Thursday, August 27, 2009

William Miller--A Builder of Boats?

One of the burning questions for all William Miller researchers is whether or not he was truly involved in the business of building boats and ships. Family legends hold fast the notion that he built sloop ships on Chesapeake Bay for General George Washington during the Revolution, and that even after moving west to Fayette County, Pennsylvania, the family carried on the business of boat-building.
Once source of this legend is this page out of a Fayette County history book which talks about "the Millers" helping to build the flat bottom boats along the Yough [Youghiogheny] River which were used to transport pig iron up to Pittsburgh.
While this is likely our William, there is no proof. But circumstantial evidence certainly points that way. Land records show that a William Miller bought property right along this river--something a boat-builder would certainly do.
It is up to future researchers to find more certain proof, but for now, we cling to the thought of an ancestor involved in such a unique profession.

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