History and Biography of Michael Miller and Elizabeth Zeller
Michael Miller Jr. was the youngest child of Michael Sr. and Susanna Miller. According to the baptismal records at Canadochly Church in Lower Windsor Twp, Michael Jr. was born on September 30, 1786 and baptized on November 5, 1786. Based on tax records for his parents, Michael Jr. was born and raised in Windsor Twp, York County. According to the biography of E.D. Miller in the John Gibson History of York County book, Michael Miller Jr. was known as the tallest man in York County.
Sometime around 1807, Michael Jr. married Elizabeth Zellers. While there is no formal record of their marriage, we can assume the marriage date of approximately 1807 due to the fact that their first child, Herman, was born on October 14, 1808 according to the church records of Blymire’s Union Church in York Township, York County, PA. It appears Michael Jr. and Elizabeth were married at the ages of 21 and 16, respectively.
Elizabeth was born on September 27, 1791 and baptized on November 10, 1791, this information comes from the baptismal records of Blymire’s Union Church. She was the daughter of Jacob Zeller and Catherine Raab. Jacob is the son of Bartholomew Zeller and Anna Maria Hess. Elizabeth grew up on her parents farm, in what was then York Township, York County, PA, but is now the southwestern part of Red Lion borough. Her father Jacob’s property contained land which Red Lion High School now sits upon and was located approximately 1 mile to the southeast of where Michael Miller, Jr. grew up. Her grandfather Bartholomew had his property located south of Red Lion, on the southeast side of Rt 24, across the road from the old Red Lion Country Club.
As was mentioned in the section about his father, on January 1, 1811 Michael Jr. purchased 199 acres from his parents, with the stipulation that his parents are allowed to live in a home on the property for the remainder of their lives. Like his father and grandfather, Michael Jr. was a farmer for the first part of his adult life. All of the children of Michael Jr. and Elizabeth were born while they lived on the Miller farmstead.
On April 1, 1839, Michael Jr. purchased 115 acres from Henry & Maria Schrantz in Windsor Twp. Located on this tract of land, was a grist mill and several homes. A mill was first built on this site by another one of our ancestors, Henry Tyson. The mill is located in the northern section of Windsor Twp, just south of East Prospect Rd and on the west side of Freysville Rd, along Kreutz Creek. Michael Jr. was the owner of the mill until June 17, 1858 when he sold the mill and 65 acres to his son Andrew.
Several residences were located on the property, a house is located right beside the mill. Across the street on the other side of Freysville Rd is another home. Finally, there is a home located further south on the east side of Freysville Rd. On the 1860 Shearer map of York County, there is a saw and grist mill shown on the property. Located right beside the mills was a house with a listed owner of A. Miller, which is most likely Andrew Miller since the mill was sold to him two years prior. M. Miller is listed as living in the house further south along Freysville Rd, this most likely being the home of Michael Jr. and Elizabeth.
It is unclear when Michael Jr. and Elizabeth moved to this property, but it wasn’t long after they bought it. By the 1840 census, his son Jacob was listed as a head of household in Windsor Twp in a two person household. Jacob was most likely living in Michael Jr. and Elizabeth’s former house, because on March 28th, 1846, Michael Jr. and Elizabeth sold 120 acres of the Miller farmstead to Jacob. The other portion of the Miller homestead was sold to Valentine Gable, who married Michael Jr. and Elizabeth’s daughter Mary Ann. The deed between Michael Jr. and Jacob mentions that Jacob is to share a lime kiln with Valentine Gable and both are responsible for the upkeep of the kiln.
Michael Jr. must have been an intelligent and trusted member of the community, besides being a farmer and owner/operator of a mill, he also had many transactions at the York County Court House. Michael Jr. was named the executor/administrator for at least nine estates, the guardian for the children of five other deceased people and as Power of Attorney for two other individuals. It is unclear if he was the actual guardian of the children or if he was just the guardian of their inheritances until they reached the age of maturity to receive their inheritance. Executors, administrators, and guardians are all considered fiduciaries. A fiduciary is a person who has been charged or given the highest degree of trust and responsibility that can be imposed by law. Michael Jr. and Simon Anstine were also named as trustees for Freysville Union church and on October 14, 1829 they purchased from Martin Frey, a descendant of Conrad Frey, the land which the Freysville Cemetery is located on. It is interesting to note that Michael Jr.’s son Jacob married Simon’s granddaughter Anna Maria Anstine.
Elizabeth passed away on August 22, 1865, not long after the end of the Civil War. Michael Jr. outlived his wife by almost three years, he passed away on May 29, 1868. Both Michael Jr. and Elizabeth are buried in Freysville Cemetery and they have the largest monument in the burial grounds. It is said the reason they have the largest monument is to commemorate the fact that Michael Jr. was known as the tallest man in York County.
Michael Jr. and Elizabeth were the parents of twelve children. From oldest to youngest, they are Herman, Jacob, Mary, Susan, Catherine, Elizabeth, Charles, Michael, Andrew, David, Sarah and Rebecca.
Michael Miller born September 30, 1786 in Windsor Twp, York County, PA, baptized November 5, 1786 at Canadochly Church in Lower Windsor Twp, York County, PA, died May 29, 1868 in Windsor Twp, York County, PA and buried at Freysville Cemetery in Windsor Twp, York County, PA. He married Elizabeth Zellers, daughter of Jacob Zellers and Catherine Raab. She was born September 27, 1791 in Windsor Twp, York County, PA, baptized November 10, 1791 at Blymire’s Church in York Twp, York County, PA, died August 22, 1865 in Windsor Twp, York County, PA and buried at Freysville Cemetery in Windsor Twp, York County, PA.
Children of Michael Miller Jr. and his wife Elizabeth Zeller:
- Herman Miller (October 14, 1808 – unknown)
- Jacob Miller (February 16, 1810 – November 15, 1894) married Anna Mary Anstine (July 9, 1817 – July 3, 1862)
- Mary Miller (October 11, 1811 – September 5, 1895) married Valentine Gable (January 1, 1812 – February 12, 1890)
- Susan Miller (October 12, 1813 – January 8, 1897) married Jacob Striewig (September 14, 1816 – October 28, 1902)
- Catherine Miller (December 23, 1815 – March 31, 1886) married Samuel Lieberknecht (January 21, 1814 – March 10, 1880)
- Elizabeth Miller (June 9, 1818 – September 6, 1895) married Frederick Anstine (April 22, 1813 – June 10, 1880)
- Charles Miller (December 8, 1820 – July 17, 1907) married Catherine Kaufmann (November 29, 1820 – May 28, 1911)
- Michael Miller (April 12, 1823 – December 13, 1889) married Catherine Stein (November 25, 1830 – October 16, 1915)
- Andrew Miller (December 18, 1825 – October 7, 1912) married Catherine Lutz (January 27, 1831 – December 27, 1874). He then married Catherine Meyers (June 19, 1834 – January 26, 1908)
- David Miller (August 21, 1828 – February 27, 1876) married Rebecca Gohn (February 6, 1826 – May 31, 1906)
- Sarah Miller (June 24, 1831 – Mar 30, 1911)
- Rebecca Miller (December 4, 1835 – November 21, 1917)