An American Family History

John Miller & Victoria Dwinnell

Robert age 4½,
Edith age 13
and Hester age 6
Hennepin County, Minnesota

The Province of Upper Canada was established in 1791 to accommodate Loyalist refugees from the United States. It included all of Southern Ontario and part of Northern Ontario.

john victoria

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

victoria john
Kingston, Frontenac County, Ontario, Canada
Palmerston, Frontenac County, Ontario, Canada
Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota
Del Mar, San Diego County, California
San Diego, San Diego County, California
Victoria Zellena Dwinnell and John Wilson Miller were married on December 26, 1867 in Kingston, Frontenac County, Ontario, Canada. According to a 1935 letter from Synod of the Diocese of Ontario they were married at St. Paul 's Cathedral by the Reverend John A. Mulack. The family lived in Kingston, Frontenac County, Ontario, Canada from 1867 to about 1878.

Gertrude Eveline Miller was born on October 9, 1868 and died on June 23, 1870 just a few weeks before Eva Edith Miller Van Dusen Fish was born on July 12, 1870.

At the time of the 1871, census they were living in Kingston in the Cataraqui Ward. The household consisted of John W. age 27, Victoria Z. age 30, and Eva E. age 8 months. John was a ships carpenter and their religion was Church of England.

Gertrude and the other children who died in Canada were buried in Waterloo Cemetery, now Caturaqui Cemetery southwest quarter, Lot 216, Section E, Internment number 3182. Victoria's mother, Rachael Lapointe Dwinnell Jones was buried with the children and John's parents are also in the same cemetery.Mildred Daisy Miller was born on February 23, 1872 and died on July 27th of that year. Alberta Irene Miller was born on February 15, 1873. Nora Zellena Miller was born on February 10, 1875 and died on April 29th of the same year. Alberta died a few months later on June 2, 1875. Herbert Thomas Miller was born on April 4, 1876 and died of dysentery at age four months on August 5, 1876. Hester Mabel Miller Johnson was born on June 6, 1877.

In about 1878 they moved north to Palmerston, Frontenac County, Ontario. Robert Wilson Miller was born there on January 15, 1879 and Victoria Louise Miller was born on July 31, 1880. Victoria died on May 11 the same year.

At the time of the 1881 census they were living in Palmerston. The household consisted of 35 year old John, 40 year old Zelena, 10 year old Edith. 4 year old Mabel, 2 year old Robert, and 8 month year old "Luse." John was a carpenter. They shared a household with 48 year old widower, Firosa Murou and his sons, Usel age 18 and Thomas age 15. Firosa was a cook.

They immigrated to the United States in 1881 and first lived in Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota. John Delbert Miller was born on August 22, 1882 and Verna Ivy Miller Johnson Mathison was born on April 12, 1884. Victoria's brother, Napoleon (Charles) and his family also lived in Minneapolis. At the time of the 1885 Minnesota Census they were in Minneapolis.

Hester Johnson described their early years in a letter to Hester Miller

I remember when we were kids out there. Dad put the crop in too early and the big rain came and washed nearly all of his 20 acre tract of grain out, so he had to plow it all over and re-seed it. Then he had put in about 3 acres of corn and that too nearly all went with the rain, so he put us four kids replanting it. Your dad [Robert Wilson Miller, Sr.] and I each had a hoe and there was enough corn came up to show us where the rows had been. So he and I each took a row and would hoe the right size of a hole and the two little kids would drop the corn in. In that way Dad kept us all busy showing no favorites. Once in awhile we would stop to rest and to discuss the hard job. . .When our corn all came up so extra good and we had sweet corn galore to eat and the field corn for the stock and Dad told us over and over we done it all, that he couldn't have had it all if it wasn't for us, boy we felt like real farmers and we had lots to sell too. So farming goes. I so often think of those happy years we had together on the ranch, but we didn't realize what it all meant to us then."

From 1892 to 1893 they lived at Cedar and Atlantic and John was a rancher. John's poem for their 25h anniversary was written at Eden Ranch, Del Mar. It described their marriage and children.

By 1895 they lived at 1621 Atlantic and John listed his occupation as shipbuilder. He worked for Spreckles Brothers. In 1895 John was naturalized and the entire family became citizens. Edith married in 1896. Edith's son, Wilson, was born in 1898. Hester married William Johnson in 1899.

From 1897 to 1904, they lived at 1633 India Street. The family appeared in the 1900 census. At that time only Robert, John, and Verna were living at home. The household consisted of John age 57 who was a carpenter, Victoria age 59, Robert age 21 who was working as a laborer, John D. age 17 who was a messenger and Verna age 16 was still in school.

The Miller Family in 1874
John, Victoria, Alberta and Edith

John and Victoria
San Diego, California was incorporated in 1850, the same year California became a state. The original Old Town was located several miles inland. In the late 1860s, Alonzo Horton promoted a move to New Town on the bay. New Town grew quickly and became the city center. In 1915, San Diego hosted the Panama-California Exposition.
San Diego, California
John Delbert age 14
Verna Ivy age 12
The Miller Family in 1900
Back row: Hester Miller Johnson, William Van Dusen, Edith Miller Van Dusen, Robert Wilson Miller and John Delbert Miller
Front row: William Johnson, Victoria Dwinnell Miller, Verna Miller, Wilson Van Dusen, and John Wilson Miller

In 1902 Edith's son, Walter was born. John died in 1905 when they lived at 1631 India Street. Verna married Will's brother, Ira Johnson, in 1906 and John Delbert married Nellie Treahy in 1908 and their daughter, Jessie Miller was born in 1909. From 1906 to 1912, they lived at 1619 Columbia. At the time of the 1910 census only Victoria and Robert shared the house. John D.and Nellie lived next door.

Robert W. married Nellie's sister, May Treahy, in 1911. Victoria moved to Seattle, and lived on Terry Avenue with Will and Hester Johnson. Hester V. was born in 1916.

Robert, Jr. was born in 1918. John Delbert died in 1919 in Seattle and Victoria died in 1920 in Seattle. Walter died in 1923.

1905 Victoria, Verna,
Hester, and Edith


Verna and Edith, Hester and Victoria
Victoria playing cards with three of her sons-in-law,
William Johnson, Hank Van Dusen, and Ira Johnson
William Johnson, Mr. Bird, Verna, Mrs. Bird, Victoria

Victoria, Hester, Andy (a friend), Wade Long, Will, unknown friend, Verna and Edith

Standing in back, Mac (a friend)
Middle row: unknown friend, Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Walsh, Victoria and an unknown friend,
Seated in front: Hester and an unknown friend
Con Walsh was an Olympic athlete who took a bronze medal  in the hammer throw at the 1908 games.

Wade Long and Verna and Nellie Shafer standing
Mr. Shafer, Victoria, unknown friend, William and Hester Johnson


Three unknown friends standing in back
Seated:  unknown friend, Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Walsh, Victoria and Verna

will plus

William Johnson, Victoria Miller, Hester Johnson, unknown, Wade Long, unknown, Kate and Mac (a friend)


1911 Hester Victoria Miller and Jessie Miller

jessie & hester

Jessie Miller and Hester Johnson

Jessie Miller with her uncle, Robert Miller

Victoria, Nellie, ?, Jessie and Hester

Walter Van Dusen, Fluffy, and Jessie Miller

1914, Seattle
John Delbert, Jessie, ?, Victoria, and Nellie


John D., Nellie, Victoria and William Johnson
"A fat chance for a vegetable garden."


Christmas 1915
John Delbert Miller, unknown, Walter Van Dusen, Hester Johnson, Jessie Miller, Verna Johnson, Nellie Miller, unknown and Victoria


Wade Long, Nellie, Victoria, Hester, John D. and Jessie in front.

May Miller Robert Miller, Hester Johnson and Victoria Miller with Jessie Miller and Hester Victoria Miller in front

The Miller Family in 1916
Back Row from Left: Wilson Van Dusen, Edith Miller Fish, Doby Fish, Hester Johnson, Miles Van Dusen, June Van Dusen, John Delbert Miller, Nellie Treahy Miller
Center Row from Left:William Johnson, Victoria Miller, Robert Miller, Jr. holding Hester Miller, May Treahy Miller
Front Row from Left: friend, Verna, Walter Van Dusen, Jessie Miller

John D. Miller, Victoria, June Van Dusen, May Miller, Robert Holding Hester, Jessie Miller in front, Nellie Miller and William Johnson


A wheel of embroidered signatures surrounded by the words:
"Old Friends, New Friends, Dear Friends, True Friends"
"Seattle 1916" in the center.

William Johnson, Hester Miller, S. G. Thomas, Bonnie Robinson, Ralph Wetzel, Emma Drake, Barney Feny, J. D. Miller, Verna Johnson, Wilson Van Dusen, Ida Drake, W.T. Harris, Anna Wetzel, Arthur McCafferty, Stella Robinson, D. H. Willingsford, Jessie Miller, Miles Van Dusen, May V. Miller, I. M. Johnson, Anna Cavanaugh, C. Parker, Jim Noble, Dorothy Vinnett, G. G. Harris, June Van Dusen , W. ? Robinson, Mary Lynbuell, John E. Drake, Bee Harris, Dova Fish, Edith Fish, Walter Van Dusen, Lois Baker, Robert Miller, Victoria Z. Miller, Tex Long, Nellie Miller , C. G. Walsh, and Nellie Shaffer

Jessie Miller with her aunt, Hester Johnson

1917 John D. Miller, Victoria Miller, Nellie Miller
with an unknown girl and Jessie Miller in front

victoria kate

Victoria and Verna
"In the shade of the old apple tree-
the back of the house."

Jessie and Victoria

Edith, Walter, and Hester

Victoria, Nellie, Hester and Jessie
hester & kate

Hester and Verna

edith kate

Edith and Verna

hester jessie

Hester and Jessie

Robert, Jr. and William Johnson


May, Edith and Robert, Jr.


Hester V., Jessie, and Robert, Jr.


May, Robert, Hester V. and Hester

Hester, Hester V., George, May, Will, and Virginia Miller
Hester, Hester V. George Mathison, Robert, Jr. May and William Johnson
Colonial Maryland
Colonial New England
Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
Quakers & Mennonites
New Jersey Baptists
German Lutherans
Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
Midwest Pioneers
Jewish Immigrants

©Roberta Tuller 2020
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