John Millard Jr.

John MILLARD Jr. (1636 – 1684) was Alex’s 10th Great Grandfather, one of 2,048 in this generation of the Shaw line.

John Millard was born in 1636 in England. His parents were John MILLARD Sr. and Elizabeh [__?__]. He married Elizabeth [__?__].  John died 5 Jun 1684 in Rehoboth, Mass, of two self inflicted dagger wounds in the neck.

Elizabeth survived her husband.

Children of John and Elizabeth:

Name Born Married Departed
1. John Millard c. 1655
Killed in Nine Men’s Misery on 26 Mar 1676
2. Mary MILLARD 1657 Samuel PERRY
12 Dec 1676 Rehoboth, Mass
10 Apr 1706 Rehoboth, Mass.
3. Elizabeth Millard Middle of Oct 1659 Samuel Mason
28 Mar 1682
3 Mar 1718
4. Rebecca Millard Middle of November 1661 Nathaniel Daggett
24 Jun 1686
9 Apr 1711
5. Samuel Millard 1 Sept. 1664
Rebecca Belcher
25 Jun 1690 – Milton, Norfolk, Mass
9 Dec 1735 – Milton, Norfolk, Mass

Alternate spellings are Miller and Millerd.

A deed of 7 Dec 1678, by which John MILLER Jr. of Rehoboth, Tayler, conveyed to his daughter Mary “as her share of her wedding portion and unto Samuel PERRY at the day of marriage with my daughter Mary” 16 acres of upland. John Miller Junr acknowledged this deed on 19 May 1680. (Plymouth Colony Deeds, Vol. 4, Pt. 2, p. 346; Bowen, Vol. III, p. 162)

John Millard  first appears in the Rehoboth town records on 22 Dec 1657, when his tax of four pence was the smallest assessment paid by any resident of the town. The following year he took the oath of Fidelitie along with his father, and on 22 Jun 1658, he was among those who “according to person and estate” were allowed lots in the meadows “that lie on the northside of the town”. Ten years later he received a lot in the North Purchase Meadow (now Attleboro). In the published tax lists of 1671-1674 the name of John Miller Jr. occurs regularly.  He was a tailor, and in 1675 was Constable of Rehoboth. (Bliss, pp. 49, 67; Bowen, Vol. I, pp. 39, 127)

John Millard Worked as a Tailor

In the Records of King Phillip’s War,  John and  his eldest son have been confused almost inextricably. Both were designated “John Miller Jr.” in the town records and militia lists. The fact that neither the son John nor his sister Mary were included in the Rehoboth birth records has led some Millard Historians to attribute all the extant records to the father’s widow.  But later records make it clear that the military service in the Narragansett Expedition belongs to the son while the various sums advanced “to defray the expenses of the war” were supplied by the father. (Bowen, Vol. II, pp. 40, 43)

The date and circumstances of the death of John Millard Jr. are made tragically clear by the report of a Coroner’s Inquest called together the 5th of June 1684 to make search of the dead body of John Miller of Rehoboth:

“…vpon narrow serch, wee find that the said Miller had two wounds into the soft of his body, close by one and other, as wee apprehending, by a dagger, either stabbing himselfe or falling vpon the dagger, and alsoe a wound in his necke, close to his wind pipe, by a cutt with his knife, which wounds in a few hours proued mortall; and alsoe, vpon examining seueral witnesses that were with him when he cutt his necke, and by his owne confession before his death, wee find that the said Miller did absolutly, willfully, and crewelly murder himselfe, noe other pson or psons, as wee apprehend, being accessory thereunto.” (Plymouth Colony Records, Vol. 6, p. 142)

Historical Note – During the Late Middle Ages, two forms of ‹v› developed, which were both used for its ancestor ‹u› and modern ‹v›. The pointed form ‹v› was written at the beginning of a word, while a rounded form ‹u› was used in the middle or end, regardless of sound. So while valor and excuse appeared as in modern printing, have and upon were printed ‹haue› and ‹vpon›. The first distinction between the letters ‹u› and ‹v› is recorded in a Gothic alphabet from 1386, where ‹v› preceded ‹u›. By the mid-16th century, the ‹v› form was used to represent the consonant and ‹u› the vowel sound, giving us the modern letter ‹u›. The colonials seem to have been a little behind. Capital ‹U› was not accepted as a distinct letter until many years later

No indications remain to tell what precipitated this tragedy. Certainly John’s difficulties were not financial. On 2 Oct 1684, Elizabeth Millard, Relict of John Millard late of Rehoboth deceased, made oath to the truth of the inventory of her husband’s estate, which inventory, taken 20 June 1684 by Peter Hunt and Jonathan Fuller, totaled £113.08.06, including house and home lot, ten acres in the Second Division of Rehoboth, two lots on the Great Plain, meadow and other land, in addition to a whole share of the northside of a hundred pound estate of commonage. Among John’s personal estate were listed cotton wool, sheep wool, yarns, a pair of taylor shears, a goose, thimbles and other items pertaining to his occupation of tailor. (Plymouth Colony Wills, Vol. 4, Pt. 2, p. 75)

The date of John’s burial, shown in the printed Rehoboth Vital Records as 5 June 168-, was construed by Giddings as in the keeping of the Rehoboth Town Clerk, makes that interpretation untenable. The last figure of the burial date was written on a part of the page now broken off; but deaths and burials were recorded in chronological order at the time they occurred, or occasionally afterward; and since John’s burial appears between a death in 1683 and in 1684, it could not have taken place later than this last named year.


1. John Millard

Killed in Nine Men’s Misery (see my post) on 26 March 1676

During King Philip’s War, John’s son John Jr. served 86 ½ days in Narragansett Expedition before he was killed by the Indians in Pierce’s Fight on 26 March 1676. His heirs failed to file a claim in Narragansett Township No. 4, (now Goffstown, NH; the land was found unsuitable, and replacement land was subsequently granted in what is now Greenwich, Mass.) but finally in 1733, more than fifty years after the war, his brother Samuel Miller of Milton received a grant in Narragansett Township No. 5 (now Bedford, Mass.) on account of the services of his brother John in King Philip’s War. (Soldiers in King Philip’s War, 1906, by George N. Bodge, p. 432; Giddings, pp. 248-9; Bowen, Vol. II, pp. 44, 54)  John was probably less than twenty years old at the time of his death, and there is no evidence that he ever had either a wife or children.

John died at Nine Men’s Misery.  On March 26, 1676 during King Philip’s War, Captain Michael Pierce led approximately 60 Plymouth Colony colonial troops and 20 Wampanoag Christian Indians in pursuit of Narragansett Indians who had burned several Rhode Island towns and attacked Plymouth, Mass. as part of King Philip’s War. Pierce’s troops caught up with the Narragansett Indians, Wampanoag, Nashaway, Nipmuck, Podunk but were ambushed in what is now Central Falls, Rhode Island. Pierce’s troops fought the Narragansetts for several hours, but were surrounded by a larger force of Narragansetts. The battle was one of the biggest defeats of colonial troops during King Philip’s War with nearly all killed in the battle, including Captain Pierce and the Christian Indians (“Praying Indians“) (exact numbers vary by account somewhat). The Narragansetts lost only a handful of warriors.

Nine Men’s Misery Nine Men’s Misery is a site in current day Cumberland, Rhode Island where nine colonists were tortured by the Narragansett Indian tribe during King Philip’s War. A stone memorial was constructed in 1676 which is believed to be the oldest veterans memorial in the United States.

Nine of the colonists who were among the dead were first taken prisoner (along with a tenth man who survived). These men were purportedly tortured to death by the Narragansetts at a site in Cumberland, Rhode Island, currently on the Cumberland Monastery and Library property. The nine dead colonists were buried by English soldiers who found the corpses and buried them in 1676. The soldiers created a pile of stones to memorialize the colonists. This pile is believed to be the oldest veterans’ memorial in the United States, and a cairn of stones has continuously marked the site since 1676.

The “Nine Men’s Misery” site was disturbed in 1790 by medical students led by one Dr. Bowen looking for the body of one of the dead colonists, Benjamin Bucklin, who was said to be unusually large with a double row of teeth. They were stopped by outraged locals. The site was desecrated several more times until 1928 when the monks who then owned the cemetery cemented the  stone cairn above the site. The cairn and site can still be visited on the Monastery grounds.

This picture shows the Nine Men’s Misery Original Carin better

Pierce’s Fight was followed by the burning of Providence three days later, and then the capture and execution of Canonchet, the chief sachem of the Narragansetts. The war was winding down even at the time that Pierce’s party was destroyed, and in August, King Philip himself was killed.  Our ancestors John LOW and Benjamin Buckland, son of William BUCKLAND also died in the battle.

The site is located on the grounds of the former Trappist monastery of Our Lady of the Valley, now the Cumberland public library, and is an approximately 15 minute walk behind the main building on a rise in the woods.

Directions:  Follow the road to the right past the main building, you will come to a low white building on your left and at that point should see a break in the chain link fence that is on your right. There is a low metal guardrail in the break, step over and you should be on a walking path. Turn right and not far up the path will divid, take the left path, it will bring you through a field. In the field, it again branches out – take the left again and keep walking out of the field through the trees. From leaving the field to reaching the monument is about the same distance that you walked to get out of the field from the start. Coming down over a small rise, there is a path to the right that brings you to the elevated area that the monument occupies – you can see the monument from the rise when on the path.

2. Mary MILLARD (See Samuel PERRY‘s page)

3. Elizabeth Millard

Elizabeth’s husband Samuel Mason was born 12 Feb 1656/57 in Rehoboth, Mass. His parents were Sampson Mason and Mary Butterworth. After Elizabeth died, he married 4 Nov. 1718 at Providence, R.I. to Lydia Masters. Lydia’s parents were Philip TABER and Lydia MASTERS. Lydia was the widow of Rev. Pardon Tillinghast.. Samuel died 25 Jan 1743/44 in Swansea, Mass. Both Samuel and Elizabeth are buried in Kickimuit Cemetery, Warren, Rhode Island

Samuel Mason lived in Rehoboth, Seekonk and Swansea; he had four children by his first wife, born at Rehoboth. (History of Swansea. 1917, by O. O. Wright, pp. 180-1; Genealogy of the Sampson Mason Family, 1902, by A. H. Mason, p. 19).

4. Rebecca Millard

Rebecca’s husband Nathaniel Daggett was born Aug 1661 in Rehoboth, Mass. His parents were John Daggett and Anna Sutton. Nathaniel died in 1708.

Eight children, born Rehoboth.

5. Samuel Millard

Samuel’s wife Rebecca Belcher was born 1671 in Milton, Norfolk, Mass. Her parents were Joseph Belcher and Rebecca Gill. Rebecca died 9 Aug 1743 in Milton, Norfolk, Mass


History of Rehoboth, Bristol Co Massachusetts – Leonard Bliss 1836 reprinted 1908

This entry was posted in 12th Generation, Historical Monument, Immigrant - England, Line - Shaw, Storied, Violent Death and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to John Millard Jr.

  1. Pingback: Samuel Perry | Miner Descent

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  4. Pingback: William Buckland | Miner Descent

  5. Pingback: Veterans | Miner Descent

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  7. Pingback: Nine Men’s Misery – 1676 | Miner Descent

  8. Larry Maddocks says:

    This was very helpful to read this account of Capt. Michael Pierce, who is one of my ancestors. An interesting note: they did not die in vain, and I believe that battle saved many lives. The battle changed how the Colonists fought the King Phillips war. Before the battle, the Colonists were reticent to use friendly Indians in the battles. Capt. Michael Pierce convinced the leaders to allow him to use them, and when they saw the bravery of the Indians in this battle, they began using them.

  9. Pingback: Philip Taber | Miner Descent

  10. Pingback: Thomas Bliss | Miner Descent

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