NOTE: David Miller was the 2nd husband of Lavenia Cott, who had been previously married to William Dean, another Civil War veteran (who died during his service). Therefore, please be sure to also check William Dean's file/information on this site for additional information which would pertain to Lavenia and possibly to David.



David Miller

Private,Company K,
25th Pennsylvania Infantry, also known as 25th U.S. Colored Infantry

Pension # 733065 [his widow Lavenia's pension number] (alternate/other numbers: 552888)


Photo by Chris Wimmer 2003, Immanuel Union (formerly Manship) Cemetery near Cheswold, Kent, Delaware





12 Feb 1864, Philadelphia, PA.

Honorably discharged: 06 Dec 1865, Camp William Penn, Philadelphia, PA.
David Miller:  
Date of birth: Mar 1843*
Place of birth:
  • near Dover, Kent Co, DE (per one record)**
  • Sussex Co, DE (per another record)***
  • Date of death: 31 Jul 1911
    Place of death: near Cheswold, Kent Co, DE
    Married to: Lavenia Cott Dean, widow of Civil War private William Dean, who died during the war.
    Marriage date: 12 Mar 1873
    Marriage place: Smyrna, Kent County, DE
    Lavenia's date of birth: ca. 1834
    Lavenia's place of birth: Delaware (from her death cert. -- see below)
    Lavenia's date of death: 13 May 1918
    Lavenia's place of death: Dover, Kent, Delaware (from her death cert. -- see below)
    Lavenia's first husband: William Dean
    1st husband marriage date: 13 Dec 1849, per certified extract of record of marriage contained in this pension file.
    1st husband marriage place: Kent County, Delaware
    Children, William & Levina: (See transcription of William Dean's file on this web site for a list of their children.)
    Children, David & Levina: [possibly Sarah?] [see Query item #4 below]
      James Miller

    David's residences at various times as noted in the pension records:

    Near Cheswold, Kent Co, DE (as of 22 Jul 1897).
    Place of residence since discharge: "Cheswold, Kent County, Delaware,
    formerly called Mooreton" (as of 28 Oct 1898).

    Among the affiants/witnesses for David and/or widow Lavenia:

    • Daniel Coker, of "near Hartly," Kent Co, DE, age 54 (as of 18 Apr 1896).
    • Daniel Coker, of "near Hartly," Kent Co, DE, age 55 (as of 27 Mar 1897).
    • Daniel Coker, of Kenton, Kent Co, DE, age 56 (as of 05 Nov 1897).
    • Walter Coker (no age given) (signed as a witness on Daniel Coker's affidavit of 05 Nov 1897).
    • George Miller, of Moorton [former name of Cheswold], Kent Co, DE, age not given (as of 10 Mar 1884).
    • George Miller, of Little Creek Hundred with P.O. of Cheswold, Kent Co, DE, age 52 (as of 04 Jun 1897), who stated that "he was been well acquainted with the said David Miller for at least forty years. That he was well acquainted with said David before the War of the Rebellion and lived in the same neighborhood with him."
    • Joel Karney, of Moorton [former name of Cheswold], Kent Co, DE, age not given (as of Mar 10 1884).
    • William F. Davis, of Dover, Kent Co, DE, age 57 (as of 13 Apr 1903).
    • Cornelius Ridgway, of Kent Co, DE, age 69 (as of 04 Nov 1911).
    • D. D. Boggs, (no age given) (signed as a witness on Cornelius Ridgway's affidavit of 04 Nov 1911).
    • Rebecca Ridgway, of Cheswold, Kent Co, DE, age 69 (as of 13 Nov 1911).
    • George W. Mosley/Mosely [typed in statement as "Mosley," but signature is "Mosely"], of Cheswold, Kent Co, DE, age 68 (as of 04 Nov 1911).
    • John Hughes, of East Dover Hundred, Kent Co, DE, age 67 (as of 22 Nov 1898).
    • John Hughes, of Kent Co, DE, age 80 (as of 04 Nov 1911).
    • Clarence Muntz, of Cheswold, Kent Co, DE, age 18 (as of 05 Aug 1911).
    • William Carney, of Cheswold, Kent Co, DE, age 60 (as of [21?] Nov 1898).
    • Zadoc Muntz, of Cheswold, Kent Co, DE, (no age given) (as of 05 Sep1895).
    • Zeddick Muntz, of Little Creek Hundred, Kent Co, DE, age 63 (as of 04 Jun 1897).
    • James Miller, of Cheswold, Kent Co, DE, (no age given) (as of 15 Jul 1918).
    • Caleb Boggs, (no age given) (signed as a witness on David Miller's affidavit of 28 Oct 1898).
    • John Morgan, of Cheswold, Kent Co, DE, (no age given) (as of 11 Apr 1904).
    • Robert & Catherine/Catharine Dean, of Kent Co, DE, (no ages given) (as of 30 Sep 1867).
    • Robert H. Johnson, of near Cheswold, Kent Co, DE, age 33 (as of 27 Nov 1896).
    • Joseph H. Dean, of Kenton, Kent Co, DE, age 46 (as of 22 Aug 1896).


    *Per affidavit signed by David Miller on 06 Jul 1904: ".and that he is unable to give exact date of birth."

    **Per affidavit signed by David Miller on 21 Feb 1907: ".that he was born March, 1843 at near Dover, Kent Co. Delaware."

    ***Per David Miller's "personal description" at the time of enlistment, as later reported by a representative of the Record and Pension Office to the Bureau of Pensions on 05 Jun 1895:
    "Age 21 years, height 5 ft. 7 1/2 inches, complexion yellow, eyes hazel, hair brown, born Sussex Co. Del. occupation farm hand."

    Per letter written by Lavenia Miller dated 24 Oct 1916:
    ".I am the widow of David Miller who served in the Civil War who was a private in Co. K. 25th Regt. U.S. Col'd. Vol. Inf. and he was born in Sussex Co. Delaware."

    Per affidavit by Anna D. Hough of Smyrna, Kent Co, DE, dated 24 Oct 1911:

    ".doth depose and say, That she was present and saw Louisa (or better known as Levinia) Dean married to David Miller, by her father, Rev. John Hough, on the 12th day of March A.D. 1873, and that she, so far as she knows, is the only person now living that was present and saw them married."

    Per affidavit by Rebecca Ridgway of Cheswold, Kent Co, DE, dated 13 Nov 1911:

    ".doth depose and say that she was raised in the same home with claimant, Levinia Miller, and that she has been acquainted with her before she became of marriageable age and that she was not married before she married William Dean."

    Per affidavit by David Miller of Cheswold, Kent Co, DE, dated 26 Oct 1898:

    1. Are you a married man? If so, please state your wife's full name, and her maiden name: "Lavenia Durham" (See **** below).
    2. When, where, and by whom were you married? "Mar 12th 1873 by Rev. John Hough, at Smyrna, Del."
    3. What record of marriage exists? "Certificate"
    4. Were you previously married? "No"
    5. Have you any children living? "No"

    **** [It's not clear why Lavenia's maiden name is given as "Durham" above. Perhaps the next record, dated 5 days later, was an attempt to correct the error, but which contained another error in itself. Both documents have poor handwriting and have the name "C. Boggs" or "Caleb Boggs" at the bottom, indicating he was likely the person who filled out the form for David, and acted as his witness]:

    Per affidavit by David Miller of Cheswold, Kent Co, DE, dated 31 Oct 1898:

    1. Are you a married man? If so, please state your wife's full name, and her maiden name: "Lovenia (Dean) (see note below)"
    2. When, where, and by whom were you married? "By John Hough, Smyrna, Del. Mar 12th 1873"
    3. What record of marriage exists? "Certificate"
    4. Were you previously married? "No"
    5. Have you any children living? "No"

    [Note: David signed this document--as all other documents--by mark, indicating he was illiterate. Whoever filled out this form had very poor handwriting. For the answer to the first question it appears they originally wrote "Lovenia XXtham" or "Lovenia XXthom" (X's = illegible letters) and then wrote "Dean" over the first part of the surname, which causes the name at first glance to appear to be "Lovenia Durham." However, the letter "t" in the originally-written surname is clearly visible, indicating the writer had written another name entirely. This, coupled with the "Dean" written over it, would indicate that theoriginal-written surname was an error. Her original surname was Cott, and her first married name was Dean].

    David's primary reason for claiming a pension:

    As he stated 01 Feb 1890: "That he received injury to his back at Braggs Bridge, near [illeg.] [illeg.] [illeg.] Florida, about the month of _______ 1864 while on duty building winter quarters. In handling the timbers he
    received a twist of the back which [so?] injured him as to permanently disable him."

    As he stated 07 May 1894:
    "Claimant alleges to have received a lame back from a strain while engaged in carrying logs for winter quarters. He claims to have suffered with his back unceasingly since he left U.S. service and that there has been actual increase of the disability which is much worse in the morning than at night."

    As he stated 22 Jul 1897:
    ".under the following circumstance: carrying logs [for?] Bridges" [.] "wanted me to go to Hospital but did not was treated by the Regimental Physician."

    As stated by Daniel Coker on 27 Mar 1897:
    ".under the following circumstance: carrying logs while building a bridge as I was told. I did not see him just at that time. A day or so afterward I visited him and [illeg.] him hurt and he told me how it was done and others told me so - I [heard?] [knew?] he was hurt."

    A copy of a certified affidavit regarding the marriage of David Miller and Lavenia Dean was included in the pension file.



    David is described at various times as:

    ("Age 21") (time of enlistment) 5' 7 & 1/2" tall, yellow complexion, hazel eyes, brown hair, occupation: farm hand.
    ("Age 49") (Jan 1891) 5' 7" tall, 153 lbs.
    ("Age 53") (Jul 1894) 5' 7 & 1/2" tall, 136 lbs.
    ("Age 54") (Feb 1896) 5' 7 & 1/2" tall, 140 lbs.
    ("Age 55") (Oct 1897) 5' 7 & 3/4" tall, 145 lbs.
    ("Age 62") (Apr 1902) 5' 7 & 3/4" tall, 148 lbs., "dark (mulatto)" complexion, gray eyes, black hair, occupation: farm work.
    ("Age 63") (May 1903) 5' 8" tall, 145 lbs., yellow complexion, hazel eyes, black hair, occupation: laborer.
    ("Age 64") (May 1904) 5' 7 & 1/2" tall, 137 lbs., black complexion, brown eyes, black hair, occupation: farm labor.
    ("Age 67") (Jun 1906) 5' 8" tall, 145 lbs., yellow complexion, hazel eyes, "mixed" hair, occupation: laborer.
    ("Age 64") (Feb 1907) 5' 8 & 1/2" tall, yellow complexion, hazel eyes, brown hair, occupation: farmer -- this last given age, "64," is undoubtedly in error.


    From the Cott Family Bible:

    "Levina Cott, the daughter of John D. Cott & Sarah A. Cott was born 13th March 1833"

    Lavenia's death certificate, however, gives her birth date as 08 Jul 1834.


    David's death certificate lists his parents as Carroll Miller (born in PA) and Eliza Jack (born in [Del?]). Also, the informant is listed as Lizzie Miller.



    From an email from Betty & Ray Terry dated 05 Jun 2000 (See especially the 1870 census listing, then query item #3 below):

    Lorraine Johnson-Gregg, e-mail 2/98: Claims that Wm Dean is the son of Jesse and Hester Carney Dean. The census records and the Orphans' Court record of Jesse Dean support this claim. Jesse Dean died in 1868 and William had predeceased him. The 1870 census shows that William is no longer living with his family

    1850 M432, Roll 52 Little Creek Hundred
    Dean, William 22 wagoner m 1 yr b DE
    Lavinis 16 (sic) b DE

    1860 M653, Roll 95, p. 53 Dover Hundred
    Dean, William 31 Laborer
    Lavinia 27 wife
    Jessie 10
    Annie 8
    Ellen 7
    Mary 3

    1870 Little Creek Hundred
    Dean, Lavinia 37 head keeping house b DE
    Jessie 19 b DE
    Ellen 14 b DE
    Mary 12 b DE
    Sarah 1 b DE
    Miller, David 27 farm laborer b DE

    - - - - - - - - - -

    On the African American Civil War Memorial in Washington DC, David's name is displayed on Plaque B-41.

    Regimental history:

    To go to the official National Park Service's "Soldiers and Sailors" website, use the following link:

    and in the boxes do the following:

    under Last Name enter MILLER
    under First Name enter DAVID
    under Union or Confederate select "Union,"
    under State (or Origin) select "US Colored Troops" from the alphabetical list of States
    under Unit Number enter "25"
    under Function select "Infantry"
    On the resultant page click on the regiment's name to see a history of their service.
    (This David Miller will be the middle one of the three listed).


    1. Does anyone have any photos of David or Lavenia?

    2. Can anyone confirm whether David Miller was born in "Sussex Co, DE" or "near Dover, Kent County, DE," each of which is stated in his file?

    3. Per her death certificate, Lavenia Miller was buried at Manship Cemetery (former name of Immanuel Union). Her 2nd husband David Miller's death certificate states he was buried there as well, and a scanned photo of his headstone has been attached here. Does anyone know if Lavenia has a headstone? (William would undoubtedly have been buried in whatever area he actually passed away, possibly in some type of mass soldiers' grave, prisoners' grave, etc).

    4. Does anyone have a list of the possible children of David & Lavenia? Per letters contained in the file, we know there was at least a son named James Miller. Per David's death certificate, the informant was Lizzie Miller; was this a daughter? Per the 1870 census listing posted above, it would appear there was a child "Sarah," aged 1, living in the household. Possibly this is David & Lavenia's child, even though David & Lavenia did not marry until 1873. (Or, if David and Lavenia had only just met and begun boarding together just prior to the 1870 census being taken, Sarah might be an out-of-wedlock child of Lavenia's by someone else). Has anyone seen any later census entries, and whether Sarah's name might have become Miller instead of Dean?

    5. Can anyone explain the discrepancy of Lavenia's birth date being 13 Mar 1833 per the family Bible, but being 08 Jul 1834 per her death certificate? (Clearly there are other errors and/or omissions on the certificate: Her mother's name is given as "Annie Coots" instead of Sarah A. Cott, her father's name was listed as "Don't now" [sic], and Dover and West Dover Hundred were each spelled as "Dove").

    6. Who is the Walter Coker who witnessed Daniel Coker's signing of an affidavit on 05 Nov 1897? The only Walter Coker I have in my file is a grandson of Daniel's (son of Alonzo Coker), but he could not yet have
    been born, since Alonzo was only born in 1890.

    7. Do any of the census entries for Lavenia give her birth month & year? Perhaps this might help with the discrepancy of the Cott Family Bible record when compared to the birth date listed on her death certificate.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    For those who may be new to the list, a few of these Civil War pension extractions have been posted previously by John C. Carter, Paul Johnson and Joseph Romeo. To view some of the others, as well as an explanatory note, please see the following page of the Mitsawokett site:

    (Once on the page, scroll down below the Index to see the Overview).

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Please let me know if anyone has any questions: John C. Carter








    "The History and Genealogy of the
    Native American Isolate Communities
    of Kent County, Delaware, and
    Surrounding Areas on the Delmarva Peninsula
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