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From: (Sam Sloan)
Subject: Help needed to resolve James Milvain ancestry
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 04:40:30 GMT

Help needed to resolve James Milvain ancestry

My great-great-great-great-grandfather was James Milwain, who was born
in 1755 in Wigtown County, Scotland. His wife was Jean Paul or Jean
Saul (1749-1835) who was said to be the sister of John Paul Jones, the
famous American Revolutionary War sea captain. However, the book by
Don Thomson expresses the view that she was not the sister of John
Paul Jones. I still believe that she was, in part because all of my
Graham Family relatives have heard this story from their ancestors and
believe that she was. However, that is not the issue I am discussing

What interests me now concerns the parents of James Milwain. I have it
that James Milwain was born in 1755 and died in 1829 and that his
parents were Alexander Milwain born 1721 and Sarah Fie born 1723. It
has not been possible to determine who were the ancestors of Alexander
Milwain and Sarah Fie because all church records for the Parish of
Stoneykirk were destroyed when the Session Clerk's House burnt down in
early 1744.

I have been contacted by Graham Williams, a distant presumed relative
of mine who lives in Australia, and he disagrees. He believes that the
James Milwain who was the son of Alexander Milwain and Sarah Fie did
not marry Jean Paul or Saul but instead married Margaret Forsyth, had
four children by her, that he died on 7 August 1807 and that he is
buried in the churchyard, Glenluce, Wigtownshire, Scotland.

According to him, the youngest of four children of James Milveen and
Margaret Forsythe was Henrey Milvain who moved from Wigtown to
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, England, where he married twice,
had 13 children and lived to age 86.

This does not seem to be a case of James Milvain having two wives
because of the big difference in death dates. One died in 1807 and the
other died in 1826. However, if the death dates are wrong, there is a
chance that they are the same person. The James Milwain who was the
husband of Jean Paul had five children born between 1776 and 1788. The
James Milveen who was married to Margaret Forsyth had four children
born between 1797 and 1804. However, since Jean Paul lived to 1835, he
would have had to divorce her to legally marry Margaret Forsyth.

I have an alternate theory to explain this. Two persons named James
Milwain were born in 1755. One was born 28 NOV 1755 in Wigtown,
Scotland. The other was James Melvin born 18 MAY 1755 in All Saints,
Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland, England. See IGI Batch Number:

I believe that the James Milwain who was born in Wigtown, Scotland is
my ancestor and that he married Jean Saul or Paul in Wigtown. I
believe that the James Melvin who was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne,
Northumberland, England came to Wigtown and married Margerat Forsythe
and his son, Henrey or Henry went back to Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Please note the many variations in spelling of the names. Milvain is
also spelled Milwain, Melveen, Milveen, Melvin and even McIlvain.

Others believe that Henry, the son of James Milwain who was born in
Wigtown, Scotland moved to Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland,
England, where he had 13 children. If they are correct, then Andrew
Milwain, father of James Milwain, is not my ancestor.

I have included both persons in my online family tree. Perhaps some
researcher can solve this. There are many descendants whose genealogy
would be affected by this. My James Milvain has at least 5000
descendants that I know of, primarily through his grandson Samuel
Thomson, who was my great-great-grandfather.

The first step would be to go to the churchyard at Glenluce,
Wigtownshire, Scotland and see if James Milwain is really buried
there. Then try to verify whether another James Milwain died on 1 June
1829 in Dhuloch, Wigtown, Scotland. Are those two places near each
other? f there really were two people by the same or nearly identical
names, then the next question would be who were the parents of each
and were the five children of one and four children of the other
properly attributed to their correct fathers.

I have put the family trees of these two men as I have them on my
websites in the following places:

I would appreciate anybody who would look at this and inform me of any
errors or corrections needed.

I would personally prefer it to turn out that both persons named James
Milwain are the same person. That would make us all one big happy

Sam Sloan

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