Monday, 30 December 2013 07:15

Discussion #1

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Today’s blog, the first in a series that will hopefully be an on-going explanation of what I am presently working on, is about the various Brethren Miller families who were early settlers of Montgomery county, Ohio.  The opening section below is some comments about the Miller families of note, followed by what I am working on at this time.  In essence there are three Miller families that interest me, and I am not even remotely related to any of them, so, to that end, here goes.

  • Daniel and Susannah ‘Bowman’ Miller of present day Morrison’s Cove of Bedford and Blair counties, Pennsylvania.  He was born on May 5, 1765, location not definitively known, and died on January 24, 1849, in Montgomery county, Ohio.  Where in the county he died can only be determined when and if I pull his estate papers on file in Dayton, Ohio.  He had extensive land holdings in Montgomery county that in the future may be properly platted on a county map.  His wife was Susannah Bowman, daughter of the John Bowman (ca. 1730-1830) more commonly known as "Deacon John Bowman" to differentiate he from his son, John Bowman (1765-1842).  Why, because the father was a deacon in the church and the son not.  This Bowman family has long been prominent in the history of the church in Ohio and Indiana, and further west.  This Daniel Miller does not figure into the ministerial body of the church, and as far as I know off the top of my head, neither does any of his family.
  • Elder Daniel Miller (1755-1822), the son of Philip Jacob Miller and husband of Susannah ‘Ulrich’ Miller (1755-1834).  Notice that Daniel’s mother is unmentioned herein as I have always suspected that poor research by many, many parties has been used too often when detailing the life of Philip Jacob Miller’s family.  I am referring to the plethora of entries that can be discovered online denoting the family-at-large wherein extremely few have actually done any research.  More often than not they are copying from each other.  Eugene Edwin "Gene" Miller of California is the recognized expert on the family in my opinion and he may have concrete evidence establishing that P. J. Miller’s wife was Magdalena Rochette.  Sounds French does it not?  Though admittedly not an expert on early Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, nor Washington county, Maryland, I am not aware of any French families in either region.  And, I believe that Elizabeth ‘Ulrich’ Miller was born in 1755, not in 1752 as reported elsewhere.  This will become more apparent when an article detailing the three Bibles known to exist, at one time, for the extended families involved is written.
  • Jacob Miller (ca. 1738-1815) of Franklin county, Virginia, and later of Montgomery county, Ohio, has long been of interest to me.  As a young man in my teens I lived in West Carrollton, Ohio.  The section of the town wherein I lived is barely a mile or so from where Elder Jacob Miller had extensive land holdings.  On occasion in the summer months I would purchase, or steal from my mother’s larder, a loaf of bread, some slab bologna, and some other victuals, and hop on my bicycle and travel around Jefferson township.  All I had to do was peddle for a minute and I was Jefferson township.  Those are fond memories and I wish I knew then what I know now.  Perhaps I would be that much further along in my research.  First, to correct some fallacies.  Elder Jacob Miller was not born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania.  Being on the west side of the Susquehanna River, this land was not open to settlers, officially, until the 1750’s.  However, he was a settler, or at least he appears to have been, a resident of that locale in the early 1760’s.  Perhaps in the future an article will be penned concerning the comedy of errors that persist regarding Elder Jacob.  Secondly, Elder Jacob did not die in 1816; he died in 1815 as evidence by an estate filed in that year in Montgomery county, Ohio.  Yes, a purported photograph exists showing Elders Jesse O. Garst and John C. Bright holding a tombstone etched, and highlighted with chalk, with the date of 1816 on it.  It is now known that this photograph is a falsehood; even to the point of where it was.  From various records it can be established that Elder Jacob died in present day Miami township, Montgomery county, some four or five miles from where convention held that he was buried.  Unfortunately someone in the past removed all of the contents of Elder Miller’s estate packet contents, preventing a careful study of his last days.  Lastly, hopefully the reader was paying attention when I stated that Elder Jacob Miller was born in about 1738, not in 1735 as has long been held as being the truth.  It is now known when and in about what year he was born as evidenced by estate papers held elsewhere.  Again, hopefully in the future an article will be penned regarding Elder Miller, his family, and that of the three or four nephews known to have come to Ohio.
  • John and Susannah ‘Studebaker’ Miller of Warren and Montgomery counties of Ohio have long been recorded in The Studebaker Family in America – 1736 – 1976.  He was born in about 1775 in Pennsylvania and died in 1813 in Montgomery county, Ohio.  She was born in Pennsylvania in about 1777, and died in Allen county, Indiana, in 1852.  That worthy book has little concrete information on the family.  I came across John from a different perspective, becoming aware of the Studebaker family connection only later.  I had scanned his Montgomery county, Ohio, estate record which had piqued my interest.  Now, years later, I have located his father and all of his and Susannah’s children.  An article has been prepared that will divulge a portion of this newly found data and is likely to be published later in the year in the Studebaker Family Association’s newsletter.

Road Through Morrison's Cove, PennsylvaniaWhat do these various Miller families share in common?  First, as far as is known they are not related.  DNA testing on a descendant of Elder Jacob Miller and Elder Daniel Miller have proven this.  Second, they were all Brethren though admittedly a good-sized portion of John Miller’s family become Christian Church.  The one thing that the last three share in common is that they were all residents of Jefferson township, Montgomery county, Ohio, and, for no reason other than the nearness, would have been early members of the Lower Miami congregation of Southwestern Ohio.  Daniel and Susannah ‘Bowman’ Miller is part of my radar because her father, "Deacon John" Bowman, was also a member of the same church.  Or at least to the time of the 1811 Virginia Conference according to some reports.

As part of a horse-swap of services between Roberta J. Estes and I, she being extremely knowledgeable when it comes to DNA and more importantly the explanation of what the test results are saying, I entered into a verbal mutually beneficial relationship for the benefit of both parties, namely she and I.  She is the administrator of the Miller Families who Are Brethren DNA project.  She was to receive from me two of the Road Petition with Signatures of many Early Residents of Morrison’s Cove in Bedford County, Pennsylvania presentations, one for 1775 and one for 1776.

These two items contain digital renditions, at high-quality, of two documents I discovered many years ago in Bedford, Pennsylvania, that were an attempt by various residents of Snake Spring and Woodbury townships, though the documents give the townships of Colerain and Frankstown townships, desiring that a road be built from just east of the present day Bedford Church of the Brethren up the Upper Snake Spring Road, thru the gap into Morrison’s Cove, thence towards Loysburg (Pattonsville) and northward on Woodbury Pike (Rte. 36) to the Waterside Church of the Brethren, turning left onto Potter Creek Road (Rte. 868) and continuing thusly ‘til meeting Lafayette Road (Rte. 867) and taking it northwards.  The route then continued, passing by Daniel Ulrich’s mill near the spring for which the town is named, until turning left onto Woodbury Pike (Rte. 164) and following that thru the Frankstown Gap.

 Because of the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, and the activities of the Indians in the region, these two petitions appear to never been brought to a final resolution until years later.  At some point in time, and the documentation appears to no longer exist, the road was built.  One of the road commissioners in later years was whom I call ‘Ol John Crull, the father of those Crulls who were early settlers of Jefferson township, Montgomery county, Ohio.  His name also appears, as John Kroll and John Correl, on both petitions.  Included in this collection, and printed on 13" by 19" archival paper using archival ink, is a map of the road as it appeared in 1872 from a state atlas.

 Additional work on my part includes an article to be written concerning the three Bibles, not one as previously thought, of the Philip Jacob and Daniel Miller family.  In essence there were three Miller family bibles; one for Philip Jacob Miller, one for Elder Daniel Miller, and one for Daniel’s son, Stephen Miller (1775-1851).  This same article will also contain a lengthy commentary on the contents of Elder Miller’s estate concluding with a discussion of the lands owned by Elder Miller in Montgomery county, Ohio.  Copies of the deeds will also be contributed to Roberta’s stack of “goodies.”  Finally, she will be receiving my printed book Montgomery County, Ohio: Daniel Miller Estate Packet #536.  This book contains high-quality color images of each and every item, sixty-nine in all, contained in the estate of this prominent elder of the church.

As an adjunct, and so that it is not lost, will be a brief series of articles concerning John Miller (ca. 1774-1813) and Susannah ‘Studebaker’ Miller (ca. 1777-1852), daughter of Abraham Studebaker (ca. 1739-1808) and Mary ‘Whitehead’ (Weiskopf) Studebaker.  Now that the father of John Miller has been determined by a logical series of deductions with hopefully a DNA test to follow, I wrote a brief (actually in excess of 5,300 words) article that she will be receiving.  She will also possibly be receiving the estate record of this John Miller, in book form, as filed in Montgomery county.  This same article, dealing more with the descendants of Philip and Elizabeth ‘Miller’ Hartzell though with some material on Elizabeth’s parents, will likely be contributed for publishing in the newsletter of The Studebaker Family National Association.  Negotiations are underway.

Miller Presentation print [Click for larger image] There are other items not herein mentioned that shall be passed along to Roberta for her personal use which shall shed more light on the family of Elder Daniel Miller and the aforementioned John and Susannah ‘Studebaker’ Miller.  As for John’s heritage, it shall be a closely held secret between I and only two other people, Roberta and Gale E. S. Honeyman of the Brethren Heritage Center of Brookville, Ohio.

What shall I receive as my part in this horse-swap?  Roberta will be funding the DNA testing I have long desired, but could never afford.  This is important to me in that whom my paternal is, or was, is not known.  While I cherish my father as recorded on my birth certificate, Samuel C. Webb, he is not my father in the truest sense.  A father to me, assuredly so, and no finer man of simple means could one ever hope to have as a father, but we share the name only as a happenstance of circumstances.

Hopefully with the 67-strand Y-DNA testing, accompanied with an autosomal test as well, it will shed light on my paternal family.  I now wish that back in 1980 or so, when my mother told me what I already knew, that I had allowed her to give me the name.  Alas, it is only now as I have become highly interested in history, and more specifically Brethren history, that I had allowed her to continue.  But, I did not wish to cause her any heartache.  And yes, even as she lay dying I did not wish to cause her pain; could’ve, should’ve, would’ve, etc.

To close this out, and it has taken several hours of my busy day, I will be finalizing the estate of Elder Daniel Miller for the remainder of the day.  Oh, I forgot one other item.  I have taken a digital image of the Bible of Elder Daniel Miller, the page listing his children as well as the front cover, and created a presentation piece suitable for matting and framing by Roberta on which are also included documents from both his estate as well as items of note contained in other estates in which he was involved.

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A. Wayne Webb

A long time historian of the German Baptist Brethren church, and its more modern derivative bodies, Mr. Webb has moved on to become a recognized authority in digitally archiving manuscripts, both published works as well as singular documents.  He served as the Editor of Brethren Roots, 2002 to 2008, as published by The Fellowship of Brethren Genealogists.  To that end he has created and maintains a series of Internet web sites devoted to his passion, German Baptist Brethren history.

More in this category: Discussion #2 »


  • Comment Link Ty Goodart Friday, 06 February 2015 11:42 posted by Ty Goodart

    Some data indicates that John Miller and Susannah Studebaker may have had a son named Daniel. I am trying to find info on a Daniel Miller that was the father of an Elizabeth Miller b. Oct 12, 1814 in PA & died 10-21-1907 in Springfield Twp. Allen Co., IN. According to Elizabeth's death cert. her father was a Daniel Miller, mother unk. Now this Elizabeth Miller married William Brown. The William Brown was born in Montgomery Co., OH. His family come to Allen Co.,OH. The Miller family of Susannah Studebaker -were in the general area of Allen Co., - which thens to indicate Elizabeth Miller Brown's father Daniel Miller - just might be part of John & Susannah Millers family.

    Any data that might help clarify this is very much welcome.

    Morning Ty, I have been down with the flu as well as spending some extended time with the wife which should explain the delay in responding.  Also, I have to confirm a comment posting before it becomes available.  This is part of my spam elimination program.

    The Miller families of my blog entry were by and large in Montgomery county, Ohio, by 1814.  Definitely John & Susannah 'Studebaker' Miller were.  And yes, the 1830 census for David and Abraham Miller in Allen county, Indiana, is two of their sons.  They did not have a son named Daniel as evidenced by numerous estate records in my personal collection.

    You never stated in your e-mail to me whether you knew who William Brown's parents were.  In my tax records for Montgomery county, Ohio (1827, '30), there is a Samuel Brown who owned land and had live stock.  There is no William listed.  My records were scanned personally by myself and reproduced in book form — not abstracted.

    IF, and I emphasis that IF, William (1808-1887) was indeed born in Montgomery county, Ohio, then it is possible that I know who his father was.  I am aware of a William Brown who was titularly Brethren.  Unfortunately, there are no extant estate records for him.


  • Comment Link Ray Hoff Wednesday, 01 January 2014 10:03 posted by Ray Hoff

    Congratulations on starting your new blog.


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