Jane was the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Wilby, who had been baptised on 25th November 1759 at Bradfield, Essex, some 5 miles from Beaumont. Her siblings were George (baptised 6.1.1754), Elizabeth (baptised 9.4.1756), Abraham (baptised 6.11.1758), William (baptised 24.4.1763) and Sarah (baptised 16.3.1766). All her siblings had also been baptised in Bradfield.

The surname 'Wilby' is often spelt in dfferent ways on official records. Other spellings include 'Willbe', 'Wilbee', 'Willoughby' and 'Willy'.


Jane married Munson Mills on the 23rd July 1783 at Kirby-le-Soken, Essex. He was the son of James and Sarah Mills (nee Munson) of Ardleigh, Essex. Banns for the marriage had been read on 29th June, 6th July and 13th July. Witnesses to the marriage were W. Burges and John South. Jane could not write and signed the marriage record with her mark.

First Child[]

Munson and Jane’s first child, a daughter named Jane is believed to have been born in Beaumont. She was baptised in Great Oakley which is only 3 miles from Beaumont. This child lived just over one month, and was baptised and buried on the same day in Great Oakley on 16th January 1785. Source for this information is Essex, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812, – provided by the Essex Records office.

Munson and Jane would name another of their daughter’s Jane. On later census records, this daughter Jane would also record her birth place as Great Oakley.


Around the year 1785, not long after the birth of their first child, Munson and Jane decided to move from the Beaumont area of Essex to Dedham, a town that is not far from Ardleigh, where Munson's parents were from. In order to move from Beaumont to Dedham however, the couple required a 'Settlement Certificate' that stated they originated from the parish of Beaumont. This meant that despite living in Dedham, if anything happened to the couple (e.g. poverty), it was the parish of Beaumont that would be responsible for them.

Munson and Jane carried such a certificate when they moved from Beaumont to Dedham. They would raise the remainder of their family in the Dedham area.

Second Child[]

It is interesting that the Settlement Certificate for Munson refers to daughter Jane as 6 months or thereabouts”.  The certificate was issued on 11th May 1785, which places daughter Jane’s birth in November 1784. November 1784 is the birthdate of their eldest child who died in January of 1785, aged only 2 months, some 4 months before the certificate was issued. When their second daughter (also called Jane) was born is yet to be established, however she could not have been born at the same time unless she was a twin.

As the certificate refers to a daughter Jane being alive in May 1785, the question is raised is to whether she is Munson and Jane’s natural child or an adopted one, of similar age to their first born. Whatever the cause of the discrepancy, it could have been the impetus for the family’s move from the Beaumont region to Dedham. It is also interesting to note that second daughter Jane always referred to her birthdate as around the same time as the eldest daughter was born.

Children in Dedham[]

The next four children for Munson and Jane were baptised in Dedham, while no baptism for youngest child Mary has been located. Later census records indicate that she too was born in Dedham.

Death of husband[]

Munson died in Dedham and was buried on 16th November 1821 in Langham, Essex (a town that is not far from Dedham). Jane would outlive him by 6 years.


Jane died in Dedham and was buried on 21st October 1827 in Langham. It appears that all her children were still living at her death.


Name Birth Death
Children of Munson and Jane Mills

Jane 12/11/1784
Beaumont, Essex
Great Oakley, Essex

James 02/07/1787
Dedham, Essex
Sep Q 1870
Lexden District, Essex

John William 12/07/1790
Dedham, Essex
Nayland, Suffolk

Thomas 06/02/1793
Dedham, Essex
buried 13/03/1867
Great Oakley, Essex

Sarah 09/04/1795
Dedham, Essex
buried 07/10/1867
buried Langham, Essex

Mary 16/08/1798
Dedham, Essex
June Q 1869
Lexden District Essex