Levi L. Miller (1799-1884)
Sarah M. "Sally" Love (1804-1871)

Levi L. Miller was born in 1799 in either York county, South Carolina or Lincoln county, North Carolina, the son of David Miller and Nancy Lambeth. My tracking of the family favors that he was born in South Carolina. There is conflicting data about Levi's birth date. His tombstone says he was born in 1801 and there are other documents during his later life that suggest he was born after 1800. However, the tombstone information was provided by his son, as his wife Sally had already died. Further, Levi's mother Nancy, in her depositions when applying for a pension, stated the birth years of her children, saying that Levi was born in 1799. This was in 1839 and Nancy was about 65 years old when she gave this information. The Miller family on the census of 1800 shows the three sons of David and Nancy Miller, one of whom has to be Levi. I feel the information that was given earlier and by people who were there at the time must be given more weight than the later information. Levi's mother, Nancy Lambeth, had a brother named Levi. Although I have never seen any record of Levi Miller's middle name, there is certainly a good chance he is Levi Lambeth Miller, named after his uncle.

Sally Love was born about 1804, the daughter of Charles Love and Fereby Osborn. Her family lived in what was then Rutherford county, North Carolina. Not long after she and Levi left North Carolina, the area was cut into Cleveland county. Mapping the land records shows us that Levi and Sally grew up about 13 to 15 miles away from each other. There is no marriage record for Levi and Sally in Rutherford or Lincoln county, but they are on the 1820 census in Lincoln county near Levi's father and two older brothers, John and Samuel. Levi and Sally are marked in the 16-25 year age column and there are no children yet.

There are very few records showing evidence of Levi and Sally in North Carolina. It doesn't appear they bought or sold any land. However, at a procession of the lands of John Smith ("on the waters of Muddy fork of Buffalo Creek") which was made on 5 December 1820, the land was described as adjoining Teter Beam, David Miller, John Miller, Levi Miller, and Enoch Parker; listed as present at the procession were David Miller, Teter Beam, Henry Huffstotler, E. Parker, John Miller, Levi Miller, & Henry Smith.

In the next 10 years Levi and Sally had four sons, Oliver P., James Levi, Samuel P., and John O. The family is listed in 1830 in Lincoln county, still close to Levi's father and brothers:
Head of Household - Levi Miller
1 male age 20-29 (Levi)
1 female 20-29 (Sally)
1 male 5-9 (Oliver P., b. ca1822)
3 males under 5 (James L. b. 1825-26, Samuel P. b. 3 February 1827, John O. b. 1829)

Levi and Sally had their 5th son Arthur William on 10 March 1832. Their first daughter Nancy S. was born around 1834.

Sally's father, Charles Love died in 1835 and his estate is probated in Rutherford county (Records and Estates Book A, pp. 178-182). At one estate sale held on the 25th of November 1835, Levi Miller bought "1 piece of Loves cloth" for $5.12. At another sale on the 23rd of December 1835, Levi bought 2 pounds of wool for 78 cents. There is another document in the index to this probate, Book RE-A p. 294, dated 1837. Only the first part of this book is filmed and I could not find it at all in the Rutherford county courthouse. The later pages (1837) could be a final settlement which might have Levi sign in right of his wife Sally, or tell what their share was in the estate, etc. The Raleigh archives still need to be checked for this book.

The last child Levi and Sally had in North Carolina was Phillip R., b. about 1836. Sometime in the next couple years they moved to Murray County, Georgia. Their daughter Elizabeth Sarah was born there around 1838.

Murray county jury lists as compiled by Rev. Silas Emmett Lucas in Some Georgia County Records show that Levi and his brother Samuel Miller were on the Grand Jury for 1 March 1839. I must have missed this entry when researching the original court books. The Murray Inferior Court Minutes show that Levi and his brother Samuel were called to serve on the Grand Jury for the next term of March 1840. Then in the Superior Court minutes they were sworn in on Monday 16 March. Also on the jury were Dennis Carroll (foreman of the jury), Clark T. Cockburn, and John Cockburn. Dennis Carroll is the father of Martha M. Carroll who later married James Levi Miller, son of Levi and Sally. These two families migrate together and remain in close proximity for the rest of their lives. The Cockburns are intimately tied with the Carrolls. Four days after Levi was sworn in (he would have served all the week or more that court was in session), their daughter Margaret Nelia was born. On Monday 21 September 1840, Levi Miller was again drawn to serve on the Petit Jury of the next term (December 1840).

The 1840 census for Murray County shows:
Levi Miller
1 male 30-39 (Levi)
1 female 30-39 (Sally)
2 males 15-19 (Oliver P., James Levi)
2 males 10-14 (Samuel P., John O.)
1 male 5-9 (Arthur William)
1 female 5-9 (Nancy)
1 male under 5 (Phillip R.)
2 females under 5 (Elizabeth Sarah, Margaret Nelia)

Another son, Levi Alexander, was born right around this time; his tombstone says he was born in July of 1839. However he doesn't appear on the 1840 census, so it must off a bit. The 1850-1860 census show his age to indicate a birth year of 1842.

The only deed involving Levi Miller in Murray county is a mortgage sale of cattle between Levi and James Morris, made 6 February 1841 and recorded 15 February 1842. Later that year, recorded in the Murray Inferior Court Minutes, is a judgment made on 11 July 1842 in favor of Harrison Davis against Levi Miller for debt. Davis was awarded $81.24 with interest and costs.

Sometime in 1843 Levi and Samuel Miller were sued by Eli L. Haynes (via his attorney John Sams) for debt on unpaid promissory notes amounting to $50.00. The were both called to appear; Samuel was served with notice but the record of 10 March 1843 shows that Levi was not served "for want of time". The case came to court on Wednesday 27 March 1844 and Levi and Samuel confessed to the judgment of $37.00. A later entry shows they did this via their attorney R. H. L. Buchanan. Finally on 10 April 1844 they were ordered to pay $37 principal, $16.02 interest, $12.37 cost.

The next child of Levi and Sally, Jane Caroline, was born in 1843 or 1844 in Georgia. She was their last child born in Georgia before the family moved to Arkansas, in time for their daughter Mary A. to be born about 1845 or 1846. The Millers are listed in the 1850 census in Polk county Arkansas in Sulphur Springs township (all names and information on members in the household are now listed on the census):

Levi Miller age 30 [?? oops!], farmer, b. NC
Sarah age 45, b. NC
Samuel P. age 22, farmer, b. NC
John O. age 21, farmer, b. NC
Arthur W. age 18, farmer, b. NC
Nancy S. age 16, b. NC
Philip R. age 14, b. NC
Elizabeth age 12, b. GA
Margaret age 10, b. GA
Alexander age 8, b. GA
Jane C. age 6, b. GA
Mary A. age 4, b. AR

Two families away is their son Oliver P. Miller, age 22, b. NC, with his family. The Millers and Carrolls possibly moved to Arkansas together, and James Levi Miller married Martha M. Carroll in Montgomery County where the Carrolls settled. They were married on 10 December 1848 and set up their household there, next to Martha's parents. James was 24 (b. NC) on the 1850 census of Montgomery county, Martha was 18 (b. GA), and their first child, Arthur William, was 9 months old, born in Arkansas.

Sulphur Springs township of the 1850 census was later given over to Howard county. Levi L. Miller entered two land grants, the first on 1 December 1857 (#9628, v. AR1290.168), the second on 1 December1860 (#9440, v. AR 1290.123). This land was the Northwest quarter of the Southeast quarter and the Southwest quarter of the Southeast quarter of section 12 in township 5 South, Range 28 West. At that time the land was in Polk county, but today is in Howard county, only one-quarter mile from the Pike county boundary. His son, Arthur William Miller, entered 4 grants between 1855-1860 in what is today Pike county, some of which are also very close to the western border. The location of Levi's land grants is shown in red below, with indications of how it was cut from Polk county into Howard county and how close it is to Pike county:

In the 1860 census Levi and Sally and family are enumerated in the census for Pike county, Mountain township, which is on the western border of Pike county. There is no record of other land purchase: Howard county was not formally formed until 1873 and the western border of Pike county was not finalized until April of that year. The family was very likely on the same land. Unfortunately, the records of both Polk and Pike county burned in the 1890s, so much information is lost about the family. The 1860 census shows:
L. L. Miller, age 62, b. SC, farmer, real estate $1200, personal property $800
Sarah, age 57, b. NC
L. A., age 17, b. GA, farm laborer, cannot read or write
J. C. (female), age 15, b. GA
M. A. (female), age 14, b. GA
C. P. (male), age 12, b. GA
(This last child is Charles P., whose age is off as he hadn't been born by the 1850 census.)

Levi and Sally's son James Levi and wife Martha Carroll, who had been living in Montgomery county near her parents, were also in this census very nearby. James was on the Montgomery tax lists only through 1853, so this helps date when he left the Montgomery area. However, James did take the amnesty oath in Montgomery after the Civil War on 22 December 1865; he must have returned there to do so.

Caroline Jane Miller married Oliver Perry Davis. He responded to the 1911 Census of Confederate Veterans, saying they were married in September of 1861, at or near Ft. Logan where her parents Levi and Sally Miller lived (again, located today in Howard county near Athens, right where Levi's land was). The Davis family were listed next door to the Millers in the 1850 census.

Again the loss of land records for Polk and Pike means we cannot pin down the year Levi left the area. The 1875 tax lists for Howard county do not show a Levi Miller having personal property there, but the 1875 real estate taxes list Levi L. Miller with the land described in the grants, section 12, the Northwest and Southwest quarters of the Southeast quarter, each 40 acres, each valued at $50. The two values have a line under them like a totalling line and what looks like a sum of 810.00. There's no indication of what this number really means, but it's not reasonable to be a total value or assessment amount. The next available list is for 1878 and the sections are not listed and no Levi Miller is listed. Levi may have abandoned the claim, as there are no records indicating he sold it and no new owner in the tax lists.

What we do know is that Levi and his family had actually moved away from there well before 1875: he and family and son James went north to Sebastian county and are listed on the 1870 census there. Levi was in Washburn township, post office at Black Jack, and James was in Center township, post office at Greenwood.
Levi L. Miller, age 70, b. SC, farmer, real estate $600, personal property $500, eligible to vote
Sarah, age 66, b. NC, keeps house
Charlie C. P., age 18, b. AR, farmer, personal property $150, married in April of the year
Mattie, age 14, b. AR, keeps house, married in April of the year

The Arkansas Mortality schedule of 1870 lists the death of an infant, Charles Miller, 7 months old when he died in April. This is in Sebastian county, family number 55 on the regular census. Levi and Sally are family number 56 with no Miller family 55 listed (or likely I've misread the number), this must be referring to Charlie and Mattie's infant son.

Sally Love Miller died the following year in June at age 67. She is buried in Sebastian county. I have not yet finished all the Sebastian court records, but so far have found nothing about the family until the 1880 census of Sebastian. Levi is in Dayton township, living with his son Samuel and family. Levi is 78 years old, the father of the head of household (Samuel), has no entry for marital status, and no occupation listed. His birthplace and that of his parents is given as North Carolina (I do not think this is true of his parents, see narrative about David Miller and Nancy Lambeth; I believe they were both from Maryland).

Although there is no record in the deed books of a purchase and none in the federal land grants, Levi had purchased 40 acres and is taxed on them in 1881 in Sebastian county. The property is the Southwest quarter of the Northeast quarter of section 10, township 5, range 30 west. The valuation looks to be $99, but actually I'm not certain I understood the entry. The total value of the assessment is $1.34. It is indicated that the School Fund Penalty was paid. For state taxes Levi was assessed 6 cents for general purposes, 53 cents to pay interest on the public debt, and 27 cents in school tax; for county taxes I was unable to figure out the labels (these are those "mills" units for various uses), but amounts were 65, 32, 24, and 9 cents. These taxes were paid on 10 March 1882.

This land is shown marked by a red dot on the map below, but it is from an 1887 atlas; Samuel P. Miller, Levi's son, is labeled as the owner of the 40 acres plus quite a bit more. There is no land sale recorded and no probate for Levi Miller, but the land somehow passed into Samuel's hands. James Levi Miller, Levi and Sally's other son, had land in section 4 which he had sold in 1881. The area shown in this map is the very southernmost part of Sebastian county bounded on the east and south by Scott county.

There is no indication that Levi moved back to Pike county, he must have been somewhat remembered (plenty of his descendants were still there at this time), for in the Arkadelphia Southern Standard of 12 May 1883 there was published the following article:

Dempsey Hill & Levi Miller
Old Men of Pike
Eds. Standard: Mr. Dempsey Hill was born in North Carolina in the year 1801, and is now in his eighty-third year. He came to Arkansas in 1845. He rides on horse back from his home in the northwest part of Pike county to Murfreesboro, a distance of twenty-five miles, attends to his business and returns home without any inconvenience, etc.
Mr. Levi Miller was born in the same state near Tar river; I don't know whether above or below the Bum. He also came to Arkansas in 1848, and is now in his eighty-third year. Mr. Miller has eighty-six grand-children. He lives in the northwest part of this, Pike county.
Both of these old men are good, honest, upright men, and no doubt will enter upon eternal life when they quit this mortal life.
Yours respectfully,
Geo. W. Logan
Murfreesboro, May 9, 1883.
If Levi had moved back to Pike county it was only for a couple of years and he was removed to Sebastian county for burial. He died a little less than a year after this article was written, on 13 April 1884 and is buried next to his wife, Sally M. Miller, and near his son Samuel P. Miller in Sebastian county.
Sources: The following are sources from Levi and Sarah's times and places, but which didn't yield information specific to them (descendant info which I didn't include in this write-up may be in these sources):

Go to Levi and Sarah (Love) Miller in the Ahnentafel.

Go to Levi and Sarah (Love) Miller's family group sheet.

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