An American Family History

The Miller Family


Brockville, Ontario was called Elizabethtown. The area was first settled by English speakers in 1785, when Americans who had remained loyal to the crown fled to Canada after the American Revolution.

  James, Hugh, John, Robert and Samuel appeared on the census lists of Yonge Township, Leeds County Ontario in the 1840s.  

1797 census of Elizabethtown

Henry and Sarah
James and Eleanor


Henry Miller was born about 1775 in Prussia.

Henry and his brother, Samuel, were taken prisoner of war by General Washington at Christmas, 1776. Samuel died later in December 1780, and Henrich went out to work with a Lancasterfarmer by the name of William Bowman, Esq.

He married Sally Robbins in Leeds County, Ontario. The ceremony was performed by Colonel David Breakenridge.

Their son Samuel was born in Elizabethtown (now Brockville), Leeds County, Ontario on January 11, 1797.

Henry was listed in the 1805 assessment of Yonge.

The united counties of Leeds and Grenville are in southern Ontario, Canada on the border with the United States.The county seat is Brockville.

Samuel Miller and Melita Hayes married in 1819.

Samuel Miller was born in Elizabethtown (now Brockville) on January 11th, 1797. He was the son of Henry Miller and Sally Robbins.

He was a volunteer in the War of 1812 and served in Prescott and Kingston.

He married Melita Hays. Melita was probably the daughter of Asahel Hayes.

Samuel and Melita's children included:
Annis Miller (1820, married John Thompson),
Matilda Miller (1824, married William Purvis),
Martha Miller (1826, married John Huntley),
Henry K. Miller (1828, married Rosina Deborah Bennett),
Samuel Miller, Jr. (1830),
Melita Miller (1832, married John J. Dickey),
John Classon Miller (1836, married Adalaide Augusta Chamberlain), and
and Sarah Miller (1838)

They adopted or fostered Alpheus Wickware's daughters:
Zelina Wickware (1844),
Alphema J. Wickware Mallory (1845)

They also fostered two children of Christopher Connolly and Anne Byrne.

Michael James Connolly (1847), and
and Maria Connolly Dwinnell (1848).

Michael and Maria were the children of Christopher Connolly and Anne Jane Byrne.

At the time of the 1833 census Samuel Miller's household consisted of:
2 men,
2 boys,
1 woman and
4 girls.

Melita died on February 10, 1881 and Samuel died on October 21, 1882.

The Battle of the Windmill was in November, 1838. Loyalists defeated an invasion attempt by Hunter Patriots, led by  Nils von Schoultz, who were attempting to overthrow British rule. The battle was at a windmill two miles east of Prescott.


Yonge Mills, Ontario was in Front of Yonge Township near Brockville. It is north east of Kingston and north of Watertown, New York. It is now a ghost town. In the mid 19th century, Yonge Mills, was a busy and prosperous village with a population of about 175. It had a sawmill and a fulling mill. There were hotels with taverns and a general store. The village also included two blacksmiths and a church.

In the War of 1812 (1812-1815) the United States declared war on England because of trade restrictions, impressment, and British support for Indian attacks. They signed the Treaty of Ghent on December 24, 1814 after reaching a stalemate.




The first European settlements in Ontario were after the American Revolution when 5,000 loyalists left the new United States.

Henry Miller was born in Prussia Proper, and as a soldier was sent to America during the revolution, by the Prince of Hesse Cassel. At the close of the war, he removed to Canada, settling in Elizabethtown [now Brockville], where he married Sally Robbins, the ceremony being performed by Colonel Breakenridge, then widely known as the Duke of Leeds.

Samuel Miller was born in Elizabethtown [now Brockville], January 11th, 1797. In 1798, he moved to the Township of Yonge, where he has since resided. He was a volunteer in the War of 1812-15, serving at Prescott and Kingston.

He married in 1819, Melita Hayes, by whom he had the following children:
Samuel, Jr.,
Anise, who married John Thompson;
Melita, who married John Dickey;
Martha, who married John Huntley;
Matilda, who married William Purvis;
and Sarah, unmarried.



from Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of York, Ontario

John Clauson Miller M.P.P., who passed away at Colton, California, April 2, 1884, was a well-known business and public man of Ontario. He was born in the County of Leeds December 16, 1836.

The Miller family is of German descent, founded in Canada about the time of the American Revolution by the grandfather of John C. Miller, who served under Burgoyne, and was a United Empire Loyalist. For services rendered he received from the Crown a grant of land in the County of Leeds, upon which he settled. and where he died.

On this farm Samuel Miller, the father of John C. Miller, was born in 1796. and was a lifelong farmer in that county. He married Melita Hayes, who, it is said, was a relative of President Hayes, of the United

States. The children of Samuel and Melita Millerwere as follows:
John Clauson;
Annis, deceased, who married John Thompson:
Henry, of Pennsylvania;
Samuel, of Michigan;
Sarah, who is on the old homestead:
Martha. who married a Mr. Huntley;
and Melita, widow of John Dickey residing on the old homestead.

The father of these children died in 1880, and the mother in 1878.

John Clauson Miller was educated in the public schools of his native place, and at the age of fourteen years held a certificate for teaching in which profession he engaged for a few years. Later he became an assistant in the post office at Brockville. Mr. Miller was born for a husiness career, and was therefore not content with clerkships. even under the government. He consequently engaged in a general mercantile business at Seely's Bay, in the County of Leeds.

In 1864 he removed to Brockville. and for some time was deputy sheriff of Leeds County. In 1868 he was appointed supprintendent of woods and forests under the Provincial Government of Ontario, and settled in Toronto.

In 1871 with A. G. P. Dodge, of New York, he founded the Parry Sound Lumber Company. and later purchased the Dodge interl'st. becoming sole owner. and so continued until he died.

In 18?? Miller took his seat in the Legislature, representing the Muskoka and Parry Sound Districts and continued to serve until 1883 when he resigned his seat to contest the same riding for the Dominion, and was beaten by Col. O'Brien by three votes.

On Aug. ? 1859. Mr. Miller married Miss Adelaide Augusta Chamberlain who was born in the County of Leeds Aug. 2. 1836, daughter of the late Dr. Asher A. Chamberlain.

Dr. Chamberlain was born in 1810, and came with his mother from Y er1l10nt to the County of Leeds in 1812 his father having died in the States. Dr. Chamberlain was s a self-made man, and was a lifelong medical practitioner of Leeds County.

He married Miss Eliza Ann Toffey who was born in Dutchess County, New York, in 1803. daughter of Hulett and Martha (Schofield) Toffey, the latter of whom was a daughter of Dr. James Schofield, a United Empire Loyalist. and an early settler of the County of Leeds.

Martha Schofield Toffey was born at Pawling. Dutchess County, in 1784, and her husband in 1776. They were married Jan. 21, 1803, and to them were born six children:
Eliza Ann;
Major Ira, who served in the Rebellion of 1837-38;
Peter, M.D., D.D., of the County of Leeds;
James, a farmer of that county
Lucy, who married Mr. Hartwell;
Mrs. Fredenburg. and
Mrs. Asher A. Chamberlain had but two children: Adelaide A. (Mrs. Miller) and Dr. Theodore, both of Toronto.

Mr and Mrs. John Clauson Miller were born two children: John B. and Miss Addie Augusta. John B. Miller is the president and owner of the Parry Sound Lumber Company, and vice-president of the Po]"on Iron W orks. He married (first) Hannah Pollock Hunter. by whom he had two children: John C., who was drowned with his mother in 1893, and Henry H.. now an officer in the Queen's Own Rifles. John B. Miller took for his second wife Miss Jessie Thompson, by whom he had one son, John Thompson, deceased. John Clauson Miller was an attendant of the Baptist. Church, of which his widow is a member. He was a Reformer in politics, and was one of his party's standbys though he was careful in voting on various bills. always standing up for what seemed right in his judgment. Fraternally he was a member of the Freemasons.

In 1880 Mr. Miiller erected a handsome residence at Parry Sound. where some years of his life was spent, during his business and public career there. Since his death his widow has sold thp property, and is now residing in her pleasant home in Toronto...

John Clauson Miller was essentially a self-made man. Starting out in life a poor boy, he determined to succeed through honorable methods. This he did. through strict illtel!rit - and upright business dealings, and in his death Canada lost not only a public official of the highest honor, but a successful business man. a representative citizen and a true Christian gentleman.

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©Roberta Tuller 2023
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