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Mills Genealogy and Mills Family History Information

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About the Mills surname

Mills, Miller, Milne - names originating from Scotland in the 1780's or earlier. Our particular family name journey has been traced that far back but the older records are not available anymore. Some local research has taken the Milne family back before the Act of Union in County Angus west of Arbroath. Behind Greenford Farm (modern Victorian farm) there lies (or did in the 1960s when I visited) an old barn that is probably the older house (as seen in many Irish farms today). The folk engaged in milling grain in central Scotland and a similar set of names are found in Norse countries which are probably their Nordic origins. My family went from Scotland to Canada in the late 1800's and then came to South Africa in the mid 1930's. The Arbroath branch of the family moved to the American colonies in the late 1740s, left with the fleet from Savannah for Jamaica, one lone man finally returning to Glasgow. And so via the South Seas during the mid-19th century to Stranraer and finally to Merseyside. By this time the family name Milne seems to have undergone the transmutation into Mills (probably without much of a sound shift though). The South Seas side of the Milne clan were missionaries who eventually returned to the UK leaving one side of the family in eastern Australia, though this side had died out by the 1960s. There are many Mills named families here and most came from England originally. Perhaps seeking Gold and Diamonds, or, like my Grandfather Arthur Mills, to bring a business to this country (Sun Life Insurance of Canada). One of the traditions we have found out is the Mills name has also been linked with the Gordon Highlanders out of Argyllshire in central Scotland. The Clan motto is "Bydand" which means: "Follower of the Chief" and the emblem is a Stag's head.