Sunday, October 13, 2013

Hill Grove Cemetery, Connellsville, Pennsylvania

Picture courtesy of Edwin Fredrickson & Michael Hackworth

We're so pleased to have this new picture sent to us by member, Mick Hackworth. Hill Grove Cemetery is where William Miller and his wife Rebecca Bradford Miller are buried. Pictures of William and Rebecca's headstones were posted in a previous blog, but this photo shows how beautiful the surrounding area is.

Remember  the Miller's had moved out to Fayette County in western Pennsylvania around 1782. We don't have many facts about their life there. Family legend has it that William was a boatbuilder along the Youghigheny River there, but we have not found conclusive proof of that as yet.

A 1799 Taxpayer's list for this area (Dunbar Township) does list William as owning 450 acres, 6 horses and 6 cattle. The low number of animals he owned always confused me, but this picture makes it easy to imagine that much of the land was wilderness and not pasture.

On August 21, 1771, a Lawrence Harrison sold 293 acres to a William Miller (our William?), though the deed was not recorded till 1788 (the land was originally owned by Lawrence's father, a man named Battle Harrison, and it appears that this might have been a land grant [incorrect...see next blog]). Records show that this land was in a loop of the river, lending credence to the boat-building theory. If that was William's vocation, he would have needed property on a river. Also, if this land transaction actually did involve our William Miller, it would mean that he must have come out west on business before he moved his family to Fayette County in 1782.

As ever, considering that it looks like William Miller owned a goodly amount of land, it is a mystery as to why we have never been able to locate a will for him. Let's hope one turns up in the future!

Thanks again to Mike for this great photograph.

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