One local myth tells how the conical Wrekin is the earth mound over the grave of a Salopian Giant, killed by his brother, another says the mound was dropped from the spade of a giant tricked by a local shoe maker. At one point in it’s history a beacon was lit on top of the Wrekin to warn of the imminent arrival of the Spanish Armada.
Earliest Shropshire Origins
The Millington family originated in an area of small rural villages a few miles north of the market town of Wellington in the old shire county of Salop, which is today known as Shropshire.
The earliest of our ancestors that we are able to trace with some certainty at the moment, were Samuel and Mary Millington who lived in the village of Edgmond in the early 1700s, nearly three hundred years ago.
Samuel and Mary would have been the 8 x Great grandparents of the youngest generation of the Millington family who are currently alive at the start of the 21st century (i.e. Lara, Liam, Christopher, Patrick, Elizabeth, Matthew, Victoria, Joseph, Aimee, Melissa, Alice, Daniel and George). The family tree therefore spanning 11 generations and taking us back to people born at the end of the 1600s, possibly before the reign of King William of Orange who defeated the exiled Catholic monarch, King James II in 1690.
There is limited additional evidence that the parents of Samuel may have been Thomas and Jane Millington who Christened a baby named Samuel in Broseley on 3rd February 1667. Whilst Broseley is close to Iron Bridge and therefore in the general area of Wellington, we can still only speculate about a connection. Incidentally, Thomas and Jane had at least 2 other children, named Anne and John, both Christened in Broseley during the 1650s.
Samuel and Mary's family
Returning to Samuel and Mary Millington of Edgmond, this couple had at least 2 children, the oldest named Samuel after his father, was Christened in Edgmond on 5th June 1709, whilst his younger brother, Andrew, was Christened on 3rd June 1711. I believe that the oldest of these boys, Samuel, was our direct ancestor.
Samuel junior marries Eleanor
When he was about 20 years old, Samuel Millington junior married a woman named Eleanor and, over a 15 year period between 1732 and 1747 the couple had at least 7 children who were all Christened in a village called Tibberton, just a couple of miles away from Edgmond.
The oldest of these children was William, Christened on 2nd April 1732, two years later came his 1st brother Abraham (Christened 10th November 1734), followed by Joseph (Christened 19th September 1736), then came the first of two daughters, Mary (Christened 15th April 1739), followed by sister Anne (Christened on 7th February 1742), the next child was named Andrew (Christened 2nd September 1744) and finally a fifth son named Samuel after his father (Christened on 19th April 1747).
Andrew marries Elizabeth Titley
The sixth of these children, Andrew Millington, was born in Tibberton in 1744, the year in which John Wesley's Methodists held their first conference and French Jacobite forces led by Charles Edward Stuart declared war on Britain. Andrew Millington was our direct ancestor, the 6 x Great Grandfather to the current generation of children.
At the age of 26, Andrew Millington of Tibberton married Elizabeth Titley. They were wed on 7th July 1770 in the village of High Ercall, probably Elizabeth's parish, just a few further miles away from Tibberton and Edgmond going west towards Shrewsbury.
It appears that this couple may have moved between High Ercall and Tibberton via a third village lying between the two, called Waters Upton - their five recorded children were Christened in these villages between 1774 and 1787.
The first of Andrew and Elizabeth's children was also an Andrew, named no doubt after both his father and his grand father's brother. He was Christened back in his father's home village of Tibberton on 13th November 1774. Andrew was followed by Phebe (Christened on 19th February 1777 in Waters Upton), Elizabeth (Christened on 15th August 1779 in High Ercall), then Elin (Christened on 29th July 1781 in High Ercall) and finally by Jane (Christened on 4th March 1787 in Waters Upton). With the big gaps in time between some of these 5 children (6 years between Elin and Jane), there could well have been others for whom we don't have records.
The oldest of Andrew and Elizabeth's children, Andrew junior, was born in 1774, the year in which the British monarch George III struggled to maintain control over the great north American colony on the verge of independence under the leadership of George Washington. Andrew was our direct ancestor and the first person for whom we have some greater level of detailed information, other than marriage and Christening records.
A modern map of the area of Shropshire around the Wrekin. Whilst Wellington lies to the south of the Wrekin, the small villages of High Ercall, Edgmond and Tibberton lie to it’s north. Relocating from these rural villages to live in the developing town of Wellington therefore involved going over or ‘around the Wrekin’ itself for the Millington family of the early 1800s.