Marion South Carolina Biographies

    John McMillan 

September 26, 1972 - May 4, 1857

According to his tombstone on the right below, he was born in Argyleshire, Scotland Sepember 26, 1792.  There are 2 stories circulating among family members concerning  his arrival in the USA. One says (as often is) there were three brothers who came over.  Two  stayed in South Carolina and the third, Alexander, continued the journey to South America and was never heard from again.

The second is that his father was the ship's captain and due to illness died aboard ship in the crossing.  John was possibly around 12 yrs of age and on the boat also.  The crew mistreated him and he jumped ship in Charleston, S.C.

This is not the only conflicting story for this family.  Another is found in A History of Marion Co., WW Sellers (1902) which states:

"Another family of MacMillans are at Marion Court house.  The first known of this family was old John McMillan, a sturdy Scotchman, born as I think , in the country, but his ancestry not very remote came from Scotland. Old John m. a Miss Avant of a Marion family and came and settled in Marion in the latter thirties  or early forties.  (Further in the text) He had and raised to be grown two sons Sydney and William Cicero, and three daughters.  The two named were Sarah and Elizabeth.

 I only found one John McMillan in South Carolina in the 1810 Census and this one more matches with the other John found in the 1820 Census inJohn McMillan Tombstone Chester Co.  There was one more McMillan in the 1810 Census for a Richard of Charleston.  It is possible he did not arrive in South Carolina until 1812.
John McMillan
There are several Passenger Lists showing John McMillan.  The first in 1804 (North Carolina), then in 1810 (South Carolina) and again in  1813 (North Carolina).  By 1818 when he married he could easily have been 18.  It has been suggested that he was 12 when he jumped ship.

The following was written on the end of a document filed showing William Rozier was a pensioner Army of the Revolution.
Sworn to and subscribed before me the day and year first above written.
(signed) Jno McMillan Magist.
State of South Carolina }
Marion District } I Edward B. Wheeler, Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas & General Sessions of said District certify that John McMillan is a magistrage as above, and that the foregoing signature purporting to be his is genuine, In testimony whereof I have hereunto affixed my seal of office and subscribed my name, at Marion Court House, the twelfth day of June AD 1851.
(signed) Edward B. Wheeler {seal}
Clerk of the Court of
C.P. & G.S. of Marion District

Sarah Avant McMillan

Sarah Avant McMillan tombstoneSeptember 11, 1798 - May 4, 1857

Sarah is reported to be a native of Marion, S.C.of a prominent family.   Again I find discrepencies in her information.  

Another cousin Fran has stated: "My GGGrandmother, Sarah Avant m John McMillan in 1818 in Sc. She was born in Va and was Abraham Avant's dau. He descends from Caleb."

Her dates are also in question.  The Southern Christian Advocate 1867-1878 Issue of Sep 3, 1873 p.214, Mrs. Sarah McMillan, whose maiden name was Avant, was born in Marion district, S.C., Sept 11th, 1796; was married to Mr. John McMillan 3rd April 1818, and died at Marian S.C. on the 21st of June, 1873.  Wm C. Power

Her tombstone shows Sept. 11, 1798 and death as May 1, 1878.
Her obituary from The Southern Advocate
Issue of August 6, 1873

While the funeral services of mother McMillan, who died on the 19th June, not quite for score years old, were attended to in the Marion Church, the spirit of mother Martha Dozier passed over also to the home of God, 21st June 84 years old last March. She married James Dozier. W. L. Pegues
Four Score-Sarah was 74 yrs old. also
Southern Christian Advocate, Sept 3, 1873 issue, Vol 36 # 35 pg 140 col 4: From the Sandor Teszler Library Archives of Wofford College:
Mrs Sarah McMillan, whose maiden name was Avant, was born in Marion District, S.C., September 11th, 1798; professed religion and joined the Methodist Church about the year 1811; was married to Mr John McMillan on the 2d of April 1818; and died at Marion, S C., on the 21st of June 1873.
Sister McMillan was a woman of marked endowments. She possessed a mind of much native vigor, and though deprived in early life of liberal educational advantages, she acquired a large stock of practical knowledge. She was a woman of decided opinions in all matters which elicited her consideration. Her insight into character was remarkably clear; and when her estimate of the moral worth of an individual was formed, she seldom had reason to reverse her judgement. Her friendships were formed intuitively, and grew stronger with age. To her friends, she was one of the kindest of women, seeming to lose sight of self in her earnest desire to promote their happiness. Her charities to the needy were only limited by her ability to relieve. During the war, when so many were indifferent to the wants and woes of our sick and maimed soldiers, and the refugees from localities which were scourged by epidemics, her heart and house were ever open for their entertainment, sometimes swelling the number of her household to forty and more. Her attachment to ministers was particularly strong and abiding. They were always welcome to her hospitable home, and none knew better than she how to minister to their comfort. As a Christian, Sister McMillan's experience was not without its changes. For a considerable period of her life, she allowed her domestic interests to infringe too much, perhaps, upon her religious obligations, and her peace was consequently interrupted. But for some time prior to her death, she realized fully that above all the claims of home and family, were the duties she owed to God; and for the last years of her life, she addressed herself ****dnously (can't read all the word) to the task of preparing for heaven. When disease had enfeebled her frame, and waxed her strength, it was not unusual for the faithful daughter, who watched most about her bed, to find her beyond the midnight hour, on her knees, so worn by protracted pleading at the mercy seat as to be unable to rise. As might be supposed, her influence over her children was extraordinary. Even those of them who have families of their own were always ready to hear her counsels; and it may be questioned whether any of them would have willfully gone contrary to her advice. It was the privilege of the writer to be much with Sister McMillan during her last protracted sickness, and though he found her sometimes disturbed with doubts concerning the performance of her Christian duties, yet she constantly avowed her love for her Savior, and by faith in his infinite merits, she ultimately triumphed over all the influences that marred her peace. After giving instructions concerning her burial, she frequently expressed her readiness to depart and be with Christ. When the end came, she passed calmly from the shadows of earth into the light of heaven. We hope to meet her again.

1850 Census Marion, S. C. roll: M432-856; Page 119: Image: 240. House 1837 Familly 1824; line 22
John McMillan       60 M Post Master  Scotland
Sarah McMillan      55 F                    Marion
Sarah McMillan      21 F                    Marion
Sidney McMillan    19 M Clerk            Marion
Elizabeth McMillan 16 F                    Marion
Cicero McMillan     14 M                   Marion

CENSUS: 1870                                        Marion Co., S. C. USGenWeb site
180B   6   9   46   54  McMillan Sarah   79  F    W   Keeping House      SC   US   US

DEATH: a Descrepency in her death showing in the Jun 25, 1873 issue of The Marion Star
Mrs. Sarah McMillan died June 20.  Born Sept 1798 and was 76 years old.  Differs from tombstone saying May 4  Above it was stated three June dates, 19, 20 and 21.  

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