Family History and Genealogy
Please help to discontinue the propagation and perpetuation of outdated conclusions, false research, and mis-information of the Milam family history.
The following is a very generalized overview of the earliest known history and genealogy of the Milams of Virginia. This outline is not thorough. It is merely a simplified account of the basics of what is known of these earliest Milams. Meanwhile, DNA samples, and the continued ongoing research for early original Milam records has significantly uncovered new documents and discoveries leading to changes in what we know of these earliest Milam generations.
At this time, most all Milams in the United States can prove descent from one of two men who are found in Virginia as early as the 1730s and 1740s. These men are the Milam Patriarchs, John and Thomas. Though it originally could not be proven, it has always been traditionally believed that John and Thomas were brothers. In December 2016, DNA samples from male descendants of John and Thomas has been studied in depth and it was determined conclusively that John and Thomas were in fact brothers. For an extensive more detailed explanation of this Milam DNA discovery, please visit this web page: Genetic Genealogy of Milam
I. John Milam, often referred to as John Milam Sr., was originally thought to have been born around 1725. However, research in the 1990s was able to establish a more likely birth year of no later than 1718. More recent research (2017-2018) has determined that he more likely was born by or before 1713. He is known to have married a woman named Judith, possibly Bartlett, possibly as early as 1732 or 1733 and no later than 1739. While traditionally she had been referred to as Judith Bartlett Cole, the name Cole has been dropped by current Milam researchers as there is no evidence to support it and it is deemed this name is extremely unlikely. Meanwhile, the maiden name Bartlett, while not proven, is supported by the frequent use of that name as a Given or Middle Name in the many Milam descendants of John and Judith. It was always believed that John Milam may have lived in Louisa County, Virginia due to a reference to him and his land in the 1757 Will of John Dixon of Bristol. However, there is no documentation of any nature in the surviving early Louisa County records to support this belief. Meanwhile, a reevaluation of the 1757 Will of John Dixon determined that the land may have actually been in Hanover County. Unfortunately, all Court records for Hanover County, Virginia, including Deeds and Wills, prior to the Civil War were completely destroyed in the burning of Richmond in April 1865. Meanwhile, he has recently been discovered in Brunswick County, Virginia Court records as early as 1752, as well as in Chesterfield County, Virginia records in about 1760. In 1764 he is found in Halifax County, Virginia where he lived until sometime after 1782, but before 1785, when he then migrated to York County, South Carolina where he died and left a will in 1789. John was a soldier of the Revolutionary War. John and Judith had an estimated 10 children. For a more detailed accounting of John Milam "the Patriarch" in early Virginia records, please visit this webpage: John Milam Sr (ca 1713 - 1789) Early History
II. Thomas Milam, was born before 1716 and married Mary Rush no later than 1739. Though traditionally referred to as Mary Rush Adams, there is no indication she was every previously married, let alone a member of the Adams family. Her connection to the Rush family of early Virginia is now well established: The William Rush Family of Westmoreland County, VA Early records find Thomas living on the north side of Doubletop Mountain near a Gap that takes it's name from him; Milam's Gap. It is also believe that he is the namesake of the Milam Apple which either grew wild near his home or he uniquely cultivated. Earlier, his land was part of Orange County, Virginia, where he appears in a 1737 Court Case. In 1749 his lands became part of the newly created Culpeper County. Thomas sold this land in Culpeper County in 1760 and in 1761 migrated to Bedford County, Virginia where he died and left a will in 1775. Thomas and Mary had 7 known children. For a more extensive, very detailed and in-depth study and accounting of Thomas Milam, I very highly recommend the website Milam In Virginia by William F. Milam, M.D., of Richmond, Virginia. Here is a direct link to the very extensive and more detailed accounting of Thomas Milam "the Patriarch" in early Virginia records: Thomas Milam of Colonial Virginia (ca 1716 - 1775)
Most Milams in the United States today descend from the following sons of these early Virginia Milam Patriarchs:
I. Edward Milam, is newly (2017-2018) speculated to be a possible son of John Milam "the Patriarch", though it is entirely possible he isn't. He was most likely born by 1733 in light of his appearance in a court record for Brunswick County, Virginia in January and May of 1754. As this is the only record he is found in at this time, nothing further can be determined for him. Original Brunswick County Court records were hand searched covering the period September 1749 through May 1765 by Dr. William Milam of Richmond.
II. Grace Milam, is a speculated daughter of John Milam "the Patriarch" due to her frequent proximity to John and his sons. She was likely born before or by 1740. She was married to Richard Chumley / Cholmondeley by and before the birth of their son in 1756. She would later be found, in the 1785 Tax List, next door to James Milam in Halifax County, Virginia.
III. Samuel Milam, is speculated and highly likely a son of John Milam "the Patriarch". This speculation is due to the naming patterns of his grandsons, combined with his frequent appearance in records in close proximity of John Milam. More recently (2017-2018) he, and his wife Sarah, have been found in early Chesterfield County court records during the period 1760 to 1764, where and when John Milam is found as well. In the 1990s, Samuel was estimated as born circa 1742 in Virginia and was married to Sarah Kemp by early 1763. However, with these newly discovered records placing he and Sarah together in Chesterfield County 1760 to 1764 suggests he was likely born by or before 1740. While Samuel is listed in the St. James Northam Parish record (known as the Douglas Register) in Goochland County as early as 1764, he may not have lived there. He is found in Henry County, Virginia in 1778 until about 1782 when he is estimated to have migrated to Abbeville County, South Carolina. Here he is found in 1790 and 1800 census records. There is a very early record of a Samuel Milam in Jasper County, Georgia being sued by a Dudley Milam (circa 1811). This may imply that he was still alive and lived there at that time but more research is necessary to substantiate this theory. Samuel and Sarah had three probable sons (only Jordan is proven) from whom many descendants are found, by 1860, in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas. Other children are potentially possible, but not known at this time.
IV. James Milam, is speculated as a highly likely son of John Milam "the Patriarch". His birth year is speculated as before or by 1741 due to his appearance in a Chesterfield County, Virginia Court record dated 1763. A continuous series of Court Records indicate trouble he was having with regard to his possible wife or ex-wife and her family; the Hatcher family. It is possible that this is the same James Milam that later, in 1785, appears in the Halifax County, Virginia Tax List alone and next door to Grace Chumley. Important: Be advised that this new finding precludes the old theory, speculated by me in the 1990s, that the James Milam of Pittsylvania County, 1767 to 1790, married to a Martha, and whose children migrate to Tazewell County, Virginia, as being the James Milam who was the son of John Milam "the Patriarch". It strongly appears there are two distinctly different James Milam men of nearly the same age. James of Chesterfield and Halifax is the most likely son of John Milam "the Patriarch". James Milam of Pittsylvania is now unplaced. More information is pending; more about him below.
V. Adam Milam, is speculated as very likely a son of John Milam "the Patriarch". This speculation is due to the naming patterns of his grandsons, combined with his appearance in an early Brunswick County court records where and when John Milam is found as well. Adam is estimated as born circa before or by 1744 in Virginia. Records suggest he may have been married to a woman named Charity (speculation) before being married to his known wife Elizabeth circa 1760 in Virginia. Before the Revolutionary War, circa by 1774, he migrated to Bute County, North Carolina, living just over the border of Halifax County, Virginia where John Milam and sons are found about this same time. Bute County was discontinued in 1779 and Adam lived in the portion that became Warren County where he died and left a will in 1789. Adam and Elizabeth had five sons from whom many descendants are found, by 1860, in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama.
VI. Bartlett Milam, proven as the son of John Milam "the Patriarch"; per being named as a son in the will of John. Bartlett is estimated as born circa 1748 in Virginia, and was married to Elizabeth Guinn circa 1770 probably in Halifax County, Virginia. He lived in Halifax County, Virginia until 1796 when he migrated to Laurens County, South Carolina. There he died in 1822. Bartlett is considered a Patriot of the Revolution, having provided supplies to the American forces. Unfortunately, a middle name of 'Ferrell' is frequently associated with him. This is another false family tradition as there is absolutely no Court, Land or other legal document that indicates a middle initial, let alone the middle name of 'Ferrell'. He had eleven children from whom many descendants are found, by 1860, in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Texas.
VII. Edmund Milam, appears with wife Molly in a 1770 Brunswick County Court record. This is the one and only record thus far found for this Edmund Milam. Though he appears in Brunswick County long after John Milam "the Patriarch" had left, at this time Edmund is speculated as a possible son of this John. No further information has been found at this time.
VIII. Benjamin Milam, is a proven son of John Milam "the Patriarch" as he is mentioned in the his 1789 Will in South Carolina. Benjamin is estimated to have been born by 1750. Very little is known of him though he appears in the 1782 and 1785 Virginia State Census, aka Tax Lists, in Halifax County, near John Sr. and brothers Bartlett and Thomas. Benjamin moved to South Carolina following his father and brothers, and appears in Camden District, York County, South Carolina in the 1790 census. This is where John Milam, Sr. had died in 1789. In the 1790 South Carolina census, Benjamin Milem appears in Camden District, York County, page 28. In his household are 1 white male over 16 years of age, 4 females, and no slaves. Family tradition states that Benjamin did not like South Carolina so he moved back to Virginia sometime before 1800, settling somewhere around Halifax and/or Pittsylvania Counties. However, there are currently no further records regarding Benjamin Milam. There are currently no known possible issue of Benjamin and his proposed wife Judith. According to the 1790 census, however, Benjamin may have had three daughters.
IX. John Milam Jr., proven son of John; per named as a son in the 1789 Will of John Milam "the Patriarch". John Jr. was born in 1753 in Virginia and married first to Nancy and second to Polly Allison. He was a soldier of the Revolutionary War from Halifax County, Virginia. He migrated to Laurens County, South Carolina before December 1786 when he is first found owning land there. He eventually left there for Madison County, Alabama where he is found receiving a land patent in 1816. He died there in 1838. He had twelve children, all by Nancy, from whom many descendants are found, by 1860, in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.
X. Thomas Milam, proven son of John Milam "the Patriarch"; per being named as a son in the 1789 Will of John, and was in fact made administrator of the estate. He is estimated as born circa 1757 in Virginia and was married to Elizabeth Talbert in 1786 in Halifax County, Virginia. He migrated to South Carolina, shortly after 1786, living in Laurens County. He later migrated to Henry County, Georgia circa 1819 and died there about 1823. He had eight children, from whom many descendants are found, by 1860, in Georgia, Tennessee, and Arkansas.
XI. William Milam, son of Thomas Milam "the Patriarch", though traditionally estimated as born in 1746 in Virginia, new research indicates that William Milam was clearly born before or by 1739. He married a woman named Sarah. He was a soldier of the Revolutionary War, appointed Lieutenant. He lived in Bedford County, Virginia until his death sometime about or after 1791; he no longer appears in records after this date. He had ten children, from whom many descendants are found, by 1860, in Virginia and North Carolina. For a thorough and detailed study of William Milam, visit Dr. William Milam's webpage: Chronology of William Milam Sr. in Court Records
XII. John Milam, son of Thomas Milam "the Patriarch", was originally thought born circa 1750 in Virginia, but new research indicates John Milam was clearly born before or by 1742. He married Anna Jackson circa 1768 in Bedford County, Virginia. He died in 1780 while a resident of Bedford County, Virginia; indications are they he may have been severely wounded in battle and/or took sick on the march back to Virginia. He had eight children, from whom many descendants are found, by 1860, in Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, and Indiana. For a thorough and detailed study of John Milam, visit Dr. William Milam's webpage: John Milam (ca 1742 - 1780) - historical vignettes
XIII. Benjamin Milam, son of Thomas Milam "the Patriarch", was born before or by 1746 in Virginia. He married Elizabeth Jackson circa 1772 in Bedford County, Virginia. He was a soldier of the Revolutionary War and died on June 19, 1781 in captivity after the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, North Carolina. He had five children, from whom many descendants are found, by 1860, in Kentucky, Ohio, and Missouri. For a thorough and detailed study of Benjamin Milam, visit Dr. William Milam's webpage: Benjamin Milam (ca 1746 - 1781) - historical vignettes
XIV. Moses Milam, son of Thomas Milam "the Patriarch", was born before or by circa 1752 in Virginia and married Elizabeth Boyd in 1774 in Bedford County, Virginia. He was a soldier of the Revolutionary War. He lived in Bedford County, Virginia until 1788 when he migrated to Fayette County, Kentucky where he lived until about 1796 when he settled in Franklin County, Kentucky. There he died sometime between 1810 and 1820. He was the father of the famous Benjamin Rush Milam of the Texas fight for Independence. Moses was the father of eight children, from whom many descendants are found, by 1860, in Kentucky and Texas. For a thorough and detailed study of Moses Milam, visit Dr. William Milam's webpage: Moses Milam (ca 1752 - ca 1815), historical vignettes
XV. Zachariah Milam, son of Thomas Milam "the Patriarch", was born circa 1755 in Virginia. He lived his whole life in Bedford County, Virginia where he died sometime between 1822 and 1830; possibly close to around 1825. Recent research has discovered a wife, or ex-wife, named Mary, and they had eight children, from whom many descendants are found, by 1860, in Virginia and Indiana. For a thorough and detailed study of Zachariah Milam, visit Dr. William Milam's webpage: Zachariah Milam (ca 1755 - ca 1825) - historical vignettes
XVI. Solomon Milam, son of Thomas Milam "the Patriarch" as indicated in his 1775 Will. Unfortunately we know very little to nothing about this Solomon Milam, though he appears to have possibly died before 1782. He is believed to have had a son named Solomon Milam, though evidence is sketchy.
XVII. Rush Milam, son of Thomas Milam "the Patriarch" as indicated in his 1775 Will. He was born in 1759 in Virginia and married Ann Elizabeth Fowler in 1783 in Bedford County, Virginia. He was a soldier of the Revolutionary War. He lived in Bedford County, Virginia until 1792 when he migrated to Botetourt County, Virginia where he lived until 1812. At that time he migrated to Kanawha County, Virginia where he died between September 1844 and 1850. Kanawha County was in the part of Virginia which later became the independent State of West Virginia. Rush had ten children, from whom many descendants are found, by 1860, in Kanawha County, West Virginia. For a thorough and detailed study of Rush Milam, visit Dr. William Milam's webpage: Rush Milam (1759 - ca 1845), historical vignettes
XVIII. James Milam, as indicated earlier, formerly was speculated as very likely a son of John Milam "the Patriarch"; this speculation is due to the naming patterns of his grandsons, combined with his appearance in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, which was broken off from Halifax County in 1767 where John Milam "the Patriarch" and other children are found. This James was thought to be the same James Milam in early Chesterfield County, then Halifax County, court records where and when John Milam is found as well. But now he is believed to be an entirely different James Milam. Since he appears to be of the same generation as the other children of "the Patriarchs", the logical leap might be to place him as a son of Thomas Milam "the Patriarch" since Thomas does not have a son named James. However, this would be a bad assumption. Dr. William Milam of Richmond, Virginia has done some amazing research deep into the records of Culpeper and Bedford Counties, and there is no indication by him that any James Milam was found associated with Thomas Milam and his sons. This would preclude this James Milam from being his son. This James Milam is estimated as born circa before or by 1746 in Virginia and married a woman named Martha. No records show that he in fact ever lived in Halifax County, Virginia, though the western portion of Halifax did became Pittsylvania County where he is found as early as 1767 and 1768. He is estimated to have died before 1791; the year Martha, his widow, allowed their daughter to marry in Montgomery County. Martha was remarried herself in Montgomery County in 1793. James and Martha had nine children, including four daughters, from whom many descendants are found, by 1860, in southwestern Virginia, northeastern Tennessee, southern West Virginia, and eastern Kentucky.
Please help to discontinue the propagation and perpetuation of outdated conclusions, false research, and mis-information of the Milam family history.
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