Adam Miller has a place in American history because he appears to have been the first white settler in the Shenandoah Valley . He was born November 17, 1703, probably in Shresheim, Germany (1). His parents might have been Johann Peter and Anna Margaretha Miller (3). It is believed he emigrated to the colonies. in the 1720s. He and his wife and his older sister (Catarina?) were in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, then in Williamsburg, Virginia, before going to the Shenandoah Valley. They arrived there in 1726. He first settled near the current Page County line in an area that is currently Rockingham County.
Adam received a certificate of naturalization from Governor William Gooch on March 13, 1741-2. It reads in part:
"And Adam Miller born at Shresoin in Germany having Settled and inhabited for fifteen years past on Shenandoa in this Colony and now made Application to me for the benefit of Naturalization and before me taken the oaths prescribed by Law and Subscribed the Test, I Do hereby pursuant to the said authority Declare the said Adam Miller to be to all intents and purposes, fully and compleatly Naturalized and to have and Enjoy to him and his Heirs the same Immunities and Rights of and unto the Laws and Priviledges of this Colony and dominion as fully and amply as any of His Majesty's Natural Born Subjects have and Enjoy within the same, and as if he had been born within any of His Majesty's Realms and Dominions according to the aforesaid act saving always in such matters and things which by the Laws of England concerning the Plantation he is disabled.
Given under my hand and the Seal of the Colony at Williamsburg this 13th day of March 1741-2 in the 15th year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King George the Second By the Grace of God King of Great Brittain &c.
William Gooch (2)"
In 1733 Adam Miller was one of eight men to petition Governor Gooch to confirm their title to 5000 acres of land. They had purchased the land four years before from Jacob Stover for 400 pounds. Their petition stated there were 52 people living on the land. It is unclear whether Stover actually owned the land when he sold it as his grant for 10,000 acres was dated June 17, 1730, This tract of land was on the Shenandoah River, and they called the area Massanutting. Adam later sold his land and in 1741 moved near Elkton at Bear Lithia Spring.
Wayland (1) tells of a Moravian preacher who wrote in his journal in 1749,
"Towards evening a man from another district, Adam Mueller, passed. I told him that I would like to come to his house and preach there. He asked me if I were sent by God. I answered, yes. He said, if I were sent by God I would be welcome, but he said, there are at present so many kinds of people, that often one does not know where they come from. I requested him to notify his neighbors that I would preach on the 5th, which he did.
On December 4th we left Schaub's house, commending the whole family to God. We traveled through the rain across the South Shenandoah to Adam Mueller, who received us with much love. We staid over night with him.
On December 5th I preached at Adam Mueller's house on John 7: "Whosoever thirsteth let him come to the water and drink." A number of thirsty souls were present. Especially Adam Mueller took in every word, and after the sermon declared himself well pleased. "
Adam was a soldier in the French and Indian War, as shown by the military schedule for 1758 in Hening's Statutes.
He married Anna Barbara Koger in Germany (2). She was born in 1707. He was probably buried at St. Peter's church about six miles north of Elkton.
Adam and Barbara Miller had the following children:
1.1 Anna Barbara (1726-1791)
1.2 Catherine Elizabeth (1734-)
1.3 Adam (1736-1758)
1.4 *Henry (1736-1784)
1.5 Christian (1738-1778)
1.6 Anna Christina (1738-)
1.7 Peter (1742-)
1.1 Anna Barbara was born 1726 and died November 17, 1791. About 1750 she married Jacob Bear (Baer), Jr. He was born November 15, 1724, and died February 12, 1783. They are both buried near Bear Lithia Springs, Elkton, Virginia.
Ann and Jacob Bear's children were:
Anna Maria - (1757-1824)
1.2 Catherine Elizabeth was born December 20, 1735, and was christened May 1, 1739. About 1754 she married John Bear (another son of Jacob Bear, Sr.)
Catherine and John Bear had one child:
1.3 Adam Jr. was born July 16, 1736 and died before 1758. It is believed he was killed by Indians but the date is unknown.
1.4* Henry married Anna Elizabeth Koger
Anna Barbara (1757-)
*Catherine Elizabeth (1766-1830)
1.5 Christian married Catherine Conrad
1.6 Anna Christina born October 18, 1738
1.7 Peter born 1742/1744
(1) Wayland, John D., A History of Rockingham County
(2) Wayland, John D., German elements of the Shenandoah Valley.
(3) Stories in the Shenandoah.
|Celia's home page||