#USA Air Force vet, 56, unwittingly buys Virginia home where his ancestors were slaves #USNews

#USA Air Force vet, 56, unwittingly buys Virginia home where his ancestors were slaves #USNews

#USA Air Force vet, 56, unwittingly buys Virginia home where his ancestors were slaves #USNews

An Air Force veteran has found {that a} home he purchased in Virginia two years in the past with his household was a plantation website where his ancestors were enslaved within the nineteenth century. 

Fred Miller, 56, bought the ten.5-acre property, often known as Sharswood within the 1800s, for greater than $220,000 after the sister of one in every of his former colleagues and associates Bill Thompson bought it to him in May 2020. 

The home, which was 1,300-acre plantation, is situated in Gretna, Pittsylvania County. 

‘I used to be a bit of shocked by that, I might say,’ Miller mentioned in a CBS 60 Minutes interview first aired in May, referring to the latest, surprising discovery. 

Separating his time between the historic home and California, Miller additional mentioned that he would usually stroll previous the Virginia property throughout his childhood, as he was raised within the space. 

‘I simply wished someplace to have household gatherings,’ he clarified to 60 Minutes, reiterating that he had no concept that generational cousins of his as soon as set ft where he does now. 

Fred Miller, a 56-year-old Air Force veteran, purchased a 10.5-acre property in Gretna, Virginia in 2020 for more than $220,000, as he wanted to buy land where he had spent his childhood and sizeable property to host gatherings for his extended family

Fred Miller, a 56-year-old Air Force veteran, bought a ten.5-acre property in Gretna, Virginia in 2020 for greater than $220,000, as he wished to purchase land where he had spent his childhood and sizeable property to host gatherings for his prolonged household

The home, which used to be 1,300-acre plantation, is located in Pittsylvania County and has a particular green and white color code to it

The home, which was 1,300-acre plantation, is situated in Pittsylvania County and has a selected inexperienced and white colour code to it

Miller was not expecting to unlock hidden treasures from his family's past when he bought the former plantation two years ago, also known as Sharswood

Miller was not anticipating to unlock hidden treasures from his household’s previous when he purchased the previous plantation two years in the past, also referred to as Sharswood 

'If I had known there was a "Miller Plantation," then I maybe could have put a connection with the last name "Miller" and that plantation," Fred told CBS' 60 Minutes. 'But I'd never heard of a "Miller Plantation" or a "Miller" anything ever before.' Pictured: Some of Miller's ancestors who lived in or around Sharswood in the 20th or 19th century

‘If I had recognized there was a “Miller Plantation,” then I perhaps may have put a reference to the final identify “Miller” and that plantation,” Fred told CBS’ 60 Minutes. ‘But I’d never heard of a “Miller Plantation” or a “Miller” anything ever before.’ Pictured: Some of Miller’s ancestors who lived in or around Sharswood in the 20th or 19th century

The shocking discovery first came to light when Miller’s sister, Karen Dixon-Rexroth, 49, and their cousins, Sonya Woman-Miranda and Dexter Miller, dug into the home’s past. At the time, they were trying to get a sense of the history behind the white, colonial home with a green roof.

Soon afterwards, the family came across archives, including several different yearly editions of the U.S. Census, that revealed the household behind Sharswood also shared the ‘Miller’ surname. 

‘If I had known there was a ‘Miller Plantation,’ I maybe could have put a connection with the last name Miller and that plantation,’ Miller told 60 Minutes. 

Asked by Lesley Stahl if he had ever heard of his last name being associated with a plantation until this year, the Air Force veteran replied: ‘I’d never heard of a ‘Miller Plantation’ or a ‘Miller’ anything ever before.’

In order to figure out their family free, the extended Miller family worked with Virginia Humanities and African-American genealogy researcher, Karice Luck-Brimmer, to learn about their ancestors, according to The Washington Post.

‘Something drew me to knowing the history of this place,’ Dixon-Rexroth said in an interview on 60 Minutes. ‘I knew it was an old place from the 1800s, so I started from there, as far as looking at the previous owners, and also any records that were available online.’

Miller's sister, 49-year-old Karen Dixon-Rexroth (pictured), and their cousins, Sonya Womack-Miranda and Dexter Miller dug into the home's history shortly after he had bought the property

Miller’s sister, 49-year-old Karen Dixon-Rexroth (pictured), and their cousins, Sonya Womack-Miranda and Dexter Miller dug into the home’s history shortly after he had bought the property

The family of Miller's friend and former colleague, Bill Thompson, owned the former plantation site for nearly a century before Thompson's sister sold it to the Air Force veteran two years ago

The family of Miller’s friend and former colleague, Bill Thompson, owned the former plantation site for nearly a century before Thompson’s sister sold it to the Air Force veteran two years ago

A cabin on the 10.5-acre property's grounds was where slaves used to live in. Miller fully plans to renovate it to pay tribute to his ancestors and to educate people about the slavery's history

A cabin on the 10.5-acre property’s grounds was where slaves used to live in. Miller fully plans to renovate it to pay tribute to his ancestors and to educate people about the slavery’s history

The Millers hope their ancestors are 'looking down on us with a smile' after one of their own bought the Sharswood property years after they first settled on it

The Millers hope their ancestors are ‘looking down on us with a smile’ after one of their own bought the Sharswood property years after they first settled on it 

The Millers were able to identify their great-great-grandmother, Sarah Miller, thanks to the ancestral tracing, The Post reported. 

Records from the U.S. Census from the late 1800s, early 20th century shows that Violet and David Miller also lived not too far from Sharswood. The couple’s son, Samuel, had also set foot on the plantation. 

Another individual, abbreviated as ‘N.C. Miller,’ however was identified as an enslaver, according to The Post.  

‘Since the revelation… I know that when the slaves brought food into the main house, they came up through the basement stairs,’ Miller said in the 60 Minutes episode.

‘And there’s a distinct wear on the basement stairs from years and years of traffic, of people walking up those stairs, I’m thinking, ‘Wow, these are my people,” he added.

'Since the revelation... I do know that when the slaves introduced meals into the principle home, they got here up by means of the basement stairs,' Miller mentioned within the 60 Minutes episode. 'And there is a distinct put on on the basement stairs from years and years of visitors, of individuals strolling up these stairs, I'm pondering, 'Wow, these are my folks"

‘Since the revelation… I know that when the slaves brought food into the main house, they came up through the basement stairs,’ Miller said in the 60 Minutes episode. ‘And there’s a distinct wear on the basement stairs from years and years of traffic, of people walking up those stairs, I’m thinking, ‘Wow, these are my people”

Miller learned from Thompson that his ancestors had been buried in the woods, right on the property line, as no official cemetery was built

Miller discovered from Thompson that his ancestors had been buried within the woods, proper on the property line, as no official cemetery was constructed

No tombstones (pictured) of Miller's ancestors have their names on it, making it difficult all together for the family to identify their forebears

No tombstones (pictured) of Miller’s ancestors have their names on it, making it troublesome all collectively for the household to establish their forebears

Thompson had additionally disclosed to Miller that his ancestors were buried within the woods proper subsequent to the property although no tombstones were labelled with their names on them. 

‘It was heart-wrenching, I’ll inform you that,’ Fred mentioned of his ancestors’ burial sight. He added that he plans on renovating the slave cabin that his antecedents resided in to teach locals and others about slavery and its historical past. 

He additional revealed that he desires to inform the story of those that set foot on the property earlier than he did, hoping to make them proud, specifically his great-great-grandmother, Sarah. 

‘I simply hope that someway she’s trying from heaven,’ Miller advised The Washington Post, including: ‘and eventually cracking an exquisite smile.’ 

‘I might undoubtedly say all through this property I can really feel one thing inside me when I’m strolling round, merely doing something,’ Miller’s sister, Karen Dixon-Rexroth advised CBS’ 60 Minutes. 

‘I do know that our ancestors are trying down on us with a smile,’ she added.

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