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Andrew Miller

Birthplace: Greenbrier County, Virginia (WV), United States
Death: July 22, 1847 (61)
Platte County, Missouri, United States
Place of Burial: Marshall Township, Platte County, Missouri
Immediate Family:

Son of James Miller and Elizabeth Miller
Husband of Nancy Miller
Father of Rebecca Noland; Isaac Newton Miller; Mary "Polly" Miller; James A Miller; Sarah H Pauley and 2 others
Brother of James Miller, Jr.; Jane Smith (Miller); Thomas Miller; Margaret Boyd Allen; Rev. Richard N. Miller and 5 others

Managed by: Greg D. Potter
Last Updated:

About Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller was born May 15, 1786 in Greenbrier Couny, Virginia, in what was still Colonial America; The Constitution of the United States wasn't ratified until 1789, after all. But other facts about his life are hard to suss out! Was he Andrew Jackson Miller or Andrew Isaac Miller? Or just plain Andrew Miller? Was he of Indian descent or Anglo-Saxon? Or perhaps his wife Nancy was a Cherokee?

The two Nancys

Historians connect two alternate story lines with Andrew Miller, and both seem plausible. In the most likely scenario, he married a woman named Nancy Mitchell in Rockbridge, Virginia on June 10, 1806. Yet Andrew lived in Greenbrier, not Rockbridge, and the family moved in 1800 or so to East Tennessee...

The other story connects Andrew with Nancy Brown, the daughter of Chief Red Feather Brown Maghpiway Lenape of the Cherokee Nation. That marriage would have taken place in Tennessee, rather than Virginia, but around the same time. And the name "Andrew Miller" can be found in the 1817 Cherokee reservation list, which notes his inclusion in the tribe "by right of wife." But is that this Andrew Miller?

The historical records are yet more complicated: An Andrew Miller (a different one? there were quite a few) married a woman named Nancy Miller on January 11, 1825, in Washington, Tennessee, as well. His uncle, perhaps? But why would she have the maiden name Miller? They weren't related, were they? Finally, another Andrew Miller married another Nancy (this one born "Evans") on July 14, 1847, in Lawrence, Missouri. The couple can be found in the 1850 Census in Lawrence. This Andrew was born about 1823 in Kentucky, and seems unrelated to the people described here.

Early life: Virginia and Tennessee

Andrew and Nancy sired several children between Virginia and Tennessee: First Elizabeth in 1809, then Rebecca in 1812, and then Isaac N in 1814. Along with Andrew's father and extended family, the Millers moved to Tennessee -- the exact date is uncertain, but likely around 1808. Tennessee itself was still fairly rural at the time: It wasn't one of the original Thirteen Colonies, and Daniel Boone had only just blazed the Wilderness Road through the Cumberland Gap and into Kentucky in 1775. But new pastures and a new life beckoned: The frontier was calling.

Move to Missouri

James Miller and his five sons -- James Jr. (1784), Andrew (1786), Thomas (1792), Richard (1798), and John (1808?) -- "joined the Tennessee colony in 1815-1816, at the mouth of the Moniteau," according to a history book published in 1889. The date may be mid-1817 instead, but they were nonetheless pioneers of Missouri, and some of the earliest settlers in the area.

Along with the rest of his family, Andrew Miller can be found in Cole county (which was freshy carved from Cooper a decade earlier) in the 1830 Census and Platte county in the 1840 census. Residence in Cooper County is supported by a statement from a family friend, John Franklin Hardcastle, to the Office of Commission on Citizenship from 1888. For what it's worth, Hardcastle's move to Missouri is documented to 1820.

The three deaths of Andrew Miller

Cats have nine lives. Andrew Miller had three deaths. He "removed himself to Platte," as John Hardcastle put it, around 1835, and died in Platte County on July 22, 1847. The Annals of Platte County note his family, including widow Nancy, daughter Sarah Pauley, and so on. Extensive probate records detail the value and contents of his estate and the disbursement of funds from it.

Meanwhile, an "Andrew J. Miller" died intestate in Moniteau county, Missouri, one year earlier on Nov. 14, 1846 -- the sole record that mentions a person with this middle initial. This was our Andrew's nephew, the son of his brother, John. His estate was administered by William Miller, John's eldest son.

'Unbelievably, a third Andrew Miller died intestate in Moniteau on March 30, 1846; his estate was handled by "John Miller" according to that record. No mention is made of Nancy, Sarah, or any of Andrew's children.

Cherokee Nation?

Decades after his death, Andrew Miller's daughter Margaret Jane George sued for membership in the Cherokee Nation in the late 1880s. She claimed that Andrew was a Cherokee Indian by blood, who lived in the State of Tennessee among the Cherokee Nation. George and her family later in life lived for years in Indian Territory, and some facts do align for her claim -- notably the testimony of John Hardcastle, who was a neighbor and family friend.

However, there is a well recognized issue with "standing witnesses," who took money and invented testimony so frequently that forms were created to highlight how unreliable they were. George relied upon several notorious such people: Watt/Walter Christie, John Ross, and the freedman George W. Vann. Historical records do bear out Andrew's location and support Hardcastle's testimony, but ultimately not enough to base the claim on. George was ultimately rejected.

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Andrew Miller's Timeline

May 15, 1786
Greenbrier County, Virginia (WV), United States
Tennessee, United States
Tennessee, United States
Tennessee, United States
June 1817
Tennessee, United States