Saturday, January 2, 2010

Surname Saturday - MILLER

My great-Grandparents' surnames, respectively, were SMITH, SODERSTROM, PRESTON, MILLER, KINNICK, WILLIAMS, SORENSEN, and NIELSEN.

Today, we will look at the MILLER surname.

This is my story where my father and mother (typical 'family tradition' story) had always said: "...the cowboy came in from the west and swept the farmer's daughter off her feet; married her, took her back west to his ranch..." where they raised four children - the youngest of which was Dad's mother. [More family tradition from my aunt, Dad's sister, under John Butler story]

There is still much to learn but the known facts do tell an interesting story, with many levels, that will continue to be shared as time goes by. John MILLER (1806-1888) was a prosperous farmer in Williams County, Ohio. His youngest child, daughter Ellen Rebecca MILLER (1850-1912) married James P. PRESTON (1835-1906) in 1871 in Williams Co, Ohio. His ranch was in Deer Lodge, Montana, where their four children were born (1872, 1873, 1874, 1880).

James P. PRESTON was the youngest son of William PRESTON, the first Sheriff of William Co, Ohio. James went to the gold fields as a young man and had some great successes as well as great failures as a miner and mining supervisor over his entire life. He raised Morgan Horses on his Montana ranch, but could not deny the recurring call of the gold fields. He died alone as a pauper. It has been said that his marriage to Miss MILLER was primarily to meet the requirements of the Homestead Act to achieve ownership of this Montana ranch. New information of the details of this relationship continue to be discovered.

To be continued...

Families are Forever! ;-)


  1. Oooooh! That would totally suck! I envision a lonely bride, in the middle of nowhere, feeling the constant reminder that she was not loved, but filled a sort of a monetary need.

    On the other hand, there could have been that feeling on both sides. Or, it could be that they each felt an emotional connection to the other.

    I'll be watching to learn more. I do hope that the latter is closest to the truth.

    Have a successful New Year!

    ~ Yaya
    Yaya's Home

  2. Yaya,

    I'm fairly confident the true emotions were there in the early years; exhibited by a closeness to the children, each in their own way, over the years. However, after about ten years on the ranch, related activities do suggest a divergence of interests... not uncommon in everyday life, unfortunately. I will carefully post some of this signs and symptoms.
    Thank you for your comments. I really appreciate them! ;-)