Was the William Mills from Maryland the same as the William Mills from Cratfield, Suffolk?

+4 votes
97 views
A William Mills, complete with mother, father and wife, was born in Cratfield, Suffolk, England in 1638.  A William Mills who became a prominent Maryland landowner testified in court in 1658 that he was 30 years old.  Did the Cratfieled church records really mean 1628?  Did the Maryland testifier really mean he was just 20 years old (and therefore possibly underage to be testifying?  In short was the William Mills of Cratfield the same person as the William Mills of Prince George's County?

 The generally accepted answer to that question is "yes".  The Colonial Settlers website, loaded with transcriptions of original documents says yes.  But I'm wondering if the question needs to be revisited.  Can anyone find any actual evidence that they are both the same person?
WikiTree profile: William Mills
asked in Genealogy Help by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (251k points)
Quite a few Mills Milles and Mill baptisms in Cratfield. None fit William. Earliest William I found was William Milles son of John Milles and Elizabeth Baptised 28 July 1667. There is a father Samuel Milles and his wife, Elizabeth, father of John 21 Aug 1664 and of Samuel 30 June 1667. This really does need revisiting.

4 Answers

+5 votes
Yes, William Mills of Calvert County, Maryland and died in 1676 is the same William Samuel Mills, born 1628 at Cratfield Parish, Suffolk, England.  

I am Michael Mills, the 10th generation grandson of William Samuel Mills.

Michael Mills
240.750.4324
answered by Michael Mills G2G Crew (350 points)
Yes, but how do we know?  The facts are contradictory and I'm looking for evidence!
Very unusual for a 17th c Englishman to have two given names.
+3 votes
The first step would be to look at the entry in the Cratfield Parish register. Does anyone involved with this profile have an image of it ?  Is this the only  evidence for his Cratfield origins ?
answered by Joe Farler G2G6 Mach 4 (49.4k points)
0 votes
Without any additional information, I at least have the profiles poised to gather research:  (1) there were two files for William Mills.  Rather than merge them at the moment, I've made one for the 1628 person and one for the 1638 person.  If they turn out to be the same, they can easily be merged.  (2)  I identified several close associates of William whose information, once found, may be clues to his.  I've developed their profiles as much as possible.  (3)  I've put cross-links on the page for William and those close associates so it's easy to flip back and forth between them.

So they're all READY to receive information.  All they need now is information.  And a source for every fact, please!
answered by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (251k points)
One of the features of Maryland property patents is that they were given names.  (One of my favorites is "Pig's Misery").  Since it's human nature to be homesick, often names in the 'New World' were names from 'home'.  It turns out that William Mills of Maryland named his major pieces of property -- Trenant, Dunbar, and Haddington, for places not just in Scotland generally, but in East Lothian, Scotland, specifically.  Why would someone who grew up in Sussex, England, name his property -- consistently -- for places in East Lothian, Scotland?.
+2 votes
All evidence indicates that they are not, in fact, the same person. The discrepancy in age is the biggest thing; the fact that the William Mills of Maryland appears to have possibly been Scottish is another...he refers to known Scots as "countrymen" and he named a property in Maryland "Tranant"; there is "Tranent" in East Lothian, and there is also "Trenant" in Cornwall. Neither of those is anywhere near Suffolk.
answered by C Handy G2G6 Mach 1 (18.1k points)

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