Miller, Leonard Hezekiah

Synopsis by
Carol Raymond and Sarah Burrell Miller
Based on Research and Compilations of Frances “Frankie” Alexander Miller
for Lorrie, Lance, Caryl and Suzanne
I. Samuel R. Miller (b. 1803), from Cocke County, TN, married Mary Susannah “Sooky” Byrd from Yancey County, NC. They built a big log cabin in the Sandy Mush section of what is now known as Leicester, NC. Both are buried in Tennessee. According to 1850 and 1860 census reports, Samuel and Mary Susannah’s children were:

  • William Miller born 1828 in TN
  • George F. Miller born 1830
  • Christopher Cassius Miller born 1832
  • Sarah Miller born 1833
  • Elizabeth Miller born 1835
  • Samuel Miller born 1837
  • Mary Miller born 1838 in TN
  • Olive Miller born 1840
  • John A. Miller born 1843
  • Thomas Miller born 1845
  • Jeramiah F., Miller born 1848 in North Carolina
  • James G. Miller born 1851
  • Nancy P. Miller born 1853.

Mary Susannah (Byrd) Miller’s parents were George William Byrd, (born about 1730, died circa 1825) and Annie Hutson. George William Byrd, originally from Virginia, and later Tennessee and the Weaverville section of Buncombe Co., NC, finally settled his family in Jack’s Creek, Yancey Co., NC about 1796. He was a veteran of the Revolutionary War having served as a Colonel in the Middlesex County Militia in Virginia. He also served as a scout in Washington’s Army, “and was assigned to guard the transfer of funds (in gold) from the French to support the American cause.” It has been handed down through the family that when Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, “George Byrd was a-standin’ right thar and saw it all!” Based on Revolutionary Army Accounts, he used the money, due him for his services, to buy land in North Carolina. George and Annie’s children were:

  • William Kinsey Byrd born 1778, died 1862 married Elizabeth Williams
  • Samuel J. Byrd born 1789, died 1865
  • George Washington Byrd born 1791, died 1871
  • Annie Byrd, d. 1825 married John Griffith
  • Levicia Kezia Byrd born 1799, died 1886 m. Louis Briggs
  • Mary Susannah “Sooky” Byrd married Samuel R. Miller
  • Patrick Byrd
  • Christopher Byrd
  • II. Christopher “Chrisley” Cassius Miller ( born 9-5-1832, died 5-1-1927). Was born in Cocke County, Tennessee, ran a large farm in Sandy Mush, Buncombe Co., NC and was a well-known blacksmith. His first wife was Jamina Teague and their children were:
  • Sarah Ann Miller married Parley Meadows
  • Mirenda Miller married Lon Luther
  • George Miller married Leila Robeson
  • Christopher Lawson Miller married Margaret Plemmons
  • On 2-10-1867, after Jamima’s death, Chrisley married 2nd wife Minerva Catherine “Kate” Wells (born 1845, died 1913) from Big Sandy Mush. Kate Wells” parents were Leander Wells, born in Mascot, NC (died about 1849) and Mary Louise Starnes (born 11-6-1816. Mary’s parents were John Starnes (born 3-6-1779, died 1855) and Mary Etta Hice (born 4-10-1784, died 10-3-1875). They were married 7-20-1802. John and Mary Etta acquired over one thousand acres of land in Starnes Cove, Chandler, NC. Leander’s parents were John Wells and Elizabeth Edward. Chrisley served in the VIII Volunteer Infantry, Co. H, 29th Regiment during the Civil War and was buried in his “old gray uniform” alongside his wife, Kate, at Brick Church, Leicester, NC. Chrisley and Kate had one son,
  • Hezekiah Gillem Miller

III. Hezekiah Gillem Miller, born 9-10-1868 in Sandy Mush, Leicester, NC, died 6-7-1953; married, in 1890, Irene Matilda Wells, born 1-6-1873 on North Turkey Creek, died 12-20-1964. They lived on the farm originally established by his grandparents, Samuel R. And “Sooky” Byrd Miller, and later owned by his parents, Chrisley and Kate Miller. (This house is now owned by one of Hezekiah and Irene’s grandsons.) Hezekiah was a “gentleman farmer” ad was active in establishing schools, and electricity and telephone services in the Sandy Mush area. Irene’s parents were Robert Christopher “Chris” Wells (born 12-15-1835, died 10-15-1905), and Angeline Reeves (born 9-17-1845 on Little Sandy Mush, died 1936). They were married 8-24-1865 and built a beautiful home in the late 1870’s on North Turkey Creek Road, just off NC Hwy. 63, Leicester, NC. The house has been restored and is still elegant. Robert Christopher was a Justice of the Peace, a Magistrate, a farmer and a large land owner. In the Civil War, he served in the VIII Volunteer Infantry, Co. H, 29th Regiment. Chris and Angeline are buried at Brick Church. Chris’s obituary stated, “His last illness was caused by a kick from a horse. He suffered very much until his death brought him relief.” Chris’s parents were Robert Pinkney Wells (born 11-21-1798 on Big Sandy Mush, died 10-31-1862), married 1821, Elizabeth Weaver, (born 7-16-1798 in Weaverville, NC, died 1-7-1865). They are buried at Brick Church.

A Final Act of Love ~ from Father to Son
In the fall of 1862, Robert Christopher Wells was serving in the Civil War with Company H, 29th Regiment VIII Vol. Inf. At Brandy Station, VA. He wrote a letter home to his parens, Robert Pinkney and Elizabeth Weaver Wells, that he was “cold, hungry and homesick.” Robert Pinkney, along with a trusted servant, loaded a wagon and provisions and headed toward Virginia. He hoped to find a train along the way to send the supplies to his son. However, the war had taken its toll on the railroads and he had to continue the journey. With care to avoid the Union troops, he finally arrived at Brandy Station and delivered the provisions to Robert Christopher. Little is known about the return trip, except, as they neared home October 31, 1862, Robert Pinkney became ill and he died. His servant brought the body home and Robert Pinkney Wells was buried at Brick Church Cemetery, Leicester, NC.
–Story information -Velma Miller Robinson, written by Sara Burrell Miller
Robert Pinkney Wells was the son of John Wells and Elizabeth Edward. (The Wells came from Oxfordshire, England.) Elizabeth Weaver’s parents were John Weaver (born about 1763, the son of Weber Weaver) and Elizabeth Biffle ( daughter of Adam Biffle and Catherine Hinkle – Catherine born 1-13-1735)) d/o of John Justice Hinkle who was the son of Anthony Jacob Hinkle (born 1668, died 1728), both of whom were Lutherans. They migrated to America in 1717 from Daudensell, Mossbach, Baden, Germany. (Hinkle data corrected 20 Feb. 1999 –thanks to Bellerocky)

John Weaver, of German-Dutch descent, was born in the Netherlands. He came to America with three brothers in the late 1700’s. John served in the American Revolution with the Pennsylvania Rangers on the frontiers. He heard a lot about the southwestern country, so he traveled into the “vast, wild and dangerous region” called the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and Kentucky. He staked land claims from the Ohio River into northern parts of North Carolina in 1785, buying hundreds of acres for 50 shillings an acre. He met a man named Albert Biffle who told him about his sister, Elizabeth, back in Happy Valley, Tennessee. John met and married Elizabeth and in the spring of 1787, they left Happy Valley for the mountains of Western North Carolina. One evening during their journey, they needed to find a place to spend the night. John saw a bed of wild hogs close to a cliff. He routed them out, built a fire and fixed a place to bed down. Early the next morning, they found a trail to the Blue Ridge Mountains. They set up a wigwam and lived with some friendly Indians for awhile. Soon, John bought 320 acres on the French Broad River where he built a nice log home, cleared land, and started farming. He, thus, became the first white settler in the region which eventually be known as Weaverville, NC. John and Elizabeth had eleven children:

  1. Jacob Weaver married Elizabeth Siller
  2. Susannah Weaver married John McCarson
  3. Christina Weaver married Samuel Vance
  4. Elizabeth Weaver m. Robert Pinkney Wells of Sandy Mush
  5. Matilda Weaver married Jefferson Garrison
  6. Catherine Weaver married Andrew Pickins
  7. James Weaver married Susan Banard
  8. John Weaver, Jr.
  9. Christopher Weaver married Margaret Lowry
  10. Montraville Michael Weaver m. Jane Eliza Baird
  11. Mary Weaver m. Henry Addington

Angeline Reeves Wells’s parents were Malachi Reeves, Jr. (Born 3-28-1823 on Little Sandy Mush, died 1-18-1892) and Elizabeth Robeson (born 9-12-1825, died 8-20-1912). Elizabeth and Malachi, Jr. built a large brick home in 1860. It is still in use and remains in the family. It is located at the foot of Doggett Mountain on the right side of Hwy. 63 after crossing from Buncombe County into Madison County. The bricks were made on the property. Elizabeth and Malachi, Jr. are buried at Little Sandy Mush Methodist Church Cemetery. Elizabeth’s parents were John Robeson (born 3-20-1790, died 6-9-1830) and Anna Palmer (born 1-23-1796). Anna Palmer’s parent’s were Jesse Palmer (born 6-28-1763 in Virginia, died 12-13-1850) and Elizabeth Hoffman (born 5-9-1764 Germany, died 7-13-1858). They were married in 1776 in Lincoln County, North Carolina and moved to Big Sandy in 1803. Jessie was a Revolutionary War hero who fought in the battles of Guilford Court House and Kings Mountain. Both are buried in the Big Sandy Mush Methodist Church Cemetery. Jesse was the son of George Palmer, born in England, and Elizabeth Wyatt, born 1718, died 1820 (102 years old), buried at Big Sandy Mush Church Cemetery (Elizabeth Wyatt Palmer was the first person to be buried in this cemetery.) Elizabeth’s parents and Hoffman forefathers were: Jacob Hoffman married Catherine Best; John Hoffman (born 1705); Hans Georg Hoffman (born 1689); Paulus Hoffman married Barbara Prudentia in 1691; Ludwig Hoffman (born 1622); Wilhelm Hoffman (born 1588); Andreas Hoffman (born 1568); Frederick Hoffman (born 1403, d. 1468); was the Baron and Hereditary Grand Marshall of Styria; and John Hoffman, (born 1371, died 1479) and was the Rector of the University of Leipzig. Elizabeth, her sister Catherine and her ancestors came from a region in Germany called the Palatinate. (Note: This represents 20 generations back from Carol Raymond Miller!)Malachi Reeves, Jr.’s parents were Malachi Reeves, Sr. (born 1792, d. 1875, buried in an unmarked grave at Big Sandy Mush) and Barbara Glance (born 1793, died 1875, buried at Little Sandy Mush). Malachi Reeves, Sr.’s parents were James Reeves (born 1750) and Elizabeth Wells, daughter of Newman Wright Wells. Newman Wright Wells is buried at Big Sandy Mush. James Reeves’s father was Isaac Reeves, born in Granville Co., NC, died in Rowan Co., NC. His father was William Rives, born 1680 in Virginia, died 1751 in Granville Co., NC. William’s father was William Ryves, born 1636 in Woodstock, England, died after 1695 in Virginia. “When he was 16 years old, he was imported by Littleton Sarburg into Surry Co., VA. By 1684 he appeared in county records as a freeman.”

Barbara Glance Reeves’s parents, m. 1792, were Charles Glance, born about 1770, and Catherine “Katy” Cross. There is a community and church named after Katy Cross known as Cross Rock. It is located on NC Hwy. 63 just across the Madison County line from Buncombe Co.) Charles Glance’s parents were Anton Glance and Catherine Hoffman, sister of Elizabeth Hoffman mentioned above.

Hezekiah and Irene Miller’s children were:

  1. Arnold Malachi Miller (born 5-14-1891, died 1967) married Mayme Trammel
  2. Herbert Pinkney Miller (born 8-7-1893, died 1974) m. Birma Kuykendall
  3. Robert Cassius Miller (born 1896, died 1980) married (1) Sally Whaley; m (2) Iowa R. Brown
  4. Paul Jennings Miller (born 1-21-1899, died 1967) married (1) O’Dessa Kuykendall (2) Mary Deal Davis
  5. Velma Irene Miller (born 4-8-1902) married Roy Robinson
  6. Leonard Hezekiah Miller (born 9-28-1904, died 9-17-1993) married Frances Lorraine Alexander
  1. Zebulon Russell Miller (born 3-16-1909, died in infancy)
  2. James Woodrow Miller (born 1912, died 1985) married Edith Smith

Hezekiah and Irene are buried at Brick Church, Leicester, NC.

  • IV. Leonard Hezekiah Miller (born 9-28-1904 in Sandy Mush, died 9-17-1993) married 11-29-1933 Frances “Frankie” Lorraine Alexander (born 10-29-1917). Frances is the daughter of Verly Edgebert Alexander (born 8-10-1893, died 4-27-1973) married 8-12-1916 Florence Pogonia Randall (born 7-3-1900, died 5-19-1977). (see Ancestors and Descendants of Frances “Frankie” Alexander and Alexander History for more details.) [Editor’s Note: see ALOB, November, 1996 issue.] Leonard attended Mars Hill College and was an automobile and farm equipment mechanic. Her was the owner-operator of the Leicester Garage. Many people joked that Leonard could fix most mechanical problems with a single blow from a sledge hammer. Frankie and Leonard’s children are:
  • Harold David Miller, born 11-20-1936, married Dolores “Dolly” Fabiola Jutras.
  • Caryl Annette Miller, born 3-8-1961
  • Suzanne Elizabeth Miller, born 4-25-1962 married Phillip Rose
  • Jeffrey Rose, born 7-2-1988
  • Mathew Rose, born 6-4-1990
  • Emily Rose, born 10-26-1993
  • Carol Raymond Miller, born 9-10-1938, married 3-1-1959 Sarahbelle “Sara” Burrell.
  • Lorrie Lynn Miller, born 11-24-1965, married 12-29-1992 Kenneth Turner
  • Lance David Miller, born 8-5-1970, married 7-8-1995 Julie Kathleen Gilstrap
  • Tommy Leonard Miller, born and died 2-13-1945, buried at Brick Church
Sources of Information: Personal knowledge and research of Frances “Frankie” Alexander Miller; Recollections of Leonard H. Miller and Velma Miller Robinson and other family members; Cemeteries; Census Reports; The Hoffmans of North Carolina by Max Hoffman; Old Buncombe County Heritage, Vol I and II; Sandy Mush Charge by Larry Melton; and research records of Viola Alexander Walker. Revised November 26, 1995.

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