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MILLER Family History, Part II

September 2011

John Peter MILLER (~1714-1794)Top

11A. John Peter Miller was born on January 19, 1713-1715, in Kaiserslautern, Rheinland, Preussen (Preußen), Germany. He immigrated to America in 1727 as a teenager. He married Elizabeth Warren in 1752 in Maryland and had at least 11 children as recorded in his will:

11AA. Mary Miller 1753 (1822) (69)
11AB. Daniel Miller (<1758) --  -- 
11AC. John Miller (1758) --  -- 
11AD. Elizabeth Miller (1758) --  -- 
11AE. Catherine Miller (<1759) --  -- 
11AF. Susannah Miller 1766 1834 (68)
11AG. David Miller (1773-1778) --  -- 
11AH. Ludwick Miller (1774-1778) --  -- 
11AI. Michael Miller (<1790) (<1799) -- 
Per German naming conventions, "John Peter" will here be referred to as "Peter".

In 1745, Peter (and/or his father, Michael) bought a 150-acre parcel of land called "Ash Swamp," then located in Prince George's County, Maryland, (later under Frederick County and now part of Washington County) from John George Arnold.

"Ash Swamp"
I'm still a bit unclear about the original ownership of "Ash Swamp" and how it came about in 1752 that Lodowich and Philip Jacob took possession of it. See Miller Property Summary for a chronology of Miller property holdings in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

In 1752 this land was added to and resurveyed by his younger brother Philip Jacob Miller on the authority of Lodowich Miller, another younger brother.

In December 1783, and about four years after his father's death, brother Lodowich, who had earlier moved southeast of Hagerstown, conveyed 220 acres of "Ash Swamp" to brother Philip Jacob for 5 shillings. Philip Jacob turned around and conveyed 144 acres to Peter, again for 5 shillings "and brotherly affection." This plot is said to have had a small cemetery on it which is no longer in existence.

John Peter Miller died in Washington County about December 1794 at about the age of 80. He made his last will and testiment on December 13, 1794 and named eldest son Daniel and his daughter Catherine's husband, John Fisher, as his executors. The will was probated on December 26, 1794. (Washington County Will Records, book A, pages 318-319)

As no wife (or wives) was named, she is presumed to have died before 1794.

Peter named 11 children in his will. The last three sons, Ludwick, David and Michael, being under the age of 21. On April 6, 1795, the executors of Peter's estate sold the "Ash Swamp" land, 143½ acres, to John Schnebly (Deed book I, page 584). On September 25, 1795, John Schnebly, also bought adjoining "Ash Swamp" land from Philip Jacob Miller (deed book I, page 360). Philip Jacob Miller, then moved to Kentucky.

On April 9, 1799, the executors of Peter's estate made distribution of 2,070 pounds in equal parts, to his 10 remaining children (Book I, page 80), all apparently now 21. The order of the named heirs is basically the same as in the will. Michael, the last named in the will, is missing in the distribution list.

Hans Jeremiah MILLER (~1717-1781)Top

11C. Hans Jeremiah Miller was born about 1717, likely in Rheinland, Preussen (Preußen), Germany. He immigrated to America in 1727. He married Magdalena about 1742 in Hagerstown, then in Frederick County, now in Washington County, Maryland. They had at least four children:

11C1. John Miller (1743) --  -- 
11C2. Abraham Miller (1745) --  -- 
11C3. Susanna Miller (1747) --  -- 
11C4. Elizabeth Miller (1749) --  -- 

Hans Jeremiah Miller died in 1781 in Hagerstown, Maryland. He was about 64 years old.

Hans Michael MILLER (~1720-1784)Top

11E. Hans Michael Miller was born about 1720 in Darmstadt, Hesse (Hessen), Germany. He immigrated with his family as a boy in 1727. He married Elizabeth Brumbaugh about 1748 and had as many as eight children:

11E1. John Miller (1749) 1821 (72)
11E2. Christina Susanna Miller 1750 (1820-1825) (73)
11E3. Rebecca Miller (1751) --  -- 
11E4. Hannah Miller (1753) --  -- 
11E5. Mary Ann Miller (1755) --  -- 
11E6. Susannah Miller (1757) --  -- 
11E7. Michael Miller (1759) --  -- 
11E8. Daniel Miller (1761) --  -- 

Hans Michael owned land in Franklin County, Pennsylvania; Frederick County, Maryland (present-day Washington County); and Hampshire County, Virginia (present-day Mineral County, West Virginia).

After Hans Michael's death in 1784, Elizabeth moved to a farm on the Conococheague, near Williamsport, Maryland with her eldest son John.

Elizabeth (Brumbaugh) Miller died about 1798 in Washington County at about the age of 71. She willed part of her estate to her "society" at the Beaver Creek Church of the Brethren.

George MILLER (Sr.) (~1722-~1798)Top

11F. George Miller (Sr.) was born in 1722 in Germany. He immigrated to the American colonies in 1727 as a child. He grew up in Pennsylvania and married Catherine about 1747. They had as many as 10 children:

11FA. Abraham Miller (1748) --  -- 
11FB. George Miller (Jr.) (1750) --  -- 
11FC. Barbara Miller (1752) --  -- 
11FD. Eve Miller (1754) --  -- 
11FE. Elizabeth Miller (1756) --  -- 
11FF. Catherine Miller (1758) --  -- 
11FG. Marie Miller (1760) --  -- 
11FH. Magdalena Miller (1762) --  -- 
11FI. Fannie Miller (1764) --  -- 
11FJ. Henry Miller (1766) --  -- 

Elder George was said to be the first preacher at the Big Swatara Church of the Brethren in Swatara Township near Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennysylvania.

He died about 1796-1798 in Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He was about about 75 years old.

"The Brethren Encyclopedia:"
"George Miller (1722-1798) was born in Switzerland and immigrated to America in his youth. He settled in Lancaster Co., PA, and joined the Brethren in 1753. He was one of the ministers at Big Swatara, PA. He was the father of ten children: Abraham (Mifflin Co., PA), George (Erie Co., PA), Henry (m. Elizabeth Klein, granddaughter of Elder George Klein), Barbara (m. Jacob Smith), Eve (m. Daniel Keefer), Elizabeth (m Valentine Balsbaugh), Catharine (m. George Minnich), Maria (m. George Fackler), Magdalena (m. Abraham Snyder), and Fanny. All of these families except George Jr.'s remained Brethren."

Lodowich "Lewis" MILLER (~1724-~1792)Top

11G. Lodowich "Lewis" Miller was born about 1724 in Germany. He immigrated to the American colonies in 1727, first settling with his parents in Pennsylvania and later in present-day Washington County, Maryland. He married Anna Barbara Meyer, originally of Lancaster, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, about 1741 in Frederick County, Maryland, (likely the present-day portion of Washington County) and had 11 children:

11GA. Jacob Miller 2 Oct 1748 11 Jul 1815 (66)
11GB. Ludowich Miller (Jr.) 1749 --  -- 
11GC. Abraham Miller 1750 1830 (80)
11GD. David Miller (1751) 1828 (77)
11GE. Daniel Miller 13 May 1752 16 Mar 1819 (66)
11GF. Susannah Miller 24 Nov 1754 8 Mar 1848 (93)
11GG. Christian Miller 1755 1822 (73)
11GH. Nancy Miller 1756 1791 (35)
11GI. John Miller (1758) 1791 (33)
11GJ. Hannah Miller 1759 1826 (67)
11GK. Elizabeth Miller (1760) --  -- 
11GL. Frances Miller (1760) 1838 (78)

After Lodowich's marriage he likely lived on the family estate known as "Ash Swamp" north of Hagerstown. He purchased an adjacent, 150-acre plot to the south and just east of the Salem Reformed Church in 1751 known as "Tom's Chance." In 1752, he and two of his brothers resurveyed (and partitioned) "Ash Swamp".

In 1754 he purchased land from Walter Funderburg near Beaver Creek, east of Hagerstown and sold "Tom's Chance" to Peter Tysher the following year in 1755, thus signaling a move away from his parents and siblings.

There is some evidence that he moved his family from place to place during the perilous days of the French and Indian War (1754-1763). It is recorded that at the time of the birth of Daniel (1752), he was living in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, and land records further state that in 1763 and 1767 he was living in York County, Pennsylvania. Most of the other deeds state that he was living in Frederick County, Maryland, perhaps "Chestnut Level," located near Woodsboro, north of Frederick in Frederick County, or his farm at Beaver Creek in what is today Washington County, Maryland.

One land record states that he was a weaver.

Lodowich sold his remaining 220 acres of "Ash Swamp" to younger brother Philip Jacob on December 9, 1783, for 5 shillings. Philip Jacob turned around and conveyed 144 acres of the plot to his eldest brother Peter later that same month for 5 shillings "and brotherly affection."

Lodowich appears to have later moved to Taneytown, further north of Frederick and Woodsboro, in Caroll County, during his later years as it is recorded that he died in Taneytown, Maryland, in 1792. He was about 78 years old.

Anna Barbara (Meyer) Miller also died in 1792. She was about 57 years old.

"The Brethren Encyclopedia" on Jacob Miller (1735-1815)
"Michael Miller's son Lodowich is believed to be the father of Jacob (b. 1748), Abraham (b. 1750), Daniel (b. 1752), Susanna Wine (b. 1754), Nancy Sanger (b. 1756), and David (b. 1760). These children settled in Virginia in 1783 and are believed to be the ancestors of the Brethren Millers in that state. His daughter Barbara is believed to have been the wife of Elder John H. Garber, who moved to Virginia ca. 1775, establishing the Brethren settlement there."

At least half of Lodowich's children moved into the Shenandoah Valley (Shenandoah, Rockingham, and Augusta counties) of Virginia beginning around 1783 at the end of the American Revolutionary War.

Philip Jacob MILLER3 (1726-1799)Top

11H. Philip Jacob Miller3 was born in 1726 in Rheinland, Preussen (Preußen), Germany. He immigrated the following year to the American colonies and grew up in Pennsylvania. He married Magdalena Rochette, a native of former Frederick County, Maryland, in Pennsylvania in 1751 and fathered as many as 13 children:

11HA. Lidia Miller 18 Dec 1754 --  -- 
11HB. Daniel Miller, Sr.4 8 Apr 1755 22 Aug 1822 (67)
11HC. David Miller4 1 Dec 1757
17 Jan 1758
18 Aug 1845 (87)
11HD. Susannah Miller 2 Mar 1759 1831 (72)
11HE. Christina Miller 4 Dec 1761 7 Mar 1815 (53)
11HF. Elizabeth Miller (1752/1762) (20 Apr 1835) (72/82)
11HG. Abraham Miller 28 Apr 1764 28 Apr 1859 (95)
11HH. Sarah Miller (1766) (<1799) (<33)
11HI. Solomon Miller 20 Mar 1767 --  -- 
11HJ. Esther Miller 13 Feb 1769 Bef. 1828 (<59)
11HK. Magdelena Miller 25 Apr 1770 25 May 1842 (72)
11HL. Mary Miller 1772 26 Sep 1863 (91)
11HM. Hannah Miller 7 Jun 1774 22 Aug 1840 (66)
Contemporary Events
  • 1712-1741: Händel in London
  • 1723-1750: Johann Sebastian Bach famed in Leipzig
  • 1726: Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift
  • 1730-1738: Cresap's War between Pennsylvania and Maryland; ultimately settled by the Mason-Dixon Line in 1767
  • 1744-1748: King George's War, fourth of five French and Indian Wars
  • 1750-1830: Classical music period
  • 1752: Great Britain adopts the Gregorian calendar of 1582
  • 1753: Great Britain adopts January 1st as the first day of the year (formerly March 25th)
  • 1754-1763: French and Indian War between Great Britain and France erupts into the global Seven Years' War in 1756
  • 1755: Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language
  • 1760-1820: King George III
  • 1764: Gothic fiction emerges
  • 1767: Mason-Dixon Line settles the colonial border between Pennsylvania and Maryland
  • 1773: Boston Tea Party; British blockade of Boston
  • 1774: First Continental Congress boycotts British goods
  • 1775-1783: American Revolutionary War
  • 1776: Declaration of Independence
  • 1777: Articles of Confederation
  • 1781: Lord Corwallis surrenders to General Washington
  • 1781-1786: Mozart in Vienna
  • 1783: Treaty of Paris ends the American Revolution
  • 1785-1794: Northwest Indian War; ends with the Battle of Fallen Timbers and Treaty of Greenville
  • 1787: Nortwest Ordinance of 1787 establishes the Northwest Territory and prohibits slavery there
  • 1787: U.S. Constitution signed
  • 1789-1797: Pres. George Washington (Fed)
  • 1789-1799: French Revolution
  • 1791-1794: Whiskey Rebellion
  • 1793: Whitney's cotton gin
  • 1797-1801: Pres. John Adams (Fed)
  • 1798-1815: Ludwig van Beethoven
Miller Brothers
Note that both Daniel Sr. and David Miller are highlighted as they are both our direct ancestors. Daniel's son Isaac married David's daughter Elizabeth as cousins.

The Millers owned land north of Hagerstown, then in Frederick County, now Washington County, from 1745. He and two elder brothers resurveyed their father's land known as "Ash Swamp" in 1752. In December 1783 he acquired his brother Lodowich's 220 acres for 5 shillings and turned around and sold 144 acres to his eldest brother Peter for 5 shillings "and brotherly affection."

Miller Property
See Miller Property Summary for a chronology of Miller property holdings in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

In the 1780s, after the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War, eldest sons Daniel4 and David4 moved northwest into the Appalachian Mountains of western Pennsylvania, to the Brethren congregation at Morrison's Cove, Woodbury Township, Bedford County. Daughter Susannah and the Ulrich/Ulery family moved deeper to Cambria County in the Allegheny Mountains.

Ohio River Valley

Following eldest brother Peter's death in December 1794, Peter's estate sold off the 143½ acres to John Schnebly in 1795 and Philip turned around and also sold the rest of his "Ash Swamp" property to John Schnebly. The Northwest Indian War (1785–1795) in Ohio, Indiana, and southern Michigan, concluded with a decisive American victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers (August 1794) and the Treaty of Greenville (August 1795) and redrew the border with the Western Confederacy of Indian tribes, pushing them north from the Ohio River to open up lands in southern and eastern Ohio for American settlement. It was with this backdrop that the Millers moved to Campbell County, Kentucky, opposite Cincinnati, Ohio, to the northwest, along with several of his grown children.

Virginia Military Reserve Survey

As a compromise with the other colonies during ratification deliberations on the Articles of Confederation, Virginia ceded its territorial claims to lands northwest of the Ohio River and was granted lands in the southwestern quarter of Ohio in 1784 to give as payment to Virginia's soldiers who served in the Continental Army.

During the Constitutional Convention, Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which, among other things, prohibited slavery north of the Ohio River, partly to prevent farmers in the Northwest Territory from competing with the South. Nevertheless, such a prohibition was attractive to the German Baptist Brethren. These lands were opened to settlement in 1794 but surveys were not completed until several years later, which resulted in settlers having their farms patented away leaving them to vacate their farms or to purchase them from the new owner.

Sons Daniel4 and David4 became charter members of the O'Bannon Creek Church, the first German Baptist Brethren congregation in Ohio, founded in 1795 with Daniel as its first minister. Daniel and David purchased land in Goshen Township in 1801.

Philip acquired 2,000 acres north of the Ohio River in the late 1790s in lands gained from the Shawnee during the Northwest Indian War. This land lie north of O'Bannon Creek in northern Goshen Township, Clermont County, and Hamilton Township, Warren County.

Excerpt from "The Brethren Encyclopedia"
"In 1796 Philip J. moved to Campbell Co., KY, where he died in 1799. Members of his family were charter members of the Stonelick, OH, congregation in 1802. Later some family members (Daniel and David) moved into Montgomery Co., OH. Philip's daughter Magdalene married Daniel Cripe, who was a leader in the southern Ohio church and later established the congregation in Elkhart Co., IN (1829)."

Philip Jacob Miller died in Campbell County, Kentucky, in August or September 1799. He was about 73 years old.

After Philip

Ohio land magnate William Lytle (1770-1813) obtained a patent from the United States government on May 2, 1803, which included the lands that Philip had acquired. Philip's sons, David4 and Abraham, as administrators of his estate, purchased the lands from Lytle later that year. They purchased 1,800 acres and an adjacent lot of 200 acres for a total of $2,200.[Deed 1803] These tracts conform to Virginia Military Reserve Survey tracts 3790 and 3791 in the southeast corner of Hamilton Township, Warren County, and with about 162 acres crossing over into Goshen Township, Clermont County. They are roughly bounded in the north by the community of Comargo, on the east by Cozaddale and Stony Run, and encompassing the communtiy of Dallasburg in the southwest.

Philip's children made an agreement among themselves to divide this land into ten 200-acre lots of 163-1/3 by 196 poles (~2,695 by 3,234 feet). Daughter Magdalena Cripe decided to take her share in cash. The children designated John Ramsey and Theophilus Simonton to appraise the lots and stipulate compensation between the varying values of the lots,[Agree 1799] whereupon the children drew lots for the parcels and David4 and Abraham, as estate administrators, began deeding each in April 1805 for the nominal sum of $1.Deed 1805 Arbitrarily numbering the lots from the northwest to southeast, we find the following among the ten surviving children and one widower son-in-law:

Lots 8, and either 2 or 10, may have been designated for David or Elizabeth, whose names do not appear among the deeds. On the other hand, Esther and Gabriel Morgan somehow managed to acquire both lots 2 and 10.

Only the families of four Miller daughters, Christina Snell, Esther Morgan, Mary Creamer, and Hannah (Snider) Shepley, ever lived on their land in Hamilton Township, Warren County. An 1867 map of the area shows Snells, Cramers, and Eltzroths still living in the area.

Magdalena (Rochette) Miller reportedly died in in Campbell County nine years after Philip in 1808.

Following Philip Jacob's and Magdalena's deaths, a few Miller children remained in Warren and Clermont counties, while others moved north to more fertile lands in Montgomery and Preble counties. Daughters Susannah (Snider) and Magdalena Cripe migrated into northern Indiana, settling in Elhkart County.

  • Agree 1799: 19 Dec 1799, Articles of Agreement, Warren County Deed Book 14, Ohio
  • Deed 1803: 7 Sep 1803, Warren County, Ohio; recorded 9 Nov 1803
  • Deed 1803: 7 Sep 1803, Clermont County, Ohio; recorded 14 Dec 1803
  • Deed 1803: 28 Dec 1803, Warren County, Ohio; recorded 11 Apr 1804
  • Deed 1803: 28 Dec 1803, Clermont County, Ohio; recorded 28 Apr 1804
  • Deed 1805: 22 Apr 1805, Deed Book 1, Warren County, Ohio
  • Deed 1809: 22 Sep 1809, Deed Book 2, Warren County, Ohio

Johannes Michael MILLER (III) (1728-1792)Top

11I. Johannes Michael Miller (III) was born about 1728, reportedly in either Grötzingen, Karlsruth, Württemberg, Germany, or in southeastern Pennsylvania. He married Elizabeth, a German immigrant, about 1749 and had as many as seven children:

11I1. Johannes Miller (1752) (<1792) (<64)
11I2. Elizabeth Miller (1754-1755) Dec 1838 (84)
11I3. Christian Miller 23 Dec 1757 28 Apr 1828 (70)
11I4. Margaret Miller 30 Sep 1760 11 Apr 1809 (48)
11I5. Michael Miller (IV) 7 Jun 1763 27 Aug 1839 (76)
11I6. Henry Miller (1764-1765) 11 Sep 1827 (63)
11I7. Adam Miller (Sr.) (1767-1768) (1833) (66)
July 2011

The first two children are reportedly born in Berks County, Pennsylvania. The family moved to Frederick County, Maryland, by 1757, where Michael's father reportedly gave him "Blindman's Choice," a 50-acre tract that spans the state line between Carroll County, Maryland, and Germany Township, Adams County, Pennsylvania. This general area runs roughly from Alloway Creek to the west for about 5 miles to the Littlestown-Baltimore Pike (Highway 97) to the east.

Sons Christian and Adam may have settled in Colerain Township in central Bedford County, Pennsylvania by 1776.[Tax 1776] Sons Henry and Adam ultimately settled in Napier Township, Bedford County; and daughter Margaret (Miller) Bower and son Michael settled in Adams County.

Johannes Michael Miller (III) died before October 1792. He was about 64 years old.

  • Tax 1776: Tax Assessment Book, 1776-1788, Colerain Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania

Barbara (MILLER) GARBER (1733-1808)Top

11K. Barbara Miller was born in 1733, likely in Pennsylvania. She married Johannes "John" Hans Garber in 1752 in York County, Pennsylvania. They had 10 children:

11KA. Samuel Garber (1756) 1814 (58)
11KB. John H. Garber 1758 1819 (61)
11KC. Abraham Garber 10 Nov 1760 16 Feb 1848 (87)
11KD. Martin Garber 1761 1824 (63)
11KE. Anna Garber (1762) 1837 (75)
11KF. Jacob Garber 1766 1836 (70)
11KG. Daniel Garber 1769 --  -- 
11KH. Catherine Garber 15 Mar 1771 Sep 1838 (67)
11KI. Joseph Garber 10 Aug 1773 5 Oct 1854 (81)
11KJ. Magdalene Garber 1774 26 Jul 1832 (58)

Interestingly, about a year after their marriage, Barbara's widower father Johann Michael and John's widowed mother Elizabeth wed, technically making Barbara and John stepsister and stepbrother.

Johann Hans worked as a farmer, shoemaker, and minister of the German Reform Brethren.

Based on the childrens' birth places, the Garbers lived in York County, Pennsylvania, into the early-mid-1760s. By about 1768 they moved into Washington County, Maryland (then part of Frederick County), and about 1775 into Shenandoah County, Virginia (then part of Rockingham County).

John Garber died in 1787 in Forestville, Shenandoah County, Virginia. He was about 70 years old.

Barbara (Miller) Garber died in 1808 in Flat Rock (perhaps referring to the area of Flat Rock Church near Forestville), Shenandoah County, Virginia. She was about 75 years old.

Jacob MILLER (Sr.) (1735-1815)Top

11M. Jacob Miller (Sr.) was born about 1735, in modern-day Franklin County (then part of Lancaster County), Pennsylvania. He is held by many to be a son of Michael and Susanna (Berchtol) Miller, although he is not specifically mentioned to be in the "Brethren Encyclopedia." He reportedly first married Barbara Brower in 1761 but she died soon thereafter. He married a woman named Mary or Elizabeth of the Franklin County area and as many as 12 children. Elizabeth died in 1801 and Jacob remarried to Barbara Lybrook the same year.

11MA. Mary Miller 28 Mar 1764 7 Apr 1848 (84)
11MB. Anna Miller 28 Sep 1765 14 Sep 1843 (77)
11MC. Eva Miller 1767 5 May 1843 (76)
11MD. John "Potter John" Miller 6 Apr 1769 9 Nov 1851 (82)
11ME. Jacob Miller (Jr.) (1770) 1801 (31)
11MF. Tobias Miller (Sr.) 17 Mar 1773 9 Mar 1856 (82)
11MG. Abraham Miller 1 Apr 1775 4 Jan 1841 (65)
11MH. Samuel Miller 1776 1801 (25)
11MI. Daniel Miller 6 Sep 1780 15 Nov 1858 (78)
11MJ. Isaac Miller 1781 1813 (32)
11MK. Aaron Miller 8 Apr 1785 12 Apr 1839 (54)
11ML. David Miller 10 Feb 1788 1849 (61)

Maryland and Pennsylvania

Elder Jacob Miller reportedly was ordained by William Stover in 1762 at the Antietam congregation in Washington County, Maryland. He started his family in Peters Township, Washington County, (Maryland). The Millers then moved north to Stony Creek congregation in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, and at some point to Pipe Creek congregation (perhaps in Carroll County, Maryland).[COBNet]In 1764, Jacob split from the Brethren with Elder George Adam Martin, a Brethren Radical Pietist, and moved to Brothers Valley, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Jacob returned to the fold in 1766, joining the congregation at Monocacy.[COBNet]

Southwest Virginia

By 1773, the Millers moved south "on the Blue Ridge" to establish the Blackwater River congregation in Franklin County (then part of Bedford County until 1785), southwest of Roanoke, Virginia.[COBNet] He extended his ministry southwest into Floyd County preaching in Pleasant Valley, Topeco, Beaver Creek, and Burk's Fork congregations, becoming one of the first Brethren ministers in southern Virginia. "William Smith, an English pacifist baptized by Miller, traveled and preached in English alongside the German-speaking Miller. They were instrumental in building such a following that the 1797 Annual Meeting was held in Franklin County, Virginia."

Southwest Ohio

The Millers stayed in Franklin County until around 1800 when, reportedly weary of the slavery around them, they struck northwest over the Appalachians and followed the Kanawha Trace across West Virginia to the Ohio River and onward to Bear Creek (Montgomery County), Ohio, near Dayton, where Jacob is recalled as the first Brethren minister of the Miami Valley.

Mary Elizabeth Miller died in 1801, presumably in Montgomery County, Ohio. She was about 64 years old.

Jacob remarried on February 2, 1802, to Barbara Lybrook, who is believed to be the much elder sister of Philip Lybrook, who in turn was Jacob's son-in-law by marriage to Jacob's daughter Anna.

February 2011

By 1804, the Millers were identified as residents of German Township, but also owned land to the northeast in Township 3, Range 5 East (Jefferson Township) that lie along the west bank of the Great Miami River and Bear Creek (Sections 34-36) about a mile north of Miamisburg, and property further north to the south of the town of Drexel (Section 11).[Land 1804-1813]

Elder Jacob Miller headed up the Miami Church (later Lower Miami Church) in Montgomery County in 1805 and helped "organize the Miller-Bowman congregations of southern Ohio: Lower Miami, Lower Stillwater, Bear Creek, and Wolf Creek. He also founded the Four Mile Run" congregation across the Indiana border in Union County.

February 2011

Jacob and Barbara sold several parcels of property in Township 3, Range 5 East between 1804 and 1813. The entire Section 34, holdings in Section 35 and 36, and Section 11:[Land 1804-1813]

Elder Jacob Miller died on May 28, 1815, in Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio, and was buried near the future site of the Lower Miami meeting house. He was about 80 years old.

After Jacob's death, Barbara moved in with Philip Lybrook, Sr., at the Four Mile settlement just across the Indiana border in Union County. Philip is believed to be Barbara's much younger brother who married Jacob's daughter Anna.

Barbara (Lybrook) Miller died about 1822 while in her 80s.

Excerpts from "The Brethren Encyclopedia"
1. "Miller, Jacob, 1735?-1815, minister. Born of unknown Swiss-German parents in what became Franklin Co., PA, Miller may have been ordained by William STOVER in the Antietam congregation in 1762. He is said to have lived in the Stony Creek congregation, Somerset Co., PA, and in the Pipe Creek, MD, congregation. The mother of some of Miller's twelve children may have been named Mary. At his death, Miller was married to a Barbara B. Miller."

"Sometime before 1775, he moved to Bedford (later Franklin Co.) Co., VA, to the Blackwater River German settlement, where he established the Franklin County congregation. Pleasant Valley, Topeco, Beaver Creek, and Burk's Ford congregations in Floyd Co., VA are outgrowths of his preaching and organizing. William Smith, an English pacifist baptized by Miller, traveled and preached in English alongside the German-speaking Miller. They were instrumental in building such a following that the 1797 Annual Meeting was held in Franklin Co., VA. At this meeting, Brethren were forbidden to own slaves."

"Due to the slavery about him or the lure of rich "Congress lands" in Ohio, Miller moved his family to the Miami Valley ca. 1800. He left beind in Giles Co., VA, one son, who was the progenitor of the Virginia branch of the family. Jacob Miller settled near Dayton, OH, where he organized the Miller-Bowman congregations of southern Ohio: Lower Miami, Lower Stillwater, Bear Creek, and Wolf Creek. He also founded the Four Mile Run, IN, congregation. Buried near the future site of the Lower Miami meetinghouse, he is remembered as the first Brethren minister in the Miami Valley and Indiana and one of the first in Ohio and in southern Virginia."

2. "Jacob Miller (1735-1815) was born in Franklin Co., PA; he migrated first to Virginia, then on to Ohio. His twelve children were all active Brethren with five of his sons serving as ministers. Anna (b. 176[5]) married Philip Lybrook and moved to Indiana. Mary (b. 1766) married Samuel Darst and moved to Montgomery Co., OH, in 1803. John (b. 1769) married Pheobe McClure and settled in Franklin Co., IN, in 1805. Jacob (m. Sarah Chapman) remained in Virginia. Tobias (b. 1773) married Sarah Henderson, moved to Union Co., IN, in 1810 and on to LaPorte Co., IN, in 1831. Abraham (b. 1775) and his wife, Nancy Huston, settled in Preble Co., OH, in 1805, then moved to Franklin Co., IN. Samuel died young in Virginia. Daniel (m. Elizabeth Shideler) moved first to Montgomery Co., OH, then on to Indiana. Isaac (m. Hannah Webb) migrated to Greene Co., OH, in 1803 and was killed in the War of 1812. Aaron (b. 1785) and David, both ministers, married sisters Elizabeth and Sarah Hardman. They organized the Nettle Creek, IN, congregation and later moved to St. Joseph Co., IN. The descendants of Elder Jacob Miller number in the thousands and their service to the Brethren churches is inestimable."

  • COBNet: Rummel, Merle C., "Frontier Journal," Jan 1999. Church of the Brethren Network <>
  • Tax 1804: Mikesell, Shirley Keller. Early Settlers of Montgomery County, Ohio. Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, Inc., 1991
  • Land 1804-1809: Mikesell, Shirley Keller. Early Settlers of Montgomery County, Ohio. Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, Inc., 1991
  • Deed 1804: 5 Jul 1804 Article of Agreement, Township 3, Range 5 East, Secs. 35-36, Montgomery County, Ohio
  • Deed 1807: 28 Aug 1807, Township 3, Range 5 East, Sec. 34, Montgomery County, Ohio