Court Records for Benjamin Milam (ca 1746 - 1781)

A Chronology of his Life as Found in Court Records

Benjamin Milam lived and worked along side his brother, Moses Milam. This is demonstrated by Moses' lawsuit against David Wright in March 1773 in which Benjamin is mentioned and the land deed from Moses Milam to Elizabeth Milam after Benjamin's death. I discuss this lawsuit in detail in my chapter on Moses Milam which you may read here (link). It appears that Moses was the businessman who contracted the work, wrote account statements, bought land and brought lawsuites, etc. Thus Benjamin does not appear in county records - Moses does.

I have found no court orders for a Benjamin Milam and there are no surveys, warrants, land grants, land patents or deeds for him.

The paucity of information on Benjamin is disappointing. However, there is a 1760 land warrant in Culpeper County which Benjamin Milam's witnessed with his signature when his father, Thomas Milam, assigned the warrant to John Green.

26 AUG 1760 NORTHERN NECK WARRANTS AND SURVEYS, CULPEPER COUNTY. Thomas Milam had a warrant for 230 acres of land in Culpeper County adjacent to his old property but just across the Rose River on what was then known as Fork Mountain. On 26 August 1760, Milam assigned his warrant to John Green (a son of Robert Green, Gent.) and signed the letter with his usual mark "TM". His young son, Benjamin Millam, was a witness and signed with his signature. Other witnesses: Sarah Killy (probably John Kelly's daughter) and a neighbor, George Row. [446] To view the request to Lord Fairfax and their signatures, click here (image) .

On 1 MAY 1777, the Virginia General Assembly passed the Act of Oath of Affirmation which may be viewed here (link). The following is the Oath of Affirmation, sometimes referred to as the Oath of Alligence, that the men affirmed with their signatures:

"I do swear or affirm, that I renounce and refuse all allegiance to George the third, king of Great Britain, his heirs and successours, and that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the commonwealth of Virginia, as free and independent state, and that I will not, at any time, do, or cause to be done, any matter or thing that will be prejudicial or injurious to the freedom and independence thereof, as declared by Congress; and also, that I will discover and make known to some one justice of the peace for the said state, all treasons or traiterous conspiracies which I now or hereafter shall know to be formed against this or any of the United States of America."

28 JUL 1777 BEDFORD COUNTY, ORDER BOOK 6, Page 130 - 131. Agreeable to an Act of the General Assembly of this State, this Court doth appoint Gents. to administer the Oath of Allegiance to the Inhabitants of this County (viz.) John Ward, Gent. in the Bounds of his own Company & Capt. Gilbert’s, John Talbot, Gent. in his own Company, Charles Talbot Gent. in Capt Marshals Company.....John Callaway Gent. Capt. Pointdexter’s Company, William Calloway Gent. in his own Company & Capt. Millers, Wm Mead & Charles Gwatkins Gents.  in Capt. Gwatkins Company, Robert Ewing Gent. in Capt Dooleys & Capt. W Bufords Company, etc. etc.  

20 SEP 1777: Benjamin Milam, Rush Milam, William Milam and Zachariah Milam signed the Oath of Affirmation administered by Justice William Callaway to his Company. [480] You may view a typed copy here (link).

28 AUG 1780 BEDFORD COUNTY, ORDER BOOK 6, 293. William Milam is recommended {to his Excellency, the Governor, as Proper Person to act as} 2nd Leutenant.

13 OCT 1780 BEDFORD COUNTY, WILL BOOK 1, 404 – 405. "In the name of God Amen 13th of October one Thousand Seven  Hundred and Eighty I Benjamin Millam of Bedford County being  in perfect health and of good and Sound memory Thanks be to all mighty God calling to mind the mortality or afirmity of body and knowing it is appointed for all men once to die do make and ordain this my last will and Testament that is to say Principally and 
first of all I give and Recommend my Sole in to the hands of the allmighty God that gave it and my body I Recommend to the Earth to be buried in a decent form If the almight willing and where witht the allmighty God has been pleased to bless me with in this life I give disvise and dispose of In the following manner and form First I Give and Bequeath to Elisebeth Millam my Loving Wife whome I appoint make and ordain the Sole Executrixe of this my last Will and Testament all my Stocks of all kinds Together with all my Household goods debts and movable affects Endureing her continuing her life unaltered but if she sees cause to mary again to be Sold and Equily Divided amongst my children and I do heareby utterly disallow revoke and disannul all and every other former testaments wills Legacies and Bequests and Executors by me in any wise before named willed or bequeathed Ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last Will and Testament 

Witness where of I have Heare unto set my hand and Seal this Thirteenth day of October the year above mentioned. Signed, Sealed and delivered in Presants of us.

William Millam
Moses Milam

Benjamin Millam (Seal)"


24 SEP 1781 BEDFORD COUNTY, ORDER BOOK 6, 329. William Milam is recommened {to his Excellency, the Governor} as Proper Person to act as 1st Lieutenant.

22 OCT 1781 BEDFORD COUNTY, ORDER BOOK 6, 329. Last Will and Testament of Benjamin Milam deceased Produced and Ordered Recorded, and on the motion of Elizabeth Milam Executrix therein named who made Oath thereto and gave Bond and Security according to Law Certificate is Granted her for Obtaining Probate thereof in due form.

Thomas Logwood, Henry Jeter, James Buford & Isaac Banester or any three of them being first Sworn Appointed to Appraise the said Decedent's Estate.

25 MAR 1782 BEDFORD COUNTY, ORDER BOOK 6, 338. Benjamin Milam proved that he lost Rifle Gun & Blankett in the Action of Gilford under General Green for which Heirs allowed the sum of £ 8. 10. 0.

4 DEC 1782 JOURNAL of the HOUSE of DELEGATES of the STATE of VIRGINIA, page 53.

Petition of William Milam, 1st Lieutenant:

“Resolved, that in the opinion of this committee, That the petition of William Milam, setting forth, that the petitioner, together with Benjamin Milam and John Kennedy, served in the militia which was ordered into Carolina from the county of Bedford, in the year 1781;  the petitioner as an ensign and the said Benjamin Milam and John Kennedy as soldiers; that at the battle of Guilford courthouse they were severally taken prisoners, in which state the said Benjamin Milam on the 19th, and the said John Kennedy on the 26th of June in the same year died;  and that the said petitioner did not return to the said county of Bedford from captivity, til the 2nd day of August following; and praying that he may be allowed the pay of ensign til the 2nd day of August, the day of his return; and also, that the representatives of the said deceased soldiers may be entitled to their pay until the respective days on which they died, is reasonable; and that the auditors of the public accounts ought to issue certificates for the same.”

23 DEC 1782 BEDFORD COUNTY, WILL BOOK 1, 432 - 433. This Inventory and Appraisement of the Estate of Benja. Milam Deceased was Returned to Court and Ordered Recorded.

Benjamin MIlam Inventory

You may view pages 432 and 433 of original Inventory here (image).

23 DEC 1782 BEDFORD COUNTY, ORDER BOOK 7, 19. An Inventory & Appraisement of Benjamin Milam's Estate Returned & Ordered to be Recorded.

23 OCT 1786 BEDFORD COUNTY, DEED BOOK 7, 658. Moses Milam Deed to Elizabeth Milam, the relic of Benjamin Milam.

“This Indenture Made this twenty third day of October in the Year of Our Lord One thousand seven Hundred and eighty six, Between Moses Milam of Bedford County of the one part, and Elizabeth Milam (Relic of late Benjamin Milam, Deceased) of the other part.

Witnesseth, that the said Moses Milam for and in Consideration of the Sum of Twenty one pounds Currant {Money of Virginia} to him in hand paid by the above Benjamin Milam before his decease, the receipt whereof the said Moses Milam doth hereby confess and acknowledge, Had bargained and sold to the said Milam, deceased, and doth by these presents grant and Convey to the said Elizabeth Milam during her Natural Life, and after her decease to revert to the Heir at Law of the said Benjamin Milam deceased, a Certain Tract or parcel of Land lying and being in the County of Bedford upon the waters of the Otter River and bounded as follows, to wit, Beginning at a point of Rocks on the North side of Boyles Branch…to a Pine in Boyd’s line, thence along the said Line…to Boyd’s Corner Pine….Containing One Hundred and twenty acres…Together with every Appertanance there unto belonging to the said Elizabeth Milam and unto the Heir at Law of the said Benjamin Milam, deceased....Signed, Sealed & delivered in the presents of ~    Moses Milam.

At a Court held for Bedford County the 23rd day of October 1786.This Indenture along with the Memorandum of Livery and Seizon thereon endorced were Acknowledged by Moses Milam party thereto and Ordered to be Recorded ~~ Teste, James Steptoe CBC {Clerk Bedford Court}”

You may read this touching document for yourself here (image) . It demonstrates that Moses and Benjamin not only worked together but also shared property together. Thus they were very close. I suspect this is the major reason that Moses named a son, Benjamin Rush Milam. Of course, Rush is a recurring name in the Milam lineage being the maiden name of Thomas Milam's wife, Mary Rush. For example, my ancestor, Rush Milam, was the youngest son of Thomas and Mary Milam.

25 FEB 1799 BEDFORD COUNTY, DEED BOOK 11, 29. The Heir at Law {children or Legatees} of Benjamin Millam deed to Peter Purnal:

"This Indenture made this 25 day of February in the year 1799 between James Williamson Sr and Elizabeth, his wife; John Murphy & Ruth his wife; Solomon Millam; James Williamson Jr & Deborah, his wife; Joseph Millam; and Benjamin Millam being the Legatees of Benjamin Millam deceased late of Bedford County of the one part and Peter Purnal of the other part.

"Wittnesseth, that for and in consideration of the sum of Seventy Pounds Virginia Currency by the said Purnal in hand paid to James Williamson Sr in behalf of himself and the other Legatees of said Benjamin Millam above named, they the aforesaid Legatees have granted, bargained, sold and confirmed as they by these present do grant, bargain, sell and confirm unto the said Peter Purnal, his heirs and assigns forever, one certain tract or parcell of land situated, lying and being in the County of Bedford on the .... branches of the North Fork of the Otter River, supposed to contain 100 acres more or less and bounded by the lands of John Whorton, Royall Childers, John Bundurant and Henry Jeter with all the rights and appurtances belonging.....

"At a Court held for Bedford County, the 25th day of February 1799.....The said Elizabeth, Ruth and Deborah having first been privily Examined according to Law, Voluntarily relinguished their right of Dower in & to land and the premises conveyed by this Indenture which is ordered to be recorded.

"Teste, James Steptoe CBC {Clerk of Bedford Court}"

Note: This deed is more evidence that Benjamin Milam's wife, Elizabeth, was re-married to James Williamson Sr following Benjamin's death.

Benjamin and Elizabeth's daughter, Deborah, married a James Williamson Jr.

Elizabeth Milam apparently removed to Logan County, Kentucky.


Bedford County Records Complete through 1793.