David Miller (~1760-1832)
Nancy Lambeth (~1773-1849)

David Miller is our first identified Miller ancestor. He was born about 1756-1760. I believe he was born in Maryland, based on inquiries for David's Revolutionary pension files from the Beam family in 1901. The Beams were neighbors and later married into the Miller family. I believe that other claims that he was born in North Carolina reflect a confusion of our David with the various David Millers of North Carolina, but they are easily shown to be different people. We currently do not know who his parents were, nor do we have any information on his early life.

David came to South Carolina by 1781 and served in the U.S. Army during the revolution for some ten months in 1781. He served in Captain Nathaniel Marshall Martin's company (the light dragoons) of the Cavalry in Colonel William Polk's regiment. David was at the taking of Orangeburgh (11 May 1781) and he was in the battle at Bryer Creek with Captain Snipes where he was wounded in the shoulder (this is also referred to as "Snipe's defeat at his own dwelling house" by a friend, Robert McCormack, who served with David). According to his wife's deposition this wound was to "his grate injure to the day of his death." David served out his time and was discharged at Orangeburgh, South Carolina.

Info I've gathered from online about Snipes' Defeat

From "General Isaac Huger" at http://www.ricehope.com/history/IsaacHuger.htm
[no guarantee this is preparation for the same battle]
[V. 3 No. 28], excerpt from letter, General Huger to Brigr. Genl. Marion.
Camp, Hick's Creek, Januy. 28th, 1781.
Dear Sir: [snip]
P.S. Capt. Snipes has received an invitation from Colo. Harden to join him on the south of Charles Town with 150 men. If you think this will answer the General's intention of alarming the enemy and destroying their magazines, you will promote it. Capt. Snipes has permission to proceed on the expedition.
(No. 28 From Documentary History of the American Revolution, by Gibbes, Volume 3, p. 18), Doc ID: Gibbes, v. 3, p. 18

From The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution Volume 32, page 330:
"William Clay Snipes raised an independent company, 1781 to serve under Sumpter in the partisan warfare of the Carolinas."

From Biographical Sketches on Cavalry Officers of the Queen's American Rangers 1779-1783 by Donald J. Gara
Captain John Saunders..."They were subsequently sent to man the post at Dorchester, about 30 miles from Charleston, accompanied by the South Carolina Royalist Regiment,commanded by Major Thomas Fraser. On June 3, 1781, Saunders troop, accompanied by a troop from the South Carolina Regiment, successfully attacked a body of militia, commanded by Captain William Snipes. Only Snipes, and two of his men, were able to escape from being killed or captured."

From Calendar and Record of the Revolutionary War in the South: 1780-1781 by William Thomas Sherman, 2003:
Capt. Alexander Chesney, Loyal American Volunteers, and Ferguson's Corps..."With a small mounted detachment of loyalists, he defeated and captured Capt. William Clay Snipes' men at Snipe's Plantation in June 1781."
Capt. John Saunders, Queen's Rangers..."one Queen's Ranger, Stephen Jarvis, showed Saunders in a darker light and claimed that at Snipes' Plantation in June 1781, Saunders viciously hacked a prisoner with his saber."
3 June (also given as the 6th). [raid] Snipes' Plantation (Colleton County, S.C.). Maj. William Clay Snipes1521 was surprised after sunrise and all but 3 of his twenty men were killed or taken prisoner by a detachment out of Dorchester, led by Capt. John Saunders, with a troop of Queen's Rangers and Capt. Alexander Chesney, with some South Carolina loyalists. In a letter to Greene of the 7th, however, Sumter stated that all but 4 were captured, but that Snipes1522 and three others escaped.1523
Chesney: "We [i.e. Chesney with his troop of Charleston cavalry] had not been at this place long before I ascertained that Major Snipes, Col. Haynes [Isaac Hayne] and Marion had returned, crossed Pond-Pond [Pon Pon] River and were embodying troops [June, 1781] which intelligence I communicated to Lord Rawdon and His Lordship immediately ordered out adetachment of which I was one. We crossed Pond-Pond River at Parker's Ferry, and the boats having been removed to impede our march, I swam my horse over accompanied by others and procured feather-beds to transport those who could not swim across the River; we then proceeded rapidly and reached Snipe's plantation by daylight. We soon cleared hm and his party, driving them out with loss; on this occasion I was wounded in the thigh with a spear by a man concealed in a Ha-Ha whilst in the act of leaping my horse over it. But I made him prisoner and took him with the others taken on this occasion to Dorchester."
Stephen Jarvis: "Only one man was taken prisoner and he was ordered to be killed by Captain Saunders, the most disgraceful thing I ever heard of a British Officer. The poor fellow was severly hacked, but whether he died of his wounds or not I do not know. I once pulled out my pistol to put the poor fellow out of his misery but I had not the power to discharge, and said to myself 'This blood shall not be charged to me.' I do not know but have reason to believe that as many as twenty were killed. At first it was supposed that Snipe himself was amongst the slain but it was not so for he made his escape on the first shot being fired."1524

[Snipes' Plantation and the area was also and is today known as "Horseshoe Plantation".]

On 1 October 1781 an indent was issued to "Mr. David Miller, late private in Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Hammond's Regiment of State Troops for 94 sterling, being the balance pay and bounty due him for services done in the regiment together with interest thereon from the first April 1781 to date hereof." At Camden, South Carolina David Miller is listed on 16 March 1782 in the pay roll for Captain Martin's troops as having received his pay and bounty of one grown Negro. There are records of other service by a David Miller and he may have served in various tours over a period of 3-4 years in both South and North Carolina, but it is not clear which apply for certain to our same David.

Sometime after his discharge, David Miller made his way north from Orangeburgh to York county South Carolina. There are various records of a David Miller in South Carolina that may be ours, but they cannot be proved and they may refer to others of the various David Millers who were also there. A David Miller served on the Grand Jury of the Camden district in 1783. On Wednesday 10 January 1787 Ben McKenzie made a claim against David Miller in York county for trover. The jury found for the defendant and ordered that he recover his costs of the plaintiff. (Trover is a common law action to recover value of goods wrongfully converted by another to his own use.)

But we know that our David met Nancy Lambeth (born about 1773), daughter of Samuel Lambeth, who lived on Mill Creek. They were married in February 1792 in York by Colonel William Hill, a magistrate of the county. Present at the marriage were John Lambeth, Nancy's brother, and Thomas Kendrick, her brother-in-law.

David and Nancy lost their first child in miscarriage; then they had John, born in 1794, Samuel, born in 1796, Levi L., born in 1799, and Sarah, born in 1804. Information given by these children is contradictory as to whether they were born in South or North Carolina. But based on David's declaration as to when he moved to North Carolina, all but Sarah would have been born in South Carolina.

The Miller family moved to Lincoln county North Carolina by 1800 and are enumerated on the census there, with the three boys under ten years of age (Nancy was not marked in the female column). There are no slaves listed. The family is located in the western area of Lincoln county which was later cut into Cleveland county.

The only record I've found so far showing purchase of land by David Miller is the following in the "Entry Taker's Book from Apr 10, 1798 - Jul 8 1825":
#189 granted. David Miller claims 10a on waters of muddy fork; border: John Long and his own; entered 31 Oct 1810 [This is from a transcription, on the original it looks more like 13a.]

Otherwise, that he owned land is implied in the following records:
#630 granted. John Miller claims 50a on waters of Muddy fork; border: David Miller and others [names not given]; entered 31 Jan 1816.
Lincoln County Deed Bk 24, p. 402 - 14 Oct 1807 John Long of Lincoln to Arthur of same, 10 150a on Muddy Fork of Buffaloe Cr; border: said John Long, David Miller, & Carruth; part of three "surveys" [no more details given]. signed John Long; wit John Carruth jurat. Recorded Jul 1810
In a land sale between Thomas Parker and Robert McCormack on 2 August 1806 (Bk 21 p. 268), the bounds of the land are on the waters of Buffaloe Creek adjoing lands of David Miller and others.
Also, on 5 December 1820 in Lincoln county, a procession of land was made for John Smith. The survey was attended by David Miller, Teter Beam, Henry Huffstetler, E. Parker, John Miller, Levi Miller, and Henry Smith. It was the usual custom for neighboring owners to attend processions to protect their own property lines and rights. The survey variously describes the land as "situated on the waters of the Muddy fork of Buffalo joining lands of T. Beam, David, John & Levi Miller & Enoch Parker...." It also refers to David Miller's line and his corner.

On an 1860's map of Cleveland showing residents, landowners, and heirs, many of the names mentioned are marked. These would likely be heirs and help locate the land mentioned in the grants, deeds, and procession. It is just a few miles southeast of Waco where the Muddy Fork Creek forks. David's grandchildren D. W. Miller and F. M. Miller are shown on this map a short way to the northwest, very near the Capernaum Cemetery where they are buried. Although very hard to read, I believe also that the name "widow M. Miller" appears on this map. This should be Mary (Spangler) Miller, wife of David and Nancy's son John. Nancy was living next to John and Mary in the 1840 census, so this is possibly a very close marker of where David and Nancy lived. The names mentioned in all these records are marked on the map below.

According to Nancy in later years, David began drawing an invalid's pension for his Revolutionary War service in September of 1808 and it was raised at various times thereafter. David himself requested a replacement certificate on 1 November 1821. The certificate was issued on 15 November 1821 for $5.33 1/3 per month. David's signature from the application and Nancy's mark from her 1839 deposition are at the top of this page.

In the 1810 Lincoln census David is 45 or older, Nancy is 26-44, John is 16-25, Samuel and Levi are 10-15, Sarah is under 10. There are no slaves listed and one person in the family is listed as working in agriculture.

Levi L. Miller married Sarah M. Love by 1820 and they are listed in the Lincoln county census. They probably lost their first child or perhaps two as their first listed child was born in 1825 or 1826. John married Mary Spangler, daughter of Peter Spangler, Sr., sometime between 15 and 19 April 1815. Samuel married Elizabeth "Betcy" Smith, probably daughter of Heinrich Schmitt, on 12 July 1817. John and David Miller were witnesses to Samuel's marriage.

Nancy Lambeth Miller's father, Samuel Lambeth, died in York county South Carolina on 7 March 1818 (see Samuel Lambeth's grave). David Miller travelled there (and possibly Nancy went with him): he is one of the buyers at the estate sale of 16 April 1818 and on that day he also signed (in right of his wife) in the sale of the land of Samuel Lambeth, described below.
(From the York county deed books)
H446 No. 530 - 16 Apr 1818 Heirs and legatees of Samuel Lambeth to John Lambeth one of the Legatees and administrator, for $600, 100 acres adjoining Kinkaid, Glen, Horsley. Signed Margaret (X) Lambeth, Levi Lambeth, Thomas Kendric, David Miller. Witnesses: Jms. Rooker, Wm. McCrany, Robert Patrick, John Fearis. Proved 15 May 1818. Recorded 16 Sep 1818
H446-447 No. 531 - 16 Apr 1818 Heirs and legatees of Samuel Lambeth to Margaret, widow, for $800, 100 acres south side of Mill Creek on branch waters of the Catawba, adjoining Horsley, Rooker. Signed John Lambeth, David Miller, Thomas (X) Kindrix, Levi Lambeth. Witnesses: Robert Patrick, Jens/Jno Rooker, John Fearis. Recorded 16 Sep 1818.
David Miller signed off in right of Nancy on the final estate settlement of Samuel Lambeth on 23 January 1823.

In the 1820 census of Lincoln county North Carolina, David and Nancy are 45 or older, but Sarah seems to be again marked in the under 10 column. The boys are all living close by. There is also a boy marked as under 10: if this is a son of David and Nancy, he was born quite late and must have died by 1830. There is no mention in the pension files of deceased children other than the first miscarriage in 1792. There are no slaves listed and still one person listed in agriculture. By 1822 Sarah married William Putman.

In 1830 David and Nancy are living alone near their children and grandchildren. David is age 70-79 and Nancy is 60-69 (she should be in the 50-60 column). David Miller died on 18 March 1832. No grave site has been located yet, if it is marked at all. In the Lincoln Inventories and Accounts Books of 1831-1868 on p. 47, in the October Session of 1832 is given the "Amount of the sales of the property of David Miller decd by John Miller, Admr. - $64.30."

On p. 67, in the April Session of 1833 appears a Widow's Yearly Allowance: "The Justice and free holders appointed by court to lay off to the Widow and family of David Miller dec'd one [should say "one year's"] Maintenance Report that they have laid as follows - 1 Cow Half 8B of wheat 20B of corn 300lb of Pork 15lb of Coffee 25lb of sugar 5lb tobacco 1 Bed and furniture choice of what is in hand 1 flax wheel 2 pr shoes(?) 10 lb cotton 2lb wool 1 Bushel of salt 1 pr cotton ca--es. Oct 28th 1832---"
There are no letters of administration, inventory or final accounts on David's estate. In the 1840 census Nancy is listed alone, age 60-70, living next door to son John and his family. Also listed with Nancy is a female slave age 10-24 and a female slave under 10. There are two people listed as working in agriculture.

A certificate for widow's pension was issued on 23 May 1837 for Nancy Miller to receive $80 a year (beginning on 4 March 1843). It is not clear that Nancy received these benefits as she began the process of application for benefits under the 1838 act of Congress. In the 1840 census Nancy is alone next to son John and his family. Her battle to obtain the pension lasted until a certificate was issued on 20 March 1851 for $64 a year, commencing 4 March 1848. Unfortunately, according to her son John's declaration of 27 May 1853, Nancy had died 3-4 years before (i.e. 1849-50). So it is possible that Nancy never received her pension. The lawyers fought valiantly for her, filing some 30 letters, documents, affidavits, etc. Some excerpts follow:

25 Jan 1841: in James Graham's letter to J. L. Edwards Esq. "Sir, will you please inform me if there is any good reason why Nancy Miller the widow of David Miller decd of Lincoln county NC cannot obtain a Pension...."

2 Oct 1845: ...I would solicit as early an action in Mrs. Miller's Case as practicable. I am Very Respectfully Yours, James Roberts."

18 Feb 1847: in James Roberts' letter to J. L. Edwards. "Mrs Miller is truly a venerable old Lady, and is still living, and we hope that on an examination of all the proof in the case to receive a Certificate in her favour."

And this passionate writing, the date is covered, but it is some short time after 22 November 1849: in J. H. Kirkham's letter to J. L. Edwards.
"Sir, Your letter of the 22 of November 1849 to James Roberts Esq of Livingstown NC is before me in reference to David Miller Service in the Revolutionary War. I cannot conceive how you come to such a decision in this case. I refer you to the 220 page (here annexed) of the act of Congress 1848. This old man recceived a pension as an Invalid Soldier in Said War from the date 1808 of $40 per annum who died March 18 1832 Leaving a widow.
"This is strong presumption that he served or he never would of received said pension (the payment of 23.0.2 of record in Compt office is taken exception at for reason it appears in Comptrolers office. My dear Sir, I can show if necessary in said office that the militia State Line continental artilery were all paid off without any distinction of party Either grade or Colour as militia and it is from those books the 23.0.2 appears therefore you require impossibility all I ask at your hand is a requisition of the laws which is fully complied with.
"Again I would refer you to his declaration which I suppose is on file - made according to law on the holy evangelist of almighty God - which I should think is ample evidence - the marriage being heretofore admitted. I must therefore ask your attention to allow the claim - or I must apply to Congress for the heirs to have the wish of that Body Complied with. I am determined not to trouble you with any claim that I think is not Just but when I am in a Just cause I never will surender. Respectfully Your obedient Servant, J. H. Kirkham. P.S. It also appears in Comptrolers office that said Miller was in Service in the early part of the war - 76 & 77."

In the Cleveland county tax records from 1842-1849 John Miller paid taxes on 115 acres. In 1850 he has a second entry for another 37 acres - this is likely to be Davd and Nancy's land which Nancy would have remained on according to her dower rights until her death in 1849.

David and Nancy's children, John Miller and Sarah Miller Putman, continued to file claims for the pension and subsequent increases, at least until 1857 (Abstracts of David Miller's Revolutionary War Service Pension File). Sons Levi and Samuel Miller had moved to Georgia (Murray county) by the mid-1830s and to Arkansas around 1846.


Sources searched which included David and Nancy's times and places but which did not yield information about them. However, many of these have information about descendants or laterals which was not included in this write-up.

Go to David Miller and Nancy Lambeth in the Ahnentafel.

Go to David Miller and Nancy Lambeth's family group sheet.

Go to Abstracts of David Miller's Revolutionary War Pension file..

Go to the Table of Contents.