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.
help faithfully by pushing our wagon. Before daybreak we reached the top. We heard that we would find no house for twenty miles, but water every three or four miles. Several brethren went off hunting, but returned empty handed. Six miles to our left we saw high mountains, extending southwest. Our course was south by west. The country was pretty barren, overgrown with pine trees.20 This forenoon we traveled twelve miles and took dinner at a creek. It is said that in this neighborhood, one mile from the road to the left, lives a man named Jacob Mueller, from whom oats can be bought at all times. Then we went part of the way up hill and came to the "Narrow Pas-sage,"21 where no wagon can turn out for another and where deep valleys are on both sides. In the valley on the left the "Stone Creek " runs, and in the one on the right another creek. The road continues almost south, along the heights. During the afternoon we traveled eight miles farther and pitched our tent close to the "Shanidore Creek," which is about again as broad as the "Manakis." It is very dangerous to pass at high water. We had a nice camping place. On October 21, we continued five miles farther and then crossed the "Shanidore."22 We camped close to the bank and observed Sunday. Bro. Jacob Loesch and Kalberland were bled, because they were not well. We put our horses in the woods. In the afternoon we gave ourselves a treat by drinking tea. An Englishman came who also drank with us. He was very thankful. Bro. Petersen and Herman Loesch went ten miles from this point to an Englishman to thresh oats to-mor- 20 This statement does not entirely agree with the general description of the country given by Kercheval in his History of the Valley, who states that when first settled the lower Valley had a fertile soil covered with grass and almost entirely destitute of trees. The missionaries, being travelers through that section, doubtless described conditions as they existed at that time in that particular locality. 21 This was dotubtless near the Narrow Passage creek, a stream which flows into the North Branch of the Shenandoah. It is crossed by the Valley Branch of the Southern Railroad about midway between Edinburg and Woodstock, Va. 22 The North Branch of the Shenandoah was crossed in the neighborhood of New Market.
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.
over night, pitching our tent near a little creek. The man, upon whose land we were, visited us and showed himself very friendly. He stayed for supper. He related that he had known Bro. Roseen and Nyberg very well, who had preached several times at his house. He was by birth a Swede. Bro. Gottlob conducted the evening worship. Then we lay down before our nice fire and Bro. Gottlob took to his hammock, which he had tied to two posts. On October 17, we continued our journey at five o'clock in the morning. We had two miles to reach the "Patomik," at which we arrived at daybreak. Bro. Jacob Loesch first rode through the river to discover the ford, which makes a considerable curve from one bank to the other. We all crossed safely, but the exit from the river was very difficult and it took much work to ascend the bank. This river is about again as broad as the "Lecha" [Lehigh] at Bethlehem, but in times of high water it overflows the high banks and runs swiftly southeast. Half a mile from the river is a plantation. four miles farther a tavertn, the way becoming very stony. Four miles still farther we found good water and a tavern. Four miles this side of the tavern we took our dinner at a little creek, near a mill, which is to the left. After three miles we found a good spring, and when we had traveled four miles farther we pitched our tent near a little creek. We cooked "Sapan,"15 which tasted well. Our dear Nathanael conducted the evening worship. On October 18, we rose early at 3 o'clock. After the morning worship Bro. Gottlob, Haberland and J. Loesch preceded us to Frederickstown [Winchester] to order several tnings. We followed soon afterwards with the wagon. We had but one mile to Robert Korniken's mill and eleven miles farther to Frederickstown, but no water for seven miles. We breakfasted at a little creek. Two miles farther we again had water. At noon we passed Frederickstown, which consists of about sixty houses, which are rather poorly built. A mile beyond Frederickstown we stopped at a mill and bought some bread and corn. Bro. Gottlob and Haberland again joined us. We continued and 15 An Indian dish. According to Neckemoelder's Indian Vocabulary (MS. in Pennsylvania Historical Society), it is mush.