Category Archives: Muhlenberg County KY

Martin Miller & Catherine Whitmer, Muhlenberg County, KY

Last week, I posted a transcription of the will of Martin Miller, who lived in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. I just realized that I have never shared the family information for this couple, who have hundreds if not thousands of descendants.

Martin Miller was the son of Jacob Miller and probably his wife Sarah (MNU), who lived first in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, where Martin was born on 6 July 1785, and then soon after migrated to Botetourt County, Virginia, where Sarah died sometimes after 1800.

In Virginia, the family of John and Catherine (MNU) Whitmer, who had migrated from Frederick County, Maryland, lived near by. Both families were of German background.

On 13 June 1807, Martin apparently married a young lady named Polly Cressoe, daughter of Mathias Cressoe, so she was underage when she married. However, either a betrothal happened but no marriage or else Polly died very soon because on 8 January 1808, Martin Miller married Catherine Whitmer, daughter of John and Catherine from Maryland.

Martin’s father, Jacob, and his father-in-law, John, and he himself were all farmers. Land was getting expensive in Botetourt County and about 1812, the Millers and the Whitmers decided to migrate west. However, Martin’s father, step-mother and most of his siblings and half siblings all settled in Franklin County, Tennessee. Martin, for whatever reason, decided to travel with his extended family of in-laws to Muhlenberg County, Kentucky.

Martin must have like Kentucky, as he spent the rest of his life there, living in the German community with many friends and relatives. He died on 5 May 1863 and is buried at Old Shiloh Cemetery. His wife, Catherine, was born in Frederick County, Maryland on 10 September 1783 and predeceased her husband by 15 months, passing away on 21 February 1862. She is buried next to her husband at Old Shiloh Cemetery.

Martin and Catherine had a large family of eight children:

  1. John, born 18 May 1810, probably Botetourt County, Virginia; died after 1880, probably Muhlenberg County, Kentucky; married Celia Stewart, c1838. She was born c1821, Kentucky; died after 1880, probably Muhlenberg County, Kentucky.
  2. Jacob, born 2 November 1811, probably Botetourt County, Virginia; died after 1870, probably Muhlenberg County, Kentucky; married Lucinda Kittinger, 25 November 1833, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. She was born c1812, Virginia; died after 1870, probably Muhlenberg County, Kentucky.
  3. Sarah, born 27 February 1813, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky; died June 1881, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky; unmarried.
  4. Michael, born 20 February 1815, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky; died 24 October 1880, Hopkins County, Texas; married Elizabeth Hendricks, c1837, probably Simpson County, Kentucky. She was born 3 March 1818, probably Warren County, Kentucky; died 21 October 1875, Hopkins County, Texas.
  5. Rebecca, born 23 March 1816, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky; died 25 January 1896, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky; married John Phillips, 21 September 1859, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. He was born 19 February 1808, Virginia; died 30 January 1870, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky.
  6. David, born 10 November 1820, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky; died 8 April 1864, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky; married Martha Jane Hendricks, c1841, probably Simpson County, Kentucky. She was born 9 December 1821, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky; died 21 August 1886, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky
  7. Catherine, born 26 September 1822, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky; died c1848, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky; married Lewis Stewart, c1847. He was born c1825, Kentucky; died 25 August 1894, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky.
  8. Martin, born 24 April 1827, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky; died 23 January 1866, Hopkins County, Texas; married Bethany Kittinger, 24 October 1843, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. She was born c1824, Virginia; died 25 February 1915, probably Bell County or Milam County, Texas.

My husband’s line of descent is:

  1. Martin Miller
  2. Michael Miller
  3. Louisa Miller
  4. Minnie Mae Williams
  5. Pearl Lillian Brasher
  6. Edward Earl Stufflebean
  7. David Lee Stufflebean

Many of Martin’s and Catherine’s descendants still live in western Kentucky.  Please leave a comment if you are a cousin. 🙂

Henry Miller of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, 1788-1860+

Henry Miller of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky was the brother of Martin Miller of the same county. Both were sons of Revolutionary War soldier Jacob Miller, who died in Franklin County, Tennessee in 1832. Much more is known about Martin Miller, who left many descendants and a sizable number of written records.

Henry is much more of a mystery. Only one record before 1850 has been found that can conclusively be proven to pertain to this Henry Miller. In the probate records for his father, Jacob, there is a mention that in 1834, Henry was living in Warren County, Tennessee. Unfortunately, I have a lot of experience with Marion County and it had a massive loss of records in a 1922 fire.

There is a Henry Miller living in Franklin County in 1830, but he is only 20-29 years old.

There is also a February 1834 court record in Franklin County showing one Henry Miller being sued for debt. He requests protection under insolvency laws and a part of his declaration includes the statement that he has not sold or transferred property to avoid creditors since his imprisonment. There is no indication in the court record as to what the imprisonment was for or how long he was incarcerated. There is also no indication as to whether this record pertains to this Henry.

There many Henry Millers living in Tennessee and Kentucky by 1840, but none living near Franklin or Muhlenberg Counties. I have no idea where Henry was before 1850, except for the one mention in Warren County, Tennessee in 1834.

In 1850, Henry was settled in Muhlenberg County with wife Susannah and several children. The census taker ticked “married within the year” column for Martin D. and Adaline Miller. He was only 17, but no marriage record has been found, although they exist in this time period for Muhlenberg County. Was this a mistake? Note, too, that while Henry and Susanna say they were born in Virginia, all the younger members are enumerated with Kentucky as their place of birth.

Henry Miller had a land survey done on 17 December 1850 near Pond Creek in Muhlenberg County.

In 1860, we have yet another picture of this family. This time, Henry, Susannah, Emiline and Martin are enumerated as born in Maryland. Martin is only 24 years old in this census and Emeline is 27, so they aged 7 and 9 years, respectively, in a decade. Adaline is nowhere to be found, EXCEPT there is a marriage record for Adaline to William B. Doss on 9 September 1850 in Muhlenberg County. The 1850 census taker arrived at Henry’s home on 17 September 1850. I’m not sure why the newly married Mr. Doss isn’t in the same household as wife Adaline, but I think the census taker made a mistake and thought Martin and Adaline were married. Perhaps Adaline was visiting her family, not living there, but the census taker thought she did live there.

It seems likely that all of these children were born in Tennessee, not Maryland or Kentucky. Henry, himself, was probably born in Pennsylvania or Virginia.


i. Emeline, born 1831, Kentucky per the 1850 census, Maryland per the 1860 census and Tennessee per her marriage bond; married George A. Boothe, 8 August 1865, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky
ii. Adaline, born 28 Feb 1831, in Kentucky, per the 1850 census, but more likely in Tennessee; died 22 March 1888, Muhlenberg Co., KY; married William B. Doss, 9 September 1850, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky
iii. Martin D., born 1833, Kentucky or Tennessee; married Jane Forehand, 12 July 1863, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. I don’t know what happened to Martin Miller. There is a second man, a cousin, close to the same age, also named Martin D. Miller. He was the son of Jacob Miller and Lucinda Kittinger. That man married Eliza A. Jones. There is also a third Martin D. Miller married to Fanny Estes on 13 September 1866. This may be Henry’s son with a second marriage, but they aren’t found in 1870.
iv. Susanna, born 1836, TN; married Andrew M. Lewis, 18 February 1854, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. Susan was a widow in Muhlenberg County in 1900. Their gravestone shows Andrew’s birth date as 18 January 1825 and death date as 17 May 1900 so Susan, as she was then called, was a very recent widow on 7 June 1900, census day. Susan’s date of birth on the gravestone is 17 January 1835, but no death date has been inscribed. She likely died between 1910, when she was living with her son’s family, aged 75, and 1920, probably in Muhlenberg County.
v. Mary Eva, born 1838, Tennessee or Kentucky; married John W. Lewis, 24 December 1857, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. Mary apparently died sometime between 1865 and 1880, when her daughters Eliza, Mary and Susan, were living with their aunt and uncle, Andrew and Susan Lewis. John W. Lewis hasn’t been found after the 1860 census, so the girls appear to have been orphaned young.

Calling all cousins! If you are descended from Henry Miller and Susannah, through any of their children, please leave a comment.

The Case of the Missing Bible Collection

OK, how can an entire Bible collection go missing? To make matters worse, the 1736 family Bible of Johannes (John) Whitmer of Muhlenberg County, Kentucky is part of it.

To begin at the beginning, Christus Gardens opened in 1960 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It was a huge religious tourist attraction that presented Biblical scenes from the lifetime of Christ and was best know for its carrara marble face of Christ.

It also housed a large collection of Bibles that had been donated to them, mainly from Ohio and Kentucky.

Sometime after October 1971, the children of Philip and Anna Roth of Evansville, Indiana donated the Whitmer family Bible to Christus Gardens  in memory of their parents, who had died in 1948 and 1957, respectively.

John Whitmer’s family Bible was very large, over 1000 pages,  weighed 13 lbs and was quite ornate. The Bible was something of a showpiece at Christus Gardens because it was always housed in a glass display case for viewing.  It was in very good condition when I viewed it in the 1990’s. I have looked high and low for a photograph of it, but have found nothing. My husband thinks that no photos were allowed and that may be true. Our visit there was part of a three week vacation back east and I was already well addicted to genealogy. We have many other photos from that trip and there is no way I would have left without multiple photos of the Bible, if photography was allowed.

LAST MINUTE UPDATE: One Bible photo found:

Linda & Michael with Whitmer Bible
Christus Gardens Visit, circa summer 1997
with the Johannes Whitmer family Bible

Here is the problem that led to this mystery.  Christus Gardens closed in 2008. Its inventory was purchased by Trinity Broadcast Network, based in Santa Ana, California, packed up, hauled off and no one seems to know where the Bible collection is today.

Here is every bit of information I have about the Bible. First, there was a letter of inquiry back in 1991:

Next, the translation done in 1949:

Story of the Bible Ownership & Translation

Lastly, the closest thing I have to a photograph of the Bible, which is a photocopy of the inscription inside the Bible:

Johannes Whitmer’s Bible Inscription

A phone call to the Trinity Broadcast Network in California led to a directive to send them an email, which I did. To date, I have only received an automated response that the email had been received.

I am just sick over the idea that a Bible almost 300 years old may be gone.

There is a lesson to be learned here. If you have an item that you are thinking of donating somewhere, particularly if it is something valuable, think long and hard about to whom the donation will be made. Christus Gardens took good care of the Bible, but when they went out of business, they lost control of their holdings. I am hoping against hope that a religious broadcasting network like TBN has safely housed these Bibles.

Will this case be solved? Only time will tell.