Sources of Miller Research:
Two books have been written about Wendel Miller of Rowan Co. NC. The first book, "Wendel Miller and His Descendants," was edited by Geraldine Trexler Miller, with co-editors: Jerrie Miller Peeler and Patricia Bonds Beck, 1985. It traces the descendants of each of his children's lines, many to today, adding important documents and pictures of families. This book is a key starting point for all Miller researchers who are attempting to prove their lineage to Wendel Miller, 1733-1805, the son of the original German immigrant, Johann Michael Müller who came from Dörrenbach in 1739.
A second book, "Some Descendants of Wendel Miller, 1724-1805," by Bernard W. Cruse Jr., May 2008, lists the families descending from Wendel Miller in a 4 volume set, published for the Cabarrus Genealogy Society by the Catawba Publishing Company. Thousands of birthdates, death dates, and marriage dates are listed in these volumes. An index is added in a couple of the volumes to assist the researcher. This book is minus the pictures, but does contain a small amount of census work. It is easier to follow the lineages of the Millers than Trexler's book.
There were many different Miller families in early Rowan Co. NC. Several of those were related to Wendel Miller through his brother's lines. "A Miller Family of Rowan County," by Jo White Linn, 1983 follows the descendants of Abraham Miller, 1784-1844. Abraham Miller married Sophia Miller in 1810 in Rowan Co. NC. She was a daughter of Jacob Miller, 1763-1842, and a granddaughter of Wendel Miller. During the summer of 2012, YDNA testing proved that Abraham Miller was most likely a son of Michael Miller, 1752-1793, and a grandson of Nicholas Miller, 1729-1807 of Rowan Co. NC. Nicholas Miller and Wendel Miller were brothers.
Many important genealogical information can be gleaned from court records and land records of early Rowan Co. NC. "The Granville District of North Carolina, 1748-1763, Abstracts of Land Grants, Volume 3," by Margaret M. Hofmann lists the original land purchase of Michael Miller in 1753. Hofmann follows with the book, "The Granville District of North Carolina, 1748-1763, Abstracts of Miscellaneous Land Office Records, Volume 5," in 1995, listing additional land transactions of Michael Miller and his son, Wendel Miller.
The research that opened the doors beyond Rowan Co. NC was the manuscript, "Henn Mer Der Wendel Müller G'funne: The Saga of Wendel Müller: from German-Peasant to American-Junker?" by Dr. Johannes L. Schlenker, published in the Rowan County Register in August 1992, Volume 7, No. 8, pages 1569-1590. Schlenker traces the Müllers from Rowan Co. NC back to Berks Co. PA over to Dörrenbach Germany. He documents his sources to prove that Michael Müller brings his young family to America on the Ship Samuel in 1739. This manuscript, along with YDNA testing results from Family Tree DNA, has been the backbone of the Miller Family research for the past several years. The advanced researcher can follow Schlenker's sources and easily locate important documentation to help prove this Miller line.
A book named, "A Proud Piedmont Pedigree," written by Barbara Stenzel Longwell in 2002, chronicles the Miller family from Rowan Co. NC to Union Co. IL. As Illinois gained statehood in 1818, thousands of German families from Rowan, Cabarrus, and other western NC counties migrated west to Union, Alexander, and Pulaski Co. IL. Longwell descends from David Miller, 1792-1872, the youngest son of Wendel Miller. David Miller comes to Union Co. IL about 1818 with his cousins, Christian and Johannes Miller, both sons of Nicholas Miller. This book is very well written and is a treasure of pictures and documents tracing the Millers from IL back to NC and across the ocean to Dörrenbach. Longwell and her husband have visited Dörrenbach twice.
According to William Henry Perrin in his book, "History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois," published originally in 1883, in his section on "History of Union County," he makes the statement on pages 380-381: "The early settlers were from North Carolina mostly, and were mostly Lutherans. I the year 1817, a company of immigrants composed of John Yost, John Miller, Jacob Rendleman and a few others from Rowan County, NC, arrived and settled in Union County."
George E. Parks wrote three volumes of books named, "History of Union County," published in 1983 which chronicles the immigration of the Lutherans from Rowan Co. NC to Union Co. IL. In Volume 1, page 97, he writes that St. John's Lutheran Church was organized in August 1816 and that in 1822 the congregation at St. John's built the first Lutheran house of worship in Illinois. On that same page he states: "A partial list of the Lutherans who came to St. John's Parish from Rowan County, North Carolina included these: John Yost, John Miller, Christian Miller, Jacob Rendleman, and Peter Casper."
Wendel Miller was born in 1733 in Dörrenbach Germany and was baptized in the Lutheran Church in Dörrenbach. His father, Johann Michael Müller, born 1696, was the son of Johann Wendel Müller, born 1658. The oldest Müller from this line is recorded as Johannes Müller, born 1625, possibly in Dörrenbach. Church records date back to 1672 with earlier records destroyed by invading soldiers during the Thirty Year's War, 1618-1648. Many times villages and communities were wiped out during these invasions. These records have been confirmed by research using the microfilm, "Dörrenbach Evangelische Reformierte Kirchenbuch," FHL Film No. 1271375.
The book, "Familienchronik für Dörrenbach, Werschweiler und Wetschhausen, 1672-2002," by Reimund Benoist, November 2002, lists the many families of the towns of Sankt Wendel area of Saarbrücken in the Saarland. The Müllers are found from entry #2577 to #2611, pages 375-381. This book was instrumental in connecting Kevin Miller, administrator, Miller-1750 RowanNC Project, with Hugo Müller of Dörrenbach. His 67 marker YDNA test with Family Tree matched the Rowan Co. NC Miller descendants at 64/67 markers. Herr Müller descends from Johann Wilhelm Müller 1657-1698 who was an uncle of Johann Michael Müller.
Michael Müller is documented leaving Dörrenbach on April 29, 1739 on the Ship Samuel, paying 40 guldens to bring his wife and 7 children to America. In the book, "Auswanderungen aus Rheinpfalz und Saarland im 18. Jahrhundert," by Werner Hacker, Michael is listed as Hacker Nummer 10319. Michael Müller is first found in the in the Christ Lutheran Church Records from Stouchsburg, PA in Lancaster Co. PA in 1743.