Friday, March 8, 2013

Did Our Miller Ancestors Flee From Northern Ireland to Holland?

In an effort to answer this question and learn more about our Miller ancestors before they arrived in America, and especially whether or not there is a Holland connection, we are studying the lives of their religious leaders in hopes of finding clues about our ancestors. In previous posts we have discussed the relationship between our Miller's and their pastor in Ireland, the Reverend William Traill. The article below deals with William's father, Rev. Robert Traill, who was a prisoner of Cromwell for a period of time:
Rev. Robert Traill
(source: ) 

"Born in Elie, May, 1642.  After the usual prepatory studies, he was sent to the College of Edinburgh, where he distinguished himself in the several classes.  He devoted his life to the ministry and the cause of the church of his fathers.  This devotion was greatly manifested by his attendance upon Mr. James Guthrie, minister of Stirling, on the scaffold of martyrdom, 1661.  In 1666, in consequence of some copies of the Apologetical Relation, a work (penned by John Brown, of Wamphray) hated by the prelates, and condemned by the Privy Council to the flames, found in his home, he was obliged with his mother and brother to go into hiding.  It is reported that Robert Traill was in arms with the Covenanters when they were routed at Pentland Hills.  Because of this, he found it necessary to flee to Holland, where his father was already, in 1667.  Sometime around 1669, he returned to London and commenced his ministry there.  In 1677, while visiting Scotland, he was apprehended and arraigned before the Privy Council.  He refused to clear himself by their unlawful oath and was, upon little evidence, sentenced to imprisonment on the Bass rock.  He was released after three months and returned to London where he continued to officiate as pastor of a Presbyterian congregation until his death, in May, 1716," (; highlight added). 

Note that when Robert Traill fled to Holland, his father was already living there:
"The father of Robert Traill, who was minister of the Greyfriars’ Church, Edinburgh, was one of those bold witnesses for the Covenant, who lived during the stormy period of the Commonwealth, and the still more trying season of the Restoration, in which, at the age of sixty, he was banished from Scotland for life upon the charge of holding a conventicle, because he had read and expounded Scripture to a few friends who were assembled in his house. In consequence of this sentence he retired to Holland, the usual place of refuge for the exiled Presbyterians of Scotland, and there spent the rest of his life." ( )

So here is the big question: Did our Miller ancestors follow the example of the Traill's and also flee from Northern Ireland to Holland?? 

We will examine that very question in upcoming posts.

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