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.
with Bro. Haberland and Herman Loesch across the river in the canoe, swimming their horses across. They intended to go to Mr. Altem to-day, who knows our land very well, in order to go with him to our land to-morrow, to select a place where we could rest temporarily till we could find the right place to settle. Bru. Grube stayed with the rest of the brethren on this side of the river, because the water was still too high. In the evening a German boy canme to us, who lives on the "Etkin" [Yadkin]. He had bought eleven quarts of salt at the Smith River for which hie paid half a dollar [½ Thaler]. On November 16, we rose early to cross the river. As the banks were very steep we had to tie a tree to the wagon, which we detached as soon as the wagon reached the water. The stream was very rapid and carried the front horses down a short distance. The water almost ran into our wagon, but we reached the other shore safely. However, we were tunable to drive up. We had to unload half of our baggage, fasten ropes to the tongue of the wagon, so that we could also help in pulling, because our horses were very stiff, and finally we brought our ark safely to the dry shore. Half a mile farther we drove through a wide swamp, aud then up a long hill. We ate our dinner at a creek, close to a plantation. At four o'clock we came to Mr. Altem, ten miles from our last camping place, but it was almost the worst part of our whole journey. Our dear Gottlob, Nathanael, Loesch, etc., joined us again. They had inspected our land somewhat, and six miles from the boundary line found a little house on our land, which a German had built last year, but had abandoned again. We pitched our tent near Mr. Altem's house. Bro. Gottlob, Nathanael and the other brethren, who had been along on our land to-day, ate at Mr. Altem's. Then we lay down to rest, for we were very tired and exhausted. On November 17, we rose early. We had had a cold night. It looked like snow. Several brethren preceded us with picks and axes to cut out a road and to level the banks of the creeks, A mile this side of Altem's we crossed the Down Fork Creek, and then we came to the new road, which runs through our land to the "Etkin" [Yadkin] River. On the right side of the creek is a plantation. The people presented us with two bags full of pumpkinis and said that we could have a whole wagon
fore going I asked him whether I should stay with him to-day, or with one of his parishioners, as I did not intend to travel to-day. He invited me to stay with him. He preached on the sufferings of Christ before the civil authorities, in just the same manner as the Hallensians. In the afternoon we had a very pleasant conversation till eleven o'clock at night. We also touched upon the Hallensians, and as he had become very cordial he confided to me his opinions about them very naively. He said: "Do you know what I think about them? I regard them as Pharisees, who impose unbearable burdens upon the people, which they are not willing to touch with a single finger." However, the honest man has adopted not only the absurd principles of the Hallensians, but he also uses their forms of speech, partly because of his acquaintance with them, but mostly because during the ten or eleven years of his ministry his own stock has been exhausted and he now uses their writings for his sermons. Thus he has unconsciously adopted the principles and language of the Hallensians. Probably he himself does not know how it happened. He studied in Helmstadt under the abbott Mosheim. He was born at Danzig. He is a sanguineo-phlegmaticus, without exceptional talents, but he is open to conviction. On April 8-March 28, I took leave of Rev. Mr. Klug. He accompanied me a whole half mile, and assured me again that my visit had been verv welcome and of special encouragement to him. He asked me to give Bro. Joseph his cordial regards, intimating that he would like to visit Bethlehem. Soon afterwards I happened to meet an awakened man, a shoemaker, a very dear man who is heartily concerned for his salvation. He soon becamie so intimate that he told me the whole story of his married life. I intimated to him that, as I some years ago in Germany. They obtained about 3,000 pounds, one-third of which was given to them for their traveling expenses and efforts. Wth the rest they built a wooden church, bought a piece of land and a number of negroes. From land and slaves the minister makes his living, so that he is not a burden to his congregation. He related that several of the Zinzendorfians had passed through hiis parish, but were unable to secure a foothold." See Hallesche Nachrichten, new edition, Vol. 1, p. 493, f.
house. A mile farther we came to a little creek. The Blue Mountains were within two miles. We ate our dinner at a beautiful spring, six miles from our last camp. Br. Herman again returned to us and brought several bushels of corn. In the afternoon we had a stony and bad road, and had to hold the wagon back continually with ropes, lest it be overturned, as the road was very steep. Four times we crossed a bad, stony creek, the banks being high everywhere, so that it was difficult to ascend. The South and the Blue Mountains are here within two miles of each other.31 We rode on the right hand side along the Blue Mountain. Towards evening we saw the James River. We had to descend over a steep mountain, before we reached it. We attached a pretty large tree to the wagon, locked both wheels, while the brethren held fast to the tree. But the wagon went down so fast that most of the brethren turned somersault, however, without injury to anybody. We pitched our camp close to the river and rested very well after the fatigues of the day, for in spite of the bad road we had covered sixteen miles. A man came to us and asked us whether we had driven down the steep mountain. He was much surprised, but said that it would not have been necessary, as a good road led along the Blue Mountain, on the right hand, into a little valley. On October 29, we rose at 5 o'clock. We siad a pretty cold night. It was the first frost since we are on our journey. We drove half a mile along the river, when we found two roads. The one to the right continues a mile farther to Lunis Ferry, but the one to the left crosses the river. Several brethren first rode through the river to discover the ford, for there are many rocks and stones in the river. It is fortunate for us that the rivers and creeks are not high at present, otherwise it would be impossible to proceed, for the smallest creeks swell from rain to such an extent, that the horses have to swim through. From "Buffler's Creek" to this place there is water every two or three miles. We all passed safely through the James River,32 for which we were very thankful to our Father in heaven. We 31 The Blue Ridge and North Mountains are evidently meant. 32 The general direction traveled by the missionaries would indicate that they crossed the James river in the vicinity of Buchanan, Va.