William (?) Miller, md Catherine, died between 1835-1850 in Russell Co, KY, any records (birth, death, marriage, etc)?

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I am looking for a death record, or marriage record, or really any record of a "William" Miller (died between 1835 and 1880) in Russell County, Kentucky. He was married to Catherine (born between 1810 and 1814, died after 1870), and they had two children, Rebecca Jane Miller and Mary "Polly" Ann Miller. He probably married Catherine by 1830 or 1831, because Rebecca was born in 1832, and he probably died between 1835 and 1850, probably between 1837 and 1850. (It is unclear from the records whether Polly was really born in 1836 or 1838, but it was probably the latter, because that is on her death certificate and headstone. I think she just lied about her age because she was 15 when she got married, but said she was 17.) It is possible that his name was not "William," but something else. I have ruled out his brothers Richard, Phillip, and Andrew, who are the girls' uncles, and there is another brother Jesse, who seems not to be the right one, because he did not marry a Catherine. 

In 1830, there were five boys living at home, but of course they might not all have been sons, and "William" may have already left home (especially because, if that really was his name, he was probably the eldest, and if he was not married on that census, he married within the following year). I got the name "William" Miller from a post from 2004 that appeared on Genealogy.com and on an Ancestry.com message board. It gave the marriage information for Polly, and the date and spouse were correct. She married Isaac Whittle. It is a Whittle family genealogy, that went back about six generations prior to the generation Isaac was in. It gave the marriage information, including the name of the bride's parents: "William and Catherine Miller."

"William," if that was really his name, is the son of William Miller and Mary Wooldridge, who also went by Polly. William Sr. is shown on the census in 1830 and 1840 in Russell County.

There are many trees on Ancestry, all of which show their uncle Philip or Richard are their father, and some show Catherine as a Chapman or a Jackman as her maiden name, but I can find no sources to support this. I think it's just sloppy work, since the girls lived with their uncle Philip after their father died, and Richard was a witness at Rebecca's wedding (Andrew was a witness at Polly's).  People just assumed that had to be her father (whichever record they looked at).

Both Rebecca's and Polly's marriage documents list their mother as Catherine Miller; Polly's death records show her mother as Katie Miller.  She might have been Sarah Catherine Miller, because' Rebeca's death records have her as Sarah Miller. 

Here are some links:

The post that gave me the same William: https://www.ancestry.com/boards/thread.aspx?mv=flat&m=1804&p=localities.northam.usa.states.kentucky.counties.russell

"Isaac, b. 1832. Married Mary [Polly] MILLER, NOV 1854, daughter of William and Catherine MILLER."

1830 census: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XH53-NFY

1840 census: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHTP-3LL

Rebecca's marriage:https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKJS-Q4FD?from=lynx1&treeref=L1G2-H9W

Polly's marriage: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKJS-QHK7

Rebecca's death : Rebecca Jane Miller Lawless 14 Feb 1832-26 Feb 1918 died in Casey CO, KY, certificate is on Ancestry but I don't have an account there, can't provide link

Polly's death certificate: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N9T5-CZ9

Polly's 1880 census, showing Richard was her uncle:https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MCZR-Q91

1850 census, shows Philip was married to Nancy Conn; the older Polly is his sister: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M65K-NQ3

1860 census with Catherine in the household of in-laws Philip and Mary "Polly" Miller, brother and sister of her late husband: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MZBB-NKT?from=lynx1&treeref=L1G2-H9W

1870 census with Catherine in the household of in-laws Philip and Mary "Polly" Miller, brother and sister of her late husband:https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MX49-FTF

in Genealogy Help by Susannah Rolfes G2G5 (5.8k points)
edited by Susannah Rolfes

1 Answer

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I think I might have some information for you that might help. This is what I found- on ancestry.com

Rebecca Jane Miller B:1832 Russell, KY.  Her father was Philip Miller b: 1801 d: 1870.(Miller Family public tree, ancestry.com) Her mother was Catherine "Katie" Jackman B: Mar 1815 d:  7 Apr 1853 (Kentucky, Death Records,1852-1953) Catherine was also married to Green Chapman after Philip. Philip's father was William Miller, and his Mother: Mary Polly Wooldridge. Catherine is found on the 1850 Census living with Philip, Rebecca and the rest of the family in Russell Co.KY (US Federal Census 1850, www.familysearch.org)

Rebecca married Joseph H Sawlep AKA Joseph H. Lawless 13 July 1854 (Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954)

Hope this helps :)

by Coreen Arioto G2G4 (4.3k points)
edited by Coreen Arioto
Thanks for your reply. While this is the right family, Philip was not married to Catherine; he was her brother-in-law. Most online trees show her as married to either her brother-in-law Philip, who married Nancy Conn, or Richard, who married Susanna Whittle. After her husband's death, Catherine and her daughters lived with Philip and his wife and his sister Polly and three other children. Philip, Polly, and Catherine lived together on three consecutive censuses.

I have seen Catherine's maiden name as Chapman or Jackman, but can not find any sources for either of these maiden names.

I'm afraid Jackman/Chapman is nothing more than a lead, and I still only have that Rebecca's sister Polly's parents were William and Catherine Miller, no source cited.
The things you say that are interesting to me...one or more of the Ancestry trees did have a death record for Catherine Unknown. I'm not sure if that is who you refer to, but nothing indicates that this is the correct Catherine. It could be any woman named Catherine.

However, this new info that she married Green Chapman is worth looking into. It must have been either a brief marriage, or was after 1870, or else she was widowed again before 1850. Did you find any info on this marriage? Such as when and where it occurred? This could also account for why her name is sometimes Jackman and sometimes Chapman in online trees. I did find a Jackman family she could have belonged to in Russell Co, but not a Chapman family, however I did not find a daughter names Catherine who married a Miller.
I went to the library to check Ancestry, and here is what I found...Catherine Miller could not have been married to Green Chapman. Catherine Chapman appeared on the 1850 census as the presumed wife of Green Chapman, and they must have married fairly recently; there were two men named Green Chapman on this census in Russell Co, KY. There were two Catherine Chapmans as well, presumably mother and daughter. One was 50, the other 20. Anyway, one of them did die on the date you gave, 7 April 1853. She could not have been Catherine Miller, because Catherine Miller gave permission for her daughters' marriages in 1854 (July and November). She also appeared in the household with in-laws Philip Miller, Nancy Conn Miller, and Mary "Polly" Miller in 1850, 1860, and 1870.

So there are a couple things I have learned based on what you pointed out. 1) perhaps the Chapman name for Catherine is from this other Catherine (or maybe Green had a sister or cousin AND a wife named Catherine); 2) I need to rule out the Jackman name as coming from the Catherine that was married to Green Chapman. I had previously assumed that Chapman and Jackman were both seen in trees because they sounded similar.

My next step is to look at Russell Co tax lists for any Miller between 1830-1850 who is not on tax lists after 1850.

On the 1830 census, it is clear that William Miller md to Mary "Polly" Wooldridge has 5 young males in the household. These were Philip, Richard, Andrew, Jesse, and ?. Presumably, the fifth (eldest?) son, who was married to Catherine and died between 183x and 1850. There may have been more than 5 brothers, of course. I believe Catherine was probably widowed prior to the 1840 census, since I can't find him there, and was living with family, either her own or her husband's, since she does not appear as a head of household, and indeed, perhaps she remarried her brother-in-law Philip after Nancy Conn's death, as she lived with him for at least 20 years, along with his unmarried sister Polly.

There is also the possibility that he was a polygamist, married to Nancy AND Catherine, but I don't see how that is possible, because Philip and Nancy were married in 1849 or 1850 (the box on the census was checked that the two had married within the last year), when the Miller girls (both shown as age 12 on the census), Rebecca and Polly, were 17 and 12, respectively. Nor do I think they could be divorced, because who lives with their ex-wife and kids, new wife and kids, and sister?

And besides, how could she have remarried after Philip's death if he survived her by almost 20 years? All these Ancestry trees are so messed up! I've seen rampant mistakes on them before, as I do use Ancestry at the library, though I don't have an account with them. The most frustrating thing about not having an account is not being able to tell people that there are mistakes in their trees and I have the info to help them fix it and stop spreading inaccurate info that people will then assume is accurate and pass on. Only 3 trees even showed that Philip was ever married to Nancy Conn, and 2 of them said he was also married to Catherine.

Anyway, it is helpful to have another Catherine that I need to show is or is not Catherine Jackman. One tree had Akers instead. I can't find evidence for any of these maiden names. But once I nail down the accurate first name of "William," I should have an easier time finding Catherine's marriage record, and her maiden name should show up there, maybe even the names of one or both parents.

So, while most of this is absolutely inaccurate, it gives me something I can work with, between the lines.

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