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Miller Smelser Connections





Miller / Smelser Connections

submitted by Karl Miller

The parents of Henry Miller were born and raised in Germany, but we do not know in what part. They decided to come to America. For some reason the mother and children were sent on ahead. The father never came. We do not know the reason for sending the family on ahead or why he did not follow them. It could be that he remained to close up some business affairs and died suddenly before he was ready to take passage for this country.

The exact date the family left Germany is not known, but it must have been during the summer or fall of 1759, as Henry Miller was born soon after the mother reached America, and the date of birth of Henry Miller was December 6, 1759. In his application for a pension Henry Miller states he was born in Augusta County, Virginia.  We have no record of the names of the brothers and sisters of Henry Miller but there must have been other children in the family. 


This story as it comes to us states that the mother and children left Germany for America, and that was before Henry Miller was born. Also in his application for a pension he states he left the army near Guilford Court House and went to take care of one of his brothers who received a wound in the battle.  From this it would seem he had more than one brother.

Some time after arriving in this country Henry Millerıs mother married a man by the name of Smelser and from some old records we are inclined to believe his name was Paulser Smelser. They had one son that we know of and his name was Jesse Smelser.


Henry Miller enlisted in the Revolutionary Army in March 1776 for a term of six months. On Feb. 18, 1778 he was drafted and served about one year. He was drafted again in February 1781 for a short period, returning home April 1781. Total time of service about one and one half years. Henry Miller moved from Augusta Co. to Bedford Co. Prior to 1776 as he was living in Bedford Co. in March 1776.

Henry Miller and Sarah Pearcy were married December 10, 1780. In the fall of 1783 they moved to Anderson County, Kentucky, where they lived until the year 1828. Then, in company with a number of other families, they loaded their household goods on flat boats and floated them down the Kentucky River to the Ohio; then down the Ohio River to the mouth of the Wabash River. From there a steamer towed them up the Wabash to Lafayette, Indiana. From there they continued their journey overland to Tippecanoe County where they made their home.

From notes obtained from court records of Franklin County, Kentucky for the year 1821 it appears that Henry Miller owned 313 acres on Kentucky River, 730 acres on Hammonds Creek and 400 acres on Benson Creek.

We do not have a record of his holdings after he moved to Tippecanoe County, Indiana, but he did own some land there, as we have a record that on February 12, 1838 he deed a certain tract of land to the Oxford PA church ³to be used in part, as a place on which to erect a church building, and in part as a burying ground.²

In the Tippecanoe County Atlas of 1878 devoted to Perry Township, Indiana, it states that ³in 1830 the Presbyterians erected a log building known as the Oxford Churchı in which services were conducted by Rev. J.A. Carnahan of Dayton.²   In later years this log church was replaced by a brick church that was still standing in June, 1938. It is situated about three or four miles northeast of Dayton, Indiana.

In a family history record by John A. Magill, grandson of Henry and Sarah (Pearcy) Miller it states that Henry Miller was an Elder in the Presbyterian Church.  In another place in this same record his name appears with the title Rev. Henry Miller.

Sarah (Pearcy) Miller died February 1, 1838 and Henry Miller died January 18, 1846. They are both buried in the ³burying ground² mentioned above, which joins the Oxford Church near Dayton, Tippecanoe County, Indiana. Each grave has a marker. 


Sarah Pearcy

Land Deed to James Pearcy from Augusta Co. Deeds Bk 13, page 113:
³This indure made 18th Nov. 1766 between John Pearcy of Augusta Co. and James Pearcy his bro. of Co. aforesaid for 5 sh. current money of Va. paid by James is granted land containing 150 A in Beverly Manor being part of a tract of 375 A first made over to Thomas Parcy Decıd father to sd. Jno. Pearcy by deeds dating 27 & 28 of Feb. 1749 on a branch of Middle River of Shanandoa.²
Marriage Bonds of Bedford County, Virginia, Page 45:
³December 4, 1780 Henry Miller and Sarah Pearcy. Stephen Dooley, Surety.
Consent of John and Marg. Pearcy, parents of Sarah.²
We note that the last name of the father, in the Land Deed item above, is spelled Parcy, but the last name of his two sons is spelled Pearcy. I believe it often happens that the younger generation adopts a different spelling of the family name from that used by the other generations.

Sources of this data:

"Much of the data for the above sketch was furnished by Hannah L. McClintick, daughter of Patsy Jane Miller McClintick."( Patsy Jane daughter of Henry Miller) 


"Data collected by a great great grandson of Henry & Sarah (Pearcy) Miller" Charles Oscar Murphy, 114 So. Diamond St., Centralia, WA February 18, 1946.

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