Robert Miller1

b. between 1717 and 1727, d. 1781

3rd great-grandfather of William Lemuel Horn Jr.
5th great-grandfather of Laura Jane Munson.
Family Background:
Horn and Allied Families
Appears on charts:
Pedigree for William Lemuel Horn II
     Robert Miller was born between 1717 and 1727 in Scotland.1 He married Jean (Jane) Pickens, daughter of Captain Andrew Pickens and Anne Davis, in 1758 in Waxhaw, Unknown County, North or South Carolina.1 He died in 1781 in Abbeville District, South Carolina.1
     This biographical sketch of Robert Miller is taken from a gedcom sent to the writer by Bob Thompson in 1998. It is also included on his Web site which is a "must see" for anyone interested in this family.

     Robert Miller's birthplace and birth date are not known. One can assume that since he stated in an autobiographical sketch that he attended Patrick Reid's school in Aberdeen, that he was born in Aberdeenshire. His father (whose name is unknown), was "posssessed of a small fortune in land." At age eighteen, he apprenticed to a physician, but soon went back to college. It is believed that he attended the University of Edinburgh, but the records for the years of his likely attendance have not been published. While in college, he switched to from the study of Philosophy to Divinity, and ultimately was ordained, apparently in the Associate Presbytery of Edinburgh. According to Simpson, he was ultimately deposed in Scotland for familiarity with a woman in his congregation. It should be noted that Helen Hill Miller believes that Robert Miller was the son of a Church of Scotland minister of the same name and his wife Helen Meldrum. However, there is no proof of the connection, and the autobiographical sketch referred to above makes no mention that his father was also a minister.

     Robert Miller came to the United States about 1750. Helen Hill Miller states that four of his manuscipt sermons survive, and that they were given at St. Johns, Strawberry Chapel and Dorchester at dates ranging from January 14, 1750 to June 16, 1751. The locations are names of churches in St. George and St. Johns Parish in the South Carolina low country near Charleston. In November 1755, Rev. Simpson mentions that Robert Miller, who "has been for some time a schoolmaster," was taken on trial as a minister. By May 1756, he had accepted a call to be the minister at the. Robert Miller and his wife reserved a seat "within the North door of sd. house upon the left hand at entering." However, Robert Miller's courtship of Jean Pickens offended the strict teachings of the church. In late May, 1758, Rev Simpson reported as follows:"Mr. Robert Miller was deposed and laid under the sentence of excommunication for uncleanness with a woman of his own charge. It seems he had once been deposed already by the Associate Presbytery in Scotland for the same iniquity and has been too too often guilty. At this time he has married the woman." Miller was replaced as minister by Rev. William Richardson.

     Robert and Jean remained at Waxhaws until 1765, when Jean's brother Andrew married Rebecca Calhoun, who was the daughter of Patrick Calhoun of the Long Canes Settlement. Calhoun had briefly fled to Waxhaws in 1760 after the Cherokee Indians had raided Long Canes and killed several settlers. Shortly before Andrew Pickens married Rebecca Calhoun, Robert Miller petitioned for 100 acres in Long Cane on February 5, 1765. This land was adjacent to land owned by Andrew Pickens. After two years, Robert sold this property to his brother-in-law, John Pickens and moved to the Parks Creek area of Upper Long Cane River. In May 1770, several people from the Long Cane area petitioned to Charleston Presbytery for Robert Miller's reinstatement to the ministry. William Richardson, who had replaced Miller at Waxhaws (and who later committed suicide there), protested in writing against this reinstatement request, and it was rejected "without any debate," according to Howe.

     Robert Miller is named as owning land adjacent to property of Robert Haddin on the North Fork of Parks Creek 30 Oct 1771. In November 1774 he is stated as owning 300 acres adjacent to Alexander McAlpin and Samuel Marks, also in the Parks Creek area. In 1779, William Bull, Lt. Governor of South Carolina, in exile in London, deeded away his property, including "a tract of land on a brook near the Long Cane Creek about 500 acres adj. land of Robert Miller."

     Robert Miller was listed as a witness to the organization of a volunteer company led by Captain David Hunter in September 1775. However, unlike his Pickens in-laws, Robert Miller was not a native-born American. Many of his neighbors remained loyalists. While at least one report states that he was a chaplain to Andrew Pickens' troops in their 1776 actions against Indians led by Alexander Cameron, he was also reported as a Tory by Evans. June Clark lists his oldest son Robert Miller as a lieutenant in Captain George Neal's Company, Upper Ninety Six Regiment of the loyalist Long Cane Militia commanded by Colonel Richard King. Evans characterized Robert Miller, Jr. as a leader of a band of Tories in the Abbeville area during the period of intense fighting in the backcountry in 1780 and 1781:
Bob Miller was at the head of all this and as he figured much at these times I think will not be amiss to give you a bit of his history. He was General Picken's nephew [his?] sister's son. His father was a cecoder preacher but had been silenced, but as soon as the war came off both he and his son fought for the King. The older man went off with the British and on the retreat of the British from Ninety Six to Charleston, he was taken by some of the Whigs and hung up to a tree without judge or jury. I have often heard Father say he helped to hang him. Bob Miller stayed in the country at the head of a company of bandits, plundering everything they could lay their hands on, committing a great many murders. He at last had to run away with the British. He went to the Spanish in what is now Louisiana and there raised a family. About two years after the war was over he came back, but had to be concealed three months on the beams of his mother's house to keep from being murdered. Gen. Pickens frequently sent out scouts to drive his sister and her family out of the country. They always took pity on her and let her stay. She died on the same place.
If this source is accurate, Robert Miller was hung by Whigs during the period immediately following the siege of Ninety-Six, probably in July 1781.

Children of Robert Miller and Jean (Jane) Pickens


  1. [S672] Bob Thompson, Gedcom, "Robert Miller Family File," to Laura M. Cooper (Arlington, Texas), 11 October 1998.
  2. [S672] Bob Thompson Gedcom, 11 October 1998, citing "Petition for Appointment of Curators," 12 Oct 1822, Parish Judge Office Concordia Parish, Probate Book A, Page 439.