Miller Family History

Abraham Miller
His 10 sons and 5 daughters

Prior to 1777, Abraham Miller's whereabouts are not currently known.    An 1887 biography lists him as born in Chester County.   In the 1880 census his son Elisha lists him as born in nearby Delaware (his only 2 other living children in 1880 list him as born in Pennsylvania).   Phebe's family was living in Brunswick Twp., Berks County for several of her teen years.    There are a few Miller families there that may be Abraham's.   One in particular is that of Peter Miller who was living on the land in Brunswick owned by James Boone (a cousin of Phebe's).     James Boone owned a tannery and was also a mathematician.    His brother Moses Boone lists in his ledger selling 'dressing' for a dog to "John Miller (Peter's son)".      It is possible that Peter is the father of Abraham and John his brother.    Both were in Exeter during one tax year, I believe 1780 if memory serves.

In 1777 an Abraham Miller signed an Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America in Berks County.   I've not been able to determine whether or not that was likely our Abraham Miller.   I'm currently looking at the other men who signed that same day to see where they were from and if they connect with any Miller families.

 In 1779 Abraham Miller was likely working for George Hughes (son of John Hughes and grandson of Ellis Hughes) as George Hughes paid Abraham's taxes that year.       George Hughes owned land that had been willed to him by his grandfather and land of his father's that had been given to him by the orphan's court.   George operated a Tannery and may also have operated the Tavern that his father had operated 30 years prior.    Abraham Miller eventually owned and operated a tavern (and inn) in Northumberland County but there is no record of him having operated a tannery.   My guess is that he worked for George Hughes as a laborer and/or in the tavern.

Abraham's future grandfather-in-law, John Webb owned the land next to George Hughes.    The Hughes, Webb and Boone families were all related in numerous ways and were Quakers, who attended the Exeter Monthly Meeting House located on George Boone's land (George Boone was the great-grandfather of Abraham's future wife, Phebe Webb).    John Webb and Mary Boone (grandparents of Phebe Webb) were married there. 

From 1780 to 1781, Abraham was active in the militia of Amity Twp., Berks County.    He served in Captain David Weidners 1st Company, 3rd Battalion, Berks County and was named there on August 11, 1780.   He is also listed in PA Archives absentee return April 19 – Nov 27, 1781   (David Weidner’s son Daniel married Phebe’s first cousin, Dinah Webb, by rev Wm Boos in Schwartzland Church, Amity Aug 10, 1790)    Phebe's father was already in Northumberland County at this time though due to Indian troubles they returned to Berks for some time.    I have the records of those travels but don't know the dates off hand.

In 1782 Abraham Miller and Phebe Webb were married by Rev. Wm. Boos of the Schwarzwald Union Church.     Rev. Wm. Boos was referred to as a "hireling minister" meaning he would marry couples for money.    The Quakers went to Phebe's home on 2 occasions to get her to denounce her marriage outside of the Quaker faith.    The first visit they did not find her home.   The second visit she was supposedly friendly but not willing to denounce the marriage and was therefore disowned.     There is no sign that she ever returned to the Quaker faith.    She was buried in the Episcopal Church cemetery in Bloomsburg (later removed to Old Rosemont Cemetery in Bloomsburg).



In 1750 the only Miller family around was that of Stephen Miller in Amity Twp.    It is very possible that Abraham was from Chester County originally as it adjoins Amity Twp.     Travel was made several times up the Susquehanna to Northumberland County (Catawissa Twp and Briar Creek Twp (then Wyoming Twp)) also over the Blue Mountains to Brunswick.     Business was conducted regularly in Philadelphia by Abraham Miller and by those around him.    James Boone was said to socialize with Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia.



Phebe Webb Miller's Life (August 13, 1762 to September 1, 1797):


On 4 Mar 1750 John Webb apparently received a patent on 4 tracts of land in what was to later become Brunswick township. On 13 Apr 1774 John conveyed one of these tracks to his son Benjamin who sold it to Peter Orwig on 6 Sep 1778 (Berks Co., PA, DB B3, p. 402, p. 515-516). A second track was probably conveyed to his son Joseph as in the 1778 Berks County tax list for Brunswick Township Joesph Webb's estate is shown with 392 acres.  (source: Bob Keyes )


Exeter MM, 25th day, 12th month, 1747/8, p. 763: “This meeting appoints Thomas Elliot & Jmes Boone to speak with John Webb jur concerning his going out in marriage before a magistrate & make report thereof to next Monthly Meeting.”

August 13, 1762 Phebe Webb born

[Phebe 1 year old] Exeter MM Minutes, 25th day 8th mo 1763 pg 483: Complaint against John Webb had offered to enlist himself as a soldier.

[Phebe 3 years old] On Sep 7, 1753 John Webb, Jr. of Amity purchased 100 acres of land in Amity from the estate of his uncle Samuel Boone (Berks Co., PA, DB B2, p. 216-217). John and Rachel sold this 100 acres of land in Amity Township on May 10, 1766 to Samuel Lee (Berks Co., PA, DB B2, p. 218).

[Phebe 5 years old]  The following year on May 13, 1767 they purchase 126 acres of land in on “Bohandy Creek adjacent to land of John Webb Junior and John Webb” in Brunswick Township from Isaiah Willits (Berks Co., PA, DB A6, p. 139-141). Apparently this property adjoined other land owned by John and Rachel and and his father.   John Webb Jr. buys land from John Boone in Amity this same year (1767).

[Phebe 7 years old] Brunswick Twp 1769  Tax List:   John Webb first appears. There in 1770 and 1771.   In 1772 John Webb Sr. is tax collector for Brunswick Twp.  There in 1773.   But in 1774 he is missing, though a John Webb and Jonathan Webb appear under single men.   (who these John Webb's are, I can not determine.   Likely grandsons of John Webb Sr. through one of his other sons (son George?).)

[Phebe 11 years old] On Jun 11, 1774 John Webb [Rachel is not mentioned] then sold this 126 acre “Plantation, water corn Mill and Saw Mill and Tract of Land Situate in Bohandy Creek” to Ludwich Hesing (Berks Co., PA, DB B1, p. 543-544). It may be at this time that John Webb, Jr. moved to Northumberland County as this is consistent with Clayton Webb's REMINISCENCES OF FORMER DAYS4 in which he states:  “My grandfather, John Webb, and one brother, Samuel Webb, moved into the woods on the Susquehanna River near the mouth of Fishing Creek in about the year 1770 taking a tract of excellent bottom land on which the town of Bloomsberry now stands.“   (source: Bob Keyes,%20Jr.html)

[Phebe 12 years old] 1774 "He and Moses Roberts were soon followed to the region about Catawissa by some of their former neighbors and relatives from the Oley and Exeter settlements.Among these settlers were: Job and Thomas Hughes (brothers of Ellis) and their families; John Webb, Jr., wife and eight children; Rachel Willits, widow, an ancient Friend; John Wilson and family; William Hughes, wife [Amy Willits] and two children [Job and Thomas]; George Hughes and family; Isaac John, wife and several children from Warrington in York County, Pennsylvania and Samuel Willits, wife Ann and daughter Cassandra from Deer Creek in Maryland. This small group of pioneers then, formed the original body of early Friends to settle in or about the region called "Catawesey,"" (source: A History of Catawissa Friends' Meeting) 

[Phebe 16 years old] Wyoming Massacre (Indian Troubles) in Northumberland  1778 - 1782

1779 Abraham Miller taxed pd by George Hughes in Exeter   (others who had taxes by non-family members were Germans)

1780 Abraham Miller taxed (under married men) in Brunswick (only other Millers that year were John and Jacob Miller).

1780 some friends possibly John Webb took the Oath of Allegiance to avoid problems with neighbors in Northumberland but were thus disciplined by the Society of Friends.

1780 April 9 John Webb, Moses Roberts and others were taken prisoner for helping Indians after, according to Peter Pence, their names (or the names of others) were found on Indian lists (perhaps after the Moses VanCampen Indian incident)( see Journal of Moses Roberts and )

1780 according to link above John Webb is not a member of the Society of Friends at this time -- however Phebe is disowned in 1783.

1780 the wives and families of those arrested, John Webb among them, returned to friends and family in Maiden Creek and Exeter Twps., "which monthly meetings they were members of".  (John Webb would have been from Exeter's MM)

November 27, 1782  Abraham Miller and Phebe Webb at Schwarzwald by Wm. Boos, a German 'hireling' minister.

February 26, 1783 Friends  visit Phebe Miller and report they have had an opportunity with her.

1783  Abraham Miller appears on Northumberland, Wyoming Twp tax list with 300 acres

1782-1784  Early residents return to Catawissa region

Conclusion    It appears that Phebe was born and lived in Exeter Twp, Berks County, until she was about 4.    The family then moved to Brunswick, Berks County, living there until she was 12 (1774).    In 1774, her family moved further north to Bloom Twp., Northumberland County.   She remained in Bloom Twp. until Indian troubles caused her family to return back to Exeter in 1778 (when she was 16).   In 1779 Abraham Miller was working for George Hughes (Phebe's 2nd cousin and neighbor to the John Webb Sr. land in Exeter.  George Hughes' wife was Phebe's first cousin once removed.)

1762  Phebe Born in Exeter on the border or in Amity

1763 (1 year old) Exeter

1764 (2 years old) Exeter

1765 (3 years old) Exeter

1766 (4 years old) Exeter

1767 (5 years old) Exeter (land record still lists John Webb the younger of Exeter Twp., Carpenter: witn Thos Lightfoot, Wm Green)

1768 (6 years old) Brunswig   (several families here are related to those living near Wm Miller in 1820 Fairfield Co., OH) (John Webb Jr. still taxed in Exeter this year)

1769 (7 years old) Brunswig

1770 (8 years old) Brunswig

1771 (9 years old) Brunswig  (at this point her grandfather John Webb was living in Exeter)

1772 (10 years old) Brunswig

1773 (11 years old) Brunswig

1774 (12 years old) Brunswig

1775 (13 years old) Bloom, Northumberland County

1776 (14 years old) Bloom, Northumberland County

1777 (15 years old) Bloom, Northumberland County

1778 (16 years old) Bloom, Northumberland County

Summer of 1778 page 129 of History of Berks County, PA, in the Revolution "Ordered, that the secretary write to the Lieutenant of Berks County to call upon Col. Lindemuth, or his Lieut-Colonel, stationed last Summer at Fort Jenkins in Northumberland, for five rifles taken from one Webb, charged with disaffection."

1779 (17 years old) Bloom, Northumberland County (Abraham Miller working for George Hughes)

1780 (18 years old) Bloom, Northumberland County -- John Webb was arrested April 9,1780 (along with Job Hughes, Moses Roberts, Joseph Hoseberry (or Roseberry), John Done, Haggi Cooper, Thomas Hughes, Isaac John) in Northumberland County and on April 18, 1780 he and other were brought down to Lancaster jail.   [see Moses Roberts Journal in Genealogy folder].     John Webb was "removed from their homes with their families in order to into the country" by the Sheriff's men.

1781 (19 years old) Exeter, Berks County

1782 (20 years old) Exeter, Berks County (November 27 marries Abraham Miller)   Wm Boos listed them as both residing in Exeter at the time -- September 29, 1782.

1783 (21 years old) Bloom, Northumberland County

Remained until her death in 1797 (age 35) in Bloom, Northumberland County