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.
the inkeeper is Adam Forny. He complained much about ministers and their useless efforts. On the 16th we started early. We had no house for twenty-five miles. We passed from Pennsylvania to Maryland. We had to wade through three small rivers. At the first we were fortunate enough to meet a man, just as we had undressed to go across. He took us over on his horse. The name of the first two rivers is " Pfeiff" [Pipe] Creek. The third is called "Manakes " [Monocacy],* through which I [Leonhard Schnell] had to carry my companion, because he was very tired, for we had already walked forty miles. A mile farther we found a house, where the people at first refused to receive us, but finally yielded to our requests. The host was a Mennonite and his name is Abraham Mueller. On Sunday, the 17th, we hurried to the father-in-law of Bro. Klemf, of Philadelphia. He received us very willingly and was glad over our visit. They invited the people and I preached to them a sermon in the afternoon. Very many Germans live in this neighborhood, Lutheran and Reformed people. The Lutherans have church services every three weeks. (N. B. A certain Schulze, who pretends to have been ordained by Bro. Ludwig [Zinzendorf ], preaches in this district). The Reformed people also desire to have a minister. I felt very happy among them. They are very plain people. On the 18th, we had to cross several high mountains and deep valleys. We found only two houses within twenty miles, where we could get nothing to eat, because the people themselves had no bread. Towards evening we came to the "Patomik" [Potomac] River, which separates Maryland from Virginia.† We * Monocacy was visited again on March 8-9, 1746, by Christian Henry Rauch, another Moravian missionary, who states in his diary that he preached in the church at Monocacy. This proves that a Reformed congregation was already in existence before it was visited and fully organized by Rev. Michael Schiatter, on May 8, 1747. See Life of Rev. Michael Schiatler, p 154. † The road which the missionaries followed from York, Pa., can best be seen on Fry and Jefferson's map of Virginia, 1751. It is there called " The Great Waggon Road " from Philadelphia. It crossed the Potomac at Williams' Ferry. From the fact that Jost Hayd was first visited,.
Compiled by Eld. James Henry Morris (1876-1956) the book A History of the Brethren in Texas and Oklahoma with the alternate title, Thirty-One Years of Organized Work in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Louisiana by Church of the Brethren from 1891 to 1922, this book represents the first published history of the church, previously well-known as the German Baptist Brethren church, covering this region of the United States. The book was printed by the Higley Printing Company of Butler, Indiana.
The 542 page book, including the covers and blank pages, is a misnomer as to actually being a history. In the main the book is a series of newspaper clippings culled from The Gospel Messenger with a sampling of chiefly anecdotal historical content from other sources. While treasured amongst Brethren historians it is, to be blunt, poorly written from a historical standpoint. Through out the book the author will relate a series of events for a congregation or region, ending it with a name, a place, and a date. It may be three or four, or more, paragraphs. That's well and good.
However, when that actual article is examined in The Gospel Messenger containing the author, the location where the article was written, and the date of the communique, problems arise. In essence Elder Morris heavily editorialized the articles; taking a series of articles as published in The Gospel Messenger, sometimes as much as a year previously, combining them together. At times he omitted significant details from one clipping while entirely missing other items appertaining to the same congregation or event. And this does not include the hundreds upon hundred of spelling errors.
So... it is left to the serious German Baptist Brethren researcher of this region to further research statements therein made.
On April 13-2, I traveled the other sixty miles to Captain Ogle, where I arrived at night about twelve o'clock. Across the Patomik [Potomiiac] a certain English "Reader," named Thomson, who lives on this side of and close to Cush Creek, invited me to preach Eniglish in their church. I told hinm that I would let him know beforehand when I would do so. [The rest of the diary from Monocacy, Md., to Bethlehem has been omitted.] [COURT ORDERS FROM ORANGE COUNTY NATURALIZING GERMANS. State of Virginia: In Orange County Court, January 28th, 1742. Andrew Garr, John Adam Garr, Lawrence Garr, Lawrence Grays, Duvald Christle, Martin Vallick, John Zimmerman, Peter Fleshman, Zachariah Blankenbacker, John Zimmerman, alias Carpenter, John Thomas, Christopher Uhld, & Frederick Bomgardener, Gernman protestants, having produced a certificate under the hand of George Samuel Klug, Minister of the German congregation in Oranige County, that they within two months last past had received the sacrament of ye Lord's supper, prayed that they might partake of the benefit of an act of parliament made in the thirteenith year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord, George the Second, by the grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, defender of ye faith, &c., instituled an act for naturalizing such foreign protestants and others therein mentioned as are settled or shall settle in any of his Maties [sic] colonies in America. Upon their motion, ordered that they take the oaths appointed by act of parliament to be taken instead of the oaths of allegiance & supremacy, & the abjuration oath and subscribe the test, which they all severally did, accordingly, between the hours of nine and twelve in the forenoon; and its thereupon further ordered, that ye Clerk give them a certificate of their having taken the afd. oaths & subscribed the test. A Copy. Teste, P. H. FRY, Clerk. April 21, 1904.