This blog entry shall deal with finalizing, almost, the lands of Elder Daniel Miller (1755-1822). Elder Daniel owned land that today lies along the Upper Bear Creek Road of Miami township, Montgomery county, Ohio. When he owned it, and prior to that, the land was owned by Elder Jacob Miller (ca. 1838-1815). Normally to plat land it is fairly easy to transcribe a single deed and overlay that onto high-quality scans of the Montgomery County, Ohio Atlas of 1875. In this instance it is difficult as that particular section, in 1875 versus the early 18th Century, had been cut up into differing tracts. In other words, it was not easily done because of intervening deeds. To rectify this it fell upon me to pull all the deeds, at least those that were recorded for this section, which led to some discoveries.
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.
happy hereafter, but first must pass through punishment according to their Sins." Dr. Walker here has fallen into a mass of confusion that had doubtless bewildered other men before him, and that certainly has blinded hundreds to the truth since his day; and it is to make another effort, in behalf of justice and historical truth, to clear up this confusion, that I beg space for these lines. The facts in brief are these: The Ephrata Society, who were an offshoot of the Dnnker sect, were Sabbatarians and ascetics; yet they retained a few of the principles and practices of the parent body. Often, therefore, they were called Dunkers; often, on the other hand, through a similar lack of discrimination, the Dunkers were confused with the Slbbatarians, and, in consequence, charged with their ascetic practices and heretical doctrines. These misconceptions have clung to the subject with the characteristic persistency of error, from generation to generation, and even in our own day are by no means entirely dispelled. In the realm of fiction they have found a congenial atmosphere; and even in sober history they have taken deep root. Howe, the historian, whose book, Virginia: Its History and Antiquities, is eagerly sought after and highly prized by students and librarians of to-day, wrote a hundred years after Dr. Walker; yet he follows the same wrong path. Indeed, he gets far further into the maze of error, and he is probably still leading multitudes after him. In his sketch of Botetourt county (page 203), he says: "At the small village of Amsterdam, 5 miles s. of Fincastle, there is a large brick church, lately built by the Dunkards The Dunkers at Amsterdam are descendants of Germans who emigrated to Pennsylvania. The following, regarding the tenets and practices of this sect, is from a published account: " 'The Tunkers are a denomination of Seventh-Day Baptists, which took its rise in the year 1724. [The Tunker sect originated in Germany in 1708. Beissel, who afterwards founded the monastic sect, was baptized by a Tunker bishop, near Philadelphia, in 1724.] It was founded by a German, who, weary of the world, retired to an agreeable solitude within sixty miles of Philadelphia, for the more free exercise of religious contemplation. Curiosity attracted followers, and his simple and engaging manners made them proselytes. They soon settled a little colony, called Ephrata, in allusion to the Hebrews, who used to sing psalms on the border of the river Euphrates. This denomination seem to have obtained their name from their baptizing their new converts by plunging. [The terms Tunker and Dunker did arise from the mode of baptizing by immersion, or dipping, frem Ger. tunken, to dip.] * * They use trine immersion, with laying on the hands and prayer, even when the person baptized is in the water. [This is true of the Dun
contents. chapter i. First Settlements. First Meetings Held. First Churches Organized. First Elections Held, etc. chapter ii. Customs and Manners. chapter iii. Erection of Church Houses. First Annuel Meeting. Trouble in Rock Run. First Sunday School. First Series of Meetings. Salem College. First Prayer meetings. chapter iv. Second Annual Meeting. Third Annual Meeting and Division of Church chapter v. District Meetings Organized. Organization of Different Churches. Mission Work Conclusion page 5 16 26 35 41
changed our tent and dug a little ditch around it for the water to run off, but the rain came through the tent so that we becanme thoroughly wet and were kept awake nearly the whole night. On November 10, it began to clear a little. The river rose still higher. We passed our time with drying blankets, mending clothes and darning stockings. We bought several bushels of corn and some meat from our neighbors, who liked our prolonged stay as it netted them some money. In the afternoon we had a little love feast. Bro. Nathanael led the evening worship and we lay down to rest. On November 11, several brethren went to the river early to find out whether we could cross. The river had falletn two feet. A man showed us the ford and I rode through6 first on our white horse. We risked it and drove through safely. The banks were tolerably easy to pass. We then passed through a swamp, but stuck fast in a mud hole for a considerable time. We had much trouble to get out. Mr. Hikki, who lives half a mile from here and keeps a store (which is the nearest house, at which we can buy salt), came to us and showed himself very friendly. We had a miserable road to his house. Here we bought some provisions. A few miles from this place we met a man from North Carolina, who lives not far from our land. We heard from himn that it was known everywhere that we would soon come. He had also heard that we had two ministers with us, which was very good, because they lived almost as wild men and heard nothing of God or his word. They were also pleased to hear that we had a physician with us. We ate our dinner two and a half miles beyond Mr. Hikki, near a little creek. where we found a good pasture. We had had a pretty good road thus far. Then we continued through several mud holes and across steep hills. Every half or quarter of a mile we found water, often close to a deep swamp. In the evening we pitched our tent near a little creek, having traveled to-day eight miles, which was rapid progress. We were glad to have such beautiful and warm weather. At night we cooked Virginia potatoes which tasted very well. 5 This refers to the writer of the diary, wvho was most probably the Rev. B. A. Grube.