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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Mills

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[This information is from Vol. II, pp. 527-531 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The Mills family of Albany, herein considered, trace descent to the revolutionary soldier, George Mills, who is buried in Foster Hill cemetery, near North Galway, New York. George Mills was unquestionably a descendant of John Mills, the founder of the Mills family in America. John Mills was born in England, and is believed to have come to America in June, 1630, in the fleet with Winthrop. He resided about ten years in Boston, where he was admitted freeman March 6, 1632; then removed to Braintree, Massachusets, of which town he was clerk in 1653. He married Susanna ————. They lived in the part of Braintree now the town of Quincy. His will is dated January 12, 1677; proved September 10, 1678. In it he speaks of being "now fallen in years," and recommends his son John to bring up one of his sons to the work of the ministry, "which was," he says, "the employment of my predecessors to the third if not the fourth generation." John and Susanna Mills were the parents of seven children: Susanna, married William Dawes; Joy, Recompense (both daughters and the first baptisms on record in the First Church in Boston, date October, 1630), John, Jonathan, James and Mary. There is no authentic record to show George Mills' descent from John Mills (above). As traced by one descendant we have the following:

(II) John (2), son of John and Susanna Mills, was baptized June 3, 1632. He married Elizabeth Shove, April 26, 1653, and was a "husbandman," and lived in Braintree, Massachusetts. He died February 27, 1694-95. His wife died August 18, 1711. Children: Elizabeth, Sarah, John (3), Jonathan, married Mary Sheffield, Edward, Susanna, Mary, Nathaniel and Susanna (2).

(III) Captain John (3), son of John (2) and Elizabeth (Shove) Mills, was born April 13, 1660, died February 9, 1722. He lived in that part of Old Braintree then called Monatiquod. He was a blacksmith by trade, and in a record of 1721 is styled "gentleman." He was a man of intelligence, ability and influence; selectman three terms; representative five terms, and filled other positions of public trust. He married Hannah ————, whom he mentions in his will. Children:

  1. Hannah.
  2. Elizabeth, married Roger Wilson.
  3. John, died in infancy.
  4. John, unmarried; willed his property to his mother, three sisters and brother Rev. Jonathan.
  5. Mary, died before 1722.
  6. Sarah, married (first) Joseph Neale, (second) Captain Ebenezer Thayer.
  7. Jonathan, died in infancy.
  8. Jonathan, see forward.

(IV) Rev. Jonathan, youngest son of Captain John (3) and Hannah Mills, was born in Braintree, March 2, 1702-03, died at Provincetown, Massachusetts, May 21, 1773. He graduated from Harvard in 1723, was ordained pastor at Bellingham 1727, lived in Boston many years, and was installed pastor of the Second church in Harwich. He married (first), November 30, 1727, Jemima Hayward; (second) June 12, 1760, Hepzibah (White) French, widow of Benjamin French. There is no record of the children of Rev. Jonathan except two daughters. (The author of the "Vinton Genealogy," page 344 says: "Whether there were others we know not.") Eminent genealogists believe there were other children, and that George, of the next generation, was one of them.

(V) George, believed to have been the son of Rev. Jonathan and Jemima (Hayward) Mills, was born about 1754. The inscription on his tombstone reads: "died June 18, 1826 in the 73rd year of his age." There has been a great deal of family tradition handed down as to his age and occupation, which when carefully sifted leads to the belief that he was among the early settlers in the Connecticut Valley. Later he settled in Chesterfield, Hampshire county, Massachusetts, and was a farmer by occupation. At the outbreak of the revolution he was unmarried, and promptly enlisted at the first call, as his name appears as a private on the Lexington alarm roll of Captain Robert Webster's company, General Pomeroy's regiment, which marched from Chesterfield on April 21, 1775, but two days after the firing of "the shot heard round the world." (Massachusetts War Records 13, 193.) His name appears as "George Mills, Jr." on this and two subsequent enlistments, to distinguish him from another George Mills in his company, who was the elder. The appellation "Junior" clung to him and was sometimes changed to "Second." Even the record of his death was written by his son George in the family Bible as "George Mills, Second," etc., etc. He served but six days on his first enlistment, and April 27, 1775, enlisted in Captain Robert Webster's company (the Eighth) belonging to the Eighth Regiment of Foot, Colonel Fellows commanding. This time his term of service was three months, twelve days. During this period his regiment was part of the army about Boston and was encamped at Dorchester. On a muster roll of the same company and regiment dated "Dorchester, October 8, 1775," he appears with the rank of private, residence "Chesterfield." According to the same authority, on September 9, 1775, he went to Quebec with General Arnold's expedition that fared so badly. Evidently he was detailed from this command, for the records of Chesterfield bear this entry: "Reported away upon the Quebec expedition: Wait, Burke, Tilly, George Mills, 1777" He was one of the many American soldiers taken prisoners by the British, and lay in the Quebec jail a from December 25, 1775, to April, 1777. In a list of the killed, wounded and those taken prisoners of the American troops at Quebec, December 31, 1775, he appears among the few prisoners from Captain Hubbard's company, the greater number having been forced to enlist in the king's service. He was evidently made of sterner material. The family tradition concerning his long term of imprisonment is that he was locked to a log in the old jail with four others, and that his hands were so small that he could slip the handcuffs off, doing this each night and making his fellow prisoners more comfortable, and in the morning slipping his hands back. He was exchanged in the spring of 1777; and on reaching New York state at once re-enlisted. He appears with the rank of private on Continental pay accounts, of Captain Day's company, Colonel Brooks' (late Alden's) regiment, for service from March 4, 1777, to December 31, 1779, and again in Captain Coburn's company from January 1, 1780, to December 31, 1780. He is thus described in the records of enlisted men belonging to Chesterfield: "Age 25 years, stature, five feet seven inches, complexion dark, occupation farmer." In January, 1781, he was enrolled in Captain William White's company of the same regiment (7th Light Infantry), which at that time was stationed at West Point, and George Mills was one of the Light Infantry guard at the execution of Major Andre. He is also on the rolls of the same regiment as serving from February 1, 1781, to March 1, 1782, also as receiving a furlough of "40 days to go from West Point to Chesterfield." He was finally discharged June 10, 1783, and his name appears in a list of men who received honorary badges for faithful service since November 15, 1776. His total service, as per records heretofore quoted, beginning April 21, 1775, covers a period of eight years and fourteen days, and, with the exception of the forty days' furlough, was continuous. After the war, according to his son George, he drew a pension for four or five years, of $96 per annum. He married Martha Gray, born in Rockingham, Hampshire county, Massachusetts, in 1758, but lived in Chesterfield. They settled in Galway, Saratoga county, New York, in 1789, near Campbells Mills, later removing to Providence, Fulton county, and from there to Mills Corners, where George died May 18, 1826. The following is the epitaph on his tombstone in Foster Hill Cemetery, North Galway, New York:

IN
MEMORY OF
GEORGE MILLS, WHO
DIED JUNE 18,
1826,
IN THE 73D YEAR
OF HIS AGE

"Friend nor Physician could not save
My mortal body from the grave,
Nor can the grave confine me here
When Christ my Savior shall appear."

His widow, Martha Gray Mills, removed to Fonda, New York, in 1839, where she died August 1, 1844, aged 86 years. Their children were:

  1. George, see forward;
  2. Polly, died young;
  3. Frederic, died young.

(VI) George (2), son of George (1) and Martha (Gray) Mills, was born June 12, 1789, died October 3, 1871. He was a general merchant and produce buyer at Broadalbin (then Fonda's Bush), Fulton county, New York, and a man of considerable means and influence. He married, August 10, 1820, Susanna Hicks; children:

  1. Borden H., see forward.
  2. George F., died 1898; a miller and member of the firm of Geo. F. Mills & Co., Fonda, New York.
  3. Alexander H., of Fonda.
  4. Martha, married Horace E. Smith, of Johnstown, New York, a prominent member of the Fulton county bar and dean of Albany Law School.
  5. Adela, married James MacMartin.

(VII) Borden Hicks, son of George and Susanna (Hicks) Mills, was born at "Fonda's Bush" (Broadalbin), Fulton county, New York, September 19, 1821, died in Albany, New York, October 2, 1872. In early manhood he conducted a general store at Knowlesville, Orleans county, New York. He removed to Albany in 1856, where, with James MacMartin (his brother-in-law), he formed the firm of Mills and MacMartin, wholesale flour merchants. His business interests in the county were very large and he was also an influential man of affairs. The firm operated five flouring mills in connection with their wholesale trade, and carried on an exceedingly prosperous business. He was active in the Whig party, and on the formation of the Republican party became connected with that organization. He was associated intimately with the leading men of that period and enjoyed the personal friendship of Thurlow Weed, William H. Seward, Governor Fenton, and other leaders. He represented the tenth ward in the Albany city council many years, and wielded a powerful influence in city and state politics. He was president of the Albany Board of Trade, and in many ways advanced the interests of his city. In religious faith he was a Presbyterian, and served as trustee of the First Church of Albany. He was a member of the Masonic Order, belonging to Mt. Vernon Lodge. He married (first) Harriet Newell Hood, of Knowlesville, New York. Children:

  1. George H., died in California at the age of thirty, leaving a widow and daughter.
  2. Charles Hood, see forward. He married (second) Sophia Ross Hartt, of Royalton, New York. Children.
  3. Alexander, died in infancy.
  4. Frederick, died in infancy.
  5. Harriet Susan, married William C. Ten Eyck, of Albany, who died in 1890. Children:
    1. Sophia Janet, born May, 1880, married, in 1908, James Blocksidge, Jr., and has one daughter, Harriet Ten Eyck Blocksidge, born 1909.
    2. Catherine Gansevoort Ten Eyck.
    3. Mills Ten Eyck.
    4. Herman Gansevoort Ten Eyck, deceased.

(VIII) Charles Hood, son of Borden H. (1) and Harriet N. (Hood) Mills, was born in Knowlesville, Orleans county, New York, June 21, 1851. He was five years of age when his parents settled in Albany, where he received his preparatory education in Professor Cass's high school, and the Albany Classical Institute. He entered Union College, where he was graduated with the degree of A. B. in 1872. Choosing the profession of law, he entered the office of John M. Carroll, of Johnstown, New York, graduated from Albany Law School LL.B., in 1873, and in the same year was admitted to the bar. He began the practice of his profession in Johnstown, where he remained until 1875, then removed to Albany, New York, where he has since been in continuous practice. In 1889 he formed a partnership with Charles F. Bridge, as Mills & Bridge, which connection continued until 1896. The ensuing four years he was in practice alone. In 1900 he associated with Joseph A. Murphy, of Albany, forming the law firm of Mills & Murphy, which still continues (1910). Mr. Mills does a general legal office business, principally relating to the law of property and probate, settlement of estates, corporations, etc. He has devoted a great deal of time and study to the compiling, rewriting and rearranging of standard legal text books, including Thompson's "Law of Highways," which he revised and rewrote. He is the editor of "New York Criminal Reports," and of the "Digest of New York Court of Appeals Reports." He has now about ready for the press the 1910 edition of the "Charter Laws and Ordinances of the City of Albany," which he has compiled and rearranged. He is president of the Albany Union College Alumni Association, ex-president Masonic Veteran Association, member of Chamber of Commerce, the Aurania Club, James Ten Eyck Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, Capitol City Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, Philip Livingston Chapter, Sons of the Revolution, and is clerk of the vestry of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. He has always been a warm friend of the Y. M. C. A and served as president of the association during the years 1883-84, and as director for a great many years. During his term as president, the present elegant building of the association was erected. Politically he is a Republican, and in 1893 was president of the Excise Board of Albany that accomplished many reforms in license methods and materially added to the city income. He married (first), in 1878, Harriet Brewster Gorton, descendant of the old Rhode Island family of that name. (See Gorton.) She died January, 1890. Children:

  1. Borden Hicks (2), see forward.
  2. David Gorton, born March 16, 1882, died March 20, 1898.
  3. Charles Hood, born August 16, 1884, died in infancy.
  4. Marie Francis, born December 13, 1886, unmarried.
  5. Charlotte Rosa, born September 13, 1888, died February, 1902. He married (second) Mary E. Steele, September 14, 1896.

(IX) Borden Hicks (2), son of Charles Hood and Harriet Brewster (Gorton) Mills, was born in Albany, New York, August 16. 1879. His early education was obtained in the common schools of Albany, after which he entered the high school, graduating in 1897. He chose law as his profession, read in his father's office, entered Albany Law School, from which he was graduated LL.B., class of 1903. He was admitted to the Albany county bar at the June term, 1903, and to practice in the United States district and circuit court in 1904. He began professional practice in Albany in 1903, where he continues. April 30, 1909, he was appointed United States commissioner for the northern district of New York. Mr. Mills is an ardent lover of nature, and the beauties of forest and stream particularly appeal to him, not with the sportsman's desire to kill and destroy, but to enjoy and protect. His vacations are spent in the open, exploring and investigating. For many years he has been a contributor to the pages of Recreation, Country Life in America, National Sportsman, and other periodical publications devoted to outdoor life. He is a member of Albany County Bar Association, the Aurania Club, Albany Yacht Club, Capitol City Republican Club of Albany; is secretary of Philip Livingston Chapter, Sons of the Revolution, to which he gains membership through the patriotic service of his great-great-grandfather, George Mills, and he the only male descendant living of this generation bearing the name of Mills. He served for twelve years in Company A, 10th Regiment, New York National Guard, and is a member of the "Old Guard" Albany Zouave Cadets, Company A. Politically he is an active Republican, and is secretary of the 5th district, 19th ward organization. He is a member of the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church of Albany; is unmarried.

(The Gorton Line)

Harriet Brewster Gorton descends in the eighth generation from Samuel Gorton, born in Gorton, England, 1592, landed in Boston, March, 1636-7, and settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts, where he was unjustly persecuted and sentenced, December 4, 1638, to "depart from Plymouth, his hired house, his wife and children, and to be beyond the utmost confines of it within fourteen days." He went to Rhode Island, settled at Providence, founded the town of Warwick on lands purchased from the Narragansett Indians in 1642. In 1643 he was taken a prisoner by soldiers sent by Massachusetts magistrates who coveted the land, was tried for heresy and confined in Charlestown. Immediately upon his release he was chosen a magistrate. In 1644, upon the return of Roger Williams from England with a charter, a government was formed, with Williams as governor and Samuel Gorton, assistant. In 1645 he took ship from Manhattan for England. In 1646 he secured a mandate from the Parliament commissioners which effected a union of the settlements. In 1649 he was as chosen a member of assembly. In 1651, during the absence of Williams in England, he was chosen president of the colony, from 1664 to 1667 he was deputy, a judge in the high court, and was again chosen in 1670, but declined on account of his age, seventy-nine years. He died in December, 1677. He married in England, Mary, daughter of John Maplet, "gentleman," of St. Martins Le Grand, London. They were the parents of nine children.

(II) Samuel (2), son of Samuel (1) and Mary (Maplet) Gorton, married Susanna Burton, and had three children.

(III) Samuel (3), son of Samuel (2) and Susanna (Burton) Gorton, married Freelove Mason, and had nine children.

(IV) Joseph, son of Samuel (3) and Freelove (Mason) Gorton, married Mary Barton, daughter of General William Barton, who captured the British general, Prescott, at Newport during the revolutionary war. Joseph served in Captain Millard's company, Colonel Waterman's regiment, Rhode Island militia. They were the parents of three children.

(V) David, son of Joseph and Mary (Barton) Gorton, married Alice Whitford. They settled in Mansfield, New York, where he died in 1830. They were the parents of twelve children.

(VI) John, son of David and Alice (Whitford) Gorton, was born April 19, 1801. Hemarried (first) Johanna Sheldon, at Rome, New York. He had two later wives and twenty children by his three marriages. He removed to Flushing, Michigan, in 1866.

(VII) David Allyn, son of John and Johanna (Sheldon) Gorton, was born November 27, 1832, at Mayfield, New York. He married, in 1855, Maria Frances Graham, daughter of Horatio and Harriet (Betts) Graham. He was a physician of Brooklyn, New York, and author of Monism of Man, Ethics, Civil and Political. Children:

  1. Harriet Brewster, see forward;
  2. Eliot, married Bertha Fonda;
  3. Annie M., married Dr. Wm. P. Spratling.

(VIII) Harriet Brewster, daughter of David Allyn and Maria Frances (Graham) Gorton, was born December 18, 1856, at New Woodstock, New York. She married, October 2, 1878, Charles Hood Mills. (See Mills VIII.)

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