|My grandfather George Hartley and the line going back to the Miller family.|
John Hill Messinger..., farmer, mill-wright, soldier in the War of 1812, was born in 1789 near the Monohghela [sic] river, in Allegheny Co, Pennsylvania: died 4 July 1859, aged 70 years, at his home in Jefferson township, Bremer Co., Iowa, a few miles east of Waverly; buried in the old burial ground just south of what is now the village of Denver (Gravestone). He was the son of Abraham and Catherine Messinger, both of German descent. His death was instantaneous and was caused by a stroke. He was short in stature, had blue eyes and curly hair of yellow tinge.
He was married twice. He married first, in Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania, probably some five or six years before his service in the War of 1812. The name of his first wife is not remembered. They had three sons, viz., John, George and Peter, who, after they had grown to manhood, went to Illinois where they spent the remainder of their lives. Nothing further is known in regard to them. The following records deal only with the history of his ten children by his second marriage.
John Hill Messinger was married secondly, about 1817, in Allegheny Co., Pa., Mary Martha Miller, who was eleven years younger than himself. She was born 14 Aug. 1900  in Allegheny Co., Pa.; died 1 June 1871, aged 70 years, 9 mos., 17 days (gravestone), at the home farm in Jefferson township, Bremer Co., Iowa, having survived her husband twelve years; buried beside her husband in the old burial ground south of the village of Denver. This was the first cemetery in the township and is located in the northeast corner of Sec. 25, on the farm which was originally owned by Elias J. Messinger (her son). it consists of about one half acre of land and was deeded to the township by Elias J. Messinger. Their graves are marked by gravestones which are now, 1931, in a good state of preservation.
Mrs. Mary Martha (Miller) Messinger was of medium height and had dark hair and dark eyes. She was twelve years of age when she learned to speak English. She spoke German and "Pennsylvania Dutch". She was daughter of Rudio [Rudie?] and Abigail Miller, both of German descent, who resided in Allegheny Co., Pa., and who had undoubtedly removed there from Forks township, Northampton Co., Pa., where many families of Millers were among the early settlers. It is quite probable that the name of Amos may be found in one of her ancestral lines as she named her eldest son Amos, and her brother John Miller named one of his sons Amos.
(Note: She was a sister of the John Miller who married her busband's sister Catherine Messinger and moved to Franklin township, Marion Co., Indiana, about 1826 and located on lands which he, John Miller, purchased three or four years later. In 1853 he, the said John Miller, sold his land to William Miller who afterward sold it to Thomas Porteous (See Sulgrove's History of Indianapolis and Marion County, Indiana, pp. 519-520. Pub. 1884).
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