Sad evidence of a family torn apart by the Revolutionary War

+18 votes
I was adding some sources to some peripheral relations of mine, when I found this abstracted will. It is brief but profound evidence of the impact of the Revolutionary War on one North Carolina family.

From the will of Michael Miller of Lincoln co., NC, dated December 25 1795: a portion is left to "Son John Miller who deserted with the British in the American Revolution if he appears within 10 years."

Michael must've been holding out some hope that, even after all those years, John might still return home some day, at least enough hope to leave a provision for him in his will. What happened to John? Did he live out his life in England or maybe Canada?

At least one of Michael's sons-in-law, my ancestral uncle John KEENER, found for the American side in the North Carolina militia, so he may well have fought against his own brother-in-law in that war.
WikiTree profile: Michael Miller
asked in The Tree House by Jessica Key G2G6 Mach 7 (77k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

3 Answers

+7 votes
Best answer
Sad.  war (no matter what war) affects so many.
answered by Cheryl Skordahl G2G6 Pilot (151k points)
selected by Hayley Stoddard
+9 votes
It sure does sound like he held out hope of him returning. A tragedy for the whole family.  :(
answered by Betty Tindle G2G6 Mach 6 (69.5k points)
+7 votes
My family has the same sort of story. My G. Grandfather had four sons who fought in the American Revolution. His brother was Matthew Thornton, a Declaration of Independence signer for the state of New Hampshire. Three sons were in the New York State militia and lived in the Hudson Valley. My G. Grandfather and a forth son returned to New Hampshire in 1774. This son, named  Matthew after his uncle, was a Captain in the New Hampshire regiment. Unfortunately he was captured in a compromising spot and was accused of being a Loyalist. He was tried and found guilty. He and his family moved to Canada, where he lived for the rest of his life. I doubt he saw any of his 'American' family again.

You might be able to trace your Loyalist family member in Canada. Many of the men got land grants.
answered by Jeanie Roberts G2G6 Pilot (120k points)

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