Jacob, George and William Miller families were early settlers in southwest Louisiana. Jacob Miller, and wife Anne Marie Thaison, claimed to be “Roman Catholic and Apostolic, and native of Germany.” George Miller, and wife Catherine Ritter, probably born in Maryland, was from London and reared at Hanover, Germany. William or Guilliam Miller, and wife Anne Kevin or Caven of Ireland, was born in Scotland.
Both Jacob and George Miller lived near Grand Coteau after the 1750’s. William did not live in LA but, his wife and family did. William died in Pensacola, FL in 1771 and his wife died in St. Martin, LA. Two of the three known daughters, both Marguerite and Elizabeth Genevieve Miller, married and lived in St. Martin and St. Landry parishes, respectively. Marguerite married Pierre Guidry in 1781 and they had 12 children. Elizabeth married Robert Burleigh, Jr. before 1781 and they had seven children.
Some of the William Miller descendants married into Jacob and George Miller families. Pierre Richard, a William Miller descendant, married Eva Colligan in 1865. Eva was a descendant of both Jacob and George Miller families. Therefore, their six children are descendants from the three Miller southwest Louisiana families.
Many in southwest Louisiana may know of, or their parents know of, some names from the Jacob Miller family. The Chataignier Miller families included Antoine Miller and Augustine Manuel’s descendants, Antoine Salomon (sons Camille, Faustin and Salomon), Emile (sons J. Bte. “Gus” and Cleophas) Martel (sons Aliday, Martel, Jr., and Gilbert Lee) Homer (son Mayo Homer, daughter Felonise & husband Onest Sonnier), and Jean Pierre (son Octave and his son Malcolm Lionel).
Farther south and west in Cameron parish, Antoine’s brother and Civil War Veteran, Pierre Valcour Miller settled. From that family, the well known cattleman Eugene Miller whose son Laurent was a veterinarian and son Martin O. Miller a well know New Orleans physician and was Governor Earl Long’s personal physician. Pierre V. Miller’s son P.V. Miller, Jr.’s son Minos Drosin Miller, Sr. was an attorney who practiced in Lake Charles and Vinton. He was politically well connected. Minos’ son M.D. Miller, Jr. was a WW II pilot, shot down on a mission, presumed dead, and buried at sea. After the U.S. victory, he was freed from a Japanese prisoner of war camp. He practiced law, followed by his election as Judge of the 31st Judicial District Court of Louisiana (Jennings).
With so many Miller descendants, it can become overwhelming when evaluating ones family history. You may ask if "So and So" is your relative? The answer requires hours of research. Examples include Miller families in Evangeline parish. The Bonnes Nouvelles recently published “Jack Miller's Food Products Celebrates 75 Years” (June 2016) and “Zick Miller Family - Two Hands to the Plow” (September 2003). The Ville Platte Gazette listed J. Bte. Gus Miller as the Police Jury President (July 1976) and the Daily World (April 1987) printed, “Memories of Miller’s Lake revived”. Roderick Luke Miller’s obituary in the Daily World, January 2005) recounted Cleophas’ son, Rod, and his success as a family man, an attorney, and the first Republican elected to the House of Representatives from Lafayette Parish. Not all of your questions will be answered about the Miller stories published, but let us explore some of the family details mentioned about those families.
Dosite “Zick” Miller married Olivia Faul (also Fall) in 1901. One of the 12 children is Jacque Dosite “Jack” Miller who married Joyce Chapman in 1937. Dosite (Do za’ ta) is a descendant of George Miller, Sr. (London) and Catherine Ritter (Germany) both born in the mid 1750s. Olivia’s 2nd great grandparents are John Faul and M. Therese Miller married in 1802. M. Therese Miller is the daughter of Jacob Miller and Anne M. Thaison. Thus, all of Zick and Olivia’s descendants are George and Jacob Miller descendants. That makes “Gus” Miller, the successful Miller Lake advocate, and Jack Miller, of Jacks’ BBQ, 3rd cousins twice removed.
Additionally, Olivia Faul is related to Jacob Miller family via her 3rd great grandmother, Marie Barbe Miller, daughter of Jacob. Marie Barbe Frozard, daughter of M. Barbe Miller and wife of Toussaint Quebedeau, is the father of Marie Catherine Quebodeau who married Jean George Fall, great grandfather of Olivia.
Dosite “Zick” Miller is 1st cousin three times removed with Marie Magdelaine Boutin, wife of Jean Miller, son of Jacob. This relationship is via his great grandmother Sophie Andrus who married George Miller, Jr. Sophie is the granddaughter of Marguerite M. Boutin, daughter of Paul Boutin, Jr. and the father of Marie Magdelaine Boutin. Gus Miller’s great grandparents are Jean Miller and M. Magdelaine Boutin. Accordingly, Antoine Miller is 2nd cousin twice removed with Dosite “Zick” Miller.
Zick and Olivia’s grandson, Alexandre “Alex” Miller married Audrey Castile in 1964. As previously established, Alex is a descendent of both George and Jacob Miller. Audrey’s grandfather Onezime Castille married Laura Guidry, daughter of Moise Guidry and Marie Julia Miller. Julia is the great granddaughter of Charles Miller, Sr. and Anastasie Andrus. Charles is the son of George Miller, Sr. and Catherine Ritter. Thus Audrey Castille is the 5th great granddaughter of George Miller, Sr. and Catherine Ritter. Audrey’s husband is the 4th great grandson of George Miller, Sr. and Catherine Ritter.
Audrey Castille is also a descendant of the Jacob Miller via her maternal grandparents, Moise Savoy and Eliza Leger. Eliza’s grandparents are Honore Meche and Josephine Meche, the daughter of David Meche and Marie Rose Frozard. Marie R. Frozard is the daughter of Joseph Frozard and Marie Barbie Miller, the daughter of Jacob Miller and Anna M. Thaison. Accordingly, Audrey Castille is the 5th great granddaughter of Jacob Miller and Anna M. Thaison.
In summary it appears that some family trees have few branches. Regardless of the where one was born, cousins did marry cousins. Many, like my parents, were simply unaware of the family relationships. The automobile did not play a significant role in separating one major family from another until the 20th century. Moreover, cousins who did marry are separated by several generations. Living in an agrarian society until the early 1900s, families with different names were neighbors and in those early years, few traveled away from home. Whether you are Louisiana born or not, if your last name and your spouse’s last name is the same as an early settler, you probably married a distant cousin.