Confusion of Jacob Miller/Mueller Families

When I began this journey of discovery back in 2012, my wife was already finding out about her Miller family, and when I joined the hunt for my Miller family, we somehow ended up on the same page. Let the confusion commence…were we cousins? We both had John Millers born about the same time, that had fathers named Jacob and some of the family trees out on the internet did not clear anything up, thus began my need to clear this up once and for all. Below are the best examples of the confusion that can occur with ancestors that share so many similarities.

From James Beidler’s book “German Family Tree Genealogy Guide”..”the joke among German genealogists is that everyone has at least one “Johannes Mueller/John Miller” ancestor.”

Jacob Miller, Family #1

Beginning in 1937 and culminating in 1952, Everett W. Miller compiled records through this time period for his ancestor, Jacob Miller, and published a book called “Genealogy of Jacob Miller and his Descendants”.  In it, he describes how government records were obtained by Sigfus Olafson in 1938 for his Jacob Miller family and below is a portion of Everett Millers’ book of how and when his Jacob Miller came to America.

*”Jacob Miller was born in Germany in 1702 and came to Philadelphia in 1715 when he was a boy of 13. He married a Miller, also a German, but not related to him, as one of the couple was from the highlands of Germany and spoke the dialect known as High German, while the other was from the lowlands and spoke the Low German dialect. At this time Philadelphia was the port to which most of the German immigrants came, as well as many immigrants of other nationalities. There was not room for them in that vicinity so they naturally spread outward into the less settled portions of Pennsylvania and southward along the eastern ridge of the mountains, which at that time were an almost insurmountable barrier. In that way a good many of them found their way into the Shenandoah Valley, among whom was Jacob Miller. He settled in Rockingham County and there reared a large family.”

*“We do not know the date he settled there, neither do we know how many children, since records are incomplete covering these early settlers, and we understand the court house of Rockingham County was destroyed by fire with all the County records. However, we do have the names of the following children:”

1-Christian – lived and died in Rockingham Co., VA (from Augusta Co., VA records)

2-Henry – lived and died in Rockingham Co., VA (from Augusta Co., VA records)

3-Jacob, Jr. (1726-1806) m. 1st Eliz. Fudge (9 children), 2nd Margaret Sullivan (7 children) – Monroe Co., WV.

4-John, Sr. (1735-1826) m. Barbary Mauze (9 children) – Monroe Co., WV – Rev. War Vet.

5-George – lived in Monroe Co., WV, moved onto Madison Co., KY (possibly 14 children)

6-Barbary (1744-1819) m. Jacob Mann (3 children) – Monroe Co., WV

7-Katherine – lived in Monroe Co., WV, moved onto KY (no further record)

The wife of the above Jacob Miller was Margaret.

The above Jacob Miller family is my wife’s ancestors through John Miller, Sr.

There have been many historical items written about John Miller, Sr., so by searching his name along with Monroe County, WV, you will find histories that were written about him and his family. He settled on what is now an historical site called the Pence Farm, Monroe Co., WV.

*Source: Genealogy of Jacob Miller and his Descendants by Everett Wayne Miller, 1952.

Jacob Miller, Family #2

Another Jacob Miller that is similar to the above was written about in the book “West Virginia and its People, Volume 2”, Page 186, by Thomas Condit Miller and Hu Maxwell, 1913.

This Jacob Miller was born abt. 1698 and died May 1776. His father was Ulrich Miller from Zweibrucken, who was a burgher. Jacob first stayed in York Co., PA, then later, with his wife, Barbara and 6 children made their way to Shenandoah Valley by 1752. Jacob acquired 2,000 acres by 1766, 1,200 acres of which he laid out the town of Muellerstadt, which George Washington later renamed Woodstock.

Jacob’s children were:

Ulrich, Jacob, Barbara, Christian, Susannah, Mary and Martin

Christian Miller was born in Zweibrucken in 1744 and died in Woodstock, April 28, 1836. Christian was married to Catherine Wiseman (1746-1837).

Christian and Catherine’s children were:

John (1781-1846)

Henry, married in 1815

Eight other children, two of which died young

As you can see, the similarities are quite easy to get confused, especially with names of children, and the dates at which they were born and the locations they lived in.

Jacob Miller, Family #3

Our final Jacob Miller (Mueller) is my Miller family. This Mueller family name was originally spelled with the umlaut over the U as shown in the records below, although I’m sure there were many with the same spelling.

To begin, my Jacob Miller was born Oct. 22, 1697 in Tierstein, Germany. His wife was Catharina Charlotta (Charlotte) Loechner, who was born Oct. 11, 1699. The actual church records, (I received from Myron Miller, distant cousin through Jacob’s son, Jacob, Jr.), clearly states that Jacob Miller, Sr. and Charlotte Loechner were married Nov. 26, 1720. The record of their marriage and the birth of their first 4 children are recorded in the Evangelische Kirche Neipperg (OA. Brackensheim). Kirchenbuch, 1647-1925 FHL Film No. 1184764.

 

JacobMarriage

Jacobs1st4Children

The authentication of the records for Johann Jacob Mueller has been verified, as recorded by the Christ Little Tulpehocken Lutheran Church, near Bernville, Berks Co., PA in the records of the Rev. Jacob Stoever, that Johann Jacob Mueller, b. Sept. 24, 1728, recorded the given names of the parents, date of birth, and the names of the witnesses, matching exactly to the church records in Neipperg. There can be no mistake that this is the same family.

*A note here about Jacob’s son, Frederich Adam. It is unclear if Frederich died on the ship, or after the family landed, but according to Jacob Stoever’s records, there were only 4 children with baptism records and only 4 children mentioned in Jacob’s will.

Coming to America

Jacob Mueller, his wife Charlotte, and 2 of his children left Germany on April 28, 1732 and came to America on the ship Johnson, of London, David Crocket, Master, from Rotterdam, last from Deal. Landed in Philadelphia on September 19, 1732 (September 19th happens to be my birthday). Jacob was required to sign an Oath of Allegiance.

Handwriting Comparison

A German author and genealogist friend of mine, James Beidler, wrote in his book the “German Family Tree Genealogy Guide” about the comparison of handwriting and signatures of our ancestors. I have been fortunate enough to be able to obtain copies of my Jacob Mueller’s actual signatures, one from the Oath of Allegiance he signed and the other signature from his will. You can see the comparison below:

Signatures

After showing this to James, he indicated a match, which I had already believed it to be. You have to remember, after 34 years, a person’s handwriting can vary and change with age, but all the “tells” are there. How close the “L’s” are together in the Muller name, how the “r” is formed at the end, and how the name slightly arcs in the middle.

Birth Records of the Rev. Jacob Stoever

The birth and baptism records of Rev. Jacob Stoever helped solidify the authentication of my Mueller family:

MuellerBirths

The 2nd child, John (Johannes) Mueller is my 6x great-grandfather. He was baptized at White Marsh on Nov. 16, 1733 by Philip Boehm. Philip Boehm is my 7th great-grandfather on my mother’s side.

Source: Taken from Notes and Queries Historical, Biographical and Genealogical Relating to the Interior Pennsylvania by William Henry Egle, Annual Vol. 1899.

What Happened to the Children?

REVISED: Jacob Mueller, Jr. born 24 Sept. 1728 in Germany to Jacob Mueller and Charlotte Loechner, was married 5 April 1751 at Christ’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Stouchsburg, Marion Township, Berks County, PA to Anna Maria Lang, who was 2 months pregnant with their 1st child Johannes Mueller.

Johannes Mueller, born 8 Nov 1733, lived out his life in Berks County, Pennsylvania. He and his wife Justina are buried next to Johannes’s father and mother Jacob and Charlotte in the Christ Little Tulpehocken Lutheran Church Cemetery. I have a copy of his will.

Little is known of Mary Elizabeth Barbara Mueller, after she married John Hess.

Matthias Mueller is probably the most well-known of Jacob’s children. He was the youngest, was named as the executor of Jacob’s will, he fought with the PA Militia during the Revolutionary War as a private and had 18 children and 4 wives. In 1794-95, he moved to Rockingham, VA. Many of his children followed him to VA.

This is my Mueller family. It’s really not that confusing at all when you look at the records and all the evidence presented. If you are related to one of these Miller families, be mindful of the time periods of arrival, the amount of children and their names, and the locations of where your Miller family may have settled.

Special thanks to Myron Miller, pictured below, for the exceptional documentation he has provided.

Myron at gravesite of Jacob Miller (1697 - 1772) (1)

Brian S. Miller

34 thoughts on “Confusion of Jacob Miller/Mueller Families

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your research on the Jacob Millers of Virginia. It has been a very confusing and frustrating endeavor trying to sort them all out! I was very happy to stumble upon your blog as I am in the process of confirming and proving my lineage to the Jacob Miller that founded Woodstock (your Jacob Miller #2). My records line up with yours for that lineage. I have been trying to trace the Jacob Miller of Woodstock to the descendants migration to Wytheville, VA and then on to Kentucky. If you have any resources you would recommend to me on that particular line I would be very appreciative.

    Karen Davis

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Karen, I have seen the Jacob #2 and Jacob #1 confused so many times. One little known source that may help is on the Library of Virginia website. If you’ve ever dug into their Chancery records, sometimes you can hit paydirt. http://www.virginiamemory.com/collections/chancery/ . If you go to the bottom of the page, there is a link to search the index. If you know the County, you can filter on it to get better results. There are actual documents attached, but not for every index record. It will tell you if there is one. Any questins, just let me know. bsmiller92@hotmail.com
      Thanks, Brian

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    • Karen, Also I have a digital historical book that has an article on this Miller family. Send me an email and I’ll return those pages to you, unless you already have them.
      Brian

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  2. I am having a very hard time with my Miller/Mueller. I am descended from George Miler of Woodstock, VA. I am finding family trees of him being born in 1786 to Anna Baer and Jacob Mueller of Germany who died in Woodstock in 1790. When I do any research, George’s siblings are mentioned, but he is not. Do you know of him at all or could he have been left out of records because he was born later than his siblings? Thanks.

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  3. My husband’s dad is listed in the Miller family #1 tree reference book. We have the book. I found many similarities with attempting to trace family names and children and agree it is confusing. I read through the book and found it interesting. I am intrigued about a female with an odd name listed early in the book and with very little written about her. Amazingly I saw a street with her same name on a back road between Harrisonburg and Seneca Rock’s. Now that is interesting! I recently retired and may have the opportunity to do some research.

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  4. Glad I ran across your post. I am a descendant of Jacob Miller born 1702 in Germany. We have a reunion the last Sunday in July every year. We are having our 80th this year! If anyone would like to attend please contact me for info or join our group on Facebook “The Annual Miller Reunion, The Descendants of Jacob Miller”. For more history click this link: http://millerreunion.com/history.asp

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  5. Thanks for this. I am Jacob Meuller from Alsace Lorraine, Germany. He was apparently born in 1737 and died in Opelousas, LA in 1807. I am so stuck. I don’t think my Jacob Miller (Meuller) is the same as any of the above. His wife was Anne Marie. I’m positive of this since there is a passaneher list for Ship Brittania that sailed from Maryland to New Orleans. I also know 4 of the children were born in Frederick County, Maryland. I’m struggling to figure this out but I’m determine. Anyone run across my Jacob along the way?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Megan,
      I have been having trouble locating the Parents of my Barbara Miller b. 1795 Maryland, married David Stewart, and lived Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. I match a Muller/ Miller line from near Switzerland on female mtDNA, but the match, she either passed or won’t respond.
      Loechner or Tschudy may connect on the Swiss/ German border area.
      Bob

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  6. Hello Megan,
    After 6 years of researching, I’ve probably only scratched the surface of seeing all Jacob Muellers. It is probably the 2nd most common Mueller name among our Miller ancestors, John being the first. I have 3 John’s in my lineage and 2 Jonathans. My wife has a John Miller in hers, his father being a Jacob. Keep plugging away at it.
    Brian S. Miller

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  7. Hi Brian,
    Thank-you for sharing!
    I have some Miller lines, also.
    I have a lot of Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania ancestors.
    Miller connects to my Rust, Bakers of Shenandoah Co., Virginia area.
    The line that is giving me the problem is finding my Barbara’s Parents, mentioned below.
    I have been having trouble locating the Parents of my Barbara Miller b. 1795 Maryland, married David Stewart, and lived Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. I match a Muller/ Miller line from near Switzerland on female mtDNA, but the match, she either passed or won’t respond.
    Loechner or Tschudy may connect on the Swiss/ German border area to these Muller/ Millers.
    Bob

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for doing all of this Research. I am just getting started with my family tree. Some of my cousins have attempted in the past and quickly gave up. So I am attempting. Unfortunately, I come from a huge immediate family, but my father was the youngest of 11, and he has since passed away before I started. I have one uncle who is still alive, but he is in poor health. This is what originally got me started on this discovery. My Family is a Miller from Berkeley Springs, WV. I know my Grandfather is Charles Edward Miller, Sr. I think his father is William Harrison Miller. I know they owned huge amounts of apple tree orchards in Berkeley Springs. My cousins were never sure if we were related to the Mueller/Miller who founded Woodstock or not, or to any of the other Miller’s you mentioned here. Is there a way to know for sure, so I can continue on my search?

    Thank you!

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    • Hi Elizabeth, So glad you found the information useful. Based on some preliminary searching, it looks like your cousins may be right…founders of Woodstock, originally Muellerstadt (Millerstown). Possibly DNA might help. I’ve done Ancestry and FamilyTree DNA. Both are good. Helps you locate cousins real quick. Brian

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      • Thank you! I have done the MyHeritage DNA. I just received my results, but there really is no easy explanation as what I am supposed to do with it. Still trying to learn. Thank you so much for such a quick response. You have been so helpful in guiding me down the right path.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It has been awhile since I last communicated with you. You had mentioned that you believe my family comes from the Woodstock Johan Mueller’s. How were you able to determine that? We are now having difficulties because there seems to be multiple Christian Millers. Christian Miller born 1744 in VA to Johan? Christian Miller born 1776 in PA? Do you know if these two Christian Miller are father snd son? Are both related to Johan of Woodstock? Thank you

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Elizabeth,
        I do not know if the Christians are father and son. The best possibility is to look for any type of will or probate records for Johan and/or the elder Christian. Locate the VA county they lived in and then search Ancestry, FamilySearch and the Library of Virginia Chancery Records (https://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/). You may be surprised what you can come up with. I hope you find something. Brian

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  9. Hello ,
    I am a member of the Everrett Miller tree and I need some help if I may.
    I messed up with Jacob Miller and I can’t find any about him before what is in the book.
    Could you possibly give me a lead?
    Thank you for any help you can give.

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    • Hello Robert,
      I have read the Everett Miller book, as the son of Jacob, John Miller is my wife’s Miller family. I have found no further records beyond what is written in the book and what was found by the Everett Miller family and descendants. I wish I had more information.
      Thank you!
      Brian S. Miller

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      • Hi Debbie,
        Yes I did…the Everett Miller tree is on my wife’s side. I will keep your contact info.
        Thanks,
        Brian

        Like

  10. Hello,

    Thank you for making this post on Jacob Miller. I have a Jacob Miller in my tree that I believe is different from the above three. Do you have any information or suggestions for the parents of a Jacob Miller born in 1755 in Frederick, Co, VA, served in the Revolutionary War, and married Margaret Dick?

    Additional information is found here:

    Click to access w9569.pdf

    I was also able to find Jacob and Margaret’s graves, but any information on their parents seems to be conjecture.

    Like

    • Hello Cal, I appreciate the sentiment. Unfortunately, I do not have any information regarding your Jacob Miller, but that is only because I was not aware of him. Let me do some digging, after all, we’re here to help each other in this thing we call genealogy! I’ll let you know. bsmiller92@hotmail.com…Thanks, Brian

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  11. Hello. I am .Rebecca Poff My; 6TH Great Grandfather was Jacob Miller born 1702 in Germany. Came to Faulkners Swamp PA in 1715. Jacob Miller Sr, John Miller Sr. Daniel Miller, George Miller, Sylvantus Miller, Manderville T Miller, Mae Miller Poff. I am looking forward to reviewing thie info on this site. . My Line info is contained in the book on the net GENEALOGY OF JACOB MILLER AND HIS DESENDANTS Ref; The Miller Family of Boone Coiunty,which was compiled by my Grandf.ather M T Miller and his friend Mr Oalfson. Rebecca

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    • Hello Rebecca, I am familiar with your Miller family since beginning my research in 2012. I believe your Miller family is also my wife’s Miller family. I look forward to further correspondence.
      Brian S. Miller

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  12. Thank you in advance. I show a John Miller born 1771 married Catherine Bowman. Very strong dna matches for both. He was born in Berks, PA and married CB in Rockingham. Migrated to Knobs Creek, Tennessee. I also get very strong dna matches for Jacob and Lochner, Mathias, and Michael. Any clues? Dennis Miller

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    • Hello Dennis,
      After the many years of researching my Miller family, I can tell you that the John Miller, b. 1771 married to Catherine Bowman is from a different Miller family; however, Catherine Bowman may be related to the Bowman that did marry into the Matthias Mueller branch of the family (a daughter of Matthias, Margaret married George Bowman). Now, as for my immigrant ancestor Jacob Mueller and his wife Charlotte Loechner, I have much to share. Here is Jacob’s profile that I manage on Wikitree: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/M%C3%BCller-4773

      Which DNA testing site did you use? How close a DNA match are we? The other son of Jacob and Charlotte Mueller, Johannes (John) is my 6x great-grandfather, brother of Matthias. Thank you for your input.
      Brian S. Miller

      Like

  13. Ancestry. After reviewing several more possibilities I believe that Peter Miller, his wife Elizabeth Boone, and John, his son who married Elizabeth Boone, are the family line. If you have any input then please reply. Thank you, dm

    Like

  14. Pingback: The Deed of All Deeds-A Teachable Moment | Your Ancestors Demystified

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