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.
line. For an hour and a half they climbed the very steep ascent, but when they reached the top they surveyed in every direction an exceedingly wide region, and it seemed to them as if the whole earth were at their feet.* On account of its remarkable height, they called the mountain "Fuersten Spitz" [Prince Peak]. In passing over the top and in their descent they spent four full hours. As it was evening and they missed the road, they happened to strike an "elk trail," which took them between two mountains.† Here they passed the night, hungry and thirsty, encamped at their fire. They were frequently visited by the elks, which are numerous in those mountains. On the following morning, July 26th, they came to a marked path. It brought them to a salt lick, which is frequented by the elks and where they are usually shot by the hunters. A kind spirit led them to the right way, by which they continued their journey, till they came in the evening to a German plantation. Here Adam Roeder‡ lives, whose mother, eighty-six years of age, lives at Makuntsche [Macungie, now Emmaus, Lehigh county, Pa.], and belongs to that congregation. * The region seen by the missionaries from the top of "Fuersten Spitz" is now comprised in the counties of Augusta, Rockingham and Shenandoah. † This was probably Brock's Gap, one of the most important passes through the North Mountain. ‡ Adam Rader. The missionaries were now in the vicinity of Timberville, Rockingham county, Va. About one mile west of this place stands Rader's Church, which is known to be one of the oldest places of worship in Rockingham, although the date of the organization of the congregation cannot be given definitely. The first reference to the Reformed congregation worshipping in Rader's Church is found in the diary of Rev. Charles Lange, pastor at Frederick, Md, who visited the congregation on April 17, 1768. See Fathers of the Reformed Church, Vol. II, p. 154. From the beginning until 1879 it was used jointly by the German Reformed and Lutheran denominations. In that year a new church was built by the Lutherans for their sole use, the German Reformed congregation shortly afterwards erecting a church at Timberville.
slept as well as we could. As we had nothing to eat, we had to fast, thanking the Lord that he had protected us this day. On November 16th, we started early from our lodging place and hurried to the next house to get a breakfast. When we arrived there, the good people had themselves no hread, but they were willing to serve us some Welsh corn* and butter-milk. The man seemed to be a pious Presbyterian. He praised Whitefield very much. We crossed the mountains and came to the James River, through which we had to swim. It was hard work, but we got through safely. We continued our journey till evening, seeing a country with mountains all around. In the evening we had to cross still another small river. Then we came to a house, where we had to lie on bear skins around the fire like the rest. The manner of living is rather poor in this; district. The clothes of the people consist of deer skins. Their food of Johnny cakes, deer and bear meat. A kind of white people are found here, who live like savages. Hunting is their chief occupation.† On November 17th, our path led through the mountains. We heard an awful howling of wolves in the morning, quite near. We wished them far away.! When we crossed the Catawba Creek a Quaker joined us, going with us three miles. In the afternoon we came to Justice Robeson, who owns a mill. Here we expected to get some bread. But his answer was: "There is not a bit of bread in the house." We went two miles further, * Probably hominy. used as a substitute for bread until the erection of mills. † The missionaries were then in the section now embracing the counties of Bath and Allegheny. The settlers who then resided there were sentries on the last outpost of civilization, with the Indians as their only neighbors upon the west. It may be properly noted here that the diaries confirm Kercheval's statement that peace with the Indians was not broken until subsequent to 1754, as the missionaries make no reference whatever to Indian troubles in any of the sections visited by them. ‡ Wolves were numerous in this section of Virginia for years after the date of this journey. A reward was given for wolf heads. and the County Court of Augusta made allowance in 175' for 256 heads. Waddell's Annals of Augusta County, p. 68 (1902).