The Six Mile Water in Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland, begins it’s course in the upper reaches of Ballynure, and makes it’s way westward towards Lough Neagh, passing through an open valley which contains the town of Ballyclare and villages of Ballynure, Ballyeaston, Doagh, Parkgate and Templepatrick.  From about 1603 onwards, a growing number of Scots and English began to settle in the valley, mainly on the newly acquired estates of Sir Arthur Chichester of Carrickfergus, Sir John Clothworthy of Antrim and Sir Humphrey Norton of Templepatrick.  The latter sold his small estate to Captain Henry Upton in 1628.  Barely two years earlier, Josias Welsh, an eminent Scottish preacher and son of John Welsh, minister of Ayr, founded the Presbyterian Church of Templepatrick.  By 1630, the muster roll of Henry Upton's estate reveals the name of one of the first Millikin settlers “William Moligan”, a British tenant in or near Templepatrick[1]. It is very likely this man was the father of "Gilbert Millikin", a tenant in the Grange of Ballyrobert then part of the parish of Templepatrick.  In the 1669 Hearth Tax Roll, Gilbert Millikin paid two-shillings levied for one hearth in his house.

In 1669, the Grange of Ballyrobert was part of the old manor of Ballylinney, originally granted to Sir Arthur Chichester, first earl of Donegal.  The principal tenants listed are: “Simon Biggam, Allex. Browne, John Browne, Robert Carrs, Hugh Chambed, Andrew Harper, Constable, Widow Jumphry, Robert Jelewels, Thomas Kimin, John Lough, senior, John Lough, junior, Widow McCadam (1666, Quintin McAdam, Ballylinney Parish), William McEldodey, Thomas McElwry, Gilbert Millikin, Edmond Murphy, John Murphy, Neale Murphy, Thomas Still, Hugh Wallace and John Wason, a weaver”, all paid two-shillings tax levied for one hearth[2].  It is worth remarking that the McCadam family originate from the Carsphairn district of Kirkcudbright, where the lairds of Blackmyre owned the small estate of Holm of Dalquhairn.  Later, Ballyrobert was included in the civil parish of Ballylinney, where at least two Millikin families emerge in the 19th century.  Prior to the formation of Ballylinney Presbyterian Church in 1836, the Presbyterians of the district would have attended one of several Meeting Houses, namely, Donegore, Carnmoney, Ballyclare, Ballyeaston or Ballynure.  

Carnmoney is one of the few Presbyterian Churches in Ireland to hold early testimonials[3].  

October 30, 1709

Mary Mulligan (Tanghy, subscribed by Mr. Mulligan dated Feb. 8, 1709).

May 26, 1713

Jas. Miliken (Mr. Wilson, Ballyclare, May 26, 1713).

Testimonials given to:

February 2, 1719

Mary Miliken left us at ye date hereof.

April 24. 1719

Mary Miliken, alias Gray, left us at alsaints last.

The 1669 Hearth Tax Rolls also record the names of John Millikin, senior, and John Millikin, junior, tenants in Donegore and John Millikin in Rathbeg, townlands located in the parish of Donegore, and John Millikin in Rathmore, John Millikin and Widow Milikin both in Dunadry, townlands in the parish of Nilteen Grange.  The parishes of Donegore and Nilteen Grange are located on the north side of the Six Mile Water, along the main highway that runs between the towns of Ballyclare and Antrim.  The parish of Donegore itself was part of the old manor of Moylinney, which belonged to Sir Arthur Chichester, first Earl of Donegal.  In 1669, the names of 31 heads of household appear in the townland of Donegore and nearly all, appear to have been of Scottish origin.  They include the surnames, Adair, Anderson, Blair, Crawford, Douglas, Gordon, Henderson, Kilchrist, Murray and Wallace.  Most, if not all the Millikins appear to have been sub-tenants of Captain James Adair of Donegore, styled “Titulado”, a term used to denote a person of standing, usually a nobleman, baronet, gentleman, esquire or military officer.   Capt. Adair was scion of the old family of Adair of Kinhilt in Wigtownhire.  In the townland of Dunadry, the principal landholder or titulado was Lt. Francis Shaw believed to be related to the Shaws of Greenock in Renfrewshire.

The Hearth Tax Rolls of 1666-69 point to a nucleus of Millikins living within the Rathbeg, Donegore, Rathmore and Dunadry area.  See Map – 1669 Hearth Tax Rolls</a> for the distribution of Millikin and Mulligan hearths in Co. Antrim.  Unfortunately, there are no surviving muster rolls for the estate of Sir Arthur Chichester, earl of Donegal, c.1630.  However, after the outbreak of the Irish Rebellion in 1641, Sir Arthur, raised a Regiment of Foot and a Troop of Horse.  Rolls survive for both his regiment and troop of horse and date from the year 1642.  Robert, Gilbert, James and John Mulligan are listed in the troop of horse commanded by Major Edmond Matthew of Belfast, Roger and Hugh Mulligan appear in the company of foot lead by Capt. Edward Matthew.  All these men appear to have been drawn from either Belfast or areas located near Belfast, e.g. Dunmurray.  I wonder if perhaps there might be a connection between the Donegore-Dunadry families and Robert Mulligan aka Millikin of Belfast and his four brothers, Roger, James, John and Gilbert!  Perhaps, in time, DNA testing will either prove or disprove a most recent common ancestor.   One Donegore descendent has already provided a DNA result; we now wait to see if someone else from the Belfast-Dromore branch will also take part in the DNA Project.

The Millikins of Donegore

In his Genealogical manuscript, Gustave Anjou reproduced an extract of the last will and testament of “John Milliken” of Donegore, published on 14th August 1721.  It is given as follows: “to his wife Jean, one half of the crops on ground and one half of farm; ... my children [not named] personal property; ... mother Elizabeth Wolleigh, and brother James Muliken one half of farm”. He then appointed his brothers “Andrew and James Milikin” his sole executors.  His will was made probate at the Diocese Court of Connor on 8th September 1721 and an inventory of his goods made on 7th October 1721.  The inventory indicated his estate was valued to the sum of £18. 10s. 8d, and that a payment was due to “Wm. Mulekain  £0.0.10”[1].  It can be inferred from John’s will that his children were not yet of legal age in 1721, suggesting he died relatively young, perhaps as a man aged between his mid thirties and forties. As his mother was still alive in 1721, chronological dating points to Elizabeth Wolleigh being the husband of John Milliken, junior, in 1669.

It is very likely Wm. Mulekain is the same “William Milligan” of the parish of Donegore, who married Agnes Watt of the parish of Antrim on 8th May 1678 at First Antrim Presbyterian Church.  Neither the will of John Milliken or the Antrim church register indicates where William resided in the parish, but it seem not improbable that he was a younger son of John Milliken senior of Donegore.  Two families of the name Watt appear in the parishes of Antrim and Donegore in the 1669 Hearth Tax Rolls: respectively, Gilbert Watt of Dunsilly, a neighbour of James Mulligan of Dunsilly, and Thomas Watt of Ballysavage. Interestingly, we find mention of a “John Welley” in the 1666 Hearth Tax Roll for the parish of Doagh[2].  The name Welley can be taken to be a corruption of the surname Wooley.  Again, in this instance, it is not improbable John Welley could have been the father of Elizabeth Wooleigh, and that they lived in or near the village of Doagh or the town of Ballyclare, where a "James Miliken" lived in 1713.

By the mid 1700s, we find several Millikens, also spelt as Mulligan, living in the Donegore-Nilteen area.  There is mention of “John Mulligan” an elder from First Donegore Presbyterian Church, who attended the General Synod of Ulster on 16th June 1741. He is the same John Mulligan, born near Donegore, who was licensed at Templepatrick Presbyterian Church in 1740, ordained minister of Mountnorris Presbyterian Church in County Armagh on 5th May 1742 and died 4th January 1776, after nearly 34 years of service as minister of Mountnorris[3].  It is very possible this man was the son of “James Mulligan of Dunegore” whose will was made probate at the Consistorial Court of Connor in 1753[4].  In 1755, the same Court granted a bond of administration to the executors of “James Milligan of Donegore”.   Unfortunately, both the will and bond of administration were burned in the fire of that destroyed the Public Record Office of Ireland in 1922.

Samuel Millikin born c.1810 and died on Nov. 13, 1882 in Tobergill aged 72 years.  He leased a farm extending to 24 acres 3 roods 30 perches in Tobergill from Robert S. Agnew and married Catherine Drummond about 1840; and they had:  

  1. Joseph Drummond Millikin b. March 21, and bapt. First Donegore P.C. on April 14, 1843.  He married Eliza Jamison and by this marriage had:

I. Margaret Jane Millikin, b. July 21, 1876 in Tobergill.

II. Agnes Millikin, b. March 22, 1878 in Tobergill.

                        III. John Millikin, b. Jan. 18, 1880 in Tobergill.

  1. Catherine Millikin, b. April 15, 1882, in Tobergill and died on May 17, 1882.
  2. Catherine Millikin, b. June 11, 1883, in Tobergill.
  3. Nathaniel Millikin b. Aug. 29, and bapt. First Donegore P.C. on Sept. 16, 1844.  He m. Jane Jamison in 1871 and by this marriage had three known children:


I. Male child b. March 21, 1871 in Tobergill.

II. Catherine Millikin b. Nov. 30, 1872 in Ballymacarret, Belfast.

II. Nathaniel Millikin b. Jan. 5, 1875, in Ballymacarret, Belfast.

  1. Robert Millikin b. Nov. 20, 1845, and bapt. First Donegore P.C. on Jan. 11, 1846.  He was a carpenter and died unmarried in Tobergill on May 17, 1869 aged 23 years.

  1. Samuel Millikin b. May 24, 1847, and bapt. First Donegore on July 23, 1847 and died in Tobergill on Dec. 27, 1923 aged 76 years.   He married Rose Todd in 1875; she died July 5, 1895 aged 48 years and by her marriage had:

I. Robert Milliken b. Dec. 27, 1875 in Tobergill.

II. John Milliken b. Sept. 8, 1877 in Tobergill and d. Oct. 10, 1903 aged 25 years.

III. Samuel Milliken b. May 29, 1879 in Tobergill.

IV. Nathaniel Milliken b. June 23, 1881 in Tobergill.

V. Catherine Milliken b. Feb. 23, 1883 in Tobergill and d. Feb. 2, 1905 aged 21 years.

VI. Martha Ann Milliken b. June 6, 1884 in Tobergill and d. July 15, 1950 aged 66 years.

VII. Agnes Milliken b. March 19, 1886 in Tobergill and d. Jan. 1, 1906 aged 19 years.

VIII. Joseph Drummond Milliken b. March 1, 1888 in Tobergill and d. on Dec. 28, 1957 aged 78 years in             Browndod.  He married Isabella Rankine and by this marriage had six children: Joseph Drummond, Janet Drummond,             William Robert, Elizabeth, Margaret Drummond and Sarah Drummond Millikin.

  1. Agnes Millikin b. Jan. 1,1850 and bapt. First Donegore on Feb. 18, 1850.

The earliest baptismal and marriage registers for Donegore First Presbyterian Church</a>date from 1806.  I have extracted the earliest entries relating the Surname and also those for Kilbride Presbyterian Church, which was erected into a congregation in 1848. Several other families appear in these registers and include, John Millikin of Belfast, whose daughter, Sophia Millikin, was baptised at First Donegore Presbyterian Church in 1834.  The Millikins of Tobergill evidently had links with Belfast.

The Millikins of Ballyclare

There are no Millikins listed either in the 1666 or 1669 Hearth Tax Roll for the town of Ballyclare, which at that time was nothing more than a little hamlet in the Grange of Doagh.  By the middle of the 18th century, however, Ballyclare had become one of the principal market towns in the valley and had it’s own Presbyterian Meetinghouse. In the records of Carnmoney Presbyterian Church, we find a testimonial by Mr. Wilson, minister of Ballyclare Presbyterian Church, for James Millikin a member there in 1713.  He married Helen McHago from Carnmoney on 26th May 1713. The Rev. Thomas Wilson, a licentiate of the Presbytery of Kirkcaldy in Fife, was ordained at Ballyclare as assistant to Mr. Thomas Tuft on February 27, 1711. After Mr Tuft's death in 1713, Mr. Wilson became his successor and was minister of the congregation until 1757.

In his book on the Millikens, Milligans, etc of North America, the Rev. G. T. Ridlon cites the history of one particular family who traced their ancestry to Samuel Millikin said to have first “settled” in Ballyclare early in the 18th century, suggesting he settled in the first decade of this century [1].  This is certainly supported by contemporary evidence principally with James Millikin and Helen McHago. This Samuel had a son called William and he in turn had a son called Samuel Millikin (1789-1871) of Ballyclare. Ridlon's pedigree is given below:

Samuel MILLIKIN was the first to settled in Ballyclare early in the 18th century. His son:-

William Millikin had son:-

Samuel Millikin, whose son:-

James Millikin, whose sons:-

I. Samuel Millikin of Ballyclare, Co. Antrim, Ireland.

II. James Millikin of Belfast Banking Co.

III. Robert Millikin of Hurstville, Australia, b. at Ballyclare, Co. Antrim, December 3, 1854; m. Mary Agnes Black on February 26,             1881. She died November 1, 1891. They had, James, William, Mary and Catherine. He married secondly, in Hurstville, on                    December 6, 1893, Elizabeth Corr, and had three further children; Robert, Samuel and Alice.

In 1775, we find the names of James, Samuel, John and Samuel ‘Moulligan’ subscribed to a petition compiled by the Presbyterians of the “town and vicinity of Ballyclare” calling for the abolition of the Penal Laws [2]. By then, Ballyclare 'Old Presbyterian Church' belonged to the Non-Subscribing branch of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and was one of the original seventeen churches that was excluded from the Synod of Ulster and formed into the Non-Subscribing Presbytery of Antrim in 1726. This movement had strong sympathetic ties with the United Irishmen and many of its congregations took part in the 1798 Irish Rebellion. In the 1700s, the Millikens appear to have lived and farmed land in the townlands of Ballygallagh and Bruslee near Ballyclare, where they gave their name to Mullikin Hill.  

Interestingly, we find mention of a John Millikin in an article published in the Belfast News Letter in 1791.  This article was published at a time when the Ballyclare linen market was buoyant.  In 1832, the surveyor of the Ordnance Survey Memoirs for the district could remark, that ‘until about 40 years ago, Ballyclare possessed a good linen market’ [3].

At a Meeting of the Manufactures of Brown Linen who attend the principal Yarn Markets of the County of Antrim, held at Ballyclare on 21st September 1791, it was unanimously resolved:

I. That we will support the County inspector in the execution of their office as far as our

abilities will allow.

II. That we will not buy, nor cause to be bought for us, any Yarn in any markets or fairs we

attend, before the hour of eight o’clock in the morning.

III. That we have so long felt the inconvenience and seen the impropriety of buying Yarn before eight o’clock, that we engage             to pay our just proportion of One Guinea to any person who inform on and prosecute to conviction, any offender against the             above legal reformation.

IV. The Country People, and such as bring Yarn for sale to the Markets and Fairs, are hereby acquainted, that they need not             expect their Yarn to be bought before said hour; and the Sellers of Yarn are further to take notice, that all Yarn sold before             eight o’clock is forfeited by law.”

This document was signed by the following linen manufacturers.

Wm. Gore                                    Robert Gilliland                          Wm. Wiley

Wm. Neil                                      John Alexander                          John Millikin

Wm. Galt                                     James Wilson                              Wm. Boyd

Anthony Hunter                            Robert Lennon                           C. Patterson

James Jamison                             Wm. Gardner                             Sam. Thompson

Hugh Wiley                                   Paul Douglas                             David Ferguson

Robert Kirkwood                           Hugh McQuiston                        Wm. Craig

W. McCammon                             John McCrumb                          John Buchannan

Sam. MacKay                               Wm. Clugston                            Thomas Dallars

Hugh Cameron                             Alex. McNeilly                            Alex. Hay

John Scott                                   James Renfew

This John Millikin seems to be the same John Millikin of Ballyclare, whose daughter Sarah married James McQuitty of Ballyclare in 1838: they were married at Ballynure Presbyterian Church.  According to her marriage entry, Sarah’s mother was called Clementine.  If the case, John, may have been the brother or cousin of James Millikin, a farmer in the townland of Ballygallagh, which lies in the parish of Ballylinney near Ballyclare.  The biographical notes relating to James Millikin of Ballygallagh are detailed more fully under the section headed Millikins of Ballyboley.  However, it is interesting note, at this stage, the follow reference to James, a notice of sale, published in the Belfast News Letter in 1793:

3-6 December 1793

To be let, from the first November last, for twenty one years, and one life, the following farms in the townland of Ballygallagh, now in the possession of the under named tenants, viz. David Craig, Robert Gilliland, Nathaniel Lawther, William Crymble, James Milliken, Robert Wilson, Hugh Clugston, and Thomas Wallace; together with the house and farm, and the field called the Horse Park, formerly occupied by David Boyd, Esq. Proposal (post paid) will be received by Francis Shaw, Esq. until the first day of January next when the tenants will be declared.

Carrickfergus, 4th December 1793

It seems very likely that this James Millikin and the James of 1775 are two different men, if indeed, the latter is the same man, who married Helen McHago in 1713.  Certainly, both James and John appear to have been contemporises of William, son of the first Samuel Millikin said to have settled in Ballyclare.  If the identity of James Millikin presents a problem, the identity of William, father of Samuel (1789-1871), is even more problematic.   Two Millikin men bearing the name William are known to have lived in the vicinity of Ballyclare, and both were born within tens years each of other.   The first, William Millikin of Lisnalinchy, which also lies in the parish of Ballylinney, was born c.1763, twenty-six years before Samuel’s birth.  If this William had married twice (but there is no evidence to support this), and Samuel was the son of the first unnamed spouse, the likelihood Samuel was the son of William Millikin of Lisnalinchy seems in theory very probable.  The second, William Millikin of Rashee, which lies north of Ballyclare, was born c.1773, only 16 years before Samuel’s birth in 1789, making him the father of Samuel less likely.  

Samuel Millikin (1789-1871) of Ballyclare married Catherine Beggs sometime before 1818.  He was a founding member of Ballylinney Presbyterian Church in 1836 and appears on the earliest list of members.  The New Meetinghouse was formally opened on 11th September 1836 by the Rev. Henry Cooke of May Street Presbyterian Church in Belfast. The earliest membership list of 1836 gives the names of three Millikins:

Samuel Milliken (of Ballyclare) No. 105 on list.

Jane Milliken (of Bruslee) Mo. 150 on list.

William Milliken (of Lisnalinchy) No. 159 on list [4].

Samuel became a post master and finally a shopkeeper by the time of his wife’s death in 1876.  His farm, believed to be at Ballygallagh comprised approximately 8 acres 3 roods 40 perches of land and was leased from the John Wilson.  In 1862, Samuel’s son, James, held the property, whilst Samuel occupied a house located on the Doagh road in Ballyclare.  Samuel died on 22nd February 1871 at the age of 82 years and is buried with his wife, Catherine Beggs, at the Old Ballylinney Graveyard, where a headstone stands erected to their memory.  According to their headstone, Catherine died on 21st March 1876 aged 84 years, whilst the Registrar’s entry gives 20th June 1876 aged 85 years.  Similarly, Samuel’s headstone gives a different date; 25th February 1871 aged 83 years.  I have followed the Registrar’s entries rather than the headstone inscription.  

They appear to have had at least five children:

1. Margaret Millikin eldest daughter of Samuel, m. William Millikin of Doagh on Dec. 18, 1841 at Ballylinney Presbyterian             Church (PC).

2. John Millikin b. about 1818. He was employed as a master shoemaker and for many years owned a shoe shop on the Main             Street in Ballyclare.  According to his marriage entries, he was the son of Samuel Millikin, farmer.  He married first Mary             Miskimmon, thought to have been the daughter of James Miskimmon of Ballygallagh, and secondly Jane Todd of Ballyclare,             daughter of Thomas Todd, weaver, at Kilbride Church of Ireland on 17 March, 1858.  She died Feb. 10, 1895 aged 55 years.             John died May 17, 1906 aged 88 years.

                   By First wife Mary Miskimmon:

                   I. James Millikin b. Jan. 17, 1839.

                   II. Jannet Millikin b. Mar. 13, and bapt. Feb. 27, 1842.

                   III. Samuel Millikin b. Oct. 13, and bapt. Nov. 26, 1843.

                   IV. Agnes Millikin b. Feb. 14, and bapt. Mar. 29, 1846.

                   V. Ellen Millikin b. Mar. 23, and bapt. May 7, 1848.

                   VI. Catherine Millikin b. June 20, and bapt. Sept. 1, 1850.

                   VII. Eliza Jane Millikin b. Sept. 21, and bapt. Nov. 7, 1852.

                   VIII. Eliza Jane Millikin b. Jan. 8, and bapt. Apr. 1, 1855.


                  By Second wife Jane Todd:

                  I. William Millikin b. about 1863, living in Ballyclare in 1906.

                  II. Thomas Millikin b. July 8, 1865.

                  III. Margaret Millikin b. June 3, 1867, d. Dec. 28, 1869 aged 2 years.

                  IV. Robert Millikin b. about 1870, d. Dec. 4, 1874 aged 4 years.

                  V. Margaret Millikin b. Dec. 20, 1872, m. James Moore of Ballyclare on 30 July 1896.

                  VI. Mary Millikin b. April 2, 1875.

                  VII. Robert Millikin b. Mar. 7, 1878.

                  VIII. Joseph Millikin b. May 12, 1881.

           3. Jannet Millikin m. Thomas McKinley of Doagh, a flax dripper and son of David McKinley, mill manager, on July 4, 1849, at            Ballylinney P. C.  The McKinleys later emigrated to North America.

           4. James Millikin b. 1826, m. Mary Ann Cameron daughter of Robert Cameron of Ballyclare, on Mar. 11, 1852 at Ballyclare Old            Presbyterian Church.  He is described in various documents as either being a car driver or postmaster.  He died June 25, 1891           aged 65 years; she died Dec. 21, 1915 aged 91 years.  Both were buried in Old Ballylinny Graveyard.


           5. Robert b. Dec. 3, 1854 in Ballyclare. He is described as a coal merchant. He married first Mary Agnes Black on Feb. 26,            1881, and secondly in Hurstville, Australia, Elizabeth Corr on Dec. 6, 1893.  His first wife died on died Nov. 1, 1891.  He had            Mary, James, William, and Christine by his first wife and Robert, Samuel and Alice by his second wife.

                 I. Mary b. Dec. 22, 1856 and bap. Jan. 18, 1858 in Ballyclare.

                 II. Catherine b. Jan. 22, 1859 and bap. Mar. 6, 1859.

                 III. Elizabeth b. 1862 in Ballyclare, died Jan. 1920 aged 58 years.

                 IV. Samuel b. 1864 in Ballyclare, m. Hessie Gilmour Smyth and had several children.  He died May 25, 1926 aged 62                  years; his spouse died Jan. 7, 1943 aged 76 years.

                 V. Jane b. Feb. 23, 1866 in Ballyclare.

                 VI. Unnamed daughter b. Jan. 1, 1868 in Ballyclare.

                 VII. James b. Feb. 24, 1870 in Ballyclare, moved to Belfast where he worked in a Bank.


           6. Catherine Millikin b. 1830, m. James Boyd of Largy, a blacksmith and son of Thomas Boyd, blacksmith on May 30, 1849 at            Ballylinney P. C.  Catherine and James Boyd later emigrated to North America.

           7. William Millikin b. 1833, m. Jane Coutler of Ballyclare, the daughter of William Coulter, farmer, Aug. 14, 1873 at Ballylinney            P. C.  William is described as being a carman at the time of his marriage, but later as [coal] merchant.  He died Aug. 30, 1897            aged 64 years, and followed by his wife who died Oct. 22, 1897 aged 62 years.

In his book, Ballyclare Presbyterian Church: A Story of 125 years, Robert Grange notes that James and William Millikin were both prominent figures in Ballyclare and among the first to succeed from the Old Presbyterian Church (Non-Subscribing Church) situated on the Main street to form a new congregation within the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland in 1856. The congregation is called Ballyclare Presbyterian Church.  Furthermore, he says the brothers ran stagecoaches to and from Belfast and also owned a considerable number of jaunting cars for the shorter local journeys [5]. James lived in premises on the Main street, where according to Griffith’s valuation he occupied a house, yard and garden which in all covered an area of six acres in 1862.  His yard lay besides the entry leading to McConnell’s property at the rear, where he and his brother kept their horses and vehicles.  William lived in a cottage at the corner of Templepatrick road and Rockery road, now the Hillhead road [6].  Rockery road, so called because of the large Rockery at the top of the hill, was at one time the direct road to Belfast.