Research compiled by the Heritage Arts Legacy of Fort Erie
Peter Miller was born in 1793 in Bertie Township, Welland County, Ontario. He was the third child, and second son, of Andrew Miller (1766-1843) and his wife, Elizabeth Everett (1772-1841).
Not much is known about either the Miller or Everett families including where they came from. Early family notes say that Andrew Miller was born in 1766 in Pennsylvania, while later on this birth location was switched to New York State, with no explanation given. Until we are able to find a definitive link this will have to remain a mystery. We do know though that Andrew Miller’s family, including an Uncle, was massacred by a small band of Indians when Andrew was 12 or 13. No records have ever been found about the exact location of this horrifying event but it is believed that it took place somewhere in NY State. It is thought that the Miller Family had decided to leave Pennsylvania in order to remove themselves from Indian unrest there, never realizing that it was worse in New York State and what their fate would end up being. Taken captive by the Indians, Andrew was brought to Fort Niagara sometime in either 1778 or 1779 where he was ransomed by John Burch the Subtler to the British troops. Andrew remained with Burch until he married Elizabeth Everett in 1790.
Like the Millers, the early Everett genealogy is a mystery. The 1891 Canadian Census for Andrew and Elizabeth’s son, Jacob Miller (1805-1891), confirms that both his parents were born in the US. Elizabeth Everett’s birth date has been given as 7 June 1772 and it is suspected that she was born in Pennsylvania and is the daughter of Martin Evert, who arrived in Welland County around 1781-1785, with his wife and five children. It is also felt that Jacob Everett of Bertie Township, who married Susannah Burwell, was Elizabeth’s brother. Either way, Andrew Miller and Elizabeth Everett began their life together in Bertie Township, had twelve children and became a well known United Empire Loyalist Family in the area.
Andrew and Elizabeth’s son, Peter Miller, lived his whole life in Bertie Township. Like his Father and brothers, Peter was a farmer. He married Deborah Spedding on 18 March 1822.
Deborah Spedding (1796-1866) and her family came from Bolton, Westmorland, England. She had been born in late 1796 and was baptized on 25 December 1796.
In the summer of 1819 she, along with her parents, John Sr (1765-after 1842) and Deborah (Pearson) Spedding (1765-after 1820), brothers, Thomas (1799-1876) and John (1805-1875) and sister, Mary (abt 1810-?) left England for Canada. There is a record of them on board the ship New Swiftsure in Quebec on 19 August 1819 as they made their way from Three Rivers to Montreal. They continued to move westward and by the 16 November 1819 there was a land agreement that had been signed between John Spedding Sr. and Isaac Swayze for land in Bertie Township. All six of the Spedding Family who arrived in August 1819 would remain in Bertie Township.
Another daughter, Annis Spedding (1791-1842), who had married the Reverend Thomas Johnson on 15 April 1819 in Bolton, Westmorland, England arrived in Quebec in Nov 1819. Their names are found on the New Swiftsure passenger manifesto as they made their way to Montreal from Three Rivers in Nov 1819. They would settle in Hatley, Quebec in the Eastern Townships as Thomas Johnson became the Minister at St James Anglican Church. They would later move to Abbotsford, Quebec so that Thomas could become the Minister at St Paul’s Anglican Church in 1831. Annis would die in Abbotsford in 1842 and is buried in the Church Cemetery.
Peter and Deborah (Spedding) Miller would have five children.
Andrew Miller (1828-1893) would marry Eliza Ann Cruickshank and move to St Thomas, Ontario to live on the 200 acre farm that had been deeded to Peter Miller for his service to Sir Isaac Brock in the War of 1812-1814. They had one son, Andrew A. Miller.
Mary Jane Miller (1828-1907) married Frederick Carter and lived in Michigan. They had five children: Annis Hannah, William, Peter Edward, James E. and John A. Carter.
Malinda Elizabeth Miller (1829-1918) married John Stockdale and lived at Pleasant Pointe along the Niagara River. They had two sons, William and Wallace Stockdale.
Annis Hannah Miller (1830-1920) would marry Joseph Abraham and move to Picton, Prince Edward County and then Belleville, Hastings County, Ontario. They had twelve children: Elizabeth Emaline, Mary Jane, John Lewis, Annis Maria, Margaret Eliza, Charles Alfred, Martha, Sarah Emma, William Henry, Frederick, Adeline Iowna and Harriet Ann Abraham.
Peter Edward Miller (1837-1917) would marry Rachael Augusta Cruikshank. They would live in Bertie Township. They had nine children: Margaret Ethel, Maud A. C., Beatrice Alberta, Peter Edward Alexander, Edith E., Annis Mabel, Leonora, Andrew Leopold, and Angus Kenneth Miller.
Peter Miller would die on 21 June 1853 in his 59th year. His wife, Deborah Spedding Miller, would follow him thirteen years later, on 26 October 1866, in her 69th year. They are buried together in St John’s Anglican Cemetery, Ridgemont Road, Fort Erie, Ontario.
Peter Miller served during the War of 1812 with the 3rd Regiment Lincoln Militia as a Sergeant (1814) under Captain John Hardy. He was awarded 200 acres of land in Yarmouth Twp. Elgin County for this service. By 1837 Peter Miller had gained the level of Captain with the 3rd Regiment Lincoln Militia.
Veteran SummaryPeter Miller
Sergeant, 3rd Regiment Lincoln Militia
Place of Birth
Bertie Twp., Lincoln Co., Upper Canada, ON, CAN
Place of Death
Bertie Twp., Welland Co., ON, CAN
Died on: 21 JUN 1853
Location of Grave
St. John's Cemetery, Ridgemount Road
Fort Erie, ON, CAN
Latitude: 42.935592N Longitude: -79.004706