Millikan Family

First Generation

This page was revised on February 20, 2005

Based on Nadine Holder's careful analysis of records concerning William Millikan, I am convinced that some key points of the traditional genealogy of this family are in error. See her web site for a thorough and carefully reasoned analysis.

William Millikan was born about 1710-1715, perhaps in Ireland, and died in 1793 in Randolph County NC. [The information that he was born on a specific date in Dromore, County Down, is one of the points Nadine Holder disputes. I agree with her.]. He appears on the tax list of Chester Co. PA from 1739 to 1758, and is crossed off in 1758. A colonial tax list suggests that he was already in North Carolina in 1755, but there is also evidence that places him in Pennsylvania in that year (see Nadine Holder's web page, referring to a transaction involving Roderick Lewis), so it is possible that he came south to purchase land and returned to Pennsylvania before moving his entire family.

In the 1739 and 1740 Chester Co. tax lists, he is listed as unmarried. The 1741 tax list is missing, but since oldest daughter Abigail must have been born by about 1741, he probably married his first wife Jane White in 1740. We think she is probably the mother of all his children. There is a monument at Springfield Friends cemetery in Guilford Co. NC giving Jane's death date as 1758, but this is not a contemporary marker and she presumably is not actually buried there since Springfield Meeting wasn't organized until about 1773. Thus there is some uncertainty as to whether Jane died in Pennsylvania prior to William's having moved his family south, or if she died soon after their arrival in North Carolina. Nadine Holder points out that the Quaker marriage record for Sarah Millikan in 1761 lists her as the daughter only of William, not of William and Jane as would be expected if her mother were living. This supports the notion that the wife Jane who appears with William in later records is a different woman.

Jane White was most likely a granddaughter of the Alexander White whose will was proved in May 1743 (Chester Co. PA records). The will names a wife Jane and several children, including sons Alexander, John and David, but no daughter Jane.

Most histories of this family state that by June 1759 William Millikan was married to Hannah Rowan, daughter of William and Elizabeth Rowan of Chester Co. PA. This conclusion is based on an Orphan's Court record from Chester Co. PA, June 19, 1759, in settlement of the estate of William Rowan who died intestate. The court record refers to William's daughter "Hannah, the wife of William Mullican". Some of the family histories go on to say that Hannah died within six months of their marriage and that William then married her sister Jane. However, the Orphan's Court record doesn't list a daughter Jane among a detailed list of the children of William and Elizabeth Rowan. I agree with Nadine Holder that Hannah Rowan probably married some other William Mullican or Millikan, not this one.

William Millikan does appear in records in NC with a wife named Jane, however. Brenda Haworth's manuscript prepared for the Springfield Memorial Association puts the marriage to this Jane as 1775 but doesn't cite a marriage record. However, there is a deed on 14 Oct 1766, Rowan Co. deed book 6:309, William Milliken and wife Jane to Samuel Milliken for 10 sh proc, 200 A on Muddy Crk on W side Deep R. Nathan Farlow, John Buefero witneses. Proved October court 1766 [abstract by Jo White Linn]. Is this possibly a leftover deed from a 1758 transaction, referring to Jane White [which would then be evidence that she came to NC], or does this refer to the second Jane, in which case that marriage must have taken place between 1761 and 1766?

Loose estates papers at the NC archives include an estate inventory for William Millikan, December court 1793, by Samuel Millikan, administrator. A Jane Millikan appears in a list of persons who purchased or received items from his estate. She got lots of furniture, a saddle and bridle, a colt, a pot oven and a skillet, substantially more individual items than most of the other purchasers. Is this his widow, or a granddaughter?

A 1974 letter in the Millikan file at Guilford College, from Mrs. Kenneth Brant of Wichita KS, names William's second wife as Jane BROWN. No documentation is given.

A Quaker, William Millikan did not bear arms during the Revolution, but he is listed in the DAR Patriot Index: "He was so obnoxious to the Tories that on March 10, 1782 Colonel Fanning burned his home and barns with all their contents. He also furnished supplies." Nadine Holder quotes a longer version of this story on her web site.

William's daughter Hannah Millikan Blair is also recognized by the DAR for patriotic service.

Second Generation

Children of William Millikan and Jane White
Abigail Millikan (1741-?) m. John Frazier
Samuel Millikan (1742-1817) m. Ann Baldwin
Sarah Millikan (1743-1826) m. John Mills (d. 1815)
David Millikan (1745-?)
Mary Millikan (1747-1814) m. Robert Bratton (1746-1824)
Martha Millikan m. James Frazier in 1766
William Millikan (1753-1838) m. Eleanor Smith (1757-1837)
Benjamin Millikan (1755-1842) m. Rebecca Rush (1760-1838)
Hannah Millikan (1756-1852) m. Enos Blair (ca. 1750-1834)
Alexander Millikan (ca. 1757-?)
Ann Millikan (uncertain, possibly not of this family)

Brenda Haworth's manuscript states that seven children (William, Samuel, Alexander, Benjamin, Sarah, Mary, and Hannah) appear in every list of William and Jane's children, but that Abigail, David, Martha and Ann appear in some lists but not others. Abigail is listed as "of New Garden" meeting when she married John Frazier of Cane Creek in 1759. Her omission from most of the lists of children in this family probably reflects the fact that she was the first of the children to marry. David doesn't appear in any of the NC records, suggesting that he may have died young, before the move from Pennsylvania. Martha is usually placed last in those family lists that include her (e.g. the DAR records cited above), but she married in 1766, suggesting birth no later than about 1750.

Hannah Millikan's birthdate is usually given as about 1755-1756, but exact records are lacking. Nadine Holder suggests that she was probably born about 1751, between Martha and William, since there is not much room for another birth between Benjamin, who was born in January 1755, and Alexander, thought to have been born about 1757 (unless of course she was a twin of Benjamin). I think it is more likely that she was born late in the year 1756, based on the fact that her last child wasn't born until 1800, and that she lived until 1852. Was Alexander then perhaps not born until 1758 rather than 1757? And did his mother die in childbirth or shortly afterwards?

Third Generation

Children of Samuel Millikan and Ann Baldwin
Elizabeth Millikan (1769-?) m. William Woodward
Jane Millikan (1771-?) m. Jesse Hoggatt
William Millikan (1773-?) m. Hannah Brasselton
John Millikan (1775-1814) m. Mary Wyatt
Sarah Millikan (1777-1849) m. Mahlon Hoggatt (d. 1850)
Samuel Millikan (1780-?) m. Martha Coltrane
Benjamin Millikan (1783-?) m. Margaret Beals
Jesse Millikan (1785-1836) m. Lydia Barrett
Ann Millikan (1788-1839) m. Eleazar Beals (1794-1887)
Mary Millikan (1791-?) m. Thomas Tomlinson


DAR application for William Millikan filed 1979 by Janice Lee Johnson Klaus, seen as LDS film 1481377/22. This film lists all William's children by Jane White. The relevant DAR records are 406214 [Patriot Index 1966, p. 250] and 375358. Caruthers' Revolutionary Incidents pp. 262-263 is also cited as a source for Fanning's raid.

Hinshaw, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, vol. 1

Randolph County, 1779-1979, published by Randolph County Historical Society and the Randolph Arts Guild, Hunter Publishing Co., Winston-Salem NC 1980

Springfield Friends Cemetery 1780-1991, Guilford County, High Point NC, prepared for Springfield Memorial Association by Brenda Gray Haworth, Historian and Editor

Colonial Records of NC, vol. 22, p. 397

Personal communications from Wally Garchow, Stewart Baldwin, Jerry Murphy, Mike Marshall, Ginny Keefer, and others.

Additional Resources

Nadine Holder's Millikan site

Alison's Millikan page focuses on descendants of William and Jane's son William, and his son Eli Millikan

Carol and Mike's Millikan page has information on descendants of William and Jane's son Benjamin Millikan

back to home page
Elizabeth Harris,