Miller Family History

My Ancestral Tree Ellen M. Miller

       What I know about my ancestral tree.
       What I know about my father’s people is what I have heard father and mother talk of their past. First about my father’s grandfather. He and his brother came to USA from Germany. I do not know if they were married at that time. Great grandfather kept the German name Mowrer (meaning masonry)—his brother took the English form Mason. Father said you could see their graves marked by those names in one of the older cemeteries  when he left Pa. I believe great grand fathers name was, Peter, as I heard father and mother say such was an old family name for the Mowrers. Great grand father was a farmer ( ?quiet?) and thrifty the go ahead kind. Peter Mowrer sr my great grand father was born in Penn Feb 28, 1761. I don't think there were many children in this family. I think he was reared a Lutheran and had a calm and firm hope in God. Father and mother would often sit of an evening in the winter time talking about old times when they started keeping house. They went to grand father and mother’s home to take care of them. Grand mother was not very well. Grand father believed in the good old Golden Rule. He died suddenly, on the day before his death he visited in the home of a friend. Getting up that morning to go to the kitchen, as he often did to light the fire. Father and mother heard noise in the kitchen father came down to find his father helpless on the floor dying. This was May 8th 1833. Peter Mowrer Sr and Esther Grob were married March 30, 1786.

     My grand mother Ester Grob Mowrer’s descendents so far as I know were all German. She was born an American but could not speak English, so when mother came there to live after their marriage she made haste to learn German, telling grand mother not to laugh at her funny mistakes. Grand mother was a Dunkard. Dunkards baptize their members by dipping them three times forward, backwards and again forward. Grandmother was strict in her belief [and] was also a precise house keeper.
        To this union were born three children Phoebe and Abraham being twelve and fifteen years older than their brother Peter. Grandmother died after several months of severe sickness was confined to bed for months but was quite alert during her illness. She died March 19, 1831. Peter Mowrer jr my father was born in Charles Co. Pa June 9, 1805. Being the youngest child, the child of their old age they had him for their boy until they passed the beautiful gates ajar. Peter was somewhat frail in his early years, they did not send him to school until about twelve years, so he did not know to speak English until he was twelve yrs old. He soon overcome that for they sent him to school quite faithfully and he tried to improve the time by much study and became a good scholar. He worked on the farm in summer times and taught school in winters. The farms were not large and they had to pick stone every year and care the land good in order to make it pay. Mother would tell how she would go out and pick stone ahead of fathers plow. The older boys also helped on the rock pile, so that made them hurry west (to Iowa) as soon as they were young men. Father sold his share in the home place and bought a large farm that was in poor condition. They built a house and good barns and brought the land to good production then sold it for a much greater value—this they did with four farms built large houses and barns, planted orchards and put the land in good farming condition and would sell them. The one I remember they built for their own use a large stone house, two large barns one where the old house stood. I always wanted to go with my brother to the (?rumbling?) spring house and the barn with the cattle looking out at us. Then there was the trap door through which straw was forked to the floor below. Hiram and Milton would jump through the trap door to the pile of straw below, of course I did to. There were steps, however, for us to go up and down. Father had things in nice shape there for themselves to live. My brothers Peter M.D. and William wanted to go west, so one spring they went west and liked the country (Iowa) so much that father came later and bought land here in Boone Co Union Twp Iowa. Father’s health was fair most of the time except for ague at times. He loved to cut wood for the kitchen stove ahead, so he always had a pile of wood along the picket fence for summer use. Father caught cold when he took brother Nathan to Marshalltown where he joined the army (under Gen Sherman). Nathan was not in service long because of illness could not keep pace with the march to the sea and was sent home. On the way home from Marshalltown the weather was cold and caused a general break down of father’s health. He would tell us children to be good to mother. He died Feb 21, 1870.
     My mother Catherine Posey was born Feb 28, 1812 was the oldest of a large family of children, her brother next younger was not very strong so Catherine would help her father with the work. (Catherine had a brother Jonathan who in 1849 joined a group of Calif during the gold rush, she never got word from him). Mother’s mother’s folks Sarah Root were German and her father’s were English. Grandmother did not like the way he would think himself sick so much of the time.
        Sara Root consort Posey.
          To this union were born nine children. After grand mother’s death grand father Posey soon married the second time and the older children doing for themselves.

        PS When my wife, Edna and I were in Calif in Feb 1948, in San Francisco we looked in the telephone directory for the name Posey. There were 14 of them given in sequence having an initial J but no given names.
A A Miller

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