Brick Wall Case Studies #18: Finding the family of a man from South Carolina living in Georgia

No documents listed the names of the parents of Jones F Miller. Census records, probate records, newspaper articles, land deeds, and a Confederate pension file identify the family to which he belonged.

What We Knew

  • Jones F Miller married his wife Martha Ann Brown in Meriwether County, Georgia, on 22 October 1843. His parents were not named.
  • Jones F Miller was listed in the 1860 census in Rusk, Texas with his wife and children. He was listed as age 32 and born in South Carolina making his birth year about 1823.
  • Jones had been located in the 1880 census with his wife. It was assumed he died after 1880 in South Carolina.
  • A newspaper article had been found that stated that in 1881 Jones F moved from his location in Carroll County, Georgia, to Carrolton in the same area. There were no death records kept in Georgia at this time so no death record had been located.
  • There was a Jacob Miller in the 1840 census who had a young man in his household that matched the age of Jones F Miller. This Jacob Miller had been located in the 1850 and 1860 census records in the same place with his birth place listed as South Carolina.
  • Jacob Miller of Meriwether County, Georgia, had been shown to be the son of Jacob Miller Sr from Laurens County, South Carolina. Jacob Miller Sr's land in Laurens County, South Carolina was sold in 1833, and some of his children including Jacob Jr. moved to Meriwether County, Georgia.

Records We Located

  • We looked at the census records located for Jacob Miller Jr. He appeared to have married one wife in Laurens County, South Carolina, had a son and a daughter, and then moved to Meriwether County, Georgia where he married a second wife named Carolina Andrews in 1849. He then appeared in the 1850 census with Caroline, and in 1860 with Caroline and several children.
  • We looked to see if there was another Miller family to whom Jones F Miller could belong who was listed in the 1840 census but there was not another family with the Miller surname who had a son his age.
  • We located a probate record for Jacob Miller Jr of Meriwether County, Georgia. His wife Caroline was listed as the administrator of the estate. His children were not listed but it did say that Caroline had dependent children.
  • We located a probate record for Jones F Miller in Meriwether County in 1885. It lists that Martha Ann Miller, widow of Jones F Miller was requesting support from the probate court for 12 months.
  • We examined the land deeds for Meriwether County. We found that Jones F Miller bought land in 1848 in the 9th district, Jacob Miller bought land in 1849 in the 10th district, and Martin Miler bought land in 1849 in the 10th district. All 3 men recorded their deeds within 2 days of each in 1850. It seems that the men may be connected since they purchased land near each other and recorded their deeds closely together.
  • We located a newspaper article that mentioned the marriage of Jones F Fuller and Martha Ann Brown. It said that on the same day by the same minister, there was a Sarah Frances Miller who married Pendleton Fuller. Since they got married at the same time, it would seem that Sarah and Jacob were related, perhaps siblings.
  • Sarah's husband, Pendleton Fuller, served in the Civil War and died in 1865. She submitted for a pension and in her pension file, she said that she was born in South Carolina making her 2 years younger than Jones F Fuller and a possible sister. Sarah also stated that her family came to Meriwether County in 1833. This perfectly matches the story of Jacob Miller, that his father's land was sold in South Carolina in 1833, and then he moved to Meriwether County. It also fit the household of Jacob Fuller in the 1840 census listing both a son and a daughter.
  • In looking at the Fuller family which also moved from Laurens County, South Carolina to Meriwether County, Georgia Jones Fuller was a common family name among them. It's highly possible that Jones F stands for Jones Fuller and that the mother of Jones F Miller was part of this same Fuller family.
  • DNA testing is in progress to find more proof that Jones F Fuller belonged to this family group.


The father of Jones F Miller appears to be Jacob Miller of Meriwether County, Georgia. His mother was the first wife of his father, her name is still unknown but her surname may have been Fuller. The documents and sources we gathered are found on the person page of Jones F Miller and his family members in the FamilySearch Family Tree, ID LYBT-V97.

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