Back to Robert Phillips story                 MORE ABOUT: ISAAC ROBERT MILLER JR.'S LAND

At the bottom of this page is a copy of an actual survey of Robert Miller Jr's Land on the Big Sewickley Creek.  The land  today is situated in Sewickley Township, Westmoreland County, PA.  Robert Miller appears to have purchased this land before 1773 but never recorded the Patent on the property.  During the French and Indian Wars, up until 1763, that whole area, which is today designated as Pennsylvania and Virginia, was under siege on a frequent basis from French troops and their Indians supporters fighting against British troops, American colonists and their Indian supporters.  All in a battle to claim ownership of this American frontier. See here a brief description of the French and Indian Wars which took place from 1689-1763


During the next intervening years (1763-1774) leading up to the Revolutionary War, various Indian tribes, who rightfully laid claim to the territory and who did not like the increasing encroachment of white settlers into Pennsylvania, waged violent attacks on small white settlements to discourage those incursions.  Also just before and during the Revolutionary War (1775-1783), British soldiers and tribal warriors (supplied and encouraged by the British), continued their raids on the colonists who were pouring into Westmoreland County as a newly established County Government was established in 1773.  Even after the war the Indians fought on with sporadic and deadly attacks.


The Millers, who first settled in the Big Cove Valley in Fulton Co, PA about 1754, did not escape the wrath of warring nations at the tail end of those French and Indian wars. Isaac Robert Miller and Agnes (Carswell) Miller's son Isaac Carswell Miller was kidnapped in 1755 and held captive for about 7 years. To explain the historical events of those years, I will turn to two noted Pennsylvania historians, George Donehoo and C. Hale Sipe.  Donehoo wrote the Introduction to Sipe's definitive book on the subject, "The Indian Wars of Pennsylvania".  Sipe's book accurately portrays the "Indian wars" during the years 1755-1795. William Penn's Treaty with the Delawares (referred to in the first paragraph below) was signed in 1701, but the ink was scarcely dry on the paper when those hungry for land and power began to seek ways to circumvent the treaty.

Below on the left is an excerpt from C. Hal Sipe's preface to his book.  I could not find this book in full text on the internet and had to borrow it as an Inter Library Loan at my local library.  It was worth the trouble because a printed ◄copy is rare indeed.

Isaac Robert Miller Jr. died in a local Indian attack in 1775 on his land located on the Big Sewickley Creek in Westmoreland Co., PA..  Between establishing a home with 10 children, and clearing land for farming and being in danger of Indian attack, he probably didn't have time to register his land patent and died before it was completed.  Also, court records show that his ownership of the land was in dispute before his death. This last may be the most compelling reason for not completing full title to the land.



From Robert Phillips' "Miller Family History": Isaac Robert Miller Jr. on 3 July 1772 filed a Caveat against the acceptance of any Survey of his tract practically by William Brown, Joseph Brownlee and John Campbell.  It appears that Robert Miller had laid out his tract before anyone else, but had not registered it by 1772.  The process of getting a patent for property in this frontier area during the early years was difficult.  This argument over the land appears to have led to an assault on Robert Miller by William Brown in 1773." 

It was not until April 10, 1787 that Isaac Carswell Miller, Robert's eldest son has the land that first belonged to his father surveyed. It looks to me that the land was being prepared for sale and that William Lindsay, Jr., whose father owned the land before selling the property to Robert Miller, has affixed his name to the property, perhaps to lend credibility that Robert Miller did indeed buy the land from his father William Lindsay, Sr. sometime before 1773.  Apparently the first application for a patent was April 3, 1769.  William Lindsay died while serving as a Sergeant in the Revolutionary war under Capt. James Carnahan. The information that Robert Miller's land had former ownership was discovered late last year on this website about the Lindsays/Lindseys.  Lindsey's in Westmoreland County   

Below see a colorized excerpt from ▼Patent Map Index 59 for South Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland Co., PA.  This Township lies directly south of the Big Sewickley Creek which divides it from Sewickley and Hempfield Townships.  The colored portions on the index show approximately who the original Land Patent owner's were.  Among the familiar names of Miller, Findley, Lindsey and Mercklin (there are various spelling of this name) are the names of William and James Martin.  These two men as boys were kidnapped in 1755 by Indians along with Isaac Miller and others from the Big Cove settlement in located in Fulton County, PA.  This is a very telling coincident.  You can read more about the Martins here from C. Hale Sipe's book,  The Indian Wars of Pennsylvania.
Lastly, below is the land that Isaac Robert Miller Jr. purchased from its original owner, William Lindsay.  It shows the parameters of the land when it was at last surveyed by Robert's son Isaac on April 10, 1787.  It appears that Isaac is preparing to sell the land to Caspar Markle on Feb 25, 1799 just before his death.  Isaac dies April 13, 1799.  There are many mysteries and stories yet to be discovered about this land and its owners.
Below are the two different "return" sides of the survey copies. I suppose it will take a lot more research and a lawyer that specializes in "Land " or "Property" law to figure out the meaning of these two documents.

If you have any corrections or additions to make

to these pages please contact me at: