THE NEW YORK YEARS
Boston Township records play a role in tracing the origins of Captain Abraham Miller. In the meetings of Boston Township several references appear that indicate Abraham and Samuel Miller worked together very closely. As mentioned before they both came to the Cuyahoga Valley before 1810. Samuel lived at what was then known as Miller's Corners, what is now the intersection of Olde Route 8 and State Route 303. According to the 1820 census, Samuel was of the same generation as Morris Pilgrim Miller. Samuel Miller also just happened to have been married in Tompkins County, New York, as had Morris, and Samuel was known to have come originally from Orange County, NY. Samuel was not a close relative. He was of Welsh descent from Ireland and his family arrived in Orange County early in the 18th century.
On checking the history of Orange County we discover that Lt. Abraham Miller first served under Captain Morris Pilgrim in the Orange County Militia, Col. David Burns' Regiment of Light Infantry, then later in General John Hawthorn's brigade as a captain.
At that time and in that place there were over a dozen and a half Miller
families with over 100 individuals. We can now identify five separate Miller
family founders in Monroe Township, Orange County, New York. A Johannes
Miller who came from the Palatinate in Germany, a Garrett Miller who came
from Morristown, New Jersey, a third group under Samuel Miller of Welsh
descent possibly from Connecticut, our Millers originally from Miller Place,
Suffolk County (Long Island), New York and the fifth group represented
by an Adam Miller, now known to be of Dutch descent, from New Amsterdam.
Monroe Township (Cheesecook Patent) historian Roger King is helping us sort that out along with the Orange County librarian, Sandra Decker. Sandra is a descendant of the Daniel Miller who had brothers John Lewis and Abraham Miller (his executor) as well as a son Abraham, but the son of Daniel named Abraham appears to be too young to have fathered Aaron (P?) Miller, the oldest son of Captain Abraham Miller, and that Abraham, the son of Daniel, lived and died in upstate New York in the Finger Lakes region. The first actual key was Captain Abraham's military record, which included service as a lieutenant under Captain Morris Pilgrim.
An Abraham Miller shows up in Orange County in the census of 1790 and 1800, as does "Maurice" Pilgrim and an Aaron Miller. There is a reference from the Seneca Falls Historical Society that refers to Goshen, Orange County, records listing an Abraham Miller and his wife Mary as selling their lands in Orange County, New York, Deed H 397 and H 399 to George Fowler in 1802 and Deed J-114 to Samuel Lewis in 1805. A copy of H 397 follows:
Abraham was commissioned a Captain in the Orange County Militia. The captain's uniform was prescribed in the regulations of 1779. For New York and New Jersey the coat was dark blue with buff facings and a white lining. The waist coat and coveralls were white. The epaulettes on the shoulder were silver as were the buttons. The buttons had an NY for the state of the militia. On his cocked hat he would have worn a black and white cockade ordered in 1780 by General Washington in honor of the relationship with France. The espontoon or spear was carried by all company officers and sergeants in addition to their sword. The silver gorget officer's insignia around the neck was popular in most European armies of the period.
The records of Monroe Township, Orange County, New York include the name of a John Lewis that married a Mary Pilgrim (the daughter of Morris Pilgrim), but this may just be coincidence. The given family name selection of the Millers of Long Island and Scotch Plains New Jersey typically include the names of John, Lewis, Aaron, William, Harvey, Moses, and Daniel. Both Daniel and Abraham's descendents select the name John Lewis (Miller) for their children. This particular combination of first and middle names is fairly unique to the family line.
In the 1790's the Presbyterian church in Monroe Township, Orange County, NY, was founded by an Aaron Miller and a Morris Pilgrim. At that time Aaron, the son of Captain Abraham and the brother of Morris, would have been about 10 to 12 years old, so it is very unlikely that it would be that Aaron.
The land was donated for that church by a Daniel Miller, who may be the same Daniel whose property at Lake Mombasha, Cheesecook Patent (Monroe), became the property of Captain Abraham Miller within four years of the death of Daniel. Abraham Miller was co-executor of his brother Daniel's will in 1799.
The Orange County Historian lists a brother of Abraham and Daniel as a John Lewis Miller. A possible candidate for the father of Abraham, Daniel, John Lewis, and Aaron was a William Miller Jr., who was an early founder of the Monroe Township (Lower Smith's Clove) Presbyterian church with Aaron and Morris Pilgrim. A William Miller Sr. of Westfield, New Jersey, married a second time to a Valentine from Stony Hill, New Jersey. The Valentines came to Bath with the Millers and settled on an adjoining farm in Granger Township. The Millers and the Valentines called their settlement in Bath "Stony Hill."
The children of Daniel Miller and his wife Soviah were Zebud, Abraham, John Lewis, Daniel Jr., Phillip, Israel, Mary, Sally, Phoebe, Elizabeth, William, and Anthony. The use of the name "John Lewis" also shows up again in our Miller line as the son of Morris Pilgrim Miller, which probably honors a common ancestor, or uncles John and Lewis Miller.
The Abraham Miller, 1770 - 1834, who was the son of Daniel Miller would have had to have been 13 or younger to be the father of Isaac H. Miller of our family line, and even younger to sire Aaron. The given names of that family match Morris P. Miller's children's given names, which implies a close kinship. It is also of side interest that Daniel Miller owned a farm in the Finger Lakes country in upstate New York that was in what was then Ovid Township, Tompkins County, New York. Tompkins County was where Morris Pilgrim Miller and Hettie were married.
Note also that there were no fewer than three Captain Abraham Millers in the New York Counties of Orange, Dutchess - Putnam (Putnam was established from Dutchess County), and Westchester at the time, and more than one Daniel Miller. It is hoped the discovery of the records of the Pilgrim and Miller families of 1750 to 1800 for Monroe Township will shed some light on this. One Daniel Miller happens to be buried in the "Helm(e) graveyard," which may explain the middle initial "H" in Isaac's name should that have been Isaac's grandmother's maiden name. The Millers lived in an area known as Helmsburgh in Monroe Township.
Our Captain Abraham Miller was probably born between 1759 and 1762. Oral history from Monroe Township has Abraham Miller and his brothers Daniel, John Lewis and probably Aaron Miller coming from the descendants of the Millers of Seatauket, Suffolk County, Long Island, NY. Court records of Suffolk County show an Andrew Miller, and wife Rabecca, alive in 1670 living on the Isle of Wight, Long Island. On the Long Island Sound about half way along Long Island near Seatauket is a village named "Miller Place." The Miller Place historian said the Woodhull, Helms and Miller families left for New York together, others went to New Jersey, and some remained on Long Island.
There is a Daniel Miller in the Helm(e) graveyard, but the date of birth is more like the son of the Daniel Miller that died in 1799 for whom Captain Abraham Miller was the executor. That cannot be the Daniel Miller mentioned in the same reference with the Adam Miller as an early settler of Monroe around 1740. The early settler Daniel could have been the father of Daniel and Captain Abraham.
Orange county land records page A-79 includes an Indenture for a "Jonathan Owen of Brookhaven in the county of Suffolk in ye colony of New York - planter, together with a Daniel Miller of Easthampton on the Island of Nassau in ye collony of New York - yeoman, on the 6th day of November Ano Dni 1712, Johanes Burger conveyed his seventh part of a certain tract of land called and known by the name of Sicopes situate lying and being in the County of Orange, that Johanes Burger had acquired by patent in the year 1707." To acquire land in 1712, that Daniel Miller of Easthampton could have been the grandfather of Daniel, Abraham, John Lewis and Aaron. In another entry, (C-24) an Andrew Miller (Seatauket?) acquired lands in 1742, witnessed by Owen.
One of the historians of Seamansville (Monroe Township, New York), an Elizabeth Horton, places the immediate origin of Abraham and his brothers in Morristown, New Jersey. She names the father of Daniel, Abraham, (Aaron) and John Lewis as Daniel, and his mother as a Helme. No trace of the combination of Helme or Woodhull families appear in that New Jersey area, but at least one Miller branch known to be in the area did use many of the given names of the Captain Abraham Miller family and those of his siblings.
The research in Morristown was disappointing as almost no records survive in that town prior to the War of Revolution. There is a central road in that town named Miller Road, but it turns out that the road was so named in this century. If the families did pass through that area of New Jersey, the stay was not long enough to leave any vistages of their passing through.
From History of Orange County New York, compiled by Ruttenber and Clark there is an interesting description of a road made by a local surveyor in October of 1799. It recites the land of Captain Abraham Miller was formerly owned by Daniel Miller. It might be the land that was cited in the will of Daniel Miller, the brother of Captain Abraham, in that Daniel's 1799 will. That will stated Daniel's land went to his son, and not Captain Abraham Miller. The land cited in the surveyor's metes and bounds description was in an area known locally as Helmsburgh.
The more likely scenario is that Captain Abraham received the land from his father Daniel. If it is true that Captain Abraham's mother was a Helme, the location in Helms-burgh of the road description would not be just a coincidence. Note also the reference to the farm of Vincent Compton. Sally Miller first married a Compton, and a Vincent Compton shows up as an early settler in Bath Ohio.
Morristown, New Jersey, was founded in 1740 and lies on the great Minisik Indian Trail that runs from Elizabeth, New Jersey, to the Delaware Gap. That may place Abraham there at the time of his marriage. The local Native Americans were of the Minsi (Munsee or "Monsey" as pronounced with emphasis on "mon") Lenape, meaning the "people of the stony country, or the stoney hill country." Lenape is enunciated by placing emphasis on the "a."
It is of interest to note that Elizabeth, New Jersey, was the hub of several major Native American trails. These trails led to Scotch Plains, Helmsburgh in Monroe (then Cheescook Patent or Smyth's Clove), and to Goshan, both in Orange County, New York, and to Morristown. In the early part of the 1700's, roads were very rare and the early pioneers followed the long established Native American trails. Later highways were built along these same pathways. If in fact Abraham met Mary along the Great Minisik Trail in Morristown, she would in all probability have been of the Monsi Lenape family group of the Lenni Lenape of the Algonquin Federation.
It was the custom among Native Americans that when a maiden had reached the age when it was theappropriate time for her to marry, she would fashion a flat amulet to be worn in the hair. This device would indicate that she was prepared to marry and to raise a family. Such an amulet was part of the extensive collection of Native American artifacts that was in the collection of James W. Black Sr. That collection was divided Hair Piece Amulet into five parts, one for each family. The amulet is now in the collection of Kevin Scott Titmas, my oldest son. There is every possibility that it may be the one worn by Mary and handed down through the generations from Morris, to William, to Ralsamond, to Ida, and then to Ida's son, James Black. The picture on the right on page 22 is that of the late Nora Thompson Dean, one of the very last of the full-blooded Lenape Native Americans.While it is hardly scientific, I was struck by Nora's physical resemblance to the picture believed to be that of Sally Miller, the picture on the left on page 20. Most of the Lenape (also called the Delaware) group of Native Americans did not survive. These included the Mohicans and the Lenape of New Jersey and southern New York State. It was an unfortunate custom of certain Americans to give to the natives unclean blankets and clothing that had been worn by persons who had died of diseases such as cholera or typhoid. Today some descendants survive in a few counties in New Jersey, Oklahoma, Kansas and Wisconsin. Most of the Munsee or Minsi Lenape families had moved from New Jersey -- some north to Munsee, Ontario, and some west to Ohio. One camp, whose exact location has vanished from memory, was on the Cuyahoga River north of the Miller homestead.
It will be almost impossible to trace the pedigree of Mary Miller, the wife of Captain Abraham Miller. Only the customs of her people may endure which include the care of those who have become ill such as Jonathan Hale, their love of the land, and their appreciation of the balance of nature. There were no orphans among the Native Americans. Children without parents and even in-laws were readily adopted and fully accepted as full members of the family. That also fits with their tradition of choosing a spouse. A member of the Turtle clan could not select a spouse from his own clan and would have to choose from another clan, such as the Wolf clan, or even a white person. Nonetheless, such a person would become family in every sense of the word. If a pioneer was going to travel in native lands, a Native American wife might ensure his survival.
The picture above, believed to be Sally Miller, might also be a picture of Lena Fryman's mother, Harriet L. (Fryman) Miller, but the dates are not consistent with the use of making pictures on a metal sheet. Harriet was the daughter of Morris Pilgrim Miller. Lena Fryman was the family historian that provided the research base for the family studies of my grandfather James W. Black. Lena passed away in 1937. Lena does bear some resemblance to the Sally Miller photo above. The photo of Sally was a metal plate, a sort of asphalt bitumen, too early in photographic technology for a person of the apparent age in the photo to be the mother of Lena Fryman. Harriet (Fryman) Miller was the age in the photo in 1888, well beyond the date of the use of even a tintype. The high cheekbone appearance, typical of Native Americans, also shows up in Morris Miller and his son William.
In Lenape culture, the farm crops belonged to the mother. When Mary died she left her farm to her daughter Sally, and not to her older sons. The land itself "belonged" to no one.
Among the Lenape, Clan rank and inheritance came down through the mother's lineage. The Lenape were also influential in the guidance given to our founding fathers which included the Lena Fryman Lenape practice of democratic principles such as the right of each person to speak in the clan or family circle.
From New York records it seems that Aaron and Isaac Miller were probably born to Mary before the military service of Captain Abraham Miller. Abraham entered service after the most intense fighting and during a period when the states were bracing for an anticipated British attempt to regain control. Note also that the state of New York paid "Land Bounty Rights" to encourage enlistment in the latter years of the Revolutionary War, several hundred acres to an officer, consistent with the time of the service record of Captain Abraham Miller. The History of Tompkins County lists a Lot 50 of the 28 townships' "Military Tract" as being assigned to Abraham Miller. We cannot confirm that as our Abraham Miller, but it does appear to be in "Oved" (Ovid) Township.
With a birth date for Isaac of 1784 and for Aaron of 1778 to 1782 we should assume the possible date of birth of Abraham as 1756 to 1762. Abraham was believed to be in his late fifties in 1813 when the final entry was made in Jonathan Hale's ledger. This would also make sense because teenagers were not made officers in Revolutionary War commands -- an ensign maybe, but never a captain. Officer commissions went to men of property, community presence, political ties, and rather often, immediate family or in-law patronage.
The officer commissions for Captain Abraham Miller and his younger brother Ensign Aaron Miller could be explained by their heritage. Even though the Millers were not military people, the mother of Abraham and Aaron (also Daniel and John Lewis who may have been too old to serve) was Charity Helme. Her mother was Dorathy Woodhull. Dorathy Woodhull was the sister of General Nathaniel Woodhull of Long Island. Nathaniel was also the President of the New York State congressional delegation. He was captured by the British on Long Island and was executed after a lengthy effort by the British to force him to pledge his allegiance to the King. Dorathy Woodhull was also the sister of Col. Jesse Woodhull, commander of a regiment of the Orange County Militia. Ensign Aaron Miller served under Col. Jesse Woodhull. The Woodhull family is buried in Great Court, the Fletcher - Woodhull Cemetery, in the town of Blooming Grove in Orange County, New York.
In the History of Seneca County, New York, 1876,Captain Isaac Miller from Orange County, New York, is listed as an early settler in the vicinity of Lodi on lot 56, which may have been in Tompkins County when he arrived. In that same reference Isaac Miller and his wife, Anna, donated land for the founding of the second Methodist church of Lodi in October of 1831. There is a high probability that this Isaac is the son of Captain Abraham Miller and the older brother of Morris Pilgrim Miller. No other Isaac Millers of Orange County were known for that time period, and military rank can run in families.
Lodi Township appears to have been formed from Ovid Township and Lodi was the location of the lot 54 property named in the 1799 will of Daniel Miller (Abraham Miller, executor) in Monroe Township, Orange County, New York. Lots 54 and 56 are on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake.
Roger King of Monroe Township, Orange County, New York, reported that he had an Abraham Miller in a local cemetery with the tombstone inscription "Died 14 days from California," 181-. According to Virginia Martin there is a family story that Abraham "abandoned the family." If he were traveling on foot 14 days would be about 200 miles, if on horseback about 400 miles from California. If he had gone by ship, it would have been at the isthmus of Panama. It was not that rare to transport the deceased "home" and for that purpose bodies were treated with arsenic. There is no specific trail of information that this may be our Captain Abraham Miller. That is an incredibly early date for a passage to California, but not unknown.
Regarding the "by ship" possibility, the Millers of Long Island were whalers and a Captain Sylvester Miller had gone around Cape Horn on his 300-ton vessel before 1826. A dozen Millers and Piersons were listed as whalers, including two Abraham Millers, father and son, but probably neither our Captain Abraham.
As noted in the Ohio chronicles, the will of Morris Pilgrim Miller was written in 1848 and witnessed by Joshua and Thomas Piersons of Calaveras County, California. The Pierson and Miller family associations begin in Lynn Massachusetts, then to Long Island, then New Jersey and then New York, and then to Ghent, Ohio in Bath Township. The Piersons went to California, and then back to Ghent. They may have been cousins, as the Miller (John) founder in the Americas wife's name was Pierson.
Nina Stanford, a descendant of the first white settler in Boston Township, believes Abraham and an Aaron Miller first arrived in the Cuyahoga Valley in 1803. Her ancestor went to California about the time of the construction of the canal in the Cuyahoga Valley, Ohio. He went by ship by way of Panama and returned to Bath Ohio by that route. Several letters now in the possession of Nina Stanton reflect the hardships of the Panama crossing.
The history of several of the earliest settlers of Bath likewise rests in New York State with particular interest in Ontario County. The Samuel, Morris, and Aaron Miller families were there. Samuel Crosby and his family came from Bristol Township, Ontario County, as did his wife, Polly, daughter of Abijah Spencer of Bristol Township. Polly's brother Camma Spencer was in Bristol Township and came to Bath or Granger Township. Samuel's father, Samuel Crosby, was the fifer of the Dutchess County Militia under Col. Rosewell Hopkins. Rosewell Hopkins witnessed Samuel's will in Bristol. Lt. Joshua Crosby, father of Samuel, married Lydia Hopkins. The Rev. Moody of Maine was also related to the Crosbys and an early settler in Bath. There are several Hopkins family members interred at the Miller Stoney Hill Cemetery. All of these families are prominent in Bath history, and their history is a personal venture through the earliest history of the United States of America.
The Crosby families (Louisa Electa Crosby married William H. [Harvey] Miller, the son of Morris Pilgrim Miller) are linked and include a pedigree that goes back to Elder Brewster, Stephen Hopkins, James and Mary Chilton, all of the Mayflower, and a host of Revolutionary War veterans including not only those listed above but also Lt. Thomas Bill, an ensign at the battle of Bunker Hill and the grandfather of Polly Spencer, the mother of Louisa E. Crosby. Jacob Hershey, grandson of Christian Hershey of the Lancaster County, PA, militia, came to live in Bath.
The Ontario County, New York, families certainly knew each other before coming to Ohio. It is of historical note that a great deal of the intense fighting of the Revolution took place in southern New York. Note also that West Point was of critical importance and is on the Hudson River in Orange County, with Dutchess and Putnam counties on the east side of the Hudson, because the British held Ticonderoga and New York City. Given the intensity of patriotic feelings and the aura of suspicion as to who could and could not be trusted, along with the deliberate destruction of family records that occurred throughout the Revolutionary War years, it is logical to surmise that the families of veterans would gravitate to each other and stay together.
There are two candidates for the grandfather of Captain Abraham Miller including a Daniel and a John Miller. In Captain Abraham's generation, Daniel, John Lewis Miller, and captain Abraham Miller of Monroe, I believe, were brothers, and born in that order. There is a probable other brother Aaron, who served as an ensign under Colonel Jesse Woodhull's regiment, Orange County Militia. Noting the rank and a junior officer to Abraham, that would make Aaron a younger brother. This is very possibly the same Aaron Miller that co-founded the Presbyterian Church in Monroe with Morris Pilgrim. There were no other Aaron Millers listed in the Orange county census. The Aaron's, the sons of Captain Abraham and Daniel Miller respectively, would be too young to be a head of family or be a founder of a church, or an ensign in 1790. Captain Abraham's Pedigree Chart Aaron, the brother of Abraham, could be the brother Jonathan Hale referred to in Jonathan's chronicles. That could lend credence to the "two Aaron Millers" theory. One Aaron in Bath Township and one in Boston Township.
THE FOUNDING FAMILY
The descendents of John and Mary Myllar (1), of the Hamptons, Long Island,
1643, include dozens of families, but the one line John (2), John (3),
and John (4) includes the given names of Aaron, Daniel, William, Elizabeth,
which is fairly unique to John (4). Our Millers of Orange County may have
come from directly from Long Island, or from Long Island via New Jersey.
John(4) and William Miller founded Westfield and Scotch Plains. The immigrant
founder, John Myllar the family founder in America, would be the same.
The fifth generation of the John Miller line would also be of the correct
age to be candidates for being the grandfather of Capt Abraham.
In the John Littell book, Genealogies of the First Settlers of Passaic Valley, John (4) and William Miller are founders of Westfield, New Jersey. Margaret Gass from Miller Place, Long Island, reported that John also had a son Daniel, born circa 1705, who is not in the Westfield records. John (4) (the Westfield co-founder) apparently stayed in Long Island. That Daniel might be the early settler of Orange County listed along with the Adam Miller. I do not think that Daniel of the will Abraham witnessed would have been around or of note in 1740, the date of "early settlers." That Daniel could have been married between 1725 and 1745, and could be the father of Daniel, John Lewis, Captain Abraham Miller and Aaron.
The children of Enoch, eldest son of John, the Westfield (Scotch Plains, a.k.a. Menkokameke) founder, and his son Elder Enoch, had names including Lewis, Sally, Moses, and Charity, to name a few, and reads like the list of Abraham's children, nephews, nieces, and grandchildren. Enoch also lived in Elizabeth, the same town where Hettie Brown Looker, Morris Pilgrim Miller's wife Hettie, was born.The land route between Westfield (a.k.a. Scotch Plains) and Monroe is direct, about 40 miles, and without any natural mountain or river barriers which was typical of Native American trails. Enoch was a Presbyterian Church elder and born in Westfield. This same line also produced Elder Moses Miller of the New Providence Presbyterian Church who lived in Union Village, just east of Westfield. These are both very close to Morristown and on Native American trails.
In another curious historical footnote, William, son of William the Westfield founder, married the widow of Richard Valentine. William's nephew from John's line married one of the Valentine daughters. The very early Valentine homestead in Granger Township, Medina Ohio, adjoins or nearly adjoins the farms of Morris Pilgrim and Sally Miller at Ston(e)y Hill, Bath, Ohio. The Valentine homestead in New Jersey was called Stony Hill.
There is another, but remote possibility, from the Millers of Long Island. An Abraham (5) of that line was born in January of 1742, the son of Eleazer Miller (4), 1697-1788, and Mary Burnette, the daughter of Captain Mathius. That Abraham might be Captain Abraham himself, which would have made Abraham 71 at the probable date of death in 1813. Unfortunately, that Abraham has no brothers or uncles named Daniel or John Lewis, and the birth date of 1742 is too late to be Abraham's father, and too early to be Captain Abraham himself.
A possible line is the father Daniel Miller (about 1730 - circa 1780), his father John A. Miller (1706 - 1791). The wife of that Daniel was Patience Paine who died in 1791. John's father was Daniel Miller born circa 1675 on Long Island, his father in turn was John Miller (1653 - 1738), wife Elizabeth. His father was John Miller who died in 1685, and had a wife named Mary. This line is clouded as Daniel, the potential father of Captain Abraham would have to be born before 1722 to be the father of Daniel of Monroe who was born in 1741. Daniel, the son of John A. Miller, was born about 1730. A Daniel Miller of Easthampton Long Island, bought land in Orange County New York in 1712. An Andrew Miller bought land in Orange County New York in 1724.
There is yet another possibility that has significant merit. Andrew Miller, son of John Myllar the founder, was himself the founder of Miller's Place Long Island. Miller's place was a village adjoining Seatauket which was the home of the Helme and Woodhull families that went to Orange County New York. Andrew's children and grandchildren are all accounted for except a son John Miller that "died at the age of 28". Nothing has yet been found of a marriage or children for that John, but 28 is certainly old enough to have started a family.
Andrew's father was John Myllar (1) the immigrant founder from Scotland (before 1610 - circa 1658). Andrew's mother was believed to be Mary Pierson, who first came to America in about 1643 first to Lynn Massachusetts, and then to East Hampton, (Maidstone) Long Island, New York.
From the notes of Elizabeth Horton of Orange County, Daniel was the father of Daniel Miller, John Lewis miller, Abraham Miller and (Aaron) and Daniel's wife was a Helme. From the notes of Margaret Gass, two sons of Thomas Helme left Long Island with their families for Orange County New York. They were William, born 1693, and Anselme Helme born 1705. Anselme had two sons and one daughter Mary who married a William Jayne. William Helme had four sons. The sons of both of these Helme families show up in the Revolutionary records of Monroe and Orange County. William Helme also had two daughters, named Clarissa and Charity.
That leaves two choices for Abraham's mother, Clarrisa or Charity Helme. As the name Charity shows up prominently in the descendents of Abraham and his brother Daniel, I have elected to pencil in Charity Helme as the mother of Captain Abraham Miller. This is not a proof as yet, but a possibility, perhaps even a strong probability. Another remote possibility is that the coffin sold to an Aaron Miller by Jonathan Hale, might have been for Captain Abraham's and Aaron's mother, and not a daughter.
There were four different spellings that occurred in Orange County records including Helm, Helme, Helmd and Helms. Helme is believed to be the correct spelling. There are only a few barely readable stones left in the Helm-Ball 18th century cemetery just south of Lake Mombasha, Monroe Township, New York. One is a Daniel Miller, but the typed record of the monument readings places his Birth as 1780, not 1680.
From Miller Place, Long Island, records, in 1715 this William Helme married Dorathy Woodhull born 1695. The Woodhull's are likewise prominent in Orange County affairs. Captain Richard Woodhull served in the same Orange County Regiment as Captain Abraham Miller.
If this Ensign Aaron Miller was Abraham's younger brother, and a teenager in the later years of the revolution, he could have been less than 44 years old in 1810. Aaron, the oldest son of Abraham would have been no more than 32 years old in 1810. Such an age difference, coupled with a possible family resemblance, may account for the disparity and confusion in the Ohio records from the Hale Homestead over Aaron, the brother, verses Aaron, the son.
This is of interest because military rank was a matter of politics and patronage. It was always a mystery to me how Abraham, and possibly a brother Aaron, would become officers when they came from the Miller family that had no military background of note, except for one Timothy Miller which was a distant cousin.
The Millers were primarily listed as being printers, farmers or whalers. Daniel, Abraham's nephew, was a printer. Clearly occupational choices followed family lines. Our family ancestors that came on the Mayflower were engineers or "surveyors of highways". No less than eight family intermarriages followed that occupational "station" in life. Family occupations are often a clue to inheritance like given names.
Aaron Miller, the son of Captain Abraham, married into the Point family who were tanners and shoemakers. Aaron Miller of Boston Township traded shoes as barter with Jonathan Hale. The family of John Myllar from Scotland were printers. The Woodhull and the Fordhams (Dorathy's mother was Temperance Fordham) were military families. That lineage for Dorathy differs from references of Long Island Wills, which states Temperance was a Topping, the daughter of James Topping, and not a Fordham.
The rank of general for Nathaniel Woodhull is interesting as it would denote the Woodhulls were a family of considerable stature. That in fact is the case as that family in England was descendent from the Neville's and Scottish royalty. The De Wodhuls came to England with William the Conquerer.
The first Miller (spelled Myllar in early Long Island records) was a John Myllar who came to Lynne, Massachusetts, in 1643. That John and his wife Mary with their children came to America from Craig Myllar in Scotland. There is another story that they came from Maidstone, England, by Kent.
It is unlikely that John and William would have called their settlement in New Jersey "Scotch Plains" if they had been English. The Maidstone tie is more likely to derive from the original founders of East Hampton in the year 1633, ten years before John Myllar came to settle on Long Island.
Castle Craig Myllar is just three miles east of downtown Edinburgh near the Firth of forth on the lands of the Preston clan. Andrew with brothers John and George Miller, was born in Scotland. It was George, John and Andrew's father John (Myllar) Miller, whose wife was named Mary, who brought this particular Miller family line to America.
The Myllars soon left Massachusetts and settled in Long Island, New York. Several of their descendants are listed as printers by occupation. A patent for a printing press was issued in 1507 to Walter Chepman and Andrew Myllar of Edinburgh. The reproduction below is a page from that printing press. The reading is difficult and one must appreciate that the English language has changed over the last 500 years. This page is an excerpt from Chaucer printed in Edinburgh Scotland about the time that Andrew Myllar lived in Edinburgh. Records have been requested from Scotland naming the members of the printing guild from the time of Andrew Myllar down to John Myllar the founding father of the American Myllars. It is hoped such a listing might provide the linkage between Andrew and John.
From my grandchildren Ryan James, Zachary Robert and Reese Edmund, sons of Kevin Scott Titmas and Jennifer Ashe, and Jessica Marie the daughter of Kimberly Sue Titmas and Kevin Brind, and the birth of Katelyn Grace the daughter of Kurt Titmas and Michelle Collins, there are 16 generations of Miller descendent families living in America. Taking the entire pedigree of my grandchildren, it would represent the story of over 32,000 families. Their stories may never be known. This Miller American story is only one small piece of family history.
I wish to acknowledge the assistance of Melissa Arnold, able researcher for Hale Homestead and Village; the Peninsula Public Library historian; the Akron Summit County Public Library Genealogical Department; Jim Caccamo, the Hudson Library historian; the historian Roger King of Monroe Township, Orange County, as well as the Orange County Librarian Sandra Decker (a descendant of Daniel Miller, the brother of Captain Abraham) of New York; Margaret D. Gass of Miller Place, Long Island, New York; Elizabeth Fuller of the Westchester County, NY Historical Society; the Western Reserve Historical Society; Ed Stein; Virginia Martin; Nina Stanton; and the able editorial skills of my cousin Becky Sue (Schaal) Tompkins. This ongoing work is dedicated to my grandfather, James W. Black, and my mother, Clara (Black) (Titmas) Alexander.
James A. Titmas
04 December 2001