The Regarde Bien

Issue No. 19

Early Mulligans and Mullikens of Boston

The Millikens of Dunstan, Scarborough

Since the publication of the Rev. Gideon. T. Ridon’s book on the various Milliken, Milligan, Mulliken, Mullikin and Millican families of North America in 1907, recent research has lead to a re-appraisal of much of his original work including the Alger-Millikens of Scarborough.  This article provides a comprehensive review of Ridlon's history of this family, which has been largely guided by a perception of genealogy that very much reflected nineteenth century values and methodology. Any appraisal, therefore, must invariably take into account the different styles of methodology, as well as, the source material now available to us, that otherwise, would not have been accessible to the nineteenth century family historian.

In his chapter on history of ‘The Alger-Millikens of Scarborough’, Ridlon traces the head of this family to Hugh Mulliken, who he says may be properly designed the first known ancestor of the family called the “Alger-Millikens”, so early settled in Dunstan, now Scarborough, Maine.  There is an element of tradition contained in the history of this family, which has not been proved through contemporary sources.  Its first recorded head John Milliken of Dunstan settled there in 1719 from Boston.  From here, Ridlon begins his attempt to trace the origins of the Millikens and says, “we must presently begin their genealogy by introducing a transcript from the church records of Boston   He then cites the following records, which he states were copied from the Brattle Street Church registers of Boston, and from a journal written on interleaves of the pastor’s almanac.

Robert Mulliken, son of Hugh and wife Eleanor was born Aug. 9, 1681.

Robert Mulliken, son of Robert and wife Rebecca, was born Dec. 9, 1688.

John Mulliken, son of Robert and wife Rebecca, was July 26, 1690.

Mary Mulliken, daughter of Robert and wife Rebecca, was born Sept. 26, 1692.

Thomas Mulliken, son of Thomas and wife Elizabeth, was born April 27, 1692.

February 17, 1723, John Milliken was baptised.

April 25, 1725, Sarah Milliken was baptised.

April, 1728, Nathaniel Milliken, Abigail Milliken, and Eliza Milliken, admitted to full communion since the earthquake.

Based on these church records, the Rev. Ridlon came to the view “three families of Millikens appear in Boston contemporaneously”.  He also notes “they evidently attended upon divine service at the same church, and the record of their children’s births and baptisms are found in the Brattle Street Church registers. The Rev. William Cooper, pastor of the First Church in Boston, afterwards the Brattle Street Church, made record in his interleaved almanac of the baptism of two children of the first John Milliken and of admitting to full communion, “since the earthquake”, of three members of the Milliken family”. I have re-examined Ridlon’s comments and some of the records that he had apparently examined when compiling his early history of the Millikens of Boston, and it has become clear that there are several errors contained in his research that need to be amended to the history of this family.

Firstly, the Rev. William Cooper was not pastor of First Church, which was a Congregationalist Church founded in 1630 by John Winthrop’s original Puritan settlement in Boston. The church building was located on Washington Street until it was destroyed in the great fire of 1711.  The Brattle Street or Fourth Congregational was founded in 1698 and its first pastor was the Rev. Benjamin Cotton.  William Cooper was pastor from 1716.  It was this minister who married John Milliken, junior, and Sarah Burnett on January 1, 1718, and baptised their eldest son, John Milliken, in 1723.   The records for Brattle Street Church were published in 1902 by the Benevolent Fraternity of Churches under the title The Manifesto Church: Records of the Church in Brattle Square, Boston, with Lists of Communicants, Baptisms, Marriages and Funerals 1699-1872. I have extracted all the references to the Mulligans and Millikens found in this book and list them in Old Boston Records.

Secondly, the other source to the Rev. Ridlon’s material relating to the family of John Milliken of Boston is to be found in William S. Appleton’s report to the Records Commissioners of the City of Boston in 1888.  It contains the vital records covering every birth, marriage and death from 1630 to 1699 found in the Office of the then City Registrar of Boston, and every entry of baptism in the Records of the First Church for the same period.  To these, in later reports, both Appleton and other clerks added the births and marriages from 1700 to the beginning of the 1800s.  I have re-examined these records and can categorically state, that none of the pre-1700 births cited by the Rev. Rildon are recorded in the baptismal register of First Church.  In the Old Boston Records, I have extracted all the references found in the Reports to the Records Commissioners of Boston.  

Importantly, the Commissioner’s Records make no reference to the children of Robert and Rebecca Mulliken and of the pre-1700 births and marriages, only the following are preserved.

Birth of Robert son of Hugh & Ellener Mullegan born Aug. 9, 1681.

Birth of John son of John & Eliza. Mullegan on Dec. 27. 1691.

Birth of Thomas son of Thomas and Elizabeth Muligan on April 27, 1693.

Birth of Josiah son of John & Eliza. Mullegan on Nov. 25. 1696.

Marriage of Peter Dearlove and Jone Mullikin by Mr. Miles on October 27, 1697.

Birth of Benjamin Mulligan son of John and Elizabeth Mulligan on April 1, 1699.

We cannot be sure John Milliken was indeed a member of the First Church in Boston before he and his wife later became members of Brattle Street Church. The list of admissions and baptisms for the Second Church were published in A History of the Second Church or Old North in Boston (1852), which was founded in 1650.  Similarly, the list of persons admitted to the Third Church or Old South Church were published in An Historical Catalogue of Old South Church (Third Church) in Boston in 1883.  This list covers all the members who were admitted from 1669. Neither list make any reference to the family of John Milliken or any the Mulligan or Milliken.

The Commissioner’s Records might preserve one clue or at least indicate which church Jone or Joan Mulliken was married in; her marriage was performed by the Rev. Samuel Miles, who was rector of the Episcopalian Church of Boston also called the King’s Chapel.   This church was founded in 1686, after the arrival of Hugh and John Mulliken.  Some of the Mulligans in Ulster were members of the Established Church (Episcopalian), including Edward Mulliken of Hillsborough, Co. Down. The events leading up to Hugh’s arrival in Boston are unknown, but it is evident from the records of the Scots’ Charitable Society in Boston, he was a member of the Scots community.   

Several Mullikens were members of the Scots’ Charitable Society and included both Hugh and John Mulliken of Boston.   This Society was founded on January 6, 1657, when twenty-seven “Scottish men” signed the Laws Rules and Order of the Poor Boxes Society” in Boston. The founder stated that “our benevolence is for the releefe of our selves being Scottishmen or for any of the Scottish nation whome we may see cause to helpe”. By 1665 the Society seems to have run short of members and money, and later records confirm the Society had flounder due to “the Smallness of their Number, Lowness of the Stock, & Mismanagement of some Private trustees”4.  The Society then suspended operations in the late 1660s, and was dormant until 1684, when it was revived by a few of the original founders and a large number new group of residents and visiting Scots.  

The members list of the Boston Scottish Charitable Society, now published in David’s Dobson, The Original Scots Colonist of Early America (Supplement) 1607-1707, reveals that the surnames of Hugh and John listed by Ridlon, where in fact spelt as Mulligan.

Mulligan, Hugh, a smith, member of Boston SCS 1684

Mulligan, John, member of Boston SCS 1685

Milliken, James, member of Boston SCS 1698

Only four of the original twenty-seven founders returned with the re-organization on October 25, 1684, namely, Alexander Simsom, James Webster, William Gibson and James Ingles. The membership crisis is seen in the clearest light when the list of new members from 1657 to 1665 is compared with new members from 1684 to 1693.  In the first eight years only 34 new members were admitted, while 154 new members were admitted in the eight years between 1684 and 1692. The names of all the original signatories who attended the 1684 reinstatement meeting are listed below.


COLUMN I                                        COLUMN II                              COLUMN III                           COLUMN IV

Will Browne                                      William Pegan                        William Jamison                     Johne Crawford*

Archibald Fferguson*                       James Smith                           William Deane                       Donald Govan

James Maxwell                                 John Borland                          John Ballantine*                    William Jarden

James (surname unclear)                John Methven                         James Ingles                         Patrick Bryce

Alexander Simson                            Robert Methven                                                                  Jo.’ Campbell

Andrew Cunninghame                     Alexander Logan                                                                 John Crawford Jr*

Joseph Simson                                William Cochran                                                                  John Allardyce

James Webster                               John Givan*                                                                         John Sprat

Duncan Campbell                           Ja: Stewart                                                                           Ro: Ffrench

Hugh Mulligan                                 Arthur Heal                                                                          John Ballantine

Scott Hamilton                                 David Kincaid                                                                      mer’ch of Ayre in Scotland

Francis Borland                                                                                                                          Alex. M’Culloch in Air

James Johnstone                                                                                                                        Tho. M’Culloch his son

                                                                                                                                                   Andrew Macolm in Air

It must have been the establishment of Scots colonies in East New Jersey and Port Royal, Carolina, in 1684, that led to this revival.  However, Hugh Mulligan was already a resident of Boston before either of these Scottish settlements had commenced in 1682.  He appears in Boston in 1681, when the register of the First Church records the birth of Hugh’s son Robert Mulligan on August 9, four month before Hugh’s name appears in the tax lists of Boston.   The earliest “Tax Lists of Boston” have been published in the First Report of the Record Commission of the City of Boston (1876) and contain the names of residents who were liable to pay the town taxes.  The following extracts are taken from the Tax lists and include the names of Hugh and John Mulligan and those men listed as members of the Scottish Charitable Society in 1684.  The Tax Lists cover 1674, 1676, 1681, 1685, 1686, 1687, 1688, 1691 & 1695. The last is a list of Inhabitants of Boston. As far as can be traced, none of the men listed below can be founded in the either the 1674 or 1676 lists.

Tax List for December 12, 1681

John Balantyne (listed under Divison no. 3, Capt Daniel Hinksman’s Company)

William Browne Esq. (listed under Divison no. 3, Capt Daniel Hinksman’s Company)

William Browne (listed under Division no. 7, Capt John Wallye’s Company)

Hugh Mallagan (listed under Division no. 3, Capt Daniel Hinksman’s Company)

James Maxwell (listed under Division no. 7, Capt John Wallye’s Company)

Thomas Hill (witness to the will of John Mundell, late of Philadelphia)

None of the above appears in the Tax List of 1685, which was not complete.

Tax List for 1685 & 1686 (only partial)                   Tax List of June 1687 (only partial)

James Webster, senior                                           Dunkin Cambell

James Webster, junior                                            Andrew Cunningham, Glassier

                                                                              James Maxwell

                                                                              James Smith, mariner

Note: In the list, he appears in Division No. 3 under Capt. Daniel Hinksman’s Company.

Tax List and Schedules for 1687                           Boston Valuation of 1688

William Ballantine, paid 2 shillings                         John Ballintine

John Ballantine, paid 6 shillings                            [blank] Jamieson

John Ballantine, paid 2 shillings                            William Browne

John Borland, paid 4 shillings                               John Borland

Andrew Cunningham, paid 2 shillings                   Andrew Cunningham, senior

Dunkan Cambell, paid 2 shillings                          Duncan Cammill

Arthur Hale, paid 1 shilling                                    Arthur Hale                         

James Johnstone, paid 1 shilling                          James Johnstone

Hugh Mullagin, paid 2 shillings                             Hugh Mulligan

John Mulligen, paid 1 shilling

It is evident that not all the men who became members of the Scots’ Charitable Society were assessed as being liable to pay taxes or appear in the tax lists.  Some were visiting Scotsmen from the burgh of Ayr, Scotland; namely, John Ballantyne, Alexander McCulloch and his son Thomas, and Andrew McColm.  ‘John Ballantyne merchant in Ayr’ has been identified as the same John Ballantyne, merchant of Ayr and son of the late John Ballantyne, cooper of Ayr, who was admitted burgess and guild brother of Ayr on December 11, 1688.  There was another John Ballantyne already living in Boston, also a cooper and son of William Ballantyne, who also appears in the above Tax Lists and might well have been related to the Ballantynes of Ayr. His father, William Ballantyne first appears in Boston as early as 1653, and is said to have been a prosperous cooper.

Although, the date of Hugh Mulligan’s arrival in Boston has not been established, he is known to have emigrated from Ireland, probably from one of the Scottish communities in Ulster.  In 1685, Hugh was charged with a certain crime and found guilty at the County Court of Boston.  On appeal the sentence and costs were upheld and the case entered into the Records of the Court of Assistants of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay, under the year 1685.  See details below.

“Hugh Mulligen plaint on Appeale from the Judgement of the County Court in Boston After the Courts sentence and evidences in the Case produced were read committed to the Jury and are on file with the Records of this Court the Jury brought in their verdict they found a confirmation of the County Courts sentence and costs of Courts, i.e. defray ye charge of Tryall”

“Mulligan’s sentence to return to Ireland under penalty of 20li”.

The above record is taken from the only surviving complete volume of the records of the Court held by the Governor and Assistants of the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay.  Under English Law overseas colonies were generally deemed to fall under the jurisdiction of the Admiralty, and were subject to English Law varied by local circumstances.  These Courts of Assistants therefore also functioned as Courts of Admiralty and had jurisdiction over criminal cases and civil disputes between parties. The fact that Hugh Mulligan was taxed in 1688 makes it apparent that the sentence of the Court was not carried out and that it is likely he paid the penalty of twenty pounds.

By trade, Hugh was a blacksmith, an occupation passed from one generation to another by several Mulligan/Mulliken families in Scotland and Ulster.  Several families in East Ulster also carried the Christian name Hugh, but few records have survived from the 1600s to help establish a direct link.  Hugh and his wife, Eleanor, had at least one known child Robert, and as we shall shortly see, John Mulligan of Boston has been traditionally designated a son and the same man styled ‘John Milliken of Scarborough’.  According to the Rev. Ridlon, Robert is thought to have moved south and settled in another state.  Hugh evidently remained in Boston and must be the same Hugh Mulligan who died in that city and was buried on April 16, 1706.

In Ridlon’s account of John Milliken of Scarborough, he takes care to trace the source of the claim that Hugh Mulligan otherwise known as ‘Hugh Mulliken of Boston’ was John’s father.  He names one of John’s own sons, Nathaniel Milliken of Scarborough as the author of the statement that Hugh was his grandfather and in honour of this, Nathaniel’s youngest daughter Lydia Milliken named a son Hugh after her great grandfather. On this basis therefore we are lead to believe that John was the son of Hugh Mulliken.  Ridlon had his doubts about this statement, and used the term “reputed son of Hugh Mulliken”, to express his doubts about the claim reputedly made by Nathaniel.

I share Ridlon’s ambivalence. At a time when the Scottish custom of naming carried considerable weight one would expect to find John Milliken naming his eldest son after his own father, whilst the second son, would have taken his wife’s father’s name, with the third being named after himself. Instead we find his three eldest sons named John, Thomas and James Milliken, whilst his younger sons were named, Josiah, Benjamin, Samuel, Joseph, Edward and Nathaniel. Out of nine sons, not one is called Hugh, a sure sign that something is potentially wrong with the Scarborough statement; for at the very least, if John’s eldest son was named after his grandfather, and he died in childhood, the next son born would almost certainly have taken the name Hugh.

So what do we know about John Mulligan alias Mulliken of Boston? As already observed, he first appears in Boston in 1685, when he became a member of the Scots’ Charitable Society.  He also attended the First Church and appears in the Tax Lists of Boston in 1687.  The Rev. Ridlon also consigns other vital information related to John Milliken of Boston in his Miscellaneous (America) Notes (see page 802) at the back of his book:

John Moligan, carpenter, became a resident of Boston, Sept. 24, 1685, and his name was on the poor list, Nov. 26, 1701.

It does not take much to realise that “John Moligan”, carpenter, who was a resident of Boston by September 24, 1685, is the same John Muligan (also a carpenter), whom Ridlon identifies as being admitted to the Boston Scottish Charitable Society in 1685.  His name is absent from the Boston valuation of 1688, but appears next in the Tax List of 1891, by which time, Hugh disappears from the Tax Lists, suggesting he was probably now retired and living with a family member.

Tax List of Boston 1891                                       List of Inhabitants in Boston 1695

Duncan Camble                                                      John Ballantine

Andrew Cunningham                                              John Borland

John Borland                                                          John Campbell

John Edgbear (Edgar)                                            Duncan Campbell

Arthur Haley                                                           Andrew Cunningham

Thomas Mill                                                            John Edgbar

James Smith                                                           Thomas Hill, junior

                                                                               Robert Maxwell

                                                                              John Mulligan

                                                                              James Steward

                                                                              James Steward, junior

There is also a reference to John Mulligan of Boston in the last will and testament of John Mundell merchant of Newcastle County, Pennsylvania.  This man wrote his will in Boston on December 5, 1694, and was witnessed by three men, all from Boston, Robert Maxwell, John Mulligan and John Edgar. Thomas Hill of Boston is known to have acted as attorney to William Arbuckle in Glasgow.  It was later proved in England by William Mundell of “Deriston”, John’s brother, who came from near Dumfries.  Robert Maxwell, John Mulligan and John Edgar all appear in the Tax List of Boston in 1695.  This will, in my view, provides the strongest, single piece of evidence, linking John Mulligan with Scotland, and in particular, with the district of Dumfries.  The Maxwells, Mundells and Edgars all came from in and around Dumfries, where the Mulligans alias Amuliganes have a long and distinguished history, that can be traced back to the fifteenth century.

The next reference to John Mulligan appears in the Records of Boston Selectmen.  The Board of Selectmen was the governing body for the town of Boston from the 1600s until its abolition in 1822.  The minutes of the Meeting have been published in the Report to the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston, which notes that at a meeting held on December 28, 1713, the following order was issued to Mr. James Maxwell:

Ordered. That Mr. Maxwell do warn [blank] Mackemte a man who Lodges at John Mullegans and two women in Madam Cheekley’s tenement whose names are Howard, (being all new comers into this Town) forth with to depart out of this Town unless they Obtaine liberty from the Selectmen for their continuance here.

All these records serve to show John Mulligan was a resident in Boston from 1684 onwards. He married Elizabeth Alger, a daughter of John Alger and Mary Wilmot of Boston, who was born in 1669, and baptised in 1687 at the First Church in Charlestown, where she was living with her uncle, Nathaniel Adams.  She must have married John sometime between 1686 and 1690, and according to the Rev. Ridlon the couple resided many years in Boston, where all their children where born. Furthermore, he states that in old documents John was styled “John Milliken house carpenter”, but does not give the source of his information.  There children were:

1. John MILLIKEN, b. December 27, 1691, bapt. at Boston First Church; m. 1st, Sarah Burnett in Brattle Street Church in Boston on January 1, 1718, and 2nd Rebecca Thomas at the same church on September 3, 1728. On both occasions, the ceremony was preformed by the Rev. William Cooper (Presbyterian Minister) of Brattle Street Church.  In his first marriage entry, John's name is spelt as Mellecan with a note to say Milliken, and in his second marriage, his surname is Milliken. He had an unnamed child, who died and was buried on May 20, 1718. In the burial record, John’s surname is spelt ‘Mulliken’.

2. Thomas MILLIKEN, b. April 27, 1693. No further information.

3. James MILLIKEN, b. September 1694, bapt. at Boston First Church; m. Priscilla Norton daughter of Benjamin and Hannah Norton of Edgartown (Martha’s Vineyard) on October 25, 1718. He apparently was a sailor and may have been lost at sea in 1728.

4. Josiah MILLIKEN, b. November 25, 1696, bapt. at Boston First Church.  He might well have moved to New York, where a man of this name appears in the 1730s.

5. Benjamin MILLIKEN, b. April 1, 1699, bapt. at Brattle Street Church. He was styled a mariner.

6. Samuel MILLIKEN, b. September 21, 1701, bapt. at Brattle Street Church; m. Martha Fyfield on April 18, 1728, at Brattle Street Church, the ceremony was performed by Rev. Benjamin Colman. With his brother, Nathaniel Milliken, he was admitted to the First Church Scarborough from Brattle Street on September 17, 1732.  He had children.

7. Joseph MILLIKEN, bapt. February 20, 1704, at Brattle Street Church. No more information.

8. Edward MILLIKEN, bapt. July 6, 1706 at Brattle Street Church; m. Abigail Norman of Boston and settled at Dunstan, Scarborough, about 1729, when his son Joseph was baptised at First Church Scarborough. However, not until October 31, 1736 was Edward admitted to First Church. He had 14 children born to him.

9. Nathaniel MILLIKEN, bapt. April 24, 1709 at Brattle Street Church; m. Sarah Munson at First Church in Scarborough on August 5, 1731. With his brother Samuel Milliken, he was admitted to the First Church Scarborough from Brattle Street on September 17, 1732.  He married 2nd Anna Small, widow of Josiah Libby, on January 10, 1755 at Second Church in Scarborough.  He had 13 children between these two marriages.

10. Elizabeth MILLIKEN, bapt. December 16, 1711, at Brattle Street Church; m. Jonathan Furness at Brattle Street Church on September 16, 1731, and lived in Boston where she had children.

After the death of his father-in-law, John Alger, the Rev. Ridlon states John and his wife Elizabeth moved to Dunstan, where they took over the Alger farm holding in 171913.  In another statement, he says “John Milliken was a prominent member of the Scots Charitable Society in Boston from November 1685 to December 1717, when he became interested in the estate at Dunstan, in Scarborough, Maine, where he spent much of his time until his final settlement there”.  His main source for this statement comes from the following Deposition which Ridlon cites in full:

The Deposition of Jeremiah Moultan testifyeth and saith that about the year 1719, by ye request of Mr. John [Milliken] Jun., I went with him to renew his bounds at a place called Dunstan in Scarborough, by virtue of an Indian deed, and accordingly we begun sixty rods above the falls.  Mr. Nathan Knight being our Pilot, and one of the chainmen, and from thence we went N. E. and said line came near  bridge called Phillip’s bridge and we came to the river that goeth near Joslins Hill, where it was pretty wide; it not being at the head of said river. The next day after we had done, old Mr. Milliken came home from the westward and inquired what we had done. I accordingly told him; he made answer and said, we had not done right, for we should have gone sixty rods above the upper falls, and would have me run it over again, but my business called me home, and I could not go again, and further saith that there was nobody lived there then but Mr. Milliken and Col. Westbrooke with his people a masting.   

Sworn by the deponent in Superior Court at York, May ye 14th 1731.

The question could be asked, if only Mr. Milliken and Col. Westbrooke lived there in 1719, who was the Mr. Milliken, was it the father or the son?  If Jeremiah Moultan’s deposition is correct, it would appear John Milliken senior was already residing in Dunstan and that it was John senior who had been living there in 1719.  But then, why would the son seek to renew his bounds, unless it was he who had been at Dunstan and held the title deed to the property.  It is evident from Ridlon’s books, the early history of the Millikens of Dunstan is inextricably interwoven with Boston, and as Rildon himself noted of John Milliken senior, “he was in Boston betimes as late as 1732”14.   This statement is worth examining further, as there is an aspect of this history that has not been fully explored.

The Rev. Ridlon states John Milliken died in 1749, and must have been aged about 85 years, giving him an approximate birth date of about 1664.  However, there is reference to another John Milliken, who died on April 20, 1734 aged 79 years and was buried in Granary  Burying Ground in Boston.

Death of John Milliken on April 20, 1734 aged 79 years

Who was the above John Milliken? Based on the given date and age recorded, this John would have been born about 1655, making him aged about 30 years in 1685. Could Ridlon have made a mistake about the date of death for John Milliken of Dunstan, who still continued to have close links with Boston?   Ridlon does not quote his source for John’s death, and nor does he disclose how he came to estimate John’s age of 85.  Either, we are dealing with two separate John Millikens or we are dealing with one, and the information about him has become confused between the identities of John Milliken the father and of John Milliken the son.  I think there is an element of truth in the latter point, and perhaps the Rev. Ridlon already had some awareness of this, but had not enough primary evidence to clarify who was who, or did he?

To start with, the Rev. Ridlon cites three letters that place John Milliken junior in Boston and show his father and mother were living in Boston16:

“York, September 25, 1731

To John Milliken Jr., living at the corner going down to Wentworth’s Wharf, Boston.

Loving Brother

These with my hearty love to you and wife; duty to father and mother and love to Brother and sister Furness. Mr. Young and wife give their loves to you and desire you to get them 14 lbs of good clean sugar and a quart punch Bowl; six galls of good West Indian Rum and a quart of Lime Juice.

Saml Milliken”

“York, December 25, 1731

Loving Brother

These with my love to you and yours and duty to Father and mother and love to Brother and Sister Furness, hoping this will find you all in health as I am thanks to Divine Goodness. Brother Edward advises that he should come to Court.

Wishing you a good journey hither, I remain

Your Loving Brother

Saml Milliken”

“York, April 25, 1732

Dear Brother

This day I heard from Dunston. The folks were all well day before yesterday & Co. & Co.

Saml Milliken”

We know from the records of the First Church of Scarborough, Samuel and Nathaniel Milliken were admitted to this congregation from a Church in Boston on September 17, 1732.  It is also known that Edward was already living in Dunstan by 1729, and from the above letters, it is clear, John Milliken junior was living in Boston with his second wife, Rebecca Thomas.  It is also known their sister Elizabeth lived in Boston, where her husband was an accountant for Henderson & Hewes. He was an expert with the goosequill, and his writing is said to have been as “beautiful as engraved text”17.  This brings us to their parents John and Elizabeth Milliken and the missing piece of research in Ridlon’s biographical notes on the Millikens of Dunstan.   

The Records of the Boston Selectmen, the towns governing body, and Town Books were published in the 1880s by the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston. Between 1713, the last reference to John Milliken, and 1726, the records are silent on the Millikens of Boston. From 1726, the names of both the father and the son appear in the records, which I have added to Old Boston Records.  They reveal John senior served as one of the Viewers & Sealers of Cord wood, whilst his son, John was elected to serve as one of the towns Constables in 1734.  In this year, the records show, John senior was serving as Viewer and Sealer of Cord wood, but was replaced by David Frankin as John had died18.  Cord wooding was carried out by men engaged in the timber business, which leads to another question; were the Millikens timber merchants bringing their wood in from Dunstan?   

At a Meeting of the Selectmen, April 29, 1734

Mr. David Fanckline is Admitted a Viewer and Sealer of Cordwood within the Town of Boston in the Room of Mr. John Milliken deceased.

The town records leave us in no doubt, Elizabeth’s husband died in Boston, and contrary to the claim made by the Rev. Ridlon, John did not die in Dunstan in 1749 and nor was he aged about 85 years. He is the same John Milliken who died on April 20, 1734 aged 79 years, nine days before the Meeting of the Selectmen on 29th.  The town records also reveal, John and Elizabeth were licensed to sell spirits, and after John’s death, Elizabeth continued the business in the Cornhill area of Boston, where according to the approved list of licensees, she was an Inn Holder in 1735. The same year, her son, John was re-elected Constable.

At some point after 1737, John and Rebecca Milliken moved to Dunstan permanently and there, Elizabeth Milliken alias Alger died on the land of her grandfather, Andrew Alger, who nearly a century earlier had bought the land from an Indian called Jane. Elizabeth died on February 9, 1754, aged 85 years; no doubt in the home of her son John, 70 years after her husband first appeared in Boston.  So far, I have not been able to ascertain when Elizabeth’s father John Alger died, but I hope someone reading this article might know when he did. This information would help establish when Elizabeth is most likely to have inherited her father’s share of Andrew Alger’s land in Dunstan and clarify what happened in the years prior to 1726, when she and her husband were back in Boston.

I am sure there is yet more to be learned about John Milliken and his connections with Robert Maxwell, John Mundell and John Edgar, all Scotsmen.  Less certain is the claim, John was the son of Hugh Mulligan, given John was born about 1655.  There is nearly a gap of 26 years between 1655 and 1681, a long time for Hugh to have been the father of two children, John and Robert, born so many years apart, making the traditional claim less tenable. It may be there is another explanation, which after further research might unravel and settle once and for all the doubt about the relationship between John and Hugh Mulligan.

Created 3/2/18