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My fifth great-grandfather, Thomas Millsaps, was born in Belfast in 1679 and was married to Mary Popham in Virginia in 1706, so must have emigrated from Ireland around 1700.  I visited Armagh in September, 2018, and a genealogist there speculated that his family were Protestants who had come to the area from northern England (where there are also Millsops) as tenant farmers to replace the Catholics who had been killed or pushed out of the area.  Thomas's father was William Millsaps, born in Armagh around 1650 and was married Elizabeth Wood in Belfast in 1675.  William's father was also William, who was born in 1630 in Tyrone County and was married to Sarah Fuller, who was born in 1627, also in Tyrone.

I was able to find graves of some Millsopps in the cemetery of the Church of Ireland in Tartaragan.  The oldest grave was of John Millsopp, who died in 1843. I also met Harriet Millsopp, who lives in Tartaragan and whose family has been there for as long as she knows.  This seems to support they were Protestants from England.

I would be interested in hearing from anyone else searching for Millsaps or Millsopps.  My email in

Melinda Millsap Howard, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


Wednesday 9th January 2019, 02:16AM

Message Board Replies

  • Melinda,

    There’s not a lot I can add to what your researcher told you during your visit. Millsopp (and variants) is not a native Irish name; plus native Irish did not start to migrate from Ireland in significant numbers till the 1800s. Those who went in the 1700s were mostly Protestants (mainly Presbyterian, though not exclusively) who were unhappy with life in Ireland. Having only recently arrived in Ireland, they were more willing to move on, and many did. 200,000 at least moved from Ulster to North America in the 1700s. Nearly all the Protestants in Ireland at that time were people who had settled recently from Scotland, England & Wales during the 1600s. The main Plantation of Ireland started in 1610, though there were some who arrived before that, and quite a lot that came throughout the 1600s.

    Belfast in 1679 was a very small settlement. Population of no more than 1500. (Until Belfast started to develop as a city, the capital of Ulster had been Carrickfergus, 15 miles away on Belfast Lough.)

    I looked in the Muster Rolls for c 1630 and there are no Millsopps listed, suggesting the family may not even have arrived in Ireland then. Or if they had, there certainly weren’t many of them. Likewise there are no Fullers in the Muster Rolls. There were 2 Fullertons in Tyrone but that’s all. So again the Fullers were not heavily represented at that time. Ancestors born c 1627 & 1630 were very likely first generation descendants of parents born outside Ireland.

    This site says Fuller is an English name found in Ireland since the 16th century. It has no information on Millsapp, probably because it is so rare (just 2 of them in Ireland in Griffiths Valuation). That scarcity obviously fits with it being an incomer’s surname.

    So the location (ie Armagh, Tyrone and Belfast) point to settler origins, the apparent likely denomination (Church of Ireland) also points to that. (Most native Irish were RC).  The timing of their departure from Ireland ie late 1600s (when few native Irish were leaving) also points strongly to the family being descendants of settlers, probably from England as the name seems more English than Scottish or Welsh. And as I say, the family could only have been living in Ireland for a very short period of time, if they had left by 1700.

    I looked in the 1901 census of Tyrone. There were no Fullers living there at all. 49 Millsapp/Millsopp in Ireland (mostly Church of Ireland, about 10 RC). Counties Derry, Armagh & Antrim.

    You will struggle to trace your ancestors in Ireland, because there are next to no records for the 1600s. Possibly DNA testing may be a way of matching with others who have additional information about where the family originate. Family Tree DNA reportedly has more people with Ulster roots than any other company. That obviously increases the chances of finding a match. You might want to try them or, if you have already tested, you can transfer your results to them for no fee.

    The North of Ireland Family History Society is running an Ulster DNA project and can offer FTDNA testing kits at a reduced price. (Go to DNA project on the website).

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 9th January 2019, 05:12PM
  • Dear Elwyn,

    Thank you so much for your extensive and thoughtful reply. I have taken the FTDNA Mitrochondrial test.  My brother has taken the Y test so that will give me more information since he would be a direct male descendent, but I haven't yet learned how to interpret those results.  This certainly gives me more motivation to do that.  I would love to find the connection to northern England since I also have ancestors on my mother's side from near York.  Again, thanks for your help!



    Saturday 12th January 2019, 11:20PM
  • I am sure I did not come across this by accident. My family is from Oklahoma as well, most living in Paul's Valley right now. Good to see relatives on that I do not know. Take care and God Bless all of us. Just wanted to say Hi ! Same name on FB if anyone wants to follow me or look at my pics of Albuquerque , NM .

    Sunday 16th August 2020, 11:47PM
  • Hello,

    For some reason, this showed up in my email today and it looks like I never responded to this.  Since there is no name attached to this, I am wondering if you are a Millsap and/or have Millsap relatives.  

    Melinda Millsap Howard


    Tuesday 18th August 2020, 01:32AM
  • If you go to the library in Armagh, the librarian there can give you a ton of information.  They originally came over when William of Orange brought the Battle of Boyne to King James.  They did not originate in Ireland, but came from that other big island (England) when William brought over a bunch of raw recruits and mercernaries to take care of things.  There were three brothers, Thomas, William, and Frances.  Two of the three stayed in Tartaraghan and are buried there.  The king gave them 400 acres each as payment for their services in the war.  The third  brother, Thomas, came to Virginia and was given his 400 acres there.  Supposedly, Thomas had been imprisoned during the war, and since convicts couldn't hold land in the motherland, he was given land in the Americas. 

    My grandmother was Stella Ardella Millsap.  There's a long line of Millsaps documented in a book by Wayne Capooth.  We verified the information when we went to Dublin to the hall of records and the Armagh library. 

    The family church, several homes, and family are still in Tartaraghan.   Send me your email and I'll send you pictures.  


    Becky Hardesty,

    Thursday 12th August 2021, 01:33PM

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