Chapter 16 –Spencer County Indiana Arterberrys

In 1840 there were census records showing a cluster of six Arterbury households in Luce Township, Spencer County Indiana, which appear to have totally escaped the attention of Atterbury family researchers.  This chapter will endeavor to give some modicum of identity to these families, and the neighborhood within which they so briefly lived.  These Arterbury households are summarized in the sequential order in which they appeared in the census as follows:

Page 36:

Name:     Sariah Arterbury

[Sariah Arterberry]

Home in 1840 (City, County, State): Spencer, Indiana

Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29:         2

Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39:      1 [Sariah Arterbury?]

Free White Persons – Females – 50 thru 59:      1 [Sariah Arterbury?]

Name:     Sol Asterberry

[Sol Arterberry]

Home in 1840 (City, County, State): Spencer, Indiana

Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9:             1

Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14:         1

Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39 (prob 40 thru 49):           1 [Sol Asterberry]

Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19:      1

Page 38:

E D Arberberry

[E D Arterberry]

Home in 1840 (City, County, State): Spencer, Indiana

Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19:         1

Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39:         1 [E D Arberberry]

Free White Persons – Females – Under 5:         1

Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9:          2

Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14:      2

Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39:      1

Name:     Eigah Arteebury

[Elijah Arterberry]

Home in 1840 (City, County, State): Spencer, Indiana

Free White Persons – Males – Under 5:            2

Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9:             2

Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39:         1 [Eigah Arteebury]

Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9:          1

Free White Persons – Females – 40 thru 49:      1

Page 42:

Name:     Stephen Asheberry

[Stephen Arterberry]

Home in 1840 (City, County, State): Spencer, Indiana

Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29:         2 [Stephen Asheberry]

Free White Persons – Females – Under 5:         1

Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29:      1

Page 44:

Name:     Adam Arterberry

Home in 1840 (City, County, State): Spencer, Indiana

Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29:         1 [Adam Arterberry]

Free White Persons – Females – Under 5:         1

Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9:          1

Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29:      1

Initial Impressions

It should be noted that all six of these households appeared on five consecutive pages (slave inventory pages excepted), suggesting that they were living in relatively close geographic proximity to one another, and in two instances two households were recorded on the same page; Sariah and Sol on page 36 separated by five households, and Eigah and E. D. Arterbury on page 38 separated by ten households.  An analysis of the composition of each of these households suggests that the household headed by Sariah Arterbury (aged either 50 thru 59 or 30 thru 39) possibly was a widowed matriarch, and that the other five households headed by males aged 20 thru 39 possibly were headed by sons of Sariah and her unknown deceased husband.  Stephen and Adam appear to have been the youngest (aged 20 thru 29), whereas Sol [Solomon?], E. D. [Elijah Davidson?], and Eigah were the oldest (aged 30 thru 39).  Of the two youngest male householders, Stephen appears to have been the youngest, and Adam the next youngest based on the relative ages of their presumed children.  Stephen’s household also contained a 2nd male aged 20 thru 29, possibly a kinsman of either himself or his wife.  Of the three older Arterburys, E.D. and Sol would appear to have been the eldest, as they each appear to have had a child aged 15 thru 19.  Sol appears to have been widowed, as his household does not appear to include a spouse (unless perhaps the female aged 15 thru 19 was his wife).  Sariah’s household also contained two males aged 20 thru 29, and one female aged 30 thru 39.  These young adults may have been Sariah’s children, who had not yet begun living on their own, or may have included a young married couple.  It cannot be stated with certainty that the eldest female was actually the head of the household, as the female, aged 30 thru 39 could also have been the head of this household.

Before attempting to identify the ancestry of this seemingly related Arterbury family grouping, it may be helpful to provide a brief geographic history of the early settlement of Luce Township.  First, it is important to recognize that Spencer County is situated on the north bank of the Ohio River, immediately opposite Daviess County KY as illustrated in Figure 16-1.  Daviess County was organized in 1815 by partitioning from the northern part of Ohio County.  Richard Arterbury II was the only Arterbury recorded living in Ohio County in 1810 (prior to the organization of Daviess County).  Richard was married to Martha Moore on 19Apr1807 in Ohio County, so presumably Richard may have been resident in Ohio County as early as 1806.  Richard continued to be recorded as a resident of Ohio County KY in 1820 and 1830, so presumably, he was in that part of the county remaining after the formation of Daviess County in 1815.  In 1810 Abraham Myres and his sons: Elijah, Levi, and Michael were recorded in Ohio County on pages 6, 7, 12 and 18, whereas Richard was recorded on page 17.  These Myres were kinsmen of Richard Arterbury by virtue of Abraham’s marriage to Patty Arterbury, widow of Richard’s brother, Nathan Arterbury, in Hardin County on 2Aug1805.  Abraham Myres’ family had formerly lived on Brushy Fork in Chester County SC as near neighbors of Richard and his brothers.  In 1820 these Myres appear to have been recorded living in Daviess County KY, in that part of Ohio County that had been partitioned to create Daviess County. 

Several members of this Myres family were recorded in Daviess County in 1820 on page 11 nearby to four Arterbury households.  It is difficult to identify these Myres and Arterbury households with certainty, because the left-hand margin of the page is missing, thus partially obscuring many of the given names.  It is the author’s belief that these Arterbury households are identified as follows:

Name:     ??Ward Arterberry

[Edward Arterberry]

Home in 1820 (City, County, State): Daviess, Kentucky

Enumeration Date:               August 7, 1820

Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over:                      1

Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over : 1

This almost certainly was the household of Edward Arterbury.  His wife, Keziah, is believed to have died a few years earlier, as Edward is believed to have married Mary Handley Little (widow of George Little) in nearby Muhlenberg County in 1816-8.  Mary almost certainly was the adult female in this household.  All of Edward and Keziah’s children appear to have left home, and were living on their own.

Name:     ??El [prob. Hasel, as shown in 1830 census] Arterberry

Home in 1820 (City, County, State): Daviess, Kentucky

Enumeration Date:               August 7, 1820

Free White Persons – Males – Under 10:          2

Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25:         1

Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25:      1

Note:  Hasel Atterbury has been deduced by the author to have been a son of Edward Atterbury and Keziah, based on his appearance in this census record living nearby to Edward, combined with the fact that the two young males reported in Edward’s household in 1810 were no longer living at home in 1820. 

Might there be a hint to the ancestry of Edward’s wife, Keziah, found in the given name of Hasel?  It is worth noting that the given name of Hasel rarely occurred in America in the 18th and 19th century.  Moreover, there was only one instance of Hasel as a given name in Chester County between 1790 and 1830, and that was in Hasel Hardwick and his son, Hasel Hardwick Jr.  Hasel Hardwick Sr. first appeared in South Carolina records in 1765 when he received a grant of 500 acres on the Sandy River drainage.  He continued to acquire and sell lands in Chester County along the Sandy River drainage for the next 30 years.  Genealogists report that Hasel Hardwick was named in honor of his mother’s maiden name, who is reputed to have been Mary Hazel.  “Maternal surname perpetuation” was a common practice among colonialists in America as a way of carrying on the tradition of the mother’s surname, which would otherwise fall into obscurity.

Although neither Hasel Hardwick nor any of his known kinsmen appear to have had any significant direct involvement with any of the Atterbury’s or their known allies, there is a record of one instance when Hassel Hardwick went as a co-surety on the administration bond for the estate of Nathan Atterbury in 1796, along with Moses Atterbury, Patty Atterbury and Thomas B. Franklin.  So, it is clear that Hasel Hardwick was a near neighbor of the Atterburys in Chester County, but not necessarily a kinsman.  Given the extremely unique nature of the given name of Hasel in America, and limited to Hasel Hardwick in particular in Chester County, it seems possible that Edward and Keziah Atterbury may have named their son Hasel in tribute to Keziah’s father, Hasel Hardwick.  There seems to be few other reasonable explanations for the selection of such a unique and rare name for their son.

Name:     ??An Arterberry

[Nathan Arterberry]

Home in 1820 (City, County, State): Daviess, Kentucky

Enumeration Date:               August 7, 1820

Free White Persons – Males – Under 10:          1

Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25:         1

Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44:         1

Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25:      1

This Nathan Arterbury very likely was a younger son of Edward and Keziah Arterbury.  Some genealogical researchers claim this Nathan as a son of William Atterbury Jr. and Bridget.  A few other researchers claim Nathan to have been a son of Charles Arterbury and Sarah [Mitchell?].  This Nathan appeared in four consecutive census years as head of household, all within Daviess County: 1820 thru 1850.  In the 1850 census he was reported aged 55 years old, born in Illinois (clearly a transcription error for South Carolina), with a wife named Levisa, aged 49, born in Illinois [sic], and two sons: William H. aged 21, and Henry J. aged 14, both born in Kentucky.  An analysis of the apparent children born to Edward Arterbury suggests that he had a total of three sons.  The eldest son, probably named Elijah, had moved out of his father’s household after 1800, and is believed to have been living next door to his father in Elizabethtown, Hardin County in 1810.  The two remaining sons had also moved out of their father’s household by 1820, and are believed by this writer to have been Hasel Arterbury and Nathan Arterbury, who were living nearby to Edward Arterbury in Daviess County in 1820.  It should be noted that there was an additional, unknown adult male living in Nathan’s household in 1820.

Name:     Salley Arteberry

Home in 1820 (City, County, State): Daviess, Kentucky

Enumeration Date:               August 7, 1820

Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25:         2

Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15:      2

Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44:      1

The identity of this Sally Arterbury, presumably the widow of a deceased Arterbury male, is not known with absolute certainty; but it does seem possible that she may have been the widow of Israel Arterbury.  The prospect of this connection between Salley Arterbury and Israel Arterbury is strengthened by the fact that the children reported in Israel’s household in Grayson County in 1810 exactly match with the presumed children reported in Salley Artebury’s household in 1820.  Refer to Figure 16-2 for a link-diagram, which illustrates this correlation between these two households.

Prior to its achieving statehood in 1816, Indiana was part of the Northwest Territory.  In 1800 the U. S. Congress entertained subdivision of the Northwest Territory, at which time it established the Indiana Territory.  In the 16-year interim between the creation of the Indiana Territory and the State of Indiana, white settlers began to move onto and settle the lands north of the Ohio River formerly considered the possession of the native Americans.  To facilitate some semblance of governmental control and orderly development, counties were erected, at a rate of almost one per year, across the southern part of the territory.  Warrick County was erected along the north side of the Ohio River in 1813, and then in 1818 Spencer County was partitioned from the eastern part of Warrick County.  Luce Township, situated in the southwest corner of Spencer County, was originally part of Warrick County, and later became subsumed within Spencer County.  The western border of Luce Township (highlighted in red) forms part of the boundary between Warrick and Spencer Counties as illustrated in Figure 16-3.

Atha Meeks was among one of the earliest white settlers in Luce Township.  Dr. Priddy Meeks, the Thomasonian herbalist and son of Atha Meeks, wrote a fairly detailed autobiography which captures the major events of his lifetime spanning from his birth in Greenville SC in 1795-7, through his early childhood in Grayson County KY and Spencer County IN, to his arrival at adulthood in western Illinois, his conversion to Mormonism, his migration with the 2nd Mormon Pioneer Expedition to Salt Lake in 1847, and on forward through his adult life in Utah until his death at Orderville UT in 1886.  In his memoirs Dr. Priddy Meeks describes his family’s trials and tribulations as early pioneer settlers in the wilderness of Luce Township, including the murder of his father by renegade Indians in the doorway of the family’s cabin at the mouth of Lake Drain, tributary of Little Pigeon Creek on 20Apr1812.[1] 

For almost anyone familiar with the Richard Arterbury line, they will have already recognized the surname of Meeks, and may even be familiar with some of the close kinship connections between the Atterberrys and the Meeks.  The earliest Arterbury-Meeks connection the author has discovered was in conjunction with the LWT of Richard Arterbury I, which was witnessed by John Wright, Priddy Meeks, Richard Atterberry [Jr.], and Robert W. Dorsey.  Richard I’s LWT was dated 4Oct1806, and was proven in Court on 13Jul1813 in Hardin County by the oath of Priddy Meeks.  Also, in connection with the estate settlement, a summons was issued by the Court on 10May1813 ordering that Thomas Arterbury, Rezin Blissett, Benjamin Meeks, and William Watkins do appear the following month to show cause, if any they can, why administration should not be taken from them.

The Priddy Meeks, who witnessed the LWT of Richard Arterbury I, is believed to have been an uncle of Dr. Priddy Meeks, and a younger brother of Atha Meeks, who was murdered by Indians at his cabin in Luce Township.  Benjamin Meeks, who was summoned by the Court, is believed to have been Richard I’s son-in-law and son of the Priddy Meeks, who witnessed Richard’s LWT.  The marriage record between Benjamin Meeks and Rebecca Arterbury, dated 3Feb1806 in Hardin County, is somewhat muddled.  It names the bride as Rebecca Meeks, but Richard Arterbury posted the surety bond.  If there was ever any doubt about Rebecca Meek’s having been a daughter of Richard Arterbury, we need only consider the names of the persons summoned by the Court regarding administration of Richard I’s estate.  Two of those parties: Rezin Blissett and William Watkins, were unmistakably sons-in-law of Richard Arterbury, as their respective marriage records leave no doubt about their having married Arterbury women.  By extrapolation, it is reasonable to conclude that Benjamin Meeks had also married an Arterbury woman, namely, Rebecca Arterbury, daughter of Richard Atterbury I, and that the husbands of Richard’s elder daughters, along with his eldest son, Thomas Arterbury, had initially filed for administration of their father’s [father -in-law’s] estate.

Benjamin Meeks’ household was recorded on page 8 in the 1810 census of Hardin County.  His household abutted that of Stephen Mahurin, whose daughter, Sarah Mahurin, married Dr. Priddy Meeks as his 2nd wife after the death of Mary Polly Bartlett.  Stephen Mahurin is believed to have married Sarah [aka Sally] Meeks, daughter of Priddy Meeks and sister of Benjamin Meeks.  So, Dr. Priddy Meeks would appear to have married his 1st cousin, Sarah Mahurin, daughter of Stephen Mahurin and Sarah Meeks.  This 1810 household is summarized as follows:

Name:     Ben Neske V

[Ben Meeks]

Home in 1810 (City, County, State):  Elizabethtown, Hardin, Kentucky

Free White Persons – Males – Under 10:          2

Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25:         1 [Benjamin Meeks]

Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44:      1 [Rebecca Atteberry]

Sometime between 1810 and 1820 Benjamin Meeks moved his family across the Ohio River into Warrick County, where they were recorded with the following composition:

Name:     Benjn Meeks

Home in 1820 (City, County, State): Warrick, Indiana

Enumeration Date:               August 7, 1820

Free White Persons – Males – Under 10:          1

Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15:         1

Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44:         1 [Benjamin Meeks]

Free White Persons – Females – Under 10:       4

Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44:      1 [Rebecca Atteberry]

For this analysis it is worth noting that Richard Arterbury II, Atha Meeks Sr., John Meeks and Benjamin Meeks are reported to have filed plat maps in Luce Township in the 1810’s as illustrated on Figure 16-4.  The dates and Section locations of these filings were excerpted from SpencerCountyIndiana, Township History, LuceTownship.[2]  From this land information it would appear that Richard Arterbury II and his brother-in-law, Benjamin Meeks, each filed land patents in Luce Township on abutting Sections along the north bank of the Ohio River within one year of each other.  Also, it should be noted that Benjamin’s uncle, Atha Meeks Sr., had filed a plat in Section 29 in May1811, just one year before Atha was murdered by Indians.  Further note that Benjamin Meeks bequeathed several tracts of land in Luce Township in his LWT dated 9Dec1847, including the two tracts identified in Figure 16-4 belonging to Benjamin Thomas Meeks and James Stevenson, son and son-in-law, respectively.

So, from the foregoing information it is shown that two members of the family of Richard Arterbury I had interests in Spencer County dating from 1816-7.  Whether Richard Arterbury II ever improved his land in Section 33 is unknown, but it is certain that his sister and brother-in-law did settle on their Spencer County land, and that Rebecca Arterbury Meeks likely died on that land sometime around 1824.  After Rebecca’s death, Benjamin is on record as having twice married: Jane Young on 7Apr1825 in Warrick County, and Nancy Ray on 20Mar1841 in Spencer County.  Benjamin Meeks’ household was recorded in Spencer County IN in 1830 and 1840, summarized as follows:

Name:     Benjamin Meeks

Home in 1830 (City, County, State): Luce, Spencer, Indiana

Free White Persons – Males – Under 5:            1

Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19:         1

Free White Persons – Males – 40 thru 49:         1 [Benjamin Meeks]

Free White Persons – Females – Under 5:         1

Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14:      2

Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29:      1 [Jane Young Meeks]

Free White Persons – Under 20:         6

Free White Persons – 20 thru 49:       2

Name:     Benjn Meeks

[Benj Meeks]

Home in 1840 (City, County, State): Spencer, Indiana

Free White Persons – Males – Under 5:            2

Free White Persons – Males – 50 thru 59:         1 [Benjamin Meeks]

Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14:      1

Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39:      1 [Jane Young Meeks]

In 1840 Benjamin’s household was listed on the same page, and within a couple of households of John Meeks, Atha Meeks and Green Meeks.  Further down the same page are listings for William Goatley, Sariah Arterbury, Sol Arterbury and William Meeks.

Richard Arterbury II on the other hand was recorded in two different locations in 1820 summarized as follows:

Name:     Richard Arterbury

Home in 1820 (City, County, State): Waconteby, White, Illinois

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

Name:     Richard Artenbury

[Richard Arterbury]

Home in 1820 (City, County, State): Ohio, 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

As can be observed in these 1820 census records, these households for Richard Arterbury contain identical composition, thus it is only reasonable to assume that these were both the households of Richard Arterbury II, and that he was maintaining or alternating residence between two different jurisdictions in 1820.  From other records it is known that two of Richard’s brothers: Charles and James had migrated through White County IL in the mid-1820’s, and that two other sisters: Anna Blissett and Mary Watkins had relocated to Wayne County IL in the late-1810’s.  It is also believed that three of Richard’s younger brothers relocated to Wayne County IL around 1818.  Nathan Arterbury remained in Wayne County, where he lived a very long and fruitful life; but the other two brothers (possibly Stout and John) initially accompanied him to Wayne County, but returned to Kentucky after a relatively short stay in Illinois.  It seems likely that during this same time period Richard II was reaching out in search of new lands when he filed a plat in Luce Township, and was contemporaneously recorded in Waconteby Township, White County IL, and Ohio County KY.

In addition to Benjamin Meeks, there were several of his kinsmen who had also settled in Warrick/Spencer County by 1820: Atha Meeks [Jr.], Charles Meeks, John Meeks, Purdy [Dr. Priddy] Meeks, and William Meeks.  Most, if not all of these other Meeks were 1st cousins of Benjamin Meeks, their being sons of his uncle, Atha Meeks Sr.  Aside from Benjamin Meeks’ wife, Rebecca Arterbury, there was no evidence found of any other Arterbury/Atterbury living in either Warrick or Spencer County until 1840, when the cluster of six Arterbury households appeared.  In fact, other than the Daniel Arterbury household in nearby Harrison County IN in 1820, no other Arterburys are found in Indiana until 1840.  Daniel Arterbury of Harrison County, although relatively close, geographically, to Spencer County, could not possibly have been the source of the 1840 Arterbury enclave in Spencer County, as he matriculated to Sangamon County IL by 1830 and then to Menard County IL by 1840, where he remained until his death around 1879.  There are no census records of any Arterburys in Indiana in 1850.  In the 1860 census there are four or five Arterbury/Atterbury families listed in Indiana, with only one family known to originate from William Arterbury I, the immigrant.  The others were either newly arrived English immigrants, or originated from the eastern seaboard, possibly descended from Job Arterbury.

The one family in Indiana in 1860 that appears to have descended from William I [the Immigrant] was the household of William Henry Arterbury, summarized as follows:

Name:     William H Arterberry

Age:       33

Birth Year:             abt 1827

Gender:  Male

Birth Place:            Kentucky

Home in 1860:       Grass, Spencer, Indiana

Post Office:           Rockport

Household Members:         

Name      Age

William H Arterberry           33

Francis J Arterberry             32

Henry Arterberry                 6

Palmyra Arterberry              3

Stephen R Arterberry          5/12

It is the author’s belief that this Arterbury family, which was recorded living in Grass Township, abutting Luce Township to the east, was headed by William Henry Arterbury, son of Nathan Arterbury and Levica Arterbury.  This William Henry Arterbury is believed to be shown in his father’s household in 1850, summarized as follows:

Name:     Nathan Arterberry

Age:       55

Birth Year:             abt 1795

Birthplace:             Illinois

Home in 1850:       District 1, Daviess, Kentucky, USA

Household Members:         

Name      Age

Nathan Arterberry               55

Levisa Arterberry                 49

Wm H Arterberry                 21

Henry J Arterberry               14

As previously discussed, Nathan Arterberry is believed to have been a younger son of Edward Arterbury and Keziah [possibly Hardwick or Mitchell].  Nathan’s wife, Levisa [aka Levica] is reported by some Atterbury family genealogists as having been, herself, surnamed Arterbury/Atterbury.  In fact, some researchers claim Levica to have been a daughter of Edward and Keziah.  Having fairly reliably established her husband, Nathan, as a son of Edward and Keziah, it remains to identify the parentage of Levica.  The source for the marriage between Nathan Arterbury and Levica Arterbury is Kentucky, Compiled Marriages, 1802-1850, a database published online by Ancestry.com., which recorded the marriage of Nathan and Levica Arterbury on 30May1818 in Daviess County.  Ancestry.com attributes the source of the data contained in this database to research and compilations performed by Jordan R. Dodd and his staff at Liahona Research.  They further assert that Dodd’s research was sourced from publications and microfilm archived at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  This writer cannot attest to the accuracy of this marriage record, but is inclined to believe that it is of reliable provenance.  The true identity of Levica Arterbury is uncertain, but the author believes that she likely was a daughter of Israel and Salley Arterbury.  The basis for this connection for Levisa is predicated on the fact that Israel’s family was the only other Arterbury family believed to have been living in Daviess County at the time of Nathan and Levica’s marriage, besides that of Edward Arterbury and his descendants.

In summary, thus far we have been able to identify only three known Arterbury families, who were directly connected to Spencer County Indiana.  Two were descendants of Richard Arterbury I: Rebecca Arterbury Meeks and her brother, Richard Arterbury II, who had only a brief connection to Spencer County between about 1817 and 1825.  However, it is true that Rebecca Arterbury Meeks’ children continued to reside in Spencer County into early adulthood.  In fact, one of those children, Mary Meeks, is believed to have married James Myres, son of Abraham Myres and Sarah Wilkinson, and was residing in Spencer County at the time of Benjamin Meeks’ death in 1847.  From earlier writings, the reader may remember that Abraham Myres married Patty Atterbury, widow of Nathan Atterbury.  The third known Arterbury with a connection to Spencer County was William Henry Arterbury, presumed son of Nathan and Levica Arterbury, and presumed grandson of Edward Arterbury and Keziah [Mitchell? or Hardwick?].  Before leaving our discussion of the Meeks family, it should also be pointed out that two nephews of Benjamin Meeks (sons of his brother, Reverend William Meeks): John Goatley Meeks and Priddy Shirley Meeks, married two daughters of Rezin Blissett and Anna Arterbury: Sarah Jane Blissett and Margaret Ann Blissett, respectively.  These Meeks brothers both settled in Wayne County IL after their marriages to their Blissett wives.  It should also be noted that Richard Arterbury II’s younger brother, Rueben Arterbury, married Catherine [aka Kitty] Meeks, a sister of John Goatley Meeks and Priddy Shirley Meeks, and also settled in Wayne County IL.

So, prior to and following the recording of the six Arterbury households in Spencer County IN in 1840, there were no other census records found for any Arterburys living anywhere in Indiana between 1830 and 1850.  Given that Sariah Arterbury was reported to have been aged 50 to 59 (assuming that she was the older female in the household) in 1840 (born between 1780 and 1790), and given that she reported three other young adults aged 20 to 39, it seems a reasonable conclusion that Sariah was the widow of an unknown Mr. Arterbury.  Efforts to locate Sariah’s household in either 1830 or 1850 were only marginally successful.  Similarly, since Sol Arterbury and E. [Elijah?] D. [Davidson?] Arterbury each reported young persons in their household over the age of 10 years, it is reasonable to assume that they would appear as the heads of their own households in 1830.  A thorough search of the 1830 census records failed to locate any heads of households fitting their demographics.  Likewise, a thorough search of 1850 census records failed to identify any head of household, whose demographics even remotely matched any of the six Arterburys recorded in Spencer County in 1840.

“Sol” Solomon Arterberry Analysis

We will begin our investigation and analysis of the 1840 Spencer County Arterbury/Atterury households by first directing our attention to the Sol Arterbury family.  The reason for focusing on Sol Arterbury is that Solomon was a very unique given name within the Arterbury/Atterbury family in this region during the early part of the 19th century.  In fact, there was only one known Solomon Arterbury living in America at that time, that being a son of Richard Arterbury I and Rebecca [aka Bennett].  Given the singularity of that given name within the America Arterbury clan, it occurred to the author that there possibly was a kinship connection between Sol Arterbury of Spencer County and Solomon Arterbury, son of Richard I.

Very few records have heretofore been associated with Solomon Arterbury, summarized in chronological order as follows:

  1. Name:             Solomon Atterbury

Gender:          Male

Marriage Date:              15 Oct 1812

Marriage Place:             Hardin, Kentucky, USA

Spouse:          Anny Green

Film Number: 000390788

  • Name:             Solomon Atterberry

Home in 1820 (City, County, State)           Grayson, Kentucky

Enumeration Date        August 7, 1820

Free White Persons – Males – Under 10                   2 (two new sons)

Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44                  1 (Solomon)

Free White Persons – Females – Under 10                2 (two new daughers)

Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25               1 (Anny)

  • Name              Soloman Atterberry

Home in 1830 (City, County, State)           Ohio, Kentucky, Hartford

Free White Persons – Males – Under 5                     2 (two new sons)

Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14                  2 (two sons continued from 1820)

Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39                  1 (Solomon)

Free White Persons – Females – Under 5                  2 (two new daughters)

Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19               2 (two daughters continued from 1820)

Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39               1 (Anny)

  • Name:             Soloman Atterberry

[Soloman Atteberry]

Gender:          Male

Race:              White

Death Age:    68

Birth Date:     abt 1791

Residence Place:          Grayson, Kentucky, USA

Death Date:   10 Feb 1859

Death Place:  Grayson, Kentucky, USA

Father:            Richard Atterberry

From the foregoing records we have Solomon Arterbury marrying Anny Green in Hardin County in Oct1812, followed by the addition of two sons and two daughters by 1820 in Grayson County, and two more sons and two more daughters by 1830 in Ohio County.  Lastly, we have the death record of Solomon Arterbury from Grayson County in which he was reportedly a son of Richard Arterbury, born about 1791 in South Carolina, and dying on 10Feb1859 at the age of 68 years.  Solomon was reportedly still married at the time of his death.  If Solomon Arterbury lived until 1859, it is reasonable to think that there should be census records for Solomon’s household in 1840 and 1850, yet no one has yet to identify Solomon with any census records other than in 1820 and 1830.  Logic suggests that he should have been recorded in 1840 and 1850, but where are those records?

What if the census record for the Sol Arterbury household in Spencer County in 1840 was actually of Solomon Arterbury, son of Richard and Rebecca Arterbury?  First, there is the issue of the age range reported for Sol Arterbury of 30 thru 39 years in 1840.  Based on Solomon’s death record he appears to have been born about 1791, which date of birth would have him aged 40 thru 49 years in 1840.  Is it possible that that Spencer County census record was in error?  Absolutely!  Assuming that the 1840 census record was in error and was actually the record of Solomon Arterbury, son of Richard and Rebecca, we next performed a link analysis of his reported household composition in 1840 as compared to his household in 1830 as illustrated in Figure 16-5.  As can be seen from this link diagram, the two sons and two daughters born before 1820 were no longer in his household, presumably living on their own or dead.  Also, one of the males and one of the females born between 1820 and 1830 were also absent from the household in 1840, presumably dead or living in a different household.  There was also the apparent addition of a new son to the household aged 5 thru 9.  And, lastly, Solomon Arterbury appears to have been widowed, as there was no adult female in the household in 1840.  If it is assumed that the new son added between 1830 and 1840 was born of Anny Green, then it might be assumed that Anny had died sometime between about 1831 and 1840.

Proceeding along this same line of reasoning, if Sol Arterbury of Spencer County was Solomon Arterbury, might we not reasonably expect to find some evidence of the existence of the two older sons and two older daughters absent from his household in 1840, but living somewhere in the near vicinity of Spencer County?  This seemed to be a reasonable expectation, so we then went in search of those missing children.  In 1830 the two missing sons were reported being aged 10 thru 14 years, i.e., born between 1816 and 1820.  We may not have to search too far afield for the two missing sons, as their ages are a near match for the households headed by Adam Arterbury and Stephen Arterbury in Spencer County in 1840.  Likewise, a search of Indiana marriage records disclosed the marriage of two Arterbury women summarized as follows:

  • Name:             Latecia Arterberry

Gender:          Female

Marriage Date:              24 Mar 1833

Marriage Place:             Spencer, Indiana

Spouse:          John Goodwin

FHL Film Number:        549442

  • Name:             Dalila Arterbery

Gender:          Female

Marriage Date:              27 Mar 1833

Marriage Place:             Spencer, Indiana

Spouse:          Atha Tucker

FHL Film Number:        549442

While we were searching the marriage records, we also found the following:

  • Name:             Stephen Arterberry

Gender:          Male

Marriage Date:              29 Jun 1836

Marriage Place:             Spencer, Indiana

Spouse:          Elizabeth Gray

FHL Film Number:        549442

Given the rarity of the Arterbury surname in Spencer County during this time period, it seems highly probable to the author that Dalila Arterbury and Lucretia [aka Leticia] Arterbury were the missing daughters of Solomon Arterbury, and that Stephen Arterbury was also one of the missing adult sons.  However, there was an age discrepancy associated with Adam Arterberry, which needs our attention.  In the 1830 census, Adam would have been aged 10 thru 14 years, yet in the 1840 census record he was reported having an apparent daughter in his household who would have been born between 1831 and 1835.  This would suggest that Adam’s oldest child would have been born when he was about 18 years or younger.  This is not impossible, but rather unusual for that time period.  Given this discrepancy, the author is inclined to question whether Adam Arterberry was in fact a son of Solomon Arterberry.  If Adam Arterberry was not Solomon’s son, then we might expect to find the other missing son elsewhere.

In order to find that other missing son, we may need to leap forward to the 1850 census.  In 1850 there is a census record for the household of a Solomon Arterberry in Grayson County KY summarized in Figure 16-6.  Even though this record has transcribed Solomon’s age as being 36 years, a review of the record suggests it should have been 56 years, which closely comports with the expected age of our Solomon Arterberry.  It is the author’s opinion that this was the household of Solomon Arterberry, son of Richard and Rebecca.  This conclusion is further strengthened by Solomon’s reported place of birth having been South Carolina.  Its location in Grayson County KY also comports with the reported place of Solomon’s death in 1859 in Grayson County.  Assuming that this was the record of our subject Solomon Arterberry, it would appear that all of his children have left his household, and that he has taken on a new wife named Celia.  We had already surmised that Solomon’s first wife, Anny Green had died sometime before 1840, probably in Spencer County IN.

So, having reliably tracked Solomon Arterberry from Spencer County IN back into Grayson County KY in 1850, we should reasonably ask whether this information brings us any closer to identifying the presumed missing son.  Well, the answer to that question seemingly is embodied in yet another, later census record for a Samuel Arterberry in Grayson County in 1860, summarized in Figure 16-7.  In this census record we have a household headed by Samuel Arterberry, born about 1818 in Kentucky, with an apparent wife named Arrena, and a daughter named Amy A.  Also in this household was an older woman named Selia, aged 55, also born in Kentucky.  Although Selia’s age does not exactly align with Solomon Arterberry’s presumed 2nd wife, Celia, in 1850, it is reasonable to conclude that Selia Arterberry was the widow of Solomon Arterberry, and the step-mother of Samuel Arterberry.  This is supported by the fact that Solomon was reported still married at the time of his death in Feb1859  Assuming this analysis to be correct, we would seem to have established the identity of the other missing son of Solomon and Anny Arterberry to have been Samuel Arterberry.

Before leaving Solomon Arterberry and his presumed off-spring, further evidence of his progeny may be found in later records associated with his presumed children.  For example, it should be noted that the household of John Goodwin and Lucrecia [aka Luticia] Arterbury in 1850 contained their eight presumed children, plus a young adult female named Elizabeth A. Arterberry, aged 27 and born in Kentucky as illustrated in Figure 16-8.  Was this Elizabeth A. Arterberry yet another daughter of Solomon Arterbury and a sister of Lucretia Arterberry?  This Elizabeth A. Arterberry would have been born about 1823, which age and place of birth would comport with the female aged 15 thru 19 in Sol Arterberry’s household in Spencer County IN in 1840.  Based on these matching demographics, the author is inclined to accept Elizabeth A. Arterberry as another daughter of Solomon and Anny Arterberry.

In yet another census record of the John Goodwin household in 1870 we find further evidence of Arterbury offspring as summarized in Figure 16-9.  In this 1870 household we find two of John and Lucretia’s daughters: Sarah P. and Nancy J. Goodwin, and possibly a couple of grandchildren named William B. and Isaphena A. Goodwin.  But most telling, we find a Letitia E. Arterberry, aged 17, Elizabeth F. [Frances?] Arterberry, aged 16, and Elizabeth J. Arterberry, aged 13.  All three Arterberry females were reported having been born in Illinois.  It is worth noting that the John Goodwin household in 1850 was recorded in Moultre Township, Illinois, whereas in the 1870 census the household was recorded in Luce Township, Spencer County, Indiana.

Given that these three young women in John Goodwin’s household in 1870 were surnamed “Arterberry”, it seems reasonable to conclude that they were born of a father surnamed Arterberry, and that they probably were kinspersons of Lucretia Arterberry.  Given their respective ages and place of birth, and their residency within the John Goodwin household in Spencer County IN in 1870, it seems highly probable that these young women were nieces of John and Lucretia Goodwin, and the children of yet another unknown son or sons of Solomon Arterberry. 

Thus far in our analysis of the family of Solomon Arterberry, we believe that we have reliably established the identity of two sons named Stephen and Samuel.  However, from the link diagram presented in Figure 16-5 we identified the possibility of at least one other son having reached adulthood, that being the young male aged 10 thru 14 years in Sol Arterberry’s household in Spencer County in 1840.  It is also possible that the youngest male, aged 5 thru 9 years in that same household in 1840 could also have been the father of one or more of the three young Arterberry females.  Assuming that our analysis is correct, and that Sol Arterberry was the same person as Solomon Arterberry, son of Richard and Rebecca, we might expect to find the existence of possibly two more sons of Solomon, who survived to adulthood, married, and sired at least three daughters.  Also, given that these presumed daughters of the(se) unknown son(s) of Solomon Arterberry were in the guardianship of their presumed uncle, John Goodwin, in 1870, it seems probable that their parents were deceased by 1870.

Unfortunately, a comprehensive search of the 1860 census records failed to locate the household of either the John Goodwin family or the family of our unknown son(s) of Solomon and Anny Arterbury.  Occasionally, it is helpful to search the Public Trees on Ancestry or WikiTree to find clues of family connections.  After performing such a search, the author was able to discover one possible link, that being via the child named Elizabeth F. Arterberry.  Several different sources suggest that this young woman actually went by her middle name of Frances, and that she married a gentleman named John Mahlon Brock around 1886.  There are numerous records associated with this couple, some of which do tend to support a possible connection to Elizabeth F. Arterberry.  These records are presented and analyzed as follows:

  • Marriage No. 1 – In the marriage record summarized in Figure 16-10 Frances E. Arterberry married a James Smith in Warrick County, Indiana on 3Mar1877.  Given the rarity of the Arterberry surname in the Spencer County area at this time, and the exact match for Frances’ given name, it seems highly probable that this was the first marriage of Elizabeth Francis Arterberry.  No further record could be located for this couple, so it is unknown whether they had any children from this union, but unlikely.

Marriage No. 2. – In the marriage record summarized in Figure 16-11 Frances Arterbury married a Mr. Brock in Luce Township, Spencer County, Indiana on 25Oct1886.  In other records this Mr. Brock is identified as John M. Brock, including his death record.

  1. Marriage Record of Frances Elizabeth’s son, Henry Harrison Brock – Figure 16-12 contains a summary of the marriage record of Elizabeth Frances’s son, Henry Harrison Brock.  The striking element of this record is that Henry Harrison identified his mother as Frances Goodwin.  Nowhere else in the records of Elizabeth Frances Arterberry was her surname reported as “Goodwin”, except in her death certificate.
  2. Elizabeth Frances Arterberry’s Death Certificate – Figure 16-13 contains an image of Elizabeth Frances Arterberry’s death certificate.  This record has been transcribed as being for a person named Sonnie Brock, however, the various facts contained in this record leave little doubt but that this was for Elizabeth Frances Arterberry [aka Fannie].  The most relevant facts contained in this record are the names reported for her parents.  Her father was reported to have been John Goodwin, and her mother was reported as Annie Arterberry.  The biographical information contained in this record was provided by France’s son-in-law, Taylor Hawkins, husband of Ida Florence Brock.  Furthermore, it is stated that these parents were each born in Illinois.

We can equivocate over the accuracy of the information provided by Taylor Hawkins, but the author must admit that, if accurate, this information would seem to provide some clarity as to the true parents of the three young women reported in John Goodwin’s household in 1870.  Namely, that they were the children of John Goodwin and Annie Arterberry.  We can further stipulate that Annie Arterberry very likely was the same person as Elizabeth A. Arterberry, who appeared in John Goodwin’s household in 1850.  And, lastly, we can state with a fairly high degree of certainty that Elizabeth Ann Arterberry and Lucretia Arterberry were sisters, and the daughters of Solomon Arterberry and Annie Green.

Just what the legal status of the union between John Goodwin and Elizabeth Ann Arterberry may have been cannot be stated with certainty, but given the use of the Arterberry surname for the three children in the 1870 census, and the fact that Frances Elizabeth appears to have only used the Arterberry surname in her marriage and census records, it seems probable that John Goodwin and Elizabeth Ann Arterberry were never legally bound in marriage. 

It occurs to the author that there may be an alternate explanation for this mixed family.  Mormonism was rapidly spreading throughout Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana during this time period.  Although polygamous marriage may not have been a widespread phenomenon among Mormons at this point in time, it was occurring.  Given that Dr. Priddy Meeks hailed from Luce Township, Spencer County, and was converted to Mormonism in the 1840’s, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that John Goodwin may also have been a convert, and that his union with the two Arterberry sisters could have been of a polygamous nature.  Also, the Mormon migration to Utah occurred in the 1840’s, which occurrence might explain the disappearance of the John Goodwin household from the census records in 1860.  This is entirely speculation on the author’s part, but does offer a plausible explanation for the seeming absence of a marriage between John Goodwin and Elizabeth Ann Arterberry.

It is now time for us to delve a bit deeper into Solomon Arterberry, and his allied family connections.  It has been reliably established that Solomon was twice married, first to Annie Green, who is believed to have died between about 1831 and 1840 in Spencer County IN, and second to Celia [possibly Cecilia Decker], marriage time and place uncertain.  By 1850 Solomon Arterberry had returned to Kentucky, where he is found living in Grayson County with his new wife, Celia, adjacent to William H. [Harmon] Mahurin. 

Were there familial affiliations in Solomon Arterberry’s background which may have led to his initial migration to Spencer County IN and his later return to Grayson County in his waning years?  The answer to that question can probably be found in the identity of his first wife, Annie Green.  Although not thoroughly documented, numerous Meeks and Mahurin family researchers claim that Annie Green was the only child of a mysterious Thomas Green and Sarah Meeks.  Further, that Sarah Meeks was a daughter of Priddy Meeks Sr. and Elizabeth Denny, born about 1773 probably near Greenville, South Carolina.  Following the death of Thomas Green, probably in Hardin County Kentucky in about 1798, his widow married Stephen Mahurin, son of Silas Mahurin and Sarah [Susannah] (mnu).  Sarah Meeks and Stephen Mahurin settled in the northwestern corner of Grayson County near the community of Tousey, where they lived out their relatively long lives and sired numerous children as expressed in the following biography taken from Stephen Mahurin’s profile on Find-A-Grave:

“Stephen Mahurin was the son of Silas Mahurin and Sarah Susannah (nee Unknown) Mahurin. He was born May 21, 1774 somewhere in Virginia. He was the brother of three known sisters: Mary, Phebe and Patience. The family was in Hardin County, Kentucky by 1800 and in the newly created Grayson County, Kentucky by 1810. Stephen married Sarah (Meeks) Green on October 28, 1799 in Shelby County, Kentucky. She was the daughter of Priddy Meeks[3] and Elizabeth Denny, the widow of Thomas Green and the mother of Annie Green (presumed wife of Solomon Arterberry).

Stephen and Sarah were the parents of:

Elizabeth – b. 23 Nov 1800

Sarah – b. 12 Dec 1801

– m/1. Anthony Smith ca 1818

– m/2. Priddy Meeks[4] 24 Dec 1826

Phebe – b. 15 Jul 1804

– m. James A. B. Fraim

Silas – b. 31 Dec 1805

– m. Delaney “Laney” Edwards

Frederick Priddy – b. 19 Mar 1808

– m. Eliza Atterberry 18 Sep 1828

Candance – b. 25 Dec 1809

Susannah – b. ca 1811

Stephen – b. 28 Aug 1813

– m. Rachel Dewees 2 Apr 1840

William Harmon – b. 28 Jan 1815

– m. Ann Dewees

Abigail Mahurin – b. 29 Dec 1817

– m. Isaac Harrell Dewees, Sr.

Stephan Mahurin died at the age of 74 years, 8 months and 18 days on February 8, 1849 and Sarah died six months later at the age of 76 years, 2 months and 26 days on August 10, 1849. They were among the first burials in the Mahurin Cemetery near Tousey, Grayson County, Kentucky.:[5]

So, from the foregoing biographical sketch of Stephen Mahurin we have disclosed several very close family connections between Solomon Arterberry and the Meeks and Mahurin families, albeit tangentially through Solomon’s 1st wife, Annie Green.  To illustrate these connections more precisely, we will place them into more specific kinship and geographic terms.  First, Solomon’s wife, and the presumed mother of all his known and/or presumed children, was a daughter of Sarah Meeks, daughter of Priddy Meeks Sr., and wife of Stephen Mahurin through a 2nd marriage.  Sarah Meeks (Solomon Arterberry’s mother-in-law) also was the sister of Solomon Arterberry’s brother-in-law, by way of her younger brother, Benjamin Meeks, having married Solomon’s older sister, Rebecca Arterberry.  Benjamin Meeks and Rebecca Arterberry were settled in Luce Township, Spencer County, Indiana by 1820.  Benjamin Meeks had filed a patent for land in Spencer County in Section 29 in Dec1816, and Richard Arterberry II filed for land in Section 33 in Nov1817.  Solomon Arterberry’s presumed son, Stephen Arterberry, filed a patent for a 40 acre tract of land in Luce Township on 5Sep1838, located at Township 7S, Range 7W, Section 21, N1/2, W1/2, SW1/4.  The tract filing by Stephen Arterberry would have been located in the Section immediately northeast of the original tract filing by Benjamin Meeks, and two Sections directly north of the tract filing by Richard Arterberry II.

In the 1840 census records from Spencer County IN the Solomon Arterberry household was listed on the same page [Page 36] as the households of Benjamin Meeks, John Meeks, Athy Meeks, Green [aka Greenberry] Meeks, William Goatley, William Meeks, and immediately adjacent to Athy Tucker [Solomon’s presumed son-in-law].  The Stephen Arterberry household was listed four pages after the Sol Arterberry household [Page 42], immediately abutting the households of William Meeks [Rev. William Meeks, son of Priddy Meeks and Elizabeth Denney] and M. J. [James Mason Meeks, son of Rev. William Meeks and Nancy Goatley] Meeks.  In the 1840 census Spencer County was reported as a whole, with the exception of the Rockport Township.  The census records of Spencer County spanned a total of 36 pages (excluding the slave pages), encompassing a total of 1006 households.  The six Arterberry households were grouped in a fairly small geographic region spanning five consecutive pages (again, excluding the slave pages).  There were a total of 14 households headed by persons surnamed Meeks.  Of those 14 households, 11 were clustered within the same five pages containing persons named Arterberry, the other three are found on pages 14 and 64.  So, the Arterberrys in Spencer County were clustered in very close geographic proximity to the large majority of members of the Meeks family.  Rev. William Meeks and his son, James Mason Meeks were immediate neighbors of Stephen Arterberry.  Rev. William Meeks was a brother of Sarah Meeks Green Mahurin, and Benjamin Meeks, who married Rebecca Arterberry, sister of Solomon Arterberry.  Rev. Meeks was also a brother of Catherine Goatley Meeks, who married Solomon Arterberry’s younger brother, Rueben Arterberry, and the father of John Goatley Meeks and Priddy Shirley Meeks, who married daughters of Resin Blissett and Mary Arterberry [Solomon’s older sister].

Solomon Arterberry’s presumed daughter, Dalila Arterberry married Athy [aka Atha] Tucker.  Atha Tucker was an immediately adjacent neighbor of Solomon Arterberry’s household in 1840.  Atha Tucker is believed to have been a son of Peter Tucker and Susannah Meeks.  Susannah Meeks is believed to have been a daughter of Priddy Meeks Sr. and Margaret Snead, and sister of Sarah Meeks Green Mahurin, Solomon Arterberry’s mother-in-law.

According to Wayne Atteberry, Solomon Arterberry and his 2nd wife, Celia Decker, are both buried in the Solomon [Wilson] Cemetery near Yeaman, Grayson County KY.  The author has been unable to find any documentary proof of Wayne Atteberry’s claim.  In fact, aside from a record found on Find-A-Grave, no other reference to Solomon’s place of burial could be found, but his death was recorded in Grayson County.  Even the precise location of the Solomon Wilson Cemetery appears to be a closely held secret.  Aside from burial entries found on Find-A-Grave, no other references to this Cemetery could be located.  If Solomon Arterberry and his 2nd wife are buried in this cemetery, it is a bit strange that the namesake of that cemetery, Solomon Wilson, was not buried until 18Aug1887, and he was the earliest recorded interment after that of Solomon Arterberry, almost 30 years later.

Solomon Arterberry’s son, Samuel Arterberry and his wife, Arrena [Irene?] Payton are buried in the Mahurin Cemetery near Tousey, Grayson County, KY.  The earliest recorded interment in the Mahurin Cemetery is that of Sarah Elizabeth Mahurin, daughter of Stephen Mahurin Jr. and Rachel Dewees, who died on 17Jul1842 at the tender age of 15 months.  Stephen Mahurin Sr. was the next recorded burial, when he died on 8Feb1849.  Stephen’s wife, Sarah Meeks Green Mahurin [Solomon Arterberry’s mother-in-law] was the next recorded burial, when she died on 10Aug1849.  There are a total of 130 interments on record in the Mahurin Cemetery, most of which are for members of the Mahurin family.

The communities of Yeaman and Tousey are located roughly two miles apart in the extreme northwest corner of Grayson County, as illustrated in Figure 16-14.  Yeaman and Tousey are located roughly 4.5 miles south of Falls of Rough, the post office location where Samuel Arterberry’s household was recorded in 1860.

Given all of the close kinship and geographic location connections cited in the foregoing analysis of Solomon Arterberry, there is little doubt in the mind of the author that Solomon Arterberry, son of Richard Arterberry I and Rebecca was the same person as Sol Arterberry, whose household was recorded in Spencer County IN in 1840.  Further, it is the author’s opinion that Solomon Arterberry and Anny Green were the parents of Lucretia Arterberry, Dalila Arterberry, Samuel Arterberry, Stephen Arterberry and Elizabeth Ann Arterberry, and possibly of Adam Arterberry.  From the 1830 and 1840 census records of Solomon Arterberry’s households it would appear that he and Anny Green had perhaps three additional sons and one additional daughter, who may have survived to adulthood and whose identity has not been established from the foregoing research and analysis.  The fact that those presumed additional children were absent from Solomon’s household in 1850 suggests that they had either died, or were living outside of his household.  The fact that there were no apparent children living in Solomon’s household in 1850 suggests that there were no surviving children from his union with Celia [Decker?].

Adam Arterberry Analsis

We will next analyze the possible identity of Adam Arterberry, whose household was recorded in Spencer County in 1840 and is reiterated as follows:

Name:     Adam Arterberry

Home in 1840 (City, County, State): Spencer, Indiana

Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29:         1 [Adam Arterberry]

Free White Persons – Females – Under 5:         1

Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9:          1

Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29:      1

Adam Arterberry’s demographics would fit with one of the sons reported in the household of Solomon Arterberry in 1830, but missing from his household in 1840.  The author had initially dismissed Adam Arterberry as a son of Solomon Arterberry, because of the presumed sons named Stephen and Samuel.  Both Stephen and Samuel also fit the demographics of the two sons missing from Solomon Arterberry’s household in 1840.  Based on demographics, we would appear to have one too many sons for Solomon Arterberry.  Yet, one troubling factor is the inability to find Samuel Arterberry anywhere in the 1840 census records.  If Samuel Arterberry were truly one of the two missing sons in the 1840 census, we would logically expect to find him recorded somewhere in the 1840 census, possibly as the head of his own household, yet he was nowhere to be found. 

Let’s assume for a minute that Stephen and Adam Arterberry were the two sons reportedly aged 10 thru 19 years in 1830 and missing from Solomon’s household in 1840, then how might we rationalize the existence and whereabouts of Samuel Arterbury in 1840.  The answer to that puzzle may just lie in the household composition of Stephen Arterberry in 1840, reiterated as follows:

Name:     Stephen Asheberry

[Stephen Arterberry]

Home in 1840 (City, County, State): Spencer, Indiana

Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29:         2 [Stephen Asheberry]

Free White Persons – Females – Under 5:         1

Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29:      1

Note that Stephen Arterberry’s household actually reported two males aged 20 thru 29 years.  Clearly, one of those males would have been Stephen Arterberry, as the head of the household.  Might the other male have been Stephen’s brother, Samuel Arterberry?  That seems to be a distinct possibility.  If the second male in Stephen Arterberry’s household was his younger brother, Samuel, then how might that fact square up with the males reported in Solomon’s household in 1830 and 1840?  It should be remembered that there were actually three males reported in Solomon’s household in 1830, which were missing from his household in 1840.  The author had initially assumed that one of the sons reported as under age 5 in 1830 may have died by 1840.  Now, it seems possible that the age of one of the sons under age five in Solomon’s household in 1830 may have been in error, and that one of those sons (Samuel), was actually over the age of 5, probably about 11 years old. 

Given the presence of the additional male aged 20 thru 29 in Stephen Arterberry’s household in 1840, the author is inclined to believe that that additional male was actually Stephen’s brother, Samuel Arterberry.  Assuming that to have been the case, then the author is also inclined to believe that Adam Arterberry may have been yet another son of Solomon Arterberry.  The proof of Adam Arterberry as a son of Solomon Arterberry is tenuous, but possible.  The reader will ultimately need to determine the identity of Adam Arterberry for themselves. 

One final observation may lend even further strength to the foregoing analysis of the Solomon Arterberry family.  It seems highly probable to the author that Stephen Arterberry was the namesake of his mother’s step-father, Stephen Mahurin.  Anny Green probably was only a few years old when her widowed mother married Stephen Mahurin.  Anny very likely was reared most of her young life in Stephen Mahurin’s household.  In fact, Stephen Mahurin may have been the only real father she would remember.  Consequently, it is reasonable to think that she would want to name her eldest son in honor of that father.

Eigah Arterberry

Having exhausted virtually every direct search methodology and resource available to the author, a secondary, or indirect research methodology was devised.  This indirect routine was predicated on the assumption that the existence of five households, each with young males at their head, would almost certainly have resulted in the birth of young children during their stay in Indiana.  Further, that the existence of such children should be detectable through a focused search of the 1850 census records.  Consequently, a complete search of the 1850 census records was performed for anyone bearing the surname of A*t*b*ry (where “*” functions as a wild card) using the birth date range of 1840 +/- 10 years, and birthplace of Indiana.  Strangely, this search returned only two hits: (1) Robert A. Arterbury, aged 6, born in Indiana, living in the household of Robert A. Saxon in Clay and Richland County IL; and (2) Amanda Atterbury, aged 13 and born about 1837 in Indiana, living in her father’s household (Nathaniel J Atterbury, presumed son of Charles and Sarah Atteberry) in Hunt County TX.  Amanda Atterbury’s family was living in Big Creek, Van Buren County, Missouri in 1840, so they could be excluded from having been one of the Spencer County families in 1840.  However, a review of Amanda’s siblings’ demographics indicate that she had a sister, Elizabeth, born in 1836 in Kentucky, and another sister, Barbara, born in 1841 in Missouri.  From this information it can be deduced that Amanda’s family lived only briefly (between 1836/7 and 1839) in Indiana, before moving on to Missouri.  Since all of the known Arterburys/Atterberrys living in Indiana around this time period were located in Spencer County, it is reasonable to assume that Nathaniel J. Atterbury also lived in Spencer County, and possibly was a kinsman of one or more of the Arterburys living in Spencer County in 1840.

Now, as regards the other person discovered using the indirect search methodology, namely, Robert A. Arterbury, his ultimate identification facilitated a highly probable connection to Eijah W. or Eigah Arterbury.  This probable connection to Eigah [aka Eijah] Arterbury was established through an analysis of the probable family unit surrounding Robert A. Arterbury.  First, is it important to look at the Robert A. Saxton household in Clay and Richland County IL in 1850, summarized as follows:

Name:     Robert A Arterberry

Age:       6

Birth Year:             abt 1844

Birthplace:             Indiana

Home in 1850:       Clay and Richland, Richland, Illinois, USA

Gender:  Male

Family Number:    1104

Household Members:         

Name      Age

Robert A Saxton                   30

Nancy Saxton                       23

Mary E Saxton                      2

Isaac Arterberry                   14

Wm Arterberry                     12

Robert A Arterberry            6

From a review of the composition of this household it was concluded that the three male Arterburys very likely were brothers.  In reviewing the demographics for Isaac and William Arterbury, it was determined that they were born in Kentucky, whereas Robert A. was born in Indiana.  This suggests that their family had moved from Kentucky into Indiana sometime between 1838 and 1844.  Further searching discovered the following marriage record:

Name:     Nancy Jane Atteberry

Gender:  Female

Event Type:          Marriage Registration (Marriage)

Marriage Licence Date:       4 Oct 1844

Marriage Licence Place:      Indiana, United States

Spouse:  Robert A Saxton

This record provides a strong inference that Nancy Saxton was born an Atteberry, and very likely a sister of Isaac, William and Robert A.  The date of this marriage having been in Oct 1844 also provides a strong suggestion that Nancy’s younger brother, Robert A. Arterbury, may have been named in honor of her new husband, Robert A. Saxton.  The fact that her three younger brothers were living with Nancy and her husband, Robert A. Saxton, in 1850, suggests that their parents may both have been deceased sometime between 1844 and 1850, thus necessitating Nancy’s apparent assumed guardianship of her younger brothers.  Further searching for possible Arterbury/Atterbury kinfolk in Clay and Richland County IL resulted in discovery of the following records:

Name:     Charles C Arterberry

Age:       18

Birth Year:             abt 1832

Birthplace:             Kentucky

Home in 1850:       Clay and Richland, Richland, Illinois, USA

Gender:  Male

Name      Age

John Jeffrey [Jeffords]        45

Margaret Jeffrey [Evans]    58

Name:     James W Arterberry

Age:       20

Birth Year:             abt 1830

Birthplace:             Kentucky

Home in 1850:       Clay and Richland, Richland, Illinois, USA

Gender:  Male

Family Number:    1103

Household Members:         

Name      Age

James W Arterberry            20

Elizabeth Arterberry            19

In the case of James W. Arterberry, his household was recorded immediately adjacent to the Robert A. Saxton household.  Given James W. Arterberry’s close geographic proximity, age and place of birth (Kentucky), it is logical to conclude that he very likely was another sibling of Nancy, Isaac, William and Robert A. Arterbury.  In the instance of Charles C. Arterbury, he was living in the household of John Jeffords and Margaret Evans Jeffords, an apparently unrelated family many households removed from James W. Arterberry and Robert A. Saxton.  But, given his age and place of birth (Kentucky) and presence in the same County, it seems possible that he was yet another sibling.  Having pieced together the remnants of what appears to have been six siblings from the same family, it is now time to search for their probable family household in 1840.  Given that William was born in about 1838 in Kentucky, and Robert A. was born in about 1844 in Indiana, it seems possible that their family could have been one of the five male Arterbury households recorded living in Spencer County in 1840.  On reviewing the reported composition of each of those five households in Spencer County in 1840, only the household of Eigah Arterbury appears to provide a match.  For purposes of this comparative analysis, the 1840 household of Eigah Arterberry is reiterated as follows:

Name:     Eigah Arteebury

[Elijah Arterberry]

Home in 1840 (City, County, State): Spencer, Indiana

Free White Persons – Males – Under 5:            2 [Isaac and William]

Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9:             2 [James W. and Charles C.]

Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39:         1 [Eigah Arteebury]

Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9:          1 [Nancy Jane]

Free White Persons – Females – 40 thru 49:      1 [unknown wife]

The bracketed names of the assumed children have been supplied by the author, based on the reconstructed family unit from Clay and Richland County IL.  Based on the virtually identical match between the assumed children reported in Eigah Arterbury’s 1840 household in Spencer County to the reconstructed family unit of assumed siblings in Clay and Richland County in 1850, it seems a virtual certainty that Nancy Jane, James W., Charles C., Isaac, William and Robert A. Arterbury were all the children of Eigah Arterbury and his unknown wife recorded in Spencer County in 1840.  Assuming this to have been the case, and given the place of birth of five of his presumed children in Kentucky, it is now time to search for Eigah Arterbury’s household in Kentucky in 1830.  As it happens, just such a household does appear in the 1830 census in Daviess County, immediately across the Ohio River from Spencer County summarized as follows:

Name:     Eijah W Atterbury

Home in 1830 (City, County, State):  Daviess, Kentucky

Free White Persons – Males – Under 5:            1 [James W.]

Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39:         1 [Eijah W.]

Free White Persons – Females – Under 5:         1 [Nancy]

Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29:      1 [unknown wife]

The family of Eijah W. Atterbury is a very close match to the family of Eigah Arterbury in Spencer County IN in 1840.  One significant variance is the age ranges of the head of household and his presumed wife, which appear to have been reversed in the 1840 census (or vice versa).  That variance aside, the author is inclined to believe that these households were headed by the same person.  The virtual match of the children’s demographics, coupled with the unique spelling of the given name of Eijah vs. Eigah is almost conclusive.  The names of Eijah and Eigah probably would have been phonetically identical.  Just which spelling of this name was the intended original variant is uncertain, as there were a similar number each spelling existing in the 1850 census.  If this interpretation is correct regarding Eijah W. and Eigah having been the same persons, then the question arises regarding Eijah’s ancestry.  To answer that question we must return to the earlier census records of Daviess County in 1820.  In that year there were only two households in Daviess County headed by an Arterbury of sufficiently advanced age to have been Eijah’s parent: (1) Edward Arterbury, and (2) Salley Arterbury. 

Earlier in this chapter we have already analyzed and identified the three probable sons of Edward Arterbury, namely, Elijah, Nathan and Hasel.  We also spoke briefly of the household of Salley Arterbury, and presented the case for her having been the widow of Israel Arterbury, son of Michael and Elizabeth Arterbury.  However, we did not analyze or evaluate the young male members of Israel and Salley’s household.  Let us do that analysis at this time.  In Figure 16-3 we presented a link-diagram of their respective households between 1800 and 1820.  In those households were recorded the existence of two young males reported aged under 10 in 1800, 10 thru 15 in 1810, and 16 thru 25 in 1820.  Consequently, it is possible to surmise that those two presumed sons were born sometime between 1795 and 1800, and that they were still living in their mother’s household in Daviess County in 1820.  Assuming that they eventually married and established their own households, independent of their mother, we might expect to find them living in Daviess County in 1830.  As fortune would have it, there were in fact two new households appearing for the first time in Daviess County in 1830 headed by young male Arterburys, summarized as follows:

Name:     Eijah W Atterbury

[Elijah W Atterbury]

[Ejah W Atterbury]

Home in 1830 (City, County, State):  Daviess, Kentucky

Free White Persons – Males – Under 5:            1

Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39:         1

Free White Persons – Females – Under 5:         1

Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29:      1

Name:     Manos Atterbury

[Maner? Atterbury]

Home in 1830 (City, County, State):  Daviess, Kentucky

Free White Persons – Males – Under 5:            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

By process of elimination, it seems probable that Eijah W. and Manos Atterbury were brothers, and sons of Israel and Salley Arterbury.  One factor that might auger against this conclusion is that two young persons in Manos Atterbury’s household were aged 10 thru 14 years.  If Manos Atterbury had not left his mother’s household and married until sometime after 1820, then he probably could not have had two children born before 1820.  One possible explanation for this seeming discrepancy might be that Manos could have married a widow, who already had two young children from an earlier marriage.  Manos could not be found in any census records in either 1820 or 1840, so we have no further information on which to base a conclusion regarding his probable ancestry.  All things considered, the author is inclined to accept Manos and Eijah W. Atterbury as brothers, and sons of Israel and Salley Arterbury.

Through a considerable effort we have fairly reliably established the identity of yet another of the six Arterburys in Spencer County in 1840.  As a result of having established Eijah W. [aka Eigah] Artebury as the probable son of Israel and Salley Arterbury, we have seemingly eliminated Eigah Arterbury from having had any immediate and direct kinship connection to any of the other five Arterburys living contemporaneously with him in Spencer County in 1840. 

Sariah Arterberry

We will now analyze the household headed by a person named Sariah (probably Sarah) Arterberry, reiterated as follows:

Name:     Sariah Arterbury

[Sariah Arterberry]

Home in 1840 (City, County, State): Spencer, Indiana

Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29:         2

Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39:      1 [Sariah Arterbury?]

Free White Persons – Females – 50 thru 59:      1 [Sariah Arterbury?]

Since there were two adult females listed in this household, it is not possible to state with any certainty just which of those females might have been considered to be the head of the household.  If we assume that the oldest female, aged 50 thru 59 was Sariah Arterberry, then is might be concluded that the other younger persons in the household were her children or children’s spouse(s), and that she was the widow of a deceased Mr. Arterberry.  If the younger female, aged 30 thru 39 was Sariah Arterberry, then it would be reasonable to conclude that the two young males may have been her siblings, and that the older woman may have been the mother of one or more of the other members of the household.  Either one of these scenarios seems plausible.

Case 1 Sariah Arterberry (aged 50 thru 59):  If we assume that Sariah Arterberry was the oldest female in the household, then we are accepting that she was born sometime between 1781 and 1790, and that she had been married to a deceased Mr. Arterberry.  We are also accepting that she probably had at least one surviving son in his 20’s still living at home, and possibly a daughter in her 30’s still living at home.  When we plumbed the depths of the Arterberry/Atterberry family genealogies from this time period in search of a widowed Sariah (or Sarah) Arterberry still alive in 1840, very few candidates could be found.  The most obvious candidate, given the geographic location of Spencer County and the kinships of those Arterberrys already identified from this cluster of six households, would be the widow of Israel Arterberry, son of Michael and Elizabeth Arterberry.  Earlier in this chapter the author hypothesized that Israel’s widow was the Salley Arterberry recorded across the Ohio River in Daviess County KY in 1820.  The name “Salley” is a recognized nickname for Sarah, and that Salley Arterberry would have been of the appropriate age to have been reported as aged 50 thru 59 years in 1840.  However, Salley [aka Sarah or Sariah] Arterberry could not be located in the 1830 census, so we have no basis for assuming that she may still have been alive in 1840.  Yet, people do go missing from the census records, as we have already observed in this manuscript of the John Goodwin household in 1860.  It should also be recognized that Salley Arterberry, presumed widow of Israel Arterberry is not known to have had any children who would match the demographics of the apparent children in Sariah’s household in 1840.  All things considered, the author is not inclined to lend much credence to Sariah Arterberry having been the widow of Israel Arterberry.  Absent any other viable candidates, it seems unlikely that Sariah Arterberry was the older woman in this household.

Case 2 Sariah Arterberry (aged 30 thru 39):  In this case it is assumed that Sariah [aka Sarah] Arterberry was actually the younger female of the household.  Again, plumbing the depths of the Arterberry/Atterberry genealogy during this time period, we find evidence of one possible candidate, Sarah Arterberry, who appeared as the head of a household in Jackson County TN in 1830, summarized as follows:

The age of Sarah Arterberry from Jackson County TN would be a perfect fit for the Sariah Arterberry in Case 2.  Also, the two younger males in Sarah Arterberry’s household in 1830 would be a perfect fit for the two young males in Sariah’s household in 1840.  The author is not absolutely certain of the identity of the Sarah Arterberry of Jackson County TN, but does have a theory.  Sarah Arterberry appeared as the head of household in Jackson County in only one census year, 1830.  Also in Jackson County TN in 1830 were four other households headed by male Arterberrys named: Moses, Thomas, George and James.  Moses Arterberry is generally accepted as the son of Nathan and Patty Arterberry.  Thomas, George and James are believed to have been sons of Moses.  The author has been unable to find anyone claiming to know the identity of this Sarah Arterberry.

The author’s hypothesis regarding the identity of this Sarah Arterberry is predicated on a review of the 1820 census for Jackson County.  In that year there were a total of three households headed by persons named Arterberry: Moses Arterberry, Elizah [Elijah] Arterberry and Priscilla Arterberry.  We have already established the identity of Moses Arterberry as a son of Nathan and Patty Arterberry.  Priscilla Arterberry is reliably known to have been Priscilla Mayfield, widow of Nathan Arterberry, son of Michael and Elizabeth Arterberry.  Many genealogists have identified Elijah Arterberry as a son of Nathan and Patty, and brother of Moses Arterberry.  The author is not persuaded of that connection.  It seems more likely that Elijah Arterberry was the son of Edward Arterberry and Keziah [possibly Mitchell].  The author believes that Elijah was the same person recorded living adjacent to Edward Arterberry’s household near Elizabethtown, Hardin County KY in 1810.

As a basis of comparison, the author has compiled a link diagram between the households of Elijah Arterberry in 1810, Elijah Arterberry in 1820, Sarah Arterberry in 1830 and Sariah Arterberry in 1840 as illustrated in Figure 16-15.  For an added dimension, the author has added the household of E. D. Arterberry to this link diagram.

In the 1810 household of Elijah Arterberry he appears to have had a wife, and a son and daughter, both under the age of 10 years.  In the 1820 household of Elijah Arterberry his wife seems to be missing, presumably deceased.  The two children from 1810 were continued in his household in 1820, aged 10 thru 15 years.  Three new sons appear to have been added to the family between 1810 and 1820.  Continuing forward to Sarah Arterberry’s household in 1830, her elder male sibling (aged 20 thru 29) appears to still be in the household, as well at two of the younger brothers: one aged 10 thru 14 and the other aged 15 thru 19.  Elijah was no longer in the household, presumably deceased.  Moving forward to 1840 to the household headed by the younger female, Sariah Arterberry, there appears to be a continuation of the two younger brothers, now reportedly aged 20 thru 29.  Missing from this household is the eldest brother, which the author believes possibly could have been E. D. Arterberry, whose household was reported in Spencer County in 1840.  The reported age of E. D. Arterberry tracts very closely with the presumed elder brother of Sarah/Sariah Arterberry, but he was reported with three seemingly older children: a son aged 15 thru 19 and two daughters aged 10 thru 14.  If E. D. Arterberry was the elder brother of Sarah Arterberry, and a son of Elijah Arterberry, then we are left with the mystery of how he acquired three children born before 1830.  Perhaps those older children were step-children, acquired at the time of his marriage.

Leaving E. D. Arterberry aside for the moment, let’s focus our attention on Elijah Arterberry and his presumed daughter, Sarah.  If the author’s interpretation of the kinship connection between Elijah and Sarah as father and daughter is correct, then how might we explain Sarah’s having been designated as the head of household after the apparent death of her father.  To answer that question, let’s first look at the composition of Elijah’s household in 1820.  In that household Sarah and her elder brother were identified as being aged 10 thru 15.  Also, in the 1830 household the youngest children was reported age 10 thru 14.  This suggests that both Elijah and his wife could have died virtually anytime between 1820 and 1830.  Assuming that Elijah died intestate (which was a common occurrence in that time period), and that Sarah had reached her majority before her father’s death, and that her siblings were still minors, the Court could very well have granted guardianship of her younger brother’s to Sarah.  In fact, Sarah may have been granted administration over her father’s estate.  The existence of a more mature Sarah Arterberry in Jackson County TN in the 1830’s is supported by the fact that she was listed on the tax rolls in 1836.

It is also conceivable that Elijah could have married a much younger woman after his 1st wife’s death, who happened to be named Sarah.  Elijah’s 2nd wife would probably also been granted guardianship of her step-children, even though the eldest son would have been almost as old as his step-mother.

Given the closely corresponding household compositions for Elijah Arterberry and Sarah and Sariah Arterberry, it is the author’s opinion that there is a high level of probability of Sariah Arterberry having been either the eldest daughter or widow of Elijah Arterberry.  If Sariah Arterberry were the widow of Elijah Arterberry, then is it possible that the elder woman in the household in 1840 may have been Sariah’s mother.

E. D. Arterberry

E. D. Arterberry’s household appeared near the top of Page 38 in the 1840 Spencer County census record, summarized as follows:

Name:     E D Arberberry

[E D Arterberry]

Home in 1840 (City, County, State):

Spencer, Indiana

Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19:         1

Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39:         1 [E D Arterberry]

Free White Persons – Females – Under 5:         1

Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9:          2

Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14:      2

Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39:      1

E. D. Arterberry’s household was on the same page as the household of Eigah Arterberry, and on the page following the household of Sariah Arterberry and Solomon Arterberry.  E. D.’s household was only twelve households removed from Sariah Arterberry’s household.  As discussed in the preceding section, the demographics for E. D. Arterberry are a match for the eldest male reported in Sarah Arterberry’s household in 1830 in Jackson County TN.  Based on the close geographic proximity of E. D.’s household in 1840 to that of Sariah Arterberry, and the matching age range of Sariah’s presumed elder brother in the 1830 census, it seems possible to the author that E. D. Arterberry may have been Sariah Arterberry’s brother or step-son.

Assuming the posited kinship connection between Sariah Arterberry and E. D. Arterberry to be correct, might we be able to offer any more concrete evidence of such a connection?  Let’s for a moment contemplate the likely given name for the eldest son of Elijah Arterberry.  Following the naming conventions in vogue during the colonial and post-colonial era in America, it would be normal for Elijah to have named his first-born son after himself, namely, Elijah.  Might not the first name of E. D. Arterberry have been Elijah, named in honor of his own father?  Possibly!  What of the middle initial “D”?  What might the middle name of E. D. Arterberry have been?  Anyone familiar with the author’s monograph entitled “The Mitchell family of ChesterCounty” may be able to make an educated guess as to the answer of that question.  Based on our accepted (assumed) kinship for E. D. Arterberry as a son of Elijah Arterberry, his grandparents would have been Edward Arterberry and Keziah (mnu, possibly Mitchell).  In the aforementioned Mitchell monograph the author establishes a very strong case for Keziah, 1st wife of Edward Arterberry, having been his 1st cousin, Keziah Mitchell.  Also, in that same monograph the author built a very strong case for Keziah’s parents having been David Mitchell and Mary Davidson.  It seems entirely possible to the author that E. D. Arterberry’s middle name may well have been Davidson, in honor of the surname of his presumed great-grandmother, Mary Davidson.

Summary/Conclusions

We started this investigation for the primary purpose of establishing the kinship/ancestry of the heads of six households clustered in relatively close geographic proximity and headed by persons having the surnames of Arterberry/Atterberry in Spencer County Indiana in 1840.  It is the author’s opinion that we have been highly successful in establishing the identity Sol Arterberry as Solomon Arterberry, son of Richard Arterberry and Rebecca [mnu, possibly Bennett].  Also, to the same level of certainty, this analysis established Stephen Arterberry as the eldest son of Solomon Arterberry.  As an adjunct to this investigation and analysis of Solomon Arterberry, the author believes that we have also identified three heretofore unknown daughters of Solomon Arterberry and Anny Green: Lucretia, Dalila and Elizabeth Ann [aka Anny], as well as confirming Samuel Arterberry as yet another son.  To a lesser degree of certainty, we have posited the possibility (but inconclusively) that Adam Arterberry may also have been a younger son of Solomon Arterberry, and brother of Stephen and Samuel Arterberry.

To a slightly lesser degree of certainty this analysis has identified Eigah [aka Eijah W.] Arterberry as a son of Israel and Salley [Sarah] Arterberry, son of Michael and Elizabeth Arterberry.  To a fairly high level of certainty, this analysis identified six children of Eigah Arterberry as: James W., Nancy, Charles C., Nancy, Isaac, William and Robert A. Arterberry.

To almost the same level of certainty as Eigah, the author believes sufficient evidence has been offered to establish Sariah Arterberry either as the daughter, or 2nd wife of Elijah Arterberry, presumed son of Edward Arterberry and Keziah [mnu, possibly Mitchell].

And, lastly, the author has posited the possibility that E. D. Arterberry may have been Elijah Davison Arterberry, eldest son of Elijah Arterberry, presumed son of Edward Arterberry and Keziah.

Assuming for a moment that the kinships and ancestries posited by the author regarding these six heads of households in Spencer County are correct, we are left to ponder the motivation for their having settled in that area, and the cause of their seeming disappearance (excepting Solomon Arterberry) just 10 years later.  In the case of Solomon Arterberry, it seems probable that he was drawn to Spencer County in the early part of 1830’s by the pre-existing presence of his Meek family kinsmen.  Suffice it to say that Solomon’s decision to move from Grayson County KY to Spencer County IN would also account for the presence of his sons Stephen and Samuel (and possibly Adam Arterberry), as well as his daughter, Dalila and her husband, Atha Tucker.

As for the attraction that drew Eigah, Sariah, and possibly Elijah Davidson Arterberry, we may have to dig a little deeper.  Keep in mind that Edward Arterberry and his presumed sons, Nathan and Hasel, as well as the presumed widow of Israel Arterberry, were living in Daviess County in 1820 and 1830, immediately across the Ohio River from Spencer County.  So, Eigah’s move from Daviess County to Spencer County would have been a very short relocation, one accomplished with relative ease.  Of course, the same cannot be said for Sarah Arterberry and her immediate family, who would have traveled all the way from Jackson County TN, a distance of almost 170 miles overland.  Unlike Eigah, Sariah’s move would have been a major undertaking, an endeavor probably requiring a very strong familial attraction.

Edward Arterberry had already died, probably sometime around 1825, so it wouldn’t have been a attraction of grandparents.  If the author’s identification of the Elijah Arterberry of Jackson County TN having been the son of Edward and Keziah, then his family would have felt quite isolated from the other members of their immediate family.  The nearest living kin of Sarah Arterberry in the 1830’s would have been Elijah’s brother, Nathan Arterberry, how continued to reside in Daviess County KY until his death in about 1852.  It seems likely that it was in part Nathan’s location in Daviess County that may have drawn his brother’s (Elijah’s) family away from Jackson County TN in the mid-1830’s, but why to Spencer County instead of Daviess County?

There is one further kinship connection we need to consider, before attempting to answer that question.  There very likely was a more direct kinship connection between the families of Edward Arterberry and Israel Arterberry, than we have yet to disclose.  Nathan Arterberry, son of Edward Arterberry in on record having married a woman named Levica Arterberry.  As we stated earlier in this chapter, many researchers have posited Levica Arterberry as a daughter of Edward and Keziah.  Wait a minute!  Hasn’t the author posited Nathan Arterberry as a son of Edward and Keziah?  We can’t possibly have brothers marrying sisters.  So, if the author is correct about Nathan’s parents, then we are left to puzzle over the identity of Levica Arterberry.  It is the author’s belief that Levica Arterberry, with a fairly high level of certainty, was the daughter of Israel and Salley Arterberry.  Also, assuming the author is correct about Eigah Arterberry having been a son of Israel and Salley Arterberry, then Nathan Arterberry and Eigah Arterberry would have been brothers-in-law, Nathan having married Eigah’s sister.

If the foregoing kinship connection between Eigah Arterberry and Nathan Arterberry is correct, then Sarah Arterberry would have been a near kinsman of Eigah Arterberry, with Elijah and Nathan having been brothers.  Assuming that E. D. [Elijah Davidson?] Arterberry was a son of Elijah Arterberry, then he and Eigah would have been 1st cousins (through marriage). 

Although somewhat tenuous and totally lacking in primary documentation, the author has built a fairly strong circumstantial case for the otherwise inexplicable and arduous relocation of the Elijah Arterberry family from Jackson County TN to Spencer County IN in the mid-1830’s.

One final point connecting the Edward and Israel Arterberry families is the fact that William Henry Arterberry, son of Nathan and Levica Arterberry, was recorded living in Spencer County in 1860.  Although no records could be found of Sariah, E. D., Adam, Stephen or Eigah Arterberry after the 1840 census, it seems possible that descendants of those families may have continued to reside in Spencer County.  It may have been the presence of those kinfolk that drew William Henry Arterberry to relocate to that area sometime after 1850.

Things that other future researchers might consider in their search for any descendants of these children of Solomon and Anny Arterberry, Edward and Keziah Arterbury, and Israel and Sally Arterbury are the myriad of events that transpired in the decade following 1840.  These events are briefly summarized as follows:

  1. Rise of Mormonism: for a period of almost 20 years the early foundations of Mormonism took root in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri where thousands of adherents were cultivated and converted from the pioneering families of the region.  Dr. Priddy Meeks traveled among his kinsmen in Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, proselytizing to win over believers to his newly found faith.  After being driven out of Missouri, the Mormons attempted to establish a new settlement at Nauvoo Illinois.  After the murder of their prophet, Joseph Smith, and his brother, Hyrum Smith, the Mormons looked westward to the wilderness west of the Rocky Mountains for safe refuge.  Consecutive expeditions were launched in the latter half of the 1840’s, and by 1850 the new Mormon republic was established between the Wasatch Range and Great Salt Lake.  By living among Dr. Priddy Meek’s kinsmen in Spencer County, it is possible that some of these Arterburys may have become Mormon converts, and elected to join the migration westward.
  2. California Gold Rush: news of the discovery of gold in the foothills of central California in January 1848 triggered one of the most rapid and massive migrations in the history of the fledgling nation.  By the middle of the 1850’s over 300,000 people had been drawn to that region.  It is possible that some of the Spencer County Arterburys may have become swept up in this mania for quick riches, and disappeared among the mining camps of the Sierra Nevada.
  3. Mexican-American War:  annexation and creation of the Republic of Texas by the United States Government in 1845 triggered armed conflict with Mexico, which became known as the Mexican-American War.  This battle raged for two years between 1846 and 1848, drawing many American combatants from all over middle-America.  Many American soldiers, after the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in February 1848, were offered payment for their transportation back home, or land grants for settlement in Texas.  Many opted to accept land grants and undertook the relocation of their families to Texas.  Might some of the Spencer County Arterburys been involved in the Mexican War and either killed or elected resettlement?
  4. Midwestern Cholera:  Cholera is mainly a waterborne disease, and occurred in 19th century North America mainly in mid-America and principally along major waterways.  Its origins and treatment were virtually unknown until the early part of the 20th century.  There were generally three major pandemic periods ascribed to Cholera outbreaks in America: 1832, 1849 and 1866, but in reality, cholera was almost continuously present, and often misdiagnosed.  The main cause of cholera during that time period was from ingesting contaminated water.  In most rural and small town communities water was consumed from shallow wells or streams, which had become contaminated with effluent from human sewage.

“In the 1849–51 outbreak, St. Louis lost 4,557, Cincinnati 5,969, and Detroit 700. In each outbreak, deaths totaled 5–10% of the population.”[6]

Cholera was considered “bad for business” and frequently went unreported or under-reported.  The true extent and scope of mortality attributable to cholera during this era cannot be known, as much of the “evidence” is anecdotal at best.  Suffice it to say that entire families were wiped out by this disease, much like the Plague in Britain and Europe in earlier centuries.  Given the agrarian nature of the pioneer’s existence along the banks of the Ohio River in Spencer and Daviess Counties, we can assume that the Arterburys lived within this vulnerable zone on each side of the river.  Can the sudden and almost simultaneous disappearance of the families of Hasel, Manos, Eigah, Sol, E.D., Sarah, Adam and Stephen be explained by the presence and inevitably lethal impact of this or similar disease?

Regardless of the actual cause of their seeming disappearance, the author was unable to trace the families of any of these presumed descendants of Edward and Keziah, and of Israel and Sally beyond 1840, with the exception of the presumed children of Eigah W. Arterbury and William Henry Arterbury.

To facilitate the reader’s better understanding of the genealogical connections developed by the author throughout this rather wide-ranging and rambling excursus into the Arterburys of Spencer County Indiana in the 19th century, the following Descendant Charts are offered:

Add Descendant Charts.

Keziah Arterbury

During the course of developing the foregoing analysis of the Spencer County Arterburys there was considerable attention applied to the family of Edward and Keziah Arterbury.  The basis for that attention was principally due to the fact that possible connections to three of the 1840 Spencer County Arterbury households kept looping back to descendants of Edward and Keziah.  We even briefly explored the possible ancestry of Keziah, herself.  One strand of that analysis focused on a possible connection to Hasel Hardwick utilizing the author’s research tool which is dubbed maternal surname perpetuation.  While this analytical technique has been proven useful and reliable in some instances, we must admit to a certain degree of skepticism in its application to the possible ancestry of Keziah Arterbury.

During the course of the author’s research into another strand of the South Carolina Arterburys, namely Priscilla Mayfield Arterbury, the author unexpectedly stumbled upon a reservoir of genealogical data contained in the temple records of the Mormon church at Nauvoo, IL.  This reservoir of data interestingly enough includes references to Edward and Keziah, which may contain unexplored genealogical links to the ancestry of Keziah.  We will now reintroduce these Nauvoo Temple records at this juncture in a renewed attempt to establish the possible identity of Keziah Arterbury.

Before delving into the details of these temple records, it may be helpful to provide some background.  The referenced temple records were the result of the “temple work” performed by a woman named Elizabeth Edwards between 1841 and 1844.  The main body of the work performed by Elizabeth Edwards consisted of rituals, which the early Mormons referred to as proxy baptism or baptism of the dead.  Without delving into the historical and biblical foundation of this ritual, or the many stages through which the practice has evolved over the centuries, suffice it to say that, in its infancy in the 1840’s, the ritual consisted of a living member of the church undertaking the rite of baptism in the name of a deceased ancestor.  Following are excerpts taken from the History of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints which specifically reference events connected to these baptisms:

“November 8, a temporary baptismal font was dedicated in the Lord’s house at Nauvoo, a description of which was published in Millennial Star.”

“This font was built for the baptisms for the dead until the temple shall be finished, when a more durable one will supply its place.-Millennial Star, vol. 18, pp. 743, 744.”

“Monday, 8th. At five o’clock p. m., I attended the dedication of the baptismal font in the Lord’s house. President Brigham Young was spokesman.”

“The baptismal font is situated in the center of the basement room, under the main hall of the temple. It is constructed of pine timber, and put together of staves tongued and grooved, oval shaped, sixteen feet long east and west, and twelve feet wide, seven feet high from the foundation the basin four feet deep. The molding of the cap and base are formed of beautiful carved work in antique style; the sides are finished with panel work; a flight of stairs in the north and south sides leading up and down into the basin, guarded by side railing.”

“Sunday, November 21, the first baptisms for the dead in the font were administered by Elders B. Young, H. C. Kimball, and John Taylor.”[7]

“Baptisms for the dead, and for the healing of the body, must be in the font; those coming into the church and those rebaptized may be done in the river.  A box should be prepared for the use of the font, that the clerk may be paid, and a book procured by the moneys to be put therein by those baptized, the remainder to go to the use of the temple  The Times and Seasons for May 2, 1842”

“Article 5. And again, I give unto you a word in relation to the baptism for your dead. Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you concerning your dead: When any of you are baptized for your dead, let there be a recorder; and let him be eyewitness of your baptisms; let him hear with his ears, that he may testify of a truth, saith the Lord; that in all your recordings, it may be recorded in heaven, that whatsoever you bind on earth, may be bound in heaven; whatsoever you loose on earth may be loosed in heaven; for I am about to restore many things to the earth pertaining to the priesthood, saith the Lord of hosts.”  NAUVOO, September 1 1842, Epistle from Joseph Smith Jr. to all Saints [of the Church of LDS].  In a follow-up letter from Joseph Smith Jr. to the Saints dated 6Sep1842, he set forth in much greater detail the biblical foundation for the practice of baptizing the dead.  However, that expanded dissertation on the practice did not set forth any specifics regarding which living beings were authorized to undertake such baptisms, nor was there any delineation offered regarding the “proxy’s” relationship to the dead.

“I knew of the work being done on the temple at that place from the time it began until the building was burned in 1848. It was not finished. The basement was fitted for occupation, and the baptismal font was ready for use. The auditorium on the first floor was completed sufficiently to be seated and occupied for assembly purposes. The stairway on the south side was completed for use. The auditorium on second floor, the stairway on north side, nor any other portion of the building except those above-named were completed; though the small rooms above the second floor auditorium were used by President Young and the resident church authorities for various purposes.”  JOSEPH SMITH [III], Lamoni Iowa, June 26, 1897

“10Jun1844 – F. M. Higbee was granted a writ by the Carthage Court for the arrest of Joseph Smith and numerous other Nauvoo LDS leaders, including William Edwards, on the charge of Riot.  [Destruction of the “Expositor” press.]  Although subsequently released from custody following wits of habeas corpus, this same group were rearrested on 14Jun1844.”  NOTE: the referenced William Edward is believed to have been William Holliday Edwards, the eldest son of Thomas Striplin Edwards and Elizabeth Arterbury Hudspeth Edwards.

“William Holliday Edwards: 13 June 18211–13 May 1846.2 Policeman.3 Born in Overton Co., Tennessee.4 Son of Thomas Edwards and Elizabeth.5 Baptized into Church of Jesus Christ of Latter–day Saints, before Oct. 1839.6 Ordained an elder, Oct. 1839, in Commerce (later Nauvoo), Hancock Co., Illinois.7 Appointed Nauvoo policeman, Dec. 1843.8 Married Eliza Allred, 1 Jan. 1844, in Nauvoo.9 Among those arrested for destruction of Nauvoo Expositor press, 1844.10 Accompanied James Emmett’s expedition to explore western U.S., 1844; left expedition and returned to Nauvoo, 1845.11 Died in Garden Grove, Decatur Co., Iowa Territory.12”

A fundamental principal of the proxy baptism ritual was that a deceased person, who when living, had not been afforded the blessing of baptism (a recognized prerequisite for admission into the Kingdom of Heaven), could be baptized after death.  The caveat being that the deceased person had the option of accepting or rejecting such baptism by proxy at the Day of Judgment.

Early manifestations of proxy baptism seem to have allowed a female to undertake baptisms for both deceased males and females.  Similarly, living males could undertake baptisms for both deceased males and females.  Further, from a quick glance at the list of persons for whom Elizabeth Edwards is reported to have undertaken proxy baptisms, it would appear that she may have been limited to deceased ancestors only, i.e., someone of direct kinship.  The author cannot state that this ancestral connection was practiced absolutely, but it would certainly appear so.  As we scrutinize the probable ancestral connections of each of the recipients of Elizabeth Edwards’ proxy baptisms, the reader may ultimately have to judge for themselves the actual process and the implied kinships.

Who was Elizabeth Edwards, and how might she have been connected to the Arterbury family?  In the main, we only “know” of Elizabeth’s ancestral identity through our analysis of the Nauvoo temple records.[8]  But, her ancestral identity, as suggested by the proxy baptisms, is also supported by a death record for Elizabeth Pettigrew in Salt Lake UT summarized as follows:

Name: Elizabeth Pettegrew

Age: 67

Birth: Date: 1790 [30Aug1790, Chester County SC, daughter of Nathan and Priscilla]

Death: Date16 Jul 1858

Death City: Salt Lake City

Death County: Salt Lake

Spouse: David[9]

There is also the Nauvoo Temple blessing record for Elizabeth Edwards, abstracted in the index card displayed in Figure 16-16, below:

The death record does not give the maiden name for this Elizabeth, widow of David Pettigrew, but it does identify Elizabeth’s parents as having been named Nathan and Priscilla and gives her birth information as 30Aug1790 in Chester County SC.  When that data is compared to the ancestral data given in Elizabeth Edwards’ patriarchal blessing record, it seems evident that Elizabeth Edwards and Elizabeth Pettigrew were one and the same person.  Thusly, from the patriarchal blessing record, we now know that Elizabeth’s parents were Nathan and Priscilla Arterbury.  The author is indebted to one specific researcher for virtually all of the Mormon records referenced in this work.  That researcher is known to the author only by her first name, Kathy, and her e-mail address of kgsearcher@aol.com.  On 15Oct2018 Kathy offered the following data:

kgsearcher@aol.com

To: battebe@yahoo.com

Oct 15, 2018 at 6:52 PM

Robert,

From the Nauvoo Temple records for Elizabeth she did temple work for the following people and how she was related to them. I hope this helps, I just wonder if the Nathan and Patty that people have listed as coming from Michael may be in error. Just a thought, as the evidence seems to show that Elizabeth is his granddaughter. Here is the list:

Michael Artebury  gd. dau

Elizabeth Artebury  gd. dau

John McDaniel  niece

Elizabeth McDaniel niece

John Mayfield  niece

Permeli Mitchell  sister

Allen Mayfield  niece

Fanny Mayfield  niece

Jonathan Mayfield  gd. dau.

Jimy Mayfield  gd.dau

William Roden  niece

Molly Roden  niece

The record for this couple is a little confusing.

Aunt     Neddy Arteberry  written very faintly next to aunt is the word uncle. Since this was a marriage record I would guess uncle is the correct word.

Aunt     Cissy Arteberry

Uncle John McDaniel

Aunt Elizabeth McDaniel

The list is a abstract of the original rolls. The next time I get to SLC I will have to see if I can see the original records to see if the abstract was done correctly.

Let me know what you think.

Kathy

From the foregoing abstract data from the Nauvoo Temple records we have the list of deceased ancestors of Elizabeth Edwards for whom she undertook proxy baptisms.  The author has located the abstracted records cited by Kathy, and attached those abstracted index cards in Figure 16-17, shown herein below.  Those baptism abstracts are contained in three consecutive index cards, and display the names of the recipients.  On Card Nos. 147 and 148 Elizabeth’s kinship is given relative to each party, and presumably the original roll record is identified in the right-hand column.  However, Index Card No. 149 appears to reverse the kinship focus to the recipient, rather than to Elizabeth.  Also, Card No. 149 has repeat entries for John and Elizabeth McDaniel.  Kathy seems to imply that the entries on Card No. 149 may have been in reference to marriages, even though the card heading states that they were baptismal records.  It does appear from the variance in the card formatting, that there was something distinctly different between the data on Card Nos. 147 and 148, versus the data on Card No. 149.  Pending a review of the  original roll records, the author cannot explain this variance in formatting. 

Each of the parties listed in Figure 16-17 are analyzed by the author as follows:

  1. Michael Artebury – gd. dau

Elizabeth Edwards apparently reported herself to have been the granddaughter of Michael Arterbury.  From the burial record abstract for Elizabeth Pettigrew and the patriarchal blessing record of Elizabeth Edwards, we have her parent’s names as Nathan and Priscilla Arterbury.  From the deed records of Chester County SC we have Priscilla Arterbury purchasing a 75 acre tract of land from her brother-in-law, William Roden, on Brushy Fork on 19May1790.[10]  It seems highly probable that this Priscilla Arterbury was the mother of Elizabeth Edwards Pettigrew.  It also seems unlikely that Priscilla Arterbury would have been purchasing land, if her husband were still alive, so it might be presumed that Nathan Arterbury had died within the year before May1790.  We also have Elizabeth‘s date of birth from her burial and blessing records as having been 30Aug1790.  From that fact, we might assume Nathan’s date of death having been sometime between about Dec1789 (when Elizabeth would have been conceived) and May1790 (when presumably widow Priscilla Arterbury purchased land).  It seems peculiar to the author that Elizabeth Arterbury Edwards Pettigrew did not undertake a proxy baptism for her parents, Nathan Arterbury and Priscilla Mayfield.  Perhaps there are provisions within the LDS Church ordinances which cover baptism of the parents of church members by some other means outside the rite of proxy baptism.

  • Elizabeth Artebury – gd. dau

Ditto.  Elizabeth Arterbury was the wife of Michael Arterbury, and presumed mother of Nathan Arterbury, and grandmother of Elizabeth Arterbury Edwards Pettigrew.

  • John McDaniel – niece

John McDaniel was the uncle of Elizabeth Edwards, by virtue of his having married a sister of Elizabeth Edwards’ mother, namely, Elizabeth Mayfield.  The estate settlement of Jonathan Mayfield on 25May1818 in Chester County named Jonathan’s six surviving children, including married daughters: Priscilla Arterbury, Elizabeth McDaniel and Mary Roden.

  • Elizabeth McDaniel – niece

Ditto, above.  Elizabeth Mayfield McDaniel was Elizabeth Edwards’ aunt.

  • John Mayfield  niece

John Mayfield was a brother of Elizabeth Edwards’ mother, Priscilla Mayfield Arterbury.

  • Permeli Mitchell – sister

The identity of Permeli Mitchell is perhaps one of the least certain of all of the persons known to receive a proxy baptism by Elizabeth Edwards.  She appears to have been identified as a “sister” to Elizabeth Edwards.  Since all of the females contained in this list appear to have been recorded by their husband’s surnames rather than their maiden names, it might safely be assumed that Permeli had married someone named Mitchell.  If we take this abstracted record at face value, it seems reasonable to assume that Permeli Mitchell probably was born Permeli Arterbury, daughter of Nathan and Priscilla Arterbury, and that she must have married an unknown Mitchell.  Unfortunately, there is a 30 year gap in the census records between 1790 in Chester County SC and 1820 when Tennessee census came into being.  While there were numerous male Mitchell candidates available in Chester County (most of whom were kinsmen of the Arterburys), there is virtually no way to determine from the records which Mitchell may have been the husband of Permeli.  The fact that Elizabeth did not perform a baptism for Permeli’s husband may suggest that he was still living in 1841.  The best we may be able to glean from this record is that Elizabeth may have had an older sister named Permeli, who had married a man surnamed Mitchell, and who had died before 1841.

  • Allen Mayfield  niece

Allen Mayfield was a brother of Elizabeth Edwards’ mother, Priscilla Mayfield Arterbury.

  • Fanny Mayfield – niece

Since the only female Mayfield siblings of Priscilla Mayfield known to have been living at the time of their father’s estate settlement in 1818 did not include a woman named Frances, or Fanny, then it seems very likely that Fanny was the wife of one of the Mayfield brother, possibly the wife of Allen Mayfield, since Fanny’s name followed immediately after Allen in this list.

  • Jonathan Mayfield – gd. dau.

Jonathan Mayfield was the father of Priscilla Mayfield Arterbury, and maternal grandfather of Elizabeth Arterbury Edwards.

  1. Jimy Mayfield – gd.dau

Jimy [aka Jemima?] Mayfield was the presumed mother of Priscilla Mayfield Arterbury, and grandmother of Elizabeth Arterbury Edwards.  She may have predeceased her husband, as there was no mention of a wife in the estate settlement of Jonathan Mayfield.

  1. William Roden  niece

William Roden was the husband of Mary Mayfield, daughter of Jonathan and Jimy Mayfield, and uncle of Elizabeth Edwards.

  1. Molly Roden – niece

Molly [aka Mary] Mayfiled Roden was the wife of William Roden, and aunt of Elizabeth Edwards.

  1. Neddy Arteberry – aunt: [written very faintly next to “aunt” is the word “uncle”. Since this was a marriage record I would guess uncle is the correct word.] [Foregoing note added by Kathy]  This person was almost certainly Edward Arterbury, the brother of Michael Arterbury.  That being the case, then Edward Arterbury would actually have been Elizabeth Edwards’ grand-uncle.
  2. Cissy Arteberry – aunt:  This person very likely was Keziah Arterbury, wife of Edward Arterbury, in which case, she would have been Elizabeth Edwards’ grand-aunt.
  3. John McDaniel – uncle:  John and Elizabeth Mayfield McDaniel have already been presented in this section, herein above.  Uncle would have been the correct kinship relationship to Elizabeth Edwards.  It is unclear why John and Elizabeth McDaniel would have appeared in the Nauvoo Temple registry for a second time.  Perhaps, as suggested by Kathy, Items 13 thru 16 may have been associated with a marriage record, as opposed to a baptismal record.  If so, it raises the question, whose marriage?
  4. Elizabeth McDaniel – aunt:  Ditto, Item 15, above.

This concludes our presentation of the Nauvoo Temple records related to Elizabeth Arterbury Hudspeth Edwards Pettigrew, except to state that several baptismal records were also found in conjunction with her husband, Thomas Striplin Edwards, who received his patriarchal blessing at the hand of Hyrum Smith at Nauvoo on 22Nov1842.  A review of those records suggests that Thomas Edwards only undertook proxy baptisms for his direct ancestors, not including any relations through his marriage to Elizabeth Arterbury.  Those records also indicate that Thomas Edwards undertook proxy baptisms for both male and female ancestors.

In addition to the baptisms that were performed in the Temple font at Nauvoo commencing in Nov1841, it should be noted that baptisms for both the living and the dead were performed at Nauvoo prior to Nov1841 in the waters of the Mississippi River.  Like the Temple baptisms, those performed in the Mississippi River were recorded.  A partial record of those baptisms performed in the river prior to Nov1841 have been microfilmed and digitized in a document entitled Nauvoo baptisms for the dead in the Mississippi River which can be accessed online.[11]  An excerpt from that document, which encapsulates baptisms undertaken by Thomas Edwards and Elizabeth Edwards (page 13) is exhibited in Figure 16-18.  From this records it can be seen that Elizabeth Edwards undertook baptisms for both her father (Artibury) and her sister (Permeli Mitchell) on 4Jun1841.  Also found later in these records were the entries displayed on page 102 (Figure 16-19) in which Elizabeth undertook baptisms for Allen and Fanny Mayfield (uncle and aunt), and William and Molly Roden (uncle and aunt).

Now, having presented the principal ancestral records found in the Nauvoo registries relating to Elizabeth Edwards, we will attempt to infer the possible connections between Elizabeth Arterbury Edwards and Edward and Keziah Arterbury, aside from the obvious Arterbury blood ties.  First, it struck the writer as peculiar that Elizabeth Edwards would single out Edward and Keziah, to the exclusion of all her other Arterbury kinfolk who had predeceased her.  For example, why would she not have undertaken a proxy baptism for her other great-uncles, i.e., John Arterbury, William Arterbury Jr., Nathan Arterbury, or Charles Arterbury, and their respective spouses, all of whom were deceased before 1841?  She performed a proxy baptism for each of her Mayfield kinsfolk, including her maternal grandparents, aunts and uncles, excepting Abraham Mayfield, who was still living in 1840.  What, if anything, was special or unique about Edward and Keziah Arterbury?

The answer to this question may lie in a more precise and structured analysis of the kinship connections between Elizabeth Edwards and the various kinfolk for whom she undertook proxy baptisms.  The author has performed a fairly thorough study of the early history of the LDS church, particularly as it pertains to the practice of proxy baptisms, excerpts of which study and research have been iterated earlier in this section.  Nothing in that study lent any more definitive articulation of the proxy baptism ritual than has already been expressed.  In fact, nothing was found which expressly articulated anything relative to the proxy baptismal process other than the general reference to “the baptism of your dead”.  From this expression it might be inferred that such baptisms were limited to direct kinfolk [blood relations?], hence the reference to “your dead”.  Nothing was found to provide any instruction which might limit the gender of the dead vis a vis the gender of the living member.

However, upon scrutinizing the persons for whom Elizabeth Edwards undertook proxy baptisms, they appear to have been predominantly Mayfield kinfolk of Elizabeth Edwards’ mother [maternal kinfolk].  Exceptions include Elizabeth’s sister, Permeli Mitchell, her paternal grandparents, Michael and Elizabeth Arterbury, and her great-uncle and aunt, Neddy [Edward] and Kissy[ [Keziah] Arterbury.  Notably missing from this group was Elizabeth’s mother: Priscilla Mayfield.  Also missing were the husband of Elizabeth’s sister, Permeli, and her uncle, Abraham Mayfield, who presumably were still living in 1841.  The fact that Elizabeth Edwards undertook baptism for her father and not for her mother is striking.  Perhaps she had undertaken baptism for her mother, and that record is simply missing, or perhaps her mother had already been baptized, or it is entirely possible that her mother may still have been living in 1842.

Kathy (kgsearcher@aol.com) suggested in a recent e-mail that she was unaware of any church-ordered restrictions on proxy baptisms in the 1840’s, which would have guided Elizabeth Edwards in her selection of baptismal candidates.  In fact, Kathy suggests that it may simply have been a matter of the strength and depth of Elizabeth’s personal knowledge of her kinfolk.  This suggests that Elizabeth may have had a better knowledge of her Mayfield kinfolk, vis a vis her Arterbury kinfolk.  That possibility seems plausible, given that Elizabeth’s father may actually have died before her birth.  Kathy further suggests that Elizabeth may have been guided by a sense or awareness that those family members for which she performed her work “needed it more than the others.”  Following is an extract from Kathy’s most recent communication:

“In the research I’ve done on this it does appear that in the early days of doing proxy baptisms family members did the work for family members regardless of sex. Today only females do the work for females and males for males. In either case it is not limited to the paternal or maternal lines.

Why Elizabeth only did people mainly from her mother’s side of family would only be a guess at this point. It could be they were the family she had the best memories of. The short time the LDS were able to perform the Nauvoo Temple work was very limited and short. With the persecutions, mobs and other pressures on the Saints at that time, those may have contributed to the reasons…

There was no special reason for just a maternal line being done. All family members were and are important. It could be that with the limited time Elizabeth had she felt or was impressed that those she did have the work done for needed it more then the others.”[12]

While Kathy does not purport to be an authority on the ritual of proxy baptism as performed within the early LDS church, she clearly has spent a considerable amount of time researching and analyzing the history of her immediate ancestors, which include Thomas Striplin Edwards.  The author is inclined to accept Kathy’s assertion that Elizabeth Edwards would have been free to perform her work on any or all of her known ancestors, regardless of gender and regardless of whether connected to the maternal or paternal lineages.  That being said, we are still left with the mystery surrounding the inclusion of Neddy and Kissy Arterbury to the exclusion of all of the other Arterbury ancestors from Neddy’s generation, who were also deceased by 1840.

If the determining factor were simply a matter of Elizabeth Edwards’ knowledge of her ancestral background, might there have been factors in Elizabeth’s past which could have afforded her a greater knowledge of her Mayfield ancestors vis a vis her Arterbury ancestors.  First, it should be recognized that Elizabeth’s father very likely had died a few months before her birth.  Consequently, Elizabeth would have had no first-hand knowledge of her father, and possibly not even of her father’s immediate family. 

It can’t have been something as simple as living proximity, as Elizabeth wasn’t brought by her mother from Chester County SC to Jackson County TN until her early teens.  As a teenager living along the drains of Brushy Fork she surely would have become acquainted with most of her Arterbury, Mitchell and Mayfield kinfolk.  True, Edward and Keziah probably were Elizabeth’s nearest Arterbury neighbors along with the Mayfields, Rodens and Mitchells on Brushy Fork, but the other Arterbury brothers were not that far removed, some living on Burshy Fork, most living south of the Sandy River along Welches Fork.  It is also probable that these families all attended the Sandy River Baptist church, where such close social exposure should have left lasting memories on this young woman.  Furthermore, in Jackson County TN Elizabeth may have finished her teenage years in the near vicinity of her cousin, once removed, Moses Arterbury, presumed sole surviving son of Nathan and Patty Arterbury.  After Elizabeth’s marriage to William Hudspeth in about 1807, possibly in Jackson County TN, she and William are believed to have continued in residence in Jackson County for six or seven years.  They are believed to have continued living in the near vicinity of Overton County TN until about 1814, when they moved to Madison County AL where their final child, James William Hudspeth was born.  After William Hudspeth died in Madison County AL in about 1816, Elizabeth moved her family back to Overton County TN. 

In Overton County TN Elizabeth met and married Thomas Striplin Edwards, a basket maker from Rutherford County NC in about 1818.  Thomas and Elizabeth’s first child, Francis Marion Edwards, was born in Overton TN in Mar1820.  The family was recorded in the 1820 census living in Overton TN.  By Jun1821 Thomas and Elizabeth had moved to Illinois, where their 2nd son, William Holliday Edwards was born.  By Jul1820 they had moved to Mount Vernon, Jefferson County IL, where their 3rd son, Thomas Striplin Jr. was born.  In Nov1825 the family was still living in Illinois (possibly Jefferson County) when their final child, Ellen Shepard Edwards was born.

In the 1830 census the family was recorded living in Sangamon County IL with a total of seven children in the household: five males and two females, presumably a mixture of Hudspeth and Edwards children.  It appears that Elizabeth’s two oldest daughters from her marriage with William Hudspeth were no longer living at home.  In 1832 Thomas S. Edwards filed a plat map for 40 acres in Menard County IL.  In 1836 Thomas S. Edwards filed ten separate plat maps of approximately 40 acres each in Pike County IL.  Presumably he had relocated his family from Menard County to Pike County, where he settled into farming multiple tracts of land all situated in Section 16, Township 4S, Range 4W.  Figure 16-20 illustrates the approximate locations of the various plat map filings by Thomas S. Edwards in Menard County and Pike County between 1832 and 1836.  This figure also illustrates the location of the plat filed by Dr. Priddy Meeks in Brown County in 1839.  A more precise location of the tracts purchased by Thomas S. Edwards in Pike County in 1836 is illustrated in Figure 16-21.

In the Winter and Spring of 1838/9 Mormons began flooding into Quincy IL on their exodus from Missouri, following the issuance of the eviction and/or extermination order from Gov. Lilburn Boggs.  The “gentiles” of southern Illinois were very generous and humane in their reception of this group of “strangers” who suddenly, and unexpectedly appeared in their midst.  They opened their homes and their hearts to this beleaguered group of exiles.  Following is an excerpt from the “History of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints”, which describes the resettlement of several Mormon families in the near vicinity of Pike and Brown Counties:

“This place [Quincy] is nearly full of our people, yet they are scattering off nearly all the while. I expect to start to-morrow for Pittsfield, Pike County, Illinois, about forty-five miles southeast from this place. Brother George W. Robinson told me this morning that he expected that his father-in-law, Judge Higbee, and himself, would go on a farm about twenty miles northeast from this place. Some of the leading men have given us (that is our people) an invitation to settle in and about this place. Many no doubt will stay here.”

In the 1840 census the household of Thomas S. Edwards was located in Pike County IL, between the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.  The household appears to contain Thomas S. Striplin Sr., aged 40 to 50, and four children: three males and one female, aged 15 to 30.  These children match the age ranges of the children born to Thomas and Elizabeth.  But, it would appear that Elizabeth was absent from the household, as well as all of her children by William Hudspeth.

By 1841 both Elizabeth and Thomas Edwards began appearing in the records of the Nauvoo Temple.  However, none of those records mention any direct connection between Elizabeth and Thomas.  They both appear to have undertaken proxy baptisms for various ancestors in the Nauvoo Temple, beginning in 1841.  Both Edward and Elizabeth received their patriarchal blessings from Hyrum Smith on 22Nov1842.  They both continued to appear in temple records until the year 1844.  On 1Feb1844 Thomas S. Edwards appeared in the Nauvoo Temple records marrying Sarah S. Smith.  Kathy reports that a schism arose within the Mormon church at Nauvoo, and that Thomas Striplin Edwards sided with a break-away sect, which eschewed Joseph Smith’s ordinance favoring polygamous marriage, whereas Elizabeth reportedly remained faithful to the followers of Joseph Smith.  This schism and adherence to separate branches of the Mormon church may explain the events in their respective lives after about 1843, but probably does not account for their apparent estrangement in the 1840 census.

On 11May1850 Thomas S. Edwards was recorded marrying Rosetta Brott in Knox County IL.  In the 1850 census the Thomas S. Edwards household was recorded in Fulton County, which is due easterly of Nauvoo IL.  Thomas’ wife was reported as Rosetta, and there were four young children aged 7 thru 20, all listed with the surname of Edwards.  Given the date of Thomas and Rosetta’s marriage, these children almost certainly were not of Thomas’ blood, but likely from an earlier marriage of Rosetta.

Also, in 1850 there is a census record in Salt Lake UT for the household of David Pettigrew, aged 59.  In David’s household were recorded two young women named Betsy and Elizabeth, aged 26 and 28, respectively, both born in South Carolina.  Given the death record of Elizabeth Pettigrew dated 16Jul1858 (presented herein above) it seems highly probable that one of these young women would have been Elizabeth Arterbury Hudspeth Edward Pettigrew.  Just which one is anyone’s guess.

Thus ends our saga of Elizabeth Arterbury Hudspeth Edwards Pettigrew.  The reader can make of the various marital gyrations of Elizabeth and Thomas Edwards, what they will.  The main point of presenting this rather elaborate history of Elizabeth Arterbury Edwards, is to provide sufficient information as to allow us to evaluate whether there may have been something special in the connection between Elizabeth Edwards and Edward and Keziah Arterbury, to have warranted her singling them out from all of her Arterbury kinfolk for the ritual of proxy baptism.  Two possible affiliations occur to he author which will be presented hereinafter.  There may be more, but those will be left to the imagination of the reader:

  1. Mitchell Connection:  Several Mitchell-Arterbury researchers have opined that Keziah, wife of Edward Arterbury, may have been Edward’s 1st cousin, the daughter of David and Mary Mitchell, born Mar1753 in Prince Georges County MD.  First, it should be stated that this writer is totally unaware of any documentary proof of such a union.  But, it must be admitted that Keziah Mitchell would have been of the appropriate age to have been Edward’s wife (being about five years his junior), and there is strong evidence to suggest that Keziah’s family had relocated to Chester County SC sometime around 1769.  Edward is on record as having been in Chester County by about 1772.  So, we certainly can pass the time and place convergence test.  Other factors auguring in favor of Edward’s wife having been Keziah Mitchell is the fact that they lived their entire period in South Carolina along Brushy Fork and Wilson’s Creek, the same tributaries on which the Mitchell’s resided.  Also, the transactions involving Edward and Keziah frequently included members of the Mitchell family.  Let’s hypothesize that Edward’s wife was his 1st cousin, daughter of David and Mary Mitchell.  Let’s also hypothesize that Elizabeth Edwards’ sister, Permeli, had married a descendant of David and Mary Mitchell.  This hypothesis has a higher probability of actually happening, as Priscilla and Nathan were living among Nathan’s Mitchell kinsmen on Brushy Fork for a decade or more, before Priscilla upped stakes and moved to Tennessee.  So, her eldest daughter would have had more than ample opportunity to meet and marry a Mitchell kinsman.  Again, we appear to have passed the time and place convergence test.  So, assuming these two hypothetical events actually happened, we then must ponder whether that connection alone may have been sufficiently strong for Elizabeth Edwards to sponsor her grand-aunt and grand-uncle for the ritual of proxy baptism?  Being totally unfamiliar with Mormon doctrines and ordinances, it is difficult for the author to place any value on the probability of this being Elizabeth’s primary motivation.  Perhaps other persons more knowledgeable in these matters can offer better insights.

ADDENDUM:  On rereading this manuscript during the Corona Virus outbreak in Winter 2019 the author had an epiphany (hopefully not a delusion).  A year earlier, when the author was initially performing the research for this piece, it was suggested by his Mormon source (Kathy) that these proxy baptisms may have been guided by a gender-driven relationship.  Initially, because both Elizabeth Arterbury-Edwards and Thomas Edwards appeared to have sponsored baptisms for both male and female ancestors, the author dismissed gender as a factor in his analysis.  On rereading this manuscript one year on, it occurs to the author that there may, in fact, have been a gender-driven connection underlying these baptisms.

If we exclude Elizabeth’s paternal grandparents [Michael and Elizabeth Arterbury], and her paternal uncle and aunt, [Edward and Keziah Arterbury], the other ten family members were all related to Elizabeth’s maternal [Mayfield] ancestors except for her presumed sister, Permeli Mitchell.  From this “fact”, it might be construed that Elizabeth was guided by some biblically-based stricture that limited her authority to undertake proxy baptisms only for ancestors connected by either blood or marriage to her maternal family branch.  If that were the case, then we could have the basis for the baptisms of Jemima [mnu] Mayfield, her husband [Jonathan Mayfield] [maternal grandparents], and their children [Elizabeth Mayfield-McDaniel, John Mayfield, Allen Mayfield, and Mary Mayfield-Roden], and those children’s spouses.

Such rationale could establish the basis for the baptisms of all fourteen parties except for Elizabeth Edwards’ paternal grandparents, a paternal aunt and uncle, and a sister.  It may well have been the fact that the paternal grandparents [Michael and Elizabeth Arterbury] were connected to Elizabeth Edwards by the marriage of her mother [Priscilla Mayfield] to their son [Nathan Arterbury], that she would have found the authority to sponsor their baptism.  Similarly, Permelli Arterbury-Mitchell, may have been eligible to receive proxy baptism because of her having descended from Elizabeth’s mother [again, a maternal branch connection].

If all of the foregoing arguments are held to provide the authority for the underlying proxy baptisms, then how is the baptism of Edward and Keziah Arterbury to be explained?  It is the author’s belief that the authority for Edward and Keziah’s baptism derived from Keziah’s kinship to Elizabeth, and that Edward’s baptism drew its authority from his marriage to Keziah.  Such kinship association and baptism authority could explain the reason that Elizabeth had not sponsored proxy baptisms for any other of her Arterbury [paternal] ancestors. 

If the authority for the proxy baptism of Edward and Keziah Arterbury flowed from the kinship connection between Elizabeth Arterbury Edwards and Keziah Arterbury, then what might that kinship connection have been?  It occurs to the author that that kinship very likely flowed through Mitchell blood.  We have already hypothesized that Elizabeth’s sister, Permelli, had married an unknown Mitchell, and speculated that that unknown Mitchell was very likely descended from David and Mary Mitchell, the brother and sister-in-law of Elizabeth Arterbury Edwards’ paternal great grandmother, Elizabeth Mitchell Yaxley Arterbury.  We have also hypothesized that Edward Arterbury’s wife may have been Keziah Mitchell, a younger daughter of David and Mary [Davidson] Mitchell.  If these presumed kinship connections are correct, then Edward and Keziah would have been 1st cousins.  Edward Arterbury had 1/4 Mitchell blood through his mother, Elizabeth Mitchell Yaxley Arterbury.  If we accept the ancestry of Keziah as a daughter of David and Mary Mitchell, then she could have also held 1/2 Mitchell blood, a more recent and stronger blood relationship to Elizabeth Arterbury Edwards’ brother-in-law, the unknown Mitchell husband of Permelli Arterbury Mitchell.

The author is of the opinion that the foregoing expanded analysis of the proxy baptisms sponsored by Elizabeth Arterbury Edwards provides a relatively strong argument that Keziah, wife of Edward Arterbury, was a daughter of David and Mary [Davidson] Mitchell, and that Edward Arterbury and Keziah Mitchell were 1st cousins.

  1. Elijah Arterbury Connection:  For some inextricable reason it appears that Edward and Keziah’s eldest son, Elijah, moved his family from Hardin County KY to Jackson County TN sometime between 1810 and 1820.  Elizabeth Edwards’ mother, Priscilla, also appears to have moved to Jackson County TN sometime before 1820.  Since the census records for Jackson County TN did not commence until 1820, we have not been able to establish just how long Elijah Arterbury and Priscilla Mayfield Arterbury may have live contemporaneously in Jackson County.  Further complicating this analysis is the fact that Jackson County census is recorded in alphabetical order in 1820, so we have no means of assessing the living proximity between the Arterbury households in Jackson County.  They could have been immediate neighbors, or they may have lived at opposite ends of the County.  That being said, the author has subsequently in this chapter defined the probable migration path of Elijah Arterbury’s children from Jackson County in 1830 to Spencer County IN in 1840.  From our recent discussions of Elizabeth Edwards, we have also learned that she had lived in Overton County TN between about 1808 and 1818, before moving to Illinois with her family.  Overton County immediately abuts Jackson County to the northeast, so it is possible that Elizabeth may have been able to establish a close connection with her cousins in Jackson County, particularly since her mother was in residence in that county for perhaps 20 years or more.  Is it possible that that relatively close geographic proximity between the families of Elizabeth Arterberry Edwards and Elijah Arterbury formed a lasting bond, which may have been a motivating factor in her selection of Edward and Keziah as candidates for proxy baptisms?  One other question to ponder is whether Elizabeth Edwards may not have been the older female, aged 50 thru 59, in Sariah Arterbury’s household in Spencer County in 1840?  The author has not been able to establish the whereabouts of Elizabeth Edwards in 1840.  It seems entirely possible that she could have elected to live with her kinsmen in Spencer County, as she was likely the only survivor of her immediate blood line.  Keep in mind that Spencer County was the home place of Dr. Priddy Meeks, and that he was converted to Mormonism at about the same time as Elizabeth and Thomas Edwards.  Further, Dr. Priddy Meeks was living in the vicinity of Pike County IL when he was first introduced to Mormonism.  And, lastly, Dr. Priddy Meeks went on a mission to Kentucky and Indiana to spread to work among his brethren.  Might Dr. Priddy Meeks have been instrumental in the conversion of Thomas and Elizabeth Edwards?  Certainly, if Elizabeth Edwards did actually reside with Sariah Arterbury’s family in Spencer County for a period of time, that may have been sufficient contact to trigger her election of Edward and Keziah for proxy baptism.

We have given the reader two fairly strong arguments for Elizabeth Edwards having sponsored Edward and Keziah Arterbury.  It is also a possibility that Elizabeth was motivated by a combination of these two factors.  It is also possible that Elizabeth was motivated by something totally outside our comprehension.  It is the author’s hope that in raising these question, it may motivate some other intrepid researcher to dig deeper, and may add flesh to these meager bones.

APPENDIX 16-A

Genealogical Research Tools

The following research and analytical tools were devised by Robert Atteberry in about 2006 to facilitate his analysis of genealogical records within a qualitative and quantitative framework and to establish a rational basis for evaluating hypotheses or conclusions reached regarding kinship connections or affiliations.  Application and use of these tools has been proven to elevate the probability of otherwise purely hypothetical events having occurred.  The reliability of outcomes decided from the application of these tools is not absolute, but can be used to establish connections that might not otherwise be recognized to exist.

Tool No. 1:  Time and Place Convergence – this is one of the most fundamental and important tools available to a genealogical researcher.  This tool is so simplistic in its concept, that its value may not occur to the average researcher.  If we have an hypothesis about a particular event, i.e. a marriage, a child’s birth, or a land transaction, a time and place convergence test may enable us to either include or exclude that event from having occurred.  Given the limited mobility of persons living in colonial America, it is reasonable to expect that they would need to have been in the near vicinity of one another around the same time that the event took place.  In the case of a marriage, we must establish the presence of each of the individuals, and/or their possible family members, at the same place at the same time.  Absent the ability to establish time and place convergence of the involved parties, the probability of the event having occurred must be considered less likely if not impossible.  If we can establish to a fair degree of certainty that the parties could not have been in the same place at the same time, we may be able to debunk the hypothesis to a level of improbability.

Tool No. 2:  Close Geographic Proximity – census, tithing, processioning, road orders, voter rolls and other like records frequently can be used as a means of establishing close geographic proximity.  For example, logic suggests that census records were compiled by the chronicler actually traveling to the homes of the householder’s.  Further, logic suggests that these census records were collected over a period of several weeks, as the chronicler systematically traveled along the byways of the precinct, in a longitudinal sequence.  Consequently, the persons abutting an individual entry in the record were very likely that individual’s nearest neighbors, getting more distant as we radiate out in either direction within the census record.  When families migrated and settled, they frequently undertook their relocation in the company of other, near relations or closely allied families.  So, when we find a cluster of households of apparent kinsmen in a census list in close geographic proximity, we can ascribe a higher level of kinship, the nearer that proximity.  If parties are immediately abutting in a list, and bear the same surname, there is a high probability that they shared a full-blood kinship, i.e., father and son, or brothers.  Moreover, if it can be established with certainty that they lived in the same household, they almost certainly shared a full-blood kinship. 

Examples of close geographic proximity interpretation:

  1. Edward and Elijah Arterbury in 1810:  In the 1810 census of Elizabethtown, Hardin County KY the households of Edward Arterbury and Elijah Arterbury were listed immediately abutting one another.  Having studied the composition of the households of Edward Arterbury in the 1790 and 1800 census, it seemed clear that he had an older son born before 1790.  Further study of Edward’s household in 1810 indicates that that older son was no longer living in Edward’s household.  Evaluating the household of Elijah Arterbury in the 1810 census, it is clear that he was a relatively young adult.  Since he could not be found in any of the earlier census records, it was reasonable to assume that Elijah had recently become a head of his own household sometime between 1800 and 1810.  Aggregating all of these factors about the households of Edward and Elijah Arterbury, and given their extremely close geographic proximity in 1810, it is logical to conclude that Elijah Arterbury was the older son of Edward Arterbury.
  2. Melchizedek, Israel and Michael Arterbury in 1810:  In the 1810 census record from Grayson County KY the households of Melchizedek, Israel and Michael Artebury were listed abutting one another, excepting Michael, who was separated only by the household of James Watkins.  Also, abutting Michael Arterbury were the households of Abraham and John Peebles.  Following the author’s interpretation of close geographic proximity, it seems reasonable to assume that these three Arterbury men shared a very close kinship, possibly a full-blood relationship.  We know with some certainty that this Michael Arterbury was the eldest of the Arterbury brothers, descended from William Arterbury, the immigrant.  We further know, with a fairly high level of certainty, that Israel Arterbury was a son of Michael Arterbury, given his appearance in the Barnwell District census records of South Carolina in 1800, and Michael’s appearance in the Orangeburg District census in 1790.  We further know, from the marriage record of Mary Peebles and Melchizedek Arterbury on 11Jan1808 in Hardin County, that Melchizedek was the son-in-law of John Peebles.  Many Atterbury genealogical researchers, including James E. Branch, claim that Melchizedek was a son of Charles and Sarah Arterbury.  In the 1810 census record Charles Arterbury was recorded on page 6 of 8 in Grayson County, whereas Melchizedek, Israel and Michael Arterbury were recorded in a tight cluster on page 5 of 8, separated from Charles Arterbury by 61 households.  Charles Arterbury was recorded abutting the household of Isaiah Arterbury, the presumed eldest son of Charles Arterbury (close geographic proximity).  If Melchizedek were a son of Charles Arterbury as claimed by numerous researchers, why was Melchizedek living next door to Michael and Israel Arterbury, and his father-in-law, John Peebles, and not next door to Charles Arterbury?  This may be an example in which the theory of close geographic proximity does not work, or it may be an example of it actually working.  It seems more likely to the author that Melchizedek was actually a son of Michael Arterbury, and not of Charles Arterbury.
  3. Edward, Nathan and Hasel Arterbury in 1820:  In the 1820 census of Daviess County KY were recorded households headed by Edward Arterbury, Nathan Arterbury and Hasel Arterbury, all in relatively close geographic proximity on the same census page (11 of 17).  From an analysis of the household composition for Edward Arterbury in 1790 thru 1820, it is evident that he had two younger sons born after 1790, who were no longer in his household in 1820.  Since Edward’s was the only mature adult male household in Daviess County in 1820, it seems reasonable to assume that Nathan and Hasel were the young sons, previously recorded living in Edward’s household in 1800 and 1810.  Again, not all genealogical researchers concur with this kinship attribution between Nathan, Hasel and Edward, but given the aggregation of factors, and their relatively close geographic proximity in 1820, it is the author’s belief that Nathan and Hasel were Edward and Keziah’s  younger sons.
  4. Zachariah and James Arterbury in 1840:  In the 1840 census from Bonne Femme, Howard, Missouri we have the record of the household of J. Atterbury.  Closer scrutiny of this record indicates the persons first name initial to actually have been “Z.”.  Review of the Howard County census in 1830 reveals the existence of the household of Zachariah Atterbury, which composition closely aligns with the 1840 record for Z. Atterbury.  Most genealogical researchers, including James E. Branch, report Zachariah as a son of Charles and Sarah Arterbury.  Yet, living in Z[achariah] Atterbury’s household in 1840 was an elderly male aged 80 thru 89.  It seems probable that this elderly male was the father of Zachariah Atterbury.  Assuming that to be the case, the only octogenarian male Atterbury known to be living in Missouri in 1840 was James Arterbury, widowed husband of Dorcas Wilkerson.  James Arterbury is believed to have had three sons living in Missouri in 1840: James Jr., Ashford and John.  If James Atterbury was the elder male in Zachariah’s household in 1840, and if he had three sons still living in Missouri in 1840, why would he be living in the household of a purported nephew, rather than in the home of a son?  Probably because Zachariah was James Arterbury’s son, and not the son of Charles and Sarah as claimed by so many other researchers.  Again, we have a fundamental geographic proximity test (two parties living in the same household) which almost certainly establishes a full-blood kinship connection between James Atterbury and Zachariah Atterbury as father and son.

Tool No. 3: Maternal Surname Perpetuation – throughout the colonial records we encounter given names (either first or middle) which of their very nature are recognizable as having been surnames.  When the histories of those families are studied in greater detail, that obscure given name can almost always be traced to the surname of a maternal ancestor.  The author has dubbed this practice of using maternal surnames as a given name “Maternal Surname Perpetuation“.  It is an understandable, almost innate, desire, given the practice within western civilization of married woman adopting the surname of their husband.  Without the practice of maternal surname perpetuation, the female surname heritage abruptly ends with a daughter’s marriage.  Awareness of this practice can be used by a genealogical researcher as an additional tool in our research arsenal to unravel the mystery of a female’s ancestry.  Once invoked, the practice can then be passed on to future generations.  So, we must be careful in our interpretation of the genealogical record, to insure ourselves that we are dealing with the very first instance of that maternal surname occurrence within that family branch.  We should also be aware of the fact that the repetitive usage of a maternal surname as a given name can actually jump across family lines. 

Examples of Maternal Surname Perpetuation interpretation:

  1. David Davidson Mitchell:  In Chester County records can be found the name of David Davidson Mitchell in connection with land records involving various members of the Mitchell and Atterbury families.  Clearly, the middle name of Davidson was not a conventional given name, but does occur with some frequency as a surname, primarily emanating from Britain.  Researching the ancestry of David Davidson Mitchell it became clear that he was a son of David and Mary Mitchell, who first began appearing in records in Chester County SC around 1769.  Further analysis of David Mitchell’s family established, with a fairly high level of certainty, that he was an uncle of the Atterbury brothers, descended from William Atterbury (immigrant) and Sarah Mitchell, sister of David Mitchell.  Further research into David Mitchells wife, Mary, suggests that she may have been born Mary Davidson, probable daughter of John Davidson and Elizabeth Marbury of Prince Georges County MD.  It was only through the recognition that Davidson was probably a maternal surname passed down through the David Mitchell line from his wife, that the author was able to locate and document Mary Davidson’s probable parentage.
  2. Greenberry Atterbury:  It should be obvious to the more experienced researcher that Greenberry was not a common given name, and that it probably emanated from a surname.  A search of London vital records spanning the 16th thru the 19th centuries revealed a total of 85 instances of the surname of Greenberry, and zero instances of the given name of Greenberry.  A similar test of the U.S. census records for 1810 revealed a total of 59 instances of the given name of Greenberry and exactly zero instances of the surname of Greenberry.  Of the 59 instance of the given name of Greenberry, 2 were reported in South Carolina, 14 in Kentucky and 21 in Maryland.  A similar test was performed on the 1790 census in which there were a total of 35 instances, with 27 having been in Maryland.  Clearly, from this data it can be inferred that the surname of Greenberry was not very common in Britain, and virtually non-existent in America.  Also, use of Greenberry as a given was strictly a colonial America phenomenon, which initiated mainly in Maryland during the 18th century, and then migrated westward into Virginia and the Carolinas, and ultimately to Kentucky by 1810.  In searching for a match that most closely fit geographically with the Atterburys, we discover the existence of Greenberry Roden in Chester County as early as 1790.  Greenberry Roden is believed to have been a son of John Roden and Elizabeth Potts.  Research into the ancestry of Elizabeth Potts suggests her mother was Elizabeth Greenberry, wife of John Potts.  Given the frequent interactions between various members of the Roden and Atterbury families in Chester County, including membership in the same church, it is not unreasonable to suggest that Greenberry Atterbury’s given name had some connection with the Roden family.  Through a rather extensive investigation, with which we will not burden the reader at this juncture, it was established that Greenberry Atterberry’s mother very likely was Sarah Roden, daughter of John and Elizabeth Roden, sister of Greenberry Roden, and wife of James Atterbury, son of William Atterbury Jr. and his wife, Bridget.  If the author’s analysis is correct, then we have an instance where the maternal surname perpetuation first occurred within the Roden family, and then was passed on within the Atterbury family through a Roden-Atterbury intermarriage.  Without knowledge of the practice of maternal surname perpetuation, the author very likely would never have been able to make the connection to the Roden family.
  3. Hasel Arterbury: Much like the cases of Davidson and Greenberry, the given name of Hasel does not seem to fit with our 20th century notion of traditional given names.  Yet, in London during the 16th thru the 19th centuries there were a total of almost 100 instances of Hassell in its multitude of corruptions appearing as given names.  A similar search of London records revealed a total of 1331 instances of Hassell, etal., as a surname.  So, unlike Greenberry, Hassell was a much more common surname, and not all that uncommon of a given name in England.   In the American census of 1790 there are a total of four instances of a given name of Hassell, and 44 instances of the surname of Hassell.  The seemingly unrelated surname of Haskell appears to have been much more common as a  given name and a surname in both Britain and America than Hassell.  In spite of its apparent popularity as a given name in Britain, it was quite rare in America.  Only four instances of the given name of Hasel are found in the 1790 census in America.  However, there were records of interest found in Chester County SC in 1790 thru 1810 involving a Hazle or Hazel Hardwick, who lived along the Sandy River in relatively close proximity to the Arterburys and their known kin.  In fact, Hasel Hardwick was one of three people who supplied the security bond for administration of the estate of James Atterbury, son of William Atterbury Jr.  In tracing the genealogy of Hasel [aka Hazle] Hardwick it is suggested that he was a son of Joseph Hardwick and Ann Hasel, born about 1727 in Stafford County VA.  He presumably received his given name from his mother’s maiden name (maternal surname perpetuation), although documentation of these facts is lacking.  He in turn, passed his given name along to his son, Hasel Hardwick Jr., who appeared in Chester County records along with his father, including the 1800 census.  A daughter of Hasel Sr., Susannah Hardwick, married Peter Petrie in Chester County, and they are believed to have named their first born son Hasel Petrie.  So, clearly the given name of Hasel or Hazle was a very rare name in the Atterbury neighborhood around Chester County.  The fact that Edward and Keziah appear to have given the name of Hasel to their son would seem to suggest a connection to Hasel Hardwick.  It seems entirely possible that Keziah may have been another daughter of Hazel Hardwick, which kinship connection could account for Edward and Keziah naming a son Hasel Artebury.

Tool No. 4: Allied Parties Analysis – we should never ignore the allied parties encountered in association with our ancestors, as they frequently prove to be related kinsmen.  The most common instances of allied parties are found in marriage records, guardian records, estate records, land records, court records, church records, and yes, census records.  Each category of record is briefly dissected as follows:

  • Marriage Records: petitioners, bond agent, minister, witness(es), affiants.
  • Guardian Records: minor children, parents, guardians, witness(es), bond agent, affiants.
  • Estate Records: testator/deceased, kinsmen, heirs/legatees, bond agents, debtors/creditors, appraisers, administrators, trustees, grantors/grantees, bidders/buyers, assigners/assignees, guardians, litigants.
  • Land Records: grantors/grantees, former owners (chain of title), spouses or other kinspersons, adjacent owners, bond agents, affiants, litigants/claimants, witnesses.
  • Court Records: This category covers a multitude of record types, usually involving some form of debt or tort: claimants, defendants, witnesses, bond agents, injured parties, appraisers, obligees, commissioners.
  • Church Records: organizers, members, lay leaders, ministers, officers, disenfranchised, petitioners/supplicants, witnesses, accusers/recusants.
  •  Census Records: targeted surnames, heads of households, household members, nearest neighbors (usually within one page proximity).

Each allied party should be thoroughly evaluated within the limits of available resources, as to their ancestral backgrounds, places of origin, occupations, religious affiliations, length of residence, migratory path, and age and gender relative to our target.  This is not intended as an exhaustive sampling of allied party sources or vetting methods, but should give the researcher a solid basis for recognizing the presence of a prospective allied party, and the methodology to be applied in vetting each party.  This may seem a bit extreme, but the author has found from experience that allied parties more often than not have a meaningful affiliation with the targeted ancestor, and frequently lead to other lines of inquiry that can further fill in the voids in our knowledge, thus providing a broader and more detailed understanding of our target ancestor.  Who knows, we may even find other, heretofore unknown, kinsmen hidden among the forest of mysterious bystanders. 

APPENDIX 16-B

1830 Arterbury Household List


[1] https://www.boap.org/LDS/Early-Saints/PMeeks.html, accessed 15Oct2018.

[2] http://genealogytrails.com/ind/spencer/twp-histories.html, accessed 20Oct2018.

[3] This Priddy Meeks is believed to have been a brother of Atha Meeks, who was murdered by Indians at his cabin in Spencer County IN in 1812.  Atha Meeks was the father of Dr. Priddy Meeks, who converted to Mormonism, married Sarah Mahurin (daughter of Stephen Mahurin and Sarah Meeks) and migratied to Orderville Utah.  This Priddy Meeks is believed to have been the same person, who witnessed the LWT of Richard Arterberry I, and went the surety bond on Richard’s estate administration.

[4] This Priddy Meeks is believed to have been the Thomasonian Herbalist Doctor, who married Sarah Mahurin and migrated to Salt Lake Utah as part of the 2nd Mormon migration.

[5] Stephen Mahurin (1774-1849) – Find A Grave Memorial, accessed on 16Apr2021.

[6] The Black Cholera Comes to the Central Valley of America in the 19th Century – 1832, 1849, and Later, Walter J. Daly, M.D.,  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2394684/

[7]

[8] The author is indebted to Kathy (E-mail Address: kgsearcher@aol.com) for the discovery of the Nauvoo Temple records re: Elizabeth Edwards and her husband, Thomas Striplin Edwards.

[9] https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/6967/30846_00027917-00045/243000?backurl=https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/51881209/person/412014423478/facts/citation/1122018727263/edit/record, accessed 1Jan2019.

[10] Chester County, South Carolina Deed Abstracts, Volume I: Deed Books A-F, Brent H. Holcomb, 2005, p. 84.

[11] https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE2114299, accessed 5Feb2019.

[12] Extract from an e-mail from Kathy at kgsearcher@aol.com to the author dated 4Feb2019.

Chapter 11 – Richard Arterbury II’s Legacy

Richard Atterbury Gravemarker, Atterbury Cemetery, Barnhill, IL

Richard Arterbury II was a son of Richard Arterbury I and Rebecca [possibly Bennett], born 24Feb1786 (see grave marker in Figure 11-1[1]), probably in Chester County, South Carolina.  His family was reported in the 1790 census records of Chester County showing four males under 16, one male over 16 and two females.  Presumably one of the males under age 16 was Richard II, who would have been about 4 years old.  His father owned at least two tracts of land in Chester County, one of which was situated on the waters of Brushy Fork Creek.  In Mar1794 Richard II’s father purchased a 100 acre tract of land situated on Welches Fork from William Rainey.  In the deed Richard I was described as already living on the tract on Welches Fork.  The Welches Fork location would place Richard’s family in close proximity to several other members of the Attebury family.  The family was not found in any census record in 1800, but may have been included in the household of Charles Atterbury, which appears to exhibit members composed of multiple families.  Richard II probably was about 19 years old when his father moved the family to Hardin County Kentucky around 1805.  The date of that migration can be generally inferred from the reported date and place of birth of Nathan Atterberry, brother of Richard II, who, according to Nathan’s obituary, was born in South Carolina on 10Aug1803.  Also suggestive of the 1805 date of the migration to Kentucky is the Chester County land record dated 7Dec1804 in which Richard Atterberry [I] filed a plat map for 142 acres on Brushy Fork.

However, it seems quite clear that the family was in Hardin County KY by 1Oct1805 when Mary [Bennett?] Atterberry was recorded marrying William Watkins.  Another indicator of Richard Atterberry I’s presence in Kentucky is the LWT which he wrote in Hardin County dated 4Oct1806.  Further evidence of the family’s migration may be found in two further marriages: Richard Arterbury II and Patsy Moore in Ohio County on 19Apr1807 and David Arterbury and Sally Moore in Ohio County on 8Apr1809.  This Richard and David Arterbury are believed to have been brothers, and to have married sisters, daughters of Edmund Walker Moore

Richard I’s LWT named his wife, Rebecca, whose maiden name has been presumed by many researchers to have been Bennett, based on the given middle name of female descendants.  Also named in the LWT were “his trusty friend” Charles Arterbury (presumably his brother), and Richard Arterbury II as executors, and was witnessed by Pridy Meeks, John Wright and Robert W. Dorsey.  No other children, other than Richard II, were named in the Will.  The Will was proven at Court on 13Jul1813 by the testimony of Pridy Meeks.  On 10May1813 summons were issued to Thomas Arterbury [Richard II’s older brother] of Grayson County, and Rezin Blissit [Richard II’s brother-in-law, husband of Anna Atterberry], Benjamin Meeks [son of Priddy Meeks, and husband of Richard II’s sister, Rebecca Atterberry], and William Watkins [presumed husband of Richard II’s sister, Mary Atterberry] all three of Hardin County to appear July, next, to show cause why administration of Richard’s estate should not be taken from them.  This suggests that these four men had previously filed a petition with the Court for issuance of Letter of Administration.  12Jun1813 further probate action was laid over, pending summons for Robert Dorsey and John Wright to appear.  9Aug1813 Robert W. Dorsey appeared, and on his oath, as a subscribing witness, the LWT of Richard Arterbury was proven and entered into record.  That same date appeared Richard Arterbury Jr. and Charles Arterbury, the named executors, along with Reason Blissett and filed their security bond. 

It is not known exactly when Richard I died, but almost certainly before 1810, as he was not found in the census in that year.  At the time of Richard I’s death, he had fourteen living children, at least four of whom were already married.  Included among these children were nine sons under the age of 21 years.  In the 1810 census no record could be found for Richard I’s widow, Rebecca Atteberry.  However, a review of households of the married children, suggests that Rebecca Atteberry may have been living with her eldest son, Thomas Atteberry at Elizabethtown, Hardin County KY, as there was one female over age 45 in that household.  The six eldest children: Anna [Blissett], Thomas, Rebecca [Meeks], Mary [Watkins], Richard II and David can all be found heading their own households in Kentucky in the 1810 census.  Assuming that Rebecca Atteberry was living with her eldest son, Thomas, the question then arises regarding the whereabouts of her eight youngest sons, who would have been aged 5 to 19 years.  Presumably, they would have been living with other next-of-kin households, probably in Hardin County.  However, a review of the households of the six married children does not disclose the presence of anywhere near this number of unaccounted males.  It seems possible that these eight male children may have been divided among the households of several different families, possibly including a few of their elder married siblings.  Some of these male children may also have been placed into apprenticeships, much like Nathan Atteberry, who was apprenticed to John Turney.

Charles Atteberry, the presumed brother of Richard Atteberry I, was reported to have had 14 members in his household in 1810 in Hardin County.  It has already been reported that the Charles Atteberry household contained 22 persons in the 1800 census in Chester County SC.  The author even speculated that the family of Richard Atterberry I may have been living with Charles Atterberry in 1800, as he was not recorded elsewhere.  Further, Richard I named Charles Atterberry as a co-executor to his LWT.  This fact suggests a particularly close relationship between Richard Atteberry I and his presumed uncle, Charles Atterberry.  Consequently, it is entirely possible that Charles Atteberry may have assumed guardianship of some of Richard’s children after his death.

Richard Atteberry II appeared in the 1810 census record living in Ohio Township, Ohio County KY with a son, under age 10 [probably Walker Atterberry], Richard, aged 26 to 44, and Martha [aka Patsy] aged 16 to 25.  In 1810 Ohio County was abutted to the east by Breckenridge and Grayson Counties, and to the north by the Ohio River and Illinois Territory.  In 1815 Ohio County was divided roughly in half, with the northern part constituting the newly formed Daviess County.  In 1810 there were no other persons with the surname of Atterberry living in Ohio County.  The nearest known Atterberrys were all living in nearby Grayson or Hardin Counties.  However, there were the families of Abraham Myres and his sons, Michael, Levi and Elijah, all living in Ohio County.  Abraham Myres had married Patty Arterbury, widow of Nathan Arterbury, on 2Aug1805 in Hardin County.  If the author’s genealogical analysis regarding the ancestry of Nathan Arterbury is correct [i.e., brother of Richard I, and son of Michael], then Abraham Myres would appear to have married Richard Arterbury I’s sister-in-law.  Such kinship would make Patty Arterbury-Myres the aunt of Richard Atterbury II, which might explain the reason Abraham Myres may have settled so close to the family of Richard Atterbury II in Ohio County KY.

In 1820 the Richard Atterberry II family was recorded in two different locations.  One record was in Ohio County KY on 7Aug1820 and reported three sons under 10 [Christopher James, John Warren and Unknown], one son 10 to 15 [Walker], head of household aged 26 to 44, one female under age 10 [Jane], and one female 26 thru 44 [Patsey Moore].  The other record was from Waconteby Township, White County, Illinois, and reflects an identical household composition to the Ohio County household.  It is difficult to explain the reason that Richard’s household would be reported in two different jurisdictions, except that he may have been attempting to establish himself in White County IL at the same time that he retained his residence in Ohio County.  Another person by the name of David Atterberry was also recorded living in Ohio County in 1820 in relatively close proximity to Richard Atterberry II.  This David Atterberry household was reported to contain one male under 10 years, head of household aged 26 thru 44, three females under age 10 and one female aged 16 thru 25.  This David Atterberry very likely was the same person recorded as head of household in 1810 in Hardin County, and the same person who married Sarah Moore on 9Apr1809 in Ohio County.  It seems probable that David Atterberry was a younger brother of Richard Atterberry II.  Further, some genealogical researchers claim that Patsey Moore [wife of Richard II] and Sarah Moore were sisters, the daughters of Edmund Walker Moore and Martha Wilson.

It should also be noted that there were marriages recorded in White County around this same time period abstracted as follows:

  • Charles Atterberry, 1822, White County IL, married Sally Collard.  This Charles Atterberry very likely was a younger brother of Richard Atterberry II.  It seems probable that Charles Atterberry, James Atterberry (next record) and Richard Atterberry II had all planned to establish residency in White County IL sometime around 1818, about the same time that Rezin Blissett and Anna Atterberry Blissett, and William Watkins and Mary Bennett Atteberry Watkins relocated from Kentucky to Wayne County, which abuts White County to the northwest.
  • James Atterberry, 1824, White County, married Jane Boone [aka Bain].  James Atterberry is believed to have been another younger brother of Richard Atterberry II.  James very likely moved to White County at about the same time as Richard II and Charles Atterberry.  By 1830 James Arterberry had relocated to Greene County IL where he was recorded in the census record, and in neighboring Jeresy County in 1840.  By 1850 James had moved back to the eastern part of the state where he was recorded living in Franklin County in 1850.  James acquired several tracts of land in Franklin and Hamilton Counties in the early 1850’s.  His LWT was recorded in Franklin County in Aug1854.
  • Sally Atterberry, 1825, White County, married Peter O’Neil.  The identity of Sally Atterberry is not known with certainty, but she very well may have been Sally Collard, widow of Charles Atterberry.  If that were the case, then it would appear that Charles Atterberry likely died in White County around 1824/5.  There is a census record of a Peter O’Neal living in White County in 1820 with a young female of about his same age (16 thru 25), suggesting that he may have been previously married, and that his first wife had died shortly before he married Sally Atterberry.

In 1830 Richard Atterberry II was again reported living in Ohio County KY with the following household composition: two males under 5, two males 5 to 9, two males 10 to 14, one male 15 to 19, one male 40 to 49, one female 15 to 19, and one female 40 to 49.  The eldest son, Walker Atteberry was already living as head of his own household in Wayne County in 1830.  Also, four of Richard II’s younger brothers: Asa Atteberry, John Atteberry, Nathan Atteberry and Reuben Atteberry, were also recorded living in Wayne County in 1830 (see Table 11-1).  Five households removed from Richard Atterberry II was listed the household of another presumed brother, David Atterberry.  Also, next to David Atterberry was the household of E. W. [Edmund Walker] Moore, the presumed father-in-law of Richard II and David Atterberry.  On the succeeding page was the household of another brother, Stout Atteberry (more on Stout later).

It is believed that Richard Atterberry II moved his family to Wayne County IL within the year after the 1830 census, as land records commenced for Richard Atteberry in Wayne County in 1831.  There were a total of nine land records recorded in Wayne County for Richard Atteberrys between 1831 and 1853 as listed in Table 11-2.  Most of these records are believed to have been filed by Richard Atteberry II, but at least one was by his son, Richard Atteberry III [shown as Richard Jr. in the record]. 

The approximate location (within 100 feet) can be computed from the rather precise Township, Range and Section descriptions which accompanied each filing.  The location of each tract has been plotted on a section grid layout of each of the three abutting townships in which these tracts were contained, such layout is presented in Figure 11-2 below.  The first filing on 10Dec1831 was for a 1/4 section tract of 160 acres about 1.5 miles northeast of present day Barnhill, situated in the southwest quarter of Section 4, Township 3S, Range 8E.  The next filing was on 12Aug1836 for a 40 acre tract in the extreme southeast corner of the same section as the first filing.  The third filing was on 18Aug1836 for another 40 acre tract in the same section, which abutted the first tract to the northwest.  So, within the first five years of moving into Wayne County Richard Atteberry II had acquired three tracts of farmland totaling 240 acres situated in close proximity to each other immediately northeast of the community of Barnhill.

Illinois received statehood in 1820.  Prior to that date it had been only sparsely settled by Europeans, and still had a relatively large population of Native Americans.  The first white settlers in the area that ultimately became Wayne County were a family headed by Isaac Harris, who over-wintered in 1812-3 in an encampment on the bluffs of the Little Wabash River about six miles southeast of Fairfield.  The following year he moved his livestock from Big Prairie township in nearby White County, and build the first known dwelling within Wayne County.  Isaac Harris’ land was located in Section 29, Township 2S, Range 8E, about one mile northwest of Richard Atterberry II’s tracts, and in the same Section in which Nathan Atteberry lived (Nathan’s tracts shown in blue).

Much of what is known of the Atterberry settlers in Wayne County can be traced to the recollections of Nathan Atteberry, who was interviewed and his memories set forth in a book entitled History of Wayne & Clay Counties Illinois, published by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin in 1884.  At that time Nathan was in his 80th year of life, and the oldest surviving Atteberry still living in Wayne County.  Nathan was born in Chester County SC on 10Aug1803, the 2nd youngest of fourteen children born to Richard Arterbury I and Rebecca Bennett.  Sometime around 1816/7 two of Nathan’s sisters: Anna Atteberry Blissett and Mary [Polly] Atteberry Watkins migrated to Wayne County with their husbands and children.  It appears that Nathan and two of his brothers may have followed their sister’s families within the next year per the following narrative from History:

“Nathan Atteberry came to Wayne County and settled in Turney’s Prairie in the fall of 1819 (probably 1818).  In the party were the two brothers of Atteberry and their families.  Their nearest neighbors were Reason Blissett [Nathan’s brother-in-law] and his family of four children, George Close [William Watkins’ brother-in-law], William Watkins [Nathan’s brother-in-law], Green Lee, Henry Coonrod, Michael Turney, Isaiah Turney, Thomas Turney and John Turney [Nathan’s master].  They were all here when the Atteberrys came, and had been on the grounds the most of them long enough to have gone to keeping house in their rude cabins.”[2]

There are several inaccuracies in the foregoing account, but it may be taken as a general guide to the timing and circumstances of the community into which Nathan Atteberry migrated with his brothers.  First, it must be admitted that the identity of the two brothers, with whose “families” Nathan purportedly migrated, is unknown to the author.  The reference to these brothers having “families” suggests that they were already married and had children by 1818.  If that were in fact the case, then this would be suggestive of Nathan’s oldest brothers: Thomas and Richard.  The other known brothers, except for Solomon, were not old enough to have been married with children, and Solomon Atteberry is not known to have moved outside of Kentucky.  We do know from the 1820 census that Richard Atteberry was reported living in both White County IL and Ohio County KY, so he conceivably could have been one of the referenced brothers.  From History we also have a reference to Stout Atteberry suggesting the he may have been one of those brothers:

“The father [Stout Atteberry] came to this county in 1818, with his brother, Nathan F. Atteberry, and settled in Barnhill Township.  He, however, only remained in the county for a short time, and then returned to Kentucky.”[3]

Another hint of the identity of the other brother may be found in the following extract from History:

“During the year 1818, there was added to those first comers: Andrew Kuykendall…George Close, John Atteberry, Samuel Bain, etal.”[4]

If this account of Stout having been one of the brothers, who migrated to Wayne County with Nathan Atteberry in 1818 is correct, then it should be recognized that Stout would have been only 18 years old, and unmarried.  It does make sense that Stout and Nathan may have traveled to Wayne County in 1818 with an older brother.  However, whether that other brother was John Atteberry seems doubtful.  John Attberry would have been only 19 years old in 1818, and was also not yet married at that time.  So John Atteberry could hardly be described as having had his own “family” in 1818.  It is possible that John Atteberry could have come to Wayne County in 1818 with his brothers: Nathan and Stout, but the records do not support this possibility, one way or the other.  Although an adult male of age 21 years in 1820, John Atteberry was not recorded as a head of a household in the 1820 census records.  Further, he was not recorded anywhere in records until the 1830 census, when he was reported a head of household in Wayne County, married and with several children.  His eldest son, Charles W. Arterberry, is recorded in later census records having been born in 1824 in Kentucky.  Consequently, it seems doubtful that John Atteberry was one of the brothers, who accompanied Nathan Atteberry to Wayne County in 1818, unless perhaps, he too had returned to Kentucky similar to the report about Stout Atteberry.

It does seems possible that the third brother, who accompanied Nathan Atteberry to Wayne County in 1818 may have been his older brother, Richard II, who possibly was attracted to that region by the earlier migration of his older sisters.  The account of Stout’s return to Kentucky seems to fit with the apparent return of Richard Atteberry II to Ohio County KY, after only a brief stay in Illinois.  In fact, both Richard and Stout were still living in Hartford Township, Ohio County KY in 1830, within relatively close proximity of each other.

Another discrepancy in the History description of Nathan’s migration to Wayne County may be found in the reference to the household of Reason Blissett containing “his family of four children”.  Reason Blissett and Anna Atterberry are believed to have been married in Chester County SC in about 1802/3.  The actual date and place of their marriage is undocumented, but the purported place and date does comport with the probable location of Anna Atterberry’s family at that time.  The 1810 census of Rezin Blissett’s household in Elizabethtown, Hardin County KY showed the following composition:

  • Head of household = one male 26 thru 44, two males under 10, one male 10 thru 15, one female under 10, two females 16 thru 25, and one female 26 thur 44.

The 1810 census indicates that there were perhaps as many as six children in the family.  However, if these younger persons were in fact all children of the head of household, and if the marriage date of 1802/3 is correct, then at least three of these children (over age 10) could not have been born of Anna Blissett, but perhaps of an earlier, unknown wife.  It is also possible that these older children may not have been Reason and Anna’s children, but may have been other relatives.  It is known that Richard Atterberry I had died by 1808.  His widow, Rebecca Atterberry did not appear in the 1810 census in her own name.  Consequently, it is not known with any certainty where her younger children (siblings of Anna Blissett) may have been living in that year.  At the time of Richard I’s death, he is believed to have had nine sons below the age of consent.  It is possible that some of those younger siblings may have been living with their eldest sister, Anna Blissett.  Reason Blissett is believed to have died in Wayne County IL in about 1818/9, and his widow’s household was reported in the 1820 census as follows:

  • Head of Household = one female 26 thru 44, two males under 10, one male 10 thru 15, two males 16 thru 25, two females under 10, and one female 10 thru 15.

First, it would appear that the two females aged 16 thru 25 shown in the household in 1810 were no longer in the household in 1820.  Next, the female aged under 10 in 1810 appears to be still in the household in 1820, aged 10 thru 15.  Next, there appears to have been two new males and two new females under age 10 added to the household after 1810.  Lastly, there appears to be one male aged 16 thru 25 in the household in 1820, who does not appear to have been in the household in 1810.  Unless there was an error in the ages reported for the young males in the 1810 census vs. the 1820 census, it seems possible that the apparent added male in the 1820 census may have been Anna’s younger brother, Nathan Atterberry, who is believed to have been in Wayne County as early as 1818.  Nathan is reported to have been apprenticed to John Turney in about 1818 at the age of 15 years.  Nathan would have been only 17 years old in 1820.  He does not appear to have been in the John Turney household in 1820, so it seems reasonable that he may have been living with his older sister, Anna Blissett.

On 9Dec1818 Rezin Blissett filed for an 80 acre tract in West Half, Southwest Quarter, Section 5, Township 3S, Range 8E (shown in green in Figure 11-2).  By 23Jul1819 Rezin Blissett was dead, and his widow, Anna Atterberry Blissett, filed for an additional 80 acre tract situated in the East Half of the same Quarter Section (also shown in green in Figure 11-2).  Thirteen years later, Anna’s brother, Richard II filed his first tract for the Southwest Quarter of Section 4, Township 3S, Range 8E, abutting westerly on the tract of his sister, Anna Blissett.

By 1820 the Atterberry sisters were quickly integrating into the sparse society of their region.  Pioneering life on this southern Illinois frontier is recalled by Betsey Harris Goodwin and Nathan Atteberry in History as follows:

“The first cabin had a dirt floor and its size is shown by Mrs. Goodwin’s statement as to the carpet used.  Four bear skins, cut square, filled the cabin and made a luxurious carpet.  The daily food of the pioneers was corn meal, hominy, bear meat, venison, honey and sassafras tea…  she remembered many times of seeing a hundred gallons of honeyed sweetness in a rude wooden trough…  The pioneer’s luscious bill of fare was served on pewter plates, sometimes accompanied by milk poured from a gourd…  Bears were so bold they have been known to come within twenty steps of the house and carry off pigs.  Mrs. Goodwin said she would enjoy wearing a pair (bear skin moccasins) even in 1880…  The young ladies of the pioneer period wore deer skin dresses…  “Daddy loaded a lot of deer skins and venison hams on a sled and took ’em to Carmi and bought us gals each a calico dress.”…  The Indians seem not to have had any permanent village in our county, but were frequently camped here in large numbers.  Mrs. Goodwin remembered seeing about 300 camped near Nathan Atteberry’s present home…  Fairfield then consisted of two cabins, and the patriotic observers of the day (4th of July) we celebrate numbered about thirty persons, prominent among whom were the Barnhills, Slocumbs, Leeches and Jo Campbell…  The dishes and spoons used were almost wholly pewter and were sold by peddlers.  There were no stores in the county, and men and women wore buckskin clothing…  The first school which Mrs. Goodwin attended was taught by Uncle George Merritt.  There was not an arithmetic or slate in the school room, the studies being confined to the Testament (Bible) and spelling-book…  Archy Roberts was one of the first preachers in this part of the State.  He was a Methodist, as were most of the early ministers…  It was very difficult to raise wheat in the early days.  It looked well enough, but failed to mature and make perfect heads.  Corn was the sole reliance for bread…  The first mill in the county was built by Jo Martin, who hauled the stones from Barren County KY…  the creek which crosses the Liberty road just beyond Nathan Atteberry’s farm, four miles south of Fairfield.  It is now perfectly dry nine months of the year.  It will be astonishing information to many of the present generation that on this creek was built the first water mill ever in the County.  Mr. Atteberry said the dam across the creek furnished water power enough to run a small pair of corn stones two feet in diameter…  It was universally recognized as one of the most valued public enterprises of the day…  During the year 1818, there was added to those first commers: Andrew Kuykendall…George Close, John Atteberry, Samuel Bain [kinsman of Charles Atteberry?], etal.”

The Baptist Church was one of the first to be organized in Wayne County.  Its first organization is summarized as follows:

“The earliest organization of the Baptist Church in this county which we have been able to gather, was at what was then and still is known as Hopewell, in the southern part of Barnwell Township.  This church was organized 5Aug1820, by Elders William Hanks and Benjamin Keith.  The persons entering into this organization at that time were James Bird, Susan Bird, William Wadkins, Polly Wadkins, Stephen Coonrod, Anna Blissett and Naomi Close [wife of George Close], all of whom most likely have long since passed away.  The church records from which we gather these facts, after giving the organization, articles of faith, and rules of decorum, makes a skip of 20 years, that is from 1820 to 1840, and this interval we are unable to supply, except from what few stray items we have been able to gather from persons who were living here at that time.  We presume this congregation had no house of worship at the date of their organization, as we find in their record at the time of their organization this entry: “Done at the place of George Close’s, Wayne County, State of Illinois.””[5]

So the first Baptist Church in Wayne County was organized on 5Aug1820 at the home of George Close which was located in Section 9, Township 3S, Range 8E.  Founding members included William Wadkins [aka Watkins] and his wife, Mary [Polly] Atteberry, Anna Atteberry Blissett, widow of Reason Blissett, and Naomi Watkins Close, wife of George Close.  As shown in Figure 11-2 the homesteads of George Close, William Watkins and Reason Blissett were clustered within Township 3S, Range 8E, all within a 1/2-mile radius of each other.  Ten years later, Richard Atteberry II would purchase several tracts in Section 4 of that same township, within less than 1/2-mile of his sister’s homesteads.  William Watkins was one of the first preachers of the Hopewell church, and would continue as one of their leading ministers until his death in 1850.  A more detailed description of the Hopewell Church is as follows:

“Hopewell Church was organized August 5, 1820, at the home of George Close, with nine members, viz., James Bird, Susan Bird, Anna Blissitt, Stephen Coonrod, John Coonrod, Naomi Close, James Taylor, William Watkins, and Polly Watkins. Elders Benjamin Keith and William Hanks composed the presbytery which organized Hopewell Church.

The messengers, chosen in 1821, to petition for membership in the Muddy River Association, were James Taylor and William Watkins. This church was a member of the Muddy River (1821), Little Wabash (1825) and Skillet Fork (1840) Associations during its existence.

Elder William Watkins was serving as pastor in about 1840. The only records of the church which have been discovered begin in 1845, with an account of trouble resulting in a division in the church caused by Elder John Kimmel. In July 1846, Elder Isaiah Walker was ordained, and served the church as pastor or moderator. He was followed by Elders Felix Potter, William Thomas, John Hunsinger, Nathaniel Williams, Lewis Hunsinger, James D. Jones, Isham Caudle, and Jeremiah Wooten, up to the year 1874.

In 1845, the church was meeting in a schoolhouse near William McCullough’s. In March 1850 the church agreed to build a meeting house after the model of Mt. Pleasant’s, and appointed members to select a site. Jacob Baird and wife gave two acres of land, in 1855, on which the church erected a building. It was located about a mile east of Barnhill, in Barnhill township.

A three-day centennial service was held in August 1920, with Elder M. L. Gwaltney (the pastor), and Elders A. J. Coale, Charles Jones, A. D. Hancock, and others in attendance. The church was shown as a member of the Skillet Fork Association as late as 1934.

Surnames that appeared in the Hopewell Church records included:  Atterberry, Baird, Bird, Blissit, Buckels, Butler, Carter, Caudle, Churchwell, Clark, Close, Coonrod, Copeland, Corley, Day, Doris, Eskridge, Felix, Friend, Gray, Hall, Harl, Hodge, Hodges, Howard, Jerrels, Kennedy, Kimmell, King, Lock, Martin, McCullough, Meeks, Murphey, Murphy, Musgraves, Nunn, Odell, Palmer, Pendleton, Potter, Reed, Rentfro, Reynold, Rhodes, Simpson, Smith, Taylor, Tombs, Upchurch, Wade, Walker, Watkins, Wheeler, Wilson, Wood (very incomplete list due to loss of most of the records).”[6]

In the first half of the 19th century several Atteberry kinsman filed plat maps within Wayne County, most within less than five miles distance from Richard II, including four of his brothers: John, Asa, Reuben, and Nathan, as well as Richard II’s sons: Richard III, Walker, John Warren, and Allen.  A list of all tract filings by Atteberrys and some near kinsmen in Wayne County from 1817 thru 1853 is presented in Table 11-3.  Although the census record presented in Table 11-1 indicates that Asa, Nathan, Reuben, John and Walker Atteberry were all in Wayne County by 1830, Table 11-3 shows that they were a bit slow in their acquisition of land: Reuben acquired 80 acres on 30Dec1830, Nathan acquired 40 acres on 4Jan1833, John acquired 44 acres on 24Nov1836, Walker acquired 40 acres on 26May1836, and Asa acquired 40 acres on 12Jan1837.  Further, that Richard I acquired 160 acres on 10Dec1831, Richard III acquired 40 acres on 3Jan1838, Stout acquired 80 acres on 5Jun1840, Solomon [son of Nathan] acquired 40 acres on 16Mar1848, Allen [son of Richard II] acquired 80 acres on 26Dec1850, Henry [son of Nathan] acquired 80 acres on 1Jul1851, Jacob S. [son of Reuben] acquired 40 acres on 26Jul1851, Eli [son of Asa] acquired 40 acres on 2Mar1853, and William A. [possibly son of Asa] acquired 40 acres on 26Mar1853.

Table 11-4 contains a list of all of the households in Wayne County in 1840 headed by a person surnamed Atteberry, or near facsimile.  The persons are identified as follows: Asa Atteberry [brother of Richard II], Kitty Atteberry [Catherine Meeks, widow of Reuben Atteberry], House [sic] [Stout] Atteberry [brother of Richard II], John Atteberry [brother of Richard II], John W. [Warren] [son of Richard II], Nathan Atteberry [brother of Richard II], Richard Atteberry [Richard II], Richard Atteberry [Richard III], and Walker Atteberry [son of Richard II].

It is of interest to this analysis of the Richard Atteberry lineage to note that on 3Jan1838 there were two tracts acquired, one by Richard Atteberry Sr., and the other by Richard Atteberry Jr.  Based on the grave marker shown in Figure 11-3 Richard Atteberry III was born on 24Nov1820, and would have been only 18 years old when he acquired his first tract.  That tract was located in Section 32, Township 2S, Range 8E, and is identified as Tract No. 4 in Figure 11-2.  This tract was situated within about one-half mile of the first tracts acquired by his father.  The fact that Richard Atteberry III was only 18 years old when he acquired this tract of land suggests that he probably was contemplating marriage.  The 1840 census record indicates that Richard III was in fact married at the time that that census was taken, as he was reported as the head of his own household, aged 15 thru 19, with one female, aged 15 thru 19.  Richard III is reported to have married Eliza Close, daughter of George Close and Naomi Watkins in about 1839 in Wayne County.

It is interesting to note that of the fourteen known children of Richard Atteberry I and Rebecca Bennett, eight settled and lived out their adult lives in Wayne County IL; these included: Richard II, Nathan, John, Asa, Stout, Anna, Mary, and Reuben.  Two others initially migrated from Kentucky to White County IL; these included Charles (who is believed to have died in White County around 1824/5), and James (who initially settled in White County, moved to Greene County, then to Jersey County, and finally to Franklin County).  Two others appear to have migrated directly from Kentucky to Macon County; these included David and Thomas (Jockey).  Of the final two: Rebecca settled in Spencer County IL, and Solomon remained in Kentucky, where he died in Grayson County in 1859.

Richard Atterberry II and Patsey Moore are believed to have had…

Law and Courts

“On 26Aug1837 the nuncupatice Will of Reuben Atteberry was probated.  It was attested by Nathan Atteberry and John G. Meeks.”

Other early settlers of Barnhill were William Watkins, Asa Hayes, Walker Atteberry, Nathan Atteberry, Renfro brothers, Archibald Roberts, William Simpson Jr., Daniel, etal…  William Watkins settled in the southeast part of Section 9, on the place now owned by Gideon Gifford.  He came from Kentucky, and was a zealous preacher in the Baptist Church, as well as an enterprising farmer…  Walker Atteberry settled in Section 8, and Nathan Atteberry settled on Section 29, on the west border of the township.

County Supervisors – J. W. Atteberry, 1856-66.

Commissioner of Highways: [J. W.] Atteberry, Holtzhouser and Shelton 1868-9.

Collectors: R. F. Atteberry 1872-3.

Post Offices: Although the town was never laid out, the neighborhood in the vicinity of Mr. Keen’s residence still bears the name of Keenville.  In 1881, the post office was, however, moved a mile south of the old location, where Mr. A. F. Atteberry is now running a store.

Schools: The first schoolhouse was built as early as 1845, in Section 29.  It was of hewn logs, with puncheon floors, and was erected by the people of the neighborhood on land donated by Harvey Braddy.  School was held in this building every season until 1879, when the building finally burned.  Among persons who taught there were Asa F. Atteberry, A. K. Atteberry and T. M. Atteberry.  A short time before the building burned it was decided to divide the district, as the school was becoming large.  In consequence, after the fire it was decided to erect two buildings.  Accordingly, one building was erected in Section 28, on land donated by Stout Atteberry.

“Nathan Atteberry was born in South Carolina 10Aug1803, and in childhood was removed from there by his parents to Kentucky, where he remained until 1820, when he came to Wayne County, where he has remained ever since.  He is a hale and cheery old man, whose mind and body are strong, virgorous and active.  His biography may be found in another part of this work.  At the house of Mr. Atteberry, on the 10th day of August, was gathered some of the friends and old settlers to celebrate his 80th birthday.  Among the guests: Richard L. Boggs, Pardi S. Meeks, Margaret Ann Blissett, wife of Mr. Meeks, was born in Wayne County 14Jun1819, Sarah Renfro, widow of Asa Atteberry, who died many years ago, born in Georgia 12Sep1812, came to Wayne County in 1829…  Nathan Atteberry came to Wayne County and settled in Turney’s Prairie in the fall of 1819.  In the party were the two brothers of Atteberry and their families.  Their nearest neighbors were Reason Blissett and his family, and George Close, William Watkins, etal…  These were all here when Atteberrys came, and had been on the grounds the most of them long enough to have gone to keeping house in their rude cabins.  Isaiah Turney taught a school in this prairie in 1820…  Mr. [Nathan] Atteberry remembers attending a general muster and election in 1820, where the militia officers for the county were elected…  Mr. Atteberry afterward became a Captain and then a Major in the militia, where he served two years.  Nathan Atteberry was a bound boy to old John Turney, and by the terms of the indenture was sent to school three months, and this was the total of his facilities in this line.  His recollection is that George Close raised the first wheat ever grown in the county.”[7]

Early Baptists

“The earliest organization of the Baptist Church in this county which we have been able to gather, was at what was then and still is known as Hopewell, in the southern part of Barnwell Township.  This church was organized 5Aug1820, by Elders William Hanks and Benjamin Keith.  The persons entering into this organization at that time were James Bird, Susan Bird, William Wadkins, Polly Wadkins, Stephen Coonrod, Anna Blissett and Naomi Close [wife of George Close], all of whom most likely have long since passed away.  The church records from which we gather these facts, after giving the organization, articles of faith, and rules of decorum, makes a skip of 20 years, that is from 1820 to 1840, and this interval we are unable to supply, except from what few stray items we have been able to gather from persons who were living here at that time.  We presume this congregation had no house of worship at the date of their organization, as we find in their record at the time of their organization thise entry: “Done at the place of Geroge Close’s, Wayne County, State of Illinois.”  As to who their early preachers were we are not informed.  We find in 1840 that William Wadkins was their pastor, and Asa Atteberry, clerk.  This parent church flourished and prospered for some years, and the membership lived in harmony until probably from 1830 to 1835, when one Daniel Parker, from somewhere in Illinois, came amongst them and began to preach doctrines which some of the members could not relish.  Just what those doctrines were we were not advised, but one thing we find they were induced by Parker and his adherents to take upon themselves the name of “Regular Baptists.”  Carter J. Kelly: “The churches were then known universally as United Baptist, the original having emigrated from Kentucky and Tennessee, where they were uiversally known as United Baptist.”…  We find, however, that the breach already made continued to widen, until March 1845, it culminated in a division of the church, one party taking the name of United or Missionary Baptist, the other taking to themselves the name of Regular Predestinarian Baptists.  Both factions claim to be the genuine original Baptist Church, and to have descended in a regular line from the Waldenses, and the contest has been long and bitterly contested, and is still unsettled (1884)…”

“After the organiztion of the Hopewell Church, we have no record of the organization of any other church of this denomination until Jul1846; at this time there was organized by Elders Richard Gardner, Jeremiah Doty and C. S. Madding, a church in Mt. Erie Township, then and still known as Providence Church…  The next church organized was in Dec1848, in Hicory Hill Township, and known as Little Flock Church.  This church was organized by Joseph Hartley, John Martin, Barnes Reeves, Solomon Blissett, and Brady Meeks.  The persons entering this organization were Sarah M. Crask, Stout Atteberry, Fanny L. Atteberry, Alfred Wilson, Joseph Crask, Nancy Crask, Abraham P. Witter, Sarah M. Wilson, Enos K. Wilson, Wilkins Dewees and Eleanor Dewees; of this number only three are now living, to wit: Fanny L. Atteberry, Joseph Crask and Abraham P. Witter.”

“As a people the “Old Baptists,” as they style themselves, are honest and sincere; and whatever the world may think of their doctrines, manners and customs as a church, still all must admit that they are honest in their views… One of the main reasons for the split in the Baptist Church, not only in this county, but elsewhere, was on the missionary question.  The “Regulars” claim to be the true missionary church as organized by Christ and his apostles.  They maintain that when God calles a man to preach, that the man so called feels that a necessity is laid upon him, and that he feels as did the Apostle Paul, “Woe is me if I preach not the Gospel,” and that feeling thus, they are compelled to go wherever the Lord directs, and that without “stave the script.”  So taking their own version of the matter, they are not opposed to missions, but to the manner of sending them out; or, in other words, they believe a preacher should go and preach, and not be sent out by a board.”

United Baptists – Pleasant Grove Church, organized 25Sep1853, with 12 members, might properly be called the mother of the Baptist Churchesin the southern part of Wayne County and the northern part of White County.  The following deacons were ordained: B. S. Meeks, J. R. Carter, D. W. Atteberry and D. K. Felix.  Clerks included: D. C. Walker, D. K. Felix, J. R. Carter and D. W. Atteberry.


[1] https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/22126013/richard-atteberry, accessed 1Oct2018.

[2] History of Wayne & Clay Counties Illinois, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1884, p. 56.

[3] Ibid., p. 141.

[4] Ibid., p. 47.

[5] Ibid., p.

[6] http://www.pblib.org/FamHist-Wayne.html, accessed 3Oct2018.

[7] Ibid., pp. 55-6.

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 ag