About the year 1705, John Harris, Sr., built this log house on the east bank of the ► Susquehanna where now stands Harrisburg, the capital city of the Pennsylvania. The descendents of Harris were instrumental in building that city.   This building later became Fort Harris.

 

The information about the Harris log house I found on the:

REPORT OF THE COMMISSION TO LOCATE THE SITE OF THE FRONTIER FORTS OF PENNSYLVANIA. Volume I, Clarence M. Busch, State Printer of Pennsylvania, 1896. 

        The reader can find this book online.

 

I can imagine that Samuel Miller in his migration west  across PA might have actually seen the Harris Blockhouse. It was located on one of the main trails crossing the Susquehanna river into Cumberland County where  members of the Miller family found their way to their first real settlement in (now) Fulton County, PA in an area they called Ayrshire, (Now) Ayr Township.  M.M.H.

 After reading several historic descriptions, the log house shown on the right below is how I picture the log block house of Samuel Miller. His log house would have been surrounded by smaller cabins where I imagine members of his family took up residence when they first immigrated, following him, to Westmoreland Co.

Back to Miller Family Page                        Back to Gideon, Samuel and Robert                   New Information Samuel and Robert Miller

 

Captain Samuel Miller (Revolutionary War Hero) and the story of Hannastown, PA

 The following excepts below are from Old and New Westmoreland by John Newton Boucher, a much respected historian of southwestern Pennsylvania. This book was published by the American Historical Society, NY in 1918I have every reason to believe that Samuel Miler and the two sons of Robert Miller, Isaac and Silas (his nephews?) joined or followed this regiment east to New Jersey.  We have historical records that specifically prove Isaac was a Pvt. with the 8th Regt. from January 1777 until August 1780. 
It is well known that the soldiers in the Revolutionary War were not as regimented as are military units today.  Often battle units were divided up and sent where they were needed most.  Men often temporarily deserted to go home and help their families through hardships, or plant their spring crops. Often ill-fed and poorly-clothed soldiers, who were not paid on any regular basis, "deserted" unceremoniously to find shelter, sustenance and a change of clothing only to return to duty just as unceremoniously. 
  

 

 

 

These excerpts below are from Chapter XVII of Boucher's Book.

July 1775 - Nov. 1776. THE WAR: The dark red lines indicate where I have cut text from the original narrative.
Lt Col. George Wilson, officer in charge of the 8th Regt. at "Kitanian" (Kittanning), upon receiving his orders to move the regiment to New Jersey writes: "We have issued ye Necesery orders and appointed ye owt Parties to Rendevou at Hanows Town (Hannastown) ye 15 instant, and to March Emeditly from there. " 

It should be reported here that the total number of "Captains" on  June 9, 1777, was 10 and the total number of "rank and file" was 648.  Continuing from page 292, (by Boucher) we learn that the 8th Regt. served in many battles and skirmishes on the Eastern front of the Revolutionary War, but the battle in Western Pennsylvania Front grew fierce and bloody between the thinly protected settlers and the Indians supported and armed by the British.  Many horrific killings and atrocities were committed by both sides. 

The next description is from C. Hale Sipe from his History of Fort Ligonier.

I think the best way to tell the story of Captain Samuel Miller, Miller's Block House, and the "rise and fall" of Hannastown, PA, is to start off with map.  When you travel to Greensburg, presently the county seat of Westmoreland County, PA, and ask about tourist attractions you will be directed to visit Hannastown, (click here to see History of Hannastown) the original county seat. Hannastown (about 2˝ to 3 miles from Greensburg) was, of course, founded by the wily Robert Hanna.  It is a great place to visit and if you are in the area be sure to stop by.   The map below was drawn in 1895 by John B. Steel (A descendent of the Steel family who owned Robert Hanna's property after Hanna's death.) Hannastown is in the middle of the map with the fort there indicated by a red square. Miller's Blockhouse is at the bottom of the map which in 1895 was next to the Pennsylvania Rail Road about 2˝ miles south of Hannastown.  Rail service did not come to western Pennsylvania until the 1850s. So, the land ownerships shown on the map probably are those in 1895. Miller's blockhouse came to be known as Miller's Station only when the railroad stopped there more than 100 years later.

Click here to see the same Indian attack route taken in 1882 superimposed on a modern day Arial Map of Westmoreland County. The former boundaries of Samuel Miller's land still can be seen on this 1987 map of Hempfield Twp.

 

At the left is a physical description of Hannastown before it was destroyed in 1782. The "highway" mentioned in the narrative is Forbes Road which is shown on the map.  The writer also describes a bit about the lifestyle of the settlers and their system of law and justice.
Below is one of many descriptions of the Miller's  Blockhouse property. This one is written by George Dallas Albert in his account the History of the County of Westmoreland PA., page 140, Pub. 1882. The "village" mentioned is Hannastown. "Mansion" is not probably how we would describe this house today but was more like a larger than average log house..

Here I begin a chronological timetable of what we know about Samuel Miller (Captain).  I have come to believe that Samuel may have been our ancestor's (Robert Miller) younger brother.  Here I refer to another newly discovered descendent and "cousin" of the Miller family, Robert Phillips who in turn wrote his research about the Miller family based on  the supporting data  "from William Boyd Duff's book  The Forefathers and Families of Certain Settlers in Western Pennsylvania and searches on the Internet", which "has allowed a history to be put together". Mr. Duff is a direct descendent of Robert Miller through his son Isaac Miller.  Robert Phillips has performed years and years of researching and documenting Miller and Duff history.  (For a more complete history of the Miller family by Robert Phillips, see this page.)

1769?-1773 A.D. Here, from Robert Phillips, we find some clues leading to the theory that Robert and Samuel Miller may have been brothers.

"Robert Miller may first have moved to Hannastown area before settling on his three hundred acres. (On the Big Sewickley Creek) The other possibility is that this land is part of Miller’s Station or Miller’s Blockhouse as it also is known.  It was built by Samuel Miller who had settled near Hannastown by at least 1774, but it could have been earlier.  This was the family home of Samuel Miller before he was killed.  It appears to have been expanded with cabins as sort of a local meeting place and support center.  In the 1770s it was never more than just “Miller’s Place” where people had meetings.  The term “fort” was applied by an Army officer is his report, but there was never a fort there.  The name Miller’s Station appears to have come from the fact that the property is crossed by the railroad and became a local stop for trains, but this was many years later.  People in the 1800s used that name in identifying the location.  An 1872 map showing the track of the Indian attack produced by John B. Steel in 1895 locates “Miller’s Place” about two miles south of Hannastown and about one mile east of the center of what is now Greensburg. ( See this map above ▲) It now is on the north side of the railroad.  On an 1857 map it appears as owned by Mrs. Miller, but by 1872 the property is owned by William Russell (Who is the son-in-law of Samuel and Jane Luckey Miller)  Robert Miller may have owned one of the cabins there. 

From reading separate stories about the Indian attack on Miller's Blockhouse on that fateful day in 1782 I have gleaned the names of two of his children, a daughter "Dorcas" who was 8 years old at the time and her little brother "Issac"  (no age given) who were named as "captured." See here new information gleaned on a trip to Greensburg, PA, in June 2009.

 

There is some thought that Samuel and Robert were brothers who had a father named Isaac.  This is based on the common names of their children and that their first sons were named Isaac.  William Boyd Duff also noted in his book that Captain Samuel Miller came from the north of Ireland about 1760 with a brother who remained east of the mountains.  It is clear that Robert Miller was in New Jersey before 1760; so the date may have been blurred in its recording from 1750 to 1760 or that it represents when Samuel Miller established Miller’s Place.  This information suggests that Samuel Miller came to the frontier before it was opened in 1769 and before Robert did.  As noted above, the delay by Robert going to New Jersey may have been because of his young son Isaac and his wife expecting their second son, Silas, who was born in New Jersey.  Once his family situation had stabilized, Robert and his family first moved to Fulton County before going to Westmoreland when the frontier opened.  There is no indication that the parents of Robert and Samuel had accompanied them to America.  They probably remained in Scotland." We now have recent information on this last subject and much more information about the "Miller Brothers". Go to this new page.

Nov. 1, 1777 - Mar. 15, 1778

Below ▼ Washington at Valley Forge painted by Edward P. Moran

1773 -1775 A.D.

Jan. 6, 1777- June 9, 1777

Sept. 2, 1777. A letter written by a Captain at Kittanning, PA reveals that Samuel Miller was supplying Western PA military forces stationed there.
July 7, 1778: The death of Samuel Miller as reported by C. Hale Sipe, from his book History of Fort Ligonier, Chapter XVII, page 442.
February, 10, 1778
July 11, 1778 - Sept. 1778, After many delays, the 8th Regt. finally begins its return home to Southwestern Pennsylvania, (Continuing from Boucher),

For those readers wishing to read about one of the last big Indian raids (including murders, mayhem and kidnappings) into Western Pennsylvania, plus numerous historic details of the Destruction of Hannastown, I recommend going to this Website:   http://digital.library.pitt.edu/pittsburgh/
Then click on the full text button at the top left hand side of the screen. then you can easily browse their marvelous web site by Author's last name.  The recommended four authors, who each wrote different details, complete a full picture of what happened at Hannastown on July 13th, 1782.
1.)  George Dallas Albert,
History of the County of Westmoreland Pennsylvania , Chapter XXIX,. Pub. 1882
2.)
 John Newton Boucher, Old and New  Westmoreland, Chapter XXIII, p.401, Pub. 1918
3.)  Chester Hale Sipe,
Fort Ligonier and Its Times, Chapter XIX, p. 567, Pub. 1932
4.)  Lewis Clark Walkinshaw,
Annals of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Vol. 2, Chapter XII, p.168, Pub. c1939
If you would like to add comments, photos, or make corrections to this page
please contact me, Marla Miller Hembree at:


 
miller.malcom.ft@gmail.com





Below is short genealogy report of Robert Miller and his brother Captain Samuel Miller. I wrote this because I was having trouble keeping all the "Isaacs" and "Samuels" straight in my mind.
Descendants of Isaac Robert Miller, Sr.

                                          Generation No. 1
Isaac Robert Miller, Sr. was born about 1695 in Renfrewshire, Scotland.  When he was about 21 years old he went to Maryland around 1717 where he married Mary Alexander in 1719 in Cecil County, Maryland.  

        Children of Isaac Robert Miller, Sr. and Mary Alexander are:
i.   Isaac ROBERT MILLER,JR. He was born about 1721 in Cecil County, Maryland,  He was killed by Indians Bef. 07 Oct. 1775, on his land located on Sewickley Creek in Sewickley Twp., Westmoreland Co., PA.  (Our direct Ancestor) He and his brother Samuel went back or were sent back across the Atlantic Ocean to Scotland to deliver a Scotch Presbyterian Missionary to serve in the wilds of Pennsylvania . His name was Cuthbertson, a very devoted man.  Robert also returns with a wife, Agnes Carswell.

ii.    Samuel Miller (Capt.) – He was born in about 1723 in Cecil County, Maryland.  He appears to have gone with his brother to Scotland about 1744.  He also appears to have returned with him in 1750, arriving at New Castle, Delaware in August 1751.  He then went west to Central Pennsylvania before continuing on to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania in 1769 where he was killed by the Indians on 7 Jul 1778 while serving as a Capt in the Pennsylvania 8th Regiment during the Revolutionary War under General George Washington.

 iii.   James Miller – He was born 1n 1724 in Cecil County, Maryland and went to North Carolina with family in spring of 1751.  He died in 1795 in Sparten, South Carolina.

iv.    Elizabeth Miller – She was born in 1726 in Cecil County, Maryland and went to North Carolina with family in spring of 1751.  She married Mr. Meek and died in 1805 in North Carolina. .

 v.   Gideon Miller He was born about 1727 in Cecil County, Maryland.  While there is little information regarding him, he does appear in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania living near both Isaac Robert, Jr. and Samuel and about the same age.  He did not go with Isaac Robert and Samuel to Scotland, but instead went to Central Pennsylvania where he married Martha Culbertson before going to Westmoreland about 1769.  He is listed as being buried in Tarentum, Pennsylvania.

vi.    John Miller – He was born about 1728 in Cecil County, Maryland and died in 1776 in South Carolina.

vii.    Ann MilleR– She was born about 1730 in Cecil County, Maryland and probably died in South Carolina.


                                                    Generation No. 2
Children of SAMUEL MILLER and JANE LUCKEY are:
i.     Jane/ Jean/ Jenny Miller, b. Oct. 20 1771; m. William Clarke before June 1792.

I have never found any solid confirming census records of what happened to William Clark and his wife Jean/Jenny Miller (the daughter of Samuel Miller and Jane Luckey Miller). There were many Clarks who live in that NW region of Pennsylvania. There is a 1790 Washington County. PA census record of a William Clark family including 1 male over 16, 2 males under 16 and 1 female over 16. There is a John  Clark and a Thomas Clark living in the same county which look to be in about the same age range. I find this record somewhat compelling because the Luckeys lived in the same county during the same time frame.  Remember that the Luckeys were Jean/Jenny's mother's "people" and so Jenny for sure personally knew her Luckey Uncles and Aunts. More research needs to be done here.  M.H.

ii.    DORCAS MILLER, b. Nov. 11,1773 She was captured along with her brother Samuel when in 1782 Indians and Tory soldiers sacked Hannastown and Miller's blockhouse.  "She was imprisoned at Niagara for three years, when she was ransomed and sent home by a British officer named Butler." She married Joseph Russell, her legal guardian, before 1783 and "spent most of her life on the farm where she was captured."; d. 1851 in Greensburg, PA.  An 1850 census taken in Greensburg, PA, shows a male, age 27, named William living with her, perhaps her grandson.
Iii.     ISAAC MILLER, b. Feb. 4, 1776.  He married SARAH GRIER. b. 1773, daughter of WILLIAM GRIER, d. 13 Apr 1866 Allegheny Co. PA .

iv.     Samuel Miller; Probably born in 1778; killed in 1782 soon after being kidnapped by Indians because he was too young to keep pace with their withdrawal following the sack of Hannastown and Miller's Blockhouse.

 

                                                    Generation No. 3

Children of DORCAS MILLER and JOSEPH Russell (RUFSEL) are:
    i.      Samuel Miller Russell, d. 1875; m. Mary Elder 1829; b. 1800.
    ii.     MARGARET RUSSELL, m. DAVID ALLSWORTH.
    iii.    JANE RUSSELL, m. JAMES MC FARLAND.
    iv.    JOSEPH RUSSELL, m. LAVINiA MARCHAND.
    v.    JOSHUA RUSSELL.
    vi.    DORCAS RusseLL.               

    vii.    WILLIAM RUSSELL.
 Children of ISAAC MILLER and SARAH GRIER are:
      i.    ISABELLA MILLER, b. 18 Nov1799. She married Thomas Jack, son on John Jack and Nancy Mc Coy

 of Westmoreland Co., PA  

ii.    SAMUEL MILLER, b. 19 May 1803; d. 05 Feb 1879. (Below is more information about this Samuel Miller. I think this Samuel Miller looks a bit like my Uncle Lyle in his later years.)      

     iii.    ISAAC MILLER.