Munson Mills was born in approximately 1755 in the Beaumont Parish District of Essex, England. His birth year has been estimated from his burial record. Despite an extensive search of Essex parish records, a baptism record for Munson is yet to be located.

It is not proven at this stage, but it likely that Munson's parents were James and Sarah Mills (nee Munson), who married in Ardleigh, Essex in November 1754. This puts the date right for Munson's birth, and also explains his unusual first name, after his mother's maiden name. No other 'Mills/Munson' marriage has been located at this time, and Ardleigh is close to Dedham, where Munson would raise his own family.

It is also not known if Munson had any siblings at this time.


At age 19 in 1774, Munson became an apprentice farrier to Jona Oddy in Ardleigh, Essex. This was recorded in the apprentice indentures. A farrier was a smith that shoed horses. This occupation (or elements of it) were passed down several members of Munson’s family line.


Munson married Jane Wilby at Kirby-le-Soken, Essex on 23rd July 1783. 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) and Abraham (baptised 6.11.1758).

Witness to the wedding of Munson and Jane were W. Burges and John South. The couple were married by Banns which had been read on 29th June, 6th July and 13th July 1783. Munson signed the marriage record (which meant he could write) and Jane signed 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.

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.


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


Name Birth Death
Children of Munson and Jane Mills

Jane 12/11/1784
Beaumont, Essex
March Q 1860
Tendring District, 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