Probate documents of Matthias Miller d. ca 7 Oct 1793
Eric Hedrick has released his newest CD which is a collection of the original documents from various probates of Pendleton Co. http://www.erichedrick.com/pendprobate/
One of the more exciting probate files is that of Matthias Miller of the North Fork who died before 7 Oct 1793. The file includes numerous miscellaneous receipts with original signatures of many North Fork and South Branch residents from the late 1790's into the early 1800's. Additionally there is mention of many others in the context of their occupations. The receipts include items as diverse as one for a watch repair, a stud fee, blacksmith fees, a deed for a loan, etc.
Perhaps, of great importance to the Miller researchers, is the backside of a deed which contains the signature, on 6 Nov 1794, of the immigrant Johannes Miller (who is said by family researchers to have been Matthias' father). Based on a citation from The Journals of Reverend Robert J. Miller (1811, 1813), the father of John Miller was a German who came to America when he was 26 years of age and who was then 86 years old. This is considered by Miller researchers to refer to Johannes Miller who had come to Pendleton County in the early 1790's from Pennsylvania. The citation gives a rough approximation of the date of immigration and with the signature from the back of the deed (a receipt for the money owed), a comparison can be favorably made to an immigrant on the ship Isaac which arrived 27 Sep 1749. Although the signatures are not absolutely identical, there are strong similarities and the immigrant signed his surname Miller (as did the Pendleton Co. Johannes Miller) and this was unusual for Germans who normally signed as Mueller or Muller with the umlaut over the u.
There may be additional help for the Millers in that the Isaac, 1749, also carried members of the Conrad family including Ulrich Conrad Sr. , an early settler in the South Branch basin. Ulrich is proven to have come from Switzerland and this could be a promising lead for Miller research. (John Miller is a very common name among Germans so a European connection is not easy work).
Other probates on Eric's new disc include John Botkin, John Boyd, Henry Buzzard, George Cowger, Thomas Douglass, Adam Loch (Lough), Eve Luts, Michael Probst (Propst), Lewis Waggoner (Ludwig Wagner), and Christian Wetsall. There are many original signatures which may be of help to others in sorting out various families where given names were repeated over several generations.