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.

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