Henry Miller, Son of Rev War Soldier Jacob Miller, Franklin County, TN: New Look

It’s been about five years since I last wrote about Henry Miller, son of Revolutionary War soldier Jacob Miller, who settled in Botetourt County, Virginia after the war and then migrated to Franklin County, Tennessee, where he lived the rest of his life.

First, who is Henry Miller?

Henry is the son of Jacob Miller and his first wife, Sarah (MNU). There is much that we don’t know about Henry. He was born c1788, possibly in Pennsylvania, as I have no evidence that his parents arrived in Virginia before the early 1790s, OR actually in Virginia, if the 1850 census can be believed OR in Maryland, if one chooses to think that census was more accurate.

Henry died in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky sometime before June 1864, when Joseph Adcock was appointed to administer his estate.

Henry married Susannah (MNU) at some point before the 1850 census. Susannah, or Susan as she later used, was born c1796 either in Virginia (per the 1850 census) OR Maryland (per the 1860 census.) No clues have been found to point to her maiden name, but Susan Miller’s estate inventory was taken in July 1868, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky with W. Hancock appointed administrator.

Henry Miller’s life before 1850 is a total mystery, with the exception of a power of attorney filed by Henry in Franklin County, Tennessee, giving the right to represent him in the matter of his late father Jacob’s estate to Phillip Williams, who was his brother-in-law.

Henry helpfully mentioned that he was currently living in Warren County, Tennessee, which is two counties north-northeast of Franklin County.

There is much negative evidence associated with Henry Miller. Martin Miller, Henry’s older brother, was baptized in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the summer of 1785. However, as previously mentioned, the whereabouts of Jacob and Sarah Miller, their parents, can’t be established with any certainty until Jacob purchases land in Botetourt County, Virginia in 1793.

Jacob’s early war service is credited to Northampton County, Pennsylvania. His pension application adds that, later in the war, he served with Philadelphia units.

Another pertinent detail is that the family of John (Johannes) Whitmer from Frederick County, Maryland, settled near Jacob Miller’s family in Botetourt County. In fact, John’s daughter, Catherine, married Henry’s brother Martin there in 1808.

Did the Millers and Whitmers meet in Virginia? Or did Jacob perhaps live in Maryland in between Pennsylvania and Virginia? I don’t know. However, I have not found any Jacob Millers fitting this man in the 1790 Pennsylvania or Maryland census records. The 1790 Virginia census is lost.

Therefore, Henry’s birth could plausibly have taken place in any of those three places.

What is known about Henry Miller before 1850?

Short answer: not much. In fact, if Henry hadn’t been identified as a resident of Warren County, Tennessee in 1834, I would not have a single proven record relating to him before 1850.

The 1830 census of Warren County includes one Henry Miller, who I believe to be my man. Henry is aged 40-50, which matches his ages in both the 1850 and 1860 censuses. The female head of household is 30-40, which matches Susan’s ages in 1850 and 1860.

The other members of their household include:

Female, born 1811-1815, aged 15-19
Male, born 1821-1825, aged 5-9
Female, born 1821-1825, aged 5-9
Female, born 1821-1825, aged 5-9
Female, born 1826-1830, aged 0-4
Female, born 1826-1830, aged 0-5

If the oldest female child is Henry’s daughter and not some other family relative, then it may indicate a first marriage. Unfortunately, there is no marriage in Botetourt County for Henry and marriage records in both Franklin and Warren Counties are lost for this time period.

The other children can reasonably be predicted to have been born, say, 1821, 1823, 1825, 1827 and 1829 and may indicate that Henry married Susannah c1820. This pattern also fits with later children Emiline and Adeline, born c1831, and Martin D., born c1833.

Next problem – Henry can’t be identified with any certainty in 1820. He isn’t in Franklin County, where his father and younger siblings lived. There are two Henry Millers in Tennessee who fit his and Susannah’s age ranges. One is in Maury County, but that man owned one enslaved person. The Millers were not of economic circumstances to own much of anything besides land and some farm animals.

Yet another problem – Henry can’t be identified in the 1840 census, either. However, there is an H. Miller on the Muhlenberg County, Kentucky tax rolls in 1840 and Henry Miller appears in 1842. In both lists, he is taxed on 109 acres of land.

One more problem – I can’t find any record of how Henry Miller acquired his land in 1840. He did receive land grants in Muhlenberg County in 1850 and 1853. It may be that the 109 acres also came in the form of a land grant. Much more annoying is the fact that I can only account for Henry selling one acre of land in 1860. Neither he NOR Susan NOR his children have recorded deeds matching this land.

Next, we will look at Henry’s children and grandchildren, but don’t expect the next generations to arrive without their own mysteries!


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