A little about My Mills Family:
John Mills has eluded many of us that have descended from him for so many, many years. In American, there are hundreds maybe even thousands of individuals that descend from the surname “Mills”. I have started this blog so anyone with the surname “MILLS” in their family tree, can try to distinguish if they are part of my Mills family, plus maybe this will be away of breaking down the brick wall that has held strong for decades. Please take the time and look over the information that follows. If you would like to discuss anything, please let me know.
The true and original "Mills" surname did come from Northern Scotland.
I am asked if our Mills were Quakers, there is a line of Mills that were/are Quakers. We do not descend from them.
First - I will start with our family story. This story has been in our Mills family which can be traced back to the 1800 with documentation. It goes like this:
“John Mills came to America in 1682 with 7 or several brothers (some family lines say several, some say 7) from Northern Ireland originally from Scotland.”
For many years my brick wall held strong in North Carolina. The following information contains a little about John Mills’ family, land he bought, land he sold, when he witnessed land deeds, time line and transactions that were performed by 6 of his sons:
Land Deeds for John Mills Edgecombe County (formed 1732) North Carolina then Halifax County was formed from Edgecombe County in 1758.
1738 - Edgecombe Co. 640 acres
1739 – Thomas Sellers land grant Edgecombe Co. jng. John Mills
1745 – Edgecombe Co. John Mills 350 acres jng. Joseph John Alston
1745 - Edgecombe Co. John Mills 630 acres jng. George Smith
1749 - Edgecombe Co. John Mills 300 acres
1752 – John Mills 299 acres Edgecombe Co. SCC: John Jr. Mills, Simon Mills (sons)
Land that John Mills Sold
1748 – John Mills Edgecombe Co. to Joseph John Alston, 10 lbs Virginia currency 127 acres patent to John Mills 20 Apr. 1745
1748 – John Mills Edgecombe Co. 16 lbs Virginia currency 350 acres to Joseph John Alston
1755 – John Mills Edgecombe Co. to Joseph John Alston 20 lbs Virginia currency 630 acres
1758 – John Mills Edgecombe Co. to Joseph John Alston 20 lbs Virginia currency 257 acres
1772 – Halifax Co., NC gave son “Simon” for love good will and affection 150 acres
1774 – Halifax Co., John Mills to Edward Finch 200 acres, 50 lbs Virginia
John Mills Witnessed Deeds by his mark
This indicates that John Mills could not write – he made an “X” for his mark. Information from speaking directly to Margaret Hoffman, expert on land deeds in Halifax Co., North Carolina and History Professor at the College in Edgecombe Co., North Carolina
1742 - John Mills X his mark
1740 – John Mills
1746 – John Mills X his mark
1758 – Halifax John Perry Will,– Wit: John Mills X his mark, Eliza. Mills “probate indicates Elizab. Perry, widow of the decedent certified have given sufficient security”
1759 – Halifax John Mills X
1769 – John Mills (X), Thomas Mills (John Mills son)
1770 – John Mills
Time Line - John Mills Edgecombe Co. & Halifax Co., North Carolina
1738 – Edgecombe
1739 – Edgecombe
1745 – Edgecombe
1749 – Edgecombe
1752 – Halifax Co. land deed – Wit: John Mills, Eliza Mills
1754 - Halifax Land by John Mills
1758 – Halifax Land by John Mills
1759 - Halifax Land by John Mills
1759 – Halifax Land by John Mills
1760 – Halifax Land by John Mills corner
1760 – Halifax jng. John Mills
1761 – Halifax jng. John Mills
1762 – Halifax jng John Mills
1763 – Halifax jng. John Mills
1765 – Halifax jng. John Mills
1772 – Halifax John Mills sold to Simon Mills (son)
1773 – Halifax jng. John Mills --- Simon Mills bought 150 acres jng John Mills (father)
1774 – Halifax John Mills sold land
1774 – Halifax jng. John Mills
John Mills Sons – Halifax County North Carolina
John Mills Jr.
1761 - bought 300 acres
1766 – sold 200 acres
1769 – sold 299 acres
1752 – survr. Of land
Married Bethian Saxon between 1763 and 1766
Bethian Saxon Mills died in Wake county North Caroline between 1792 & 1793.
Don’t know what happened to John Jr. I assume he died in Wake Co., North Carolina also.
1772 – John Mills gave son Simon 150 acres
1752 – survr. Of land
1762 – survr. Of land
Don’t know what happened to Simon. We do believe though that Simon was in the Revolutionary War, no proof.
William Mills -- This is my line – I can take up to today!
1762 – survr. Of land
1762 – survr. Of Land
1774 – John Ellis Will = “Land to be sold where William Mills now lives”
Married Sarah Ellis by 1761- Document from Halifax Co., North Carolina
1769 – wit. On land deed
1783 – wit. On land deed
Nov. 1796 Will – Mills, Thomas will proved Nov. 1796 (Records of Estates Halifax Co., NC volume II by David Gammon)
One child that I know of went to South Carolina & Georgia.
June 1759 – Apprentices to Augustine Vaughter 5 years, 6 months
Don’t know what happened to Henry. This is all we have.
1766 – wit. Of Land deed
Don’t know what happened to him.
As you can see we have lost John Mills after 1774 (last land deed) in Halifax Co., North Carolina. John sold most of his land to Joseph John Alston but not all. What happened to the rest of the land, we have no idea. The last time you see John’s name is in Joseph John Alston’s will dated 1780 Halifax Co., North Carolina: “I give and devise to my son Willie Alston” “my manor plantation likewise including the plantation and the track of land where John Mills formally lived, lying at the head of Bear Swamp.”
John Mills’s son William Mills – My direct line.
William migrated on to Wilkes Co., North Carolina by 1780 where he died by 1810. His children married in Wilkes Co., North Carolina then migrated on to Hawkins and Hancock County, Tennessee. From there the Mills lines expanded too many states.
Also have information, there is a possibility that William Mills (son on John Mills Edgecombe Co., NC) could have been married before Sarah Ellis because of their son’s obituary. It states that he was 80 years old so he would have been born in 1751. So we don’t believe that William & Sarah could have been married for 10 years before the only documented date of “by 1761.”
“May 09, 1996, verified death in date book "Obituaries from Early Tennessee Newspapers 1794-1851
Obituary of Isham Mills
Died 16th December 1831 at his residence in Hawkins County after a short indisposition. Isham Mills in the 80th year of his age. He was a citizen of this County near 40 years and a member of the Baptist church for 35 years. Mr Mills was a loving companion, affectionate parent, benevolent to the poor, and loved by all who knew him....
Rail-Road Advocate, Somerville,19 Jan 1832”
Here are a few questions from a Deposition that was taken before 1896 in Lipscombe Co., Texas. Questions were answered by William Cloud Mills, b. 1829 Tennessee, d. 1896 Texas. William Cloud Mills was my 4th Great Grandfather
(Whole deposition not included)
How far back can you trace the name of Mills?
“My Great Grandfather: they called themselves Tuckahoe”.
(William Cloud Mills great grandfather was William Mills that married Sarah Ellis, Halifax Co., NC by 1761)
Where did they reside:
Date and place of birth:
Date and place of death:
Last summer (2008) a small chip of the brick wall was chipped off after 11 years of searching. John Mills was found in Maryland. We had always assumed that the deposition that was taken from William Cloud Mills had to have some truth to it. You at least have to find out if the facts are correct and that’s what I did.
I found John Mills and his wife Elizabeth listed in Vestry and parishioners of St. James Parish meeting of Old Herring Creek Parish Anne Arundel County, Maryland.
Stating: “At a meeting of the Vesty, and parishioners of St. James Parish at the Vestry Room on Easter Monday the 14th April 1727”, “approved for transfer to the District of North Carolina Edgecombe County the families of John Mills, wife Elizabeth and three children”
Now, this does not mean the John & Elizabeth were members of the St. James Parish in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland. This meeting took place there with the gathering of Vestry men to choose 4 new Vestry men for the Parishes of Maryland and other church business was conducted at the same time. So, we know that John & Elizabeth did live within the area. Just have to locate them.
Now the brick wall is holding strong again. I believe that there is one more generation that has to be found in order for me to take this over the pond to Ireland.
Here are a few of many questions that we have. Some I might be able to answer in the future but some I probably won’t ever be able to:
From 1727 to the first land deed in Edgecombe Co., North Carolina there is 11 years lost. They had to of traveled through Virginia.
Did they stay in Virginia for a while?
Did they travel straight through to North Carolina and arrive before 1738?
Were there land deeds for John before 1738? I do know that lots of documents from North Carolina have been stolen through the years. Maybe they just don’t exist.
Whom did William, son of John and Elizabeth Mills, marry and which state Virginia or Maryland? First wife apparently died and he married Sarah Ellis prior to 1761, Halifax Co., North Carolina as Isham, their son, was born in 1751.
If you would like to discuss, leave me a comment with email and I'll get with you.