The Miller family goes back to the town of Kendal, also known as Kirkby Kendal, in what used to be Westmorland County, but is now part of Cumbria County in the far northwest of England.
Mr. John & Margaret Miller of Market Place in Kendal, Westmoreland, were the parents of at least four children: Rebecca, Thomas, Dorothy and William.1 Margaret Miller was a widow when she married John on 18 Feb 1739 in Kendal and was listed as Mrs. Holme on the marriage record.2
Margaret had first been married to John Holme and they had at least two children before he died in 1736, a few months before his last child, Mary, was born. John was the mayor of Kendal at the time of his death and has a memorial plaque in the Kendal parish church, Holy Trinity Church, which reads:
Here lieth the body of Mr. John Holme, late Mayor of Kendal, who d. l. (in his Mayorality sic) the 28th of June 1737 Aged 34 Y. Here also lieth the Body of his Son Thomas who d. the 19th day of September 1736 Aged 8 M.3
The christening records for Kendal have several entries for parents John & Margaret Holme in the 1730s. Because entries for a couple with these names continue to appear in the christening records after 1737 when John died, there must have been more than one John & Margaret Holme having children at the same time. However, one couple is living at Market Place and this is probably our Margaret. A daughter Mary was born in 1737 to Mrs. Margaret Holme, widow of Mr. Jno. Holme of Market Place.
In the records, John Miller is always listed as Mr. John Miller of Market Place. The term Mr. is rarely used and indicates a gentleman. Because John Holme Esq. and Margaret, his wife, also lived at Market Place, I am making the assumption that it is this Margaret who married John Miller after her husband died in 1737.4
Margaret died on 29 March 1763 and was buried on 2 April. The parish register for that date reads, "Margaret wife of Mr. John Millers of Market Place." John died 24 April 1778 and was buried on 28 April, age 86, living at Stricklandgate.5 The age is different from that given in the memorial below. John Miller would have been born about 1692-1695 and his wife Margaret about 1709.
In the northwest floor of Holy Trinity Church in Kendal, Cumbria, England, there is a memorial inscription which reads:
"In Memory John Miller late Alderman of this Town, who died April 24th 1778 aged 83 Years. Also of Margaret his Wife who died 29th Day of March 1763 aged 54 Years"6
John Miller wrote his will in 1777, the year before he died. In his will, John mentions his children Thomas, William, Dorothy and Rebecca. His wife is not mentioned, as she died before him. His son Thomas was made executor. His two daughters were unmarried when he wrote his will.7
In the baptismal registry of Holy Trinity Church in Kendal, visible in the center of the photo of Kendal, above,8 there are two William Millers listed in the 1750s, one born to Mr. John and Margaret Miller and one to John and Margaret Millers.9 One was baptized 14 October 1751 and the other was baptized 24 November 1754. The 1751 William's parents lived on Market Place and the 1754 Williamís family residence was Kirkland. The name for the Kirkland entries is always Millers. These are two different Miller families. The Millers family had a daughter after the death of our Margaret Miller in 1763. The William born in 1751 is our ancestor, son of Mr. John & Margaret Miller of Market Place.
William, John Miller's younger son was married about a year and a half after his father's death. He married Mary Spurstow, daughter of George Spurstow and Elizabeth Hayes, on 21 September 1779, in Chester, England.10 William and Mary's son, Joseph Dundas Miller, was my 3d great grandfather.
In William Millerís will his father's name is given as John Miller.11 According to the notice of death of William Miller, d.1826, in Gore's Advertiser, his age at death was 74.12 This agrees with a birth date of 1751, and family tradition says that William Miller, who married Mary Spurstow, was born in 1751.
9-generation descent report, with index and sources, for John Miller, d.1778
Marriage record of John Miller & Margaret Holme, 1739
Memorial plaque for John & Margaret Miller at Holy Trinity Church, Kendal
Descent report for Margaret (Holme) Miller with more information on her first husband, John Holme.
Will of John Miller, d.1778
William Miller, d.1826, son of John and Margaret Miller
The image above shows a small section of a map: Plan of Kendal. In the center, far right, can be seen a short street named Market Place. Market Place was the address given for both Margaret and John Holme and Margaret and John Miller, Margaret's second husband. The map was engraved for The Annals of Kendal, 1861, published by T. Wilson, Kendal. The map was found in Westmorland Church Notes: Being the Heraldry, Epitaphs and Other Inscriptions in the Thirty-two Ancient Parish Churches and Churchyards of that County, collected and arranged by Edward Bellarsis. T. Wilson, Highgate, Kendal, 1889.
Parish registers: Parish church of Kendal, Cumbria, England. FHL MFs 1471685, 973138 & 139, 820609, 97375. These films cover the christenings mentioned above but are in different formats, some having more information than others.
Parish registers: Parish church of Kendal. Microfilm of original manuscripts in the Cumbria Record Office, Kendal. FHL MF 1471685, Baptisms, marriages, burials, 1679-1812.
Margaret and John Holme's daughter, Margaret, married Thomas Maude in 1756. In her will, written in 1791 and probated in 1803, she left £100 to her niece Margaret Miller, daughter of her half brother, Thomas Miller, which shows the connection between the Holme and Miller families.
Westmorland Church Notes: Being the Heraldry, Epitaphs and Other Inscriptions in the Thirty-two Ancient Parish Churches and Churchyards of that County, collected and arranged by Edward Bellarsis. T. Wilson, Highgate, Kendal, 1889, p.43. The memorial gives their dates of death. This information can also be found online: https://www.kendalparishchurch.co.uk/history/tour/memorials/memorial-names-mu/
Parish registers: Parish church of Kendal, Microfilm of original manuscripts in the Cumbria Record Office, Kendal. FHL MF 1471685, Baptisms, marriages, burials, 1679-1812 gives the burial dates and information for John and Margaret Miller.
Westmorland Church Notes: Being the Heraldry, Epitaphs and Other Inscriptions in the Thirty-two Ancient Parish Churches and Churchyards of that County, collected and arranged by Edward Bellarsis. T. Wilson, Highgate, Kendal, 1889, p.43. The memorial gives their dates of death. This information can also be found online: http://www.kendalparishchurch.co.uk/history/tour/memorials/memorial-names-mu/. The transcriptions given in these sources abbreviate some of the actual words on the plaque
The plaque is in the floor on the west end of Inner North Aisle
Probate Records for the Archdeaconry of Richmond Consistory Court, 1466-1860. Microfilm of original records in the Principal Probate Registry, Somerset House, Strand, London. FHL MF 99086, Will of John Miller, 29 May 1777, Lancashire Record Office, Court of Probate: Archdeaconry of Richmond.
- Panorama of Kendal (Cumbria) with the Parish Church (Holy Trinity) - August 2008. Photo taken by Dr. Savage, London, UK, and originally posted at http://www.flickr.com/photos/drsavage/2744086869. Licensed for use under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
Parish registers: Parish church of Kendal. Microfilm of original manuscripts in the Cumbria Record Office, Kendal. FHL MF 1471685, Baptisms, marriages, burials, 1679-1812, 14 Oct 1751, William, son of Mr. Jno. & Margt. Miller of Market Place.
Also: Kendal Parish Register, Kendal, England, vol.6, pp.19 and 65. FHL Microfilm 973138.
Registration of Marriage for William Miller and Mary Spurstow, Sept. 21, 1779, The Parish Church, St. John the Baptist, Chester. Registration #636, County and City of Chester, England.
Will of William Miller, 13 April 1826, Lancashire, England, Lancashire Record Office, 1827.
Notice of death of William Miller, d.1826. Gore's Advertiser, p.3, col. 6. "Died 7 inst. Aged 74 years."