Saturday, July 3, 2010

Graveyard Rambling

A recent vacation to Williamsburg found me on a side trip to Gloucester, Virginia and walking a graveyard. As people who do family trees are aware it is hard to ride past a graveyard with out stopping to check out the occupants. The genealogist bumper sticker of "I brake For Graveyards" is only too true for some of us. My daughters, when younger, and asked "what did you do on your vacation?" all to frequently answered "we went to a graveyard." I made the oldest daughter go with me on this trip too.

One branch of my "Miller" family decided to cross the Chesapeake Bay and settle in Gloucester County Virginia. The Eastern Shore to Gloucester County route was a common migration pattern, as Gloucester is directly across the bay from us. People moved there to work in the lumber or fishing industries. The family member in question is John Miller, brother to my Great Grandfather - Sam Miller. The Miller family are from the general Delmar/Laurel/Salisbury area. John Miller moved to Gloucester County about 1891 to work in the sawmills.

Located in Gloucester is the Gloucester Museum of History. It seems to be run by the Gloucester Genealogical Society of Virginia. They are housed in the Botetourt Building which ia pre-revoluntionary brick ordinary (tavern). The Museum is a typical small town historical museum.

Old Courthouse

Debtors Prison


Visitors center

In addition to the museum the society also keeps open many of the historical courthouse related buildings located in a small walled town circle.

In this case the search for the grave of John Miller was simplified by the purchase of a book from the society called "More Cemeteries of Gloucester County Virginia" by Harry R. Jordan. I found this relative, John Miller, to be buried in Bellamy Cemetery (located on the grounds of Old Bellamy Methodist Church).

After a brief ride thru the countryside the cemetery was located and the tombstone(s) was located. I found his sons and a daughter in law and his first wife to be buried with him. Now why in family tree research is it important to visit a graveyard? I guess first there is information carved in stone that you should assume to be correct such as, the common name the person went by in his/her life (my John Miller real name was Isaac John Miller but on the stone was simply John Miller), the birth and death date, and there are other items to look for are; people buried around the person (could be relatives), look at how the grave is kept up (are there flowers?) it could mean there is a living person who brings flowers to the grave and very possible that person is a relative of yours, so you have another person to search for. If it is a church cemetery perhaps there are church records of marriages etc you can trace. If it is a commercial cemetery perhaps there is additional information at their office as to who purchased the gravesite and even more information as too who is buried there without a tombstone to mark their grave,

There are other family tree items to look for in Gloucester for this branch of the Miller family but time was growing short for this trip so we had to wrap it up.

A little Miller family tree information;

The father of John Miller was Isaac Samuel Miller. Isaac Miller was born October 12, 1813 in Delaware. He appears to have lived his life in the area between Trap Pond, Laurel, Delmar, Mardela, and Salisbury. He died on March 28, 1883.

In Delaware on Nov 11, 1834 the marriage of Leah A. Culver to Isaac Miller occurred. In Delaware a bond had to be posted in the event the Groom misrepresented himself. The Delaware marriage Bond posted for their marriage, list Isaac Miller and Salathael Culver as joint security for the bond. Salathael Culver was the brother of Leah. Leah Ann Culver was born February 28, 1817 in Maryland and died April 23, 1853.

Data on Isaac and Leah Children, from 1850 census informationand another researcher,Gil Kaufman.
1) Mariah Jane Boehm Miller, born August 7 1837 in Maryland. She was found in the Humphey family group in the 1870 Wicomico County Salisbury District census. In Household 259/276 is L T Humphey age 26 Merchant, Lizzie Humphey age 24, Theodoa Humphey age 8/12, Harriet Parker age 14 domestic, Maria Miller age 32 Domestic. Mariah J. Miller, age 30, married John Henry Maddux, age 30, on 1 Nov 1870 Wicomico County. They had one daughter, Della McHugh Maddox born in Salisbury MD on April 16, 1877. They moved to 1928 Light street, Baltimore, Maryland. Mariah died April 4, 1905. She is buried section A Cedar Hill, Ritchie Highway South Baltimore.

2) Salathael William Miller, born in Maryland on February 4, 1838. Besides being a biblical name, Salathiel is also a recurring Culver family name. Salathael Miller is listed on the tax assessment rolls of Little Creek Hundreds, Sussex County Delaware in 1868. Isaac Miller is also listed on the same tax roll. He died July 31, 1878. He is in the 1870 Delaware Sussex County Census, living in Laurel with a wife named Martha and a domestic servant named Martha Hitch age 20.

3) Leah Ann Miller , born November 23, 1839 in Maryland.

4) Luvanny (Luranie) Margaret Miller Born Feb 25 1841 married James Hitch December 6, 1860. Died July 18, 1861. James Hitch was born about 1821. He died after 1870. He first married Ellenor Jane Waller on Oct 3, 1846. They had three children; Mary Hitch, Julia Hitch, and Issac T. Hitch. He was a shoemaker and cordwinder. He is mentioned in the 1870 will of John Sudler, Physician of Bridgeville, as living in a house owned by Sudler.

5) Devinia Caroline Miller born March 2, 1842

In the 1852 Delaware Tax assessment for Isaac Miller of Little Creek Hundreds Sussex County Delaware he owned;
1 horse valued at $15
1 Colt valued at $25
1 cow & yearling valued at $13
1 sow & pigs valued at $7
3 Shorts valued at $6
3 sheep valued at $3

Isaac Miller married Eleanor W. Huston on Aug 16, 1854 in Sussex County Delaware.
Eleanor Huston was born August 30, 1826 in Delaware. Eleanor Huston was from the family of Samuel P and Martha Huston in Barren Creek district Wicomico County Maryland. Eleanor W. Miller B Aug 30, 1826 Died March 4, 1895 and is buried in Parson Cemetery, Salisbury, MD.

In 1878 Isaac Miller, Eleanor (Elleanair) Miller and her brother William Huston (Hustan) protested the will of Martha T. Huston and said Martha T Huston was not capable of a valid deed or contract at the time the paper was signed on account of her mental condition. They lost. Wicomico County Wills Folio 222 and folio 212.

In 1880 he was in Sussex County living with his daughter Henrietta. His wife Eleanor in 1880 is living with their other daughter Mary Smith.

Children of Isaac and Eleanor Miller:

1)Mary Miller born March 11, 1859, Mary was in the family of Isaac Miller in the 1870 census. She married John Walter Smith (son of James Smith and Sophia Causey Smith) who lived in the Salisbury Area. In the 1880 Census Wicomico County MD District 9 Household #259 is John W. Smith age 32, Mary E. Smith age 21, Anna M. Smith age 2, Cora B. Smith age 6/12 born December, Eleanor W. Miller age 56 mother in law . Mary Miller may be the Sarah Miller in the 1860 census in Worcester County mentioned above. Mary died Jan 18, 1923. John Smith died 1933. John W Smith in 1930 was living with his daughter and son in law (Levin Price and Annie M. Price) John W Smith ** was born June 1848 and Mary E Miller Smith** was born March 1859. They had as children;
Anna M. Smith, Born about 1878 Married Levin Thomas Price.
Gladys V. Price born about 1906, married James W. Butler (born about 1904)
Children; Shirley Butler (born after 1930)
John Williams Price born about 1908 (twins Elizabeth) married Sarah Gilbert (born about 1905)
Children; Joan C. Price, born about 1930
Elizabeth Price born about 1908 (twins John Williams) married Frank Gayle
Children Elizabeth Gayle

Cora L. Smith Born about 1880, Married first Henry Bradley, second Lafayette Lowe- no children
Bertha Smith born August 1881, married George L. Messick (born about 1869) Oysterman Nanticoke no children
Lulu E. Smith Born February 1883, married Clark Taylor of the Eastern Shore of Virginia
William McAllen Taylor
Albert F Smith born July 1885, Died Sept 14, 1900 **
Wade, Smith born July 28 1889 died Feb 3 1893 **
Norman E Smith born August 6, 1887 died March 29, 1927, He was a teacher married Mary Finney – no children
Nellie L Smith Born November 1891, She was a teacher , married William W. Gavin born about 1890 lived Baltimore, S. Carolina Salisbury Note: active in politics
William W. Gavin Jr born about 1921 married Elizabeth Moore NOTE: appointed Maryland State aviation commission in the 1950’s
Richard L. Gavin born about 1924
John Walter Smith born Oct 1894, married Pansy M. Steffens born about 1893 in Chincoteague
John Walter Smith Jr married Emaline James
Peter Alexander Smith
Susan Smith
Pansy Mildred Smith married Charles Mason Durham
Dianah Durham
Charles Mason Durham Jr
Sandra Durham
Robert Allen Smith
Mamie L Smith born December 1899, married Bryan Ward
Jean Ward married Benjamin de Bartolo
Joseph de Bartolo
Williams de Bartolo
Louise Smith born about 1903

** buried in Parson Cemetery Salisbury, MD
Of note Eleanor Huston Miller (Aug 30, 1826 died March 4, 1895) had a sister named Mary.

2) Ellen (Henrietta) Miller born Sept 1863, Ellen Miller was in the family of Isaac Miller in 1870. My grandmother says she married a Foskey. The census would support this for Henrietta and Nathan Foskey. However in 1870 she is listed as Ellen in the household of Samuel Miller and Henrietta is the one in the household of Dr Laird Todd. Could it be that there were twins? In the Todd family group in 1870 Wicomico County MD census Salisbury District is; Dr. Laird Todd Physician age 40, Julia Todd age 38, Henry Todd age 14, Lillian Todd age 12, George Todd age 9, Edward Todd age 7, Mary Todd age 2, Henretta Miller age 7 no relationship given just says at home, Ellen Travers age 53, Heretta Anderson age 19 Domestic. Of note, Eleanor Huston Miller had a sister named Henrietta.

Henrietta Miller married Nathan Foskey on Aug 15, 1878. In 1880 they lived in the Laurel area with Isaac Miller age 68 in the house with them. Henrietta and Nathan moved to the Pittsville Maryland area. In 1880 Nathan was 26. Besides Henrietta he had a 5-year-old son named Renza C. B. (Clarence) Foskey and a 7/12 month old son named Elijah W. Foskey. Since Henrietta did not marry Nathan until 1878 (she was 15?) and they are showing a 5 year old son in 1880, it is assumed Nathan had been married before.

In the cemetery at Forest Grove Church are Henrietta N. Foskey Sep 5, 1863 to Oct 20, 1925; Nathan H. Foskey Aug 10, 1849 to Jan 22, 1930
Renzie C Foskey age 20 married Ida C. Dunn age 18 on November 24, 1892
In the 1900 Census for Wicomico County Pittsburg District it shows Henrietta had 10 children 8 of which are still alive. The eight children I would guess to be Elijah, Rosa (Rosey) May Eleanor (married Peter W.O. Jarman on 4-9-1902). Nevins Thomas Benjamin (married Minnie M. Bell on 11-23-1909), Nathan Stonewall Jackson (Married Virdie Harris on 4-19-1913), Lydia Elizabeth Priscilla (Married George E. Davis 6-10-1908), Julia Ann Daisey(married 2nd Arthur Ing, 1st had last name Marks), Theodosia Alice (Dosh) (married 1st Peat Marsay 6-16-1912), Seripita Ida was born 10-15-1905 died 3-7-1998 (married John A. Parker 11-24-1922), William Willie). Names from Phyllis Davis and Ruth Perdue.

3) George W. Miller born Jun 22, 1865. George was in the family of Isaac Miller in the 1870 census. In 1880 he was working on the farm next to Nathan Foskey, which was owned by John Ellis. He was 15. He married Fannie E. Calloway on Sep 15, 1886. He appears to have lived his life in Laurel, Delaware. He is buried at Hill Cemetery 9th streets Laurel Delaware. Related family members in the Miller plot are;
George W. Miller Jun 22, 1865 to Jan 4, 1945
Fannie E. Miller Aug 27, 1868 to Feb 7, 1926
Cremer W. Miller son of Geo & Fannie 1890-1894
Ellen P. Landon Oct 30, 1919 to June 5, 2002
Howard J. Penuel Jan 20, 1890 – Mar 30, 1977
Vessie L. Penuel July 9, 1887 – Feb 1976

Based on George Miller obit in the State Register Jan 12, 1945 he had two daughters; Vessie L. Miller (Mrs Howard Penuel) and Mary Miller (Mrs. Frank Lank). Howard J. Penuel married Vessie L. Miller in 1916
Mary Miller married Frank Lank in 1914. On George Miller Death Certificate (Nr 144) his parents are listed as Isaac Miller and Eleanor Huston.
Based on the obit of Howard J. Penuel and Mrs. Howard Penuel the couple had two daughters; Ellen Rosena Penuel, who married Charles Nearitt. Landon in 1940; and Frances P. Hastings

4)Greensbury W. Miller born about 1868. Greensbury was in the family of Isaac Miller in the 1870 census. He moved to Baltimore. In Wicomico County MD marriage books FMS#1 P238 Greensbury W. Miller age 21 years 2 month resident of Salisbury married Lenita Maddox age 21 resident of Sussex County (Page 242) married by T E Martindale on Jan 30, 1888. Greensbury is in the 1910 Baltimore census. He is listed as Greenbury. He lived on Harman Alley and was an Insurance agent. His wife Lenita had 7 children of which 3 lived. They were Garland W., a printer, born about 1891, Samuel, a newsboy in 1910, born about 1898, and William born about 1905. By 1920 his wife had died and he was living with his son Garland (now a laborer) and his wife Eva (age 20) on Marshal Street. The other two sons Samuel (a laborer) and William (a Florist) were also living with them. In 1920 he was a sewing machine salesman. In 1930 his son Sam T had married Irene age 35. They had a step daughter Sarah V. Gurry age 15, his father in law Charles E Carrol age 69 and his brother William T age 24 living with him on Forest park Ave. Sam and William were elevator operators.

Isaac Miller was married to Eleanor in 1860. The children produced were Samuel and John. John Miller state on his marriage license in 1929 to Gertrude his parents were Isaac Miller and Eleanor Houston. John Miller states on his marriage license in 1929 to Getrude that his parents were Isaac Miller and Eleanor Houston.

1) Samuel James Miller On his death certificate (Nr 1622) his parents are listed as Isaac Miller and Ellen Hastings. Samuel James Miller born Dec 7, 1860, died June 4, 1932, married March 2, 1882 to Betsey E. Miller born Oct 9, 1863, died March 16, 1950

Supposedly Samuel lived with a family named Workman on "Cry Baby" Ellis farm until age 7 years old. He was living with the Elijah Carmean family nears Kings United Methodist Church southeast of Hearns Xrds when he was married in 1882. He had a twin brother named John. The two brothers have never been found in any census information with Isaac and Eleanor Miller, nor have they ever been found listed as being in the same household as one another. Oral history says Samuel and John were known and accepted as brothers to the other children of Isaac and Eleanor.

Samuel Miller was not found in the 1870 census, if born in December he would have missed the 1860 census as the census was done in the summer. Samuel J. Miller was found in the 1880 census for Wicomico County District 9 (between Delmar and Salisbury) Household #88 in the family of William N. Hearn age 36, Lavinia A age 31, Nora E. age 11, Herbert W. age 9, Ama M. age 8 and Samuel J Miller age 19 laborer .

Samuel Miller was found in the 1910 census Sussex County Delaware 5th rep. 2nd district Delmar #406. It was indicated Elizabeth had only married once and had been married for 28 years. Elizabeth Miller indicated she had 7 children 5 of which were living. Only 4 were shown at the house. They were Frona, Rosa, Lillie, and Annie.

Samuel and Elizabeth Miller Children were;
Minnie May Miller born Nov 6, 1883, died Dec 24, 1954. She married William Franklin Wilson on Feb 21, 1900. They had 8 children
Annie (Emma) L. Miller born April 13, 1886, died April 1886
Sophronia (Frona) Esther Miller born Jan 25, 1889, died March 8, 1947. She married Gardner Harrison Hastings on Dec 8, 1915. They had four children
Charlie W. Miller born April 8, 1892, died April 1892
Rosa Ellen Miller born Aug 13 1893, died Dec 1 1986. She married Elijah Ellis Dickerson on Nov 29, 1913. She had 7 children.
Lillie Agnes Miller born March 31, 1897, died June 10, 1971. She married William Renettus Layfield on Sep 1 1928. They had four children.
Annie Mae Miller born Aug 10, 1904, died Jan 31, 1986. She married Horace Lee Hearn on Apr 3, 1926. They had seven children.

Samuel and Betsy Miller are buried at the St Stephens Cemetery (Mt Olive) Delmar Delaware.

In the 1913-1916 tax assessment for Little Creek Hundred Sussex County Delaware Samuel J. Miller had for property;
25 acres of land @ $12 $300
51 acres of land @ $10 $510
1 horse $125
1 horse $100
1 horse $25
2 cows $60
1 sow $10
Transfer land to Edward Dickerson -$220
total $910

2)Isaac John Miller born 1860 moved to Virginia. I have no information that would link him to Samuel Miller, other than verbal information from Grandmom and other family members. Since they are suppose to be twins the same parents as Samuel exists. Isaac John Miller rarely used the first name of Isaac and went by John.

In the 1870 Delaware census Broadcreek Hundreds, Subdivision 22 living in the household of David and Louisa Hudson is John Miller age 9. There are two other non-Hudson household members – Franklin Hitchens age 16 and William Daisey age 20. Other members of the David and Louisa Hudson are Sonora age 7 and Francis age 3. David H. Hudson (b 1839 d 1891) and Louisa Hudson (b 1841 d 1915) are buried at Bethasda Church.

In the 1870 census,in the household next to David and Louisa Hudson, are Joseph and Mary Hudson. In this household is Eleanor Hudson age 11. This would be a possible for Mary E. Hudson.

Isaac John Miller married Mary E Hudson about 1882/1883. Mary was born March 1858 and born in Delaware. They had as children;
Unnamed child, died 1884
Ernest James Miller, born Oct 1886 Delaware
Nora Miller, born 1888 died 1888
Eddie Bert Miller, born Oct 1890 in Delaware
Lester Calvin Miller, born June 1893 in Virginia
Lucy Jane Miller, born Feb 1899 in Virginia

They moved to Gloucester County Virginia about 1891. He worked in a sawmill.
On Oct 20, 1925 Mary died. John remarried a second time Gertrude Elizabeth Regansbury Stubblefied (age 64) On March 28, 1929. Gertrude was born about 1864. She was from Virginia and she was married at least once before. They lived in Cappahosic (on the York River west of Gloucester Town). He died March 7, 1941.
In the 1930 census of Gloucester County Virginia he was listed as a Farmer.

At Bethasda Church near Trappe pond Delaware are the graves of “Nora daughter of I. John and Mary E. Miller Born Oct 29, 1888 Died Oct 5, 1899” and “Infant child of I. John and Mary E. Miller Born Oct 20, 1884, died Oct 28, 1884”. If Mary Miller had 6 children as recorded in the 1900 Gloucester VA census these would be the two dead ones. This information is also recorded in Hudson Cemetery Records (an early record of graves in Delaware). Note: Bethasda Church is in the general area of Hearn’s xroad where Elijah Carmean farm was. Note Bethsada Church; Few hundred feet in on Rt72 (Wootten Road) from intersection of Rt 62 (Little Hill road) and Rt72. Heading west on Rt72 will come to Raccoon Pond. The church has Thompson Branch behind it. The church is currently closed. The gravesites of Millers are directly behind the church. The gravesites next to them are Ernest Davis, Elizabeth and Benton Gordy, a Dunn child. Other names in the cemetery are; Dunn, Hudson, Pusey, Matthews, Thompson, Baker, Lecates, etc. The inscription (poem) on the infant tombstone is not readable. On Nora tombstone it is “Sweet Nora unto earth, a while was given, She plumed her wing for flight, and soared away to heaven”

John Miller is listed in the Gumboro Hundreds (Sussex County Delaware) tax assessment of 1884-1888 with a per capita tax of $150. A notation is made that he is delinquent in 1887.

John H. Miller is in the 1900, 1920 and 1930 census in Gloucester VA
In 1900 census Gloucester VA Petsworth district, 089a 030 226 229
John H. Miller born April 1860 married 16 years, sawyer,
Mary E. Miller born Mar 1858 married 16 years, 6 children – 4 children living .
Ernest J Miller son age 13 born Oct 1886 Delaware
Eddie B Miller age 9 born Oct 1890 born Delaware
Lester A Miller age 6 born June 1893 born Virginia
Lucy J Miller, age 1 born Feb 1899 Virginia

Oral history says he moved to North Carolina, but based on the 1930 census he was living in Virginia and was 70 years old.

He died on March 7, 1941 and is buried at Bellamy Cemetery.

John and Mary Miller children.
1)Ernest James Miller Born October 5, 1886 in Delaware. Eventually moved to the neighboring county of New Kent Virginia. Based on Joan Lewis Information; On 28 December 1913 he married Deborah Day Kemp in Newport News. At that time he was living in James City County Virginia and was a lumberman. She was the daughter of Monroe and Harriett Kemp. She was born 22 April 1885. She died on 11 September 1918 along with a stillborn child named Viola Day Miller. They had a daughter, Alice Virginia Miller, who was born about 1915. He is shown in the 1920 census for New Kent, Ware Creek, Virginia.

In the World War I Draft Registration Cards his information is listed as;
Ernest James Miller living Barhamsville VA., (New Kent County) a farmer and sawmill owner Born Oct 5 1886, married, medium height, gray eyes and light hair.

He remarried between 1920 and 1930. He married his stepmother’s daughter Annie Robbin Stubblefield, she was born in 1889. They had additional children; Jessie? a daughter born about 1924, Ernest a son born about 1928 and Anne born about 1930. He died in 1955. She remarried to James Edward Morris (age 65) on May 30, 1959. She was 69 and a widow. She is buried in Bellamy Cemetery.

Based on WW2 Registration information he worked for Virginia Engineering and Wise Construction Company at the Navy Warfare School in Yorktown VA. His age was 56.

He died in 1955 and is buried at Bellamy Cemetery.

2) Eddie Bert Miller born October 21, 1890 in Delaware. He married Lucy Parrish Richardson on May 22, 1918. She was born May 1888. They had a daughter Mary Keith Miller who was born about 1920. He also lived in New Kent Ware Creek Virginia and worked in a sawmill. He is shown in the 1920 census for that county. In the 1930 census he is living with his father in law Charles. P. Richardson and is a farmer. He died Feb 26, 1961. Mary Keith Miller married William Preston Messick on Jan 10, 1971. She was 51 and he was 70.

His WW1 draft registration information shows him as a farmer and sawmill owner in New Kent county VA. He was 26 at the time and listed as single. Medium height and stout with Grey eyes and light hair.

His WW2 registration information shows him as living in Barhamsville, New Kent, VA, Self-Employed and 51.

3) Lester Calvin Miller, born June 17, 1893 born Virginia, died on Sept 22, 1943. Married Janie A.. Possible divorced as Janie A Miller became Janie A. Crowder at time the will was filed at New Kent Courthouse. Probably married in 1919. He lived at 3039 Moss Side Ave. Richmond VA in 1941. He is buried at Bellamy Cemetery.

4) Lucy (Lucie) Jane Miller, born Feb 1899 Virginia. Married Hersey Marborn Mason on December 23, 1926. He was 27 and she was 26. In 1941 was living in Shackelfords, VA. In the 1930 census he was in Gloucester county Abrigdon district 18/19 with son Hersey jr . He was shown as a mechanic. H. Marvin Mason died on March 14, 1983. Lucie died on February 23rd, 1964. Both are buried at Ebenezer Cemetery Gloucester County Va.

1 comment:

  1. Nathan H. Foskey is my Great, Great Grandfather, if you want any info, please contact me at