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.
On November 9th, Mr. Stump gave us a horse to cross the many creeks. We met an old Swiss, Anton Richert [Richard]. He had read [sermons] occasionally on the South Branch, and himself had baptized the children of his family. We also came to-day to the house of the father of our sister, Mrs. Anton Schmidt,* Peter Rith. He was not at home, but hunting bears. The woman who keeps house for him soon made us leave again. When we inquired about the way in an English house, the woman asked us for an English sermon, but we answered that we were German preachers. We stayed over night with Rogert Dayer, who praised Bro. Joseph's [Spangenberg's] medicine (he also lodged there), by which the son of the family had been cured. On November loth, we had to cross the South Fork several times. Then we came to several German families, where we appointed a sermon for the next Sunday. On November 11th, I was sick and the rest of the Sabbath was very refreshing. We lodged with Michael Probst, with whom we had become acquainted at Cohenzy. On Sunday, November 12th, I preached on the words: "It is a faithful saying and worthy of worthy of all acceptation," etc. [I Tim., 1:15.] There were about ten children present, whose baptism was urgently requested, but as most of the men were away hunting bears,† I refused, about which the women especially complained very much. We had great difficulty to-day to find out the way to the New River.‡ At night I went to an Englishman who told me how to go. But he did not want me to return alone, because it was very dangerous on account of the wild beasts. He therefore accompanied me with two dogs to my lodging place. On the way we met a large wolf. * Anthony Schmidt and his wife, Ann C. Rieth, were members of the congregation at Bethlehem. See Register of Moravians, p. 81. † Bear and deer still abound in this section of West Virginia. ‡ The Moravian settlement of Wachovia, North Carolina, was founded in 1753, four years after the visit of the missionaries to New River in Virginia. There were Gem'lan settlement.. in North Carolina, at this time, but they were along the eastern coast.
house. A mile farther we came to a little creek. The Blue Mountains were within two miles. We ate our dinner at a beautiful spring, six miles from our last camp. Br. Herman again returned to us and brought several bushels of corn. In the afternoon we had a stony and bad road, and had to hold the wagon back continually with ropes, lest it be overturned, as the road was very steep. Four times we crossed a bad, stony creek, the banks being high everywhere, so that it was difficult to ascend. The South and the Blue Mountains are here within two miles of each other.31 We rode on the right hand side along the Blue Mountain. Towards evening we saw the James River. We had to descend over a steep mountain, before we reached it. We attached a pretty large tree to the wagon, locked both wheels, while the brethren held fast to the tree. But the wagon went down so fast that most of the brethren turned somersault, however, without injury to anybody. We pitched our camp close to the river and rested very well after the fatigues of the day, for in spite of the bad road we had covered sixteen miles. A man came to us and asked us whether we had driven down the steep mountain. He was much surprised, but said that it would not have been necessary, as a good road led along the Blue Mountain, on the right hand, into a little valley. On October 29, we rose at 5 o'clock. We siad a pretty cold night. It was the first frost since we are on our journey. We drove half a mile along the river, when we found two roads. The one to the right continues a mile farther to Lunis Ferry, but the one to the left crosses the river. Several brethren first rode through the river to discover the ford, for there are many rocks and stones in the river. It is fortunate for us that the rivers and creeks are not high at present, otherwise it would be impossible to proceed, for the smallest creeks swell from rain to such an extent, that the horses have to swim through. From "Buffler's Creek" to this place there is water every two or three miles. We all passed safely through the James River,32 for which we were very thankful to our Father in heaven. We 31 The Blue Ridge and North Mountains are evidently meant. 32 The general direction traveled by the missionaries would indicate that they crossed the James river in the vicinity of Buchanan, Va.
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.