The Milligan Family Tree

  Dr. John Milligan of NY City is the father of Captain Jacob Milligan


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 Dr. John Milligan of New York


The Milligan's of Caldwell Hall lineage states that John Milligan, son of Charles, son of Peter was the ancestor of John Milligan of New York. John, father of Jacob is the first and so far the only Milligan in New York I have found that would fit this description. David Milligan, son of David and Mary Learmont of Dalbeattie was also a merchant in New York from 1759 to 1763 before returning to London as a merchant and prominent lawyer. He and John were both members of the St. Andrews Society. He was also very involved with the Charleston area.  John Milligan was married to Ann Phenix Milligan.  Dr.John Milligan was in New York by 1748-49 as evidenced in this advertisement.



William Milligan who was in Charleston around 1758 was involved with Jacob from about 1774.  He appears to be the William who died in 1819 and was from Kirkbean. John Milligan Esq. and his brother William were both in Charleston and are from Kirkbean.


After Jacob's wife died he went to London and in 1787 married Mary, daughter of Peter Milligan of The Isle of Wight. Peter is originally from the Colvend, Kirkbean area. Jacob apparently spent some time in London as Mary died there in 1793.


In the article, on the right,  published 9-7-1787 in the New York Packet, Jacob Milligan is summoned to court to take care of some financial matters of John Milligan, his "heir at law".

(32)   MILLIGAN, M.D.,  JOHN
     Dr. Milligan on February 19th, 1748, became a Freeman of the City, styled "Doctor of Physick," and was a druggist at Beaver Street. His business was somewhat general in its character, his drug store being little different from the modern one. Evil days must have come to him for we find that he and wife Ann gave a mortgage on their house in Beaver Street, and it was advertised for sale at foreclosure in August 1788.    (from a Biographical list of early members of the St. Andrews Society of NY at

The medieval term 'freeman' meant someone who was not the property of a feudal lord, but enjoyed privileges such as the right to earn money and own land. Town dwellers who were protected by the charter of their town or city were often free - hence the term 'freedom of the City'.


Dr. John Milligan was also a merchant of variety, including dabbling in Women's Shoes, as the advertisement from 1768 shoes...(above right).



10-7-1787 NY Gazette Clipping

An Email from Bryce Milligan, who is researching the Milligan Clan..

I have recently returned from my research trip to Ireland and wanted to pass this item on to you. While in Belfast I stopped at the Linen Hall Library and came across the attached information.  The book covers 1660-1815 and this is the only Milligan listed  



The d is the death date, the others are date of Commission

LT = Lieutenant

CR = Commander

CA = Captain

Evidence that Jacob Milligan’s Parents are John and Ann

August 21, 2006   Dear Cousins: 

I am elated at the recent discoveries and present the following as support.  We have already sent each other some of these articles.   

[NP posting from John Phenix Milligan linking john and jacob 1795-09-21.gif]

This wonderful article has shown us that Jacob’s brother is John PHENIX Milligan.  We have also seen the IGI file from the LDS Church stating John’s birth as 1755 and his parents as John and Ann. 

Now, the next article is also a gold mine. (enlarge the article at right)  You will recall that this is the lawsuit between one Augustus Van Courdlandt (who seems to be represented by Alexander Hamilton) and Jacob Milligan.  Jacob was not living in New York at the time, so the Honorable Robert R. Livingston (Another fun founding name) requested this classified add to be posted for some consecutive weeks, requesting Jacob’s presence in New York.  Remember the name of the Complaintant (Augustus Van Courdlandt) as it is critical in tying Jacob to John and Ann. 

Of major significance, of course, is the listing of Jacob as the “heir at law of John Milligan.”

Now take a close look at the following article (which links Jacob to John and Ann).

John and Ann Milligan article linking their property to Courdlandt, The Daily Advertiser;  Date: 1788-07-04;   Vol: IV;   Iss: 1051;   Page: [3],  From

 In this Article, John Milligan, the husband of Ann, is confirmed in to be a surgeon.  We also get a nice description of the location of at least one plot of land owned by Dr. John Milligan and his wife Ann.  However, I do not understand fully the legal proceedings and transfers.  However, most significantly is this article’s association of John and Ann Milligan’s land to the man Augustus Van CourdlandtHence, Jacob Milligan is the “heir at law of one John Milligan, a New York surgeon who was married to one Ann.

Now we look back to 1757.  we have here an article in which a New Yorker named John Milligan is listed as the “executor” of one Elizabeth Phenix.  My guess is that this is John’s Mother-in-Law and that he and his wife, Ann, named gave their son his mother’s maiden name as his middle name.  We need to look more into this, but it is exciting.

John Milligan as Executor of Elizabeth Phenix. October 7, 1757 The New-York Gazette: or, The Weekly Post-Boy

New info - journal article found that references Elizabeth Phenix, titled Women Merchants in Colonial New York.   Link    See pages 426 and 431.

Now, of perhaps lesser value, but still interesting is this 1759 article in which John Milligan notifies the public of a runaway slave.  Since John Phenix would only be about 4 or 5 years old at the time, this is likely John, the FATHER of Jacob Milligan. 

John Milligan class add runaway slave NY Gazette 1759 apr 23.gif

Good work Gentlemen.  This is exciting stuff. 

Donny Anderson



 Dr. Milligan, a surgeon, wrote to London from Charleston about 1775, and said:

        The inhabitants are of complexion little different to the English, of good stature, well-made, lively, agreeable, sensible, spirited, open-hearted, exceed most people in acts of benevolence, hospitality and charity. The men and women who have a right to the class of gentry, (who are more numerous here than in any other colony of North America,) dress with elegance and neatness. The personal qualities of the ladies are much to their credit and advantage. Middling stature, genteel and slender, fair complexioned without the help of art, regular features, fond of dancing, sing well, play upon harpsichord and guitar, etc.

Found in  A New Face on the Countryside: Indians, Colonists, and Slaves in South Atlantic Forests, 1500-1800

quotes Dr. John Milligan in 1763,  "Indians felt increasingly uneasy about the future.  As one South Carolinian observed in 1763 [Dr. Milligan], the daily decrease in their numbers [is] a circumstance that gives them much concern, however agreeable it may be to the selfish and all grasping Europeans".  (the book quoted from Dr. John Milligan, "A Description of the Province of South Carolina", found in Historical Collections of South Carolina, B. R. Carroll, Editor, 2 vol.,  New York,  Harper Brothers, 1836, Vol 2, pg 516.

Also in the same Historical Collections, volume 2, page 482, "But, by 1763 Dr. John Milligan of South Carolina observed that "buffalo's are sometimes found in the woods near the mountains, but they are not so numerous as they were a few years ago."

(Found at Google Books)



Dr. John Milligan also engaged in the shoe business in NYC.


 8-28-1784 Sale of Property in NYC

9-7-1787 Jacob Milligan sued over his father's NY property

Another Dr. John Milligan?

We have found some articles written by a Dr. John Milligan regarding conditions in SC.  We cannot confirm whether this is the same Dr. John Milligan of NYC or another Dr. John Milligan.  Work continues on this... (two more articles are at the bottom of this page)

 American Encounters: Natives and Newcomers from European Contact to Indian Removal, 1500-1850, pg 258 [that an] early Carolina physician John Milligan speculated on the origins of these parasitic infections....etc. (Description of South Carolina). The dates around this passage were in the mid 1750's. No date was specifically mentioned.



























Lawsuit Between Augustus Van Courdlandt and Jacob Milligan, heir at law of John Milligan...

Jacob Milligan Sued The New-York Packet 1787-09-07.gif


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