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Mini Biographies of Scots and Scots Descendants (M)
Miller Family


Thanks to Lu Hickey for this information.

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 Webster County.
 
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 division.
 
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 included.

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