The Roberts--Miller Farm- Blue Bell, PA

So far in my research, I've looked into old/historic homes around Whitpain, and let's say there are a lot, but there's not a lot information about them. All I know based in the book Whitpain... Crossroads in Time there were people who lived in those homes as far as from the 18th century. But are they considered important? I guess we'll find out.


The intention in this research is to determine if there are any "famous" people living there, or whether the homes were owned by generations as far back to the 18th century or earlier. That would be cool: to have a house that was owned by generations as early as William Penn era. It's even helpful to create a family tree just to see how far their ancestry was.


In this topic, I looked into the Roberts--Miller Farm, and based on the name, the farm was owned first by the Roberts family in the mid 18th century, then the Miller family in the second half of the 19th century.


In the History of Montgomery County book, for some reason, the Roberts--Miller Farm was featured in the section about Whitpain Township. I wasn't sure why, but it's possible that their ancestry lasted for many years until the last Roberts took over the property, and their house still stands today. I guess you can consider that as significant.


It began with Edward Roberts who bought 48 acres in 1764, and married Ellen Lewis in the same year.


In 1811, Edward gave the farm to his youngest son Amos after making legal agreements with him.


Amos divided up the property for his two sons: Charles and Levi Roberts. Their names and their families' names were featured in the 1850 census of Whitpain Township. Both Charles and Levi were farmers at the time.


After Levi sold his property in 1859, Charles remained at the farm, and married Keziah Comley. They only have 1 surviving child: Caroline Roberts, born in 1838.

Atlas of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, 1871, Page 031; G.M. Hopkins & Company, Publisher; Notice how the land was divided between Charles and Levi

After Caroline married William George Miller, a teacher, the Roberts family farm was transitioned to the Miller family farm in 1859. Together, they had 8 children: 2 of them attended the University of Pennsylvania. One of them became a judge, and the other became a doctor.


After Caroline's death in 1913, the 2nd-born son John Faber bought the farm from her estate, but he didn't live there with his family.


A tragic event happened in 1940 when a fire broke out at the barn and the house. Luckily, a couple bought the property from the Miller estate, and restored the house. In 1951, that couple sold the property to the next family.


In 1956, Arthur Hagen Miller, the only son of first-born Charles, wrote a memoir talking about his family and career. He talked mostly about being with his grandmother Caroline.


In a separate blog, I'll talk more detail about the 2 children of Caroline and William Miller: John and William, and Arthur.


The house is currently owned by a local resident.


Research Method


One word to describe the research process: Stressful/Difficult. To determine accurate data about the family, I have to compare each website to make sure the birth dates and spouses are correct. When researching ancestry before the 1700s is very difficult. In this case, Edward Roberts (w/ Ann Humphrey), is the son of Hugh Roberts. But that's incorrect, or unclear.


When researching Hugh Roberts' family tree, Edward Roberts came up, but a different Edward. Instead of being born on 1660, this Edward was born in 1674, and married to Susannah Painter.


The ancestry research is found on the Gwynedd Friends Meeting History Page.


When Google searching, I'd make sure I include "whipain pa" next to the name of the person I want to research. That way, the results would be more accurate.


Pennsylvania Historic Resource Survey Form


Bibliography:


Arndt, John Stover. The Story of the Arndts: The Life, Antecedents and Descendants of Bernhard Arndt who Emigrated to Pennsylvania in the Year 1731. (Philadelphia, Christopher Sower Company, 1922), 334-335.


Historical Society of Montgomery County. Historical sketches : a collection of papers prepared for the Historical Society of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. (Norristown: Historical Society of Montgomery County, 1915), 208-209.


Hopkins, G.M. Atlas of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Page 031, 1871.


Quinn, James. "Descendants of Humphrey John or Humphrey Morgan." Gwynedd Friends Meeting. Accessed April 4, 2020. http://www.gwyneddmeeting.org/history/ed_roberts.htm.


Whitpain Township Bicentennial Commission. Whitpain... Crossroads in Time. (Montgomery County, PA: Whitpain Township Bicentennial Commission, 1977): 253-258; 262.


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