Miller and Millar

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It can be challenging when you are faced with a common surname such as this because of the spelling variations and as a result you don’t really know if you have the right person. This was the case when researching a branch of my maternal line which begins with my 4xgreat-grandfather James Millar. This then divides into his two sons John Millar, my 3x great-grandfather, and James Millar.

James Millar 1825-1912

James married Isabella McLaughlin on 11thNovember 1852 in Londonderry and they had five children:

1.     Jane Millar b. 29th January 1855

2.     Elizabeth Millar b. 14th July 1857

3.     Robert Millar b. 28th October 1859, m. Lizzie Smyth on 21 November 1907 and d. 18th November 1931.

4.     William Millar b. 28th October 1859

5.     James Millar b. 15th March 1864

From the census records it is clear that James is the one with all of the money, enough for him to hire three servants. He died suddenly on 3rd May 1912 as a result of a cerebral haemorrhage, Isabella died four years later on 19th June 1916.

John Millar 1837-1892

Born about 1837; John married Mary Jane Laird on 10thAugust 1857 in Raphoe, Donegal. They had ten children:

1.     Eliza Ann Millar b. 25th December 1865

2.     William James Millar b. 9th March 1868, m. Annie Kelly, daughter of Samuel Kelly and Lizzie Wade, on 26th April 1909

3.     Sarah Millar b. 9th March 1868

4.     Margaret Millar b. 7th March 1871

5.     Charlotte Millar b. 10th June 1873

6.     John Millar b. 2nd February 1876

7.     Emma Maria Millar b. 12th April 1878

8.     Catherine Millar b. 14th June 1882

9.     Isabella Millar

10.  Martha Millar

John died on 14th February 1892 at the age of 55; the cause of death was inflammation of the lungs. Mary Jane outlived him by 22 years before dying on 22nd March 1914 at the aged of 74; there is no definitive cause of death but the registrar has written “probably heart failure”.

Children of William Millar and Annie Kelly:

1.     Mary Miller b. 1909

2.     Sarah Jane Miller b. 31st October 1910

3.     Ellen Elizabeth Miller b. 10th January 1912

4.     Annie Isobel Miller b. 12th June 1913 – d. 19th July 2004

5.     John James Miller b. 12th April 1915

6.     William Miller b. 1918, m. Sarah Margaret Kelly on 10th October 1939

7.     CassieMiller

8.     Mabel Miller

Annie Isobel Miller had three children, one of whom was my late grandfather. To be honest I don’t even know what words would befit a tribute to a gentleman such as him. Ironically he was a man of few words himself but when he spoke the room fell silent. He was more than just my granda; he had six other grandchildren so he was our granda. He was also a husband, father, father-in-law, great-grandfather, brother, brother-in-law, cousin, friend, Orangeman, busman and fisherman. He was our rock, the glue that kept us all together.

If there is one thing I, indeed all of us, learnt from him was that there was always a solution to every problem no matter how great or how small. He also demonstrated the importance of helping those less fortunate than ourselves with small acts of kindness even if it just involved putting the bin out.

I sincerely hope you are up there in an armchair with a glass of whiskey in hand and a springer by your side. Maybe there’s a river too where you can fish to your hearts content. After all your years of dedication granda you truly deserve it! RIP



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