The Mills Family of Mid Wales - Family History
Red Kite (right facing)

The Mills Family of Mid-Wales

Red Kite (left facing)

The Red Kite is a symbol of Mid-Wales.
Images Red Kite Feeding Station 2001, to which many thanks for kind permission. Please visit their site.

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Site Annoucements

9 May 2004

All pending changes (previously viewable only in the private Staging site) have been transferred to the Live site.

Further changes are still in preparation. See 1 May below.

1 May 2004

An update to the site is in preparation.

We are aiming to publish this month.


Update

Networking

May 2003

The introductory version of this site was placed on the web on 1st March 2003 (St David's Day). Now it is set for expansion, the launch announcement will be made more widely at the end of May. In the interim the networking has begun:

  • North Montgomery: We have made contact with Miss Eleanor Mills who has extensive knowledge of her family history in the Llangadfan and Llanerfyl areas. She introduced us to Peter (W Sussex), to whom we referred Jennie and John (down under in Melbourne), who will link up with Pru (in the UK Midlands).
  • South Montgomery and North Radnorshire: Glenys (Newtown) has provided information on her Llananno branch which has been passed to Liz who forwarded the detail to Margaret (Stoke on Trent) who has family connection with that area.
  • Trefeglwys: Dick (Maryland) has now made contact with Diana and Michael (Llanidloes) for assistance in defining the "Foundry" line; he has resumed information exchange with Nia (Newtown) and John and Pam (Llanidloes) regarding other branches of his Trefeglwys group.
  • Llanidloes/Millsiaid: Cynthia (Llanidloes) has gratefully received an offer of help from Ian (Van) in defining local family groupings with a view to identifying those descended from the "Musicians". She is also making active re-contact with all those who have corresponded with her over the past few years.
    Llanidloes/Hughes and Mills: Barbara (Hampshire UK) visited the site by chance, sent in sufficient detail of her lost family connection to enable an introduction via our local historian to Aled (Caernarvon); he proved to be a first cousin, able to provide the information she had sought for years.

Mills DNA Project

May 2003

Dick (Maryland) is actively seeking a Mills candidate descended through an all-male Mid-Wales line, who would be prepared to participate in the DNA project for potential matching of results with his own. He is offering to contribute half the $100 cost of the test. Contact Dick directly if you are willing to help.

View Update Archive

Introduction

We are a small group of individual private researchers exploring the history of our specific Mills "clan" whose local roots can be clearly traced to a well-defined area in mid-Wales - viz: Montgomeryshire and Radnorshire (both part of Powys County since 1974). This is a particularly scenic part of rural Wales, set on the eastern edge of the Cambrian Hills, within easy distance of the northern mountains, source of the river Severn and the Cardiganshire coast. It is recognised for the friendliness of its people and the majestic presence of the rare Red Kite.

Our sincere appreciation is expressed to Mr E Ronald Morris of Llanidloes who has so willingly given of his extensive knowledge when advising us on the local history of Montgomeryshire and the part played by the Mills family in this area.

Purpose of Site

The site is designed to offer information and invite participation in researching the history of our specific Mid-Wales "clan". Responses may be e-mailed through to one of our group of five central "agents", each collecting material on defined family branches or historical interests.

Aims and Content

Development will be on the basis of reliable data aimed to assist better understanding of our roots, branch inter-relationships, diaspora, family interests and achievements. The only unproven material displayed on open site relates to various "legends" regarding origins (earliest established record is 1593), which might identify ancestral links. In this last respect, information is available for those wishing to participate in a recently established Mills DNA world-wide project. Our timespan extends to approximately 1901, in line with Rootsweb policy not to include living persons. An optional picture gallery offers some infill on relevant local history and, with their consent, links are provided to appropriate Welsh reference sources.

Project Management

For purposes of coordination, the central agent group will be kept relatively small, expansion normally restricted to newly identified major geographical areas, branches or interests. Each agent heads up, manages and builds on his/her own working area, mutually exchanging data where appropriate and passing proven findings or other matters of interest through for posting on the open site. New participants are asked to indicate consent or otherwise for their interests and submitted data to be openly shared and/or published; as also their willingness to receive information subsequently contributed by third parties. All contact names are passed to a central, briefly classified, register for the internal agents' use only.

NB: The free Rootsweb site is much appreciated - apart from common-sense conditions designed to protect them as provider, there are only two stipulations for us to accept: no up/downloading of GEDCOM files and advertising banners will be displayed on our pages.


Geographical Area

The primary research area is shown in the map below.

Map of Wales - pre 1974
Pre-1974 Map of Wales
(With area of interest highlighted)

Click here for enlargement and other maps

Origins

Earliest known local references to Milles/Mills/Mylles (and sometimes Miles) occur in the 1590s (Llandinam parish register - marriages). As this appears to be a non-patronymic name of possibly English origin, several (unproven) theories/family legends exist:

  1. Incoming hill farmers from the Derbyshire Peak District or other parts of central England, introduced mid C16 by Dudley, Earl of Leicester, to re-populate his Arwystli estates in the Llanidloes area.
  2. Immigrant Flemish weavers ("Millais"), dates unknown.
  3. Refugee Cromwellian supporters or Quakers escaping mid C17 post-Reformation persecution (a John Mills reputed to have served as an Ironside and some suggested connection with Cromwell's sister).
  4. A tenuous mid C17 Somerset/Gloucestershire, and later Croydon, connection (Henry Mills, c.1672-1742) is also borne in mind.

Family Background

Family Structure

Much intermarriage with local families and large numbers of offspring with constant repetition of first names through the generations; great care needed in identifying individual members - e.g. confusion caused by uncle and nephew bearing same name, born same year. Identification is much assisted where an individual name can be linked with that of a farm or homestead, together with a note of family occupation and religious persuasion.

Occupations

Wales C16-20:Hillfarmers, Cottage Weavers, Flannel Manufacturers, Lead Miners, Engineers and Ironfounders, Printers / Publishers; Shop/innkeepers; early Choral Instructors and Composers; Photographers.
London C19:Nonconformist Ministry; Biblical and Social Research, Middle East Travel; Writers; Choral Conductors.
UK & abroad C20:Engineers; Flannel Manufacturers; Journalists; Photographers; Chemists.

Religious Persuasion

Mainly nonconformist (Methodist / Presbyterian) since mid C18.

Known dispersal

C19/20:to North Wales - Bangor, Denbigh. Llandudno, Llanrwst, Wrexham
to South Wales - Aberdare, Valleys and beyond, Brecon and Glamorgan
to English shires - Hereford, Monmouth, Shropshire, Staffordshire and Essex
to London, Liverpool, USA
C20:to Canada, Australia, Egypt; also worked in India, Sri Lanka.

Family Trees

We have the benefit of reputedly reliable C20 versions of two Montgomeryshire branches, both following the male line:

  1. From c1670 - Trefeglwys branch, later extending in the C19 to Llanidloes as "The Foundry Millses" and to Bangor as a family of photographers.
  2. From 1715 - Llanidloes/Van branch, later known since the late C18 as "The Millsiaid" musicians and writers.
    More recently research has been progressing on:
  3. From c1766 - North Radnorshire / South Montgomeryshire branch.
  4. From c1670 or earlier - expansion of the Trefeglwys branch (see 1 above).

Other C20 research has been carried out in North Montgomeryshire, where it is hoped to establish contact as we attempt a more comprehensive link-up of the branches in the area, to include various Mills references which pre-date the above.

In line with the protection of privacy afforded by the 100-year hold-back in publication of UK national Census returns, in the main we do not propose to carry the exercise forward beyond 1901.

At this introductory stage, we are not posting family trees on this site as much still has to be proved and put into context and, as indicated above, errors can easily arise which could perpetuate to cause serious misinterpretation and confusion to many.

Mills DNA Project

It is hoped that the recently established Mills DNA project will throw valuable light on possible inter-relationships and maybe assist in defining family origins.

Richard (Dick) Mills (see contacts list below) has submitted a DNA sample to FamilyTreeDNA and received his results. These indicate that he descended from ancestors that were Y-Chromosome Haplogroup HG2 (Norwegian and Germanic, most common in Southern and Central Europe, but this halpogroup is also often seen in those of Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian descent). Other Haplogroups are HG1 (which includes Irish, Welsh, Basque, Flemish and Breton). Irish and Welsh are also known as Celtic. HG3 is common in Scandinavia, and said by some to be indicate of "Viking blood" when seen in paternal lines originating in the British Isles.

The Mills DNA Project results and other information relating to testing are available at:
http://freepages.family.rootsweb.com/~crrking/mills/mills_dnah.htm

Any male Mills by birth interested in joining the Mills DNA Project is invited to visit the following website:
http://www.familytreedna.com/surname_det.asp?count=10&group=Mills

Contact Welcome

Within our limited capabilities, we would be more than willing to share reliable Mills family history information with private researchers who feel they may have a definite connection with our mid-Wales "clan":

Topic Researcher Gallery Email
Around Llanidloes

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Around Llanidloes

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Initial queries / Origins / Llanidloes / Migrants to London, Canada & Australia

Cynthia Mills (CM)

Llanidloes Town

Trefeglwys / Foundry / Migrants to Liverpool & USA / DNA testing

Richard (Dick) M Mills (DM)

Trefeglwys Area

S. Montgomery & N. Radnor branch, Brecon, Glamorgan, Monmouth, Hereford, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Essex

Liz McAsey (LM)

Abbey Cwmhir, Nantmel Church, Rhayader

Migrants to Aberdare & S Wales / Cromwell theory

Richard Thomas (RT)

Not yet

The 'Millsiaid' Composers / Musicians / Publishers

Richard Meredith (RM)

The Millsiaid

Links and Research Resources

A list of Mid-Wales family history sources and other local information is provided in the Links and Research Resources page.

Galleries

Please visit our galleries for pictures old and new.


WE AWAIT YOUR CONTACT WITH INTEREST!!!


Issue 4, 20.05.03
Version History