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.
MORAVIAN DIARIES OF TRAVELS THROUGH VIRGINIA. Edited by Rev. WILLIAM J. HINKE and CHARLES E. KEMPER. (CONTINUED) DIARY OF THE JOURNEY OF THE FIRST COLONY OF SINGLE BRETHREN TO NORTH CAROLINA, OCTOBER 8-NOVEMBER 17, 1753. On November 2, we rose early after having slept but little, because the smoke annoyed us the whole night. At daybreak we crossed the "Runnoke," which was very shallow. It was not quite as large as the "Lecha" [Lehigh], but it has many smooth stones and during floods it overflows its banks for about half a mile. We had much trouble to get our sick horse across. A quarter of a mile farther we came to "Evens Mill," where the road turned to the left and became very narrow. After a mile we had to climb a steep mountain. We almost stuck fast in a ditch and were in danger of breaking the tongue of our wagon. One mile farther we had a pretty high mountain and had to unload half of our wagon, and then hardly succeeded in drawing the wagon up. The descent was equally steep. We put the brakes on both wheels, then attached a tree to the wagon, of which all of the brethren took hold, and thus we came safely over this mountain. Then we had a good road for a mile and a half. We took dinner at a little creek. It looked like rain, and as we had a high mountain before us, we asked a man
assisting me. We asked the Lord to have mercy on the poor people. July 27th. We traveled to-day hastening towards Pennsylvania. We came to an old German, the brother-in-law of W. F. [William Frey (?)]. He asked me whether I had preached yesterday. I said: Yes. Whether I had preached a new doctrine? " Father," I said, "I know no new doctrine, but the same old gospel which the apostles had, Jesus the Crucified." We traveled to Fredericktown [Winchester, in Frederick County, Va.], where we stopped with an old shoemaker. Here we bought some provisions, and then continued our journey. When we left the town the justice of the peace came into the house [of the shoemaker] inquiring for us. But we had left. We stayed over night with an old father 98 years of age. July 28th. We met a German J. D. who was well acquainted with the brethren in former years. He showed us much love. We blessed Virginia and, crossing the Patomik, we came to Maryland. hearts had been closed against us. The German minister [Rev. George S. Klug], who lives seventy miles from there and corresponds with Muehlenberg, visits them two or three times every year and administers the communion. He is probably a Hallensian. [This is not correct—see the diary of Gottschalk in the present number, under date April 7, 1748.] He is much praised because he is very earnest and strict among his people. He has great influence with the Governor." 16This is perhaps the old Mr. Funk, mentioned by Schnell in 1749. See Virginia Magazine, Vol. XI, p. 130.
and were now returning to Pennsylvania. They gave us some information about our way. Bro. Nathanael was slightly sick. On our left we saw high mountains, which we approached at times very closely. Our way still continues southwest. In the evening we pitched our tent upon a height. We had to fetch water from a considerable distance. Bro. Gottlob had preceded us half a mile to a free negro, who is the only blacksmith in this district. He had his horse shod. The negro and his wife, who was born in Scotland, were very friendly towards Bro. Gottlob and related to him that not long ago they had removed hither from Lancaster County. They had often heard Bro. Nyberg preach and also the brethren in Philadelphia, and now they are reading the Berlin addresses [of Zinzendorf]. They were very glad to see us and very willing to serve us. The woman baked several loaves of bread for us and invited Bro. Gottlob and Nathanael to breakfast. The negro also understands German very well. Bro. Herman and Lunge went to another plantation to buy feed for our horses. It rained nearly the whole night but we kept pretty dry under our tent. On October 26, we rose early on account of the rain. Several brethren took breakfast with the negro, who considered it an important event to have several ministers with him. We had to climb several bad hills to-day, and as soon as we had reached the top we had to use the brake [Hemmschuh], for it was dangerous to descend. Although it is very hilly here, yet it is a fruitful country. It has few stones, but consists of the fattest, black soil. It is settled mostly by English and Irish people. Bro. Gottlob and Nathanael preceded us several miles and stayed, a mile and a half across the North Branch30 of the James River, with Mr. Brickstone, a well-to-do man, who removed to this place a few years ago from "Canistoge" [Conestoga, Lancaster Co.]. The other brethren passed the night with the wagon, half a mile this hold that all men shall be happy hereafter, but first must pass through punishment according to their Sins." 30 The missionaries probably crossed the North Branch of the James river in the vicinity of the present town of Lexington, Va., althlough no settlement existed there at the time. From this point they seem to have traveled in the direction of the Natural Bridge, crossing Buffalo Creek on the way.