While there appears to have been agreements with the Indians, not all was peaceful as Indian raids continued.  The family information, (Family oral tradition perhaps passed on down by Susanna Thomas Miller, Isaac’s widow who lived to be age 73.) states that Isaac Carswell Miller and a child from the Martin family at Big Cove were taken in the Indian attack on 31 October 1755 on this settlement.  John Martin had settled in Big Cove before it was opened and had established his family there.  By the time of the attack, Robert Miller and his wife also had other children born to them at Big Cove.  The records go on to describe that the two boys escaped after some time and went to Big Sewickley Creek in Westmoreland County.  While there is no recorded information on Isaac Miller, there is information on the Martin children that is found in Boucher’s History of Westmoreland County (1906) vol. 1, p. 114 -115 and in C. Hale Sipe’s The Indian Wars of Pennsylvania (1929). (I could not find this book on the internet so I borrowed the book through my local library from another city.  The same but more fully detailed story of the Martin children [Mary, Martha, Janet, James, & William] and their Mother who were kidnapped is worth the read if you want to follow the same course of action I took to borrow it.  In Sipe’s book, this story is on pages 224-229.) The two boys along with others were taken west, and one of their stops was at an Indian camp on the Big Sewickley Creek near the present location of Bell’s Mills in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. (See photos and history of this location close by Robert Miller’s property of record)  From this time until after the burning of Hannastown in 1782, the history of the Miller family is based on estimates from the few sources available.   We have since discovered much historic information but not all that relates specifically to Millers on this internet site. You will find a wonderful collection of Pennsylvania history on an easy to use website.  http://digital.library.pitt.edu/pittsburgh/  This lack of information was caused by the continued state of war with the Indians that led to the burning of the villages of the settlers and the killing or capture of many of them.  Many of these Indians attacks were instigated by the British once the conflict with the colonists began.  There also was little government presence in these frontier areas to record the events.

It is estimated that of the ninety-three settlers in Big Cove, forty-seven were killed or captured.  The ones that were captured were taken west to Ohio, but as noted above, Isaac Miller and one of the Martin children were able to escape almost 7 years later.  John Martin somehow discovered his children were being held in Ohio, and in 1762 petitioned the governor of Pennsylvania to help get them released (Pennsylvania Archives , Vol.4, page 100).  While Isaac Miller does not appear in any of the records of this event, he is known by his descendants to have been involved.  He also would not have been listed in any records of those released since he escaped. If Isaac was born in 1750, he would have been about four or five years old when taken by the Indians, and by 1762, he would have been about twelve.  It may have been Isaac Miller and the Martin child that told John Martin where his other children were located.  (Scroll to down to end to see a Miller time line.)

Sometime after 1755, Robert Miller, who was a farmer, moved his family to the Hannastown area of Westmoreland County.  It was probably after 1762 when John Martin found out about his children.  It would have been difficult for the escaped boys to have found their families if they had moved.  The most likely time for the move was when the area west of the Allegheny Mountains was opened for settlement in 1769.  Robert is noted in the 1773 tax rolls (computed in 1772) of Hempfield Township in Bedford County; however, this township is now in Westmoreland County and is where his property was located.  There are two pieces of property associated with Robert Miller in this area.  These can be identified in the Westmoreland County court records that Isaac Miller filed on 13 March 1793 as part of the settlement of the estate of his father, Robert Miller.  It was recorded that Isaac had received rents of the “Hannastown place” and rents “from the year 1779 until 1792 from the old place on Sewickley.”  He also had made repairs to the old Sewickley place.  From other court records it is known that Robert Miller owned three hundred acres located in Huntington Township (now Sewickley) on the Big Sewickley Creek.  Robert Miller 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.  Based on an 1867 map of Hempfield Township of Westmoreland County, the 300 acres was on the Big Sewickley Creek near where he escaped from the Indians.  While there are none of the families associated with this property listed on the 1867 map, there were a number of Miller families still located in this area at that time.

(See the Patent Map Index for Robert Miller's property and surrounding property owners.)  Below ▼I have superimposed the footprint of Robert Miller's land on a modern land section map. This land, after Roberts untimely death in 1755, became his eldest son, Isaac's property until Isaac died in 1799. You can see on this map Robert's neighbor and friend Casper Mercklin's land (and the location of the Mercklin Cemetery) who lived just south across the Big Sewickley Creek. The red circle is the location of the "Mill Bell Covered Bridge".

This line indicates that some of Mr. Phillip's narrative was deleted here for reasons of brevity.

The “Hannastown place” is harder to identify, but Robert Miller may first have moved to a place south of Hannastown area in 1769 before settling on his three hundred acres.  The area was known as Miller’s Station or Miller’s Blockhouse.  It was built by Samuel Miller who had settled near Hannastown by at least 1772, 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 called 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.  It now is on the north side of the railroad.  (See this 1872 map and updated information on this page) On this 1857 map it appears as owned by Mrs. Miller, but by 1872 the property is owned by William Russell. Robert Miller may have owned one of the cabins there.  (Scroll to down to end and view Miller family timeline.)

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 Pennsylvania 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, PA before going to Westmoreland Co., PA when the frontier opened.  Robert, when he came to the Hannastown area may have first settled with his brother Samuel before settling on the 300 acres on the Big Sewickley Creek.  There is no indication that the parents of Robert and Samuel had accompanied them to America.  They probably remained in Scotland. Upon further research, I have found the names of two children of Captain Samuel Miller and his wife Jane Luckey.  From reading separate stories about the Indian attack on Miller's Blockhouse. (on the same day as the "Destruction of Hannastown 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 "Samuel", b.  abt. 1778, abt. age 4, who were named as "captured". The boy, Samuel, was said to have died in captivity.  

 More about Samuel Miller and his family here.

                          This line indicates that some of Mr. Phillips narrative was deleted here for reasons of brevity

The primary home of Isaac Robert Miller Jr., for about six years was the three hundred acres on the Big Sewickley Creek until he died intestate in 1775, where he and his wife Agnes raised ten children: Isaac, Silas, William, Jane, Mary, Joseph, Rachel, Elizabeth and Sarah.  The Letters of Administration issued by the court indicate that Robert Miller Jr., Yeoman, was killed by the Indians in before October 7, 1775.  The court appointed his wife Agnes and eldest son Isaac as administrators of his estate.  Isaac was about 21 years old when his father died.  The Hannastown area until 1782 was continually under the threat of Indian attacks, and on 7 July 1778, Captain Samuel Miller also was killed by Indians near his home at Miller’s Place.  He had been ordered from the war in the east to recruit additional members for the Pennsylvania Regiment.  Since Robert Miller was about 45 years old when he died suddenly, being killed by the Indians would not be unusual.  At the time of his death, the last four children were under fourteen and the Orphans Court on 6 February 1776 appointed "Jasper Merkle" to be their guardian.  The other children who were over fourteen selected their own guardians. Robert’s son, Joseph, chose “Casper Merkle” as his guardian and may have been worked for him. Below is a copy from the actual pages (bottom of page 6 and top of page 7) of the Westmoreland Co. Administration book A dated Oct. 7 1775.  It shows that Isaac Miler, the eldest Son of Robert Miller, and Robert's widow, Agnes are appointed as co-administrators of Robert Miller's estate.  Many of the Westmoreland County court records that pertain to Isaac Robert Miller Jr.'s land were administered by the Hannastown Courthouse, a court house in turn established and administered by Robert Hanna, himself, who often acted as one of the "Honorable" judges of that court. 


"Westmoreland county, S. S. Before me, a Justice of the Peace in and for said county of Westmoreland, personally appeared William Jack, Esq., who was duly sworn according to law, did depose and say that Captain Samuel Miller, who was killed by the Indians in the year 1778, at the commencement of the Revolutionary War, actually settled on a plantation now adjoining Peter Eichar, John Shoeffer, John Mechling, and others in Hempfield township in the county aforesaid, that Andrew Cruikshanks (who married the Widow of the said Captain Samuel Miller), Joseph Russell, who is married to one of the Daughters of the said Samuel Miller, dec'd, claims the benefit of an act of Assembly passed September 16, 1785, and that the said Andrew Cruikshanks was in the course of the said war actually in possession of the said plantation, and was drove away from his habitation on said land by the Indians on the 13th day of July, A. D. 1782, being the same day that Hannastown was burned and destroyed by the Indians, and that, some of the heirs of the said Captain Samuel Miller was killed and taken prisoners on the said day, and that the House was burned and the property in the House by the Enemy, and that afterwards the said Plantation lay waste and vacant for some time for fear and dread of the Indians."

        "WM. JACK.

     Sworn and subscribed before me the ninth day of March, A.D. 1814.  R.W. Williams (J.P.)”

     (Justice of the Peace)

“On 13 July 1782 Michael Rugh, his wife Phoebe, his 3 children, and his mother Francina, were attending a celebration for a wedding that had taken place the day before at a location known as “Miller’s Blockhouse”.  This was the home of the Samuel Miller family. The entire wedding party was attacked by Indians. Several were killed, possibly including Michael’s mother, Francina. Mrs. Miller was scalped and managed to survive only to wear a skull cap for the rest of her life to hide her lack of hair. On that same day another element of the same group of raiders attacked and totally burned and destroyed the county seat of Hannastown.   Miller researchers, including myself, believe that the Mrs. Miller who was scalped and lived, was Agnes C. Miller, widow of Isaac Robert Miller Jr., brother of Samuel Miller. MJH

 

Fifteen persons at “Millers” were taken prisoner the day of the attack. Michael and his family were among the fifteen captives. They were taken to the Indian’s camp near what is now “Oil City Pennsylvania. They spent the winter as prisoners there. Michael’s young son died that winter. Michael and Phoebe were taken the following spring to Canada where they were held as POWs by the British. Their daughter, Mary, remained behind with the Indians. At war’s end Michael & Phoebe were released, sent to New York City, and thus were then able to make their way home."

 

 

The Estate of Samuel Miller (Miller’s Place or Blockhouse):  From: The Frontier Forts of Western Pennsylvania by George Dallas Albert, Page 324, Pub. 1896  “It will be seen from the copy of a paper which we give below that reference is made to the character of the building at the time of its destruction. The paper appears to have been a deposition made by the Hon. William Jack in some contested title arising out of the ownership of the old Miller farm. It was used apparently in evidence, but is no part of the records. The original document was written is in Judge Jack's own hand.”

Miller Family Information Credits

Miller - Big Cove Attack:

From William Boyd Duff's book,  The Forefathers and Families of Certain Settlers in Western Pennsylvania:

 

References to the Martin family are found in Boucher’s History of Westmoreland County (1906) vol. 1, p. 114 -115 and in: C.Hale Sipe’s, The Indian Wars of Pennsylvania, pgs.225-229. (1929).  It is related that about one hundred Delawares and Shawnees from Ohio and Allegheny areas under the leadership of Shingas, the brother of King Beaver, on November 1, 1755 invading the Scotch-Irish settlements along the Great or Big Cove Creek.

 

Miller – Hannastown and Miller’s Place Indian attack (July 13, 1782) in found in: C. Hale Sipe’s The Indian Wars of Pennsylvania, pgs.665-671. (1929)                                                       and in

George Dallas Albert's The History of the County of Westmoreland Pennsylvania, in footnotes on pgs. 149-150

Miller/Rugh families at Miller Blockhouse July 13, 1782: The following is an excerpt from a story that is posted on the Municipality of Murrysville, PA website.  To see the full article See Rugh House article.  The Miller and the Rugh families, starting with Michael Rugh, were long-standing friends and business acquaintances during the middle and late 1700s. 

THE MILLER FAMILY TIMELINE

Est. 1725-1730........Isaac Robert Miller Jr.(commonly known as Robert Miller) born in Maryland USA

Bef. 1750...............John Martin located in Big Cove.

 

1750.......................Rev. Cuthbertson leaves Scotland with Rev Thomas Cameron.

1750.......................Rev. Cuthbertson ministers in Ireland with Rev Thomas Cameron.

 

Est. 1750................Isaac (son of Robert Miller) born in Ireland (Scotland?)

 

12 Jun 1751...........Rev. Cuthbertson leaves Ireland for Pennsylvania probably from Londonderry [Derry Loch].

5 Aug 1751............Rev. Cuthbertson arrives in New Castle, DE (Pennsylvania) with colony of Covenanters.

 

1751......................Robert Miller and family immigrated to New Jersey colony.

Est. 1751...............Samuel Miller also may have immigrated.

 

1752......................Silas (2nd son of Robert Miller) born in New Jersey in 1752.

 

Abt. 1754...............Agreement with Indians over the Big Cove area in Fulton Co.- earlier settlers were told to leave.

Abt. 1754...............Robert Miller and family settled at Big Cove, Fulton County, PA.

 

31 Oct 1755...........Isaac Miller and John Martin's wife and children were taken captive by the Indians.

 

by 1762................John Martin learns where his children were located [Isaac Miller and Martin child escaped].

Aug 13, 1762........John Martin petitioned the Governor of Pennsylvania for the rescue of his children

 

1768.....................Westmoreland County area was purchased from the Indians [opened to settlement in 1769]

Est. 1769..............Miller’s Place (Blockhouse/Station) built near Hannastown by Samuel Miller.

1771.....................Rugh's Blockhouse built near Hannastown.

 

by 1772................Robert Miller had located in the Hannastown area - 300 acres on Big Sewickley Creek?

 

3 Jul 1772............Pennsylvania Archives, 3rd Series, Vol. 2, page 502 - Robert Miller caveat against any other claims on land that was on a branch of the Sewickley in the County of Bedford by William Brown, Joseph Brownlee or John Campbell.  The litigation continued to about 1797 or 1799.

 

Bef. 1773.............Isaac Robert Miller Jr., Samuel Miller and Gideon Miller are listed on the tax rolls of in Hempfield Township, Bedford County (at that time), PA

1773....................William Brown assaulted Robert Miller - court case - probably over the property.

 

16 May 1775........Hannastown Declaration adopted (similar to Declaration of Independence).

 

1775.....................Isaac Robert Miller Jr. died intestate - probably killed by Indians.

11 Oct 1775.........Letters of Administration on the estate of Isaac Robert Miller Jr., Huntington Township, yeoman, were "granted to Agnes Carswell Miller "widow and relict of the decedent" and Isaac C. Miller, "eldest son".

 

1776...................The Pennsylvania Regiment was sent to New Jersey to fight - returned on 5 Mar 1778 24 Sep 1777........Isaac C. Miller took Oath of Fidelity before Hugh Martin (brother of those taken by the Indians).

 

1777...................Isaac C. Miller joined the Pennsylvania Regiment but remained in the area as rear guard.

Est. 1778............Isaac C. Miller married first time [wife unknown, but they had two sons]. He appears to also have patented property on the Big Sewickley Creek for his home.

7Jul 1778............Capt. Samuel Miller killed by Indians near Fort Hand while on Military duty. [later his wife Jane (Luckey Miller) married Andrew Cruikshanks and Joseph Russell married one of Samuel's daughters] Joseph Russell was the Orphans Court appointed guardian of this daughter after her father had been killed by Indians.

 

1779 to 1792........Rents were collected from the Sewickley property suggesting it was rented.

 

1 Feb 1780..........The monies ("goods and chattel" only) of Robert Miller were distributed to his heirs - He also owned 300 acres on a branch of Big Sewickley Creek and property in Hannastown that was not distributed.

 

12 Jul 1782..........Wedding at Miller’s Place.

13 Jul 1782..........Miller’s Place (Blockhouse) and wedding guests attacked by Indians  [15 people taken captive].

13 Jul 1782..........Hannastown was burned by the same Indians.

14 Jul 1782..........The Duff home near Export was burned by the same Indians.

 

Est. 1783..............Isaac C. Miller married Susannah Thomas.

1783.....................Captives began to be returned and last army pay noted for Isaac C. Miller.

1783-4..................People left the Hannastown area in fear of further attacks [including part of the Miller family].

30 Jan 1787.........Isaac C. Miller, private in 8th Regt. PA in Deed Book 1, page 221.  For services granted 200 acres of land in Westmoreland in 7th District. (also, noted in his will).

 

1787.....................Several of the children of Isaac Robert Miller Jr. and his widow, Agnes Carswell Miller, are located in the western North Carolina area.

1 Feb 1791............Isaac Robert Miller Jr.’s heirs request his property be dispersed.

2 Nov 1791............Isaac Miller and Michael Rugh post bond for the property of Robert Miller.

13 Mar 1793...........Isaac C. Miller reports the status of the property of Isaac Robert Miller Jr. (his father) to the courts.

 

1794......................Silas Miller (brother of Isaac) removed to Butler County, Pennsylvania, the next county just northwest of Westmoreland Co.

1799......................Isaac Carswell Miller dies 

Isaac Miller appears to have spent most of his life as a farmer except for the years in the army.  He made his will on 31 March 1799 and had died by 13 April 1799 when it was recorded.  He was about 49 years of age and left his wife with several young children and property in dispute.  She did not appear to have remarried, but relied on her two step-sons, Robert and Isaac, who were of age.  In about 1778 when he married his first wife, Isaac recorded a patent for the property he had on Big Sewickley Creek near Bell’s Mills where the old Indian village was located.  However, it appears he never paid the state for the patent, and part of it was sold by the Sheriff probably around 1790 after the situation in that area had stabilized.  The family was left with about 75 acres which probably was where they lived. 

After the death of Isaac in 1799, his wife and her step-son rode to Harrisburg to pay the balance of the patent.  The family information states it was Silas, but since Isaac did not have a step-son named Silas and his brother was in Butler County by then (moved in 1794), it was probably Robert, the oldest step-son of Susannah. Isaac appears to have had some money at the time of his death since he requested that other property be bought for his heirs.  However, this appears not to have occurred.  He also gave to his sons Emas/Amos and William the 200 acres in the Donated Lands he was awarded for his military service.  William Boyd Duff in his book discusses this property and the other property problems that the heirs of Isaac had after his death.  The situation was similar to that of their father before his death.  Isaac Miller was buried in the graveyard of the Sewickley Presbyterian Church, which also is known as the Associated Reformed Church of Sewickley, the United Presbyterian Church and the Dick Church.  His grave there is marked as a veteran of the Revolution.  Susannah Thomas died on 10 January 1821 at the age of 73 years and is buried next to her husband Isaac. (Picture of these grave sites are on the first Miller page of this website)
 

 

This line indicates that some of Mr. Phillips narrative was deleted here for reasons of brevity

Isaac C. Miller appears to have remained on the family farm and helped his mother raise the other children until he took the Oath of Fidelity before Hugh Martin on 24 September 1777 when he was about 27 years old.  Hugh Martin was the brother of those taken by the Indians.  Isaac probably had to take the oath since he was not born in America, and appears to have joined the army as a private in probably the Eighth Regiment of Pennsylvania along with his brother Silas. The last year in the army for Isaac Miller appears to have been 1783 based on his pay records, and he was awarded property on 30 January 1787 in the Seventh District of Donation Lands for his service.  This property was in Westmoreland County at the time of assignment to Isaac, but it is now located in Crawford County. The 8th Regiment is the same Pennsylvania regiment in which Samuel Miller served as a Captain. 

A History of Butler County, PA. (1881) notes, that a Silas Miller was “employed” for a time in protecting settlements against the Indians in Westmoreland, Co.  Silas "removed" from Westmoreland to Middlesex Township of Butler County in 1794.  It does not appear that Isaac ever went east and engaged in the battles there.  He was part of the rear guard that protected against the British led Indian attacks on the frontier. However, the descendants of Silas indicate that he did join the Continental Army in the east, which is supported by the military records. The marriage of Silas to Jane English in New Jersey also supports it. See this page for more information

Isaac C. Miller married his first wife about 1778 soon after the time he joined the army.  This is based on information about first two children, Robert and Isaac, who were around 21 years old when Isaac died in 1799 and who do not appear in any court records related to the settlement of his estate.  There is nothing further known about his first wife; however, a search of the families that lived near the Miller home near the Little Sewickley Creek might give some clues.  Isaac married his second wife, Susannah Thomas, in 1783, which is based on the ages of their children.  (Just the next year after the attack on Millers Blockhouse in 1782.)  When Isaac first married, he appears to have established his homestead on the Big Sewickley to the west of Bell’s Mills in Sewickley Township where the Indian village had been.  His brother, Silas probably located there from New Jersey after the Revolutionary War and after his marriage to Jane English.  The Martin boy that escaped with Isaac also established his homestead there but on the other side of the creek in South Huntington Township. 

By 1771 the Rugh family had built their blockhouse between Miller’s Place and the 300 acre farm of Robert Miller.  C. Hale Sipe describes Rugh’s blockhouse as a “large two story log house of Michael Rugh, about two mile south of Greensburg” was the destination where “among those who fled from Miller’s” (near Hannastown in 1882), “were Mrs. Andrew Cruikshank, her young daughter and her brother”. One map places it about two and one-half miles west of Miller’s Place.  This would be just on the west side of Greensburg.  The Rugh family also is involved with the Miller family a number of times.  The wife of Samuel Miller had married Andrew Cruikshanks before 1782, and on 12 July 1782 they were the host for the wedding at Miller’s Place which consisted of a number of log buildings.  It may have been when Joseph Russell married a daughter of Samuel Miller.  The bride and Groom were taken captive.  There was large party that included Mrs. Robert Hanna and her two daughters, as well as, those from other area families that included Brownlee and White.  There also were a number of members of the Miller family and Michael Rugh and his family and mother, Francina.  This celebration lasted well into the next day, 13 July, when the station was attacked by a large Indian force led by the British.  This attacking group then went on to burn Hannastown, and the next day they burned the McIlduff (A Scottish name shortened to Duff later) home near Export, PA.  The attack almost destroyed this principle area of Westmoreland County and caused many families to leave the area in fear of other attacks.  It was reported by William Jack, that Andrew Cruikshanks and his wife were the owners of Miller’s Place (Station) at the time of the attack, and that it left their buildings and possessions in ashes.  The property remained abandoned for sometime after its destruction.

The attack on Miller’s Place also resulted in the death and capture of a number of people, but there are no concise records.  This appears to have been an important affair since many of the notable families attended.  While there is no record of Isaac and his family attending, it is very likely that they did.  Since Isaac Miller remarried about 1783, his first wife could have been killed in the attack.  Isaac and his brother, Silas, were part of the militia that was to prevent these attacks; however, the British led Indian attack was too sudden and powerful for these settlers to stop. Isaac and his brother also may not have been with their families due to their duties.  As suggested above, the second wife of Isaac, Susannah Thomas may have had another husband named Robertson before she married Isaac.  Since there are no children of record, she may have just been married and her husband also killed in the attack.  Whatever the case, Isaac had two sons when he married Susannah Thomas sometime in 1783.  It is estimated that their first child, Amos Miller, was born in 1784.  While there are no papers related to the estates of the spouses, perhaps because the county government at Hannastown was in disarray after the attack in 1782 until after they were married.  There also may not have been any estates to be addressed.

 It is reported that a Mrs. Miller was scalped by an Indian during the attack, but she survived and had to wear a skull cap the rest of her life.  It is not clear as who this Mrs. Miller was since the wife of Capt. Samuel Miller had married Andrew Cruikshanks before the attack.  It may have been the first wife of Isaac Miller who could have survived but not for long.  She also could have been Agnes, the wife of Isaac Robert Miller, Jr. or one of the wives of their sons.  When and where Agnes died is not known, but the there was a petition filed at an Orphans Court in Greensburg (the new home of the Westmoreland County seat) on 1 February 1791 requesting the disposition of the land of Robert Miller.  In the required response by the sheriff there was a note that Agnes and other heirs were not within his bailiwick or jurisdiction.  William Boyd Duff in his book discusses what happened to the children of Robert and Agnes Miller.  Many of them are found in the area of western North Carolina by 1787.  After the attack on Hannastown most of the people left that area and went south to avoid other Indian attacks, but some returned in the mid-1780s.  Agnes may have gone with one of her children who left the area for the southern states. 

The settlement of the estate of Robert Miller took over 17 years due to the Revolutionary War and the Indian attacks.  The first part of the settlement occurred on 1 February 1780 when the Orphans Court awarded each of the heirs a portion of the monies from the estate.  However, the issue of the property was not to be addressed until the 1791 request by the heirs, and its disposition was to drag on over the years.  Isaac Miller and Michael Rugh (who was at the fateful wedding at Miller’s Blockhouse with his family) executed a 1000 pound bond on 2 November 1791 to assure that Isaac would pay the heirs the money due from the sale of the property.  The land of Robert Miller appears to have been leased based on court documents filed by Isaac Miller.  The “Old Sewickley” place lease began in 1779 and lasted until 1792 when Isaac had it surveyed so it probably could be sold.  The 1779 date suggests that Agnes Miller may have moved with her under age children to the home of one of her older children and then moved with them to the south.  By at least 1791, she was no longer in Westmoreland County.  Since John and Mary (Miller) Cairns and Robert and Jane (Miller) Biggs, who were directly involved in reopening the disposition of the land, had removed to the North Carolina area, Agnes may have been living with one of them.  Isaac had been collecting what rent he could, but the turmoil of the years appears to have made this and the sale of the land difficult.  His trip to Philadelphia at the “consent of the Legatees” was possibly to clear the title of the land that Robert Miller claimed, but never held a clear title.  William Brown and others also appear to have claimed the land.  In 1796 proceedings were begun against Isaac Miller and Michael Rugh on the 1000 pound bond, and on 24 January 1797 the Sheriff sold the 300 acres to Casper Merklin.  This appears to have ended the settlement of the estate of Robert Miller. New information about Robert Miller's land here.

The background of Susannah Thomas Miller is very unclear except that according to the family she was Welsh.  William Boyd Duff in his book lists what data there is.  He appears to prefer a William Thomas as her father, and he was the son of George Thomas that resided in Hopewell Township of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.  William Thomas was first a tobacconist in Carlisle and then by 30 November 1773, a school master in Westmoreland County.  He died some time prior to 1786.  William Boyd Duff raises the possibility that he died in the 13 July 1782 Indian attack.  An 1867 map of Hempfield Township shows a G. Thomas located between the “Old Sewickley” place of Robert Miller and Greensburg.  If this is a descendent of George and William Thomas, it could place this family near to where Isaac grew up and the Miller’s Place where the Indian attack occurred.  On the same 1867 map there also is a J. N. Thomas near the location of the 300 acres.  However, more research is required on this subject before any real association can be made.  As to the birth place of Susannah, she probably was born in Pennsylvania based on her possible ancestors.  If George Thomas was her grandfather, he would have been born in Wales.  His son, William, also could have been born there, but Susannah born in 1748, would have been born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.  Families arriving around 1730 usually went to the Cumberland County area near Carlisle.

If you have any corrections or additions to make to these pages please contact me Marla, at:

miller.malcom.ft@gmail.com

Back to Miller Family Page
If you like history you will love this story of our first Miller ancestors who came to the United States before the Revolutionary War and who persevered, thrived and helped create this new nation those many years agoMr. Phillips narrative is in black type and my comments are in blue type.

The Miller Family   By Robert R. Phillips ( this page will be revised soon as we have discovered more information about Robert Miller now known

                                                               to be: Isaac Robert Miller Jr. 

 

The Miller family can be traced back several generations in Pennsylvania to a Robert Miller who settled in the Little Sewickley Creek area around 1768 when the western part of Pennsylvania was opened for settlement.  Robert Phillips and I visited recently (March 2009) and are in agreement that we do have strong factual information that Robert Miller owned land on the Big Sewickley Creek dated as early as 1773.  I have read somewhere that the headwaters of the Little Sewickley Creek began near Hannastown.  I have maps as early as 1867 that show that the Little Sewickley Creek runs very close to just SW of Greensburg, PA.  This is about 7 miles SW of Hannastown “as the crow flies”.  If in case that is true, then I could align with that idea because known factual information is that Robert Miller owned land in Hempfield township as early as 1772 when taxes were collected in that County which was still Bedford Co. at the time.  We just don’t know where that land was exactly located.  I personally believe that land he owned was probably closer to Millers Station, Samuel Miller’s home, about 2½ miles south of Hannastown. There is little information for this family before the raid at Hannastown in 1782, which is the case for many of the families of this period.  Most of the supporting data for what I have written here has come from William Boyd Duff's book "The Forefathers and Families of Certain Settlers in Western Pennsylvania and searches on the Internet, and it has allowed a history to be put together. William Boyd Duff is a cousin of Robert Phillips and both of them can trace their ancestry to Robert Miller through Robert’s son, Isaac.  Our side of the family’s ancestry is related through Robert Miller’s son, Silas, Isaac’s younger brother.  Mr. Duff’s book, which includes many other families than the Miller family, is well written and well researched.

Isaac Robert Miller Jr. is believed to have been born about 1730 in Scotland where he married Agnes Carswelll.  She also is thought to have been born about 1730 in Scotland.  He and his family immigrated to the colony of New Jersey in 1751 very likely as part of a group of Covenanters that came with a Rev. Cuthbertson. He was sent by the Presbytery of Scotland to minister in Pennsylvania, and he took a group of Covenanters (or Reformed Presbyterians) with him.  They appeared to be from the Ayrshire area as was Robert Miller.  Rev. Cuthbertson left Scotland in 1749 or 1750, and Robert Miller probably married Agnes just before they departed.

At the last minute Rev. Cuthbertson was told to stop in Ireland to minister to the church there.  He and his party stayed there for about a year before leaving in 1751 for Pennsylvania.  He and his party arrived at New Castle, Delaware on 5 August 1751.  Robert and Agnes' first child, Isaac Miller, was born around 1750 probably during the stop in Ireland.  (See here for more details about Rev. Cuthbertson.)  When Robert Miller arrived in America, he and his wife had a baby and probably decided to stay in New Jersey near where they landed.  (New Jersey is just across the Delaware River from New Castle).

While in New Jersey they had their second child, Silas Miller, who was born in 1752. (Our Miller's are descended from Silas) They then moved to what is now Fulton County, Pennsylvania where many Scotch-Irish had settled by about 1754  in an area known as Big Cove.  This area is located just southwest of McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania which today is still located on the historic Lincoln Highway, Highway 30 (earlier the historic Forbes Road), and was first settled around 1750. (see map on the left).  The Big Cove Creek runs through Ayr Township, which may have been named for the Ayrshire area in Scotland from where these people probably came.  However, in 1750 the Colonial Government made these settlers leave and burned some of their houses because it was then Indian land.  There was some type of agreement with the Indians made in 1754 to permit settlements on this land.  Then the area west of the Allegheny Mountains was brought into the State of Pennsylvania by the treaty of 5 November 1768 with the Six Nations.  Even after this treaty, there were areas that still were claimed by the Indians.

It was not until 1784 when another treaty with the Indians was concluded, that land in these other western areas could be registered with the State of Pennsylvania.  The area addressed by the treaty of 1768 was first administered by Cumberland County until Bedford County was organized on 9 March 1771.  A few years later on 26 February 1773 Westmoreland County was organized.  Those settlers who located in this western part of Pennsylvania before 1769 did so at their own risk.