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.
sides of the creek German settlers live interspersed among the English. This tract extends from twenty to thirty miles. There is an open door at this place. The people would like some one to stay among them for a while, or even for half a year, in order that old as well as young might hear the truth of the Gospel. In case one desires to visit them and intends to serve all the people, he must be able to speak English and German, if he is alone, and must take at least a month for it. The house of William Degart is too small [for meetings]. Mr. Kasselmann, I believe, would be willing to permit the use of his house. Services would have to be held at two places, one at the upper part of the creek, and one below, because these two places are pretty far apart. There is in this district not only an opportunity to preach among the Germans, but the English, it seems, are even more eager for it than the Germans. II. SOUTH BRANCH.* This is a large and long river, extending over more than 150 miles. It rises in the high Aligener [Allegheny] mountains, on whose other side the Mississippi also has its source. After having united with the North Branch (which also rises in the "Aligener" mountains, but more towards the north, from which fact it derives its name) it is called the Potomik [Potomac]. Most of the German people live along this river, but also many English settlers, because it is an extraordinarily beautiful and fertile country.† This river, the South Branch, has above another fork, called the South Fork. About forty-five miles below the South Fork the country begins to be thickly populated, and thus it continues upwards to the upper part of the South Fork. I preached along the South Branch at two places, below * The South Branch is the chief tributary of the Potomac river, and for years was claimed by Maryland as the true boundary line between that State and Virginia in this section. See report of Hon. Charles James Faulkner, special commissioner, in Kercheval's History of the Valley, second edition. IK50. pp. 142-153. which is valuable because it shows the large number of historical documents relating to the Northern Neck Grant in existence as late as 1832. † The description given by the missionary of the South Branch Valley holds good to this day.
to see us once more. Several of the brethren visited John Tanneberger, who considered it a favor to have the brethren with him. We continued our journey, Bro. Neuser and Engel accompanying us to Xander's,7 where we arrived in the evening. As we passed over the bridge of the mill race it collapsed and it was certainly a miracle that our horses and wagon did not fall into the mill race. We thanked our dear Father for his protection. Bro. Xander was not at home, but his wife and daughter entertained us well. Bro. Neuser and Engel went home again to-night. On October 12, we rose at four o'clock and after the morning worship we breakfasted at five. At six o'clock we left. Several young men, who love the brethren, went with us part of the way and we were very happy and cheerful. After we had traveled eight miles a dead tree happened to fall on our horses, which caused considerable commotion, but it fell so neatly between the horses on the wagon tongue, that neither the brother, who rode on the horses, nor any of the horses were injured, only a piece of a collar was knocked off. This was certainly a very gracious preservation by our dear Father. To-day we shot several pheasants, quails and squirrels. In the evening we pitched the first camp in the woods, close to a creek, one mile this side of the Susquehanna. Everybody was busy in gathering wood and making fire. Bro. Erich took the cooking upon himself, and after we had eaten we spread our blankets and lay down upon them. We considered the question whether we should take father Loesch's wagon with us, because it seems that our heavy wagon cannot get along alone. But as we had not spoken about this to father Loesch, we could not conclude to do so. We appointed our night guards. Bro. Nathanael had the first two hours, he was relieved by Bro. Grube, and the gation at the Quittopahilla, settled in 1732, one mile east of the later town of Lebanon. When the Moravian movement began in Lebanon township, he became one of its main supporters. A schoolbouse was erected on his land in 1748. A church, called Hebron church, was built in 1750. See Register of Moravians, p. 125. 7 Henry Xander, a member of the Quittopahilla congregation, lived six miles west of the Hebron church. He was a miller by trade. See Alphabetical Register in Bethlehem archives.