Sunday, July 29, 2012

Many thanks to member Chalmers Williams for doing this wonderful write-up for today's post. 
If any other of you members wish to submit a post, just email it to me at the address above. 
Thanks Chalmers!

Ayrshire, Scotland

By Chalmers Williams

Thus far we do not know where or when David Miller was born, but a good guess might be in Ulster Ireland or perhaps Scotland about 1665. Ninian Dunlap, David’s father-in-law, was from the Dunlap (sometimes spelled Delap or Dunlap) family that settled in Sligo, Ireland, in the early 1600's. The Dunlaps were originally from Ayrshire, Scotland. Ayr, part of the Scottish Lowlands, distinguished itself, in part, as a “hotbed” of Scottish Presbyterianism. John Knox lived in Ayr in the 1500's and, a Dunlap from Ayr was one of the martyred Covenanter leaders. David appears to have been part of the early protestant Scotch migration to this county that occurred in the late 1600's when the Stuarts returned to the throne. And, as we shall see, David and his descendants played a roll in the early development of the Presbyterian Church in this country.

One of the first conclusive records we have found of David Miller occurs 30 July 1689 when he, John Steel and Abraham, John and Josias Emmett are granted cattle marks in Somerset County, Maryland. David’s brother Andrew Miller and father-in-law Ninian Delap [Dunlap] are issued cattle marks on 3 February 1690 and 21 September 1690, respectively.  However, other evidence suggests that David had immigrated to Somerset before this date. A deed record indicates that David signed an indenture to Edmund Howard in 1688 when he purchased Spalding. Moreover, John Emmett, with whom the Millers shared a relationship, had numerous land transactions in Somerset County beginning as early as 1671.

Somerset records would indicate that David Miller immigrated with at least two brothers, John and Andrew, and at least one sister, Jane, who was Abraham Emmett’s second and surviving wife. There is also evidence that David’s father, a John Miller, immigrated to Somerset County. If so, John Miller, Sr., is probably the husband of Elizabeth Miller named as the daughter of John White, Jr., in his will written in 1718 and probated in 1722. John Miller, Sr. and his wife Elizabeth are named in the secession of title of a tract called “Enlargement” to John Miller, Jr., and his wife Isabell in a deed. Other deed records indicate that John Miller, Sr., was in Somerset County by at least 1684, was still living in 1690 but died before 1697.

On 25 Nov 1693, David Miller and his wife Jane (or perhaps Janet) of Somerset Co. sell by receipt of an indenture land to John Steel. This land is 100 acres out of a 600 acres tract called "Spalding" that David Miller acquired from Edmund Howard. Howard acquired Spalding in 1682, and though it is difficult to read, it appears that David Miller entered into an indenture with Howard in May 1688.  David Miller paid him 18,000 pounds of tobacco for Spalding completing his required payments on 9 Jan 1692. (Somerset Co. Deeds, Liber L 1, p.78, and Liber L 1, p144.) Spalding is located "between Bogerternorton and Assateague Bay...Cypress Ridge".*

 Assateague Bay, Maryland

*The days of Makemie: or The vine planted. A.D. 1680-1708, by Littleton Purnell Bowen, explains the family relationships between John White, Edmund Howard, William and Richard Stevens and Rev. Makemie, an early Presbyterian minister.


  1. 100 acres of land for 18,000 pounds of tobacco...what a different time. :)

  2. Hi Hales. No kidding! A very different era.

    Always so appreciate your comments!


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