Millett Family of Newbury, Berkshire, England in the 1500s

Today’s post will look at the three documented Millett family generations preceding that of John Millett and Eleanor Pritchard of Newbury, Berkshire, England.

Because three short generations are covered in this post, we will begin with the earliest Millett and work towards the present, which actually will only extend to the late 1500s.

Let’s begin!

The name of the earliest proven Millett siblings is unknown. However, Mr. Millett likely lived in or near Kingsclere, Hampshire, England, which is a mere 8 miles from Newbury, Berkshire, England, home to Millett descendants up to the time of Thomas Millett’s 1635 emigration to Massachusetts.

Generation #1 – Unknown Millett was the father of two and possibly as many as five children.


1. John, born c1513; buried 19 August 1564, Newbury, Berkshire, England; married (1) Unknown (2) Joan (3) Joan Gayratt (4) Alice, possibly Busshe
2. Thomas, born c1515; buried 11 March 1559/60, Kingsclere, Hampshire, England; probably married Ann (MNU). They were the parents of 8 children.
3. ?Nicholas, born c1517; buried 3 March 1573/74, Newbury, Berkshire, England; married Alice Kene, 14 October 1539, Newbury, Berkshire, England. They were the parents of 8 children.
4. ?Dorothy, married Robert Caswell, 1 August 1545, Kingsclere, Hampshire, England
5. ?Joan, married Mr. Warram, 22 January 1547/48, Kingsclere, Hampshire, England

The next generation that has continued down to Thomas Millett, the immigrant, is John Millett (#1 from above).

Generation #2

John Millett, born c1513; buried 19 August 1564, Newbury, Berkshire, England; married (1) Unknown (2) Unknown (3) Joan Gayratt (4) Alice, possibly Busshe

More is known about John than about his father, as he was a prominent fishmonger in Newbury. However, the name of his first wife is unknown, as is the maiden name of his second wife.

John was well regarded by the towns people, as he served as church warden in 1562 and 1563. He was also part of a small group of men who controlled town affairs.

John wrote his will on 8 April 1561 and it was proved three and a half years later, on 6 October 1564. John’s fourth wife, Alice, survived him, married Gilbert Stocker sometime before he left a will dated 27 July 1576, mentioning Alice,  and then made her own will dated 14 March 1576/77 and proved on 4 June 1577.

William is the only known child by John’s first wife. His second wife, Joan, apparently died young, leaving no children. Joan Gayratt Millett was the mother of children #2-5 with Alice the mother of the youngest five children.


1. William, born c1538; married Alice (MNU)
2. John, baptized 16 June 1547. He is named in his father’s 1561 will, but not in his sister Anne’s will of 1579.
3. Jane, baptized either 28 June or 10 July 1549 (two babies by the same name, no parents named); married Edward Kiffen, 7 December 1573, Newbury, Berkshire, England
4. Alice, baptized 5 April 1551, Newbury, Berkshire, England; married Robert Cooke/Cocke, 13 April 1573, Newbury, Berkshire, England
5. Ellen, baptized 12 June 1552; no further record
6. Margaret, baptized 13 June 1554, Newbury, Berkshire, England: possibly the Margaret who married John Hayne, 20 January 1581/82 at Newbury
7. Anne, baptized 25 June 1557; buried 10 May 1579, both at Newbury, Berkshire, England. Anne was unmarried, but left a will, written 4 days before she was buried.
8. Emme/Emlyn, baptized 22 July 1559, Newbury, Berkshire, England; died after 6 April 1627 when she administered her husband’s estate; married John Hunt, 8 September 1578 in Newbury.
9. Elizabeth, born c1561; possibly the Elizabeth who married Thomas Goddard, 29 June 1584, Newbury, Berkshire, England
10. Johan, baptized 22 January 1562/63, Newbury, Berkshire, England; she may be the Johan who married Christopher Grant, 19 September 1585, also in Newbury.

The Massachusetts Millet family ancestry continues through John’s eldest son, William.

Generation 3:

William Millett, born c1538; died before 18 November 1587, when his widow, Alice, was granted administration of his estate; married Alice (MNU), by 1560.

There is no way to tell how William felt about having three stepmothers – a lot even in those times – but he actually sued his surviving stepmother, Alice, over property in Newbury in the 1560s and later sued a man named John Iremonger in 1587 over the personal estate of his second stepmother, Joan Millett.


1. William, baptized 13 February 1560/61; buried 2 January 1563/64, both in Newbury, Berkshire, England
2. Alice, baptized 1 February 1562/63; possibly the Alice who married Thomas Maylton, 10 February 1583/84, both in Newbury.
3. John, baptized 29 March 1564; perhaps the John who was buried in Newbury on 19 August 1564, but probably an earlier John
4. Elizabeth, baptized 16 February 1566/67; no further record
5. John, baptized 10 April 1569; married Eleanor Pritchard (parents of Thomas Millett, the immigrant to Massachusetts)
6. Philippa, baptized 6 July 1571; married Christopher Walker, 24 June 1606, both in Newbury
7. William, baptized 2 July 1574
8. Joan, baptized 18 March 1575/76
9. Alphonse, baptized 23 February 1577/78; died before 24 September 1616, Southwark, Surrey, England, when his widow, Mary, administered his estate.
10. Henry, baptized 28 August 1580; buried 14 February 1581/82. Newbury, Berkshire, England
11. Anne, baptized 15 October 1581

Paul C. Reed, FASG, and Leslie Mahler published a lengthy article in April 2000 in The American Genealogist, from which I have abstracted details. The article, “The Correct English Origin of Thomas Millett of Dorchester, Massachusetts,” [Volume 75:81-93] can be accessed on American Ancestors if you have a subscription. There is much more detail about the lives of the Millett family.

John Millett & Eleanor Pritchard, Newbury, Berkshire, England, 1500s

With John Millett and Eleanor Pritchard, the early Massachusetts Millett family line is taken back into the 1500s.

John Millett was baptized on 10 April 1569, Newbury, Berkshire, England, the son of William Millett and an unknown wife.

He married Eleanor Pritchard in Newbury on 2 July 1593. No baptismal information has been found for Eleanor and it has been speculated that she might have come from the Pritchard family in nearby Hampshire.

No burial or probate record has been found for John, but one Elinor Millett was buried 30 November 1615 in Newbury, which is likely John’s wife.

There is no indication of John’s occupation. His son, Thomas, became a tailor. Perhaps it was a family occupation.

Children: (All baptized at Newbury, Berkshire, England)

  1. John, baptized 27 January 1594; died after 1643; vicar of Enstowe, Oxford
  2. William, baptized 17 August 1595; perhaps the William buried 1 February 1595/96; no further record
  3. ?Elinor, buried 8 October 1597
  4. Eleanor, baptized 9 April 1601; married John Woolridge, 17 July 1621, Hungerford, Berkshire, England
  5. Thomas, baptized 24 October 1604; died between 3 June 1675 and 23 September 1676,  Brookfield, Worcester, Massachusetts; married Mary Green(a)way, in England; emigrated to Massachusetts in 1635

From the details known about Thomas and his siblings, it appears that possibly only the Woolridges and Thomas, himself, have descendants today.

This is a very short post, but important for all the Millett descendants, as it jumps the pond back to England.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at the THREE earlier DOCUMENTED generations of the Millett family, who all stayed put in Newbury, Berkshire, England.



John Greenway & Mary (MNU) of Wiltshire, England & MA, 1630

Before I delve into the more ancient ancestry of Thomas Millett, who was the subject of a post last week, let’s look at his in-laws, John and Mary (MNU) Greenway.

First, this surname is found both as Greenway and Greenaway, many times with () around the A in the middle.

The Greenway family has been documented in Mildenhall, Wiltshire, England, although records are few for this surname.

John Greenway was born c1575, most likely in England. He may have married (1) Unknown and then (2) Mary (MNU), given about a ten year gap between the births of daughters Elizabeth and Susannah.

John Greenway died between 5 February 1650/51 and 6 May 1652 in Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts. Widow Mary (MNU) Greenway died 23 January 1658/59, also in Dorchester.

John was the father of seven children, all born in England.


1. Ann, born c1601; died 31 December 1695, Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts with her exaggerated age claimed to be 104; married Robert Pierce/Pearce of Dorchester, c1635. Robert died 5 January 1664/5, Dorchester.

2. Ursula, baptized 19 October 1603, Mildenhall, Wiltshire, England; died 19 December 1682, Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts; married Hugh Batten, after 8 June 1659, when she deposed about her father’s land

3. Mary, baptized 5 November 1605, Mildenhall, Wiltshire, England; died 5 June 1682, Gloucester, Essex, Massachusetts; married Thomas Millett, 1 May 1629, St. Saviour, Southwark, England

4. Martha, baptized 26 November 1607, Mildenhall, Wiltshire, Eng;and; no further record

5. Elizabeth, baptized 2 February 1608/09, Mildenhall, Wiltshire, England; married [probably William] Allen of Salem and Manchester, Essex, Massachusetts as his second wife

6. Susanna, born c1620; married Nathaniel Wales, by 5 February 1650/51

7. Katherine, born c1623; married William Daniel(s) of Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts and Milton, Norfolk, Massachusetts, before 18 October 1646, when their child was baptized

This is quite a short family sketch, but it is important because the Greenway ancestral home has been identified. Perhaps another researcher will find more documentation about this family in England.

See “English Baptisms for the Green(a)way Family of Dorchester, Massachusetts” by Leslie Mahler, The American Genealogist, Volume 74, July 1999, pages 193-195.

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