Indian John or Wounded John Miller

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I love history in general.  Mine or anyone elses.  Since I have a large collection of resource books, I volunteer to do lookups in them for others.   When a request came to me to do a lookup for Indian John Miller,  I knew I had a good bit of information in many different places.  This was a great excuse to cull it all together and add some coherent notes into my database for my 7th great-grand-uncle. (i.e., brother to my 7th great-grandmother). Of my 7G-grandmother who married Benedict Lehman,  I know virtually nothing, not even her first name, but her brother was a big part of Somerset County lore.  So...

According to Gingerich & Kreider(1)  John Miller was know by the names "Wounded John" "Crippled John" or "Indian John."  He was born in Europe and died in Somerset County PA in 1798.

DJH (2) p. 953. states that "John MIller,  was wounded by the Indians when they were taking the family of Jacob Hostetler into captivity."  That means that it also puts John living in the Northkill Settlement, Berks Co., PA in Sept. 1757. Since that was the date and place of the Indian attack mentioned.  He later moved to Somerset County as did many of the Amish in that area. DJH p. 953 also mentions that it gets it's information from an account of the Indian John Miller family by Moses B. Miller of Geistown, PA.

This family info is from G&K p. 270.  Order of issue uncertain. All children were born in  Berks Co, PA . children of John Miller & ?:
  • Barbara, born circa 1750 married Jacob Hochstetler
  • John, born circa 175, married Veronica, nicknamed  "Fanny". He died June 13, 1802 in Somerset County
  • Jacob, born August 1754, married Anna Stutzman. He died 2/25/1835 in Tuscarawas co., Ohio
  • Peter, born 1756 married Mary Stutzman. he died 11/1/1818 in Somerset county.
  • Catherine, born circa 1758 married Jacob Kauffman
  • Christian born circa 1760, married Veronica. He died in 1839 in Somerset county.
  • Joseph, born circa 1762 married first Barbara Speicer, then Barbara Bontrager
  • Mary, born circa 1764 married John Schrock
  • Veronica "Franey", born circa 1766 married Christian Speicer
  • a duaghter born circa, 1768 married Christian Mishler
  • Elizabeth, born circa 1770 married Joseph Speicher

Somerset county orphans Court records July 28, 1798 show Magdalena widow of John Miller renouncing the right to administer the estate in favor of eldest son John and son-in-law Joseph Speicher.  G&K (still p. 270) notes that Magdalena MAY have been Indian John's second wife and therefore NOT the mother of his children. But it's also possible that she was indeed his only wife.  The reason for the confusion over the wife is as follows: "A near neighbor of wounded John was Benedict Lehman. Since a grandson of Wounded John was named Benedict Miller and since Benedict is a quite uncommon name among the Amish in America except for the Benedict Miller's descendants, it seems likely that there was some connection between the Miller and Lehman families. Benedict Lehman was on the ship list of Oct. 8, 1737 with apparently a son benedict on the list of women and children but no daughter Magdalena. Thus the widow of Wounded John Miller could not have been a daughter of Benedict Lehman But Barbara or Catherine Lehman, probable daughters of Benedict on the ship list might have been the first wife of Wounded John and the mother of his children.

As to when John Miller arrived in America, no one is quite certain, but G&K. p. 269 offers up the following:
"Among the many well-known Amish names on the 9/15/1749 ship list are Hannes Miller, Jacob Miller, Christian Miller, Peter Miller, Jacob Mishler, Joseph Mishler, Benedict Lehman, David Miller, and Abraham Kurtz.  It seems likely that three or more of the MILLERs named above were members of the Miller family under consideration.  Since the real name of Wounded John's son John was Hannas, it's likely that Wounded John's real name was also that and the Hannes Miller listed might well have been "Wounded John."

And in case that really is him, here's the information from the ships list. (see source 3).  "At the Court house at Philadelphia, Friday, the 15th September 1749.  The  foreigners whose Names are underwritten, imported in the ship Phoenix, John Mason, Master ... did this day take the usual Qualifications to the government. By the List 261. 550 whole freights, from Zweybrech, Nassau, Wirtemberg, and Palitinate."   [Just FYI,  550 whole freights were the total number transported.  The list has only 261 names since only men over the age of 16 were required to swear allegiance to the English crown.]

Lastly, Indian John was most probably the son of Christian Miller (also listed on the above-mentioned ships list.)

DJH p. 33 says (when describing  the story of the captive Hostetler family being marched off) "There is a traditional what while crossing the mountains they passed a cleaning where a man named Miller, was chopping. He was shot at and hit in the hand as he raised his ax; he fled and was not pursued."  DBH (see source 4, written after 26 more years of research by the author)) on page 26 relays the exact same language but with a footnote that this Miller was indeed Indian John or Wounded John Miller.


Source list:
(1) Gingerich & Krieder, Amish & Amish Mennonite Genealogies,  (Pequea Publishing, Gordonville, PA. 1986.).
(2)Harvey Hochstetler, Descendants of Jacob Hochstetler,  (Gospel Book Store. Reprint. originally published, 1912).
(3) Strassberger, R. B., Pennsylvania German Pioneers,  (Picton Press. Camden, Maine. 1992.). Volume 1, pp. 404-407
(4)Harvey Hochstetler, Descendants of  Barbara Hochstetler and Christian Stutzman,  (Gospel Book Store. Reprint. originally published, 1938).

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6 Comments

Sue Brown said:

Indian John Miller is my ancestor...loved reading what you found though I already had most of it. Thanks for your involvement as a volunteer.

Larry Miller said:

Christian "Schmidt" Miller was my first ancestor in America. Was "Indian John" his son?

Larry Miller

NANCY WELSH HALLBERG Author Profile Page said:

Larry, Indian John was probably Christian "Schmidt" Miller's uncle. Gingerich & Kreider in "Amish and Amish Mennonite Genealogies" use wills and land records to piece together what they consider to be Indian John's siblings. While they aren't 100% sure, I believe they probably have this family sorted out pretty well. As such they propose the children of original immigrant Miller (whose first name was probably Christian) as follows:
[all children born in Europe]


  1. ?? a daughter who married Benedict Lehman

  2. ? Indian or Wounded John

  3. Peter who married Anna Zug

  4. ?? Nicholas married Barbara

  5. Christian married (1) a Gnaegi (2) Veronica Mishler

  6. Samuel married Barbara

  7. ? Abraham married Anna

  8. ?? Issac married Barbara

The question marks were the degree of the authors certainty in placing those people in the family.

And Christian "Schmidt" Miller (born Berks Co., PA 1763 and died in Somerset Co. in 1847) is the son of the above-mentioned Samuel who married Barbara.

Several genealogies I've found online suggest that the original Miller came across on the ship Patience on August 11, 1950. There is no "Christian" on the manifest, but perhaps he changed his name from Daniel Müller. A note in "Descendants of Jacob Hochstetler, the immigrant of 1736", by Harvey Hostetler, says that a Daniel Miller who came on that ship married Veronica Mishler and had children Christian (b1760), Elizabeth (b1762), Jacob (b1764), Abraham (b1776), Susanna (b1767), Fanny (b1769), Barbara (b1774), Magdalena (b1776).

And the genealogy of that Abraham connects to my family -- he married Anna Hochstetler.

Possibly, some or all of the children traveled separately on the Phoenix on September 15th, 1749 -- those names certainly appear on that list. But that would be several decades too early. It's also possible several families are getting mixed together somehow.... there's no Hannes or John in Harvey Hostetler's list.

Anyway....

NANCY WELSH HALLBERG Author Profile Page said:

Matthew, Thanks for your comments. A careful reading of the note in DJH about Daniel Miller says he obtained the information from the Mast Genealogy. " A Brief History of Bishop Jacob Mast and other Mast Pioneers" by C. Z. Mast was published in 1911. So it appears that Hostetler was just repeating the info researched by Mast. It is important to note that the wife's name and children's names and birth orders attributed to Daniel Miller by C.Z. Mast are EXACTLY the same names and birth orders as listed in the will of Christian Miller of Cumru twp., Berks County, PA in 1777. That's why Gingerich & Kreider attribute this family to Christian and not Daniel. Could they be one and the same? Possibly, but I doubt it. I think it's more likely that Mast made an error and Hostetler perpetuated it. Also, your Abraham's oldest son is named Christian, which by tradition he would be named after Abraham's father. Although if this family were in total keeping with traditional naming patterns the second son would be John not Daniel, so who knows...

Thomas Irvin Maast said:

Stumbled onto this blogg. I grew up on the "Hannes" Miller farm. My father still has the sheepskin deed. The family cemetery is on this farm with rude fieldstones for gravemarkers except for two: one crudely rounded and marked with 18MM17 and another, more smoothly rounded, but, unfortunately without text or dates. I remember helping Paul Hostetler and Virgil Miller when they "discovered" all of this in the 1970's.

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