Adam Miller (pioneer)

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Adam Miller
White stone monument with text "In memory of Adam Miller (Mueller) b. Nov 17, 1703 d. 1783 Recognized as the first permanent white settler in this part of the Shenandoah Valley
Adam Miller Monument, Elk Run Cemetery, Elkton, VA

With residency beginning in 1727, Adam Miller (Mueller) is recognized as the first permanent settler in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, US.[1][2][3][4] Born in 1703 in Schriesheim, Germany, Miller immigrated to America as a young married man, settling in Lancaster County, PA in 1724.[5][6][7]

On a trip through eastern Virginia, Miller heard reports about a lush Valley to the west which had been discovered by Governor Alexander Spotswood's legendary Knights of the Golden Horseshoe Expedition.[8][9] In 1727, Miller and his wife Barbara moved from Pennsylvania to Virginia and staked out a claim on the south fork of the Shenandoah River, near the line that now divides Rockingham County from Page County.[10][11][12][13]

The year of Miller's 1727 arrival in the Valley is confirmed in a 1742 naturalization proclamation by Virginia Governor William Gooch, which states, "And Adam Miller ... having Settled and Inhabited for fifteen years past on Shenandoa in this colony".[14] Miller's birthplace is also cited in the proclamation, which notes that he was "born at Shesoin in Germany", but the correct spelling of "Schriesheim" is cited on the reverse side of the original document, written out and signed by Adam Miller.[15]

Shenandoah baptismal records show that Miller and his wife had at least three children: Catarina Elizabetha (b. December 20, 1734), Adam Jr. (b. July 16, 1736) and Anna Christina (b. October 18, 1738).[16][17] In adulthood, Catarina (Catherine) and Anna married brothers, John Baer and Jacob Baer, respectively.[18][19][20][21]

In 1741, Miller purchased 820 acres (3.3 km2), including a large lithia spring, near Elkton, Virginia, and lived on this property for the remainder of his life.[22][23] He sold 280 acres (1.1 km2) of this property to his son-in-law, Jacob Baer, and the spring on Miller’s land is still known as Bear Lithia Spring.[24][25] In 1758, Miller fought in the French and Indian War, serving in the Company of Lt. Christian Bingaman.[26][27] He died in 1783, with his estate settled in Rockingham County, VA.[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wayland, John, A History of Rockingham County, Virginia, 1912: Ruebush-Elkins Co, Dayton, VA, pp 33–37
  2. ^ "The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography" Vol X – No 1, July 1902, The Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, VA, pp 84–86
  3. ^ Strickler, Harry, "A Short History of Page County Virginia" 1952: The Dietz Press, Richmond VA, pp 50–51
  4. ^ Wayland, John, "The German Element in the Shenandoah Valley," 1907: Michie Company Printers, Charlottesville, VA, pp 38–39
  5. ^ Wayland, John, "Virginia Valley Records," 1996: Clearfield Co, Baltimore, MD, pp 311–312
  6. ^ Strickler, Harry, "A Short History of Page County Virginia," p 51
  7. ^ Wayland, John, "A History of Rockingham County, Virginia," pp 36–37
  8. ^ Wayland, John "A History of Rockingham County, Virginia," p 37
  9. ^ Wayland, John, Ed: "Men of Mark and Representative Citizens of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, Virginia," 1943: The McClure Co., Staunton, VA, p 419
  10. ^ Wayland, John, "A History of Rockingham County, Virginia," pp 33–37
  11. ^ " The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography," pp 84–86
  12. ^ Strickler, Harry M. "A Short History of Page County Virginia" pp 50–51
  13. ^ Wayland, John, Ed: "Men of Mark and Representative Citizens of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, Virginia," p 419
  14. ^ Wayland, "The German Element in the Shenandoah Valley," pp 38–39
  15. ^ Strickler, Harry M. "A Short History of Page County Virginia" pps 50–51
  16. ^ "Early Lutheran Baptisms and Marriages in Southeastern Pennsylvania: The Records of John Casper Stoever from 1730 to 1779," Genealogical Publishing Company, 1982
  17. ^ Best, Jane Evans: Bear Saga Update: Part Two, "Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage" Vol 21, No. 4, October 1998, p 26
  18. ^ "The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography," p 85
  19. ^ Best, Jane Evans: Bear Saga Update: Part Two, "Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage," p 26
  20. ^ Wayland, John, "Virginia Valley Records," p 311
  21. ^ Bakewell, Lois Andis, "Andis-Moe Ancestors in America," p 176
  22. ^ Wayland, John, "Virginia Valley Records," p 311
  23. ^ Wayland, "The German Element in the Shenandoah Valley," p 42
  24. ^ Wayland, John, "A History of Rockingham County, Virginia," pp 33–37
  25. ^ " The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography," pp 84–86
  26. ^ Hening, William Waller, "Hening's Statutes at Large" Volume VII (1756–1763), 1820: Commonwealth of Virginia, Richmond VA, p 186
  27. ^ Wayland, "The German Element in the Shenandoah Valley," p 43
  28. ^ Levinson, Constance, "Rockingham County Minute Book, 1778–1792 – Part I, 1778–1786" Greystone Publishers, Harrisonburg, VA, p 204

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bakewell, Lois Andis (1992). Andis-Moe Ancestors in America 1741–1990. Laurens, IA: The Compiler. 
  • Best, Jane Evans (October 1998). "Bear Saga Update:Part Two". Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage Magazine. 21 (4). 
  • Hening, William Waller (1820). Hening's Statutes At Large, Vol. VIII. Richmond, VA: Commonwealth of Virginia. 
  • Kemper, C.E. (July 1902). "Muller (Miller) Adam, First White Settler in the Valley of Virginia". X (1). The Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, VA. 
  • Levinson, Constance (1987). Rockingham County Minute Book, 1778–1792 – Part I, 1778–1786. Harrisonburg, VA: Greystone Publishers Co. 
  • Stoever, Johann Casper (1982). Early Lutheran Baptisms and Marriages in Southeastern Pennsylvania: The Records of John Casper Stoever from 1730 to 1779. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Company. 
  • Strickler, Harry M. (1952). A Short History of Page County Virginia. Richmond, VA: The Dietz Press. 
  • Wayland, John W. (1912). A History of Rockingham County, Virginia. Dayton, VA: Ruebush-Elkins. 
  • Wayland, John W. (1943). Men of Mark and Representative Citizens of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, Virginia. Staunton, VA: The McClure Co. 
  • Wayland, John W. (1907). The German Element in the Shenandoah Valley. Charlottesville, VA: Michie Company. 
  • Wayland, John W. (1996). Virginia Valley Records. Baltimore, MD: Clearfield Co.