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Rev. Robert Miller, Presbyterian Patriot

July 3, 2015 , , , , , ,

Rev. Robert Miller, patriot

Rev. Robert Miller, patriot

My 5th great-grandfather was a Presbyterian minister from Scotland who served as chaplain in South Carolina during the Revolutionary War.  The Presbyterians were active during the war because they had no love for the Brits or their religion.  The following passage gives us insight into his early life:

The following is a sketch of the life of Rev. Robert Miller, which according to Minos E. Miller was written by himself and which was copied from the original by Hugh Reid Miller several years before the Civil War.

“I was born of religious and creditable parents, my father possessed of a small fortune in land not far from where I was born. Early they bestowed an education upon me. At nine years of age I went to school to Mr. Patrick Reid, Schoolmaster, at Aberdeen, and then began to read Latin. Continued at school with some few intermissions till I was about the age of eighteen. I then proposed to apply myself to some lawful calling, for support in the world and to [?] daily bread. Being engaged with a Physician in aldy, he desired my father to send me to school to learn Greek, to qualify more for the business I was engaged in. I therefore went to school; and in the meantime contracted such a desire to stay still at school, my father consented, and after I had read Latin and Greek some time, he sent me to the college, where I continued till I had gone through my studies in Philosophy, after which by the advice of some, I applied myself to the study of Divinity, and attended the Lectures of the Rev. Mr. Mear Mon[?] Professor of Divinity. In which Profession I made such Proficiency, as at last, after trials by him, was approved and presented by him to the Presbytery for future trials; after going through the ordinary course in the Presbytery of Edinburgh.
I pretty early began to think much, and was privileged with the blessing of a valuable gospel minister, as well as a pious example set before by my parents, with many good advices and instructions from both. I went along to a solemn occasion at Glendovan, when I heard Mr. Wardrobe preach upon that text, Eph. 6:13-14 “having done all to stand, stand therefore,”

Presbyterians and the revolution

Presbyterians and the revolution

 

Patriotism depends on the sentiment at the time.  When Protestant thinking set Europe on a path toward political change, the wheels started rolling toward America.  The Brits represented the past and corruption of religion.  Factions create patriotism.  It is an emotional trend that surpasses logic.  My very badass 5th great-grandfather was an example of early American patriotism.  His descendants would fight for the Confederacy against the United States.  After the Civil War those descendants moved to East Texas to start new lives and found a Baptist church. Religion played a strange part in all that patriotic and anti-patriotic behavior.  I still do not grasp how heavy-duty Christians own slaves.  Today patriotism comes dangerously close to fear and suspicion of foreigners and nothing more.

Rev. Robert Miller (1730 – 1821)
is my 5th great-grandfather
Margaret Miller (1771 – 1853)
daughter of Rev. Robert Miller
Philip Oscar Hughes (1798 – 1845)
son of Margaret Miller
Sarah E Hughes (1829 – 1911)
daughter of Philip Oscar Hughes
Lucinda Jane Armer (1847 – 1939)
daughter of Sarah E Hughes
George Harvey Taylor (1884 – 1941)
son of Lucinda Jane Armer
Ruby Lee Taylor (1922 – 2008)
daughter of George Harvey Taylor
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Ruby Lee Taylor

SGT. ROBERT MILLER, CHAPLAIN IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY WAR 1) Sgt. Robert Miller served as a Presbyterian minister, in civilian life. During the American Revolutionary War, he served as a Chaplain. The photo above is from an online pamphlet which is short, and easy to read. It gives a good overview of how the people of the Presbyterian Church in America played a vital role in the American Revolutionary War. It also explains how the Protestant Reformation of the 1500’s in France, led to Protestant French Huguenots emigrating away from France and over to England, Scotland, and other countries in Europe. Later on some of their descendants left Europe and immigrated into America. The Protestant religions in America have always had deep roots to the northwestern area of France, especially the area around the Province of Normandy. This can be puzzling, and complicated. One connection can be seen between the various Protestant religions in the USA, leading back to the work of a young man who was named Jehan Cauvin. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Calvin He was born in 1509 in Noyon, Picardie, France. When he grew up, he lived in Switzerland, where he was known as John Calvin. His religious ideas had a profound effect in many other countries in Europe, such as Germany and the Netherlands. Perhaps this is part of the reason why America has always had such a complicated relationship with France, especially in times of war. The photo of the ebook is entitled: Presbyterians and the Revolution. By the Rev. W. P. Breed. Published 1876 by Presbyterian Board of Publication in Philadelphia. The copyright on this book has now expired, and it is now in the public domain. Source: https://archive.org/stream/presbyteriansrev01bree#page/82/mode/2up/search/pickens *** 2) Here is a link to a short article that provides a good background history for Mecklenburg County, NC and the counties to the south of it in SC during the American Revolutionary War. Rev. Robert Miller was in a part of SC that saw some serious fighting, to the east of Abbeville County. The article can be found here: http://www.sciway3.net/clark/revolutionarywar/1780-Huck_noframes.html The title of this article is “THE 1780 PRESBYTERIAN REBELLION AND THE BATTLE OF HUCK’S DEFEAT” by Sam Thomas, Curator of History, Culture & Heritage Commission of York County. *** 3) There were many different families named Miller who lived in Scotland in the 1700’s, and they are virtually impossible to untangle. Many of these families appear to have adopted the last name of Miller as a means of indicating a political alliance, and they did not originally use the family surname of Miller/Millar. Family surnames were not used in Europe prior to the 1800’s the same way they are now used in modern Europe and in America. People were much more casual about their last names back then, and many families changed their last names in order to indicate the geographical place where they lived, or what political group/clan they were affiliated with at the moment. When Rev. Robert Miller immigrated to America, he visited Bucks County, PA, which was located near Philadelphia, PA and Baltimore, MD. Bucks County was a popular area for Presbyterian immigrants from Scotland and Ulster to settle in colonial America. At least three early Presbyterian settlements were in Bucks County, PA: the HUNTER SETTLEMENT, NESHAMINY, and the IRISH/CRAIG SETTLEMENT. See memorial page number 129350647 for a history of the area, including some links to ebooks. Rev. Robert Miller married a young lady whose parents lived near the Scots-Irish settlement of NESHAMINY, PA. Her name was Jean Pickens. They were married in Paxton Township of Bucks County, PA, which was about halfway between the HUNTER SETTLEMENT to the north, and the town of NESHAMINY to the south. Later on the name of this part of Bucks County, PA changed to Northampton County, PA. After he and his bride married in PA, they joined a large Scots-Irish expedition of colonists who moved down to a new Scots-Irish settlement called the Waxhaws, around the year 1751. His in-laws were part of the same expedition. At the time the Waxhaws was located in Anson County, NC, but later on the boundary survey between NC and SC was determined to be incorrect. At that point the Waxhaws became part of Abbeville County, SC. During the American Revolutionary War, he served as Chaplain in his brother-in-law’s military unit in SC. Presbyterian ministers played a vital role in the war. In addition to playing a role as a Chaplain, many of them were also elected by their men to serve as active duty officers. They were popular leaders, who were good at planning and strategy. *** 4) 300 ACRE LAND GRANT “34. Land plat for ROBERT MILLER for a tract of land containing 300 acres and surveyed by Patrick Calhoun 7 DEC 1762 on the waters of Long Cain in the county of Granville, said Long Canes being waters of the Savannah River and lands bounded by the lands of the Hamilton Grant and by lands of Robert Pickens. “I am sure that this must be the Rev. ROBERT MILLER who came first to the Waxhaws and later to Abbeville on the Long Canes. He was for a time in Tennessee and as a Presbyterian minister. He was married to Jane Pickens sometime prior to 1758. (Land grant indicates a wife and 4 children.)” Author: LEONARDO ANDREA Source: http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/15555824/person/20076042723/storyx/2ac4d7e4-69de-4719-b4f8-c9e7851c3f86?src=search *** RIP Added by: MarthaHopscotch 9/05/2014

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comments

He was exceptionally well educated for that time. He writes quite well. Congrats on finding that branch of your family tree.

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Stevie Wilson

July 4, 2015

I have a handwritten letter embossed several times, a very long letter from 1898 he wrote for my great great great grandfathers eulogy in 1898. Let me know if you might want a copy.

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eric caswell

March 17, 2017

OMG!!YES!!!!!!!!!That is exactly the kind of document anyone would love to find. Thank you Eric.

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Pamela Morse

March 17, 2017

I am just beginning with this. My father was Robert Finla Miller. Grandfather Frank Miller was a minister which fits with some history I have found. Robert Miller from about 1700 also had a daughter Ann Miller, my maiden name. Could be coincidence and am anxious to find out more

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Ann Walderbach

May 18, 2017

The matching names are a very good hint, but not conclusive, keep looking!!!

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Pamela Morse

May 18, 2017

Robert Millier was my ancestor too. However the picture on the top of the page is not our ancestors tombstone. Our Robert Miller was hung by Tories at a crossroads with his son. I can supply more information if you want to know what happened. Anne

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Anne Anderson

September 16, 2018

I would love to know more, Anne…is there a known burial spot for our Robert? Thanks for this valuable info.

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Pamela Morse

September 16, 2018

There is no burial stone for him. He and his son were placed in an unmarked grave. The original intent, one that some over zealous colonists used from time to time was to string up potential Tories sitting on the fence between sides, scare them and then cut them down. They waited a bit too long for Robert and his son. One of the executioners confessed on his deathbed he was one of the guilty men. One of his other sons left and went to Natchez. I know of at least one other gravestone that was placed by a SAR in the 1970’s so he could use the stone to prove dates. Yes, Robert was for a brief time, the chaplain for his brother in law, Andrew Pickens but that appointment was terminated prior to the incident. After the killing, Andrew treated his sister very badly and she and her family were destitute and he did nothing to assist her. How are you related to Robert Miller? I may have told you, I descend from Robert, Ebenezer, Andrew, John Henry, Anna Hunter, Vassar Anderson , Jessie and then me.

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Anne Anderson

September 16, 2018

I descend from his daughter ,Margaret. The Hughes also went to Natchez, I believe.

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Pamela Morse

September 16, 2018

The stone pictured on your site belongs to a Robert Miller of Union Co. SC. The first record we have of Robert Miller is when he was visiting the Waxhaw community om NC at that time. He was known by the congregation of the Waxhaw church as a man of popular talents and a lively preacher. The Waxhaw church forwarded a call to the presbytery of SC in May of 1755 requesting that Robert Miller be ordained a minister, which was granted 7 Feb. 1756.
He met Jane Pickens while serving as minister of Old Waxhaw church. The Pickens family was one of the 1st members of the church. We believe Robert Miller was comforting the family of Jane’s father, Andrew Pickens after his death in late 1757 when he and Jane were observed in a compromising position that led to their marriage and his deposition as minister of the Waxhaw church in 1757/58.
He was charged for too much familiarity with a young woman, we don’t know what that meant but see the paragraph above for our idea. He and Jane married and made a deed of gift 8 March 1758 of land to the Waxhaw church. The site of the old Waxhaw church in York Co. SC
and was located on the plantation owned by Robert and Jane Miller. They reserved a pew for themselves in their deed of gift and continued their attendance in this church until they moved to Long Cane settlement in 96th or Abbeville Co. I have more on this too if you’re interested. Robert’s accuser, William Richardson had medical issues and died on bended knee.
I take it that you are descended then from Margaret Miller, b. 12 March, 1771, 96th district, died 15 Aug. 1853 in Fayette Co. MS; married 1 July 1791 to Felix Hughes b. 14 Feb. 1751 Co Armagh, North Ireland; died 16 Jan 1824 in Fayette co. Ms.
The Ann Miller one of the people on this site wondered if she was descended from Ann Miller. Robert’s Ann Miller born 28 Sept. 1762 died in MS probably Pike Co and married ca. 1782 Robert Simmons. He died in 1804 in Pike Co. One of their daughters, Elizabeth, married Nathanial Wells and had 11 children.
I have lots more information. I have worked on this line for about 35 years.

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Anne Anderson

September 16, 2018

Anne- This is all very interesting to me. I am so glad you visited here. WOW!!! Jane is my ancestor too, obviously

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Pamela Morse

September 16, 2018

Are you interested in more or do you already have this information? I work as a professional genealogist and make sure my information is correct. If you’re not interested please let me know. Anne

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Anne Anderson

September 16, 2018

I am very interested, and have made lots of mistakes in my tree–probably some still waiting for me..

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Pamela Morse

September 16, 2018

I just don’t want to give information if its not needed. Maybe so I’m not giving you info that you already have, do you want to ask specific questions and if i have it, I’ll give what I have? I don’t mind sharing. I made mistakes, everyone does. Anne

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Anne Anderson

September 16, 2018

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