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.
INTRODUCTION How relentless is time! The events of moment in our generation are memories in the next, and forgotten in the third. We retain but a fragment of the notable achive– ments of our fathers. The workers have been so busy do– ing things that no time was left to record the things they did. Here and there, by accident more frequently than by design, signs and hints remain. These the patient student and the sympathetic friend may gather and weave into a fair– ly accurate record. This is the work of the historian. It is service of the greatest value. The Christian Church has not carefully considered the meaning of its own history. Many a deed and many a life have faded from the light of the present. This is greatly to be regreetted. We need all the teestimony of God’s grace and goodness that we can possibly gather. The faithful fol– lower of the Great Father should ever seek to know and to emulate the deeds and lives of the worthies who have gone on and whose example is rich in convincing power to those who now and hereafter follow us. The Church of the Brethren has lost much of the fine rec– ord its great leaders have set goldenly in the progress of Christian thought for two centuries. Perhaps the exodus from Europe, the change from the German to the Enlglish language, and the scattered life here in the colonies have combined to explain, in part at least, this loss. A few years ago it was impossible to ascertain the simple facts fo the origin of the church, its early struggles, its great leaders, its commanding place among the German–Americans of our colonial and early national life. This in part has been remedied. We now know somewhat in detail this splendid record of glorious service to God’s cause. We shall never know it in full. In the grave of neg–
As soon as the Patowmak is crossed it is necessary to inquire for a certain German, named Oliver Craemer,38 a host of the Brethren, who has shown me much love and loyalty. Bro. Joseph can lodge with him. He lives about fifteen miles from Colonel Chrassop. This Oliver Craemer will not only be able to give the best information where and at how many places we can preach at Bateson's Creek, but he can also announce the services. I preached, English and German, at William Degart's house, seven miles from Oliver Craemer's. As "Bateson's" Creek is a pretty long district, it would be well to preach below and above. Below39 [?] at the "Bateson's" Creek toward the South Fork lives William Degart's brother, Abraham Degart, who also showed me much love. Information can be secured from him. He would also afford us an opportunity and make the arrangements for a sermon. About two miles from Abraham Degart's the justice of that district lives, a friend of the Brethren. He can also sign the passport and best show the way up the South Fork, where Matthaes Jochim lives. In the Soulh Fork Matthaes Jochim, a very well-to-do man, resides, the host of the Brethren, with whom Bro. Schnell stayed with great blessing. There is our English and German pulpit. As surprisingly many Germans live there and as it is a large district, it would be well to preach at more than one place. Matthaes Jochim, who is an intelligent man, can give the best advice as to this. The South Branch will occupy Bro. Joseph probably several weeks, so that he will hardly have sufficient time to return for the meeting of the Synod. [The following table of places and distances should have been printed in connection with the diary of Rev. Mr. Schnell, which was published in the October number, 1903, of the magazine. The distances given may be of value in identifying localities visited by the missionary. The names of places are given in the spelling of the orAiginal.-Editors.] 38 "Oliver Kremer " was killed by the Indians. See Kercheval, History of the Valley, ed. 1833, p 128. 39 It ought to be "above."