adult over the age of 21 years, having paid their own transport, would have been entitled to a grant of 100 acres.  They would also have been entitled to a grant of 50 acres for each additional member of their household for whom they had paid transport.  Consequently, it might be inferred that both Charles and Edward probably were unmarried and had no dependents when they filed for patents in Oct1773, or that their spouse’s transport was claimed by others.  It might further be inferred that Michael was married and probably had three children on arrival, thus entitling him to a grant of 300 acres.
  4. It seems possible that Charles and Edward arrived with Michael as single men, and that they may have assisted Michael in making initial improvements to Michael’s homestead before filing for their own grants on neighboring tracts the following year.
  5. It seems probable that Charles, Edward and Michael continued to live on their Little River grants for at least the next ten years, as they did not file for, nor are known to have acquired further lands until after the close of the Revolutionary War in 1784.
  6. According to the record contained in South Carolina State Grant Book No. 3, p. 121, Charles Arthurberry had a warrant for 100 acres issued on 4May1773, which was surveyed on 22Oct1773, plat was certified 24Aug1784, and patent was granted on 15Oct1784.  So, from this State patent record, it would appear that Charles Arthurbury completed the patenting process for his 100 acres on Little River shortly after the end of the Revolutionary War.
  7. Michael Arthurbury also appears to have completed his patent filing, as he was recorded as an abutting land owner when David Doute filed for his 100 acre grant on 5Oct1785.  Moreover, the grant filings by Stephen Ditshaw in 1785 and 1788 appear to overlap the grant of Edward Arthurbury, suggesting that he may not have finalized the patent on his Little River tract and that it was escheated.  In fact, in Sep1784 both Edward and Michael filed patents for State grants of 100 acres each on the waters of Brushy Fork in Chester County.
  8. Edward and Michael Arthurbury were granted reimbursements for supplying crops and/or livestock to the militia during the War, a strong indication that they were actively engaged as farmers along the drains of Little River during that conflict.
  9. Now, as for any possible further kinship associations that may have existed between Charles, Edward and Michael Arthurbury, beyond their having been siblings, it seems possible that they may have married their 1st cousins: Sarah, Keziah and Elizabeth Mitchell, respectively, daughters of David Mitchell and Mary Davidson.  These marriages are largely based on speculation and “educated guesses”, but might explain their apparent close familial bindings, as contrasted with their other siblings.  These possible intermarriages between Charles, Edward and Michael with their Mitchell 1st cousins is a very complex matter, which receives extensive evaluation in other work compiled by the author.

Charles Arthurbury does not appear again in South Carolina records after his grant filing on Little River until he begins to emerge in other land and civil records in the vicinity of Welches Fork, Chester County after the end of the Revolutionary War.  These subsequent records related to Charles Arthurbury and his immediate family are presented and discussed/analyzed in chronological order hereinafter.

  1. 18Jul1785 – Deed Book A, pp. 205-210:  Charles Arturbury purchased 100 acres from John Bell, Esq. for the sum of £150 southern currency, situated on waters of Welches Fork, small branch of Sandy River, vacant on all sides, originally granted to Bell on 30Sep1774.  Aside from having been situated on the waters of Welches Fork, the author was unable to establish with certainty any more precise location for this acquisition.  The deed record indicates that the tract was originally granted to John Bell on 30Sep1774, yet, no grant record could be identified with this tract.  It seems possible that the tract may have originally been surveyed for another person, but later patented by John Bell.  This might explain the inability to locate the actual grant record.  A person(s) named John Bell did receive several grants of 100 acres each in Craven County in the early 1770’s, but none appear to be situated on the Sandy River watershed. 

That being said, the author does have a hypothesis regarding the probable location of this tract.  Nathan Atterberry received a grant of 500 acres on Welches Fork on 9Dec1789, yet the dimensions of that patent calculate to an area containing 600 acres.  As will soon be disclosed, all of the tracts acquired by Charles Atterberry on Welches Fork either abutted or were contained within Nathan Atterbury’s grant.  It seems probable to the author that the tract purchased by Charles Atterberry from John Bell was also contained within the boundaries of the Nathan Atterberry grant.  This possibility is strengthened by the fact that Charles Atterberry appears to have sold all of his lands, totaling 520 acres, to Alan Degraffenreid on 6Nov1804.  The boundary description of Charles Atterberry’s lands contained in that deed appears to incorporate all of Charles Atterberry’s known tracts, which totaled to only about 395 acres, so it seems likely that this sale also included the 100 acres acquired from John Bell, placing it somewhere within, or nearby to Nathan Atterberry’s tract.

As this is our first encounter in this manuscript of the waterway known as Welches Fork, this would seem the appropriate place to introduce the geographic location of this waterway.  First, let it be said that no stream known as Welches Fork or near facsimile could be found on any map, past or present.  Yet, there are numerous instances in the land records of Camden District and Chester County which reference a stream known variously as Welches, Welchers, Welshes, etc.  Several of these records also make reference to additional watercourses in the near vicinity, such as Martins Branch, Stones Creek, Mobley Creek, Sandy Run, Little River, etc.  When those tracts, which reference Welches Fork in combination with another waterway, such as Martins Branch or Stones Creek, are plotted in association with other tracts which only referenced Welches Fork, it becomes clear that Welches Fork was located about midway between Martins Branch [aka Coon Creek] and Stones Creek [aka Mobley Creek].  Not surprisingly, there is an unnamed watercourse situated about midway between Stones [aka Mobley] Creek and Coon [aka Martins] Creek as illustrated in Figure 20-4, which the author believes to have been Welches Fork.  Absent further information, the exact location of this tract purchased from John Bell cannot be determined with specificity at this time.

  1. 7Oct1791 – Deed Book D, pp. 321-2:  Willis Carrell sold to Charles Atterbury for the sum of £25, a tract of land containing 50 acres, being part of a grant of 800 acres situated in Camden District on the NE side of Broad River, on a branch thereof, originally granted to Solomon Peters on 17May1774, transferred by Peters to Carrell on 23Jul1789.  Witnessed: William Graham and Phillip Noland.  Recorded 14Feb1792 on oath of William Graham.  Six years had elapsed since Charles Arthurbury filed his patent for 100 acres on Little River and he purchased 100 acres from John Bell on Welches Fork.  Given Charles’ acquisition of this 50 acre tract from Willis Carrell, it might be surmised that Charles had relocated about five miles northerly from the Little River tract to the Welches Fork tract sometime after 1784/5.  The location of this 50 acres tract is not readily apparent from the information provided in the deed, other than having been on the north side of Broad River, and having been part of a larger (800 acres) tract granted to Solomon Peters on 17May1774.  A search of South Carolina grant records disclosed that Solomon Peters received only one patent on the north side of Broad River, that being for 800 acres on the northeast side of Broad River, situated on a stream known as Sandy Run, abutting Charles Nix to the southwest, vacant all other sides.  This description alone is not sufficient to refine the location of this tract purchased from Willis Carrell.

A further search of grant records yields a plat map for 300 acres granted to Charles Nix, warrant dated 7May1771, situated on a small branch of Little River, and vacant on all sides.  This was the only grant found for Charles Nix on Little River, so it seems likely that it was the same tract that abutted the southwest corner of Solomon Peters’ tract.  The location of Charles Nix’s 300 acre grant, being situated on the drains of Little River, suggests that the Solomon Peters tract may also have been on the drains of Little River, however, further digging into the chain of title of Solomon Peters’ tract will disclose that it was actually on the drains of Welches Fork of Sandy River.  If Solomon Peters’ tract was on Welches Fork and Charles Nix’s tract was on Little River, this would suggest that these tracts straddled the watershed between Sandy River and Little River, with Solomon Peters’ tract having been on the headwaters of Welches fork.

The chain of title of Solomon Peters’ 800 acre tract is summarized as follows:

  1. 1Jul1786 – Solomon Peters of Orangeburgh District sold 400 acres to Charles Coleman situated on a branch of Sandy River of Broad River, being half of an 800 acre tract granted to Peters on 17May1774.  The deed contains four metes and bounds courses (sans degrees), which lengths correspond with a half part of the whole, with long axis running north-south.  With the following tract sold to Willis Carrell being identified as the eastern half, it is reasonable to assume that Charles Coleman purchased the western half of the original 800 acre grant. (Deed Book C, pp. 279-80)
  2. 23Jul1789 – Solomon Peters sold the east half of his 800 acre tract to Willis Carrell, no definitive geographic references in the deed.  Referred back to original grant plat map.  (Book B, pp. 624-5)
  3. 3Mar1791 – Willis Carrell sold 122.5 acres to Francis Land (Deed Book F, pp. 233-4).  This tract’s boundary was described in metes and bounds in its entirety in the deed.  Its location is given essentially the same as the original grant to Solomon Peters: “in the District of Camden on the northeast side of Broad River near a branch thereof”.  Since no other record could be located for Willis Carrell having acquired property in this area, it was assumed that this 122.5 acres was part of the 400 acres purchased from Solomon Peters.  Moreover, some of the segments of the tract boundary correspond with the boundary of that 400 acre tract.  Lastly, this tract was recorded as abutting land of Coleman, Nathan Atterberry and Ephriam Lyles.  The reference to Nathan Atterberry as an abutting land owner is important to the siting of the 500 acre tract granted to Nathan Arterbury in 1789, which was described as being situated on Welches Fork.  [NOTE:  Nathan Arthurbury’s plat map filing was recorded in Grant Book 16q, the microfilm of which is missing from the microfilm on file at Family Search.  The author has acquired a copy of this map from the SCDAH.  The location of Nathan’s 500 acre tract will be evaluated later in this manuscript.]  By virtue of the reference to Nathan Arterbury as an abutting land owner, it would seem to follow that Solomon Peters 800 acre tract was situated on the waters of Welches Fork.
  4. 7Oct1791 – Willis Carrell sold 50 acres to Charles Atterberry, tract starting at the northeast corner of the original survey (NE corner of Peters’ tract), thence SE18º an unspecified distance to a small branch, thence downstream along the meandering courses of two waterways to an intersection with the north line of Peters’ tract, thence NE72º unspecified distance to beginning (NE corner).  This tract description reads in a clockwise direction.  Nothing in this deed provided any further identifying geographic features. (Book D, pp. 321-2)
  5. 9Mar1796 – Willis Carrell of Fairfield County sold 82 acres to Ephriam Lyles situated in Chester County on waters of Welches Branch [Fork] (Deed Book E, pp. 119-20).  This is believed to have been the tract identified in the Francis Land deed (above) as abutting to the south.  No description of this tract is contained in the deed, but the deed has a plat map attached which provides metes and bounds for all but one boundary segment, that segment is said to traverse along a branch of Welches Fork.  This tract was abutted NE by Francis Land, NE by Jean Coleman, W by John Coleman, and S by Peter Holsey [Halsell or Holsell].  Deed was witnessed by Charles Arthurbury. 

Of the various tracts described hereinabove associated with the Solomon Peters grant, the tract sold to Ephriam Lyles was the first to provide a specific geographic reference other than being northeast of Broad River on branch of Sandy River.  The Ephriam Lyles tract map would clearly place Solomon Peters’ grant on the drains of Welches Fork.  As discussed earlier in connection with the abutting tract of Charles Nix, there is good reason to believe that Solomon Peters’ tract was situated on the headwaters of Welches Fork near the watershed between Sandy River and Little River.  One additional grant, this time to Thomas Roden, further strengthens the location of Welches Fork for the Solomon Peters tract:

  1. 27Aug1789 – Thomas Roden was surveyed a tract containing 128 acres situated on the waters of Welches Fork, the south boundary of which was described as abutting a survey for Solomon Peters, and running NE72º-84, a bearing and distance which closely comports with the north boundary of the Peters tract.  Since Solomon Peters is not known to have owned any other land in the vicinity of Sandy River, Camden District, this grant awarded Thomas Roden almost certainly abutted Solomon Peters’ 800 acre tract on the south.

The author has compiled a plat map reconstruction for the Welches Fork-Martins Branch-Stones Creek watersheds as presented in Figure 20-5 (larger-scaled image contained in Appendix 20-A).  It must be acknowledged that the placement of several tracts on this reconstruction map, which were affiliated with Charles Artherbury and Nathan Artherbury, is generalized due to the deficiencies of specific boundary descriptions contained in some grant and deed documents.  In fact, the precise configuration and placement of a specific tract in many instances was determined more by the references to adjacent properties than by the specific descriptions of the target tracks.  For example, the description of the 50 acre tract purchased by Charles Artherbury from Willis Carrill has been transcribed as follows:

“all that parcel of land containing 50 acres, be the same, more or less, being part of a grant of 800 acres situated in Camden District on the N.E. side of Broad River near a branch of said river, the part of land herein conveyed, begins on a post Oak, the N.E. corner of the whole survey and on the original line, south 18 degrees east to a small branch that crosses the line, thence running down the small branch to where it empties into a large branch, thence running down the large branch to where the original line of the whole tract crosses the large branch, thence running north 72 [degrees] east on the original line to the beginning…”

The description of this tract transcribed from the original deed document would appear to clearly place this tract in the northeast corner of the original Solomon Peters grant.  However, the entire southwest boundary of this tract was described as “running down” an unnamed small branch to its mouth, thence down a larger unnamed branch to its intersection with the north boundary of the original grant.  Consequently, in order to establish the exact boundary of this 50 acre parcel we must be able to site the original Peters grant on the ground, and then to locate the two streams which intersected the east and north boundaries of the Peters’ grant. 

The author attempted to site the original Solomon Peters grant on a topographic base as illustrated in Figure 20-5.  This specific siting of the Peters grant was guided by the placement and contiguity of that tract in relationship to the 128 acre grant awarded Thomas Rodin on 27Aug1789.  The siting of the Thomas Rodin grant was established by the author in part with the aid of an earlier plat reconstruction map of the Little Sandy River region compiled by Thomas Mayhugh in 2010 as illustrated in Figure 20-6.[1]  As can be observed in this graphic, Mayhugh has identified the same intermediate waterway between Coon Creek and Stones Creek as Welches Fork.  This identification is consistent with the author’s own analysis and determination discussed hereinbefore.  For whatever reason, Mayhugh appears to have taken a snapshot of land ownerships in this area as they may have appeared around 1820 to 1850, with only a very few plats actually depicting the original underlying grants from the 18th century.  Fortunately, Mayhugh did include a depiction of the original tract granted to Thomas Rodin in 1789 (highlighted in blue).  Assuming that Mayhugh was relatively accurate in the placement of the Rodin tract, the author then proceeded to utilize the Rodin tract siting as suggested by Mayhugh as the anchorage for placing other relevant tracts in its vicinity.  It is worth noting that Mayhugh also plotted a tract of 416 acres in possession of William Halsell in 1821, which appears to have abutted Thomas Rodin’s tract along its northern boundary.  In fact, the William Halsell tract appears to have included the Thomas Rodin tract, and part of the Solomon Peters tract.  Also, Mayhugh identified Franklin Land as an adjacent owner to the east of William Halsell’s tract.  These two additional ownership references were used by the author as a means of validating and siting the Solomon Peters grant immediately south of Thomas Rodin’s grant.

Figure 20-7 presents an inset of the plat reconstruction map compiled by the author.  This inset encompasses five separate properties acquired by Charles Arterbury between 1791 and 1803, as well as the underlying grants from which those five tracts were subdivided.  Figure 20-8 provides a further enlarged inset containing these five tracts.  The additional tracts acquired by Charles Atterberry, following his purchase of 50 acres from Willis Carrell in 1791, are presented as follows:

  1. 29Aug1794 – Deed Book H, pp. 501-2:  Charles Atterberry purchased a 30 acre tract from William Rainey situated on a small branch of Welches Fork.  This tract was described as being part of a larger tract containing 126 acres, which Rainey had purchased from Nathan Atterberry in 1793.  Rainey’s tract was described as extending along the entire north side of Nathan’s 500 acre grant, and bounded to the south mainly by several small branches of Welches Fork (high-lighted in gray).  Charles Arterbury’s 30 acre piece lay on the south side of the creek, and abutted Charles Atterbury’s land on the west.  It was through the description of Rainey’s tract, juxtaposed to Charles Atterberry’s earlier 50 acre tract in the northeast corner of the Solomon Peters tract, that the author was able to site Nathan Atterberry’s 500 acre tract as abutting the old Solomon Peters tract to the east.
  2. 6Mar1798 – Deed Book H, pp. 499-50: Charles Atterberry purchased 143 acres from Richard Yarborough.  This tract was described as being the southwest part of a larger tract containing 640 acres, granted to Thomas Holsey on 5Feb1787, and transferred to Richard Yarborough on 30Nov1792.  A map of this tract was included with the deed, and was described as beginning at the head of Pannel’s Meeting House Branch.  It was further described as abutting land laid out to Nathan Atterberry on the north.  William Pannell had been granted a 154 acre tract immediately south of the Yarborough tract and situated on the head of a small branch of Little River, probably named Pannell’s Meetinghouse Branch.  The southeast corner of this Charles Atterberry tract was traversed by the Road to Columbia.  If the precise alignment of the old Columbia Road were known, if might be a further means of siting these tracts on a map.
  3. 18Oct1802 – Deed Book K, pp. 243-4: Charles Atterberry purchased a 145 acre tract from the estate of Nathan Atterberry, viz. Polly Atterberry, Executrix, and James Atterberry, Executor, being part of a larger, 500 acre tract granted to Nathan Atterberry on 7Dec1789.  The precise siting of this 145 acre tract within Nathan Atterberry’s grant is largely guesswork by the author.  Although most of the tract boundary was defined by metes and bounds in the deed, very little geographic references were provided.  Perhaps the most telling reference was to a small stream branch identified as Coggin’s Spring Branch.  There were also two separate references to Charles Atterberry as an abutting land owner.  The single longest side was described as running NE80º-40 chains.  Also, the other courses appear to run in a counter-clockwise direction around the tract.  Since the single longest course generally corresponded with alignment of the south boundary of Nathan’s tract (79º), the author concluded that this 145 acre tract was situated along the south boundary.  Further, the references to Charles Atterberry as an abutting land owner to the south corresponded with the tract purchased earlier from Richard Yarborough.  Lastly, the reference to Coggin’s Spring Branch would appear to coincide with the fact that William Coggins purchased a 270 acre tract from Richard Yarborough on 7Nov1799, which abutted Charles Atterberry’s tract to the east.
  4. 9Feb1803 – Deed Book K, pp. 245-6:  Charles Atterberry purchased a 17 acre tract from John Whitted [aka Whitehead], being part of a larger 457 acre tract surveyed for George Thomas, but patented by Daniel Brown, who later conveyed to John Whitted, described as having been in the waters of both Sandy River and Little River.  The Brown grant was identified as an abutting property to the east of the 73 acre tract granted to Peter Halsel on 27Mar1798.  Further, the Brown grant was described as abutting the Solomon Peters grant on the northwest.  Also, the William Pannell grant identified George Thomas as an abutting land owner on the west.  Based on these various references to abutting land ownerships, the author was able to place the Brown grant along the southeast side of the Solomon Peters tract, and between the Peter Halsel and William Pannell tracts.  A map of the 17 acre tract purchased by Charles Atterberry from John Whitted was actually contained in the deed.  This tract was described as beginning on one of the original lines on a small branch of the Sandy River, thence running NW22º-28 chains to a corner and bounded by Charles Atterberry land, thence SW76º-5.9 chains and on land laid out to Isaac Taylor, thence SE72º-28 chains to a corner on small stream and bounded by land laid out to Solomon Peters, thence up said stream to beginning.  There are some aspects of this plat description which are a bit confusing, but there are sufficient clues to suggest that it was situated in the northeast corner of the Brown grant.  The reference to the stream having been a branch of the Sandy River probably is in error, and should have been a branch of Little River.  The reference to Charles Atterberry as an abutting land owner almost certainly was in reference to the 143 acre tract purchased from Richard Yarborough.

Although the stream locations and alignments depicted on some of the plats included in this reconstruction effort do not match with actual stream locations shown on the topo base, the author believes the general location and contiguity of these various plats to be fairly accurate, within a margin of error of say, one-half mile.  It would be nice, if these plats all fit snuggly together into a composite, but the reality is that surveying methods and record-keeping during the colonial and post-colonial periods were not that precise.  Consequently, vagaries, inconsistencies, and inaccuracies abounded.  One case in point is the plat map of the 500 acre grant to Nathan Arthurbury in 1789.  In the grant description and on the plat map, this grant is clearly described as having been for 500 acres.  Yet, the metes and bounds shown on the plat map identify a rectangular tract of land oriented 15 degrees west of north and measuring 76 chains by 79 chains.  These dimensions calculate to a tract containing 600 acres, not 500 acres.  As stated earlier, it is the author’s belief that Nathan Atterbury’s grant encompassed the 100 acre tract Charles Arthurbury purchased from John Bell.  In fact, it may have been one of the Charles Atterberry lands identified as abutting the 145 acres purchased by Charles from Nathan’s estate on 18Oct1802.

This concludes our discussion of the lands acquired by Charles Arthurbury in Chester County.  One final note is regarding the sale of land by Charles Arthurbury described as follows:

  1. 6Nov1804 – Deed Book O, pp. 340-1:  Charles Arthurbury sold 520 acres to Alan Degraffenreid.  The deed contains a very lengthy description.  The author has attempted to reconstruct this description into a tract layout, but discovered that there are segments which are presented only as nondescript waterway courses.  One particular sequence of courses consisting of six consecutive segments appears to match the southern perimeters of two tracts: (1) the 143 acres purchased from Richard Yarborough and (2) the 145 acres purchased from Nathan Atterberry’s estate.  A second sequence of courses consisting of four consecutive segments does not appear to match with any particular tracts acquired by Charles Atterberry, but the longest course does appear to correspond with the western border of the Nathan Atterberry tract.  The various waterway courses contained in this description also appear to generally correspond with several of the waterway courses associated with three tracts: (1) the 50 acres purchased from Willis Carrell, (2) the 30 acres purchased from William Rainey, and (3) the 145 acres purchased from Nathan Atterberry’s estate.  Based on the author’s analysis of the boundary description related to this land sale, it appears to contain all of the lands acquired by Charles Atterberry in the Welches Fork area, with the possible exclusion of the 17 acres acquired from John Whitted.  It is also inferred by the amount of land being sold, that the 520 acres may have included the 100 acres purchased from John Bell.  Although the tract map reconstruction of Charles Atterberry’s lands on Welches Fork indicates that they may not all have been contiguous to one another, it is possible that they may have been joined together by the 100 acres purchased from John Bell.  Since the description of the 520 acres does not appear to be bifurcated into multiple tracts, it is logical to conclude that Charles Atterbury’s lands on Welches Fork were all joined together, i.e., had abutting boundaries.  Otherwise, the description may have encompassed lands not owned by Charles Atterberry.  Even though the total acreage of the six tracts acquired by Charles Atterberry on Welches Fork (including the 100 acres purchased from John Bell) amounts to only 485 acres, it seems probable that the sale of land to Alan Degraffenreid incorporated all six tracts.  The author has compiled a boundary layout for the 520 acre tract as illustrated in Figure 20-9, which incorporates a combination of the metes and bounds segments from the deed interconnected with an assumed waterway alignment for the various waterway segments mentioned in the deed.  This layout includes an assumed boundary of the John Bell tract inserted between the other tracts, outlined in red.  This layout results in a figure-eight configuration, which is unique to the author’s experience, but is the only layout that seems to make sense of the otherwise convoluted description contained in the deed.

This concludes our discussions of land transactions involving Charles Atterberry in South Carolina.  Given the timing of each land acquisition it seems probable that Charles Atterberry resided on and farmed his 100 acre tract on Little River from about 1773 to about 1785.  It seems probable that the soils on Charles’ initial tract on Little River had become depleted, and that he relocated to the 100 acre tract on Welches Fork purchased from John Bell.  Even though Nathan Atterbury acquired a 200 acre tract on Little River in 1784, it would appear that Michael, Edward and Charles had commenced relocating from Little River to the drains of Sandy River around that same time.  Michael and Edward acquired grants on Brushy Fork in 1784, and Charles acquired land on Welches Fork in 1785.  Given that the 100 acres purchased from John Bell was located almost five miles north of Charles’ Little River tract, it seems probable that he moved his family and farming operations to that Welches Fork tract in about 1785.  Even though Charles continued to add to his land holdings on Welches Fork over the next 18 years, he probably continued to reside on the Bell tract and expand his farming operations into adjoining tracts.  It seems probable that, following the sale of what appears to have been his entire holdings on Welches Fork in the Fall of 1804, he packed up his family and started the long overland journey to Hardin County Kentucky, probably in the Spring of 1805.

Having fairly thoroughly examined Charles Atterberry’s real estate holdings in South Carolina, let us now turn our attention to the few records available from Court and Census records.  We will begin that further exploration with an analysis of the census records:

1790 Census, Chester County:

Name:     Charles Aturburry

Home in 1790 (City, County, State): Chester, South Carolina

Free White Persons – Males – Under 16:          5

Free White Persons – Males – 16 and over:      1

Free White Persons – Females:          5

Fairfield and Chester Counties were formed in 1785.  The fact that Charles Atterberry was recorded living in Chester County in 1790 is clear indication that he had relocated from the Little River grant to the John Bell tract on Welches Fork sometime before 1790.  His household composition in 1790 included five males under the age of 16 years, probably Charles’ sons.  There were also recorded 5 females in his household, probably consisting of his wife and four daughters.  Seven of Charles’ presumed brothers: Edward, Thomas James, John, William, Richard and Nathaniel were also recorded living in Chester County.  The eldest brother: Michael, had relocated to Orangeburgh [Ninety-Six] District sometime around 1786-7.  There were a total of nine pages in the 1790 Chester County Census Record, and the eight Atterberry brothers all appeared on Page 3.  Each page was ordered into four columns, with about 42 households per column, or about 168 households per page.  Charles’ and Nathan’s households appeared in Column 1, whereas all six of the other brothers appeared in the bottom half of Column 4.  The 12 nearest neighbors of Charles Atterberry are listed as follows:

  1. Patrick  Henderson
  2. Capt       Frost
  3. Nathaniel Aturburry
  4. James     Gore
  5. James     Loy [Lay or Leigh or Lee]
  6. Thomas  Free
  7. Charles  Aturburry
  8. John       Paggot
  9. Ephram  Liles
  10. Moses     Stone
  11. William  Hollyfeild
  12. Mary      Free
  13. John       Jones

First, it should be noted that Nathan Atterberry was listed as living in close proximity to Charles Atterberry, so it might reasonably be assumed that Nathan also relocated to the Welches Fork area sometime after his acquisition of the 500 acre grant in 1789.  Other “near neighbors” comport with the names of parties recorded as landowners abutting to Charles Atterberry: John Paggot [aka Padget?], Ephriam Liles [aka Lyles], Moses Stone and William Hollyfield.  It also seems possible that the person listed as James Loy may in fact have been James Leigh [aka Lay or Lee] associated on other deed record(s) in connection to Lee’s Mill.  It also seems possible that Richard Lee, who married Elizabeth Atterberry, daughter of Nathan Atterberry, may have been a son of James Lee [aka Loy, Leigh, Lay]

Since the other six Atterberry brothers were clustered relatively close together in Column 4 on Page 3, it might be assumed that they too lived relatively close to one another.  In fact land records will show that all six Atterburys lived on the north side of Sandy River, with Edward, Richard, James and Thomas living along Brushy Fork, and John and William living farther easterly, along the drains of Seeley Creek.

1800 Census, Chester County

Name:     Charles Arterberry

Home in 1800 (City, County, State):  Chester, South Carolina

Free White Persons – Males – Under 10:          2

Free White Persons – Males -10 thru 15:          2

Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25:         3

Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44:         2  [Unknown, total mystery]

Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over:      1  [Charles]

Free White Persons – Females – Under 10:       3 

Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15:      4  [possibly Priscilla’s daughters: Permelia and Elizabeth?]

Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25:      3  [Priscilla Mayfield Atterberry, Nathan’s widow?]

Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44:      1  [Martha Atterberry, Nathan’s widow?]

Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over:  1  [Sarah Mitchell?]

Charles Atterberry’s household was recorded in the 1800 Chester County Census on Page 7 of 51.  His nearest neighbors were as follows:

  1. Isaac      Taylor                    Chester  South Carolina
  2. Stephen Lee                          Chester  South Carolina
  3. Francis  Land                       Chester  South Carolina
  4. Ephraham Lile                     Chester  South Carolina
  5. Jeremiah Gresham              Chester  South Carolina
  6. Charles  Arterberry             Chester  South Carolina
  7. Thomas  Reny [aka Rainey]              Chester  South Carolina
  8. Wm          Coggen                  Chester  South Carolina
  9. ??and    Mccown                 Chester  South Carolina

Five of these adjacent land owners comport with the names of parties known to possess land in the immediate vicinity of Charles Atterberry’s land along Welches Fork.  So, it would appear that Charles Atterberry was still residing along Welches Fork in 1800, probably on the 100 acre tract purchased of John Bell in 1785.  No other Atterberry household was recorded within 20 households of Charles Atterberry, even though the widow of Charles’ brother, Nathan Atterberry, is known to still have been in possession of a residual of Nathan’s 500 acre tract on Welches Fork.

In the 1800 Census Charles Atterberry’s household was recorded as containing a total of 22 persons.  Charles and his presumed wife were reported as being over the age of 45 years, yielding a birth-year before 1755.  There were also five young males between the ages of 10 and 25, who might be presumed to have been the same five apparent sons from the 1790 census.  There were also seven young females between ages 10 and 25, four of who might be assumed to have been the apparent daughters in the 1790 household.  Additionally, there were two young males under age 10, and three young females under age 10.  These five younger children may have been further additions to Charles’ family.  If so, Charles would appear to have had a total of 14 children by 1800.

In addition to the above described household members, there were also recorded two males aged 26 thru 44, and one female also aged 26 thru 44.  Altogether, there appear to have been as many as six persons in Charles’ household, who were not in his household in 1790, and who were too old to have been of his immediate blood.  There were also the five younger additions, who may or may not have been of his immediate blood.

The author cannot identify with certainty any of these additional persons appearing in Charles’ household in 1800, but can offer a few hints or suggestions as to the possible identity of some:

  1. We know from estate records that Nathan Atterberry died in 1796.  We also know from our earlier analysis that Charles and Nathan very likely lived on adjoining tracts along Welches Fork.  It seems entirely possible that the female aged 26 thru 44 could have been Nathan Atterberry’s widow, Martha [aka Patty or Patsy].  If that were the case, then it also seems possible that some of the other unknown parties in this household may have been Nathan and Martha’s three children: Elizabeth, Moses and Elijah.  The possible identity of the two older males aged 26 thru 44 are a complete mystery to the author.  It appears that Charles Atterberry may have moved his family from Chester County SC to Hardin County KY in late 1804 or early 1805.  It is worth noting that Nathan’s widow, Martha, is believed to have married Abraham Myres in Hardin County on 2Aug1805, which might suggest that Martha also moved to Kentucky around the same time as Charles, perhaps as part of the same party of emigrants.
  2. One further hint is the possibility that one of the females aged 16 thru 25 may have been Priscilla [Mayfield] Atterberry, widow of Nathan Atterberry, deceased son of Michael Atterberry.  This possibility is predicated on the fact that Priscilla could not be located elsewhere in the 1800 Census of Chester County, and there is reason to believe that she was still living in Chester County at that time.  If that were the case, then it also seems possible that two of the young females aged 10 thru 16 were Priscilla’s daughters: Elizabeth and Permelia.  You may well ask, who was Priscilla Atterberry, and why might she have been residing in the Charles Atterberry household?  Well, we know from land records that a Priscilla Atterberry purchased a 75 acre tract from her presumed brother-in-law, William Rodin, situated on Smith Creek, tributary of Brushy Fork, on 19May1790.  Priscilla sold that tract to William Skief in Feb1803.  Priscilla Atterberry was named as a beneficiary in her father’s [Jonathan Mayfield] LWT in ???  And, lastly, we have the proxy baptism records from the Nauvoo Temple in the 1840’s undertaken by Elizabeth Edwards [Atterberry] in which she identified her parents as Priscilla Mayfield and Nathan Atterberry, and her grandparents as Elizabeth and Michael Atterberry.  Priscilla Atterberry also appeared in the 1820 Census records in Jackson County TN, along with Moses Atterberry as a near neighbor.  This Priscilla was almost certainly Priscilla Mayfield, widow of Nathan Atterberry, and Moses Atterberry was almost certainly the son of Nathan and Martha [Patsy] Atterberry.  The apparent fact that Priscilla and Moses should appear in Jackson County TN around the same time hardly seems like a coincidence.  There were no other Atterburys known to have lived in this part of Tennessee at that time.  The contemporaneous appearance of Priscilla and Moses in Jackson County TN suggests a very close association, and the probability that they had migrated to that remote part of the wilderness together.  This seeming reality lends support to the possibility that Priscilla and Moses may have formed an especially close association while living in the household of Charles Atterberry in the latter part of the 1790’s and early part of the 1800’s.
  3. Some of the unidentified parties in Charles Atterberry’s household in 1800 could have been the family of Charles’ presumed brother, Richard Atterberry, who could not be located elsewhere in the 1800 census.  The age of Richard Atterberry is not known with certainty.  His household was reported in Chester County in the 1790 census with what appears to have been four sons and one daughter, ages uncertain.  The earliest known record of Richard, after the 1790 census, was when he was identified as an adjacent landowner in Jan1792 in a grant of 222 acres to William Rodin Sr. on Brushy Fork (other adjacent owners included Abraham Myres, Abraham Mayfield, Thomas Morris, etal).   Next, Richard Atterberry sold a 142 tract of land situated on the drains of Brushy Fork to Charles Morris in Nov1793.  The author was unable to ascertain exactly when or how Richard had come into possession of this 142 acres (the deed of conveyance is mute on the subject).  However, there is a record of Richard Atterberry filing a patent for a 142 acre tract situated on Brushy Fork on 7Dec1804.  Ostensibly, according to SCDAH online records, this tract abutted Abraham Mayfield, John Rodin, and Thomas Morris, and was surveyed on 15Aug1791.  This grant record appears to have been incorrectly indexed in the Family Search Library microfilm archives, so the author has yet to obtain a copy of this grant record.  However, given the similarities, it seems probable that Richard Atterberry was the original grant filer, or that he took over a grant initially warranted by another party.  Regardless, it is suggested from these records associated with the 142 acre tract on Brushy Fork, that Richard Atterberry was in Chester County at around 1791-2.  On 25Mar1794 Richard Atterberry purchased a 100 acre tract from William Rainey, whereon Richard was currently living.  This deed does not identify the location of this tract, but does provide a metes and bounds description, and stipulates that it was patented to William Rainey on 4Dec1771.  However, a search of the grant records reveals only two tracts of 100 acres each: one granted to William Rainey Jr. on Sealey Creek on 17Oct1772, and another granted to William Rainey Sr. on 9Jan1773, location unspecified other than Craven County.  The descriptions of these two tracts do not match the description of the tract purchased by Richard Atterberry. 

Further investigation into the chain of title of the tract purchased by Richard Atterberry indicates that it likely was a tract originally patented to Hollis Tims, situated on Sandy Run [aka Stones Creek? or Welches Fork?].  That tract passed through several hands until purchased by William Rainey on 14Nov1791.  The original patent granted to Hollis Tims abutted a 100 acre tract granted the same date to Joseph Tims.  Following the chain of title on the Joseph Tims tract suggests that it was purchased by Thomas Atterberry on 9Oct1795.  The identity of this Thomas Atterberry is uncertain to the author.  This Thomas may have been one of the nine Atterberry brothers, or he could have been the eldest son of Richard Atterberry.  It is the author’s belief that Richard Atterberry had moved from his 142 acre tract on Brushy Fork to the 100 acre tract on Sandy Run purchased from William Rainey in about 1792.  Assuming that analysis to be correct, then Richard Atterberry would appear to have moved to the south side of the Sandy River, and was living in relatively close proximity to his brothers, Nathan and Charles Atterberry.  Richard was not found to have acquired any other lands on Chester County.  Given that one of Richard’s younger sons reported himself having been born in South Carolina in 1801, and that Richard filed the patent on the 142 acre tract on Brushy Fork in 1804, it is reasonable to conclude that Richard continued to live in Chester County until sometime after 1804.  Consequently, his household should have been recorded in Chester County in the 1800 Census.  Since his household was not recorded, it seems possible that his family may have been reported with the Charles Atterberry household.  If that were the case, then it would appear that Richard Atterberry may have been born after 1755, perhaps as late as 1760, and may have been nearly the youngest of the Atterberry brothers.

  1. One further possible explanation of the extra parties reported in Charles Atterberry’s household could be that they may have been totally unrelated “boarders”.  Charles purchased a 143 acre tract from Richard Yarborough in 1798, which was situated on the Columbia Road.  This roadway probably would have been the main north-south arterial through Chester County in the early 1800’s.  It seems possible that Charles Atterberry may have owned and operated some sort of boarding facility on this newly acquired tract of land, which could have accommodated traveling families.  Pure speculation, but a possibility.

Chester County Court of Common Pleas records involving Charles Atterberry are abstracted as follows:

  1. 3Jan1787 – An indenture of L&R from John Bell, Esq., to Charles Arterbury, was acknowledged and ordered to be recorded.  This was the deed recording for the 100 acre tract purchased by Charles Atterberry from John Bell.
  2. 24Jun1791 – Grand and Petit Juries drawn to serve Jan1792:  Grand Jury included Nathan Jaggers…  Petit Jurors included Elias Mitchell, Charles Arterbury, etal…  Charles Atterberry and his 1st cousin, Rev. Elias Mitchell, were selected to serve on the Petit Jury during the Jun1791 session.
  3. 24Jan1799 – Grand Jury drawn for Jul1799 Term, including Charles Atterbury, Elijah Nunn, Thomas Roden Jr., etal…  Petit Jury drawn, including William Roden (B.F. [Brushy Fork]), etal…  Charles Atterberry was selected to serve on the Grand Jury during the Jan1799 session.
  4. 1Feb1799 – John Graham vs. Charles Atterberry (debt) case, same jury, except Hugh McClure instead of James Atterbury (potential conflict), who returned their verdict as follows, viz., all agreed that Charles Atterberry shall pay to John Graham for damage the sum of $4.00 and cost of suit…  Charles Atterberry was sued for indebtedness to John Graham.  James Atterberry was replaced on the Jury, probably due to possible conflict of interest.  The jury found in favor of the plaintiff, and Charles Atterberry was ordered to pay the sum of $4.00 damages.
  5. 1Feb1799 – James Boyd proved eight days of attendance as a witness in the suit of John Graham vs. Charles Atterbury…  James Boyd was reimbursed for eight days expense as a witness in Graham vs. Atterberry suit.
  6. 13Apr1801 – Grand Jurors drawn to serve at Nov1801 term, including Charles Arterberry, etal…  Also, 48 persons drawn for Petit Jury service, including Moses Grisham, John Jaggers, etal…  Charles Atterberry was once again selected to serve on the Grand Jury during the Apr1801 session.

In addition to the court records already presented containing Charles Atterberry as an involved party, there were a few other estate records in which Charles Atterberry as an incidental or indirect party:

11Apr1800, LWT of Richard Head, witnessed by James Head and Charles Atterbury (his mark).  Richard Head was a near neighbor of Charles Atterberry, owning lands to the east of and abutting Nathan Atterbury’s tract.

Fall, 1796 – Estate administration was recorded for James Atterberry, deceased, by his unnamed widow:

Account of the debts that the widow Atterbury paid since her husband died:

  1. Moses Grisham nine shillings four pence
  2. Noah Bennet nine shillings four pence
  3. Willis Correll four shillings eight pence
  4. Andrew McQuiston four shillings eight pence
  5. James Young seven shillings to pence
  6. Thomas Means 1 pound 15 shillings
  7. Jeremiah Gresham three shillings
  8. Charles Atterbury four shillings eight pence
  9. James Leigh [aka Lee, or Lay] seven shillings eight pence
  10. Seamen Butler seven shillings sixpence
  11. Daniel Malone three shillings
  12. Richard Head two shillings
  13. Thomas Gwynn 1 pound eight shillings
  14. James Cooper 16 shillings four pence
  15. Alexander Patton 2 pounds 18 shillings sixpence
  16. David Grisham 2 pounds four shillings
  17. James Blaine 2 pounds six shillings
  18. James Thomas 2 pounds six shillings
  19. George Thomas 2 pounds 14 shillings
  20. Edward Blackstock two shillings
  21. Enoch Grubbs 1 pound four shillings
  22. Efrem [Ephriam] Lyles 19 pounds 15 shillings
  23. Francis Land 8 pounds six shillings

An account of what debts have been paid to widow Atterbury since her husbands death:

  1. Richard Atterbury 5 pounds 10 shillings
  2. Charles Atterbury 1 pound 16 shillings
  3. Richard Yarborough 1 pound
  4. Thomas B Franklin nine shillings four pence
  5. Solomon Barnett eight shillings sixpence
  6. William Lyles one shillings sixpence
  7. Stephen Adair one shilling two pence
  8. Charles Atterbury 1 pound 10 shillings
  9. William Murray 1 pound 10 shillings four pence

The identity of this James Atterberry is not known to the author with certainty.  From the list of accounts from his estate it would appear that this James Atterberry was engaged in some form of mercantilism, probably a merchant of some sort.  Charles Atterberry was listed as both a creditor and a debtor to James’ estate, with the greatest amount due as a debtor.  The only other Atterberry listed in these accounts was Richard Atterberry, presumed younger brother, and near neighbor of Charles Atterberry.  Many of the other parties listed in these accounts were also near neighbors of Charles Atterberry in the vicinity of Welches Fork, i.e., George Thomas, Moses Grisham (who purchased 90 acres from Nathan Atterberry), Willis Correll [Carrell][who sold 50 acres to Charles Atterberry], James Leigh [Lee’s Mill?], Richard Head, Edward Blackstock [Town of Blackstock], Ephriam Lyles, Francis Land, Richard Yarborough [who sold 143 acres to Charles Atterberry], Thomas B. Franklin, and William Murray [who purchased 200 acres from Thomas Holsey].  Given the high level of continuity between the persons listed in the James Atterberry account records and the Welches Fork area, it is reasonable to believe that James Atterberry conducted his business in the general area around Welches Fork.

No land records were found associated with this James Atterberry, but the author has reason to believe that this James Atterberry was the same person who was named as an executor in the estate of Nathan Atterberry.  Through a rather lengthy and convoluted analysis performed by the author into the identity of Greenbury Atterberry, adopted son of William Atterberry III, it was concluded (rightly or wrongly) that this James Atterberry was an elder son of William Atterberry Jr., and the father of Greenberry Atterberry.  That analysis may be found in the chapter on the family of William Atterberry Jr.  William Atterberry Jr. is believed to have been among the last of the Atterberry brothers to relocate from Loudoun County VA to Chester County SC, probably around 1788.  William Jr. is known to have acquired only one tract of land in Chester County, that being a 200 acre tract purchased from Thomas Hughes, situated on Wrights Mill Branch.  The exact location of William Atterberry Jr.’s tract is not known to the author with certainty, but may have been south of the Sandy River, between Welches Fork and Stones Creek.  James Atterberry and his presumed brother, William Atterberry III, may have been the two males over age 16 reported in William Jr.’s household in the 1790 census.  By his LWT recorded in 1795, William Atterberry [Jr.] devised his land (presumably the 200 acres on Wrights Mill Branch) equally divided to his three eldest sons: Thomas, William and James.  William Atterberry Jr.’s LWT named Nathan Atterberry and William Murray as Executors, and William Estes was one of the witnesses.  This Nathan Atterberry is presumed to have been William Jr.’s younger brother.  William Murray may have been William Atterberry Jr.’s in-law, as William is purported by many family researchers to have married Bridget Murray [no documented proof found].  William Estes may have been a near neighbor of Charles and Nathan Atterberry to the southwest of the Solomon Peters tract on Welches Fork/Coon Creek.  Clearly, William Atterberry Jr. had strong connections to the Welches Fork area, which might explain the apparent strong connection of his presumed son, James Atterberry to that same location.

This concludes the presentation and analysis of records from Chester County SC related to Charles Atterberry.  Since Charles appears to have sold all of his land holdings in Chester County to Alan Degraffenreid in Nov1804, it seems reasonable to conclude that he may have relocated his family from Chester County SC to Hardin County KY in the Spring of 1805.  Thus far we have presented a great deal of information about Charles Atterberry in Chester County, but we have presented absolutely no information about his immediate family, except as generally connected with the 1790 and 1800 census records.  From those records it was concluded that Charles probably was married in South Carolina sometime after 1773, and that he probably had a wife and nine children: five sons and four daughters, by 1790.  Because of the excessive number of persons reported in Charles’ household in 1800, it was not possible to state with certainty whether he had further children born after 1790.  The next direct record found for Charles Atterberry was in the 1810 from Grayson County KY summarized as follows:

1810 Census

Name:     Charles Atterberry

Home in 1810 (City, County, State):  Grayson, Kentucky

Free White Persons – Males – Under 10:          2

Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15:         1

Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25:         2

Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44 :        3

Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over:      1

Free White Persons – Females – Under 10:       1

Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15:      3

Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25:      1

By 1810 Charles’ wife appears to be absent from his household, possibly she had died sometime between 1800 and 1810.  She was reported over age 45 in 1800, so she probably would not have been the mother of any of the three children under age 10 in the 1810 household.  It is possible that the three males aged 26 thru 44 were the same three males aged 16 thru 25 reported in 1800.  That being the case, then it would appear that the two males, aged 26 thru 44, reported in 1800 were no longer in this household.  Similarly, one of the four males aged under 15 years in 1800 also was no longer reported in the household.  The three females, under age 10 in 1800 appear to still be in the household in 1810.  However, all but one of the eight females, aged 10 thru 44 in the household in 1800 no longer appeared in the household in 1810.  Those missing females may have been daughters of Charles Atterbury, who had married or died.

For geographic reference, it should be noted that Grayson County was formed in 1810 from that part of Hardin County lying westerly of the Nolin River.  It should further be noted that there were a total of eight Atterberry households recorded in Grayson County in 1810 listed as follows:

  1. Nathan Atterbury                Grayson , Kentucky                            4
  2. Michael Atterbury               Grayson , Kentucky            4
  3. David Atterbury                   Grayson , Kentucky            2
  4. Charles Atterbury               Grayson , Kentucky            14
  5. Melcheyedick Atterbury    Grayson , Kentucky            3
  6. James Atterbury                   Grayson , Kentucky            11
  7. Isaiah Atterbury                  Grayson , Kentucky            9
  8. Israel Atterbury                   Grayson , Kentucky            7

Whereas there were seven Atterberry households recorded in Hardin County listed as follows:

  1. Miche Atterberry                 Elizabethtown, Hardin , Kentucky                 5             
  2. Edwd Atterberry                                  Elizabethtown, Hardin , Kentucky                 7             
  3. Wm Atterbury                       Elizabethtown, Hardin , Kentucky                 5             
  4. Elijah Atterbury                   Elizabethtown, Hardin , Kentucky                 4             
  5. Thos Atterbury                     Elizabethtown, Hardin , Kentucky                 6             
  6. Elijah Atterbury                   Elizabethtown, Hardin , Kentucky                 4             
  7. Thos Atterbury                     Elizabethtown, Hardin , Kentucky  2              13

Additionally, the household of Richard Atterberry was recorded in Ohio County, just northwesterly of Hardin and Grayson Counties.

The Charles Atterberry household was recorded on Page 6 of 8.  Also recorded on that same page were three other Atterberry households listed in order as follows:

  1. Nathan  Atterbury
  2. Edward  Lee
  3. Abrm      Neighbours
  4. James     Burtle    
  5. Isaiah     Atterberry
  6. James     Atterberry
  7. Charles  Atterbury

James Atterberry is believed to have been Charles’ brother.  According to Descendants of William Atterberry[2], Isaiah Atterberry very likely was an older son of Charles Atterberry.  The identity of Nathan Atterberry is not known to the author with certainty.  He was quite young (under age 25) and apparently recently married, as his two children were under age 10.  It is worth noting that James Atterberry is believed to have moved his family to Missouri Territory sometime between 1810 and 1820.  Given the relatively close living proximity of this Nathan Atterberry to both James and Charles, it seems probable that Nathan Atterberry was a son of either James or Charles.  The fact that Nathan Atterberry did not appear in the 1820 census of Kentucky might suggest that Nathan may have been a son of James Atteberry, and that he had moved with his father, James, to the Missouri Territory.  However, it should be noted that there was a Nathan Atterberry in the 1830 census of Grayson County, whose demographics fit fairly closely with the Nathan Atterberry household from the 1810 census.  If the Nathan Atterberry in Grayson County in 1830 were the same person who appeared in the 1810 census, this begs the question regarding his whereabouts in 1820.  If this Nathan were a son of James Atterberry, it is possible that he may have traveled to Missouri with his father, and later returned to Grayson County.

1820 Census

Name:     Charles Atterberry

Home in 1820 (City, County, State): 

Grayson, Kentucky

Enumeration Date:               August 7, 1820

Free White Persons – Males – Under 10:          2

Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 18:         1

Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25:         2

Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over :1

Although seemingly absent from his household in 1810, there was again an older woman in Charles’ household in 1820, over age 45.  It is difficult to explain this inconsistency, except to suggest that perhaps the recording of Charles’ wife in 1810 may simply have been omitted.  Again, we have two young males under age 10, who clearly were not the children of Sarah (Charles’ presumed 1st wife), but could have been the children of Charles.  It is estimated that Charles would have been about 70 to 75 years old by 1820.  Given the presence of three males aged 26 thru 44 and one female aged 16 thru 25 in Charles’ household in 1810, it seems reasonable to assume that the two males under age 10 in this household in 1820 could have been Charles’ grandchildren.  However, it should not be discounted that Sarah may have died sometime before 1810, and that Charles remarried another woman, still of child-bearing age, but who was over 45 by 1820, and who could have been the mother of the three males under age 10 in 1820.  The three males aged 16 thru 25 in 1820 align with the three males under age 15 in 1810.  Also, the one female aged 16 thru 25 in 1810 aligns with the female aged 26 thru 44 in 1820.

1830 Census

Charles Atterbury was not recorded in the 1830 census, so presumably he had died sometime between 1820 and 1830.

Any attempt to analyze the composition of Charles Atterbury’s households between 1790 and 1820 can be described as challenging, if not outright impossible.  The author has attempted just such an analysis, the results of which are reflected in the link-diagram illustrated in Figure 20-10.  Starting in 1800 there are persons reported in Charles’ household, who clearly could not have been his direct offspring, denoted by green circles.  In 1800 it appears that Charles’ household was composed of his immediate family plus remnants of two, perhaps even three additional families.  There appears to have been two extra young adult males, and four young adult females.  In every census year from 1800 to 1820 there are new members under age 10 being added, to a total of six males and four females.  Also, in every census year from 1800 through 1820 there were reported young adults over the age of 26 years, totaling five males and two females.  These young adults could have been children of Charles and Sarah, as there were ample children in the households of previous years to have supplied these young adults. 

In the author’s experience it is not the norm for so many children to continue living with their parents after the age of 20, but it obviously did happen.  There may have been something peculiar to Charles’ and Sarah’s lifestyle that led to so many of their young adult children remaining in their household.  It is also possible that they may have maintained a boarding facility in their home or business, both in Chester County and later in Grayson County, which could explain the presence of these apparent extra members of their household.  The only thing that might be stated with some degree of certainty is that Charles and Sarah very likely had at least five sons and four daughters of their full-blood by 1790.  Whether any of the children in their households after 1790 were of their full-blood cannot be stated with any degree of certainty, as there were other young adults of child-bearing age reported in their households in each of the ensuing census years, who could have been the parents of the young children (under age 10) added to the household each successive year. 

Almost certainly any of the children under age 10 in 1810 and 1820 were not Sarah’s children, given her being aged over 45 in 1800.  It should be noted that in 1810 the older adult female (over 45) was not reported in the household, suggesting that Charles may have been widowed sometime between about 1805 and 1810.  By 1820 there was again a woman, over 45, in Charles’ household.  Does this suggest that Sarah may still have been alive, and simply not reported in 1810, or that Sarah had died, and that had Charles remarried after 1810?  Regardless of one’s interpretation of these census records, it seems possible that Charles and Sarah did bear at least seven males and seven females before 1800, and perhaps two more sons and one more daughter after 1800.  Just how many of these possible children survived to adulthood cannot be known with certainty.

James E. Branch[3] ascribes a total of nine children to Charles and Sarah: seven sons and two daughters.  Branch also accredits three of those sons having been born between 1790 and 1800.  A review of Ancestry public trees offers essentially the same identity for Charles and Sarah’s children as offered by James E. Branch, with a few minor exceptions.  None of these sources suggest the birth of any children beyond 1800.  From the information reported in the 1790 and 1800 census, there is good reason to believe that Charles and Sarah may have had at least seven sons and seven daughters.  However, given the presence of the mature young adults reported in their household in 1800 (continued from 1790), it must be acknowledged that some of the five children added to their household between 1790 and 1800 may not have been the children of Charles and Sarah, but possibly children of one or more of the other young adults in their household (i.e., Isaiah).

That being said, it must be acknowledged that there were numerous children reported in the Charles Atterbury households between 1800 and 1820, who possibly were grandchildren of Charles and Sarah.  An analysis of the young males appearing in Charles’ households between 1800 and 1820 does not provide any direct suggestion of early deaths of any of these persons.  Consequently, it is reasonable to assume that there could have been several more sons born to Charles and Sarah, of whom the genealogical record has failed to discover.  In fact, we cannot be all that certain of the validity of the sons who are attributed to Charles and Sarah by James E. Branch and others.  The 1830 census could hold the key records in which we might expect to find remnants of male offspring descended from Charles and Sarah.  

Before beginning the search for possible male descendants of Charles and Sarah, it may be useful to identify the sons posited by James E. Branch, etal., as sons of Charles:

  1. Melchizedek – b. abt 1770, d. 1853, Girard County, IL
  2. Isaiah – b. abt 1775, died [abt 1844] unk. in Lafayette County, MO
  3. Charles [Jr.] – b. abt 1782, d. 1855, falling off horse.
  4. Zachariah – b. abt 1784, d. 20Jul1855
  5. Michael – b. 17Oct1793, d. 20Jul1888 [actually 22Jul1855] in Grayson County, KY
  6. Nathaniel J. – b. abt 1797, d. unk, Hunt County TX
  7. John – b. abt 1803, d. unk.

The author cannot attest to the accuracy of the foregoing list of purported sons of Charles and Sarah, but can state with certainty that persons bearing each and every name attributed hereinabove as sons of Charles Arterbury (excepting Charles Jr.) can be found in the census records in Kentucky or Missouri summarized as follows:

1810 Census

Name:  Isaiah Atterberry

Home in 1810 (City, County, State):     Grayson, Kentucky

Free White Persons – Males – Under 10:           3

Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15:         1

Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44 :        1

Free White Persons – Females – Under 10:       1

Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44:      1

GraysonCounty was formed in 1810 from the southwestern part of HardinCounty.  Given the apparent children in this household aged 10 thru 25, it seems probable that Isaiah, if he was a son of Charles, was an elder son.  Further, that Isaiah, his wife, and possibly his three oldest children may have been living in Charles Arterberry’s household in ChesterCountySC in 1800.  It should be noted that Isaiah’s household was listed next door to Charles Arterbury in 1810.

Name:  Melcheyedick Atterberry

Home in 1810 (City, County, State):     Grayson, Kentucky

Free White Persons – Males – Under 10:           1

Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44 :        1

Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25:      1

Given the absence of any children over the age of 10, and the age of the presumed wife being under 25, it seems probable that Melchizedek, if he was a son of Charles, was probably born after Isaiah.  It should be noted that Melchizedek’s household was listed next door to Israel Arterbury and Michael Arterbury [Sr.], and nearby to his presumed father-in-law, John Peebles in 1810.  It seems curious to the author that, if Melchizedek were a son of Charles Arterbury, he and his father-in-law would be living in such close geographic proximity to Michael Arterbury, and Michael’s presumed son, Israel Arterbury.  The author has found no documented proof for any of the children ascribed to Charles and Sarah Arterbury.  Given the relatively close geographic proximity of Melchizedek to Michael and Israel, might it not be more reasonable to assume Melchizedek to have been a son of Michael, rather than of Charles?

1820 Census

Name:  Isaiah Arterbury

Home in 1820 (City, County, State):     Woodsonville, Hart, Kentucky

Enumeration Date:        August 7, 1820

Free White Persons – Males – Under 10:           2

Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15:         3

Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25:         2

Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44:         1

Free White Persons – Females – Under 10:       1

Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44:      1

HartCounty was erected in 1818 from the southern part of HardinCounty and the northern part of BarrenCounty.  It would appear that Isaiah had moved his place of residence easterly from its 1810 location in GraysonCounty.  The 1820 census records were enumerated in alphabetical order, so it is not possible to infer relative geographic proximity from these records, other than the identification of the township within HartCounty in which they were recorded.  In 1820 there were a total of 584 households reported in HartCounty.  The County was segregated into two townships: Munsfordville and Woodsonville.  Munsfordville was situated north of the Green River, and contained 450 of the reported households.  The remaining 134 households were located within Woodsonville, south of the Green River.  It is worth noting that there were a total of six Arterbury households in HartCounty in 1820, all reported in WoodsonvilleTownship, listed as follows:

  1. Elisha Arterbury
  2. Michael Arterbury
  3. Thomas Arterbury
  4. Jessa [Jesse] Arterbury
  5. Isaiah Arterbury
  6. Thomas Arterbury

For what it’s worth, none of the other Arterbury’s in Woodsonville are claimed to have been full-blood kinsmen of Isaiah, but most likely were his 1st cousins or uncles.  It is also worth noting that Isaiah’s household contained one more young adult male aged 16 thru 25, and one more young adult female than would be expected from the 1810 household composition.  This raises the question as to whether this represented a young married couple.  Might this have been John Arterbury, Isaiah’s purported younger brother and his wife, who were recorded in HartCounty in 1830?

Further, upon its erection in 1820, an inventory of landowners within HartCounty was compiled.  The Atterberry and allied family landowners contained in this inventory are listed as follows:

  1. Thomas Atterbury – 385 acres, Bacon Creek
  2. Elijah Atterbury – 140 acres, Nolin
  3. Michall Atterbury – 10 acres, Bacon Creek
  4. Elisha Atterbury – 150 acres, Bacon Creek [possibly son of John Atterbury and Sarah Hill]
  5. George Blissett – 325 acres, Nolin [father of Reason Blissett, who married Anna Atterberry, elder daughter of Richard Atterberry]
  6. Perdy [Priddy] Meeks – 450 acres, Nolin [possibly the father of Benjamin Meeks, who married Rebecca Atterberry, daughter of Richard Atterberry]
  7. Abraham Peoples – 100 acres, Bacon Creek [presumed brother of Mary Peebles, who married Melchezedek Atterberry]
  8. Bird Peoples – 100 acres, Bacon Creek [ditto]

For what its worth, Isaiah Atterbury was not listed as a landowner in HartCounty at the time of its formation in 1820.  It is further worth noting that all of these Atterberry and allied parties were identified as owning land along Bacon Creek [tributary of Nolin River] or along the drains of Nolin River.  Consequently, it is reasonable to assume that Isaiah Attebury was also living in the near vicinity of Bacon Creek and/or NolinRiver, which would place this cluster of Atterburys and allies in the western central part of HartCounty, immediately across the NolinRiver from GraysonCounty.

Since Isaiah Atterberry appears to have been one of the elder children of Charles Atterberry, it might be possible to establish a more precise date of Charles’ migration to Kentucky by studying the birthplace and approximate birth year of Isaiah Atterberry’s presumed children (assuming that Charles and his children migrated together).  Of the children ascribed to Isaiah Atterberry (James E. Branch), Hiram Atterberry is the only presumed son for whom we have later census records.  Hiram appears to have been born about 1804 in South Carolina according to the 1850 census record from LoganCountyIL.  From this “fact” and assuming that Isaiah moved his family to Kentucky at the same time as Charles, it would follow that Charles likely moved to Kentucky in 1805 or shortly thereafter.

Name:  Melcherideck Atterberry

Home in 1820 (City, County, State):     Grayson, Kentucky

Enumeration Date:        August 7, 1820

Free White Persons – Males – Under 10:           3

Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15:         1

Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44:         1

Free White Persons – Females – Under 10:       1

Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44:      1

GraysonCounty was formed in 1810 from the southeastern part of OhioCounty and the southwestern part of HardinCounty.  Grayson County reported 357 households in 1810, and 649 households in 1820, an increase of more than 80% over a 10 year period.  In 1820 Melchizedek was still reported living in GraysonCounty along with four other Atterberry households listed as follows:

  1. Charles Atterbury [son of William, the Immigrant]
  2. Solomon Atterbury [presumed son of Richard and Rebecca]
  3. Hoppy Atterbury [widow of unknown Mr. Atterbury, possibly Israel’s widow]
  4. Melcherideck Atterbury [son of Charles or Michael?]
  5. Michael Atterbury [presumed son of Charles and Sarah]

Charles Atterbury is the subject of this immediate analysis; Michael Atterbury is ascribed as another son of Charles and Sarah; Solomon Atterbury is claimed by most genealogical researchers to have been a son of Richard Arterbury I (based on Solomon’s death record on 10Feb1859); and Hoppy Atterberry was the presumed widow of an unknown Mr. Atterberry, possibly the widow of Israel Atterberry, son of Michael and Elizabeth.  Since these records are ordered in alphabetical order, it is not possible to assign any geographic proximity more finite than the boundary of Grayson County.

Name:  Michael Atterberry

Home in 1820 (City, County, State):     Grayson, Kentucky

Enumeration Date:        August 7, 1820

Free White Persons – Males – Under 10:           1

Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44:         1

Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25:      1

This Michael Atterberry was first recorded in the 1820 census in Grayson County KY, and continued in Grayson County in 1830, 1840 and 1850, until his death on 20Jul1855.  Michael’s burial record gives his date of birth as 17Oct1793, and his parents were identified as Charles and Sarah.  In the 1850 census Michael reported being born about 1792 in South Carolina, so presumably Michael would have been one of the three males in Charles’ household in 1800, under age 10.  He is on record marrying Elizabeth Kessinger in Hardin County on 15Dec1816.  There was nothing in the marriage record to suggest Michael’s parentage.  Joseph Kessinger (presumably Elizabeth‘s father) signed the marriage certificate.  Most genealogical researchers ascribe this Michael Arterbury as a son of Charles and Sarah, presumably based on the death record for Michael.

1830 Census

Name:  Sicah Atteberry

[Isaiah Atteberry]

Home in 1830 (City, County, State):     Hart, Kentucky

Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14:         1

Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19:         1

Free White Persons – Males – 50 thru 59:         1

Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 40 thru 49:      1

Isaiah, Melchizedek and John were reported living in HartCounty in 1830.  There were a total of six other Atterbury households reported in HartCounty, none of which are purported to have been sons of Charles and Sarah:

  1. Wm Atteberry
  2. Thomas Atteberry
  3. Richard Atteberry
  4. James Atteberry
  5. Elisha Atteberry
  6. Jesse Atteberry

Again, the records in 1830 were ordered in alphabetical order, so geographic proximity cannot be established.

Name:  Malchesadeck Atteberry

[Atteberry Melchesadeck]

Home in 1830 (City, County, State):     Munfordville, Hart, Kentucky

Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 2

Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14:         2

Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19:         1

Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29:         1

Free White Persons – Males – 50 thru 59:         1

Free White Persons – Females – Under 5:         1

Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39:      1

Ditto.

Name:  John Atteberry

Home in 1830 (City, County, State):     Munfordville, Hart, Kentucky

Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1

Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1

Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29:         1

Free White Persons – Females – Under 5:         1

Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29:      1

It seems probable that this John Atteberry was the purported son of Charles and Sarah.  His age is a good match for the reported birth year of John Atterbury, son of Charles Atterbury.  Further, there are records for a John Atterbury household in GraysonCountyKY in 1840, 1850 and 1860, which also closely matched this purported son.  The 1850 census indicates his birth in about 1803 in South Carolina, whereas the 1860 census gives a birth of 1797 in Kentucky.  The age range reported for John in 1830 and 1840 more closely matches the 1850 record, indicating John to have been born after 1800, maybe about 1803.  Assuming that to have been the case, then John very likely was one of the two young males under age 10 reported in Charles’ household in 1810, and probably the young male aged 16 thru 18 in 1820.  Note that there appears to have been an error on the form used in the 1820 census collection in which there was a two-year overlap between two male age brackets: i.e., 16 thru 18, and 16 thru 25.  In the 1860 census John was reported living at Millerstown, which is situated on the west bank of the NolinRiver near the junction of Grayson, Hart and HardinCounties.  No record was found for either John Atterberry or his wife, Nancy, in the 1870 census.  However, their eldest son, Milton Atterberry, was recorded as the head of his own household living near Millerstown, with his two youngest sisters, Lydia R. and Sarah E. living in his household.  Two of John’s daughters: Sarah E., and Elizabeth were described in records as having been “idiots”, suggesting some sort of genetic malformation.  Is it possible that this seeming genetic defect could have traced its roots back one generation to Charles Atterberry?  Might that be a possible explanation for what appears to have been a pattern of adult children in Charles’ household beyond the age of 20 years?  From these facts it is logical to conclude that John and Nancy probably had died sometime before 1870, probably in the vicinity of Millerstown.

Name:  Michael Atterbury

[Michael Atterberry]

[Michael Merbrery]

Home in 1830 (City, County, State):     Grayson, Kentucky

Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 2

Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 2

Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14:         1

Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39:         1

Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9:          1

Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 40 thru 49:      1

Ditto, Michael, above.

Name:  Zachariah Arterbury

Home in 1830 (City, County, State):     Howard, Missouri

Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1

Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1

Free White Persons – Males – 40 thru 49:         1

Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14:      2

Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39:      1

Zachariah was found in only two census records: 1830 and 1840.  He is purported to have had a son named Isaiah, who was recorded in Missouri census records in 1850 and 1860, along with his presumed widowed mother, Naomi.  Isaiah reported himself born in Missouri in about 1824, which suggests that Zachariah had moved his family to Missouri sometime before 1824.  In the 1840 census record there was an adult male, aged 80 thru 89 years living in Zachariah’s household.  That advanced age points toward only one person, James Arterbury, son of William Arterbury, Immigrant.  James is reported to have been buried in Monroe County, MO in about 1843.  Given that James Arterbury had two adult sons (James Jr. and Ashford) living in Missouri in 1840, it seems highly likely that Zachariah was also a son of James Arterbury, and not of Charles and Sarah.  Otherwise, why would James be living with his purported nephew, rather than with one of his sons?

Name:  Nathan Atterbury

Home in 1830 (City, County, State):     Grayson, Kentucky

Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 2

Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1

Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39:         1

Free White Persons – Females – Under 5:         1

Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9:          1

Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29:      1

This is believed to have been the earliest record of Nathaniel J. Atterbury, presumed son of Charles and Sarah, and father of Amanda, born 1837 in Indiana.  Nathaniel later moved his family to Spencer County IN, then Missouri, and ultimately to HuntCountyTX.

Name: Charles Atteberry

Although James E. Branch identified a son named Charles, born about 1782 and died about 1855, it should be noted that no census records could be found for a Charles Atterbury, which even remotely matched these purported demographics.  In fact, the author could find no real evidence that such a person ever existed.

From the foregoing analysis of the census records for the seven purported sons of Charles and Sarah, we have discovered that two of those purported sons (Zachariah and Melchizedek) possibly were not sons of Charles.  There is strong evidence suggesting that Zachariah Arterbury very likely was a son of James and Dorcas.  Also, given the close living proximity between Michael Arterbury Sr., and Melchizedek and his father-in-law, John Peebles, in 1810, it seems entirely possible that Melchizedek was a son of Michael Arterbury.  And, finally, no evidence was found for the existence of the purported son named Charles.  If Zachariah, Melchizedek and Charles were not sons of Charles and Sarah, then we are left with only four purported sons: Isaiah, Michael, Nathanial J. and John.  Further, the birth year data reported for John Atterbury in the 1830, 1840 and 1850 census records suggest that he was born about 1803.  If we were to accept this approximate birth year as fact, then he could have been a son of Charles, but not likely of Sarah, if Charles’ wife were his 1st cousin, Sarah Mitchell.  Yet, the compilations of the 1790 thru 1810 census records for Charles Arterbury’s households suggest there to have been at least eight sons: five before 1790, two more before 1800, and at least one more before 1810. 

This analysis suggests that Charles and Sarah may have had as many as five sons, who are unknown to genealogical researchers.  It seems entirely possible that some of those sons could have survived to adulthood, and could have married and had children, who also survived to adulthood.  Since three presumed sons of Charles (John, Nathaniel and Michael) resided in Grayson County after their father’s death, it might be possible that other son(s) also settled in Grayson County.  In 1830 there were a total of five Arterbury/ Atterbury households in Grayson County in 1830, summarized as follows:

  1. Nathan Atterbury [presumed son of Charles and Sarah]
  2. Richard Alleber [possible son of Thomas Atterbury [Jockey Tom] and Elizabeth Clement]
  3. Michael Attebery [probable son of Michael Atterbury and Elizabeth Kessinger]
  4. Thomas Atterbury [Thomas Atterbury, aka “Jockey Tom”, eldest son of Richard Atterbury I]
  5. Michael Atterbury [presumed husband of Elizabeth Kessinger and son of Charles and Sarah]

So, in 1830 there was an admixture of the presumed children and grandchildren of Charles Atterbury and his brother, Richard Atterbury I, living in relatively close geographic proximity in Grayson County.  The census record for Grayson County was not enumerated in alphabetical order in 1830, so it is possible to speculate on the relative geographic proximity of these Atterbury households to one another.  It should be noted that Nathan, Michael Jr., Richard and Thomas were listed virtually contiguous to each other (Michael Jr. being separated by only two households from the other three), and Michael Sr. was removed from Michael Jr. by only six households with John Peebles’ household being one of the intervening households between Michael Sr. and Michael Jr.  These Atterbury’s and their near neighbors are listed in order as follows:

  1. Kessinger              William                   3
  2. [Atterberry]           [Michael]               10
  3. Johnsey                 George                   7
  4. Rooks                     Thomas                  7
  5. Coonrod                               George                   6
  6. Peeples                  John                       6
  7. Nalley                     William                   10
  8. Alvey                     James                     8
  9. Attebery                                Michael                  4
  10. Logston                 William                   8
  11. Holston                  Thomas                  4
  12. Atterbury              Thomas                  12           
  13. Atterbury              Nathan                   7             
  14. [Atteberry]            [Richard]                3

There were a total of 632 households reported in Grayson County in 1830, so it is reasonable to assume that all five of these Atterbury households were clustered within a one-mile radius, some perhaps even abutting one another.

From the LWT of Richard Atterbury I, it can be inferred that there was a particularly close affiliation between himself and his elder brother, Charles.  This close affinity is born out by the fact that Richard I named his brother, Charles (his “good and trusted friend”), as a co-Executor, along with Richard Atterbury II.  It is curious that Richard I named his 2nd born son, Richard II, as a co-Executor, since normal conventions of the time typically would confer that responsibility on the eldest son, Thomas.  It may simply have been a matter of geographic proximity, yet Richard II was recorded in Ohio County in 1810, whereas Thomas was recorded in Elizabethtown, Hardin County in 1810.  From these limited facts, it would appear that Richard II may have been living in relatively close geographic proximity to his father when Richard I penned his LWT.  The decision to name Richard II as co-executor may have stemmed from the likelihood that Richard II was still living at home and only recently reached his majority, when Richard I drafted his LWT in Hardin County on 4Oct1806.  Richard II likely did not settle in Ohio County until after his marriage to Martha Moore in Ohio County on 9Apr1807.  Regardless of a possible estranged relationship between Thomas Atterbury and his father, Richard I, it does not appear to have interfered with Thomas’ relationship with his cousins: Michael and Nathan, presumed sons of Charles and Sarah, given their close geographic living proximity in Grayson County in 1830.  Particularly considering that Thomas appears to have moved from Hart County in 1820 to Grayson County in 1830.

We have now completed a fairly thorough investigation and analysis of the Charles and Sarah Atterbury family, without having specifically identified any potential descendants.  Our analysis of Charles and Sarah did disclose the possibility that there may have been several male offspring from that family, which are presently unrecognized by Atterbury family researchers.  The difficulty we encounter with the identification of the children of these early 19th century migrants is the lack of more specific record data.  Census records did not commence in Kentucky until 1810, whereas census records commenced earlier in some of the other colonies, like South Carolina, which commenced in 1790.  This leaves a 20-year record gap during which time some families had begun to separate and spread out into other jurisdictions.  The problem is made even more complex for women, whose identity, once they marry and assume their husband’s surnames, may be lost forever.  Equally problematic is the fact that only the names of the heads of households were reported in the censuses prior to 1850.  Add to these factors the practice of repeated usage of the same given names within families, resulting in multiple households headed by persons with the same name.

In Kentucky, where most of our early American Atterbury research is centered, we do have the good fortune of extant marriage records, court orders, patent and deed records, estate records, and an occasional family bible, but these records are fragmentary, and not always published.  Consequently, we have an almost 60-year period (from 1790 to 1850) during which we are oftentimes left with guesswork and deductive reasoning as our only means to reconstruct family units. 

Finally, as regards the name and identity of Charles Atterberry’s wife.  Many researchers identify Charles’ wife as having been named Sarah Mitchell.  Some even go so far as to identify Sarah Mitchell as Charles’ first cousin, daughter of David Mitchell and Mary Davidson, born Sep1741 at Queen Anne Parish, Prince Georges County, Maryland.  If that assumption were correct, Sarah’s age would seemingly negate the possibility of any children born after about 1796.  The author found absolutely no documented proof of the identity of Charles’ wife.  In fact, the author found only one record in which the name of Charles’ wife was given, that being the death record of Michael Atterberry, their presumed son, who married Elizabeth Kessinger, summarized as follows:

Name:     Michael Atterberry

Gender:  Male

Death Age:            63

Birth Date:             abt 1792

Residence Place:  Grayson, Kentucky, USA

Death Date:           20 Jul 1855

Death Place:          Grayson, Kentucky, USA

Father:    Chas Atterberry

Mother:  Sarah Atterberry

The only other reference found by the author for the name of Charles’ wife was supplied by James E. Branch, when he referenced a deed record from Chester County as follows:

  1. 1796 Charles and Sarah Atterbury deeded land in Chester County, SC to Gain Thompson (Book D, page 321)

Regrettably, a search of Deed Book records failed to locate the referenced record purportedly naming Charles and Sarah.  In fact, the referenced record: Deed Book D, page 321, was actually for the purchase of 50 acres by Charles Atterberry from Willis Carrell, a transaction discussed in great detail earlier in this manuscript.  It is the belief of the author that he has thoroughly researched all land records from Chester County SC associated with Charles Attebury, and none of them had any reference to Charles’ wife.  Typically, a wife’s name would only be associated with the disposal of property.  In those instances, the wife is typically required to relinquish here dower right, in order for the transfer to be consummated.  If Charles Atterberry did in fact sell a tract of land to Gain [aka Gan, Gaun, Goun] Thompson, it is conceivable that that deed record may have included Sarah Atterberry when she relinquished her dower.  There are several deed records on file in which Gan Thompson was named as a grantee, but none involved a transfer from Charles Atterberry.  It is conceivable that such a record exists, but for whatever reason failed to be indexed in the deed records.  Absent that actual record, it cannot be established that Charles’ wife in Chester County was named Sarah.  It is worth noting that when Charles Atterberry sold 520 acres to Alan Degraffenreid in 1804, there was no evidence of his wife relinquishing her dower.  Does this suggest that Charles’ wife may have been deceased by that date?  The author thinks it probable that Sarah may have been the mother of most, if not all, of Charles Atterberry’s children.  However, given the evidence known at this time, it is not possible to establish the surname of that wife, nor whether she may have been Charles’ 1st cousin.

This concludes our research and analysis of the life and times of Charles Atterberry.  The exploration of his descendants will be left to others.

Appendix A

Welches Fork Plat Reconstruction Map


[1] https://www.rootsandrecall.com/chester/files/2017/04/Little-Sandy-River-PDF.pdf, accessed 8Jun2020.

[2] https://www.genealogy.com/ftm/b/r/a/James-E-Branch/GENE10-0002.html, accessed 7Jul2020.

[3] Ibid.

Chapter 8 – John Mitchell II Family

St. Barnabas’ Church Marker

Chapter 8 – John Mitchell II Family[1]

John Mitchell II, the title character in this manuscript was the father of Sarah Mitchell, the widow of Robert Yacksley, who married William Atterbury, Immigrant, probably in Prince Georges County Maryland around 1738-40.

This chapter will endeavor to provide the ancestry and history of John Mitchell II’s family in Maryland back to the original immigrant, and perhaps even back to his European family roots.  The author has found only one published genealogy which, if it is to be believed, seems to provide a fairly complete lineage for the Maryland Mitchells backward to two generations before the first immigrant.  This referenced genealogy is located on a website owned by the Virginia Eastern Shore Public Library entitled MilesFiles, Vers. 16.3.[2]  This published genealogy appears to have been fairly thoroughly researched and spans six generations of this family from John Michell and Joane Delves of Harting, Sussex around 1562 [author doubts this connection] thru Captain William Michell and Anne Alwin of Harting (Maryland immigrants in 1647) [author doubts wife] to John Mitchell and Susanna Burgess [author doubts mother] of London Town, Anne Arundel, MD around 1710.  As a beginning point in our quest for the ancestry of John Mitchell II, let us acknowledge that many researchers identify John Mitchell and Susanna Burgess as the parents of John Mitchell II. 

Without considerable further investigation the author is unable to corroborate this purported lineage for John Mitchell II, but initial indications are that much of MilesFiles’s lineage from Captain William Mitchell backward is in doubt.  In fact, the “proof” of the averred connection to Captain William Mitchell, itself, is open to challenge and will be thoroughly investigated by this work.  We will commence our investigation into the John Mitchell II family by presenting the earliest known Mitchell immigrants and then attempt to trace John Mitchell II backward until an intersection or connection is identified with one of those early immigrants.   Utilizing the online database entitled The New Early Settlers of Maryland compiled by Dr. Carson Gibb[3], several early Mitchell immigrants have been identified as follows:

John Mitchells

  1. 1641 – Mitchel, John, AB&H:10 Film No: Transported 1641.  This was the earliest record found for anyone with the surname of Mitchell or near facsimile immigrating into Maryland.  This record indicates that this John Mitchell was “transported”, suggesting that he was an indentured servant [aka redemptioner], and that his transportation had been paid by someone else, who likely claimed him as a “landright” on a land patent filed in their own name.  No further trailing records could be identified with this John Mitchell, suggesting that he may have remained in service, or died before the end of his indentured period, typically four years from date of transportation.
  2. 1665 – Mitchell, John, CC:726 Film No: Transported by 1665; Transcript: 8:478; MSA SC 4341.  Given the interval of 24 years, this presumably was the transport of a different John Mitchell from the previous record.  This John Mitchell very likely was the same person referenced in the following record.
  3. 1667 – Mitchell, John; FF:525 Film No: Service by 1667; Transcript: 10:481; MSA SC 4341.  The author believes that this record was for the same John Mitchell identified as a transported “landright” in the previous record.  The notation of “Service by 1667” probably means that this John Mitchell had completed his obligated indentured servitude, even though only 2 to 3 years had elapsed from his presumed date of transportation. 
  4. 1673 – Mitchell, John; 17:450 Film No:SR 7358; Service by 1673; MSA SC 4341-1771.  There does not appear to have been a corresponding transportation record for this John Mitchell, unless, perhaps he as the same person claimed as a transported landright in 1765, Item 2, above.  Such connection does seem possible, when considered in context with the following Patent record.
  5. 1670 – Mitchell, John; JJ:393 Film No:; Of Talbot County by 1670, when 200 acres on the south side of Chester River were surveyed for him.  It is the author’s belief that this land patent record very likely was for the same John Mitchell identified in Items 2 and 3, above.  Given the fact that this patent was situated in Talbot County, it does seem possible that Items 2 thru 5 were all for the same person, who is discussed later as having originated a Mitchell branch in northern Talbot County in the vicinity of Kent Island.
  6. 1679 – Mitchell, John; LL:847 Film No:  Transported by 1679; Transcript: 15:568; MSA SC 4341.  This and the following record very likely were for the transport of the same person, but probably a different John Mitchell than appeared in the four previous records.
  7. 1680 – Mitchell, John; CB2:196 Film No:SR 7366; Transported by 1680.  This and the preceding John Mitchell may have been the same person, who was transported as an indentured servant with his landright being claimed by the person paying for his transport.

Of the foregoing listed transportation records, the author is of the opinion that the John Mitchells listed in Items 2 thru 5 may well have been for the same person, and that that person could have been an ancestor of John Mitchell II, pending further investigation. 

Other Transported Mitchells

In addition to the foregoing records pertaining to persons named John Mitchell, there were also several records for other Mitchell immigrants during the 17th century listed as follows:

  1. 1648 – Mitchell, Thomas; AB&H:184 Film No:SR 7344; Transported himself, his wife, & two children; Transcript: Q:149 [SR 7345]; MSA SC 4341-2256.  This Thomas Mitchell is believed by some researchers to have been a younger brother of Captain William Mitchell, whose immigration is documented in Item 9, hereinafter.
  2. 1649/0 – Mitchell, William, Esq; 3:86,112,408-10 Film No:; On 1 January 1649/0 undertook within 18 months to transport 30 persons including himself; MSA SC 4341.  This is an immigration record for Captain William Mitchell, purported eldest son of John Mitchell and Mary West [per MilesFiles] of Houghton, Sussex [now West Sussex], England.  This William Mitchell and his descendants are the main subject of the Mitchell family genealogy referenced above posted by the Virginia Eastern Shore Public Library.  If that genealogy is correct, his would be the lineage from which John Mitchell II descended.  Much more on Captain William Mitchell to follow.
  3. 1658 – Mitchell, Henry; Qo:212 Film No: Transported himself by 1658; Transcript: Q:317; 4:141; Original: R:65a; MSA SC 4341.  The identity of this Henry Mitchell is unknown to the author.  This Henry Mitchell went on to become a prominent resident of the Colony and left a fairly large footprint of his life and that of his descendants.  It is unknown whether there was any kinship connection between Henry Mitchell and Captain William Mitchell.
  4. 1665 – Mitchell, George; EE:219 Film No: Transported himself by 1665; Transcript: 9:229; 14:360-61; Original: KK:351-52; MSA SC 4341.  This George Mitchell very likely was a son of Captain William Mitchell named as a headright in a 20Dec1658 land certificate filed by Capt. William Mitchell in Northampton County, Virginia.  This George Mitchell is believed to have settled in Somerset County, MD (more to follow).
  5. 1667 – Michel (Michaell), William, GG:455 Film No: Service to Thomas Ropes [Roper?] in South River by 1667; Transcript: 11:500; MSA SC 4341.  In the forthcoming analysis, this William Mitchell/Michaell will be put forward as the probable grandfather of John Mitchell II.

It is the William Mitchell recorded in Item 9 above, that is identified in the MilesFiles genealogy as the immigrant ancestor of the John Mitchell, who married Susanna Burgess, and is purported to have been the father of John Mitchell II.  Three others of these Mitchells: Thomas, George and William Michel [aka Michaell] (Item 12, above) are believed by some researchers to have been kinsmen of Captain William Mitchell as brother, and sons, respectively.

This concludes the presentation of Mitchell immigrants “transported” to Maryland.  The author believes that the ancestor(s) of John Mitchell II is contained somewhere within these transportation records.  We will now endeavor to establish a linkage between John Mitchell II and that currently unknown immigrant ancestor.

In order to identify John Mitchell II’s immigrant ancestor, we will begin the search by working backwards through known church and civil records in an attempt to find his birth record and his parent’s identity.  Assuming that John Mitchell II’s birth record is extant, the author conducted a search of all Maryland births contained in an Ancestry.com database identified as All Maryland, Births and Christenings Index, 1662-1911 utilizing the given name of “John”, surname of “m*ch*l” and date range of 1680 to 1699.  This search returned only three hits abstracted as follows:

  1. 22Oct1694 – John Mitchell was born to John Mitchell and his wife, Sarah, in Saint Peters Parish, Talbot County.  The identity of this John Mitchell is not known with certainty, but he may have been descended from Captain William Mitchell.
  2. 9Dec1697 – John Mitchell was born to Jeofry [aka Geofrey] Michell and his wife, Elliner, in Somerset County.  Although not specifically identified in the MilesFiles genealogy, the author believes that Jeofry Mitchell may have been a kinsman of Captain William Mitchell.
  3. 30Jan1698 [O.S.] – John Michell was born to William Michell and his wife, Rosemond, in All Hallow’s Parish, Anne Arundel County.  According to the MilesFiles genealogy, this William Mitchell was a grandson of Captain William Mitchell, and 1st cousin of John Mitchell II.

The author is inclined to eliminate or give a very low probability to the John Michell born on 30Jan1698 on the basis of age (he would have been only about 19 years old when John III, eldest son of John Mitchell II, was born in Feb1717/8).  The author is inclined to give the John Mitchell born 9Dec1697 to Jeofry and Elliner a low to medium probability based on the age, and the relatively long distance between Somerset County and Prince George’s County.  However, the author is inclined to give the John Mitchell born to John and Sarah on 22Oct1694 a high level of probability based on both age and the relatively close geographic proximity between Talbot County and Prince George’s County.

Assuming that the John Mitchell born on 22Oct1694 in Talbot County was the same person as John Mitchell II, then we have now established that his parents were John Mitchell and Sarah (lnu).  Only one additional church record was found for this family, that being the birth of a daughter named Alice, abstracted as follows:

  1. 6Jan1696 – Alice Mitchell was born to John Mitchell and his wife, Sarah, in Saint Peter’s Parish, Talbot County.

However, there was another birth recorded three years earlier that may be connected to this John Mitchell abstracted as follows:

  1. 7Nov1693 – William Mitchell was born to John Mitchell and his wife, Elizabeth, in Saint Peter’s Parish, Talbot County.

Given the scarcity of records for anyone named Mitchell in Talbot County, and given the matching name of the father and the date of birth having been only one year prior to the birth of our presumed John Mitchell II, it might be assumed that the father of William Mitchell born 7Nov1693 in Talbot County was John Mitchell I.  However, other records from Talbot County around this same time period clearly establish the existence of two different John Mitchells.  The John Mitchell, married to Elizabeth, and recording the birth of a son named William in Nov1693, was not the same John Mitchell, married to Sarah, and recording births of children in 1694 and 1696 in Talbot County (more to follow).

No further records were found for John and Sarah Mitchell of Talbot County.  However, there was the marriage between John Mitchell and Susanna Burgess abstracted as follows:

  1. 14Jul1700 – John Mitchell married Susanna Burgess, daughter of William Burgess, at All Hallows Church, Anne Arundel County.

Contemporaneous with the foregoing marriage record at All Hallows Church was a corresponding Quaker Monthly Meeting record entry as follows:

  1. 31Jul1700 [31 d., 5 m., 1700] – John Mitchell, of Third Haven Monthly Meeting, was reported of having taken a wife by a “priest” contrary to discipline (QMES:21).  [This probably refers to the marriage of John Mitchell to Susanna Burgess in Jul1700][4]

It is known that the church records associated with John and Sarah Mitchell of Talbot County ended with the birth of their daughter, Alice, in 1696.  So, it is conceivable that Sarah Mitchell died sometime between 1696 and 1700, and that her widowed husband, John Mitchell, married Susanna Burgess on 14Jul1700.  Talbot County lies directly across Chesapeake Bay from London Town, Anne Arundel County, home of Susanna Burgess’ family.  It is not too difficult to imagine that John Mitchell may have moved across the Bay upon the death of his wife, Sarah.  The probability of the John Mitchell of St. Peter’s Parish, Talbot County, having been the same person who married Susanna Burgess on 14Jul1700 is a virtual certainty based on the Quaker Meeting record of Item 16, above.  The Quaker record is from the Third Haven Monthly Meeting at Easton in lower Talbot County, the same location as St. Peter’s Parish Church, known at that time as White Marsh Church.  Given the groom’s matching name, the fact that the Quaker record was dated just two weeks after John Mitchell’s marriage to Susanna Burgess, and the fact that their marriage was performed in the Anglican church, hence the reference to a “priest”, confirms that John Mitchell was a resident of St. Peter’s Parish, Talbot County around the time that he married Susanna Burgess.

Assuming that the John Mitchell, who married Susanna Burgess, was the same person, who recorded children born to a wife named Sarah in Talbot County in the mid-1690’s, then he almost certainly was the same John Mitchell, who appeared in other records of the Third Haven Quaker Meeting between 1697 and 1700.  From those records it would appear that John Mitchell had been affiliated with the Quaker Meeting in the latter part of the 1690’s, but perhaps only briefly, as he was recorded in Anglican church records in 1694, 1696 and 1700.  From these facts it might be interpreted that his 1st wife, Sarah, may have been a Quaker, and that he may have submitted to a Quaker marriage, but later reverted to his Anglican roots.  Be that as it may, we later discover that Susanna’s mother, Ursula, intermarried with Dr. Mordecai Moore, a Quaker.  So, there were clearly Quaker influences existing in the neighborhood around South River into which John Mitchell was born and reared.

One further record of a John Mitchell, contemporaneous with his marriage to Susanna Burgess is abstracted as follows:

  1. 9May1700 – John Mitchell’s Peticon read: It being for an Alloweance for attending as doore keeper to the honoble Councill.[5]

The foregoing petition by an unknown John Mitchell was entered into the colonial records of the General Assembly at Annapolis on 9May1700, just two months before the marriage between John Mitchell and Susanna Burgess.  The author has strong reasons for believing that this person, who was serving in the capacity of “Doorkeeper” for the General Assembly, was the subject of our investigation, namely the husband of Susanna Burgess and the father of John Mitchell II.  The basis for this conclusion is predicated on several factors (soon to be disclosed), the principal of which is the absence of any other candidates known to have been living in Maryland at that time.  A doorkeeper was a low-level functionary hired by the Council to stand guard at the entrance to the Council chambers and to monitor and regulate those persons entering and exiting the chambers.  Others on record as serving in this capacity at around this same time period were allowed compensation ranging between 1500 and 2000 pounds of tobacco per annum.

Assuming that the John Mitchell, who married Susanna Burgess, was the father of John Mitchell II, then the following birth records of his half-brothers are presented:

  1. 11Aug1701 – Burgess Mitchell was born to John Mitchell and his wife, Susanna, at All Hallows Church, Anne Arundel County.
  2. 13Feb1703 – Mordicai Mitchell was born to John Mitchell and his wife, Susanna, at All Hallows Church, Anne Arundel County.

These were the only records found for children presumed born to John Mitchell and Susanna Burgess, but the following abstract of the LWT of Mordecai Moore (Susanna Burgess’ step-father) suggests the existence of at least two more children born of John Mitchell I:

“Mordecai Moore, born 28Jun1663 in Anne Arundel County, MD, his LWT dated 2Sep1713, probated 29Oct1721, “Practioner in Physick and Chyrugery”.  To Deborah, Mary and Elizabeth he left ₤400 at age or marriages.  To kinsman, Mary Coleman and her heirs, he left plantation Arran in Prince George’s County.  To Mordecai, the son of Charles Burgess; to the children of his son-in-law [step-son], Charles Burgess, vtz.: Francis [prob. a daughter named Frances] Hanslop, Elizabeth Burgess, and to William, Ursula, Mordecai, Charles and Benjamin, ₤5.  To daughter-in-law [step-daughter], Susanna Mitchell and her children: Burgess, Mordecai, John and Henrietta Mitchell.  To Mordecai Burgess, 200 acres called Fortune.  To John [Mitchell], the son of his daughter [step-daughter], Susanna Mitchell, 100 acres, being part of Fortune.  Named son: Richard Moore (son of Mordecai Moore and Ursula [Painter Burgess], and wife, Deborah [Loyd] as executors.”

This could be a vital document in our effort to sort out the family connections of John Mitchell II.  First, it should be noted that this LWT of Mordecai Moore, husband of Ursula Painter Burgess, widow of William Burgess, named four children of his step-daughter, Susanna Mitchell, viz.: Burgess, Mordecai, John and Henrietta.  From the earlier discussion of John Mitchell and Susanna Burgess it was stated that only two records were found for their children: Burgess and Mordecai.  It is now time for the author to posit an hypothesis: 

The children of Susanna Mitchell identified in Mordecai Moore’s LWT as John and Henrietta were not the biological children of Susanna, rather her step-children from an earlier marriage of her husband, John Mitchell.  Moreover, the “son”, John Mitchell, was actually the son of John and Sarah Mitchell born on 22Oct1694 in Talbot County.

The basis for this hypothesis is predicated in part on the fact that no birth records were found for any other children born to John Mitchell and Susanna Burgess other than the two sons: Burgess and Mordecai.  Next, the fact that Mordecai Moore made a bequest of land to John Mitchell, son of his step-daughter, Susanna [Burgess] Mitchell, but no land bequests to the other two sons: Burgess and Mordecai, suggests that John was the eldest of these four children and perhaps 18 years or older in 1713.  If this John Mitchell were the son of John Mitchell and Sarah born 22Oct1694, he would have been almost 19 years old in 1713.  In fact, it is the author’s belief that this John Mitchell probably was already married when Mordecai Moore wrote his LWT in Sep1713.  It is the author’s belief that this John Mitchell named in the LWT of Mordecai Moore was in fact the same person as John Mitchell II, and that he was forced into a very early marriage because of calamitous events that had befallen his father.

However, before proceeding into a presentation of these “calamitous events” we need to regress for a moment to discuss one other factor yet presented relative to John Mitchell II.  In his LWT dated 4Jun1748 John Mitchell made a bequest to a presumably married daughter named Mary Lee as evidenced in the following abstract:

“LWT of John Mitchell; Liber 28, folio 385; 4 June 1748; MITCHEL, JOHN, Sr., Prince George’s Co., planter: To dau. Mary Lee, sons John & David Mitchel, & dau. Sarah Atterbary, 1 sh. apiece. To son John Mitchel, Jr., 55 apple trees, the 5 rows next the marsh. To sons John Mitchel, Jr. , & David Mitchel, equ. div. on my wife d., my pr. of hand millstones & irons, crosscut saw, & wedges. To grddau. Elizabeth Yaxley, on my wife d. or age 16, a heifer, a sow & pigs, & the bed she lies on, but if she d. before age 16 or my wife d., to my dau. Elizabeth Mitchel, Jr. To wife & extrx., Elizabeth, for life, the plntn. where I live & all my p. e., & on her d., s[aid] p. e. to dau. Eliz. Mitchel, Jr., but if she d. before s wife or before she is mar., to grddau. Elizabeth Yaxley. To son David Mitchel, (on s wife d.) the 59a I live on, not disturbing my s dau. Eliz. during the time of her celibacy. Witn: Joseph Peach, Mary Peach, John Varney. 26 Aug. 1752, sworn to by Joseph & Mary Peach.”

Let it be said that no birth record could be found for a daughter named Mary born to John and Elizabeth Mitchell.  Next, the reader’s attention is drawn to a deed abstracted as follows:

“folio 729, Indenture, 26 Apr 1726, enrolled 29 Apr 1726 – From: John Mitchell, planter of Prince George’s County, and Elizabeth his wife, To: William Callander, carpenter of Prince George’s County, For and in consideration of a marriage already had and solemnized between William Callander and Mary Mitchell, daughter of John Mitchell; for 5s a tract of land called ‘Mitchell’s Addition’ signed John Mitchell (mark & seal) Elizabeth A. [Ann?] Mitchell (mark & seal). Witnessed by [Rev.] Jacob Henderson, Rupert Butler, Richard Duckett; Acknowledged by Elizabeth Mitchell, wife of John.”

It is the author’s belief that the grantors in this deed: John [II] and Elizabeth Mitchell, were the parents of Sarah Mitchell, who married William Atterbury.  This belief is predicated on the names, dates and geographic location being in Prince George’s County.  That being the case, then this deed suggests that John had a daughter named Mary Mitchell, who was already married in Apr1726.  In fact, Mary Mitchell was already married to William Callander on 26Jan1724/5 as evidenced by the following marriage abstract:

  1. 26Jan1724/5 – William Callender married Mary Mitchel (2-PG [Prince George’s County]-4)[6]

The reader’s attention is further drawn to the following marriage abstract from the same Ancestry.com database:

  1. 29Dec1726 – William Calinder married Rebeckah Hutton (2-TB [Talbot County]-114)[7]

Given the rarity of the Callender surname in Maryland at that time [only these two records were found], the exact match of given names, the sequential dating of these marriage events, and the relatively close geographic proximity between Prince George’s County and Talbot County; the author is of the opinion that the William Callender named in each of these marriages was one and the same person.  Assuming this interpretation to be correct, then it would reasonably follow that William Callender’s first wife, Mary Mitchell, must have died sometime in 1725/6, possibly during the birth of her first child, and that her widowed husband intermarried with Rebeckah Hutton in Dec1726.  It may also be inferred that the sale of Mitchell’s Addition to their son-in-law, William Calender, for the token sum of 5 schillings may have been by way of a dowry and in contemplation of the arrival of their first grandchild.

It should further be noted that Mitchell’s Addition was acquired by John Mitchell as set forth in the following patent record abstract:

  1. 16Sep1720 – John Mitchell, Prince George’s County, “Mitchell’s Addition”, 150 acres, CE1/32.

The fact that Elizabeth was required to give her consent for the release of her dower right to the sale of this tract to William Callender is strong indication that she and John were married at the time of the patent filing in Sep1720.  However, there is nothing in the indenture with William Callender to confirm or disprove that Elizabeth was Mary Mitchell’s mother.  The abstract refers to Mary Mitchell as “daughter of John Mitchell”, not as daughter of John and Elizabeth Mitchell.  From this fact it might be inferred that Elizabeth may not have been Mary’s mother, but that Mary may have been John’s daughter from an earlier marriage.  This point may be important to any attempt to identify Elizabeth’s parentage.

If we are to believe that John Mitchell II was the same person as the John Mitchell born on 22Oct1694 to John and Sarah Mitchell in Talbot County, then we must be willing to accept several rather extraordinary events.  First, from the foregoing presentations on Mary Mitchell, daughter of John Mitchell, we know that she was married on 26Jan1724/5.  These events allow only 30-1/4 years to elapse between John’s presumed birth and the marriage of his first daughter.  Is it reasonable to think that these events could have occurred within such a short time frame?  In order for these numbers to work, John probably would have married by about age 16 or 17 [or by about 1710/1], and that his daughter would have married by age 13 or 14.  Such early marriages were not all that unusual in colonial times, so it does seem feasible to the author that this could have occurred.  For example, it is known that Mary’s younger sister, Sarah Mitchell, married Robert Yackley when she was only 14 years 10 months old.  Also, it should be noted that their was a ratio of about six men to each woman in the Maryland colony in the 17th century.  Such an extreme shortage of women created a need for young women to marry very early, and for younger men to take older wives than might be the present norm.

Next we draw the reader’s attention to the two following court filings:

  1. 15Oct1722 – The Petition of Susanna Mitchell a Languishing Prisoner in Prince Georges County was read And Ordered that her Creditors have Notice thereof That if they think fit they may Appear and make their Objections thereto this Sessions.
  2. 1724 – An Act for the Relief of Sundry Languishing Prisoners therein mentioned. Whereas John Medcalf and Susanna Mitchell of Prince Georges County … have by their Humble Petitions to this Present general Assembly Severally Sett forth that they have Continued Prisoners for debt in the Custody of the Severall Sheriffs of the Countys afd for some considerable time Past, and Still Continue in the like deplorable Circumstances not being able to Redeem their Bodies with all the Estate or Interest they have in the World Which they would readily … the said Petitioners and their families are fit Objects of Charity And that lying in Goal Can be no Benefit to their Creditors … give good Security to Pay the Imprisonment ffees at Ten Pounds of Tobacco per Day that shall or May become Due from the said Prisoners or Any or Either of them after the End of the said Twenty Days And Also to find the said Prisoners or Any or Either of them Sufficient Meat Drink and Cloathing during their future Imprisonment, etc, etc…

Also, the following land record abstract:

  1. Folio 712, Indenture: 2Feb1725/6, Enrolled 2Mar1725/6.  From: Susanna Mitchell, wife of John Mitchell, mariner, late of Prince George’s County To: Philip Lee, Gentleman, late Sheriff of Prince George’s County for sundry debts according to an act of Assembly in Annapolis in Oct and Nov1725 for the relief of languishing prisoners; a tract of land called Greenwood bequeathed by my mother [Ursula Painter Burgess Moore] for my natural life; containing 380 acres in Prince Georges County.  Signed and Sealed: Susanna Mitchell.  Witnessed: Ralph Crabb, Thomas Gantt.  Acknowledged by Susanna Mitchell.[8]

From the foregoing indenture between Susanna Mitchell and Philip Lee it can be stated unequivocally that this Susanna Mitchell, imprisoned in Prince George’s County for non-payment of debts, was the same person as Susanna Burgess, wife of John Mitchell I.  The property involved in this sale was bequeathed to Susanna in the LWT of Ursula Painter Burgess Moore, then wife of Mordecai Moore.  Greenwood and another tract named Westphalia were purchased by Ursula Burgess, widow of Col. William Burgess, sometime in the 1690’s, before her marriage to Dr. Mordecai Moore.  Greenwood abutted Westphalia immediately to the west and was situated to the west of the West Branch Patuxent River just south of the present day Prince George’s Community College campus, and as illustrated in Figure 8-1.  It is interesting to note that Susanna’s husband was described as a “mariner” and that he was “late of Prince George’s County”.  By the reference to his having been “late of the County” it may be surmised that he was deceased.

Susanna Burgess Mitchell appears to have been well-provided for from the estates of her father, William Burgess; her mother, Ursula Painter Burgess Moore; and her step-father, Mordecai Moore.  How could it be that someone from such a prosperous family background and with such substantial endowments would have fallen to such a low ebb as to be imprisoned for her debts?  Moreover, after the death of her husband (believed to have been in about 1716-18), why had she not remarried?

The answer to those questions might well lie in the “calamitous events” that the author believes may have befallen her husband.  Although the author has found virtually nothing in the records to connect the John Mitchell, who was convicted of “Chance Medley” [aka Killing in Self Defense] at Annapolis in 1710, with the husband of Susanna Burgess, it seems probable that they were the same person.  Although the case of Thomas Macnemara and John Mitchell fills volumes in the Maryland Archives, the author found nothing in those records on which to establish the identity of the defendant, John Mitchell.  He is simply described as “John Mitchell, Gentleman, of Anne Arundel County” or “John Mitchell of Annapolis”.  Volumes have been written about Thomas Macnemara and virtually nothing about his accomplice, John Mitchell.  Consequently, we are left with surmise and conjecture about this John Mitchell’s identity.  [Anyone wishing to read more fully the particulars of this case or of the fascinating character and life of Thomas Macnemara is commended to a book entitled Fortune’s Orphan: the Troubled Career of Thomas Macnemara in Maryland, 1703-1719 by C. Ashley Ellefson, 2012.[9]]

The Crown vs. Thomas Macnemara and John Mitchell

Allegedly, on 8May1710 Thomas Macnemara, occasionally an Attorney at Law and certified to practice in Anne Arundel, Talbot and Prince George’s County, and having been disbarred from practice, was retained to collect a debt from Thomas Graham, a merchant sailor and known Quaker from Philadelphia.  The author believes the debt in question was a sum of 2121₤ owed by Thomas Graham to William Fishbourne.  Macnemara became aware that Thomas Graham was aboard a sloop anchored in the harbor at Annapolis.  Macnemara had a writ sworn out for the apprehension and detention of Thomas Graham, which the High Sheriff, John Gresham Jr. declined to serve.  There are varying accounts of the events that ensued, but all tend to agree that Macnemara borrowed a couple of pistols and a skiff from his friend [Amos] Garrett, and in the company of John Mitchell rowed out to Graham’s sloop [probably with Mitchell doing the rowing].  Macnemara reportedly identified himself as a “friend”, perhaps intimating that he was a fellow Quaker, upon which announcement he was invited aboard by Captain Graham.  Having succeeded in boarding Graham’s vessel along with John Mitchell, Macnemara informed Graham of his real intent and purpose, which was to serve Graham with the writ and to take him into custody for conveyance to the Court House.  Graham rebuffed Macnemara’s request to accompany him peacefully, and reportedly threatened to throw Macnemara overboard [so much for Quaker pacifism].  A scuffle ensued during which Macnemara wounded Graham in the left shoulder with a “high swan shot” from one of his pistols.  Later statements given by witnesses suggest that both Macnemara and Mitchell came “armed with guns, pistols, daggers and swords”.  It was also alleged that Macnemara beat Graham with the handle of a pistol, splitting his scalp and fracturing his skull.  Graham was also reported to have received a broken arm, either during the scuffle or upon his falling to the deck after having been shot in the shoulder.

Macnemara and Mitchell loaded the injured Graham into their skiff and transported him to Macnemara’s home in Duke of Gloucester Street, Annapolis.  A doctor was summoned, Graham was treated for his injuries, but after lingering in recovery for almost two weeks, Graham ultimately succumbed to his wounds.  Macnemara was charged with inflicting the wound that resulted in the death of Thomas Graham.  John Mitchell was charged with “comforting, procuring, assisting and maintaining” Macnemara, i.e., aiding and abetting in the death of Thomas Graham.  Governor John Seymour ordered a grand jury convened to hear the case, which resulted in the issuance of an indictment for murder against both parties.  When the case was presented to the petit jury, on three separate deliberations they returned a verdict of “chance medley”, in present parlance, justifiable homicide.  Unable to obtain the desired verdict of murder, the Governor ordered Macnemara’s verdict changed [an illegal action, as would later be found] from chance medley to manslaughter, thus requiring forfeiture of Macnemara’s personal property, branding him with an “M” on the palm, and permanent disbarment from the practice of law in Maryland [which seems to have been Seymour’s principal objective].  John Mitchell’s conviction of “change medley” was allowed to stand, and he was fined and released from custody.

The debt for which Thomas Macnemara was retained to effect collection probably resulted from the following indenture:

6May1705 – “Know all men by these presents That I Thomas Graham of Philadelphia in Pensilvania Trader am held and firmly bound unto William Fishbourn of the same place Merch.t  In the sume of Two Thousand One hundred and Twenty One pounds ^& pence^ of unmarkt Mony of Pensilvania to be paid to the said William Fishbourn of his Certain attorny his Executors Administrator or assignes To which payment well and truely to be Made I binde me my heires Executors and Administrators firmly by these presents sealed with my seale Dated the sixth Day May In the sixth year of the Reigne of our Lady Queen Ann over England &c.a Anno Dm 1705.  The Condition of this obligation is such That if the above bounden Thomas Graham or his Certain attorney his heires Executors and Adm.rs or some of them shall and will well and Truly pay or Cause to be payd unto the above Named William Fishbourn or his Certain attorney his Executors adm.rs or assignes the full sume of one Thousand and sixty pounds Eleven shillings and Nine pence halfe penny at or before the sixth Day of October next Ensueing the Date hereof of Like Curr.t hher Mony aforesaid or other wise to his Content in One in the payment without any fraud or Covin Then this obligation to be void and of None Effect or Else the same to be and Remayne in full force and vertue Sealed and Delivered in the presence of Tho.s Graham  (seale) Alex.r Alsome Israel Pemberton Sam.ll Carpenter Jun.r Annapolis Maryland 10.th June 1710 Then Came Alex.r Alpine One of the Wittnesses to the above bound and Remayne Deposed on the holy evangelists of Almighty God that he saw the said Thomas Graham seal and Deliver the same to W.m Fishbourn of Philadelphia Merch.t, Alex.d Alpine Jurat Coram me, Amos Garrett”

Following is a list of the Crown’s witnesses who gave testimony at trial:

  • Crown Witnesses: Mr Amos Garrett, Madm Lloyd, Mr Jno Gresham Junr [Sheriff], John Lefong, Thomas Hill, Mr Charles Kilburne, Mr Evan Jones, Doctor Thomas Mape [probably the physician who treated Graham], Mrs Anne Noades, Mr Thos Bordley [Justice].

The petit jurors, who sat in judgment over the destiny of Macnemara and Mitchell included the following:

  • Petit Jurors: John Macklester, John Stoakes, Anthony Smith. Charles Ridgley [presumed son of Col. Henry Ridgely], Lewis Duvall [Sr.], Edward Willett, Abraham Taylor, John Mason, Caleb Dorsey, Prior Smallwood, William Smith, and Thomas Dawson.

It is interesting to note that Amos Garrett was called as a witness.  He purportedly was the friend who loaned his pistols and skiff, which were used by Macnemara and Mitchell in the writ service on Thomas Graham.  He was also a very prominent merchant and citizen of Annapolis at the time of the assault, having served as its first Mayor, when Annapolis was chartered by Governor Seymour in Aug1708, and later as a Justice of Peace.  As it turns out, Amos Garrett was also a friend of Thomas Graham, as evidenced by Graham’s following LWT abstract:

  1. 20May1710 – LWT of Thomas Graham, late of Anne Arundel County, MD, Merchant Recorded June 21, 1710. C. 212. Phila Co. Samuel and Sarah children of William Fishbourne.  Testator desires to be buried in Churchyard of St. Ann’s Church [in Annapolis], under direction of his friend, Amos Garrett. Proved at Annapolis,  Maryland. Executor: William Fishbourne of Philadelphia., merchant. Witnesses: Amos Garret, Thomas Macnamara, Evan Jones, John Michiel and  Margaret Macnamara.

So, while the trial records suggest an adversarial relationship between Mitchell, Macnemara and Graham, Graham’s LWT suggests that they probably had a prior amicable relationship.  Certainly, in the case of Amos Garrett, he and Graham must have been close friends.  Why else would Graham entrust his interment to Garrett?  Moreover, why would Graham countenance the witnessing of his LWT by his two assailants and the wife of one of those assailants, if they did not share positions of mutual friendship and trust?  In spite of reports of Macnemara having been a “rogue and scoundrel”, it would appear that he saw himself as acting under the authority of the Court [vis a vis. serving a legal writ], and under the authorization of his client, William Fishbourne, in an attempt to collect a long-overdue debt.  After all, the presumed “debt” that Macnemara was sent to collect was a five-year old indenture between two good “friends” and businessmen of Philadelphia.  Graham appears to have been acknowledging the legitimacy of that debt by his designating William Fishbourne as the sole executor of his estate, and naming Fishbourne’s children as its principal beneficiaries.

The actual extent of Graham’s estate may be inferred from the administration appraisal filed by Fishbounre the following year, abstracted as follows:

  1. 5May1711 – “Thomas Graham 33A.52 A AA £57.16.10 May 5 1711:  List of debts: Ruth Leeds, Mr. R. Tilghman, Amos Garrett, Col. Nathaniell Hynson, administrator of Mr. Earle.  Payments to: Mr. Amos Garret, Jasper Yeates for Vincent Hemsley, John Moore, Isaac Norris for bill of Earle (dead), Christopher Grayson, Isaac Norris for Giles Riddle, Charles Marshall, Henry Pinkney, Alexander Paxton for Edmund Mason and Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer for bill put in hands of Macnemara (runaway) [prob. living in Phildelphia at that time], Earle.  Mentions: Nicholas Farnham.  Executor: William Fishbourn.”

If we are to assume that the John Mitchell, convicted of chance medley, was the same person as John Mitchell I, husband of Susanna Burgess, it is reasonable to ask whether there is any other evidence of such a connection.  The following estate administration abstract may offer just such evidence:

4Apr1710 – “Susannah Beard (widow) 31.51 A AA £133.2.4 £138.16.4 Apr 3 1710:  Received from: Evan Jones on note from John Mitchel, Samuel Johnson, Amos Garrett for Cornelius White, Joseph Humphreys, Thomas Harris, Matthew Beard.”

This estate administration record from the settlement of the estate of Susannah [Puddington] Beard links together three of the characters involved in the Crown vs Macnemara and Mitchell affair, namely: Evan Jones, John Mitchell and Amos Garrett, just one month before the assault on Thomas Graham.  Note that Susannah Beard was the widow of Richard Beard Jr. of South River.  Susannah Beard is believed to have been a daughter of George Puddington and Jane [possibly Jane Cornish of Tiverton, Devon, England], one of the original settlers at South River, along with Richard Beard Sr. and Col. William Burgess, John Mitchell I’s father-in-law.  Further, note that Richard Beard Sr. and Col. William Burgess were brothers-in-law, having married sisters: Rachel Robins and Elizabeth Robins, respectively, daughters of Edward Robins and Jane Cornish of St. Mary Magdalen Milk Street Church, London.  After the demise of Edward Robins around 1640, his widow, Jane Cornish Robins, married George Puddington.  You guessed it, the George Puddington, who married the widow of Edward Robins, is believed to have been the same George Puddington, who settled at South River, Anne Arundel County in about 1752, and became the father of Susannah Puddington Beard.  If these “facts” are correct, then Susannah Puddington was the half-sister of her husband’s mother, Rachel Robins, they each having shared a mother in common, namely Jane Cornish.  With the Quaker’s prohibition of first cousins marrying, it is difficult to visualize their views on this union between Susannah Puddington and Richard Beard Jr. [aunt marrying her nephew]

These tangled genealogies aside, it would appear from the estate record for Susannah Beard, that this John Mitchell was engaged in business dealings with Amos Garrett, both men seemingly in residence in Annapolis at that time.  Moreover, some of their business dealings appear to have been involved with the Beard family of South River.  The extent of involvement of Susannah’s family at South River [home of Col. William Burgess and William Mitchell II] is evidenced by the following excerpts from a Beard family biography:

  1. Richard Beard Sr. -1681: Will: 24 July 1675.26 (QIAAC says he d. 1681, Page. 26:  Beard died in 1681 leaving a substantial estate.  He was literate.  Became a convinced Quaker 1656/7, described in a letter from Clarkson to Elizabeth Harris, as occurring in a field during a lightning storm:

“Richard Beard, was in a miraculouse way convinced in ye fore pt of the sumer, by a clap of thunder he being at worke in ye wood, and one neare w/ him in a rainy wether, and at that instant it thundered much as is usuall in ye summertyme in soe much that itt wrought a feare in him, and put him to the risk of his condition, and it did apeare to him to bee, unsafe, hee seeing nothing to trust to, theire being soe many opinions that hee did nott know wch to chuse hee then being in feare not knowing st would become of him in that condition; desired that ye Lord would manifest to him, concerning the way wch was knowne amongst us whether it was the true way of good or not yet it mought be maide knowne to him by thunder, and at that same instant theire came a clap of thunder wch was verry greate, in soe much that it broake a tree very neeare them and strooke him that was with him to ye ground, and himselfe could scarce recover from faleing and a porefull answer came to him at the same Instant, that that which hee had inquired, of was ye true way of god and forthwith he declayred it abroad and was convinced thereby wherein I hope he abides.” — Letter from Tobt Clarksonne to Elizabeth Harris, “From Severon ye 14th of ye 11th month 16(5)7”. Clarksonne letter documents the first meetings in 1657 as being at Clarksonne’s and Richard Beard’s. Richard Beard is also referred to in “A Testimony Concerning William Coale (London 1682) Original in Friends Historical Library, London. In 1657 Quaker Meetings, held at Richard Beard’s house on South River, were attended by prominent Anne Arundel County people and convincements were made there. William Coale spoke eloquently at some of those Meetings. In 1674, together with Wenlock Christison, another great Quaker, and William Perrie (Berry) and John Homeard (Homewood,) he presented to the General Assembly of Maryland a petition praying relief from the requirement of taking oath. [QITFOAAC]

Meetings were held at his house. Later, meetings were held at the home of Ann Covell [wife of John Covell, widow of John Mott].  PATENTS: “Poplar Neck” on south side of South River on 6 Jan. 1650. [Patents, 386, AB &H: 40] On August 1650 surveyed 250 acres Beards Dock on South River, Middle Neck Hundred. [This would have been on n. side of S. River) [Patents I : 61] Also, 700 acres Beards Habitation14 on South River on 4 January 1661, adjoining West Puddington. Sold 200 acre Populae Neck 28 Sept. 1663 To John Mott. (In c. 1677 “Ann Mott alias Lambert” had “lately sold” to Edward Maryarte (Mariarte) land bounded by Maureen Duvall and Patrick Dunkins.)QIAAC, page 26: “Poplar Neck”, his first grant, lay to the west of Londontone, (page) which was laid out in 1683 as a port of entry for South River and originally was a part of the property of Beard’s brother in law William Burgess. (Patents, LIber 4, f.39.} Sold Brampton to John McCubbin15 in 1666. On 1 Aug. 1668 Beard, called boatwritght of South River, sold to James Sanders of same, planter, his original grant dated 18 Sept. 1666 called Johns Cabin Ridge, on North side of Flat Creek, 30 acres. Rachel released dower. This tract contained 150 acres in the Calvert Rent Rolls. According to the source, he owned 200 acres Broome16 , surveyed 30 Aug 1659 on west side of Broad creek. [N. side of South River] Offices: Justice of County Court, Lower House for Anne Arundel Co. [Vol. 1 First Families of Anne Arundel Co., Md. by Donna Valey Russell]

Richard Beard Jr. m. Susannah [Puddington] . This Richard Jr. died in 1703, and wife Susannah [Puddington] Beard died by 1708. (This Richard Beard, Jr. described as “Sole heir of Richard Beard Dec’d” in rerecorded orig. date 6 Aug. 1681 Deed) This Richard Beard was named reversionary heir by John Wheeler of 200 acres “Timber Neck” on South River and 200 acres “Wheeler’s Lot” on the Magothey River if Wheeler’s son John failed; John Beard (inheritor w. Brother Richard of home plantation on mother’s death, may have died before Aug. 1681).  Richard Beard, Jr. and Susannah had: Matthew Beard, John Beard, and Rachel Beard.  Susannah Puddington Beard’s Will proved 15 Oct. 1708 naming son John and dau. Rachel Beard as heirs of her entire estate, son Matthew having been previously provided for. Richard Beard, jr. made the first map of Annapolis.  The successive Armourers, all residents of Annapolis were: Richard Beard Jr., May1701 to his death in Oct1703, and Matthew Beard [Richard Beard Jr.’s son], Oct1703 to Feb1704/5.

From the foregoing Beard family biography it was reported that Richard Beard Sr. was the original patentee of Poplar Neck plantation, the same plantation which enables us to link John Mitchell I to his father, William Mitchell II.  So, long before the above cited John Mitchell and his partner, Amos Garrett, had entered into a bond with the estate of Susannah Beard, John Mitchell I already had an indirect connection to the Beard family by way of his inheriting a moiety of Poplar Neck (more to follow).

While we are in the midst of discussing the Beard-Burgess-Mitchell connections, it may be an opportune time to air a bit more family dirty linen involving the case of the infamous pirate, counterfeiter and alleged traitor, Richard Clarke.

Crown vs. Richard Clarke, etal.

Rachel Beard, daughter of Richard Beard Sr. and Rachel Robins, married Neal Clarke, with whom they had a son named Richard Clarke.  We will first acquaint the reader with Richard Clarke through the following sketch:

“The leader of the band was a notorious desperado named Richard Clark from the South River region of Anne Arundel County. ‘A thick well Sett man, neare forty years old, short darke haire, a flat Nose, & [whose] under jaw overjuts his upper Lipp’, Clark had been involved in an assortment of criminal activities before turning to piracy. In 1704 he was wanted in Maryland for forgery and for “uncasing and altering the Quality of Tobacco”.  Arrested and thrown in the Annapolis jail, he and several accomplices, including an Indian jailed for murder, escaped when a file was smuggled in.  It was then charged that he and his accomplices were contriving “to draw down the Indians upon the Inhabitants of this Province and to Levy War against her Majestys Governour and Government.”  Clark and one of his fellow fugitives, Benjamin Celie, proceeded to initiate a veritable crime wave, roaming about the region, robbing homes, and threatening death to anyone getting in their way.  The government issued a ten-pound reward for their apprehension. Celie was eventually captured but Clark escaped.”[10]

May the 25 1705 : – An Act for the Outlawing of Richard Clark of Ann Arundell County. signed into law by Gov. Seymour.

“a very wicked and treasonable conspiracy begun and carryed on by Richard Clark of Ann Arundell County and his accomplices to Seize upon the Magazine and upon his Excellency the Governour and overturn her Majesties Government and to bring the heathen Indians together with the said Conspirators to Cutt off and Extirpate the Inhabitants of this Province and for as much as the said Clark flyes from Justice and Dares not Venture himself upon a faire tryall. In the late summer of 1705 five men outlawed in Maryland on charges of high treason seized the West River sloop Little Hannah and were ‘suspected to be going on a Pyratical design’.  The villains included one Thomas Sparrow; a Philadelphia mariner named John Stapes; John Taylor, described as a tall, thin brown man; a flaxen-haired youth of middle stature and clean complexion called Sterritt. The leader of the band was a notorious desperado named Richard Clark from the South River region of Anne Arundel County.”[11]

Clarke, with the assistance of his mother and numerous other relations in the South River region, hid out in a tobacco shed for several weeks before quietly making his escape across the Potomac River into Virginia.  He eventually found his way to the Neuse River area of North Carolina, where he is reported to have procured a 600 acre tract, from which he planned to launch his privateering ventures against Spanish and Dutch assets in the Caribbean.  In the summer of 1707 his “recruiters” had returned to Anne Arundel County and began to foment unrest among the lower classes.  The main purpose of this venture seemed to be the extraction of Clarke’s wife, children and moveable property from South River, for transport to his plantation in North Carolina.  His confederates succeeded in drawing in other malcontents from the slave, servant and indigent populations around Annapolis, who were enticed by the lure and potential lucre of a life of piracy on the high seas.  One such potential recruit was Amos Garrett’s servant:

“William Cooper: Amos Garrett’s servant, and a central instigator among the servants. Describes the Privateer as “an Artist”.  Appears to look up to Stimpson, who, when Cooper tries to drink with them in the tavern, sends him home.”

Even Charles Carroll Sr. became a pawn in this piratical farce when Clarke’s son and wife attempted to purchase provisions from Carroll’s store in Annapolis using counterfeit currency.  These provisions were intended to sustain them on their voyage to North Carolina.  Being a seasoned merchant, Carroll immediately recognized the currency as counterfeit and withheld the goods until legitimate monies were provided.  It is not known whether Clarke was successful in his plans to reunite with his family.  It is known with some certainty that his fellow conspirator, Thomas Sparrow, remained an exile in North Carolina until his death.  In addition to South River, Richard Clarke also had interests in Prince George’s County as evidenced by the following:

An indenture dated July 6, 1703, from Richard Clark to Aaron Rawlings, for “Roper’s Range”, in Prince George’s County, is recorded 18 Sept., 1704: folio 109 o Indenture, 6 Jul 1703 From: Richard CLARKE of Anne Arundel County, Gent. To: Aaron Rawlins, planter of Anne Arundel County Thomas ROPER of Prince George’s County by indenture 17 Apr 1702 did convey unto Richard CLARKE 200 acres of land part of a greater tract called “Roper’s Range“; Richard CLARKE sold this land for 243 pounds to Aaron RAWLINS; Bounded by land of Samuel DUVALL and Richard BUTTS. [Betts?]. Signed: Richard CLARKE. Witnessed: Edward MERIARTE [Clarke’s brother-in-law] and Mareen DUVALL [Jr.]. Memorandum: 26 Jul 1703 Elizabeth [MERIARTE] CLARKE was examined by Richard JONES, Jr. and Samuel CHAMBERS. Alienation: 10 Nov 1703 the sum of 8s for 200 acres paid by Aaron RAWLINGS. Certification: Richard JONES and Samuel CHAMBERS, Justices of the Peace in Anne Arundel County, acknowledged this deed before J. BOARDLEY, Cleark for Anne Arundel County. Recorded: 18 Sep 1704.

Thus far we have established that there was a person named John Mitchell living in the vicinity of Annapolis: first described as having served as doorkeeper to the Assembly in 1700, then as a business associate of Amos Garrett offering securities in Annapolis around 1705/6, and as an Annapolis gentleman charged and convicted of chance medley in 1710.  If the John Mitchell, who was convicted of chance medley in the death of Thomas Graham, was the husband of Susanna Burgess Mitchell, then it is fully understandable how Susanna may have been saddled with debt at the death of her husband.  Enough so, that she may have wound up in debtors prison in Prince George’s County in 1720. 

The author has no way of proving that John Mitchell, the associate of Thomas Macnemara, was the husband of Susanna Burgess, but the location, timing, and aftermath seems to fit with that having been the case.  There are also the secondary connections that John Mitchell was once a member of the Quaker meeting at Third Haven, and a “mariner”.  Both experiences would make him very useful to Macnemara in boarding the sloop, transporting the prisoner from ship to shore, and gaining the trust of a fellow Quaker, i.e. Thomas Graham. 

But these are not the only records believed by the author to have pertained to John Mitchell I.  Following is a complete chronological listing of all the records discovered by the author and believed to have involved John Mitchell I either directly or indirectly:

  1. 6Feb1684/5 – LWT of William Mitchell [aka Michel], of Anne Arundel County; to sons William and John and their heirs, Poplar Neck, to be equally divided at death of wife (unnamed, but identified elsewhere a Jane (lnu)), sons to be 18 years of age; son Edward and daughter Elizabeth and their heirs, 200 acres known as Mitchell’s Chance; four aforesaid children to receive all personalty equally.  Testimony of: Henry Pierpont and Thomas Bowles.  Bk. 4, Page 172.  It has already been established that this John Mitchell, son of William Mitchell II, was the same person who was married to Susannah Burgess in 1700.  A complete transcript of the LWT of William Mitchell II is contained in Appendix 9A.
  2. 22Oct1694 – John Mitchell was born to John Mitchell and his wife, Sarah, in Saint Peters Parish, Talbot County.  Through the Third Haven Quaker Meeting record (abstracted in Item 37, below) it has been established with a fairly high level of certainty that this was the birth record of John Mitchell II.
  3. 6Jan1696 – Alice Mitchell was born to John Mitchell and his wife, Sarah, in Saint Peter’s Parish, Talbot County.  Ditto.
  4. 9May1700 – John Mitchell’s Peticon read: It being for an Alloweance for attending as doore keeper to the honoble Councill.[12]  This very likely was a record of John Mitchell I.
  5. 14Jul1700 – John Mitchell married Susanna Burgess, daughter of William Burgess, at All Hallows Church, Anne Arundel County.  Clearly the marriage record of John Mitchell I with Susanna Burgess, younger daughter of Col. William Burgess and Ursula of South River.
  6. 31Jul1700 [31 d., 5 m., 1700] – John Mitchell, of Third Haven Monthly Meeting, was reported of having taken a wife by a “priest” contrary to discipline (QMES:21).  [This probably refers to the marriage of John Mitchell to Susanna Burgess in Jul1700][13]  The author believes this record provides irrefutable evidence that the John Mitchell of St. Peters Parish, Talbot County, was the same person that married Susanna Burgess at All Hallows Church, Anne Arundel County.
  7. 11Aug1701 – Burgess Mitchell was born to John Mitchell and his wife, Susanna, at All Hallows Church, Anne Arundel County.  First child known to be born to John Mitchell I and Susanna Burgess.
  8. 13Feb1703 – Mordicai Mitchell was born to John Mitchell and his wife, Susanna, at All Hallows Church, Anne Arundel County.  Second child known to be born to John Mitchell I and Susanna Burgess.  There were no other births on record for this couple.
  9. 31Mar1703 – Robert Mitchell, London Merchant, granted power of attorney to John Batey of Patuxent River in Maryland ” to aske Demand sue for and Recover and Receive of and from all and every such pson or psons Whome It Doth or may Concerne in Maryland aforesaid all sume and sumes of Money Wares goods Chattells Debts unto Me…”  More on Robert Mitchell and John Batey to follow.
  10. 6May1705 – Know all men by these presents That I Thomas Graham of Philadelphia in Pensilvania Trader am held and firmly bound unto William Fishbourn of the same place Merch.t  In the sume of Two Thousand One hundred and Twenty One pounds & pence, viz. [₤2121] of unmarkt Mony of Pensilvania to be paid to the said William Fishbourn of his Certain attorny his Executors Administrator or assignes…  This indenture and resulting debt is believed by the author to have precipitated the ill-fated attempt at debt collection by Thomas Macnemara and John Mitchell on 9May1710.
  11. 8Aug1705 – Return of Survey, 158 acres, Scott’s Lot, Collington Branch.  Ordered by the Prince George’s Court Clerk: Col. Ninian Beale and James Moore swore oath of the bounded tree.  Signed 22Aug1705 by Thomas Addison, Sheriff.  Commissioners: John Mitchell, Maureen Duvall, etal.  The author believes this John Mitchell, commissioner, to have been the same person named in all of these listed records.
  12. 23Aug1706 – John Mitchell and wife, Susanna, sold a tract of land in Anne Arundel County known as Poplar Neck to Seth Biggs.[14]  It is this land sale that enables us to connect John Mitchell, husband of Susanna Burgess, to his father, William Mitchell II.  Poplar Neck was originally patented by Richard Beard Sr., father-in-law of the Susannah Beard named in the estate record listed as Item 46, below.  Note that per the LWT of John’s father, dated 2Feb1684/5, this tract could not be sold until John’s 40th year of age.  Assuming that John Mitchell had just recently attained the age of 40, he would have been born sometime before Aug1666.
  13. 8Oct1706 – Indenture between Robert Michell (London Merchant) and Lewis Duvall [Sr.] and his wife (Martha) for the sum of 182₤ purchased? (perhaps mortgaged) a tract of land in Prince George’s County called Martha’s Choice, part of a tract called Darnell’s Grove, abutting tracts laid out for Henry Ridgly and Samuel Duvall containing 300 acres, and another tract Bourges [Burgess?] Choice situate in Anne Arundel County containing 143 acres…, Witnessed: Irsabell Moore [Ursula Moore?], and Philip Lynes, J.P.  Although this record makes no specific mention of John Mitchell, there are several elements of this mortgage which warrant further attention.

NOTES/COMMENTS:  The identity of this Robert Mitchell could not be ascertained by the author, but it should be noted that he was involved in several land transactions in the vicinity of Darnell’s Grove in the early 1700’s, some of which are listed below, and which involved Charles Carroll Sr. directly, and John Mitchell [aka Michiell] indirectly.  It is believed that this Lewis Duvall was the same person, who sat on the petit jury which convicted Thomas Macnemara and John Mitchel of chance medley.  Further, that this Lewis Duvall is believed to have been a son of Maureen Duvall [original Duvall immigrant to South River area and of Huguenot ancestry], and brother of Samuel Duvall, who married Elizabeth Clarke on 18Jun1697.  The only Clarkes known to exist in this region in the 17th century were descended from Neale Clarke, father of Richard Clarke.  It seems possible that Elizabeth Clarke was a descendant of Neale Clarke.  Lewis’s wife is believe to have been Martha Ridgly, daughter of Robert and Martha Ridgely, one time of St. Marys City [unknown connection to Henry Ridgely].  What is particularly striking about the property involved in this mortgage identified as Martha’s Choice is that it was in the immediate vicinity of the first tract known to have been acquired by John Mitchell II in Item 59, below.

  1. 19Jul1707 – Indenture from Rebecca Addison, relic of Honorable John Addison of Prince Georges County, deceased, to son, Thomas Addison for sum of 620₤, all rights to estate of John Addison.  Witnesses: William Hutchison, Hickford Leman, James Haddock, John Mitchell.  Sworn in open Court by John Mitchell and Hickford Haddock. Folio 187.  This is believed to have been the same John Mitchell as in all the other records in this list.
  2. 4Apr1710 – Susannah Beard (widow) 31.51 A AA £133.2.4 £138.16.4 Apr 3 1710:  Received from: Evan Jones on note from John Mitchel, Samuel Johnson, Amos Garrett for Cornelius White, Joseph Humphreys, Thomas Harris, Matthew Beard.  Already discussed in detail.
  3. 9May1710 – Thomas Macnemara and John Mitchell boarded sloop in Annapolis harbor with a writ for the arrest of Thomas Graham pertaining to debt owed William Fishbourne.  Macnemara wounded Graham in the shoulder with a shot from a pistol, leant to him by Amos Garrett.  Ditto.
  4. 20May1710 – LWT of Thomas Graham, late of Anne Arundel County, MD, Merchant Recorded June 21, 1710. C. 212. Phila Co. Samuel and Sarah children of William Fishbourne. Proved at Annapolis,  Maryland. Executor: William Fishbourne of Philadelphia., merchant. Witnesses: Amos Garret, Thomas Macnamara, Evan Jones, John Michiel and  Margaret [Carroll] Macnamara.  Ditto.
  5. 13Jul1710 – MARYLAND ss. Anne by the Grace of God of Great Brittain France and Ireland Queen defender of the faith etc. To the Sheriff of Ann Arundell County greeting Wee comand you that you do not omitt for any Liberty in Your ballywick but by the oath of twelve good and laufull men thereof You dilligently enquire what goods chatties lands or Tenements Thomas Macknemara of the City of Annapolis in St Anns Parrish in the County of Ann Arundell Gentleman otherwise called Thomas Macnemara of the Parish City and County aforesd Gentleman and John Mitchell of the City of Annapolis in St Anns Parish in the County of Ann Arundell Gentleman otherwise calld John Mitchell of the City of Annapolis in St. Anns Parish in the County of Ann Arundell Gentleman had in Your ballywick on the thirteenth day of July instant or at any time after on which said thirteenth day of July they were before the Honourable William Holland Esqr Chief Justice of our Provinciall Court of the Province aforesaid and his Associates Justices of the same Court convict of homicide by chance medley of A certain Thomas Graham late of Philadelphia Merchant and those goods chattles…  Ditto.
  6. 2Apr1711 – Robert Mitchell, London Merchant, assigned, through his attorney, John Batey, any and all interest in the mortgage between himself and Lewis and Martha Duvall to another London Merchant named John Hyde.  In this assignment it was disclosed that Lewis Duvall had already paid Robert Mitchell the sum of ~228₤, leaving an unpaid balance of ~28₤.  Witnessed by John Mitchell and Mike [Nicholas] Jacob.  Continuation of mortgage set forth in Item 44, above.  Note the witness, John Mitchell, believed by the author to have been John Mitchell I.  This was less than one year after his conviction for chance medley, and now he is witnessing a document for one of the jurors who found him guilty.
  7. 13Apr1711 – indenture from Nicholas Spence to Charles Carroll, Thomas Greenfield and Joshua Cæcill.  Witnessed by John Michiell and Nicholas Jacob.  This was the first of several legal documents witnessed by John Mitchell [aka Michiell], which involved Charles Carroll Sr., father-in-law of Thomas Macnemara.
  8. 14Apr1711 – indenture from John Hance Stillman of Cecill County Gentl to James Talbott of Castle Ruvy, Ireland by Charles Carroll his attorney that certain tract known as Steelman’s Delight containing 200 acres for the sum to 2000 pounds sterling.  Witnessed by John Michiell and Nicholas Jacob.  Ditto
  9. 5May1711 – Administration of estate of Thomas Graham 33A.52 A AA £57.16.10:  List of debts: Ruth Leeds, Mr. R. Tilghman, Amos Garrett, Col. Nathaniell Hynson, administrator of Mr. Earle.  Payments to: Mr. Amos Garret, Jasper Yeates for Vincent Hemsley, John Moore, Isaac Norris for bill of Earle (dead), Christopher Grayson, Isaac Norris for Giles Riddle?, Charles Marshall, Henry Pinkney, Alexander Paxton for Edmund Mason and Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer for bill put in hands of Macnemara (runaway), Earle.  Mentions: Nicholas Farnham.  Executor: William Fishbourn.  The demise of Thomas Graham has already been thoroughly discussed.  Simply observe the involvement of Amos Garrett and Thomas Macnemara in Graham’s estate.
  10. 11May1711 – indenture from Charles Carroll, Sr. to Charles Gorsuch Sr. 2 acres situated in Baltimore County.  Witnessed by Anthony Joy and John Michiel.  Ditto Item 51.
  11. 11Jun1711 – intenture from Sarah Clagett, widow, to John Hyde, London Merchant and Charles Carroll of Anne Arundel County 300 acres, part of a tract known as Greenland in Prince George’s County abutting land of Henry Darnell known as Woodyard for the sum of 55 pounds, three schillings.  Witnessed by John Michcell and Nicholas Jacob.  In this indenture we have Charles Carroll Sr. and John Hyde, London Merchant (assignee of Lewis and Martha Duvall’s mortgage from Robert Mitchell) joined as partners.  Charles Carroll was, among other things, an Annapolis store owner and merchant, described as the wealthiest man in Maryland at his death in 1718.
  12. 19Mar1715 – Indenture from Alexander Parran of Calvert County, Merchant to Charles Carroll, Esq. of Annapolis a tract of land in Calvert County known as Parran’s Parte containing 300 acres, another tract in Calvert County containing 90 acres, and 1000 acres lying in Baltimore County for the sum of ₤19, 12s 5p. sterling.  Witnessed by John Michiell and Richard Pansson.  Filed by Thomas Macnemara, Esq., acting as attorney for Alexander Parran.  In this document we have an intermixing of Charles Carroll, Thomas Macnemara and John Mitchell.
  13. 6Sep1716 – indenture from Capt. Richard Smith of Calvert County to Charles Carroll, Esq. of Annapolis 486 acres in Princes George’s County, known as Locust Thickett, for sum of 300 pounds sterling.  Witnessed by Thomas Cook, John Michiell and Charles Adams before Samuel Young, Justice.  Ditto Item 51.
  14. 10Sep1716 – indenture from Richard Smith of Patuxent to Charles Carroll, Esq. of Annapolis 1250 acres in Baltimore County for sum of 125 pounds sterling.  Witnessed by John Michell and Charles Adams before Samuel Young, Justice.  Ditto.
  15. 29Apr1717 – Indenture from Robert Tyler, Gentleman of Prince George’s County to John Mitchell [II], planter of Prince George’s County for sum of 3000 tobacco a tract of land called Tyler’s Pasture in Prince George’s County containing 101 acres.  Witnessed: Richard Keen and William Head.  Folio 6/533.  This almost certainly was a record for John Mitchell II.  Such belief is predicated in large part by the reference to his being a “planter”, the same occupation accorded John Mitchell II in later records known to be associated with him, and not his father.  Robert Tyler appeared on numerous records in this area of Prince George‘s County near the headwaters of Collington Branch.  Robert Tyler was married to Susannah Duvall, daughter of Maureen Duvall, and sister or half-sister of Lewis and Samuel Duvall, each of whom owned lands abutting Robert Tyler near or in Darnell’s Grove.  It is believed that John Mitchell II lived on this tract of land for more than 20 years.  There may have been no connection, but William Atterbury and his wife, Sarah Mitchell, lived for many years next to John and Richard Keen, near Keen’s Spring in Loudoun County, VA in the 1750’s and 60’s.
  16. 29Apr1717 – Indenture from Robert Tyler, Gentleman of Prince George’s County to Charles Hyatt, planter of Prince George’s County for sum of 30₤ a tract of land containing 174 acres known as Tyler’s Pasture, bounded by a tract of land formerly laid out for John Mitchell [Jr.], being the remainder of the whole tract.  Witnsessed: Richard Keen and William Head.  Folio 621   Ditto.

NOTE:  On the same date Robert Tyler subdivided and sold Tyler’s Pasture in two separate tracts: (1) containing 101 acres to John Mitchell II, and (2) containing 174 acres to Charles Hyatt, who two years later conveyed to Rev. Jacob Henderson, husband of Martha Ridgely, widow of Col. Henry Ridgely.  Robert Tyler acquired Tyler’s Pasture by patent abstracted as follows:

60.1 – “Tyler’s Pasture” of 265 acres, surveyed 8 June 1715 for Robert Tyler beginning att a bound white oake standing on the north side of a small branch being the head of the North East branch of the Eastern branch of the Potomack River. Patented 10 August 1715.[15]

Given the foregoing description of the location of Tyler’s Pasture it would appear to have been situated to the northwest on Darnall’s Grove, in that “a small branch of the North East Branch of the Eastern Branch of the Potomac” would place its location somewhere in the vicinity of the headwaters of present day Beaver Dam Creek, just west of Bowie.

  1. 27Jun1719 – Indenture from Charles Hyatt, planter of Prince George’s County to Rev. Jacob Henderson, Cleric, Prince George’s County for sum of 64₤ a tract of land called Tyler’s Pasture in Prince George’s County, bounded by tract laid out for John Mitchell, containing 174 acres.  Witnessed: Joseph Belt and Basil Waring.  Folio 194/781.  This tract abutted the land owned by John Mitchell II.  It should be noted that Rev. Jacob Henderson married Mary Stanton Duvall Ridgely, widow of Maureen Duvall and Col Henry Ridgely) in about 1712.
  2. 15Oct1722 – The Petition of Susanna Mitchell [Burgess] [widow of John Mitchell I] a Languishing Prisoner in Prince Georges County was read And Ordered that her Creditors have Notice thereof That if they think fit they may Appear and make their Objections thereto this Sessions.  Based on the indenture contained in Item 65, hereinafter, this Susanna Mitchell was almost certainly the widow of John Mitchell I.
  3. 27Nov1723 – Indenture from John Hyde, Merchant of London to Charles Carroll [Jr.], Physician of Annapolis.  Whereas Lewis Duvall of Anne Arundel County purchased a parcel of land from Robert Tyler in Prince George’s County called Martha’s Choice, part of a tract called Darnell’s Grove, bounded by Henry Ridgley and Samuel Duvall; Lewis Duvall and Martha, his wife, held mortgage dated 8Oct1706, mortgage then sold to Robert Mitchell; Mitchell’s attorney, John Batie, by assignment dated 2Apr1711 made over to John Hyde; for 75₤ paid by Charles Carroll [Jr.] to John Bradford, attorney for John Hyde, purchased Martha’s Choice.  Witnessed: John Bradford Jr. and Walter Hoxton.  Folio 561.  Charles Carroll Jr. purchased the tract of land called Martha’s Choice, formerly part of Darnell’s Grove, from John Hyde, London Merchant.  The basis for this acquisition may have had something to do with the fact that his mother was Mary Darnell, daughter of Henry Darnell, original patentee of Darnell’s Grove.
  4. 1724 – An Act for the Relief of Sundry Languishing Prisoners therein mentioned. Whereas John Medcalf and Susanna Mitchell of Prince Georges County …  Ditto, Item 62, above.
  5. ,:2Feb1725/6 – Indenture Enrolled 2Mar1725/6.  From: Susanna Mitchell, wife of John Mitchell, mariner, late of Prince George’s County To: Philip Lee, Gentleman, late Sheriff of Prince George’s County for sundry debts according to an act of Assembly in Annapolis in Oct and Nov1725 for the relief of languishing prisoners; a tract of land called Greenwood bequeathed by my mother [Ursula Painter Burgess Moore] for my natural life; containing 380 acres in Prince Georges County.  Signed and Sealed: Susanna Mitchell.  Witnessed: Ralph Crabb, Thomas Gantt.  Acknowledged by Susanna Mitchell.  Folio 712[16]  This was the last record found either directly or indirectly connected to John Mitchell I.  This indenture clearly involved John Mitchell I’s widow, Susanna Burgess Mitchell, who had been languishing in Princes George’s County jails for over five years.  It is not known exactly when John Mitchell I had died, but clearly he was deceased sometime before Feb1726, hence the reference to his having been “late of Prince George‘s County”.  The author believes that John Mitchell I had died around 1717/8, before his wife was imprisoned as a debtor.

We have now been presented with a relatively long string of records believed by the author to have involved John Mitchell I; from the death of his father, William II, to the birth of four (perhaps five) children to two different wives: Sarah (lnu) and Susanna Burgess, to his employment as a doorkeeper for the General Assembly in Annapolis, to a business partnership with Amos Garrett, former Annapolis Mayor, to his aiding and abetting Thomas Macnemara, son-in-law of Charles Carroll Sr., to his witnessing of numerous legal documents for Charles Carroll Sr., etal., and ultimately to his death probably in Prince George’s County around 1717/8.  This is much more information than is typically found for an individual of the middling class in colonial Maryland, particularly since he is known to have owned only one piece of real estate: PoplarNeck.  His wife described him as having been a “mariner”.  This was the only instance found among all the various records compiled for John Mitchell I, in which he was credited with an actual occupation.  Following is a brief description of the working class hierarchy in Maryland in the colonial period:

“At the base of the social ladder were the laboring classes, which included both enslaved and free persons ranging from apprentices to master craftsmen.  Next came the middling sort: shopkeepers, artisans, and skilled mariners.  Above them stood the merchant elites who tended to be actively involved in the city’s social and political affairs, as well as in the buying, selling, and trading of goods.”

It seems probable to the author that John Mitchell I became trained as a mariner at a relatively young age, probably while living at South River.  In its infancy, London Towne became an important shipping point on the Chesapeake, before losing prominence to Annapolis in the latter part of the 17th century.  That training probably allowed him to establish important commercial associations with the trading and mercantile interests along the Chesapeake, and particularly at Annapolis, which by 1685 had become the main trading center of the colony. 

He is known to have owned only one piece of real estate, that being his 100 acre moiety of Poplar Neck, which he and Susanna sold in 1706.  Given the timing of this sale, it seems likely that it occurred within only a few months of his having reached his 40th year of age.  That being the case, it suggests that he did not depend solely on the income from that property for his livelihood.  Most of his records suggest that he and Susanna lived in Annapolis following their marriage, yet the birth of their two sons were recorded at All Hallows Church near London Town.  Many of his business dealings appear to have been involved with the family of Charles Carroll, suggesting that he may have had some particular connection with Charles Carroll, or one of Carroll’s wives.  He may have owned a home in Annapolis, as he was referred to as a “gentleman” of St. Ann’s Parish, Annapolis in the murder indictment in 1710. 

At this juncture in our exploration of the John Mitchells of Ann Arundel and Prince George’s Counties it will be helpful to present some background on several pioneering families that immigrated to Maryland in the mid- to late-17th century, branches of which settled in the vicinity of William Mitchell II and John Mitchell I at South River, and of John Mitchell II near Collington Hundred [aka Calverton Manor].  But first, let’s set the stage with a quick overview of the provincial government during the first century of its existence:

“The province began as a proprietary colony of the English Lord Baltimore, who wished to create a haven for English Catholics in the new world at the time of the European wars of religion. Although Maryland was an early pioneer of religious toleration in the English colonies, religious strife among Anglicans, Puritans, Catholics, and Quakers was common in the early years, and Puritan rebels briefly seized control of the province. In 1689, the year following the Glorious Revolution, John Coode led a rebellion that removed Lord Baltimore from power in Maryland. Power in the colony was restored to the Baltimore family in 1715 when Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore, insisted in public that he was a Protestant.”[17]

These early pioneering families include the Darnalls, Carrolls, Ridgelys, Duvalls, Tylers and Rileys; for which brief family biographical sketches are presented in order as follows:

Darnalls

“At the time of the establishment of Prince George’s County, one of the most prominent men in the province was Colonel Henry Darnell, a cousin of the first wife of Charles, third Lord Baltimore.  Darnell had settled in Maryland prior to May1674, when he was elected to the Lower House of the General Assembly from Calvert County.  He was married to Mrs. Eleanor Hatton Brooke, widow of Major Thomas Brooke.  Darnell acquired large land holdings in that part of Calvert County which later became Prince George’s and lived at his estate in Prince George’s County called the Woodyard.  Colonel Darnell was a Roman Catholic.  Under proprietary rule he had been a member of the Council and was one of the Council of State and Board of Deputy Governors whom Baltimore left in charge of the province from 1684 to 1689.  He had also been Chancellor and Commissary General.  Since the Lord Proprietor retained control of the patronage of the offices administering his personal income during the royal governance of the province [1689-1715], it was Colonel Henry Darnall who was looking after the Proprietary’s interests in 1696, serving as His Lordship’s Agent and Receiver General, Keeper of His Lordship’s Great Seal, and Rent Roll Keeper.  Colonel Darnall held all of these important and profitable offices, except that of Rent Roll Keeper, until his death, 16Jun1711…  Although Colonel Darnall had moved to an estate in Anne Arundel County shortly before his death, he must have died at the “Woodyard” in Prince George’s County, as he was buried there… Henry Darnall, Esq. (son and heir of Colonel Henry Darnall) inherited from his father a vast estate of over 13,000 acres of land, together with the Negroes and stock on it.  He made his home at the “Woodyard“, where his father had lived before him.  Here he lived in such an elegant and lavish style, which coupled with the low price received at this time for tobacco, caused him to become so deeply indebted to his merchants in London, William Black and John Hyde, that he finally lost all of his holdings to them.  He died in 1737.”[18]

Part of the “large land holdings” acquired by Colonel Henry Darnell was a tract called Darnall’s Grove containing approximately 3,800 acres on 28Jun1682[19], which abutted Philip Calvert’s Collington or Calverton Manor in the freshets of Collington Creek generally situated as shown in Figure 9-1.  This figure contains an excerpt taken from a plat map reconstruction created by Louise Joyner Hienton[20] and overlaid onto a Google map of that area.  Several parcels relevant to our investigation of the John Mitchell families have been highlighted in light yellow, including Greenwood and Westphalia.  As evidenced by this map, Darnall’s Grove was situated along the west side of Collington Creek, and just west of Enfield Chase and Catton, which were acquired by Governor Samuel Ogle from the Rev. Jacob Henderson in Mar1737.  So, as we trace the families in this excursus into allied families, there will be frequent connections and references to Darnall’s Grove, Calverton and Brough.

Carrolls

Charles Carroll, the progenitor of the Carroll family in Maryland was born in about 1660 on a 136 acre tract called Aghagurty in Shirkyran Parish in the Irish midlands.  Having lost most of their ancestral estate of some 1773 acres during the Irish Revolt in 1641, Charles’ great grandfather, Daniel Carroll, his son Anthony, and his grandson, Daniel were able to negotiate a lease hold on Aghagurty, which ironically was a remnant of their former ancestral lands.  Charles Carroll, the 2nd son of Daniel, spent his boyhood in Ely O’Carroll. 

“Despite his family’s reduced circumstances, he managed to acquire a remarkable education.  Leaving Ireland at a young age for schooling in France, he studied the humanities at Lille and the civil and canon law at Douai.  In May1685 Carroll was admitted to London’s Inner Temple, and three years later, in Jul1688, he received a commission from Charles Calvert, third Lord Baltimore, as Attorney General of Maryland…  Carroll landed in Maryland on 1Oct1688…  Within a year of his arrival in Maryland, an anti-proprietary Protestant revolt known as Coode’s Rebellion deprived Roman Catholics [of which Carroll was one] of the right to hold office and confronted Carroll with the necessity of pursuing his goals as a private citizen…  Catholics accounted for approximately 25% of Maryland’s 25,000 inhabitants in the late 1680’s.  [In spite of the restrictions imposed on Catholics in Maryland after Coode’s Rebellion, with the Proprietor’s patronage Catholics continued to] monopolize the most powerful and lucrative offices in the colony’s government… Deeply angered by the course of events that so rudely thwarted his expectations, Charles Carroll the Settler did not accept the overthrow of the Proprietor with good grace…  Although his benefactor Charles Calvert had lost political control of the colony, he retained ownership of the land and rights to specific revenues…  Charles Carroll carved out a key role for himself in this organization, where he could serve without having to swear any objectionable oaths.  Indeed, his accrual of offices in the proprietary establishment … attests both to his ability and to his ambition. This then was the milieu into which Charles Carroll the Settler came — a society open enough to offer ample opportunity to a young man on the make.  His basic strategy was deceptively simple; he made a habit of marrying well…  In Nov1689 he contracted a marriage with a wealthy widow named Martha Ridgely Underwood.  Several years his senior and the mother of four young children, Martha had come to Maryland as an indentured servant, but by 1671 she had married the man to whom she was bound — Robert Ridgely, a prominent attorney and holder of several provincial offices.  Upon Ridgely’s death in 1681, Martha inherited a sizable estate consisting of two plantations – a dwelling plantation of 94 acres on St. Inigoe’s Creek in St. Mary’s County and a 1,200 acre tobacco plantation on Wicomico River in Somerset County — along with all of her husband’s personalty…  Into this convenient breach stepped the enterprising and ambitious Charles Carroll, who happened to be the executor of Martha’s late husband, Anthony Underwood…  In Nov1690, Martha Ridgely Underwood Carroll died in childbirth. Using his deceased wife’s estate as capital, Charles Carroll launched a trading venture from his home on Inigoe’s Creek, which became the impetus for the creation of a business enterprise unsurpassed by any other Marylander in his day.  Carroll’s unwavering support of the proprietor earned him the approbation and patronage of Col. Henry Darnell, the most powerful political figure in Maryland as described in the foregoing biographical sketch.  In Feb1693/4 he moved decisively to consolidate his gains by marrying Col. Darnell’s fifteen year old daughter, Mary.[21]

Carroll had hardly recited his wedding vows when his fortunes took still  another turn for the better. Darnall bestowed on his new son-in-law, whose abilities he recognized, two Prince George’s County tracts totaling  1,381 acres.  Far more important, three months later, in May 1694, when Maryland’s land office reopened, he appointed Carroll clerk, a position that carried a salary of approximately £100 a year and placed him at the strategic center of all land transactions. This was precisely where Darnall needed a “point man” whom he could trust to protect not only the proprietor’s interests but also those of Maryland’s beleaguered Catholic gentry.

Carroll’s economic career exemplifies the classic pattern of broadly diversified Chesapeake entrepreneurs who built fortunes by combining strategic marriages with the activities of a planter, banker, lawyer, merchant, and proprietary officeholder.  Land constituted the foundation of his wealth: when he died in I720, Carroll owned 47,777 acres and was the largest landholder in the province.  He also possessed a warrant for 20,000 additional acres, 10,000 of which were patented by his son Charles Carroll of Annapolis in I723.  Conservatively, the Settler’s acreage was worth ₤20,000.  He accumulated this estate by several methods.  Nearly  three-fifths of the land he held at the time of his death, 26,413 acres, he had acquired by patent.  He also owned 13,026 acres that he had purchased and another 12,249 obtained through mortgage foreclosures.  Additionally, the records show that during his lifetime Carroll sold 7,418 acres that he had either bought or acquired by foreclosure.

The next quantum leap in the Settler’s accumulation of land occurred in 1711, the year his father-in-law, Henry Darnall, died.  Once again,  Carroll’s personal loss was compensated by a distinct improvement in his economic position.  He immediately assumed both of Darnall’s important offices in the proprietor’s private establishment, becoming agent and  receiver general as well as keeper of the great seal, and he acted in these capacities for over a year until his official appointment to the posts in the  fall of 1712.  Collectively, the positions enhanced his potential income by ₤500 to ₤900 sterling annually and provided him with the resources to expand his planting and mercantile activities.

Within two years of assuming Darnall’s high proprietary offices, Carroll replaced [John] Hyde as the colony’s largest lender.  In 1712 and 1713 Hyde made substantial loans totaling ₤I,704, but the Provincial Court deeds record no further activity on his part.  By contrast, between 1711 and 1720  the Settler made twenty-four loans worth ₤4,464.[22]

The basis for John Mitchell I’s apparent affiliation with Charles Carroll Sr. is not clear.  That connection probably did not extend beyond a sporadic and tenuous nature.  It seems more likely that the closest connection with Charles Carroll was of an indirect nature facilitated through Carroll’s son-in-law, Thomas Macnemara.  Although John Mitchell was referenced as a “gentleman” in the court record, he very likely was nothing more than a minor merchant/mariner of Annapolis with good business connections, i.e., Amos Garrett, Thomas Macnemara and William Fishbourn.  But sufficiently well-connected as to be called on with some frequency to witness important business transactions for Charles Carroll, etal.

Ridgelys

During the early formation of the Maryland province there are found records to two different sets of Ridgleys: Robert Ridgley of St. Marys City, and Henry and William Ridgely (brothers) of Anne Arundel.  This biographical sketch of the Ridgelys will focus principally on Colonel Henry Ridgley, as it was he who had the greatest influence in the Collington area of Prince Georges County.  Yet there will also be references to Robert Ridgely of St. Marys, as some of his daughters intermarried with other key parties in this allied family analysis.  The ancestral origins of Col. Henry Ridgely is summarized in the following extract:

“From the manuscript of Judge Nicholas Ridgely, of Delaware, now in possession of Mrs. Henry Ridgely, of Dover, and from the records of Annapolis, I find the Ridgelys, of Annapolis, and of Delaware, descended from the “Hon. Henry Ridgely, of Devonshire, England, who settled in Maryland, in 1659, upon a royal grant of 6,000 acres. He became a Colonel of Militia, member of the Assembly of the Governmental Council, Justice of the Peace, and Vestryman of the Parish Church of St. Ann’s.”…  Henry Ridley demands lands for transporting himself, which is entered in Burles book, and Elizabeth Howard, his wife, and John Hall, Stephen Gill, Richard Ravens and Jane his servants, in the year 1659…  The next entry is 1661, when “James Wardner (Warner) and Henry Ridgely were granted a certificate for 600 acres, called ‘ Wardridge,’ on the north side of South River, joining a tract, ‘Broome,’ formally Richard Beard’s, adjoining Neale Clarke’s.” [23]  ” In 1679, Henry Ridgely, Sr., was commissioned associate Justice of Anne Arundel; in 1689, he was appointed “Captain of the Foote”; in 1692, he was a member of the Lower House; in 1694, he was promoted Major, and in the same year was advanced to Colonel in the Militia. In 1685, Colonel Henry surveyed “Ridgely’s Forrest.” It covered all the land surrounding Annapolis Junction and Savage Factory. In 1699, he granted to his son Henry, 220 acres of “Broome” and 200 acres of “Wardridge.” Upon this combined plantation, Henry Ridgely, Jr., having removed from his Annapolis homestead, died in early manhood, thirty years of age, in 1699. There in the reserved grave yard stood, for years, the well preserved tablet to his memory. In 1702, Colonel Henry sold Charles Carroll “the house and lot in Annapolis, lately in the tenture of my son, adjoining the lots of Charles and Rachel Kilburne.” In 1696, Colonel Henry Ridgely married Mary (Stanton) Duvall, widow of Mareen Duvall, the Huguenot, and with her administered on Duvall’s estate. He then removed across the [Patuxent] river to Prince George’s County, where he became a merchant. His will, written in 1705, with codicils, was probated in 1710. It reads: “I give to my wife Mary, my home, plantation, ‘Cotton‘ [Catton]; ‘Mary’s Delight‘ and ‘Larkin’s Folly,’ which I bought of Thomas Larkin…”[24]

So, from the foregoing biographical sketch we are informed that Henry Ridgely arrived in the Maryland colony around 1658, having transported himself, his wife, Elizabeth Howard and several other redemptioners, for which he received a grant of 6000 acres, probably on the north side of South River in Anne Arundel County.  He rose rather rapidly in the ranks of the local militia from “Captain of foote” to Major and ultimately to Colonel.  He served several years as a Justice of Peace, member of the Lower House, and vestryman for St. Ann’s parish, Annapolis.  Col. Ridgely’s second wife was named Sarah (lnu), who was the mother of several of Col. Ridgley’s children, including his son, Henry Jr.  After Sarah’s death, Col. Ridgley married Mary (Stanton) Duvall, the widow of Maureen Duvall, in 1696, after which they moved from Annapolis and settled on his plantation at Catton in Prince George’s County (see Figure 9-1).  Col. Ridgely’s LWT was written in 1705 and probated in 1710.  His widow inherited several key properties from each of her deceased husbands: Maureen Duvall and Col. Henry Ridgley.  A notable bequest was made in this LWT abstracted as follows:

“If ‘Mary’s Delight’ is not possessed by an heir, it is to be divided between John Brewer, Joseph Brewer, Thomas Odall and Henry Odall, sons of Thomas Odall, (elsewhere written Odell).”[25]

It would appear that these Brewer and Odall children were Col. Ridgely’s grandchildren by birth to his daughter-in-law, Sarah Warner, widow of his deceased son, Henry Ridgely Jr.  Thusly, it would appear that Sarah Warner may have been married to a Mr. Brewer before marrying Henry Ridgely Jr., and then married to Thomas Odall after Henry Jr.’s decease.  These facts may be important to tracing the chain of title to various portions of Darnall’s Grove, of which Mary’s Delight is believed to have been a part.  Soon after Col. Ridgley’s death his relatively young widow married Rev. Jacob Henderson.

Duvalls

Maureen Duvall was the progenitor of the Maryland Duvall family.  An extremely well-documented biography on this Duvall family may be found in Maureen Duvall of Middle Plantation by Harry Wright Newman published in 1952.  This Duvall family sketch and many other references to Duvalls in this chapter will frequently cite this work by Harry Wright Newman.  Maureen Duvall was transported into the Maryland Colony around 1652 by Colonel William Burgess.  Burgess was a shipowner and merchant and is credited with having transported upwards of 500 redemptioners into the colony in the 1650’s:

“It is known and proved by documents that he was a Jacobite or follower of James Stuart, the son of Charles II, thus proving his conservativism or opposition to the liberal elements which supported the Dutch claims of William and Mary of Orange. It is also proved that Mareen DuVall was brought into the Province by William Burgess, one-time Quaker and sympathizer of the Puritan regime in Maryland. Furthermore, it is proved that he served a certain period of indentureship under John Covell…  If his indentureship were for five years, being exiled in 1652 or 1653, it would bring him to the year 1657 [1659?] or about the time he became a freeholder, married, and begun life anew as a subject of Lord Baltimore under the British Crown…  By July 25, 1659, however, Maren Duvall had completed his period of service and as a freeholder applied for his rights to 50 acres of land. The following is an exact copy from the original entry:

“Marin Du Vail demands fifty acres of land having performed his time of service with John Covell* and brought in by William Burgess. Warrant issued for fifty acres return 25 December next…” [26]

Before moving forward with the history of Maureen Duvall, it is important that we expand a little on his master, John Covell:

“*…John Covell, a provocative Puritan who fought the conservatives or the followers of the Lord Proprietary. When Lord Baltimore regained his Province at the downfall of Cromwell, John Covell and his wife, Anne, refused to take the oath of allegiance to the Calverts. John Covell was deceased by April 10, 1659, and his widow even refused to administer upon his estate by which she would ipso facto recognize the jurisdiction of the proprietary court.  Nonetheless, the agents of Lord Baltimore did not withhold her rights to land and granted the widow “Covell’s Folly” which adjoined Middle Plantation…  The male [Covell] line definitely became extinct [with the death of John Covell Jr. in about 1674], but Ann Mott alias Lambert [Covell] who in 1684 was living at “Covell’s Trouble” on the north side of South River was in possession of the Covell plantations and exercised her rights of assignment. While the identity of Ann Mott alias Lambert is not clear, she was undoubtedly the one-time widow Ann Covell. In 1664 still the unreconstructed Puritan she refused to exhibit an inventory of the estate of John Mott. The latter died testate and named his daughter, Elizabeth Mott, and wife (unnamed). “

From the foregoing we have a somewhat disjointed history of John Covell’s widow, Ann Mott [aka Lambert], formerly, widow of John Mott.  In the next section we will learn that Elizabeth Mott, presumably the daughter of John Mott and Ann [aka Lambert], was the second wife of William Mitchell II and step-mother of John Mitchell I.  In fact, it was through a rather elaborate chain of title that Poplar Neck passed from William Burgess to Richard Beard to John Mott to Adam Mott, thence to William Mitchell II.  So, from this history of Ann (lnu, possibly Lambert), widow of John Mott, mother of Elizabeth Mott, and widow of John Covell, coupled with the chain of title for Poplar Neck, is intertwined connections to both William Michell II and John Mitchell I.  Moreover, we find that John Covell owned a tract immediately abutting Middle Plantation, the home plantation of Maureen Duvall.  The reader may also remember that in the brief presentation on Richard Beard it was stated that Ann Covell was a fellow Quaker, who held meetings at here home on South River.

“In 1664 he signed his name as Maren Duvall, the occasion being an inquest into the death of a servant of Joseph Fincher.  He was also accorded the title of “Mr.” bestowed at that period only on men of rank and fashion.  In his living room at Middle Plantation, there were two law books, so his intellectual attainments can not be denied…” 

“The name of his first Maryland wife, not altogether discounting the possibility of his having married first in France, has remained a mystery to her many descendants. She became the mother of his older children, but no evidence has been found to prove definitely her issue.  It is likely that his first Maryland wife was the Mary Dewall who was an heir in the last will and testament of Thomas Bouth, of Calvert County, who died without issue in 1672, dating his will February 15, 1671/2. Quoting from the instrument “I give to Mary Dewall the first Cow Calfe that is Calved of my Cowes and one Sow Shoot.” … And there is no foundation for the widely circulated tale that the older children were all born in France.”

Children of Mareen Duvall by Early Marriage or Marriages:

1. John Duvall married Elizabeth Jones, q.v.

2. Mareen Duvall [the Elder], born 1661, married Frances Stockett. q.v.

3. Lewis Duvall married Martha Ridgely [daughter of Robert Ridgely]. q.v.

4. Samuel Duvall, born 1667, married Elizabeth Ijams. q.v.

5. Eleanor Duvall married John Roberts, q.v.

“Invisible factors point to the conclusion that his [2nd] wife, Susannah, was none other than the third and Virginia-born daughter of his compatriot-in-exile, Benois Brasseur, and Marie his wife, one-time of The Clifts, Calvert County.”

Children of Mareen and Susannah Duvall

6. Susannah Duvall, born circa 1677, married Robert Tyler, q.v.

7. Mareen Duvall [the Younger, or Marsh Duvall], born circa 1680, married Elizabeth Jacob, q.v.

8. Catherine Duvall married William Orrick. q.v.

9. Elizabeth Duvall married Abraham Clarke, q.v.

10. Mary Duvall married Henry Hall. q.v.

11. Johanna Duvall, born circa 1685, married Richard Poole, q.v.

12. Benjamin Duvall married Sophia Griffith, q.v.

Land acquisitions included the following:

  • His first land patent was granted on January 1659/60, for 100 acres of land lying at the head of South River which he called “Laval“, after ancestral associations in the Old World.
  • In 1664 by an assignment of 250 acres from John Ewen, 50 acres from Thomas Parsons, and 300 acres from Andrew Skinner, he as “Marin Dewall Carpenter”* applied for a patent of 600 acres which was surveyed under the name of “Middle Plantation“.
  • In 1665 Mareen Duvall and William Young jointly received letters patent to “Rich Neck“, of 200 acres, which lay on the west side of Jacob’s Creek adjoining the lands of Richard Cheyney and John Clark. One hundred acres of land had been assigned Duvall by George Puddington, while William Young had received his assignment from Ann Covill.
  • Later he added to “Middle Plantation“, known as “Duvall’s Addition“.
  • On March 23, 1677/8, for 4,000 lb. tob. he purchased from Thomas Bowdle, then of Calvert County, 375 acres or one-half of “Bowdle’s Choice“, the other half having been purchased by Robert Tyler, Sr., of Resurrection Manor.
  • On January 13, 1679/80, Marine Dewall, Planter, purchased from Robert Proctor, Innholder, and John Gater, Planter, “Morley’s Grove” on a branch of the Patuxent River called Cattaile Branch and “Morley’s Lot“, a tract lying about three miles in the woods on the west side of South River, both tracts containing in all 770 acres.
  • On June 12, 1683, “Mareen Devall, Merchant”, purchased from John Larkin, of Anne Arundel County, Innholder, for 7,000 lbs. tob. “Howerton’s Range“, then lying in Calvert County (later Prince Georges) on the west side of the Patuxent River adjoining the land of Gabriel Parrott.
  • The Great Marsh which later became distinctive with a branch of Mareen the Younger was the plantation known as “[Wilson’s] Plaine” which had been patented by Robert Wilson, Gent., in 1670 and consisted of 300 acres on the west side of a branch of the Patuxent River

On October 11, 1687, Mareen Devall, Henry Ridgely, and Thomas Knighton appraised the estate of Colonel William Burgess, late of Anne Arundel County, deceased.  It is important to note the close affiliation between Maureen Duvall, Henry Ridgely and William Burgess.  Eight years after they appraised the estate of Col. William Burgess, Col. Henry Ridgely would marry Maureen Duvall’s widow, Mary Stanton Duvall.

At Middle Plantation Mareen Duvall, undoubtedly the most eminent and best beloved Frenchman to have settled in Maryland, lived the patriarchal life of a seventeenth-century Maryland planter, merchant, and country gentleman surrounded by his family and servants. That he was fastidious in dress is brought out by the appraisement at his death of his wearing apparel at £18/14/9… The silver plate consisted of 182 ounces, appraised at £46/5/2, a goodly sum in that day,  In his last illness he was administered by Dr. Mordecai Moore, and his death occurred about August 5, 1694.  At the time that Dr. Mordecai Moore was attending the ailing Maureen Duvall, Dr. Moore had already been married to the widow of Col. William Burgess for several years.

So, Maureen Duvall’s plantation home and country store were located on his 600 acre Middle Plantation, which was situated about three miles east of Governor’s Bridge across the Patuxent and in the freshes of Cattail Creek.  Maureen is believed to have lived on Middle Plantation from shortly after its acquisition in 1664 until his death in 1694.  There is uncertainty as to the mother and birth place of Maureen’s oldest sons, Maureen Duvall the Elder and John Duvall.  Some believe that Maureen the Elder and John may have been born before Maureen’s arrival in the Maryland Colony in 1652, but that seems unlikely.  Regardless, there is substantial evidence suggesting that he married a woman named Mary (lnu) shortly after completion of his indentureship around 1658/9, and that his first five children were born to Mary Duvall.  He may have married Susannah Brashears around 1675, as their children are believed to commence with the birth of a daughter named Susannah, with a total of seven children born to Susannah Brashears.  After Susannah’s death Maureen married Mary Stanton, who was named Executrix of his LWT in 1694.

When he filed the patent for Middle Plantation in 1664 Maureen was described as a Carpenter, which in that day referred to someone with extensive woodworking and design skills, including ship building.  In his early years in Maryland he was frequently called on to evaluate and appraise ships at anchor on the Chesapeake.  At Middle Plantation he established a substantial mercantile business that supplied a large part of central Ann Arundel County as well as that area of Calvert County that later became Prince George’s County.  His land holdings included several tracts in future Prince George’s County: Howerton’s Range, Bowdel’s Choice and Wilson‘s Plaine, all shown on Figure 9-1.

In his LWT dated 2Aug1694, probated 13Aug1694, Maureen Duvall makes bequests of land and money to his wife and each of his children summarized as follows:

  • Mary, his wife, named sole Executrix and guardian of children, bequeathed one half (300 acres) northwest part of Middle Plantation containing the main dwelling house and out buildings, if she refuses to administer, then to quietly possess “the thirds of my estate”, remainder to remain in control of Executors;
  • Lewis Duvall, son, the other half of Middle Plantation on which was the dwelling place of Maureen Duvall, the eldest son, plus the other half of Middle Plantation after wife’s decease, plus 150₤;
  • Elizabeth Duvall, daughter, Bowdel’s Choice (375 acres), plus 150 ₤;
  • Benjamin Duvall, son, moiety of Howerton’s Range (200 acres), plus 150 ₤;
  • Katherine Duvall, daughter, moiety of Howerton’s Range (200 acres), plus 150 ₤;
  • Maureen Duvall, the Younger, son, Wilson’s Plaine (300 acres), plus 150 ₤;
  • Mary Duvall, daughter, Morley’s Grove (320 acres) and Morley’s Lott (350 acres), plus 150 ₤;
  • Johanna Duvall, daughter, Larkin’s Choice (311 acres) and Duvall’s Range (200 acres), plus 150 ₤;
  • John Duvall, son, all my wearing apparel, and my silver tobacco box, plus 5 schillings;
  • Eleanor Roberts, daughter, wife of John Roberts, 5 schillings;
  • Maureen Duvall, the Eldest, son, 5 schillings;
  • In event of wife, Mary’s decease, then sons John Duvall and Lewis Duvall, and son-in-law, Robert Tyler to act as sole Executors.
  • Codicil: Susanna, daughter (and wife of Robert Tyler), one silver tankard.

Some researchers interpret the fact that Maureen Duvall the Elder received only a token bequest of 5 schillings, and was to be evicted from his home on the southeast moiety of Middle Plantation in preference to his younger brother, Lewis, to be evidence of an estrangement of Maureen the Elder from his father.  That may well have been the case.  He does seem to have been “cutoff” from his “rightful” inheritance.  Maureen the Elder was married to Frances Stockett in 1688:

“Before 1688 he married into one of the most fashionable and aristocratic families living on the Ridge in Anne Arundel County, and it was undoubtedly a union second to none of his brothers and sisters. He took as his bride Frances Stockett, daughter of Captain Thomas Stockett, Esq., a staunch supporter of the Stuarts who with his three brothers from County Kent after the execution of Charles I in 1649 in order to escape the rule of Cromwell and his ruffians followed Charles II to France and were members of his court at St. Germain during his nine years of exile.  Mary, the wife of Captain Thomas Stockett, was the daughter of Richard Wells, one of the ruling deputies of Maryland during the Commonwealth, whose wife Frances Whyte paradoxically was a daughter of staunch Catholic Royalists and the granddaughter of Richard, Earl of Portland, KG, the treasurer to Charles I. There was consequently a Montague falling in love and marrying a Capulet or a Royalist and High Churchman marrying a daughter of a Puritan and non-comformist.”[27]

It would appear that Maureen the Elder made a most auspicious marriage indeed.  It is difficult to visualize anything in this marriage of his elder son, with which either Maureen Sr. or his wife could have taken umbrage.  However, it should not be overlooked that John Duvall, another of Maureen Sr.’s older sons, was not accorded much respect in his father’s LWT.  Wearing apparel, a snuff box and 5 schillings hardly seems an appropriate share of the father’s estate for an older, if not the oldest son.  Make of it what you will, it does seem that both Maureen the Elder and John Duvall were clearly treated differently from the other nine children.  Perhaps this treatment is reflective of their having been the product of an earlier union, before Maureen Duvall’s arrival in Maryland in 1652.

The main point that should be observed is that it was with descendants of this Duvall family that John Mitchell II had the closest living proximity and with which he had the most noteworthy land transactions.  Shortly, we will observe that John Mitchell III both purchased and sold land to a Lewis and Alice Duvall in the early 1750’s.  In fact, because of the close living proximity and these notable land transactions, the author initially thought that there might actually have been a kinship connection between John Mitchell II and the Duvall’s, possibly through marriage.  After an extensive and fairly exhaustive search, no such kinship connection could be found.

Tylers

One need barely scratch the surface of records around Collington Hundred before encountering some transaction or another involving Robert Tyler Jr.  The Tyler family in Maryland originates from one immigrant, namely Robert Tyler Sr., born at Deptford, Kent, England in about 1637.[28]  He was recorded entering Maryland in 1649 at the age of 12, transported by Henry Catlin.  In 1650 Catlin was appointed one of seven Justices of the Peace for Ann Arundel County, a post he continued to hold until the creation of the Royal province in 1685.  Robert Tyler appears to have lived in the Broad and Town Neck Hundred, between the Severn and Maggoty Rivers in Ann Arundel County from his immigration until at least 1665 where he appeared in the rent rolls as owning four separate tracts of land:

  • 50 acres on Deep Creek Neck surveyed 20Oct1663 for Robert Tyler, on west side of Deep Creek, north of the Severn River purchased of John Worrall.
  • 100 acres surveyed 20Oct1664 for Robert Tyler on south side of Maggoty River, purchased from Alexander Gardiner.
  • 100 acres surveyed on 15Feb1664/5 for Robert Tyler on north side of Severn River, purchased of Charles Rivers.
  • 100 acres survey for Robert Tyler at Brushy Neck on north side of Severn River, purchased 50 acres from Col. Hammond, 40 acres from William Clark, and 10 acres from Alexander Gardiner.

A marriage record exists abstracted as follows:

  • “29Jun1663 – Robert Tyler of Deptford, Kent, Carpenter, bachelor, about 26, married Joane [Sprigg] Ravens.”[29]

NOTE: The reader is alerted to the fact that we will be revisiting this Sprigg family in a future blog post entitled The Miller-Blissett Story in which we will intersect with a descendant of Colonel Thomas Sprigg named Elizabeth Sprigg-Pyle, 3rd wife of Henry Vanmeter.

Joane was a daughter of Thomas Sprigg and Katherine Griffin.  She had been twice married, before marrying Robert Tyler: (1) George Reed, and (2) unknown Ravens.  Joane’s brother, Thomas Sprigg Jr. married Katherine Graves Roper, a daughter of Capt. Thomas Graves of Accomack, VA, and sister of Verlinda Graves, wife of Maryland Governor, William Stone.  Sometime between 1665 and 1670 Robert and Joane relocated from Ann Arundel County to Calvert County, in the area that would become Prince George’s County in 1696.  Commencing in 1667 Robert Tyler began appearing in records as an appraiser of ships, probably due to his knowledge and skill in ship building as a ship’s carpenter.  In Aug1670 Robert Tyler purchased a 750 acre tract in Resurrection Hundred (later called Collington Hundred) called Brough (see Figure 9-1).  Robert was appointed a Justice of the Peace for Calvert County in 1670, serving as Justice until 1673.  After establishing himself on Brough plantation, Robert Tyler became styled as a “planter”.  While living at Brough Robert and Joane were blessed with the birth of two children: Elizabeth ~1669/0, and Robert Jr. 1771.

Recognizing his mortality Robert Tyler wrote his LWT in Sep1673, proven in Apr1674, bequeathing as follows:

  • To wife, Joane, home plantation known as Brough, containing 750 acres, excepting 60 acres therefrom for son, Robert;
  • To son, Robert, 60 acres of Brough, plus 375 acres adjoining, called Bowdel’s Choice, plus two slaves named Anthony and Sue;
  • To daughter, Elizabeth, one slave named William;
  • To Thomas Sprigg [brother-in-law], Samuel Taylor and Robert Taylor, in event of Joane predeceasing the children, shall assume guardianship of the children.

Robert’s widow, Joan Sprigg Reade Ravens Tyler married John Beale shortly after 30Jul1674, and she moved along with her children to her new husband’s plantation at Norwood’s Beale in Ann Arundel, but not before Joan had a prenuptial agreement recorded to protect her and her children’s assets.  Joan gave birth to another son named John Beale Jr. and died between June and July 1675.  Per the terms of Robert Tyler’s LWT, guardianship of Elizabeth and Robert Jr. befell their deceased mother’s brother, Col. Thomas Sprigg Jr..  Brough plantation descended to Robert Tyler Jr., via the terms of his father’s LWT, once he attained his majority.  According to Don Corbly, Brough was situated in Henry Darnall’s land, known as Darnall’s Grove.[30]  This assertion is not correct.  Actually, Brough plantation sat separate and apart from Darnall’s Grove to the southeast, abutting Bowdle’s Choice to the southeast, Essington to the east, and Riley’s Lott to the west (see Figure 9-1).  The confusion with Darnall’s Grove may have arisen from the fact that Robert Tyler Jr. purchased 3,000 acres of the original 3,800 acre Darnall’s Grove on 24Jun1700, for 650₤ from Richard Marsham, and may have established his own home plantation upon part of Darnall’s Grove.

Robert Tyler Jr. (1671-1738) was reared from age four years until age 17 by his uncle, Col. Thomas Sprigg.  On reaching the age of 17 and per the terms of his father’s LWT, Robert Jr. inherited and became the master of Brough manor as well as the adjoining 350 acre tract called Bowdel’s Choice around 1689.  It is believed that Robert Tyler Jr. married Susannah Duvall, daughter of Maureen Duvall and Susanna Brashears sometime before 1694.  This belief is predicated on the fact that Maureen Duvall named Robert Tyler as one of the Executors to his LWT.  Susanna and Robert Jr. are believed to have had eight children abstracted as follows:

  1. Edward TYLER b: 2 SEP 1696 in Anne Arundel Co, Md
  2. Mary TYLER b: 1 FEB 1696/97 in Anne Arundel Co, Md
  3. Susannah TYLER b: 14 JUL 1700 in Anne Arundel Co, Md
  4. Elizabeth TYLER b: 22 NOV 1701 in Anne Arundel Co, Md
  5. Priscilla TYLER b: 12 JUN 1703 in Anne Arundel Co, Md
  6. Robert TYLER III b: 9 AUG 1704 in Anne Arundel Co, Md
  7. Mareen TYLER b: 20 FEB 1706/07 in Anne Arundel Co, Md
  8. Jane TYLER b: 20 MAY 1709 in Anne Arundel Co, Md

Susanna must have died sometime between May1709 and Jun1718, for on 10Jun1718 Robert Tyler was recorded marrying Mary Dodd abstracted as follows:

  • 12Jun1718 – Robert Tyler, Gentleman of Prince George’s County married Mary Dodd, widow of Annapolis. (4-AA-405).[31]

For the record it should be noted that many researchers misidentify the 2nd wife of Robert Tyler Jr. as having been Mary Stanton, the widow of Maureen Duvall and the widow of Col. Henry Ridgely.  This confusion is probably caused by the fact that Rev. Jacob Henderson married Mary Stanton Duvall Ridgley around 1712/3, and then almost 35 years later married Mary Tyler, widow of Robert Tyler in Ann Arundel on 2Nov1746 (9-AA-246).[32]  Even further clouding this issue is the fact that Robert Tyler III married a woman named Mary Wade abstracted as follows:

  1. 7Jan1724/5 – Robert Tyler Jr. [III] married Mary Wade (2-PG-4).[33]

So, in theory, the widow, Mary Tyler, who married the Rev. Jacob Henderson on 2Nov1746, could have been the widow of either Robert Tyler Jr. or Robert Tyler III.  Louise Joyner Hienton expressed the opinion that the Rev. Jacob Henderson married as his 2nd wife Mary Dodd Tyler, the widow of Robert Tyler Jr.  The author is inclined to accept this opinion, as there is evidence suggesting that Robert Tyler III was still living in Nov1746.  In fact, he appears to have still been alive in Aug1751 when Rev. Henderson wrote his LWT.  In his LWT Rev. Henderson made the following bequest:

“To Robert Tyler, son of Robert Tyler, [and?] my wife’s niece and his hrs. forever, after decease of wife, the afsd. tracts of land, provided he gives to his sister Mary Tyler and her hrs., 200 A. land out of the lands he has in the neighborhood…”

Because of the confusing entanglements of intermarriages involving the Duvalls, Tylers and Hendersons, the foregoing reference to the purported kinship between Rev. Henderson and his devisee, Robert Tyler, might be interpreted two different ways.  Either interpretation depends on an understanding of the meaning of the terms “niece” and “nephew” as applied in the 18th century.  Rather than meaning the offspring of one’s siblings, as is the common usage at present day, the terms “niece” and “nephew” in the 18th century typically referred to a step-child.  So, with that in mind, here are the two possible interpretations of the phrase “my wife’s niece”:

  1. It is possible that Rev. Henderson was referring to his first wife, Mary Stanton Duvall Ridgely, in which case he could have been referring to her step-daughter, Susanna Duvall Tyler, in which case this Robert Tyler would have been Robert Tyler III, son of Susanna Duvall and Robert Tyler Jr.
  2. Another, less likely interpretation, which gets us to the same conclusion, is that Rev. Henderson may have meant “nephew” in stead of “niece”.  In this case a reference to “my wife’s nephew” could have referred to his present wife, Mary Dodd Tyler, in which case Robert Tyler would have been her step-son, and son of Robert Tyler II and Susanna Duvall.

Either way, we are left with the likelihood that the Robert Tyler receiving the bequest from the Rev. Henderson was the son of Robert Tyler II and Susanna Duvall.  Consequently, the 2nd wife of Rev. Jacob Henderson would have been Mary Dodd Tyler, the widow of Robert Tyler II, as proffered by Louise Joyner Hienton.[34]

Although there are many very interesting aspects to this Tyler family, for the purposes of this “brief” excursus, we will focus our attention on Robert Tyler II and his wife, Susanna Duvall, and particularly on their land acquisitions.  Following is a list of properties that at some point in his life were in possession of Robert Tyler II:

2Jul1670 – Bowdel’s Choice of 750 acres in Patuxent Hundred, surveyed 2Jul1670 for Thomas Bowdle on the west side of the Patuxent River on the west side of land of Domerrius Cartwright.  Posession [in ~1707] 375 acres Robert Tyler; 375 acres Abraham Clarke.  This tract has a rather interesting chain of title.  In Apr1674 375 acres [a one-half moiety] was in possession of Robert Tyler Sr., which he bequeathed to his son, Robert Tyler Jr.  By Aug1694 one-half of Bowdel’s Choice was in possession of Maureen Duvall Sr., which he devised to his daughter, Elizabeth Duvall.  Probably the half of Bowdel’s Choice bequeathed to Elizabeth Duvall was the remainder, not in possession of Robert Tyler, since tax roll records show 375 acres in possession of Elizabeth’s husband, Abraham Clarke, with the other 375 acres in possession of Robert Tyler Jr.

30Aug1670 –          Brough, Robert Tyler, 1670, Prince George’s County, 750 acres, Liber 12, Folio 616, Liber 14, Folio 88.  “750 acres in Patuxent surveyed 30Aug1670 for Robert Tyler [Sr.] on the west side of the north fork of the Patuxent.  Resurveyed by said Tyler [actually Robert Tyler Jr.] 8Sep1704, found to be 720 acres.  Possession [in ~1710] 520 acres Robert Tyler; 200 acres Dr. [Mordecai] Moore.  18Feb1736/7 Tyler sold portion of Brough called Jacob’s Addition to Rev. Jacob Henderson.  Tyler had earlier conveyed a portion of Brough to Richard Duckett called Duckett’s Hope.  Brough, Robert Tyler, 1703, Prince George’s County, 720 acres, Liber C.D., Folio 232.  This was the tract acquired by Robert Tyler Sr., which became the family plantation home for several generations.  Brough was left to the use of Robert Tyler’s widow, Joane Sprigg, but on her death or his age of 17 years, it devolved to Robert Tyler Jr.

1695 – Tylers Chance, Robert Tyler, 1695, Prince George’s County, 210 acres, Liber B.B., No. 3, Folio 149.  Tylers Chance, Robert Tyler, 1733, Prince Georges County, 100 acres, Liber A.M., No. 1, Folio 320.  This may have been the very first tract patented in the name of Robert Tyler Jr.

1696 – Tylers Discovery, Robert Tyler, 1696, Prince George’s County, 204 acres, Liber D.P., No. 5, Folio 81.  [East side of Collington Creek]

1699 – Tylers Paster [aka Tyler’s Pasture], Robert Tyler, 1699, Prince George’s County, 275 acres, Liber E.E., No. 6, Folio 217. 

  • 8Jun1715 – Tyler’s Pasture 265 acres, surveyed for Robert Tyler beginning a bounding white Oak standing on the north side of a small branch being the head of the northeast branch of the Eastern Branch of the Potomac River, patented 10Aug1715. 
  • 29 Apr 1717 – Prince George’s Land Records 1710-1717 – Liber F – folio 621; Indenture, ; From: Robert Tyler, Gentleman of Prince George’s County; To Charles Hyatt, planter of Prince George’s County For 30£ a tract of land called Tyler’s Pasture; bounded by a tract of land formerly laid out of the same tract for John Mitchell; containing 174 acres being the remainder part of the whole tract Signed: Robert Tyler (seal).  Witnessed: Richard Keen, William Head.  Memo: Robert Tyler acknowledged deed.
  • 29 Apr 1717 – Prince George’s Land Records 1717-1726 – Liber F – folio Folio 6/633.  Indenture; From: Robert Tyler, Gent of Prince George’s County; To: John Mitchell, planter of Prince George’s County For 3,000 pounds of tobacco a tract of land called Tyler’s Pasture in Prince George’s County containing 101 acres.  le/ Robert Tyler (seal); Wit: Richard Keene, Wm. Head.  Acknowledgement by Robert Tyler; enrolled 8 Oct 1717
  • 6Mar1717/8, he [Jacob Henderson] purchased from Hugh Ryley, of Prince Georges County, Planter, for £15 “Ryley’s Hazard“, of 175 acres, and on the same day he purchased of Charles Hyatt a 100-acre portion of “Tyler’s Pasture“.
  • 4 Jul 1726 – Prince George’s Land Records 1726-1730 – Liber M, Page 86;  Enrolled at request of John Haymond 22 Dec 1726: Indenture Between Jacob Henderson and John Haymond, carpenter; Charles Hoyat [Hyatt] on 27 Jun 1719 140 acres of a tract called Tyler’s Pasture; this indenture from Henderson to Haymond for £35; 174 acres reserved for Seth Hyatt by Charles Hyatt when he sold sd. Jacob 100 acres by indenture dated 7 Mar 1717; /s/ Jacob Henderson; wit. Jos. Belt, Ralph Crabb; 4 Jul 1726; ack. by Jacob Henderson and Mary his wife.  This indenture between John Haymond and Jacob Henderson is a bit confusing.  It seems to imply that Charles Hyatt acquired 174 acres of Tyler‘s Pasture, from which he sold 100 acres to Jacob Henderson.
  • 30Jan1732/3 – Adjoined Pleasant Grove, 1635 acre tract granted by Rev. Jacob Henderson to Maureen Duvall the Younger.  “On 30Jan1732/3 the Rev. Jacob Henderson for the love, friendship and goodwill which he bore for his “well beloved kinsman, Maureen Duvall Sr. at ye Great Marsh, Planter” granted him the tract known as Pleasant Grove, adjoining Tyler’s Pasture, as laid out for 1,632 acres.”
  • 8Nov1742 Lewis Duvall conveyed by mortgage of 22₤ to John Mitchell 74 acres of Tyler’s Pasture, at which time his wife, Alice [Brown] Duvall, waived her dower.”  This 74 acre tract probably was the remainder of the 174 acres in possession of Charles Hyatt, after he sold 100 acres to the Rev. Jacob Henderson.  How this remainder of Tyler‘s Pasture came into possession of Lewis Divall is unknown to the author.  Note that this Lewis Duvall was a son of Maureen Duvell, the Younger.  This identity of this John Mitchell is unclear.  This could have been either John Mitchell II or John Mitchell III.
  • 15Mar1759 Lewis Duvall purchased of David Mitchell, of Frederick County, Planter, at which time Mary Mitchell waved dower, 129 acres of Tyler’s Pasture.”  This David Mitchell is believed to have been a son of John Mitchell II and Elizabeth (lnu).  Per the terms of his father’s LWT, David was to inherit 59 acres after his mother’s death.  It is conceivable that part of this 129 acres included the 59 acres inherited from John Mitchell II.
  • 22Feb1764 – Lewis Duvall, Gtlm. mortgaged to Henry Hall, of Anne Arundel County, Merchant for 64₤ 16s — Tyler’s Pasture which he had purchased of David Mitchell, also Mitchell’s Addition and an unnamed tract purchased from James Beck…”  In this record we now have Lewis Duvall in possession of both the 129 acres of Tyler‘s Pasture purchased from David Mitchell, as well as Mitchell’s Addition, which contained 150 acres when granted to John Mitchell II in 1720.
  • 13Feb1773 – Lewis Duvall conveyed to Joseph Boyd, of Prince George’s County, for 200₤ Mitchell’s Addition (adjoining Tyler’s Pasture), and a portion of Pleasant Grove.”

NOTE:  The foregoing chain of title of a 275 acre tract called Tyler’s Pasture presents a rather interesting interplay between Robert Tyler, John Mitchell [II or III], David Mitchell [son of John Mitchell II], Hugh Riley, Reverend Jacob Henderson, and Lewis Duvall [son of Maureen Duvall the Younger].  Later on, other land transactions between Lewis Duvall and John and Elizabeth Mitchell will be presented.  For the moment, let’s trace the foregoing chain of title of Tyler‘s Pasture through its various owners.  After its initial patenting in 1699, Robert Tyler II subdivided Tyler‘s Pasture into two parcels, which he then sold on 29Apr1717: 101 acres to John Mitchell, and 174 acres to Charles Hyatt.  On 6Mar1717/8 Charles Hyatt further subdivided his portion and sold 100 acres to Rev. Jacob Henderson, leaving 74 acres still in possession of Charles Hyatt.  30Jan1732/3 Rev. Jacob Henderson granted Pleasant Grove (containing 1635 acres) to Maureen Duvall the Younger (his wife’s step-son).  On 8Nov1742 Lewis Duvall [son of Maureen Duvall the Younger] sold 74 acres of Tyler‘s Pasture to John Mitchell, presumably this was John Mitchell II, but could have been his son, John Mitchell III., bringing a total share of Tyler’s Pasture to 175 acres into the Mitchell family. (It is not clear how this 74 acres came into Lewis Duvall’s possession.  (It may have been the remainder in the possession of Charles Hyatt.).  15Mar1759 Lewis Duvall purchased from David Mitchell (son of John Mitchell II, deceased) 129 acres of Tyler’s Pasture (presumably David had inherited the Tyler’s Pasture land from his father, although only 59 acres was specifically mentioned in John Mitchell’s LWT).  This may have left 46 acres of Tyler‘s Pasture still in possession of David Mitchell [175 acs. – 129 acs = 46 acs.].  On 22Feb1764 Lewis Duvall mortgaged to Henry Hall Tyler‘s Pasture (129 acres) purchased of David Mitchell, plus Mitchell’s Addition (presumably 150 acres patented by John Mitchell II on 16Sep1720), plus an unnamed tract purchased of James Beck [Lewis Duvall’s brother-in-law].  On 13Feb1773 Lewis Duvall sold to Joseph Boyd Mitchell’s Addition, plus part of Pleasant Grove, which abutted Tyler‘s Pasture.

From the original patent of Tyler’s Pasture it was described as being northeast of the Eastern Branch of the Potomac.  Such description is rather general, but suggests that Tyler’s Pasture may have been in the freshes of Beaver Dam Creek to the west of present day Bowie, MD.  From the foregoing chain of title it would appear that by 8Nov1742 175 acres (101 acres + 74 acres) of Tyler’s Pasture was in possession of the John Mitchell family.  Through the LWT of John Mitchell Jr. probated 26Aug1752, David Mitchell [son of John Mitchell Jr.] was to inherit 59 acres of his father’s plantation on the death of his mother.  Yet, on 15Mar1759 David Mitchell sold to Lewis Duvall 129 acres of Tyler’s Pasture.  From the various transactions involving Tyler’s Pasture and Mitchell’s Addition they were reported to have abutted one another, and to have abutted Pleasant GrovePleasant Grove is reported elsewhere to have contained Pleasant Grove Cemetery, which is situated on Springfield Road, about three miles northwest of Bowie, MD.  The author has approximated the site of Pleasant Grove on Figure 9-1, along with the approximate locations of Tyler’s Pasture and Mitchell’s Addition.

24Jun1700 – Darnall’s Grove for 650₤ Robert Tyler purchased from Richard Marsham, Gentleman, 3000 acres, an original tract of 3,800 acres surveyed in 1682 for Colonel Henry Darnall, lying on the west side of the Patuxent River in the freshes and on the west side of Collington Branch “where His Lordship’s Manor is”.  1714 – Darnell’s Grove, Part of, Robert Tyler, Prince George’s County, 2820 acres, Liber E.E., No. 6, Folio 215.  Commencing in that same year Robert Tyler began a series of alientations [sales] of divisions of Darnall’s Grove to various and sundry persons, many of whom later had intermarriages with the Duvall and Tyler families:

  • 1700 – Robert Tyler, Gntl. to Samuel Farmer, of Anne Arundel County, Planter, for 40₤, a 103 acre tract, portion of Darnall’s Grove, called Farmer’s Marsh.
  • 1702 – Robert Tyler sold to Colonel Henry Ridgley 500 acres called Mary’s Delight, a portion of Darnall’s Grove.
  • 1702 – Robert Tyler sold to Abraham Clarke [husband of Elizabeth Duvall] 400 acres, a portion of Darnall’s Grove.
  • 1702 – Robert Tyler sold to Lewis Duvall [son of Maureen Duvall] 412 acres, a portion of Darnall’s Grove.

By 1708 Rent Rolls the various proprietors of Darnall’s Grove were listed as follows:

  • 400 acres – Abraham Clarke
  • 675 acres- Robert Tyler
  • 500 acres – Colonel Henry Ridgely
  • 103 acres – Samuel Farmer
  • 103 acres – Richard Robson
  • 412.5 acres – Lewis Duvall
  • 206.5 acres – Richard Batt [Butt?]
  • 200 acres – Rawlings
  • 100 acres – [Thomas?] Sweringen
  • 300 acres – Duvall; and
  • 800 acres – Odall

Since the foregoing listing of the various owners of Darnall’s Grove totals to 3800 acres, it suggests that Mr. Odall may have acquired his 800 acres directly from Mr. Marsham, and that the other owners are reflective of subdivision and sale of the 3000 acres acquired by Robert Tyler.

1703 – Ridgley & Tylers Chance, Henry Ridgley and Robert Tyler, , Prince George’s County, 463 acres, Liber D.D., No. 5, Folio 82.

1705 – Harrisses Burches [aka Harrison‘s Purchase], Robert Tyler, , Prince George’s County, 103.5 acres, Liber C.D., Folio 229.  “103 acres in Collington Hundred surveyed 3Aug1705 for Robert Tyler at a bound white Oak standing on the south on the main branch of Collington Creek by the Marsh of the said branch.  Possession in ~1707 Robert Tyler.

4Sep1710 – Tyler’s Range  “200 acres surveyed for Robert Tyler, beginning at 2 bound white oaks standing in a fork of the northwest branch of the northeast branch of the Potomac River, patented 10Dec1714.” Tylers Range, Robert Tyler, 1714, Prince George’s County, 200 acres, Liber E.E., No. 1, Folio 128.  To LEWIS DUVAL. Lib. E.I. No. 9A (17259),  Deed, p. 628.

Robert Tyler II died testate before 24Aug1738.  His LWT is abstracted as follows:

1735 – Will of Robert Tyler Sr. gentleman, Prince George’s Co, written 29 dec 1735; probated 24 Aug 1738 (MCW VII.257; Wills, 21.911)

TO Mary, 1/2 of dwelling plantation, 375 acres BOWDELL’S CHOICE during life in lieu of her dower interest.

TO dau-in-law Elizabet Widow of son Edward, dec’d use of 350 acrew where she now lives, being pt of DARNALL’S GROVE, until grandson Samuel son of sd Edwards, arrives at age of 21, when land on west side of rowling road leading from John Swan’s plantation, through plantation of sd. son Edward to Queen Ann Town shall be equally divided bet. sd. dau-in-law and grandson Samuel, should she not live on her portion it is to pass to sd Samuel and hrs., should sd. grandson die without issue, sd. portion to other two grandsons, Edward and Robert sons of son Edward, and their hrs.

TO grandsons Edward and Robert and their hrs., land on east side of sd. rowling road, to receive same at age of 21; sd. grandsons dying without issue their portion to grandson Samuel and hrs., should sd. grandson die without issue, sd. portion to other two gransons, Edward and Robert sons of son Edward, and their hrs.

TO Mary Whitehead, 150 acres BROUGH during live, at her decease to grandson John Baldwin and hrs., he dying as afsd., to grandson Thomas Baldwin and hrs., he dyand as afsd., to grandson James Baldwin and hrs., he dying as afsd., to son Robert and hrs. Sd. tract called BROUGH being adj. to Demetrius Carthright’s land ISLINGTON, AMPLE GRANGE, in poss. of hrs of John Boyd, Sr., dec’d and line of John Anderson’s land

TO son Mareen and hrs., 260 acres BROUGH, being adj. to BOWDELL’S CHOICE,sd. son dying without issue, to pass to grandson William son of son Robert and hrs., he failing issue to grandson Robert son of son Edward and hrs.

TO son Robert and hrs. 1/2 of dwell. plan. and after decease of wife 375 acres BOWDELL’S CHOICE, pt of BROUGH, and 10 acrews abasin thorp hall, bou. of Thomas Harwood; sd son dying without issue to pass to son Mareen and hrs. he also failing issue to grandson Robert son of Edward; also 100 acres RILEY’S LOTT, of Thomas Pindell, lot in Queen Ann Town with houses theron, except that sold to Rubin Ross and ground whereon Michael Morrises house now stands, also 100 acres TYLER’S CHANCE, nw side of Sinneka Creek

TO daus. Susannah Lamar and Elizabeth Pottenger, and their hrs., 200 acres of HOWERTON’S RANGE, had of Benjamin Duvall, sd. daus. dying without issue, sd. lands to dau. Priscilla Wickam and hrs. should all three daus. die without issue, sd lands to grandson Tyler, son of Mary Baldwin and hrs. Son-in-law Samuel Pottenger to give the 100 acres of sd. tract to his sons, Robert, son of his present wife, dau. Elizbeth. None of hrs. t claim any right or interest in RIDGELY’S AND TYLER’S CHANCE now in poss. of Thomas Fowler’s hrs. Exs. empowered to sell 105 acres of land mortgaged by Thomas Rickets of AA Co., in case sd. Ricketts does not pay mortgage.

TO dau. Priscilla Wickham and hrs., 200 acres TYLER’S RANGE, near head of Eastern branch Potomac R.

TO dau. Mry Whitehead, certain personalty and all her late husband James Baldwin’s personal estate

TO grandson John Baldwin, son Mareen, daus. Susannah Lamar, Eliz. Pottenger and Priscilla Wickham, son Robert and his son and dau. Robert and Mary, and grandson William Tyler, personalry. Residue of estate to wife Mary, extx., should she refuse to abide by above will son Robert to act.

TO grand-dau Ruth certain personalry in event of wife’s marriage

Test: Benja. Boyd, Phillip Pindell Jr., Abra. Boyd Jr., Henry Bryant

Robert Tyler, Prince George’s Co.; #669.15.10; 4 Sep 1736; 29 Aug 1741; nok: Mareen Tyler, Mary Tyler; extx. Mary Henderson, wife of Jacob Henderson (I&A 26.165)

Rileys

This genealogical excursus will focus on Hugh Riley Sr. and his descendants.  Many researchers claim that Hugh Riley Sr. of Maryland was a son of Miles Riley of Rappahannock, Virginia.  They present considerable record data to establish the existence of Miles Riley, including transportation and land grant records, but nothing concrete to connect with Hugh Riley of Maryland.  Miles Riley [aka Ryley or Rieley] was first recorded when he booked passage on 2Jan1634/5 aboard the Merchant Bonaventure from London to Virginia as Miles Riley, aged 20, along with his presumed brother, Garrett Riley, aged 24.  Researchers would have us believe that Garrett Riley returned to Ireland around 1650 to take advantage of the improved treatment of protestants under the Cromwell government, where he purportedly acquired land and lived out his remaining days:

“He purchased a six-room, thatched-roof house in the town of Kells, County Meath, Ireland. Garrett Reyley (Riley) appears on the Evaluation of Kells, a sort of tax roll, or census, in the years 1655 and 1665.”

According to these same researchers Miles Riley continued to live in the Virginia Colony until his death sometime in 1668 [age about 54 years].  He did not appear again on any colonial records after his first transportation in 1634 until he began filing land patents in the 1660’s in Rappahannock County in the vicinity of Totuskey Creek, record abstracts as follows:

  1. 21May1662 – Hugh Kinsey of Lancaster County, planter, mortgages to John Fisk of London, Fletcher and Merchant, plantation whereon the said Kinsey now liveth, 500 acres for 33 pounds six schillings to be paid 20Jan next.  Signed John Kinsey, witnessed Miles Riley, and Edward Dale.
  2. 20Feb1662/3 – William Mosley and John Hull received grant of 5,798 acres in Rappahannock County on north side of Rappahannock River, to NW side of Totoskey Creek for transport of 116 persons, including John Hull (3 times), Elizabeth Hull, Elizabeth Hull Jr., Miles Riles[sic], etal.
  3. 18Mar1663 – Miles Reily received grant of 200 acres in Rappahannock County, on west side of north branch of Totaskey Creek adjacent Robert Sisson, running NNE to land of Thomas Robinson. for transport of 4 persons.
  4. 3Nov1664 – Miles Reyly received grant of 400 acres on north side of Rappahannock River, eastward side of Totoskey Creek, easternmost branch of said creek adjacent land in joint tenure of Thomas Robinson and Quintaine Sherman, eastward to Edward Lewis for transport of 8 persons.
  5. 12Oct1665 – Miles Reily received 1100 acre grant in Rappahannock County in two tracts: 200 acres adjacent land of Thomas Robinson, and 900 acres adjacent land of John Hull, for transport of 22 persons, including John Hull, Elizabeth Hull, Mary Hull, six negroes, etal.
  6. 12Oct1665 – Miles Reily received grant of 1000 acres on north side of Rappahannock River, for transport of 20 persons.
  7. 23Sep1668 – Capt. John Hull granted 1400 acres in Rappahannock County on North side of River, including 1100 acres granted to Miles Riley on 12Oct1665, and devised by Will to John Hull.
  8. 30Oct1669 – Capt John Hull of Farnham Parish, Rappahannock County granted 650 acres adjacent Robert Sisson, etal., originally granted to Miles Reyley, deceased, devised by Will to John Hull.
  9. 10Oct1670 – Capt. John Hull petitioned for 1200 acres on east side ot Totoskey Creek, including 400 acres granted to Miles Reley on 3Oct1664, which was deserted.

From the foregoing records there was a 28-year gap from the presumed date of Miles Riley’s first immigration in 1634 to the date of his first known record in 1662.  It is difficult to imagine that Miles had been in Virginia all those years and not have filed for a land patent, witnessed a court document or have been recorded in a church register or vestry minutes, yet that is what other researchers would have us believe.  Of these records that the author was able to locate for anyone named Miles Riley, it appears that he was a fairly recent arrival in Rappahannock County in early 1660’s.  He was named as a headright by Capt. John Hull in Feb1662/3, and he, himself, claimed John, Elizabeth and Mary Hull as headrights on his own patent filing in Oct1665.  Many researchers claim that Miles Riley was married to Mary Hull, and that she was the mother of his presumed four sons, including Hugh Riley, born about 1652.  Although some researchers claim that it is “known” that Miles Riley had four sons, including Hugh Riley, none have offered one scintilla of proof.

From the last three records in which Miles Riley is named, Capt. John Hull was filing patents, which included tracts originally filed by Miles Riley, and devised to Hull by the Will of Miles Riley.  Such circumstance is strong suggestion of a kinship between John Hull and Miles Riley, but just what that kinship may have been is completely unknown to the author.  It might be reasonable to assume that Miles had married a daughter of Capt. John Hull, but where is the evidence?  Also, if Miles Riley married Mary Hull, the person named as a transportee by Miles Riley in 1665, then that marriage probably occurred after Oct1665.  Such event would render it impossible for that Mary Hull to have been the mother of Hugh Riley. 

To bring further closure to this puzzle, the author performed a thorough search of Maryland colonial records and found no listing anywhere for Miles Riley.  So, if Miles Riley was the father of Hugh Riley, we are left with virtually no record of such a connection.  Lastly, Miles Riley almost certainly was dead when Capt. Hull filed his patent for 1400 acres in Sep1668.  From the last three patent records filed by Capt. John Hull, it seems highly likely that Miles Riley died testate, but no record of a Will or estate administration has been found.  Such Will might be useful in establishing other family members, such as a wife and children, but the author was unable to find any trace of Miles’ Will.

We will seek no further to establish the ancestry of Hugh Riley, suffice it to say that his existence first came to notice in Maryland records abstracted as follows:

  • 4Apr1677 – Recct 335 by Hugh Riley: 500; by Tho: Roper: 150; by Midill Offly: 340 Expences
  • 3Nov1680 – Hugh Riley presented petition to General Councill with a schedule (claim) for goods taken from him by Northern Indians on 4Sep1680 with value of 12,020 ltb.
  • 1697 – At the September 1697 court Hugh Riley was indicted for stating of Thomas Holliday, one of the justices, that “All the beasts of the Forrest meaning the Suitors to the Said County Court are Come in to wait upon an Ass,” thus tending to a breach of the peace, contempt of the crown and royal dignity and against the form of the statute in that case made and provided. At the same time Joshua Hall was presented for saying that Holliday was a fool and a rogue, also tending to disturbance of the peace, etc. Both submitted to the judgment of the court and were ordered to give security (£20 and two sureties of £10 each) for their good behavior and appearance at the next court. At such court the recognizances were continued but no further entries are found.
  • Jan1697/8 – William Bladen of St. Maryes County Acknowledged himselfe bound unto Hugh Riley in the Sume of four thowsand pounds of tobaccoe to be Levyed on his goods and Chattles Lands and Tenements to and for the use of the Said Hugh Riley…
  • 5Mar1716 – PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY ss. Hugh Riley of the Said County Planter aged about Sixty four years being Sworn upon the Holy Evangelists…
  • 13Oct1722 – The Petition of Hugh Riley Prisoner now in Custody of Philip Lee Esqr High Sherriff of Prince George’s County being severally read are severally thus endorsed Viz.

The foregoing record abstracts are only a small representative sample of records on file in the Maryland archives for Hugh Ryley [aka Riley].  The affidavit filed on 5Mar1716 indicates that he was about 64 years old in that year, giving him a birth year of about 1652.  The earliest known record of Hugh Riley was his filing a claim for reimbursement of expenses on 4Apr1677, at which time he would have been about 25 years old.  From that date forward Hugh Riley appears in a wide assortment of Court and land records, including as a Jury foreperson in the 1710’s when he would have been in his late 50’s.  He apparently was not afraid to speak his mind, as he, along with Joshua Hall, were cited in 1697 for contempt of court for calling Judge Thomas Holiday an “ass”.  He variously was referred to in records as either a “carpenter”, “gentleman” or “planter”.  In various land records a Hugh Riley is reported in two different time periods with wives: (1) Mary – 1698 to 1710, and (2) Rebecca – 1716 to 1736.  However, before 1698 there is evidence that Hugh Riley Sr. was married to Margaret Ploumer, daughter of Thomas Ploumer and Elizabeth Stockett: 

  • Excerpt from LWT of Thomas T. Ploummer, dated 12