John William Milliken was born about 1807 in probably Maury or Bedford County, Tennessee. Elizabeth, reported by descendants to be Elizabeth Horn/Horne, was born in 1808 in either Virginia or North Carolina--she reports both on censuses. Several of the Bedford County, Tennessee related families moved into Panola County, Mississippi in the 1830s when it was opened for settlement, and the John W. Milliken listed there on the 1840 census certainly appears to be this family by ages and ages of children. We find a record in the Panola County records for February 1849: "Appointed overseer of the Panola-Tallahatchie County Line Road from Long Creek at Enoch Bynum's to Tallahatchie County Line near Buckley's for the next year" and names on the road crew are listed as Benjamin Easley, James Beard, William Beard [both sons of Hugh Beard, son of Samuel], John W. Milligan, Alfred Carter, E. Beard and "his brother Jesse Ward", Benjamin Bynum, two Underwoods, James and John Fossett [sons of Sarah Elizabeth Beard and John Faucett, grandsons of James Beard, brother to Hugh and son of Samuel]. Many old Beard family names and relations on this list! The next year, 1850, William R. Mitchell was appointed overseer of the same road, with hands including John and Daniel Thrasher. Then, John Ward appointed overseer of same, and hands included James and William Beard, John W. Milligan, Alf Carter, and Benjamin Bynum. By the 1853 state census, they are almost definitely the family of John "Millegan" in Panola County with three females and five males. They were living next door to the Joseph Houston-Seralda Beard [daughter of Hugh, granddaughter of Samuel Beard] and to Ben R. Bynum, brother of William Beard's wife, Elizabeth Bynum. During these same years, there was listed a Thmas Milligan in this same area of Panola County, and he may well be a brother to John W. In 1850 there is listed a widow, Sarah Milligan, with three young children in Panola County. Again, several related families in Panola County migrated together--this time to White County, Arkansas in the mid to late 1850s. In 1860, J. W. "Miligan" and "E.", his wife, were listed in Jackson, White County, Arkansas with children born in Tennessee and then younger ones born in Mississippi. Also in the home were two young girls, both named "E. Thrasher" and born in Arkansas. We believe that they were the children of John B. and Martha Catherine Horn Thrasher, who lived nearby in White County with several other children in the home. John William Milliken died between the 1860 and 1870 censuses, and in 1870 his widow Elizabeth "Millikin" was living in Coldwell, White County, Arkansas with two sons and next door to another son. Also in her home was listed Liza Thrasher, age 10; one page previous was listed Martha Thrasher, widow whose husband had died in a Union Civil War camp, with three children born in Mississippi and three born in Arkansas. In 1880, Elizabeth lived in Denmark, White County, Arkansas with her son James and his family. She died in 1900 in Pleasant Plains, Arkansas, and she is buried at the Pleasant Plains Cemetery in neighboring Independence County. The known children of John William and Elizabeth were:
There were also two female children born between 1830 and 1840 who appear on the 1840 census but not on the 1850.