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MILLER Family History, Part I

January 2012
Acknowledgments
Thanks to research from Tom & Karleen Miller (Johann Michael Miller Family Tree), Virgil M. Kester, III, Janice Fentem, and others.

Our Müller (Mueller)/Miller family dates back 350 years and 12 generations. It starts out as early as the late 1600s with Johann Michael Müller1, a native of Zollikofen, Bern Canton, Switzerland.

His son Johann Michael Müller (Mueller)/Miller (Jr.)2 was born in 1692 in Steinwenden, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, and emigrated from Germany to the New World with the migration of "Pennsylvania Dutch" in 1727. Probably starting in Germantown on the outskirts of Philadelphia, the family gradually moved west across Pennsylvania to Coventryville, Rapho/Little Conewago, and Hanover before crossing into Maryland to present-day Maugansville just north of Hagerstown in Washington County, Maryland, in 1745.

As the Miller's expanded in this area they met with the disruptions of the French & Indian War (1754-1763) and the American Revolution (1775-1783). During the Revolution they espoused non-violence as "non-associators," refusing to pay war taxes or to serve in the army. As a result Michael's sons David and Jacob Miller, as well as members from allied families, lost land claims.

Michael's son Philip Jacob Miller3 remained in Washington County until 1795 when he moved to Campbell County, Kentucky.

Miller DNA Research
The Miller Family History project is researching Y chromosome DNA mutations, to trace the Miller family and piece together the many families concentrated in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Ohio between 1790-1840. Our branch of the Miller family has been isolated to Haplogroup R1b1a2, which is identified by marker M269. For more, see the DNA page.

Philip Jacob's two eldest sons, Daniel Sr.4 and David4, both left Washington County in the early 1780s, moving north and across the Allegheny Mountains to Bedford County, Pennsylvania. Around the time of Ohio statehood in 1803, both Daniel Sr. and David resettled in western Ohio in the area of Montgomery and Preble counties near Dayton. They may have made this migration by way of Campbell County, Kentucky, which lies to the south.

Daniel Sr.'s son Isaac5 and David's daughter Elizabeth5, first cousins, wed in the Miami/Montgomery counties area of Ohio. After Isaac's death in 1822, Elizabeth remarried and continued westward into Elkhart County, Indiana, and on to Johnson County, Iowa, by 1840.

Isaac and Elizabeth's son David John Miller6, born in 1817 in Ohio, and his wife Sarah Kester started a family in Solon, Johnson County, Iowa, around 1841 and had as many as five children: three girls and two boys. The elder boy, Isaac Dennis Miller7, was born in 1843 and fought with the 24th Iowa Volunteer Regiment in the Civil War where he was wounded during the campaign against Vicksburg, Mississippi, and again on the road to Winchester, Virginia. After the war Isaac married Candace Mandana Andrews and all of the Miller family, except for the eldest daughter, Finetta, moved west to California about 1870. Isaac's family first settled in the area of Morro Township and Cayucos where his in-laws settled in 1868. It was here that Isaac and Candace's daughter, Cora Ethel Miller8, was born in 1881.

A few years later Isaac's family moved north to Parkfield in Monterey County but soon returned to San Luis Obispo County where they settled in Arroyo Grande until Isaac's death in 1896. Afterward Cora moved north to Sonoma County where she raised nine children and became the matriarch of the Fisher and Williams families. Over 40 years after her death the families continue to gather each summer for a reunion in the Santa Rosa area.

German Names

Two notes on German naming conventions of the time: some of our earlier German ancestors, although Protestants, continued the Roman Catholic naming convention of prepending a saint's name (most popularly Saint John's) to their sons' names in the hope of gaining the saint's protection for the child. As such, "Johann Micheal Miller" was called "Michael," not "Johann" (i.e., Michael is his "call name" (Rufname), not a "middle name" as per modern English convention.) Variations of Johann (John) include: Johan and Hans. Generally the same saint's name was prepended to all sons names. The names of female saints were similarly prepended to daughters names, although we do not observe this among the Miller daughters listed here.

Additionally, the suffixes "Sr." and "Jr." are placed in parentheses for clarity to the modern reader but were not used by our German ancestors in the same fashion as today. The practice of naming sons after their fathers was rather uncommon in Germany and reserved for nobility. Earlier usage was not strictly paternal and often included denoting a paternal uncle and nephew of the same name. As such, placement of a suffix in parentheses here does not imply the person used that suffix, rather it is there for the reader's understanding.

Johann Michael MÜLLER (MUELLER)1 (~1655-1695)

1. Johann Michael Müller (Mueller)1 was born about 1655 in Zollikofen, Bern Canton, Switzerland. He married Irene Charitas about 1684 and had six children, only one of whom survived to adulthood:

1A. Johann Nicholas Müller 5 Jun 1685 6 Jun 1685 (1 day)
1B. Johann Abraham Müller 9 Jun 1686 1686 (<7 mos.)
1C. Samuel Müller 30 Apr 1687 30 Apr 1687 (0)
1D. Catherine Barbara Müller 7 Jun 1688 21 Jun 1691 (3)
1E. Eva Catherine Müller 29 Apr 1691 29 Jun 1691 (2 mos.)
11. Johann Michael Müller/Miller2 10 May 1692 1771 (78)

As noted in research by Tom & Karleen Miller (Johann Michael Miller Family Tree), the Müller (Mueller) family likely moved from Switzerland following a peasant revolt in 1653 and migrated down the Rhine (Rhein) River to Germany which was recovering from depopulation during the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648). They settled in Steinwenden, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany probably in the early 1680s and became part of the Steinwenden and Konken German Reformed parish churches.

Irene (Charitas) Müller died in 1692, probably in her early 20's.

Anna Loysa Regina
Some records hold Anna Loysa (Regina) Müller as Michael's mother. Here I hold her as his step-mother (as many other researchers do) and speculate that Michael was raised by Anna and her second husband, Hans Jacob Stutzman (II).

Michael later remarried to Anna Loysa Regina.

Johann Michael Müller died on January 31, 1695, in Steinwenden at the age of 40.

Stutzman

Michael's widow, Anna, remarried a year and a half later to Johann Jacob Stutzman (II), allegedly a native of Spiez, Bern Canton, Switzerland, in 1696 and had one son:

-- Johann Jacob Stutzman (III) 1 Jan 1705 3 Feb 1775 (70)

Johann Michael MILLER/MÜLLER (Jr.)2 (1692-1771)

11. Johann Michael Miller/Müller (Mueller) (Jr.)2, the son of Johann Michael Müller, was born on May 10, 1692, in Steinwenden, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany (a region often referred to as the Palatinate*). His mother* died that same year and his father remarried only to die a few years later when Michael was two or three years old.

Michael's Mother
Some records hold Anna Loysa (Regina) Müller as Michael's mother. Here I hold her as his step-mother (as many other researchers do) and speculate that Michael was raised by Anna and her second husband, Hans Jacob Stutzman (II).

Michael married Susanna Agnes Berchtoll/Berchtel, a native of Ohmbach or Krottelbach in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, and began a family of 11 or more children in Germany before emigrating to the New World in 1727. After Susanna's death in Maryland around 1752, Michael remarried to Elizabeth Garber/Gerber, the widow of Nicholas Garber/Gerber, around 1753. He and Elizabeth had two more daughters:

11A. John Peter Miller 19 Jan 1713-1715 Dec 1794 (80)
(11B.) (Christian Miller) (1716) --  -- 
11C. Hans Jeremiah Miller 1717 1781 (64)
11D. David Miller (1719) 1785 (66)
11E. Hans Michael Miller (III)* (1720) 1784 (64)
11F. George Miller (Sr.) 1722 (1796/1798) (74/76)
11G. Lodowich "Lewis" Miller (1724) (1792) (68)
11H. Philip Jacob Miller3 1726 Aug-Sep 1799 (73)
11I. Johann Michael Miller (III)* 1728 1792 (64)
11J. John Miller 1731 1808 (77)
11K. Barbara Miller 1733 1808 (75)
(11L.) (Fannie Miller) (1734) --  -- 
(11M.) (Jacob Miller [Sr.]) 1735 28 May 1815 (80)

11N. Maria Elisabeth Miller 19 Mar 1754 --  -- 
11O. Eva Elizabeth Miller (1756) --  -- 
"Pennsylvania Dutch"
After William PENN established the colony of Pennsylvania as a refuge for persecuted Quakers and other religious groups in 1681, a large influx of German immigrants from the Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz [Lower Palatinate] and Oberpfalz of northeast Bavaria [Upper Palatinate]) began after 1710. Among these were Anabaptists ("Re-baptists") and Pietists, outlawed sects formed by Alexander MACK in Schwarzenau, Bad Burleburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany in 1708. The Neuen Täufer ("New Baptists") fled to America and founded the Germantown Congregation in northwest Philadelphia on Christmas day in 1723 and became known as the "German Baptist Brethren" (GBB) and colloquially as "Dunkers" or "Tunkers." These populations of Germans (Deutschlanders), through corruption of English, became known as the "Pennsylvania Dutch".
Miller Children

The children of Michael and Susanna are still a work-in-progress. First note dthat there are two Michaels (Hans Michael and Johann Michael) ascribed. There should be only one, yet the two families are very different.

Christian, Fannie, and Jacob are frequently ascribed to this family as well, but documentation is lacking.


The Müller family emigrated to the New World in 1727, setting out from Rotterdam, Netherlands aboard the Adventure Galley by way of Plymouth, arriving in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 2, 1727. Among the 53 Palatinate families aboard the Adventure Galley were Susanna's brother Jacob Berchtol and Michael's step-brother Jacob Stutzman.

There is also reference to a "Hans Michel Miller" arriving from Rotterdam aboard the Adventurer on September 23, 1732, indicating a possible return trip to Germany by Michael to tend to unfinished business, or, as recently proposed and yet unverified, to attend to family matters following the death of his stepmother Anna in 1732.

The Millers' first known documented purchase of property beyond a likely stay in Germantown was in Coventry Township in Chester County, Pennsylvania, south of Pottstown and northwest of Philadelphia. Michael maintained this property through 1740.

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

Next the Millers, Susanna's brother's family, and the Garbers pushed due west to Rapho Township in Lancaster County, midway between Lancaster and Harrisburg, in 1744. There they joined the Little Conewago Congregation Church.

Frederick County

Frederick County was established in 1748 from parts of Prince Georges and Baltimore counties. The county was named either for Frederick Calvert (1731-1771), the 6th and last Baron of Baltimore and Proprietary Governor of the Province of Maryland, who inherited the governorship in 1751, or for Calvert's father's friend, Frederick, Prince of Wales (1707-1751), son of King George II and father of King George III.

In 1776 Frederick County was divided into three parts: Frederick, Washington, and Montgomery counties.

Not a year later, the Miller's relocated to present-day Maugansville in Prince George's County (later Frederick County and now Washington County), Maryland, and lived and worked plots that were given colorful names such as "Ash Swamp," "Skipton-on-Craven," "Miller's Fancy," and "Resurvey of Well Taught."

Michael (or son John Peter) purchased the original "Ash Swamp" property in 1745 near Maugansville and later expanded it to 290 acres.

Soon after, Michael purchased a tract near Leitersburg, about 8 miles east of Maugansville, from Maryland pioneer Thomas Cresap, known as "Skipton-on-Craven" (named for Cresap's birthplace in Yorkshire, England) in 1748 or 1749. Judging from his later sale in two pieces of 117 and 163 acres, the tract was as large as 280 acres. At the same time, Michael had a grant of land survey for 36 acres between "Skipton-on-Craven" and "Resurvey of Well Taught," which was finally granted in 1754 and became known as "Miller's Fancy."

"Ash Swamp"
I have seen one reference to "Ash Swamp" originally being purchased by son John Peter -- was it originally bought by Michael or Peter? And what exactly took place during the 1752 resurvey with regard to the three brothers?

About the same time, son Lodowich purchased 150 acres adjacent to "Ash Swamp" in 1751, which became known as "Tom's Chance." The next year, sons Lodowich and Philip Jacob resurveyed "Ash Swamp" in 1752 and apparently took possession of it.

About 1752 Michael's wife, Susanna Agnes (Berchtoll) Miller, died in Washington County, Maryland. She was about 64 years old.

Remarriage

Not long after Susanna's death, Michael remarried to Elizabeth Garber/Gerber, the widow of Nicholas Garber/Gerber, close family friends around 1753. Elizabeth had three children of her own, Johannes "Hans" (1717-1787), Anna (1722-<1761), and Elizabeth (1720s-1782), and went on to give Michael two more daughters, while apparently in her 50s.

After the "Miller's Fancy" grant came through in 1754, Michael continued to increase his land holdings in 1755 with the purchase of 409 acres from George Poe. This tract, known as "Resurvey of Well Taught" lay with "Miller's Fancy" between it and "Ash Swamp." The same year, son Lodowich sold "Tom's Choice," adjacent to "Ash Swamp" and moved southwest of Hagerstown to the Beaver Creek area.

At one point in 1760, Michael served as constable of "Upper Antietam Hundred" township in Washington County.

In 1765, Michael sold "Skipton-on-Craven" in two partitions: 117 acres to John Reiff, husband of his step-daughter Anna Garber, and 163 acres to Jacob Good (1722-1797), husband of his step-daughter Elizabeth Garber.

Johann Michael Miller died in 1771 in Washington County, Maryland, west of Hagerstown.

"The Brethren Encyclopedia" Entry on Michael Miller
"The Michael Miller family were early settlers of Washington and Frederick Cos., MD. It is believed that Michael was born Johann Michael Muller on May 10, 1692, in Steinwenden, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, the son of Johann Michael MULLER. The father was born 1655 in Switzerland, moved to Germany ca. 1685, and died on Jan. 31, 1695, a member of the Steinwenden German Reformed Church. Michael was married to Susanna Berchtol (Becktel) and is believed to have immigrated in the 1720s to America, where he settled in Rapho Twp., Lancaster Co., PA. He moved to Hanover, PA (York Co.) area in 1744 to the Little Conewago congregation. From 1745 to his death in 1771 he lived in Washington Co., MD. His children include George (PA), Jeremiah (PA), John (Washington Co., MD), Lodowich (Taneytown, MD), Michael (Taneytown, MD), Hans Michael (MD), Philip Jacob (MD), and Barbara (PA). 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)."
Summary of Miller Property Holdings, Pennsylvania and Maryland
See "Johann Michael Mueller, Jr." for more details
  • 1732-1740, Coventry Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania
  • 1737, 200 acres but no patent obtained
  • 7 Feb 1744, 400 acres northeast of Hanover, York County, Pennsylvania, with Nicholas Garber, Samuel Berchtol, and Jacob Berchtol
  • 1744, Rapho Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
  • Conceptual Diagram of "Ash Swamp"
  • "Ash Swamp," (Maugansville) 1745: Michael (and/or son John Peter?) purchased 150 acres near Maugansville in present-day Washington County, Maryland, from John George Arnold
    • (1748: Frederick County formed from parts of Prince Georges and Baltimore counties)
    • 1752, upon becoming part of the new Frederick County, son John Peter Miller, on son Lodowich's authority, added to and resurveyed "Ash Swamp;" (this may represent the transfer of ownership from Michael to his three sons, John Peter, Lodowich, and Philip Jacob)
    • "Ash Swamp" later expanded to 290 acres
    • (1776: Frederick County split into present-day Frederick, Washington, and Montgomery counties)
    • 9 Dec 1783, 220 acres conveyed by Lodowich Miller to his younger brother Philip Jacob Miller for 5 shillings (Washington County land records, Book C, pages 563-47); note: Michael died in 1771
    • 26 Dec 1783, Philip Jacob Miller conveyed 144 acres to his eldest brother John Peter Miller for 5 shillings "and brotherly affection" (Book C, pages 260-2); this plot allegedly had a small cemetery on it which is now lost
    • John Peter Miller died in December 1794
    • 26 Apr 1795, 143½ acres sold by John Peter Miller's estate to John Schnebly (Deed Book I, pages 584)
    • 25 Sep 1795, "Ash Swamp" sold by Philip Jacob Miller to John Schnebly (Deed Book I, pages 360)
  • "Skipton-on-Craven," (Leitersburg) 1748: Michael purchased tract near Leitersburg from Colonel Thomas Cresap; original tract appears to have been as large as 280 acres (117+163)
    • 1765, Michael sold 117 acres of "Skipton-on-Craven" to John Reiff, Michael's stepson-in-law
    • 1765, Michael sold 163 acres of "Skipton-on-Craven" to Jacob Good, Michael's stepson-in-law
  • "Tom's Chance," (Maugansville) 1751: son Lodowich purchased 150 acres adjacent to "Ash Swamp" and east of the Salem Reformed Church
    • 1755, "Tom's Chance" sold by Lodowich to Peter Tysher; Lodowich then likely moved to the Beaver Creek/"Chestnut Level" property
  • "Miller's Fancy," (Leitersburg) 1754: originally surveyed for grant in 1749, Michael purchased 36 acres between "Skipton-on-Craven" and "Resurvey of Well Taught" (purchased 1755)
  • 1754, Lodowich purchased land near Beaver Creek from Walter Funderburg; Beaver Creek runs along the west side of the Catoctin Mountains, southeast of Hagerstown
  • Lodowich also owned a plot called "Chestnut Level," possibly near Woodsboro or Beaver Creek, Maryland
  • "Resurvey of Well Taught," (Leitersburg) 1755: Michael purchased 409 acres from George POE
  • Michael allegedly owned as much as 700 acres southwest of Leitersburg, present-day Washington County, Maryland and later (date unknown) divided among the Ziegler, Hartle, and Stockslager farms; this reference likely includes the above referenced tracts
Conceptual Diagram of MILLER Properties
"Pennsylvania Dutch" Migration
The earlist land grants in Frederick and Washington counties in Maryland were to English-speaking Marylanders in 1732, but as early as 1729 immigrants from the German Palatines (who became erroneously known as the "Pennsylvania Dutch") migrated from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, many on their way to settlements in Virginia. The principal route from Lancaster was across the Susquehanna River at Wright's Ferry (modern-day Columbia) and via a pack horse or Indian road that crossed the present Pennsylvania counties of York and Adams to the Monocacy Road where it passed into Maryland (roughly the route that modern-day Route 194 runs). Once in Maryland, the road passed through Crampton's Gap and crossed the Potomac at several fords. The first German settlement in the area near Washington County was as early as 1729 in the village of Monocacy in Frederick County, which was the first village beyond the lower part of Montgomery County in Western Maryland.

Johann Jacob STUTZMAN (III) (1705-1775)

--. Johann/Hans Jacob Stutzman (III) was born on January 1, 1705, allegedly at Weilacher Hof, presumably near Hardenburg, in the modern German state of Rheinland-Pfalz. He is believed to be the stepbrother of Johann Michael Müller and immigrated to Germantown, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, with Michael aboard the Adventure Galley, arriving in October 1727. He is believed to have married Magdalena Maudin Steck, a native of Switzerland, about 1731 in Berks County, Pennsylvania. They reportedly had as many as six children:

-- Christian Stutzman (1730-1732) (1772) (41)
-- David Stutzman (Sr.) 14 Jun 1742 14 Jun 1822 (80)
-- Plantina Stutzman (1744-1748) --  -- 
-- Jacob Stutzman (IV) (1746) (1816-1818) (71)
-- Hannah Stutzman (1748) (1821) (73)
-- Abraham Stutzman 1755 1832 (77)
Stutzman-Ulrich-Miller
Jacob's son Jacob (IV) married Stephen Ulrich's3 daughter Christina. Christina Ulrich's sister Elizabeth4 went on to marry Daniel Miller4, Jacob's step-grandson. They all evenutally migrated to Montgomery County, Ohio.

By 1742, Jacob acquired land in the Cumberland Valley in modern-day Adams County, Pennsylvania, where in 1742 he warranted a portion to Stephen Ulrich (II)3 (~1710-1785). He retained some of that property through at least 1754.

Magdalena Maudin (Steck) Stutzman died about 1760 in Berks County, Pennsylvania. She was about 50 years old.

Jacob Stutzman and Stephen Ulrich (II)3 are said to have been naturalized in 1767.[Heiss 1979]

Johann Jacob Stutzman (III) died on February 3, 1775, likely in Peters or Washington Township, then in Cumberland County and later in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. He was 70 years old.

After Jacob's death, many of his children, David, Plantina, and Jacob (IV) moved west to "Woodberry" Township, straddling present-day Bedford and Blair counties, and Elk Lick Township, in modern-day Somerset County, in the 1780s.[Tax 1779-1788] Later, David, Plantina, Jacob (IV), Abraham, and perhaps Hannah, moved west to Montgomery County, Ohio, beginning around 1809. Jacob's step-nephew, Philip Jacob Miller, purchased land in Clermont and Warren counties in the late 1790s and then his two eldest sons continued north to Montgomery and Preble counties around 1802.

Sources
  • Tax 1779-1788: Tax Assessment Book, 1776-1788, Bedford County, Pennsylvania
  • Heiss 1979: Heiss, Willard. "This is the Histra of the Ulrey and Leers." Genealogy, Issue 44, Apr 1979. Indiana Historical Society.