Me: Did you know any of your grandmother Martha’s people? The Millers?
My grandmother: No, I didn’t.
Me: Did you know any of his people? Henry’s?
Me: It was a lot of them in Rowan — it was a lot of Millers anyway. In Rowan County.
Grandmother: Rowan County? I know they all came from there.
In the valuation of Rowan County slaves made by a Confederate tax assessor in 1863, John M. McConnaughey listed 19 slaves. Among them were: George, 24, $1500; John, 2, $150; Edwin, 1, $100; Margaret, 42, $850; Caroline, 23, $1200; Mary Ann, 13, $1000; Grace, 10, $500; Martha, 7, $250; and Angeline, 7, $250.
Here is the case for these seven people as the family of my great-great-grandmother, Martha Miller McNeely:
1. George Miller described John McConnaughey as his half-brother in the 1880 census of Rowan County. George’s death certificate lists his parents as Edward Miller and Margaret Miller.
2. Caroline McConnaughey is listed in the household of her mother Margaret McConnaughey in the 1870 census of Rowan County.
3. Adeline Miller is listed with her eight month-old son George in the household of Mary [McConnaughey] Miller in the 1870 census of Rowan County. Her marriage license lists her parents as Edward Miller and Margaret Miller. She gave her three children – George, Margaret and Mary Caroline – family names. In the 1880 and 1900 censuses, she and her family are listed next door to Mary Ann Miller and family. In 1888, she witnessed the marriage of John McConnaughey. Her death certificate lists her parents as Ed. and Marg. Miller.
4. In the 1870 Rowan County census, the household of Mary Ann [McConnaughey] Miller and her husband Ransom Miller included Adeline Miller and John McConnaughey. Mary Anna Miller’s death certificate lists her father as Edward McConaughey, mother unknown.
5. Martha Miller is listed in the household of her former owner, John Miller McConnaughey, in the 1870 census of Rowan County. (She is a farm laborer, but she also attends school.) Martha’s 1872 marriage license lists her parents as Edwin Miller and Margaret Miller. Her middle name was Margaret. She named her oldest daughter Margaret, her youngest son Edward, and two daughters Caroline (as a first and then a middle name.)
6. John McConnaughey is listed twice in the 1870 census of Rowan County. First, with Margaret McConnaughey and Angeline McConnaughey. Then, with Mary Miller. John married four times. Each license listed one parent, Margaret McConnaughey. “John McConeyhead” was a witness to the marriage of Adeline Miller Miller’s daughter Mary C. Miller in 1876. His death certificate lists his parents as Henry McConnaughey and Margaret McConnaughey.
7. Edwin Miller (or McConnaughey) has not been found outside the 1863 tax list. I include him because of the similarity of his first name to that of Edward/Edwin Miller, father of the above, but there’s no real evidence that he was one of Margaret’s children.
Margaret McConnaughey appears in only one census, 1870, where she is listed as 55 years old. Edward or Edwin Miller has not been found, and the two did not register a cohabitation. Their children:
George W. Miller, born about 1836. He married Eliza Catherine Kerr, probably around 1857. They had three children, Baldy Alexander Miller (1858-1942), Maria Miller (1868-1925) and Onie Jane Miller Johnson (1879-1970). In 1868, George registered to vote with his brothers-in-law Ransom Miller, Green Miller and Henry McNeely. He died 15 March 1915.
Caroline McConnaughey, born about 1842. Her daughter Angeline was born in 1858. The child’s father was Robert Locke McConnaughey, nephew of Caroline’s former owner, John M. McConnaughey. Caroline apparently died before the 1870 census was taken. She is listed as Caroline McConnaughey (and noted as deceased) on Angeline McConnaughey Reeves’ 1875 marriage license.
Mary Anna McConnaughey, born about 1847. She married Ransom Miller, son of Edmund and Malissa Miller in Rowan County on 27 December 1866. Their children were James Douglas Miller, Florence A. Miller, Ida L. Miller, Margaret E. Miller, Spencer Miller, Lina Miller, Hattie A. Miller, Thomas E. Miller, Richmond Miller. In 1910, the family lived on Sherrills Ford Road in Steele township. Mary Anna died Christmas Eve 1940 in Boydens Quarters, Rowan County.
Grace Adeline Miller, born 25 June 1853. Her first child, George, was born in 1869. She married Green Miller, son of Edward and Melissa Miller, in 1871, and their children included Margaret Miller and Mary Caroline Miller Brown. She died 30 July 1918.
Martha Margaret Miller, born about 1857. She married Henry W. McNeely in 1872. Their children were Elizabeth McNeely Kilpatrick Long, John McNeely, William Luther McNeely, Emma McNeely Houser, Caroline McNeely Colvert, Addie McNeely Smith, Elethea McNeely Weaver, Minnie McNeely, Edward M. McNeely and Janie McNeely Taylor Manley. Martha and her family moved to Statesville, Iredell County before 1900. In the late 1920s, she moved to Bayonne NJ, where she died 16 June 1934.
John B. McConnaughey was born about 1861. His father likely was not Edward, but a white man. John married Minnie Barr, Romie Harris, Nora Barber and Jane Foster. He died 21 August 1931.