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.
salary, and a German minister who gets 8,000 pounds. He has, also, nine negroes and a fine plantation. We were silent, drying our clothes and other things. On Tuesday, the 26th, it rained again the whole day. We passed the second "Reppehennik" River at Orange Court House.* We lost here our way. In the evening we came to an English house, where they offered us lodging without our asking for it. As we were very wet, we stayed there. But the host asked us all kinds of questions, taking us to be spies. He wanted to see my passport, but I did not show it to him. He sent secretly to his neighbor, who came early the next morning, before it was day. He also examined us, and demanded to see the passport. I asked him who he was, for if I should show every one my passport I would have too much to do. But in case he were a justice I would show him the passport. They then escorted us to the justice with rifles [Gewehre]. When the justice had read the passport, he allowed us to proceed at once without further molestation. We passed an iron smelting furnace, called "Chessel Maynz" [Chiswell Mines.†] After having traveled six miles farther we lodged with an Englishman. On the 28th we had to inquire for the way in one house after another, as we did not have a straight road, but only little foot-paths. An Englishman came to us who was much disturbed in his heart. He complained that his minister preached only. "Do this and thou shalt live" [Luke, 10:28]. He went with us part of * The first Courthouse of Orange county, Virginia, was built on land belonging to John Branham, and the locality was known as Black Walnut Run. The first session of the County Court was held there January 21, 1734. In 1737 or 1738, the county seat was established near Germanna Ford, on the "Second Rappahannock River," as it was called by the missionary, which stream has long been known as the Rapidan. In 1754 or 1755, the Courthouse was removed to its present location. For the foregoing facts the editors are indebted to the courtesy of Mr. John G. Williams and Mr. Philip H. Fry, both of Orange, Va. † This refers to the blast furnace and mine at Fredericksville, a village formerly located thirty miles southwest of Fredericksburg, in Spotsylvania county. Mr. Chiswell was the manager of the furnace. See J. M. Swank, History of the Manufacture of Iron in all Ages. Philadelphia, 1892, p. 260. They were visited by Colonel William Byrd in 1732. History of the Dividing Line, Vol. II, pp. 54-58.
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.
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.