- (Witness) Residence: James Milne Miller lived; The Gazetteer of Scotland by W Chalmers, published in 1803 gives this description of the Parish of Liff, Benvie and Invergowrie : The united parishes are about 3 miles in length and nearly the same breadth. The surface rises with an easy ascent from the Tay, except towards the south west where it joins to the parish of Dundee. The higher ground forms a ridge, stretching obliquely in a direction from East to West, and behind is an extensive tract of muir, where there are some plantations, but no marks of cultivation. The muir is bounded by the water of the Dichty, which rises in the parish of Lundie, and runs south and east through the valley of Strathmartin. There are several villages, viz, Locheye, Millhouse, Liff, Benvie and Invergowrie: the latter is noted as the site of the first Christian church erected on the north side of the river Tay.
The first Statistical Account of Scotland for the parish of “Liff and Bervie (sic)” written around 1792 by the then incumbent of the parish church, the Rev. Mr Thomas Constable, describes the parish in great detail. He states that the union of the parishes of Liff and Bervie happened in November 1758 and that Liff comprehended the old parishes of Logie and Invergowrie; both of which, as appears from the records of the kirk-session, were united to it before the middle of last century (which of course was sometime during the 17th century). From his descriptions, it seems that the amalgamated parish included parts of Lochee (written then as Locheye, although the pronunciation probably hasn’t changed) and Balgay Hill. Describing the land to the east of Balgay Hill he says it is either wholly planted or cultivated, and a low narrow dale, extending from thence westward through the village of Bervie …Along this agreeable exposure, are interspersed houses, trees, and fields in culture. Talking of the watercourses in the parish he describes the burn of Invergowrie, and here, in the months of March and April, sea-trout are sometimes found of 4lbs weight.
Commenting on the population, the Rev Constable notes that in cases of marriage here, it often happens, that the man is far less advanced in life than the woman he marries. The former depends much on the experience of the latter, and generally too on the savings of her industry, to enable him to begin with some comfort a married life: This disparity of years happening on the side of the woman, must needs be a hinderance to population. And in a footnote he continues The register of baptisms … is not to be considered as giving an accurate account of the births in it. Children that are still-born, or die unbaptized are never mentioned in the public register; besides there are parents, who sometimes from neglect, and sometime from parsimony, do not insert in it their childrens’ names, and by Dissenters this duty is often omitted entirely. He is equally critical of the recording of deaths – particularly due to a perceived rivalry over mortcloths with the church at Logie in the neighbouring parish of Dundee!
There then follows lengthy discourse on the state of the land, the methods employed in the agriculture of the time, the prices paid for horses for the plough and the numbers of “milch cows”. The areas described as Locheye and Milehouse (so called to mark the distance from Dundee) seems to have housed various manufacturers, mainly of the course linens, known from their breadth as “yard wides” and “three quarter wides”.
Familiar place and road names pop up throughout the text – Pitalpin ; known then as Pitalpie or Pit of Alpin and ascribed to being the scene of a memorable engagement in the 9th century between the Picts and Scots in which the latter were routed and Alpin their king slain. Apparently the king’s head was transported to Abernethy for public viewing, but his body was buried at Pitalpie. On top of a small hill east of Pitalpie there was still visible a stone called the King’s Cross.
The parochial school averaged 35 scholars, but it was noted that it was extremely difficult for the children to attend during the winter months as the roads were almost impassable. It appears that this was viewed by Mr Constable as a meagre school roll and he states the whole emoluments are too inconsiderable for a teacher of any merit or capacity. And he regarded the five private schools as for the most part indifferently taught. The poor did not seem the cause any major difficulty, seeming to have been provided for in the usual way from the income of the church from mortcloth hiring, proclamations of marriage, rents of a few seats in the church and collections at the church door.
In the Second Statistical Account written in September 1842 by the Rev. George Addison, DD, minister of the parish of Liff and Benvie we find some clarification (and disagreement with the Gazetteer of earlier years – or maybe there were further boundary changes) of the extent of the parish. He admits that the lands of Logie, Balgay and Blackness are indeed part of the parish and that a considerable portion of the suburbs of Dundee to the west and north is built on these lands. But dismisses unreservedly the inhabitants of the parish of Logie … as … having, from time immemorial, been connected with Dundee, quoad spiritualia, it will not be necessary to take any further notice of this part of the united parish! He also notes that for nearly two centuries the minister of Dundee had received an annual payment of twelve bolls of barley … expressly for the sacraments and marriage to the heritors and inhabitants of the lands of Balgay and Logie, and the lands of Blackness. Mr Addison describes the parish as situated at the south-west corner of the county of Forfar, being bounded on the west by the parishes of Fowlis Easter and Longforgan (both in Perthshire) on the on the South, by the river Tay; on the east, by Dundee and the United parish of Mains and Strathmartine; and on the north, by the Dighty, a small river which divides it from the parishes of Auctherhouse and Lundie. The extent is about 6 miles from east to west, and 4 miles from north to south. … There is no river in the parish. … Near the village of Benvie is a spring strongly impregnated with iron. It was formerly in great repute as a tonic, and was applied externally in cutaneous disorders, but is now entirely neglected.
There is tremendous discussion of the geology of the area, involving red and gray sandstone and a discovery of fossil organic remains in the den of Balruddery by Mr Webster, the proprietor. It is noted that there is nothing very peculiar or rare in the botany of this parish … but … the romantic dells and glens which abound in this neighbourhood are, in the season, richly clothed with the most beautiful plants and flowers.
There are four mansion houses briefly described – the House of Gray (owned by the Rt Hon Lord Gray), Camperdown House (the Rt Hon Earl of Camperdown), the mansion house at Invergowrie (Alexander Clayhills, Esq) and Balruddery House (Robert Webster, Esq). Other land-owners are noted as Frederick Lewis Scrimgeour Wedderburn, Esq. of Wedderburn and Birkhill, William Henderson, Esq. Of Mylnefield, Mr Thomas Watson, Liff and Mr James Waddel.
The population is discussed and from this it is apparent that some form of census was taken at irregular intervals from the middle eighteenth century, if not earlier. Genealogists are aware of nation-wide 10-yearly censuses taken from 1801, but are advised that the first one of any real benefit to them is the 1841 census. But it is interesting to read that the wrangle over the village of Lochee continues … that village now being politically connected with Dundee, or within the Parliamentary boundary, the population at the last census (June 1841) was taken in connection with Dundee, and not with this parish. On that account, the precise amount of the inhabitants of Lochee is not known to me; but it cannot be under 3000 souls. Mr Addison, in his concern with the moral and secular welfare of the parish, notes that seven illegitimate children were born within the parish in the previous three years, but in most cases the parents married afterwards; that three of the patients in the Dundee Lunatic Asylum are parishioners, as is one in the care of a family at the expense of the kirk-session and five by their relations; and that a brother and sister are deaf and dumb. He generously states that the character of the people is by and large peaceable and industrious, and, with a few marked exceptions, sober.
As to manufacture – Within the last sixteen or seventeen years, three spinning mills have been erected in the village of Lochee, and one at Denmiln, in the parish. Whatever advantages may accrue from these establishments, they have a very unfortunate effect on the morals and pauperism of the community. The chief, if not sole, product was coarse linen, principally for exportation, which had supplanted the weaving of household linen. Hand-spinning was almost obsolete. Many employed in the spinning and weaving found they had to supplement their income with agricultural employment when they could get it, mainly in spring and at the harvest time. Addison estimates that around 2000 folk in Lochee were employed in manufacture at this time and comments … The depressed state of the linen trade, for some time past, has been severely felt by the operatives in this quarter. Many families have, in consequence, been brought to a state of indigence and destitution. But he states elsewhere … At Bullion, near Invergowrie, an extensive work for bleaching and dying yarn and cloth has lately been established. The necessary erections have been made with great care, and at considerable expense. There is on the premises a water-wheel of 14 horses’ power, and a steam-engine of 6. A gasometer has been fitted up solely for the use of the work.
For the farmers, trade was brisk with near-by Dundee. Weavers and the like were persuaded by low feus to take up Mr Wedderburn of Birkhill’s offer of small portions of land on the turnpike road to Meigle and Coupar-Angus giving them a convenient location for their trade.
In about 1830, at last the parochial school was moved to a far better, but undisclosed, location (the writer assumes all readers will know where it is (the present spot)!) but it was recognised that having the school at Denmiln was most inconvenient and almost inaccessible in winter. Another school was built, in the questionable Lochee, in 1837. The year before the Account was written, a “school of industry” for young females was initiated under the patronage of Countess of Camperdown. In total, about 500 children were receiving education of some sort in the parish at this time.
Mr Addison describes his concern over the steep rise in pauperism, with the need in 1841 to recourse to a legal method of assessment. Including the upkeep of the inmates of the Lunatic Asylum and the fatherless babies, he indicates that 49 folk required some sort of aid, with an average of 7 shillings per head per month spent. He is critical of the apparent money-grubbing attitude that prevailed, and in particular, the difficulty of bringing absent fathers to account – nothing in this world is new!
His last comments support the recurring theme of “bad Lochee”! The number of public-houses in the parish of Liff proper is four, situated generally at considerable distances from each other. In Lochee there are at least twelve, including shops where spirits are sold, both in and out of doors. Poor old degenerate Lochee!2,3,4
- Occupation*: James was Grocer, Undertaker & Upholsterer, Auctioneer's Clerk.
- Birth*: He was born on 20 April 1854; date from ED (not found LDS GROS.)5
- He was the son of James Miller and Janet Milne.
- Church Records*: James Milne Miller was recorded in Tay Square Church 1876 Communicants record book : first time Oct 1870 ; Certificate 5th July 1878 in October 1870 at 1 Kinloch Street, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland.6
- (Groom) Marriage*: He married Margaret Abercrombie Porter, daughter of Robert Porter and Margaret Abercrombie, on 21 December 1875 at 16 Annfield Street, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland; 1875 Marriages in the District of St Peter in the Burgh of Dundee, #208; 1875 on the Twenty-first day of December at 16 Annfield Street Dundee after banns according to the forms of the UP Church; James A Miller, Grocer Master, bachelor, aged 21, 166 Scouringburn Dundee; parents James Miller, Foreman Jute Works and Janet Miller ms Milne; Margaret A Porter, spinster, aged 26, 16 Annfield Street Dundee; parents Robert Porter, Shoemaker Master and Margaret Porter ms Abercrombie deceased; signed James R McGavin minister UP Church Tay Square Dundee; witnesses R B Smith, Jessie Miller; registered 1875 December 23rd at Dundee Jas Young registrar.7
- (Informant) Birth: James Milne Miller registered the birth of Margaret Abercrombie Miller on 29 October 1876 at 98 Rosebank Street, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland; 1876 births in the district of St Clement in the burgh of Dundee, ref 885; Margaret Abercrombie Miller, born 1876 October Twenty Ninelth at 4h 0m am at 98 Rosebank Street Dundee, female, parents James Milne Miller grocer and Margaret Miller ms Porter who married 1875 Dec 20 at Dundee, signed James Milne Miller father present, registered 1876 November 1 at Dundee signed Dav Scott registrar.8,9
- (Informant) Birth: James Milne Miller registered the birth of Jessie Taylor Miller on 22 August 1878 at 4 Kinloch Street, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland; 1878 births in the district of St Clement in the burgh of Dundee, ref 607; Jessie Taylor Miller born 1878 August Twenty Second 1hr 0m am at 4 Kinloch STreet Dundee, female, parents James Milne Miler grocer master and Margaret Miller ms Porter who married 1875 December 21 at Dundee, signe James Milne Miller father present, registered 1878 August 30 at Dundee signed David Scott registrar.10
- (Informant) Death: James Milne Miller registered the death of Jessie Taylor Miller on 16 April 1879 at 4 Kinloch Street, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland; 1879 deaths in the district of St Clement in the burgh of Dundee, ref 198, Jessie Taylor Miller single, died 1879 April sixteenth at 6h 0m am at 4 Kinloch Street Dundee, female aged 7 months, parents James Milne Miller grocer master and Margaret Miller ms Porter, cause of death Pertussis 1 month convulsions 3 days as cert by David MacEwan MB, signed James Milne Miller father present, registered 1879 April 16 at Dundee signed David Scott registrar.11
- (Informant) Birth: James Milne Miller registered the birth of Elizabeth Anderson Miller on 23 February 1880 at 4 Kinloch Street, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland; 1880 births in the district of St Clement in the burgh of Dundee, ref 197, Elizabeth Anderson Miller born 1880 January Twenty third 0h 20m pm at 4 Kinloch Street Dundee, female parents James Milne Miller grocer master and Margaret Miller ms Porter who married 1875 December 21 at Dundee, signed James Milne Miller father, registered 1880 March 10 at Dundee Dav Scott registrar.8,5,12
- (Informant) Birth: James Milne Miller registered the birth of James Milne Miller on 22 April 1882 at 4 Kinloch Street, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland; 1882 births in the district of St Clement in the burgh of Dundee, ref 300, James Miller born 1882 1882 April Twenty Second 5h 0m pm at 4 Kinloch Street Dundee, male parents James Milne Miller grocer master and Margaret Miller ms Porter who married 1875 December 21 at Dundee, signed James Milne Miller father, registered 1882 May 9 at Dundee Thos Scott assist registrar.13,5,14
- (Informant) Birth: James Milne Miller registered the birth of Charlotte Miller on 19 August 1890 at 37 Nethergate, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland; 1890 births in the district of St Mary in the burgh of Dundee, ref 609, Charlotte Miller born 1890 1890 August Nineteenth 3h 30m am at 37 Nethergate Dundee, female parents James Milne Miller undertaker and Margaret Miller ms Porter who married 1875 December 21 at Dundee, signed James Milne Miller father, registered 1890 September 8th at Dundee Jas Anderson registrar.15,13,1,5
- (Informant) Death: James Milne Miller registered the death of Charlotte Miller on 15 November 1891 at 159 Scouringburn, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland; 1891 deaths in the district of St Mary in the burgh of Dundee, ref 668; Charlotte Miller, single, 1891 November fifteenth 3h 15m pm 159 Scouringburn Dundee, female 14mo, parents James Milne Miller undertaker and Margaret Miller ms Porter; hooping cough 14 days convulsions 1 day as cert by David MacEwan MD; signed James M Miller father; registered 1891 November 16th at Dundee Jas Anderson registrar.1
- (Informant) Death: James Milne Miller registered the death of Alexander Hodge Milne on 13 July 1897 at 159 Scouringburn, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland; 1897 death in the district of St Mary in the burgh of Dundee, ref 402; Alexander Hodge Milne jute mill overseer married to 1st Betsy Coutts 2nd to Agnes Langlands 3rd to Betsy Archibald, 1897 July Thirteenth 4h 50m am 159 Scouringburn Dunde, male aged 64 years, parents James Milne jute mill overseer (dec) and Marjory Milne ms Matthew (dec), probably cardiac syncope as cert by W Chalmers Cowan LRCP&S Ed signed James M Miller Nephew 80 Hawkhill, registered 1897 July 13th at Dundee Thos Meek assist registrar initialled JA [Jas Anderson].16
- (Deceased) Death*: James Milne Miller died on 12 March 1919 at Worcester, Massachusetts, USA, at age 64.5
- Obituary: The obituary of James Milne Miller was was published after 12 March 1919 at Worcester, Massachusetts, USA. MEMORIAL ADOPTED BY MEMBERS
PARK CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
ON THE DEATH OF
DEACON JAMES M. MILLER
Whearas, of Wednesday, March 12, 1919, James M. Miller, a
member and deacon of this church, was summoned from earth to
the higher life of heaven, we hereby record our affectionate ap-
preciation of his life and services.
We pay tribute to the sincerity, the beauty, and the
constancy of his Christian character. We knew him as a man
of rarely spiritual mind, to whom the truths of the Gospel
were not inly a delight, but a daily inspiration. The
impression he made upon his associates was that of one who stood
often upon the heights, and drank of eternal springs. As
of certain of the early Christians it may be recorded of Deacon
Miller that "Men took knowledge of him that he had been with
He was a devout student of the Bible and of all good
literature. He found companionship in the great thinkers and
writers of the past, and, through a lifetime of good reading,
had richly furnished his own mind. On the very last afternoon
before his translation from earth, he made a careful study of
the Sunday School lesson for the week. Almost the last service
he was able to render this church was the composition of a hymn
dedicated to the members of the Sunday school and sounding a
challenge to preserving endeaver in the Christian life.
In more ways than can be enumerated he had worked for
the peace and prosperity of the church of which he was an
honored member. So quietly were his services performed that the
extent and variety of them were not fully appreciated. He
sometimes went beyond his physical strength on his desire to
be faithful to every duty and to fill up the full measure of
every opportunity. The House of the Lord, in all its
appointments and in all its activities was dear unto him.
He spared neither time nor effort in his desire to give of his
best to his Master.
To his bereaved family we extend our dear and especial
sympathy. We believe they are secure in great memories and
blessed hopes that extend beyond the veil. We are likewise
mindful of the larger circle of friends and acquaintances in
Canada and in his native Scotland who will ever recall with
gratitude the good life of Deacon Miller. By the power
of his life and example he, being dead, yet speaketh.
We feel that the best tribute we can pay to Deacon
Miller will be a renewed spirit of consecration on the part
of all his fellow members to the cause that claimed his own
full measure of devotion. In spreading this memorial upon our
records and in transmitting a copy to his family circle, we
are animated with the purpose that his life in its teach-
ing and inspiration, be not lost from among us, realizing
that, "The world passeth away, but he that doeth the will of
God abideth forever."
For the Church
signatures of Frank B McAllister
William B James
Arthur G W Litcomb
- Burial*: He was buried on 14 March 1919 at Hope Cemetery, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.5
- (Witness) Photograph: He is connected to this photograph taken in September 2017 at Tay Square Church, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, showing the remains of the building; along with Charles Robert Kirkwood Lawson, Elizabeth Anderson Miller, Margaret Abercrombie Porter, William Miller, Charles Milne Miller, Marion McKenzie Conway, James Miller, Janet Milne, Agnes Fisher Miller, Jessie Milne Miller, Marion McKenzie Miller, Alexander Miller, Lizzie Conway Miller, Margaret Ambrose Porter Miller, Kate Nicolson, Catherine Nicolson Miller, Hope Myra Conway Miller and Rhoda Nicolson Miller.17
- (Groom) Marriage*: James Milne Miller married Margaret Abercrombie Porter, daughter of Robert Porter and Margaret Abercrombie, on 21 December 1875 at 16 Annfield Street, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland; 1875 Marriages in the District of St Peter in the Burgh of Dundee, #208; 1875 on the Twenty-first day of December at 16 Annfield Street Dundee after banns according to the forms of the UP Church; James A Miller, Grocer Master, bachelor, aged 21, 166 Scouringburn Dundee; parents James Miller, Foreman Jute Works and Janet Miller ms Milne; Margaret A Porter, spinster, aged 26, 16 Annfield Street Dundee; parents Robert Porter, Shoemaker Master and Margaret Porter ms Abercrombie deceased; signed James R McGavin minister UP Church Tay Square Dundee; witnesses R B Smith, Jessie Miller; registered 1875 December 23rd at Dundee Jas Young registrar.7
- [S50] General Record Office for Scotland, online www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, General Record Office for Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland), GROS statutory death 1891 St Mary Dundee Ref 282/02 0668 [Nov 2011].
- [S49] Website Web Site online (www.) http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/sct/ANS/LiffBenvieAndInvergowrie/index.html
- [S37] Directory Dundee (Dundee:, http://stat-acc-scot.edina.ac.uk/sas/sas.asp/?monospace=&twoup=&nohighlight=&account=1&transcript=&session-id=01fdc6d786cd0f5c91e3ca1daf3f081b&naecache=5&accountrec=7492&navbar=&action=publicdisplay&parish=Liff%20and%20Benvie&county=Forfar&pagesize=. Hereinafter cited as Dundee Directory.
- [S49] Website Web Site online (www.) http://stat-acc-scot.edina.ac.uk/sas/sas.asp/?monospace=&twoup=&nohighlight=&account=2&transcript=&session-id=01fdc6d786cd0f5c91e3ca1daf3f081b&naecache=5&accountrec=11148&navbar=&action=publicdisplay&parish=Liff%20and%20Benvie&county=Forfar&pagesize=
- [S40] ED [June 2017].
- [S21] Headstone Photograph; , Tay Square Church records at Dundee City Coucil Archives [Sept 2017].
- [S64] General Record Office for Scotland, online www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, General Record Office for Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1875 Marriages in the District of St Peter in the Burgh of Dundee, #208.
- [S30] LDS 1881 Census FHL Film 0203484 GRO ref Vol 282-3 Enum Dist 20 Page 39.
- [S14] General Record Office for Scotland, online www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, General Record Office for Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland), GROS Statutory Birth 1876 Dundee St Clement 282/3 885 [June 2017].
- [S14] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS Statutory Birth 1878 Dundee St Clement 282/3 607 [June 2017].
- [S50] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS Statutory Death 1879 Dundee St Clement 282/3 198 [June 2017].
- [S14] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS Statutory Birth 1880 Dundee St Clement 282/3 197 [June 2017].
- [S17] General Record Office for Scotland, online www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, General Record Office for Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland), GROS census 1891 Dundee [Jun 2004].
- [S14] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS Statutory Birth 1882 Dundee St Clement 282/3 300 [June 2017].
- [S14] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS Statutory Birth 1890 Dundee St Mary 282/2 609 [June 2017].
- [S50] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS Statutory Death 1897 Dundee St Mary 282/02 0402 [March 2014].
- [S21] Headstone Photograph; , AD [Sept 2017].
- [S17] General Record Office for Scotland, Parish of Liff, Parliamentary Burgh of Dundee; 10 Lowdens Alley.
- [S17] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS census 1871 Liff & Benvie [May 2004].
- [S9] Website Ancestry.co.uk (www.ancestry.co.uk) Source Citation: Parish: Dundee; ED: 5; Page: 21; Line: 9; Roll: CSSCT1901_90; Year: 1901. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1901 Scotland Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Scotland. 1901 Scotland Census. Reels 1-446. General Register Office for Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland. [Sep 2011]
- [S17] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS census 1911 Dundee 282/01 014/00 035 [Nov 2011].
- [S17] General Record Office for Scotland, 1881 British Census
4 Kinloch Street, Dundee, Forfar, Scotland
FHL Film 0203484 GRO ref Vol 282-3 Enum Dist 20 Page 39
James M Millar, head, married, aged 26, Grocer, born Dundee Forfar Scotland
Margaret Millar, wife, married, aged 31, born Blairgowrie Perth Scotland
Margaret Millar, daughter, aged 4, born Dundee Forfar Scotland
Elizabeth Millar, daughter, aged 1, born Dundee Forfar Scotland
Grace Porter, step G Mot, widow, aged 70, Cook (Dom Ser), born Monedie Perth Scotland
Marjory Millar, niece, aged 6, scholar, born Dundee Forfar Scotland.
- [S14] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS Statutory Birth 1878 Dundee 282/3 607 [June 2017].
James Milne Miller1
Mother*: Janet Milne b. 22 Dec 1823, d. 6 Jun 1896
Jessie Taylor Miller23 b. 22 Aug 1878, d. 16 Apr 1879
Elizabeth Anderson Miller+22 b. 23 Feb 1880, d. 29 Sep 1926
James Milne Miller b. 22 Apr 1882, d. c 17 Feb 1921
Jane Miller b. c 1885, d. c 16 Apr 1955
Charlotte Miller b. 19 Aug 1890, d. 15 Nov 1891