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Searching for Info on Robert Miller (1635-1726).

 

 

 

 

While researching my ancestry, I learned that my 6th great grandfather was named Robert Miller, who was born in Skerry, County Antrim, Ireland in 1635. Generally, it is asserted that he was 91 when he died in Skerry, in 1726.

His only son, Gayen (also Gayon also Gaynor also Guin also Guyan) Miller, was born in 1672, seems to have been involved with some business or guild situation in Warwick, England; and then emigrated to the hemisphere of my birth in 1688, apparently as a famous Quaker nation-builder, who owned a lot of land & sired seventeen children.

Not certain of the circumstances of the departure of Robert’s son from Skerry; but it feels nice to finally have some concept of the home my Irish heritage, in which I am proud.

Any further information concerning the life of Robert Miller in Skerry would be greatly appreciated. (Hopefully his son did not murder a man, then run off with the church funds, or something creepy.)

Peace & Love

Gregory

Rosemarrow

Saturday 1st August 2020, 06:18AM

Message Board Replies

  • Gregory,

    I think you will struggle to find any hard information on your ancestor. You didn’t mention what religious denomination he was but none of the churches in the Skerry area has any records for the 1600s or 1700s. There are few other sources to refer to. Research in Ireland in the 1600s and 1700s is notoriously difficult due to the lack of comprehensive records.

    I searched the on-line gravestone inscriptions for that area but did not find any relating to Miller/Millar in the 1600s or 1700s. The name is very common in the area.

    I am pleased that you are proud of your Irish heritage. However you probably need to know that Millar isn’t a native Irish name. MacLysaght’s surnames of Ireland describes it as: “An English name very numerous in Antrim and adjacent counties.” In practice the vast majority of the population around Skerry originated in Scotland (only 20 miles away) and arrived in the 1500s & 1600s. So Robert may have been the first generation in Ireland. Indeed he might even have been born in Scotland.

    The Ordnance Survey memoirs for Skerry in 1833 said: “The southern parts of this parish are peopled by the numerous descendants of the Scottish settlers, whilst the glens of the mountains are inhabited by the native and original inhabitants of the country, among whom the Irish or Erse language is spoken by them all. The Scotch inhabitants as they are called speak a mixture like Lowland Scotch.”

     

    Elwyn

    Saturday 1st August 2020, 09:44AM
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    Thank you, Elwyn, for your swift reply to my request. I had not thought there would be much evidence of Robert Miller, considering that he had only one son, who seems to have had more cultural contact with England & America, despite his genetic contact with Ireland.

    It was this genetic contact, which I discovered via 23andme.con was research, that piqued my curiosity in the first place. My father was an associate of Jimmy Hoffa, and an Organizer for the Teamsters Union; and was aware of his Irishness, but only via interaction with other displaced Irish mutts, (like myself). Every time, I have passed by a carnival booth with a sign saying: “Kiss me, I’m Irish!” handing out buttons with Irish names; and having been asked my surname, receiving the response: “I don’t have that one.”

    Am aware that Miller is not an Irish name, except rarely, when it purportedly means something utterly different from it’s English, Scottish & German counterparts; apparently being related to Mailer, indicating somebody who makes chain mail, rather than someone who runs a mill. However, Robert’s son Gayon seems to have had some connection with the mill of Castle Warwick, England. So, that’s as may be.

    If it were only for the circumstantial evidence from Ancestry.com, I would probably never have bothered to waste your time. But, ostensibly, I have much Irish DNA, and some English DNA, but only the remotest trace of DNA stemming from the city of Glasgow alone, and nowhere else in Scotland nor Northern Ireland. There seems to be some significant distinction between proper Irish genetic clusters (Munster, North Central, South Central & Ulster) being completely different than the genetic cluster Scottish/Northern Irish. (Threw the “proper Irish” in myself: Maybe it’s my non-Northern Irish Ulster blood?) In any event, I seem to have Y-chromosomal DNA stemming from a man named Niall, who purportedly was King of Tara in the late 4th century AD, originating the Uí Néill dynasty, consisting of various Irish kings who ruled from the 7th to the 11th century, and exercised the “divine right” to impregnate whomever they wished in their kingdoms. Pigs! (This bit is probably mostly a sales-pitch by 23andme.com.)

    Anyhoo! Have no interest in bothering you further. It just seems strange that I have sparse DNA (save the Y-chromosome) from north of County Dublin & County Mayo, except a trace amount from Glasgow. 

    Suppose any headstone of Robert Miller must have rotted away centuries ago, and that his son maybe left because there was no home for him in Skerry.

    Thank you for taking time to assist my search.

    Thank you also for listening to my catharsis.

    Peace & Love.

    Gregory

    Rosemarrow

    Saturday 1st August 2020, 08:51PM