The early Millers who settled in Virginia
were the "not so typical" settlers as this family had traveled
thousands of miles over the ocean from their homelands for a new
beginning. Their homelands of Scotland and Ireland was in the
midst of ethnic cleansing, aftermath of wars, pestilence and famine and
the most particular, religious persecution.
Sometime around 1737, John Miller and his
wife, Martha and his brother, James, decided to leave their homelands
via Northern Ireland to start a new life in a foreign soil. The
family landed at what is now Augusta County Virginia. Here John
lived until his death near 1780.
Early colonists were hard working and
freedom loving people reflecting their Scottish backgrounds and mostly
reflected by their religious faith as Presbyterians. Early records
reflect that John and Martha and their children were baptized at the
Tinkling Spring Presbyterian Meeting House. This in itself might
explain their departure from the Old Country.
John and James were Militia Men in Capt.
John Smith's Company in 1742 and fought in Capt. George Wilson's Company
in the French and Indian Wars in 1756.
John bought 210 acres of land in 1747 and
Martha gave birth to seven children. America stood for hard work
and freedom. The Millers seized the opportunity for freedom, worked the
land and gave birth to a new generation of Americans.
John's second child was named James.
He was typical of early American colonist. James served in the
French and Indian War, raised nine children and lived to be 70 years of
age. James fifth child was named John.
John was born in 1771, married in 1791.
He truly was a pioneer. John married Eva Burns, daughter of John
Burns and Mary Shibe. John and Eva first settled on 100 acres of
land and had five children. He soon realized the pioneer effort
was too much so he sold his land and moved west, coming to live in
Webster County. John purchased land and he and Eva fathered seven
more children. They are said to be the first white settlers in
John and Eva's children grew to adult-hood,
married and had their own families when another crisis struck again.
It was called the American Civil War. For most families,
this meant a time of unity but for this border family it could only mean
John and Eva's grandson, John Jackson Miller
and his family were living in Fairmont WVA and in 1864, he enlisted in
the Union Army.
John and Eva's grandson, Matthew Sands
Miller, and brother to John Jackson, lived in Webster County WVA, he
enlisted in the Confederate States of America.
We can only read and imagine of the great
Civil War, the atrocities of brother against brother. How can we
feel their pain?
After the war, John Jackson and his family
moved west, to Iowa, then Missouri and finally in Montgomery County
Kansas. The children of this family moved on west, finally
settling in the new territory of Oregon.. The youngest son of this
union, John W, remained in Kansas rearing his children and
grandchildren, suffering the Great Depression and both World Wars.
This is the story of but one family of
American Scot Irish that typifies thousands of others.. This author
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