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.
kers.] Their habit seems to be peculiar to themselves, consisting of a long tunic or coat, reaching down to their heels, with a sash or girdle round the waist, and a cap or hood hanging from the shoulders. They do not shave the head or beard. " 'The men and women have separate habitations and distinct governments. For these purposes they erected two large, wooden buildings, one of which is occupied by the brethren, the other by the sisters of the society; and in each of them there is a banqueting-room, and an apartment for public worship; for the brethren and sisters do not meet together even at their devotions. " 'They used to live chiefly upon roots and other vegetables, the rules of their society not allowing them ftesh, except upon particular occasions, when they hold what they call a love-feast, at which time the brethren and sisters dine together in a large apartment and eat mutton, but no other meat. [The Dunkers do perpetuate the Apostolic lovefeast - a-gape—at which the meat used is almost invariably mutton, or veal.] In each of their little cells they have a bench fixed, to serve the purpose of a bed, and a small block of wood for a pillow. They allow of marriages, but consider celebacy as a virtue. " 'The principal tenet of the Tunkers appears to be this—that future happiness is only to be obtained by penance and outward mortifications in this life, and that, as Jesus Christ, by his meritorious sufferings, became the Redeemer of mankind in general, so each individual of the human race, by a life of abstinence and restraint, may work out his own salvation. Nay, they go so far as to admit of works of supererogation, and declare that a man may do much more than he is in justice or equity obliged to do, and that his superabundant works may, therefore, be applied to the salvation of others.' " This is, perhaps, the climax, but there is more of the same sort. We can excuse Howe in some measure, perhaps, because he only followed in his account what he regarded as a trustworthy publication, and I have found almost the identical words that Howe quotes in Edwards' Enclycopaedia of Religious Know/edge; but he is grievously in error, nevertheless. As a matter of fact, many German Dunkers did settle in Botetourt county at an early period, and their descendants—most of them still Dunkers—number thousands in Botetourt and adjoining counties to-day; but what Howe says here is not descriptive, except in the particulars I have indicated, of these people, either then or now. What he says is, I suppose, true in the main of the Ephrata Society; but it is not, and never was, true of the Dunkers. The Dunkers have been confused not only with their ascetic off-shoot, the Ephrata Society, but also with other sects better known. I quote from the Schaff-Herzog Enc/ycopaedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol.
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.
house on John, 18:37. After the sermon Abr. Bossert made a great feast to all the persons present, at which many blessed discourses were held. They were all very happy, and expressed the wish to hear me preach every Sunday. They also related to me that three days ago two men from Philadelphia had been with them. They had told them that there was again a new religion in Pennsylvania, in which the people were given a certain potion to drink, after which they would adhere to them. Not long ago a ship-load of people from Switzerland had arrived, who had been rich and respectable people, but as soon as they had taken this potion, they had gone over with all their possessions to the new religion.* After all this the people returned to their homes, thanking me very much and giving me six pounds, Carolina money, for the journey. On the day before, the elder, who had been much moved by the sermon, had given me three pounds out of the church treasury, and twenty shillings out of his own pocket. On December 10th, early, Abr. Bossert gave us as many victuals as we could carry. We were well satisfied with them, as few houses are met with on the way. He accompanied us several miles. Then we came to Michael Miller, who had kindly invited us yesterday. He is a very proud man. He at once prepared a fine meal and asked for his friends in Pennsylvania. We learned that he is a brother-in-law of our Frantz Bluhm. After one hour we continued our journey. In the afternoon we crossed the "Neu" [New] River, and in the evening we lodged with William Stephen, who had been in Georgia recently, and gave us a thorough description of the way. We heard here wolves and many wild animals at night. On December 11th, we came so near to the ocean that we could hear the roaring of the waves. In thirty-five miles we had only two houses. Bro. Hussey was rather weak to-day, because he was sick. He had pain in his foot and limped. We stayed in an English inn, kept by George Bishop. On December 12th, we traveled thirty miles, but found only one house. In the evening we came to the city of Williams- * This is a sample of the foolish stories circulated at that time about the Moravians.