Francis Benjamin Miller, 1838-1901

Francis Benjamin Miller, 1838-1901

      


Francis Benjamin Miller, the 8th and last child of Joseph Dundas Miller and Elizabeth Tomlinson, was born 1 February 1838 in Liverpool, England.1 He became a ship-broker with the family's shipping business, traveling to South America, Australia, and Europe.2 In 1863 he married Charlotte Elizabeth Taylor and they had two children, Francis Spurstow and William Joseph. Charlotte died in 1873 and was buried in Liverpool, England.

Francis Benjamin, or Uncle Ben as he was called by my great grandfather, Charles Edward Miller, married again in 1876 to Fannie Louise Frodsham, known as Fanny. Fanny, born in Liverpool in 1849, was the daughter of Edward Parr Frodsham and Mary Manlove Taylor.3

Two children, Rose and Frederick Charles, were born in England before the family left to homestead in Canada in the spring of 1880.4 The family sailed on the SS Polynesian, nicknamed the Rolling Poly, arriving in Toronto. In the summer of 1880 they went by train to Winnipeg, then by flatboat to Portage la Prairie where Fanny delivered two more children, twins - Dorothy and Bernard West. Dorothy died there when she was just 2 1/2 months old. Benjamin and his son William went on ahead to set up the homestead near Solsgirth, about twelve miles from Birtle and about 200 miles from Winnipeg, just east of Saskatchewan. Together they took 640 acres and built a log house. The farm was named Rose Vale.5 Three more children were born in Manitoba, Gerald Hope, 1881, Helen, 1885, and Ruby Blanche, 1887.

Benjamin died in 1901 and his son William died in 1904. They are buried in the St. James Anglican Cemetery in Solsgirth.

Rose Vale was sold and Fanny and her daughters Helen and Ruby lived in Birtle, then England, Winnipeg, and finally California. Fanny died in 25 April 1924 in Los Angeles and is buried there in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.6 Ruby died 20 October 1953 in Los Angeles and is buried next to her father, Benjamin, and her half brother, William, in the St. James Anglican Cemetery. Helen died 20 February 1983 in Los Angeles and is buried in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Benjamin's oldest son and Joseph's full brother, Francis Spurstow Miller, died 6 February 1954 in Bournemouth, Dorset, England. Rose Miller Plant, Benjamin's oldest daughter, died 12 November 1927 in New Orleans, Louisiana, and was buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, in Glendale, California. Bernard West Miller died 19 October 1971, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Gerald Hope Miller died 15 October 1973. Frederick Charles Miller died in 1938.


Related Links
Family photo of the Francis Benjamin Miller family, 1886
Biographical sketch of the Benjamin Miller family by Hope Healy Koontz
Family group sheet for Francis Benjamin Miller and Charlotte Elizabeth Taylor
Family group sheet for Francis Benjamin Miller and Franny Louise Frodsham
4 generation descent chart for Francis Benjamin Miller
Children of Francis Benjamin Miller
Gravestone of Benjamin's first wife, Charlotte Elizabeth Taylor Miller, Liverpool
Miller family

Bernard West Miller, son of Francis Benjamin Miller and Fanny Louis Frodsham
The Bernard West Miller family, 1935, Vancouver
The Bernard West Miller family, 1952, Vancouver
Garth Wadsworth Miller, in uniform, 1944
Garth Wadsworth Miller, in uniform, portrait
Garth Wadsworth Miller, wedding photo

Helen Miller, daughter of Francis Benjamin Miller and Fanny Louise Frodsham
Miller family




Photo courtesy of Hope Healy Koontz and family members who lent it for copying.



  1. Handwritten Notes of Admiral Francis Spurstow Miller, 1863-1953, on Miller Family, 1936. Much of the information on Francis Benjamin Miller and his family comes from these notes written by his son and later recompiled by Donovan Miller, Francis Benjamin's grandson. In the 1901 Canadian Census, his date of birth is given as 1 December 1837 rather than 1 February. 1901 Canadian Census. Manitoba, Birtle, District: Marquette, Microfilm Reel T-6433, p.2. Different family charts give 1837 or 1838. Since his next older sibling was born in September 1836, it would not be possible for his birth to take place less than six months later in February 1837. He was christened July 1838, so a birth in Feb 1838 seems more plausible.

  2. Abra, Marion W., compiler and ed. A View of the Birdtail: A History of the Municipality of Birtle, the Town of Birtle and the Villages of Foxwarren and Solsgirth, 1878-1974. The History Committee of the Municipality of Birtle, c1974. A biographical sketch of Francis Benjamin Miller is given on p.348.

  3. Collected information on the Miller and Spurstow families, typed up (probably) by Bernard West Miller, one of Francis Benjamin's sons.

    Record of marriage: Francis Benjamin Miller and Fanny Louise Frodsham, 4 July 1876. Parish registers, St. Michael-in-the-Hamlet, Toxteth Park, 1815-1910, FHL MF 2147883, p.26, Record #52. Both are full age; Francis Benjamin is a widower, a shipbroker, from Granssendale Park; Fanny Louise is a spinster, from Toxteth Park; fathers are Joseph Miller, deceased, and Edward Parr Frodsham, deceased.

    Record of baptism: Fanny L. Frodsham, 1 Mar 1849. Parish registers, St. Peter's Church, Liverpool, 1704-1919, p.165, #1319: Fanny Louisa Frodsham, dau of Edward Parr Frodsham and Mary Manlove [Taylor] of Kirkdale. Father's occupation: Banker Clerk. FHL MF 93885 & 1656425.

  4. Abra. A View of the Birdtail.

  5. Collected information on the Miller and Spurstow families.
    Abra. A View of the Birdtail.

  6. Research notes of Admiral Francis Spurstow Miller, 1863-1953.
    Abra. A View of the Birdtail.



Anne Healy's Genealogy, Created October 2002
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14 January 2006
Updated 1 Nov 2014

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