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Capt John Mills


  • Victoria's 1st settlers, the founders of Port Fairy, Victoria and highly respected seamen, champion boat-steerers, ploughmen & whalers:
  • John and his brother Charles were strong sailors who, having been given charts & a glowing account of a bay on the south-west coast of Victoria by Capt. James Wishart who discovered it in 1810 when he had to seek shelter from a storm & who had named it Port Fairy after his little cutter Fairy, decided to migrate there in 1826. Their voyage in small vessels was a feat of seamanship, endurance & abilities given the treacherous seas. They founded a settlement there and in 1832, they joined a whaling shore party to Portland Bay under Capt. Young. They set up huts in Portland and William Dutton was in charge of these huts while they were away whaling and the Henty brother arrived to “discover” Portland in 1834. The whalers then moved along the coast, with the Mills brothers preferring Port Fairy where they combined farming with their whaling operations, and Charlie saved many lives from shipwrecks including the Sarah Louisa at Port Fairy in 1849. John became friends with Capt. Campbell (after whom Port Campbell is named - the site of the famous Twelve Apostles coastal formation) on his whaling voyages to New Zealand on the Mars in 1835 and prior to 1836 commanded the historic schooner, Thistle, Henty's vessel and taking John Batman with him, it became the 1st craft to navigate Melbourne's river, the Yarra as they searched for possibilities of a settlement. It was on this occasion, on reaching Fairfield, that John Batman remarked “This will be the spot for a village”, and hence the development of Melbourne. The 1st ship to sail from the United Kingdom with immigrants direct to Port Phillip was the 600 ton David Clarke commanded by Capt. J.B.Mills, arriving on 27th Oct 1839 when the population of Port Phillip was 4000. During this trip, Capt. Mills stayed 14 days in Rio De Janeiro after their water & stock replenishment stay had to be prolonged as 8 of the Liverpool Irishmen had landed themselves in gaol for 8 days and their fines had to be paid for by Capt. Mills. From 1843-49, he carried cattle & merchandise between Port Fairy & Launceston aboard the Essington which he owned until it was wrecked by striking her own anchors wrecking him financially. John retired from coastal trade and in 1851 became harbour master of Port Fairy which he retained until 1871. John also discovered the famous now lost “Mahogany” shipwreck giving the first detailed account in 1843 (see here). In Aug. 1844, Charles was one of seven men who were the 1st to enter the port of Warrnambool. On one occasion, Charles' boat was smashed by a whale in rough seas, Charles placed one crewman with a broken leg on the upturned boat along with a second who could not swim, while he and a Aborigine swam 2 miles to shore for help, unfortunately, the Aborigine drowned while Charles arrived safely having fended off two sharks. The historic homesteads of the Mill's brothers are famed landmarks in Port Fairy today.
    • Charles Frederick MILLS married Olivia WILLIAMS on 6th Nov. 1837 in Launceston, Olivia's ancestors can be found listed here

Beveridge's Mill on the Supply River c1900 where John and probably Charles Mills were employed c1829.

Woodbine - the Mills home near Port Fairy as it stands today

Abbreviated family tree

Mary Allyn, Irish convict
Marya Marta Manuela Soria SERRANO
(1761-c1795) daughter of Cristobel Marta Sarlanga
Captain John Brabyn
b. Cornwall
arr. Sydney 1796
m. JB in 1802
John Frederick “Boy” BRABYN (1789-c1806) Sailed under Lieutenant Murray on The Lady Nelson and 1st to enter Port Philip Bay Lieutenant Peter Burnett French MILLS
chosen by Captain Bligh to man the HMS “Porpoise” to Australia in 1805, arriving in Port Jackson in 1806
acted as secretary to Bligh
lost his entitlement to a land grant of 200 acres
became a bushranger in 1814
disappeared on a ship in 1816
Jennifer Ann “Jane” BRABYN (1795-1871)
m. PBF Mills
in 1810, two weeks after the 1st ever wedding in Tasmania
m. in 1845
Mary Louisa BRABYN (1803-1854)
John GAGGIN (1795-1859)
of Cork, Ireland
m. in 1822.
Elizabeth Howard BRABYN (1805-1881)
received her father's 800 acres NSW land grant on the death of her father
Charles Simeon MARSDEN (1803-1868)
son of Rev. Samuel MARSDEN (1765-1838)
m. in Windsor, NSW in 1828
The Gaggin descendants The Marsden descendants
Capt. John Brabyn MILLS (1810-1877)
the Mills Brothers were the 1st pioneers of Port Fairy (1826) and arguably the 1st settlers in Victoria
harbour master of Port Fairy in 1853-1871
Mary Ann DANIELS (1819-1894)
m. in 1837
Jennifer Ann MILLS (1811-) Capt. Charles Frederick MILLS (1812-1855)
Olivia WILLIAMS (1820-1905)
m. in 1837
Eliza Sophia MILLS (1814-1860)
also adopted 2 indigenous children, “Black Tom” in c1842 and “George GLARE” in c1845 who lived with Glares for 30yrs and died in Framlingham Mission
James GLARE (1803-)
Convicted in 1820 and transported to Tas
George Alexander TATE/MILLS
Elizabeth KENNEDY
m. in 1857
Isabella TAIT-MILLS (1833-1852)
John Marr STONEHOUSE (1823-1873)
m. in 1847
Charles Mills descendants Glare descendants Tait Mills descendants Stonehouse descendants
Mary Ann MILLS (1838 died as infant) John Daniels MILLS (1839-1902)
manager Bank of Victoria, Inglewood
Elizabeth DOWN (1843-1892)
m. in 1861
Robert Joseph MILLS (1842-)
m. in 1864
genealogy/millsjohn1810.txt · Last modified: 2022/08/27 22:40 by gary1

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