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Re: Sorting out Levi Milledge/Millage
Posted by: Jacob Johnston (ID *****9048) Date: April 17, 2011 at 21:22:26
In Reply to: Re: Sorting out Levi Milledge/Millage by Bill Coup of 50

Thank you for the reply Bill.

Let me explain more about my posting that you have replied to. I have seen Mahlon listed as a child of Levi and Abigail Milledge/Millage on many sites as well. The problem I have had with other researchers listing Mahlon as a child along with others (like Charles born in 1803 or Phoebe born in 1806) is that there is no proof shown, no evidence. It seems that there are many researchers who come across these sites that you have described and just copy the information verbatim without checking the accuracy of the information.

To give you an example, I was able to contact a descendant of the aforementioned Phoebe Milledge/Millage who was convinced that she was a daughter of Levi. She sent me a word file that basically just contained a family group sheet for Levi and Abigail and their children. When I shared my theory that Phoebe was not one of their children and explained why I thought that, I questioned what her sources were. Her answer was that the same file she had sent me was sent to her by another researcher so she just followed it.

Now, back to Mahlon, let me lay out my case for him not being a child of Levi and Abigail. I want to just state a couple of things first. In no way am I saying that Mahlon is 100 percent NOT a child of Levi. If I had to put a percentage on it I would say I am around 95 percent sure he is not, there is that possibility for error. Also, I am basing my conclusion that Mahlon is not a child of Levi and Abigail on census records. Again, I don't like people just throwing information out there without sourcing it. I don't want to sound mean for trying to prove people wrong, I suppose it's just the history major in me that wants to make sure things are verifiable from primary sources. If you have a source of information ( an obituary, family bible record) that shows Mahlon to be the son of Levi then I would be glad to see it, otherwise, I'm just going by the primary sources I have (census records) and the inferences I can make regarding them.

1840: Mahlon Millage, Location: Hancock County, Ohio
1850: Mahlon Millage, age 37 (born about 1813) Birthplace New Jersey. Location: Coles County, Illinois
1860: Mailon Millage, age 36 (born about 1824) Birthplace Indiana. Location: Coles County, Illinois
1870: Malon Milige, age 58 (born about 1812) Birthplace New Jersey.

Looking at the birthplaces given for his children it appears that he had moved from Ohio to Illinois sometime in the early 1840s.

Now, given this primary source information, try to plug this in to the information in my previous post. In the 1820 census, there where listed two male children being born sometime between the years 1810 to 1820. I had already listed Sidney Milledge, Zeba Milledge, and Benjamin Milledge as the potential children that could have been indicated there, but let's throw in Mahlon as well. Let me explain why I believe it is more likely Sidney and Benjamin that are being referred to, rather than Mahlon and Zeba.

Sidney's year of birth as given in numerous census records easily fits (1812, 1814, and 1815 twice). The three birth years that I have for Benjamin are 1820, 1823, and 1824. Birth years on census records are very erratic. People just didn't always keep track of their age like we do today. However, they can be a good guide, and if we use Benjamins birth year of 1820, he could have been born early enough in the year to have been included on this census. Even if it is not Benjamin, this could have been a child that we don't even know the name of, who died young and did not reach adulthood.

Here is what sells me on these two being children. People back in this time moved as a family a lot. Families stuck together. Even when children grew up and had families of their own, they often still moved together as a large group with their parents and their other siblings. There are of course exceptions but as we research our family history, we can pick up on these clues and note that if two families with the same surname are living near each other in one state are found living together in a completely different state on two different census records, there is a good possibility that there is a connection:

Levi moved his family west. In 1830 he is in Muskingum Co., Ohio. In 1840 he is in Champaign Co., Ohio, and in 1850 he is in Lee Co., Iowa.

Sidney also is in Champaign Co., Ohio in 1840. He will remain here with his wife and children.

Benjamin first appears with his own family in 1850 in Lee Co., Iowa. Living near Levi. He is in Mahaska Co., Iowa in 1880, as is another son of Levi, Otis Milledge. Before that he can be found in 1870 in Kansas, living near another brother, Levi Jr...

Levi Jr. is seen living with Levi and Abigail in 1850.

I just have a hard time including Mahlon (as well as Zeba Millage, who I think is a brother of Mahlon's). First, he is shown to be born in New Jersey, probably in the mid 1810s. All indications point to Levi being in Pennsylvania during at least the time period of 1810 - 1820. Secondly, he seems to move independently of Levi and his family, as does Zeba. In fact, the two of them can be found in 1840 in Hancock Co., Ohio. Zeba Millage would end up in Nebraska Territory in 1860, while Mahlon moved to Coles County, Illinois. I just can't make either of these two fit, and given the census information for Levi's family it appears that there is only one or at most two male children that were born to Levi and Abigail during the span of 1810 to 1820, and yet we have three possibilities: Sidney, Mahlon, and Zeba (four if you count Benjamin given the birth year of 1820).

I really didn't intend for this reply to be that long. It is late and I am very tired and I am not entirely certain that this post will be coherent enough to make sense but I wanted to reply. I am a firm believer that all these Milledges/Millages are related somehow and hope that I can connect them all someday. I have a strong feeling that Mahlon and Zeba could potentially be nephews to Levi or perhaps a 2nd or 3rd cousin type of relationship, but it is just that I cannot get past that I have seen no sources to prove that Mahlon is a child of Levi and Abigail, and with the sources that I CAN see, it just doesn't seem to fit.

Please read over this carefully and let me know if there is any information that you have that would more definitively prove a connection. I don't mind being wrong but I just have to see the sources.

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