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
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
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
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.
Land Deed to James Pearcy from Augusta Co. Deeds Bk 13, page 113:
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.