Llanidloes and district
The Mills family of Llanidloes:
composers. printers and writers

by Ronald E. Morris


This article is a version of the talk given by Mr Morris to the Powys Family History Society in February 1994. Where a number appears next to a name this refers to the family tree on the first page.
Unless otherwise stated, all images are by kind permission of Richard Meredith and Cynthia Mills, a descendant of this illustrious family.
  Origins of a dynasty
The Welsh national culture, expressed through its language and through Nonconformity, which gave rise to this remarkable family, is no longer an all-embracing factor in Llanidloes and its district. Spoken Welsh and Nonconformity have all but gone and there is a great cultural break with the past. In order to understand the contribution made by the Mills family, one must put it into the context of the era in which they lived.
It is the story of a family where the same Christian names Richard and John - are repeated in successive generations, thus making for some difficulty in differentiating between its members.
members of the
Mills family
Mills family tree
  The surname Mills can be found in the neighbouring parishes of Trefeglwys and Llanwnog as early as the 16th century. A writer at the beginning of the 19th century derived the surname from "Miles" (Latin for "soldier"), stating that the Mills families had descended from Cromwell's soldiers disbanded in Montgomeryshire in the mid 17th century. However, this is disproved by earlier parish records and the name would derive from "Miller" or one who lives near or in a corn mill.
  There are many seemingly unrelated Mills families in the Llanidloes area and beyond. Were you to ask them they would say they were not connected. There seems little reason to doubt that they derive from a common ancestor, but the link in many instances must have been in the 17th or 18th century and probably earlier. During this period they spread from Trefeglwys and Llanwnog into the adjacent parishes of Carno, Llandinam and the Severn Valley. The Llangurig Millses moved here from Carno at the end of the 18th century.
  What of the noted Mills family of the former well-known Foundry of Llanidloes? They have their origins in Trefeglwys, but would say they were not related to the family of composers, printers and writers. Somewhere, however, they must all link up. To those interested in the ramifications of the numerous Millses, I can do no better than refer them to the notebooks of that excellent genealogist and historian, Richard Bennett, which are held in Aberystwth at the National Library of Wales.
  There are 8 pages on the Mills family. Use the box links below to view the other pages.